i need some advice!!!!

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BlueMoonJay created the topic: i need some advice!!!!

Alright, here's how its pretty much getting broken down. My wife is pretty well set on our Angelfish tank, and as I ha e said before, we don't know what to do with the other spare 55. We were at petsmart today getting food for our pup, and she came across the African Cichlid tanks. She saw the yellow labs, a few peacocks, and some others I can't recall off the top of my head.

So, now she's thinking of the spare tank, an AC tank. My question is though, I know its a pain (atleast for me) to tell what fish is from what lake, can't mix this with those, etc.

Also, I know most AC like high ph water, our tap water where I live was already 8.6, so would I even need the ph buffers, or just stick to water maintenance chemicals? I have close to 50lb of crushed coral I could use as substrate, that would also help maintain high ph.

I guess I'm asking for advice, because I surely don't want to jump into these species without proper knowledge. Thanks!

-Jay
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OFL replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

I am not an African cichlid specialist at all so I'm not even going to try and give you advice on individual species of African cichlid. However,what I will mention is the pH. Obviously you already know that many African cichlids prefer a very high pH, the fact that your tap water is already high will be a huge benefit. I'm surprised actually, I didn't think that water companies let the pH get this high, have you actually tested the water straight out of the tap? Anyway, the biggest problem with keeping fish that need a high pH is that you cannot under any circumstances have any ammonia present as even the smallest amount of ammonia is deadly if you have a very high pH. The beauty with having a very low pH (neutral and below) is that ammonia doesn't pose an instant problem, in fact it's pretty much harmless even quite high levels. I must add that I am certainly not making a statement that it's okay to have ammonia present because it's not.

I think that it would probably be advisable to cycle the aquarium first using non-African cichlids, when you absolutely sure that there is no ammonia or nitrite present then introduce the fish, but very carefully and slowly. That's about the best advice I can give you

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bassetman replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

Beware of the "mixed Malawi " tank. They do not all get along well, and must be matched for compatibility. Best bet is to get one kind of Mbuna, peacock, haps and raise them well before you try to blend butchers and serial killers.. Do the research, learn about the fish before you get them.


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Nina_W replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

I agree with Bassetman, although in a 55 I'd stick to only Mbuna. Not peacocks, because they grow too large (unless you keep a breeding group, which then has to be a species tank to avoid hybrids) and definitely not the large haps.

Theoretically peacocks and mbuna could fit in the tank, but the peacocks will get beaten up by the mbuna.

So see what species you have available, and what you'd like to keep, and come back to us with names. It's easier to help bash a realistic plan into shape than to give millions of possibilities, most of which are not realistically possible for you.

Yellow labs, in a harem of one male, four females, plus one or two other less aggressive malawi mbuna groups of one male four females, would make a lovely, colourful tank (so that's ten-fifteen fish in the end). Two groups are a better way to go for a person just starting with these fish.

Stay away from melanochromis auratus.
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toni-a replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

my tap water is as high the africans are very happy.
Depending on your tank size and your liking stocking would change.
the hard part is not water maintenance since they are quite hardy, but getting the right tankmates since those fish are really aggressive, (butchers and serial killers describes them very well) as a general rule you go for 1 male for 4 females or an all males setup, unlike oscars here overstocking is the rule.
You will need a lot of research and reading, bassetman and nina are the experts that will greatly help here.
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ehh replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

Most of what you see at petsmart are mbuna and peacocks. There are quite a few mbuna you can put in a 55. And despite advice already given you can fit a few peacocks in a 55 gallon. Most peacock species max out at 6 inches. The malawians you want to avoid are known as haps. Most popular haps get too big for 55 gallons. As do most mbuna.

And there is no need to use crushed coral with ph that high.
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BlueMoonJay replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

OFL: Yes, I tested my water a while ago using my API kit. The ph reading didn't even go through on the normal kit, so I had to use the high range kit and it tested at 8.6, with 1.0ppm of ammonia. But I am going to be running activated carbon in the filter, as well as an ammonia absorber. Hopefully that would help.

Nina: My plan was going to be the mbuna, as I have heard peacocks do get rather large. So, in a 55, what would he the safest route? I don't plan on getting too involved with these species (I'm much more for Angels), but they are colorful and can make an attractive tank, so I will give them a shot.

So with the ph that high in my tap already, what substrate should I go with, since I already know I'm more than likely going to need rock caves?
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ehh replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

They would appreciate a finer substrate. Sand or very fine gravel. Nothing too sharp. They like to dig. I'm my tank I have Dolan blasting gravel. It took a lot of rinsing but I really like it

I'm not a fan of carbon. I am a fan of frequent water changes though.

My two cents is still that peacocks don't get too large. Mbunas and aulonocara would both fit fine in a 55 gallon. Not to be mixed though. Those mbunas they sell at petsmart will grow to the same size as the peacocks they sell.
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OFL replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

BlueMoonJay wrote: OFL: Yes, I tested my water a while ago using my API kit. The ph reading didn't even go through on the normal kit, so I had to use the high range kit and it tested at 8.6, with 1.0ppm of ammonia. But I am going to be running activated carbon in the filter, as well as an ammonia absorber. Hopefully that would help.

Nina: My plan was going to be the mbuna, as I have heard peacocks do get rather large. So, in a 55, what would he the safest route? I don't plan on getting too involved with these species (I'm much more for Angels), but they are colorful and can make an attractive tank, so I will give them a shot.

So with the ph that high in my tap already, what substrate should I go with, since I already know I'm more than likely going to need rock caves?


I take it you haven't got any fish at the moment? What is your water temperature? As it stands, your water is extremely toxic for fish, given the fact that you have a high pH and ammonia present, and I would have thought a fairly warm temperature, between 25°C-28°C.

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BlueMoonJay replied the topic: i need some advice!!!!

I more than likely won't buy from petsmart, I have a mom and pop lfs about 3 blocks from my apartment to where I can just order what I'm looking for, so I may just go that route.

So, do you think just basic play sand would be ok?
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