View Full Version : African Cichlid Setup

08-28-2008, 12:24 AM
I just bought a 26 gallon tank and I am planning on putting about four Africans in the tank. I have just started to set it up, but I heard that I should use crushed coral for the substrate, even though the bag says it is for marine aquariums. My water is very soft and I do have a chemical to up the pH, but I heard the crushed coral will make the water hard and keep the pH high. Would it be better to use the coral or to use regular gravel and just add pH increaser?


08-28-2008, 04:05 AM
If you have soft water the coral would be a good idea. You can also use epsom salts to raise the gH, and baking soda to raise the pH. What kind of African cichlids are you planning on stocking?

08-28-2008, 04:44 AM
check the PH of the water the store you are buying the fish from has. if its the same as yours, do not add the crushed coral, the jump of PH could fatally affect your fish. if its the same as the stores, you can keep it since the fish are already acclimated to that PH. if for a reason you want to change it, you need to slowly acclimate it

08-28-2008, 10:47 AM
I just bought a 26 gallon tank and I am planning on putting about four Africans in the tank....

What type of african cichlids? Depending on the species the 26gal will not be an ideal long-term set up for them.

08-28-2008, 07:06 PM
I'm planning on putting Pseudotropheus Acei, Metriaclima lombardoi (kenyi), Melanochromis auratus, and possibly a Tropheus duboisi but I'd like to do more research on him because I know he is a sensitive fish, if I dont get him then i would probably go for the red zebra. Do these guys seem like it would be alright?

08-28-2008, 08:13 PM
i would skip m. auratus, theyre vicious as adults. mines living solitary in a 10g, he will kill any other living thing in a tank with him

08-28-2008, 10:11 PM
I'd say that the 26gal would be unsuitable for any metriaclima's and melanchromis' due to their aggressive nature and territorial requirements.

Acei's, while more peaceful than the rest would need more space due to their active swimming nature and size they attain (maxing out at about 6"). I wouldn't recommend keeping any mbuna's in a tank with less than 48" for a variety of reasons.

However, small juveniles (1"-2") mbuna's of any type should be fine in a tank that size if utilized for grow out purposes, but for long-term housing a larger tank is highly recommended. At about 2.5" aggression starts to ramp up.

Other types of african cichlids might work (shell dwellers).

08-29-2008, 04:17 AM
Where would I find good information on shell dwellers? Are they easy to come across? I just chose those guys because they are the smallest african cichlids sold in the pet store i work at, and i did some research and they all seemed to have the same eating habits, and same maximum size around 5 inches

08-29-2008, 04:21 AM
shelldwellers are easy to come across for the most part, theyre cool fish

08-29-2008, 04:44 AM
Auratus may only grow to ~5", but a male will claim a 4-5' territory. They're also just about the most aggressive species fish of their size. The others aren't QUITE as bad, but still not suitable for less than a 4' tank.

08-29-2008, 07:45 AM
Unfortunately, you will definitely be restricted in choice with a smaller tank.

As far as water parameters go, i've read that by recreating the 'natrual' water conditions the fish will be healthier, and show more color. There are several debates on this subject, i am not trying to start one here, but I use Seachem Chiclid salt, and their buffer and my fish are looking incredible. They seem to get more colorful everyday.

It also makes me feel more (fill in the blank) by adding the salts etc in the tank.

Shell dwellers look pretty cool and have funny personality, but i haven't owned them personally, just experience from a friends tank, so i cant say too much on them.