Aquarium Setup • New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

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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New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

Postby judgejules1 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:46 am

Hello Everyone,

I"m starting the build on my new fish tank. I have been doing research for the past couple of weeks and gathering pricing and pieces that I think I would need for my Cichlid tanks.

Fish: Full mix TBD, and looking for advice. Definitely going to keep neolamprologus ocellatus gold. Considering: eretmodus cyanostictus (Goby), julidochromis transcriptus, tropheus duboisi maswa.
Tank: Red Sea Reefer 525 XL (108 gal in display and 31 gal in sump) rimless tank. Yes, I will also be getting a top that I can take on and off as needed.
Filtration: 31 gal sump, utilizing Miracle Mud 2 and CerMedia MarinePure 1.5-inch Sphere Bio-Filter Media as the biological media
Power Heads: TBD - any recommendations?
Return Pump: Jebao DCP Sine Wave Water Return Pump (1710gph max)

Lighting: Kessil A360x (x2)

Substrate: CaribSea African Cichlid Mix, White Sand

Rocks and scaping: Neothuma shells, limestone and sandstone rocks and ledges
Plants: considering adding some minimal plantings, mainly vallisneria and perhaps anubias and/or java fern.

Will be starting the fishless cycle in a day or two, just waiting for the temperature to climb.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I've kept cichlids before, but it's been about 10 years. My past tank was more of a mix of cichlids that had no business being together. I'm trying to take a more thoughtful approach this time.
So would love thoughts/suggestions on the fish of fish I am considering. My main concern, from what I've read, is that the tropheus I'm considering have different dietary habits and bloating could be an issue. I believe that the tank is large enough to mitigate aggression concerns? I haven't setup the rocks and shells in the tank yet, so still have time to organize appropriately.

thanks!
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Re: New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

Postby ken31cay » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:12 pm

Looks like a nice setup. Just a comment regarding your top coming on and off; I find this is important for both my 180gal & 450gal when doing deep cleans within the tank every 6-8 weeks or so, since mine only open at front enough to put in fish food.

Both my tanks are acrylic complete setups, and the canopy tops are made of the same heavy wood as the stands. For my 180gal removing the top is no problem with the help of my wife or one of my kids. But the top on my 450gal is the same dimensions as my tank 8' x 3' and is really heavy. So I had a carpenter shop take it and install 2 sets of piano hinges, and reinforce all four sides, so now it completely folds all the way back and can lean against the wall in back of my tank, giving me complete access to the top of my tank. Feels good after months of coaxing my smallish wife to help each time I needed to remove it.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal Labeotropheus Trewavasae Chilumba & Kenyi
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Re: New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

Postby DJRansome » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:57 pm

This is a 60" tank. If shellies are the must have species I would skip the tropheus and gobies. The julidochromis would work well with shellies. With those two, what about a colony of cyprichromis?
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

Postby judgejules1 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:05 pm

DJRansome wrote:This is a 60" tank. If shellies are the must have species I would skip the tropheus and gobies. The julidochromis would work well with shellies. With those two, what about a colony of cyprichromis?


Thanks DJRansome. Yes, the tank measure 59" long. I've considered the cyprichromis colony. They had not peeked my interested yet, but haven't dismissed them yet. And yeah, if I drop the idea of keeping tropheus in this tank they'd be a great option for the open water, upper tank habitant.
Just out of curiosity, why do you recommend dropping the tropheus and gobies? Because of the size of the tank? Or is it the mixture with the shellies? Food differences? Aggression? Just want to make sure I understand.

Thanks!
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Re: New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

Postby DJRansome » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:14 pm

Tropheus are ideal as a single species tank...but they CAN be combined with gobies.

Eliminated them because you said shellies were a given.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

Postby judgejules1 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:07 pm

Hi folks.

Hope everyone is well.
Wanted to post a quick update and some pictures of the tank progress.

I decided to start stocking with Lamprologus Ocellatus and julidochromis marlieri. I'm still waiting for the tank cover to arrive, and when it does I will add cyprichromis leptosoma chituta.

I ended up adding more plants than I originally planned, but they're doing a great job managing the water quality.
I've also done a refugium in the sump with shrimp and nerite snails.
So far, so good.
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Re: New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:41 pm

Looks great!
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Re: New Red Reefer 525 XL Lake Tanganyika Setup

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:07 pm

That’s amazing! Just a little tip on the refugium: keep as much vallisneria or some other fast growing plant as you can fit in it. Doing that has really helped keep my nitrates down. Also, be careful with the cyprichromis especially while they are acclimating. My friend has a 125 full of them and every time his dog jumps in front of the tank, the fish do too. You can hear them hit against the glass top.
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