Aquarium Setup • Need cichlids advice

New to the world of cichlids? For discussion on how to set up new tanks, including placement, filtration, substrates, water, etc. No stocking discussions here.

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Need cichlids advice

Postby Brian2020 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:43 pm

I have always had a Cichlid tank and has been years since my last and want to make sure it is done correctly. Have a new 75 gallon tank with 2 Cascade 1000 canister filters , via aqua 300 watt heater , and 80 pounds of Caribsea arag alive Hawaiian black sand. I want to start with small fish in the 1/12 - 2 in in size . Any feedback would be helpful. Thank you in advance.
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby Dooner » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:41 pm

Small fish that max out at 1 1/2” or that you buy at that size?
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby Deeda » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:58 pm

Which cichlids are you considering as there are quite a few choices?

Are you looking at all male or a combination of male and female?
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby Brian2020 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:59 pm

Sorry starting at that size ! As far as type and genitalia I want ones with the best colors and not so aggressive. I like fish from all 3 lakes.
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby Brian2020 » Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:25 am

Also any help with media on the canisters? I heard Polly fill is great as well as bio home. Can you run different media in the 2 filters.
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby DJRansome » Wed Dec 25, 2019 4:09 am

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

All three lakes make me think you are considering African Rift Lake cichlids (although there are other lakes with cichlids). I can't think of a recommended scenario that would mix the three lakes. There are some Lake Malawi and one Lake Victorian I would mix (see my signature) but for the most colorful tank that is relatively peaceful I would do mixed gender mbuna from Lake Malawi.

Why not use the media that comes with the filters? What is the GPH of each? You can run different media but what would be the purpose of doing that? IME too much emphasis is placed on the type/quality of the media. Bacteria will happily grow on just about anything. I have tanks with the most expensive media and tanks with the least expensive media and they do equally well.

If you wanted to do mbuna from Lake Malawi, think in terms of 4 species with 1m:4f of each like this:
1m:4f Labidochromis caeruleus a.k.a. yellow labs
1m:4f Pseudotropheus acei
1m:4f Iodotropheus sprengerae a.k.a. rusties
1m:4f Cynotilapia zebroides Cobue

How are you cycling the tank? I would not rely on the substrate.
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby ironspider » Wed Dec 25, 2019 9:19 am

Brian2020 wrote:Also any help with media on the canisters? I heard Polly fill is great as well as bio home. Can you run different media in the 2 filters.


I also run two Cascade 1000 with my 55 gal. In each I use the course sponge at the bottom with a floss on top. Next basket is a floss with a pack of bio rings, and the third basket is also floss with a pack of bio rings. After fishless cycle and weekly water changes, I've never had any kind of water quality issue.
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby Brian2020 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:38 pm

Thank you for both replies on the different media I just see videos of how well Polly fill really helps in the clearness of the tank, and how bio home is a media I thought maybe better than what comes with it . Each canister is rated at 265 gph .
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby Brian2020 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:41 pm

As far as cycling the tank haven’t gotten that far as I heard that Tetra safe start is very good , but sure what’s the best yet . I used to use feeder fish for a few weeks but it creates problems down the road.
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby DJRansome » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:15 pm

Read the article on cycling with ammonia in the Cichlid-forum Library. Allow six weeks.
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Re: Need cichlids advice

Postby Brian2020 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:10 pm

Thank you.
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