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Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Question Uneducated morons at my local pet mart

    0 Not allowed!
    Okay, it's been a while since I had cichlids. I was in my local mini pet mart and saw a beautiful looking group of young cichlids in a beautifully clean tank. I bought two cute little guys that I think are lake Tanganyika (not sure however, like I said it's been a while). One is yellow and the other is orange (I'm thinking yellow lab and red zebra?) Of course the employee at the store told me the colored ones (like the two I got) are from Hawaii. So, hearing that I knew better than to ask him any more fish questions. The best part, out of this group of fish, he managed to bag me the only orange one with a tore up tail. Anywho...questions for water condition. I know they like hard alkaline water. These are my readings for the tank they are in:

    Nitrate: 0
    Total Hardness: 75ppm
    Total Chlorine: 0
    Total Alkalinity: 120ppm
    PH: 7.2

    The Temp is working its way to 80 degrees. I didn't have the heater plugged in until today, so the temp is adjusting. My questions are should there be any changes to the water parameters and should the cichlids have more salt than 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons?

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Smaller to trace amounts of salt should suffice. If they really are from Africa I would be prepared for aggression.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Many people use crushed coral as a ph buffer. When keeping these fish it is advised to stock heavily to disperse aggression. Having just two will almost guarantee that one of them will be picked on constantly. The heavy stocking also means heavy filtration. Keep this in mind if you decide to get more. What size tank are they in?
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff Boo train boo train boo train boo train woohoo

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Currently in a 20 gallon.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Unfortunately that's not going to be enough room for those fish, much less the group they should be kept in.
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff Boo train boo train boo train boo train woohoo

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Yup, definitely too small a tank considering most african cichlids grow to 4-6" and need to be kept in large numbers as Aeon said. Kind of ironic considering what you called the Petsmart employees. Might not want to be so harsh in your judgement. If you have the room/money, you should try to upgrade to at least a 55g tank.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Yeah... glancing over this it has a certain pot calling the kettle black feel to it.

    Funny really, OP has lovely tap water which is ideal for south-american and he wants to do rift valley. I have tapwater which only needs a dash of malawi mix to be bang on perfect and I'm keen on south american species.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    I would return those fish and if you are thinking of cichlids in that sized tank, get instead Tanganyika shell dwellers. Mbuna's definately will not work for you. The shell dwellers will need tiny hiding area's such as shells they can get into.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!

    Added here because I was too late to edit but these are very cute fish that stay very small.

  10. #10

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    Aug 2010
    Jacksonville, FL

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    0 Not allowed!
    Seriously... was yesterday just the name calling day? Im extremely disapointed in a few people as of late...

    Anyway, take the fish back on the return policy and fully plan out your tank. A 20gal is not ok for any Mbuna, Peacock or Tang that petsmart currently sells to my knowlege.

    REmember that planning the tank goes from bottom up, substrate, water chemestry and cycling, decor and finally fish...

    I am not aware if you have been through a fishless cycle, ammonia level in the tank, the final stocking for the tank or anything... if you are into the Africans, a 55gal tank would be pretty much bare minimum. They look cute and small now but they have an attitude that goes beyond their size. You need to overstock to diffuse the aggression.

    Lets come up with a stocking list and final plan for your tank here so you dont waste valuable time and money.

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