View Full Version : African Cichlid inquiry
12-20-2006, 01:49 AM
I am interested in setting up a 75 gallon African Cichlid tank because of their bright colors.
I am experienced in fish keeping. I need suggestions on types of Africans to purchase that will get along well together, as well as substrate, pH levels, filter types, stocking level and media. I wish to purchase them young and from a local source.
12-20-2006, 01:51 AM
cichlidman, reptileguy2727 or floored should be along to answer this for ya!
12-20-2006, 03:57 AM
If i were you i would go with mbunas from lake malawi. Like labs, zebras, etc... it would be a nice themed tank
12-20-2006, 04:14 AM
Mbunas or peacocks. The peacocks are a lot less aggressive and arguably more colorful. Big filtration. I would do 2 HOBs, probably Biowheels along with a big canister, at least a Fluval 405. pH 8.2 for Lake Malawi. Mbunas: crushed coral substrate. Peacocks: Sand substrate. All mbunas or all peacocks, no mixing. Check out the pics of my peacocks in the link in my signature. They are not even in their prime yet.
12-20-2006, 04:16 AM
Welcome to the forum dglover. Typically when you are thinking about stocking a african cichlid tank you need to pick a lake (Malawi, Tanganyika, or Victoria). I keep mbunas because I wanted smaller fish with bright colors. Mbunas are from Lake Malawi and are rock dwelling fish. They are also one of the most common african cichlids in pet stores. These include the labs, kennyi, socolofi, zebras, and several others. All of the mbunas will get along alright if you follow some simple rules.
Most of the african lakes have hard and basic water. You can use crushed coral for your substrate to help with this or you can use limestone based rocks to decorate (which will also push your pH up). Use a little bit of salt (they make some that is just for african cichlids) which will also increase the hardness. One thing many people do is overstock their tanks to spread the aggression around. An overstocked tank is going to require a lot of filtration. I would say a canister and a good sized HOB filter should do the trick. I currently run a Rena XP3 and a Biowheel 200. I might upgrade to a second canister as my fish get bigger but for now that is fine for me.
I'm sure you are going to have a lot more questions but you can start things by picking some fish that you like. Once you decide what you want to keep we can help you get the right setup.
Again, welcome to the forum.
12-20-2006, 09:15 AM
You already have some great responses here.
I also like Lake Malawi Mbuna.
I keep Yellow labs and other assorted African Cichlids. My signature at the bottom shows what I keep.
Ok...PH of 8 to 8.2 as long as it is stable and not fluctuating.
GH/KH about 200 - You can use crushed coral as substrate as already suggested and you can also use limestone or tuffa rock work and keep crushed coral in your filter in a bag...
Mine stay in 80 degree water, I use baking soda at the rate of one tsp per 5 gallons of water for PH....Epsom salt at the rate of one tablespoon per 5 gallons of water for GH/KH.
Lots of filtration as Reptileguy said..
And depending on your way of doing things....weekly water changes between 40 and 75%.
Remember also...LOTS of caves and hiding places and they don't need plants.
Here is a link to a picture of a great cichlid setup....This belongs to an expert, Mark Elieson..it is not mine :-)
There is some good info here too!
12-20-2006, 01:57 PM
You should stick that link in the links forum, it looks good.
12-20-2006, 04:26 PM
told ya those 3 guys would be around to answer your questions on africans. lol
i would recommend peacocks if your looking for something easy with aggression to deal with. They are cool to because they have just about every color you can fine
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