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Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Default New to hobby and need advise please! TY!

    0 Not allowed!
    Firstly...THANK YOU for any and ALL help! I buy my first tank tomorrow (55gal), and my water was tested and at 7.2-7.3 pH. I'm looking set up this tank with mostly yellow and blue's.... ie...yellow labs and ???? I don't know what would be an ideal blue combo for yellow labs?!? Help here would be WONDERFUL! Idea's on a few species that could mix in with my "blue and yellow" tank would be great.

    Also.... I would love to add a couple odd balls in IF it is possible/compatible.

    Also...anyone have a link to help me learn how to cycle a fishless tank?

    I am looking into what rock I want to incorporate. I like a few holey rock is pretty, but I also like some other natural stone but not sure what it's called. Any link's here for those?

    Anyone know what I can protect the bottom tank with if I get heavy rock?

    also.... I plan to paint the back of the tank black...any particular paint I should use?

    I know I have many other ?'s...but I'll go with these for now. Thanks everyone!!

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Here is a link to the fishless cycle:

    As long as your stand is good the bottom of your tank should be find for holding the rocks. I'd put a layer of sand or other substrate down first though to cushion.

    That's all I can help you with. Good luck!!
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    In the beginner's section there is a link or two regarding fish compatibility. That might help you decide what fish you can add in with your yellow and blue labs.
    Check also in the cichlid section of the forum for more information to help.

    Yellow labs are mbuna from Lake Malawi. It's less aggressive than most mbuna so you'll have to be careful selecting other fish - they should also be mbuna but of the less aggressive in nature..

    You chose some specific fish you like, post the names here and someone should be able to tell you if they will mix with your labs.

    The link to fishless cycling is also in my signature line =- and we will all be happy to help you with that process as well.
    Good luck.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Frozen Wastes of the Upper Midwest

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    Asking good questions, keep it up! - Slaphppy7 Congrats on the tank move - Slaphppy7 Thanks for being the 2000th poster on the 40B! - Slaphppy7 Thanks for the B-Day wish - Strider199 Here's to one crummy Superbowl, lol! - Slaphppy7 
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    1 Not allowed!
    as far as something to help with the rocks on the glass. Many people put eggcrate on the bottom of the tank, then place the rocks and then put in the sand after the rocks are in place.

    1) the eggcrate helps distribute the weight across the tank
    2) many cichlids are diggers, and by putting the rock in first the is would prevent the fish from digging in the sand and disturbing the rocks
    Current tanks:
    37G FW - 3 Pearl Gourami, 4 Black Mollies, approximately 20+ Molly Fry, 5 Assassin Snails | 10G Planted FW - 14 Molly Fry, rocks, DW and an Anubias Nana - journal
    "We come from the land of the ice and snow" | "I reject your reality and substitute my own" - Adam Savage | What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
    How to cycle without fishies!

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you for the links! Where can I get this egg crate from?
    Since I don't really know what are compatible.... I'll just list some fish I happen to like, and maybe someone can tell me what (if any) can go with yellow labs. ;) I like Elec.Blue Haps... Demasoni....Blue Peacock (don't think those can).....Blue Zebra?....Red Texas...Johanni...Yellow Tail Acei...
    Maingano....Yellow Haps...Fontosa (don't think those can either) Not sure of anything else yet. Basically I am looking for yellows and blues with a couple odd others for mystery. ;) Would love to add a black fish with color of sort. Thank you everyone for any help!

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Egg crate is just lighting diffuser - you can get it at any hardware store like lowe's or home depot...

    Acei's would be a good mix with your yellow'll want to stay away from peacocks, they are mild fish and would be persecuted by the others. If stocking mainly african malawi's, you should stick to fish from that same lake that eat the same foods.

    Lava rock is the most commonly used rock for cichlid tanks, I believe. Its very porous, it comes in a variety of shapes - you can even buy it drilled if you want to spend the coin, and stacks well. I used egg crate on the bottom of my tank, stacked the rock, then put the substrate in. With fish darting in and out, and some fish will root around in the sand, you don't want the rocks to shift because one of your fish turns out to be a miner.

    When you are stocking schools of aggressive fish like malawi's, putting in a lone fish of almost any species is an iffy proposition. I've seen acei's chase a lone fish like a pack of wolves...but if you put in an aggressive fish, that fish might persecute the smaller species. Also, breeding fish, which you will have if you stock a typical african tank, are more territorial/aggressive than other fish.

    Google "cookie cutter set ups" and you will get a few proven successful ideas on a colourful active tank.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Am I the first to point out that with these African species water hardness is important? And at that PH he's got softish water. If that's tap I'd say get a TDS meter from ebay and a tub of rift lake salt (yes people, this is one of those rare cases where talldutchie says to use salts! )

    As to oddballs, well, whatever you'd pick would have to be
    1. OK with hard water
    2. Not in need of too much cover
    3. Able to stand up to a bunch of African cichlids.
    Not much comes to mind

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you so much Sheamurai..... I really appreciate the info!! =)

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    talldutchie....Thank you for the info! I know the pH is to low...I plan to raise it before adding fish. I am probably a month away from even thinking of buying fish yet. ;)
    I guess if not able to throw an odd pair in.... what about a 3rd colony that would go well with say... yellow labs and acei? AND...would yellow labs and demosoni do well together? Thanks so much!

  10. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    In a 55 with mbuna, 2 groups of 6-7 each will work well. If it were my tank, with yellow labs I would go either Pseudotropheus Acei(yellow tail types) or Pseudotropheus Cyaneorhabdos(aka Maingano). Both are mellower as far as mbuna go. The Acei swim more in the upper half of the tank and tend to stay together more than most mbuna. With the chance that the fish you get will most likely be tank raised, stable water parameters are better than the perceived "right" ones. That said, your pH is fine as long as the KH(carbonate hardness) is high enough to maintain, or buffer, it. There are plenty of rift lake buffer recipes with baking soda, epsom salt, and aquarium(kosher) salt to help you if you want to adjust the numbers. Just do a google search. As far a cycling, if you know someone with established filters that can spare some of the media, that will greatly speed the cycling process. Once there are some bacteria, they multiply fairly quick to adjust to the bio load(stocking density) in the tank. With substrate and aqua scape for mbuna, pool filter sand($10/50 lbs) is great for most rift lake cichlids and natural looking IMO. Plenty of rocks, of about any type, piled up to make many nooks and hiding places will keep the mbuna happy(mbuna means rock fish in the native language). Hope this helps, good luck!

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