Starting a new tank

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Aquarium Advice Regular
May 12, 2021
illinois USA
I'm starting a new tank it's 55 gallon long tank 48L14W 20H (inches) I am setting it up as a african cichlid tank I have substrate with pH buffers going to be running a canister filter along with a sponge filter still waiting for everything to arrive in the mail and get the tank set up and cycling. So far as far as decorations all i have bought is some small drift wood and 10 pounds of 5-7 inch slate. question is what would be some good types of african cichlids to put in the tank i know 55 gallons isn't suitable for some species due to how big they get and I know I'm only going to be able to keep a limited amount in the tank because of the size but I don't have room for anything bigger. Looking for recommendations on what to stock with and how many I can safely stock without overcrowding or having too high of a bio load. This is my fist attempt at a cichlid tank and I want to get it right lol. Any advice is greatly appreciated I will post pictures as I move along in setting up the tank I'm hoping by this weekend my canister and substrate will arrive and I can get the tank filled and begin the cycle I have seeded media from my other tanks to jump start the process.
I decided to not got with the sponge filter and purchased a fulval fx4 hob filter along with my canister il be at about 550 gallons per hour filtration from what I have read online everyone says the more filtration in a cichlid tank the better so I figured I'd add another large filter lol. Got the tank and stand in place today got a bunch of stuff coming in the mail over the next 3 days so I'm hoping to have it filled by this weekend. Still could use some advice on what kind of fish to stock it with was thinking about starting with 2 yellow labs after I cycle it then adding 3 or 4 more fish of other types after that over time. I also have a power head laying around was wondering if that would be any use or not iv read they like some current but not alot other things ov read said they like current as long as they have dead zones to rest in. Any thoughts on tat20220405_104252.jpg
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