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Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default New Cichlid Tank- How many fish to add at a time


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi everyone,

    I am planning to set up a 55 gallon African Cichlid tank (Lake Malawi). I am reading conflicting information about adding fish. I have read a lot of articles that said fish need to be added gradually to prevent build-up of toxic nitrogenous wastes, but I have also read that cichlids showed be added quickly and in large numbers to prevent becoming overly territorial. Showed I cycle with a couple minnows for an extended period of time and then just give them back to my aquarium shop and buy a few cichlids at once?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    No on the minnows. Africans should be stocked all at once to prevent some of the aggression issues that will arise. Since you will be adding the full bio-load of the tank all at once you need to build a strong bio-filter before you add the fish. The fish-less cycle is the best way to achieve this, here is a link to help you understand the method, http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640 It would take a large amount of minnows to equal the bio-load of a fully stocked african cichlid tank. I am not against cycling with fish, but it is a huge amount of work and most of the time it is not done properly and the fish suffer. You will need to do many water changes, sometimes 2-3 daily, which will unnecessarily prolong the cycle, and the minnows are still likely to suffer and live shortened lives. Because you are doing so many water changes cycling with fish is also much more expensive. When you cycle the tank using ammonia, you can build up a bigger bio-filter from the start, no water changes until the cycle is complete, making it the cheaper option, and no chance of hurting the fish due to error.
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  3. #3

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    Mar 2012
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    0 Not allowed!
    You are right, generally you add fish one by one, but with such aggressive and territorial fish as African cichlids, you have to add them all at once to ensure that they all start out equal, other wise the first ones who have had first dibs on territory will mercilessly kill the new ones.

  4. #4

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    Mar 2013
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    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you. I guess it is time to get started on that fishless cycle

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