Aquarium Setup • I'm coming back!

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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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:16 pm

I wanted to share something with everyone....I ordered a live sponge from Angel's Plus last week in the hopes of quickening my cycle time. I had read from multiple sources that it usually cuts down the time to about 10 days. I received the sponge in the mail on Friday and put it in my HOB. Well...my tank is already cycled! Less than TWO days. I checked ammonia a couple of hours ago and it was down to about .25 (started at 4) and my nitrates were up to 20+. I can't believe it cycled in less than 2 days. I already ordered 12 fish, they'll be arriving Friday. :thumb:
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby shiftyfox » Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:11 pm

What readings have you got for Nitrites..?
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:59 am

shiftyfox wrote:What readings have you got for Nitrites..?


I didn't do a test yesterday but I just did one and am at about 0.5 so the tank isn't FULLY cycled yet. But now the tank has processed a total of at least 6 ppm ammonia so that isn't much. My nitrates are over 40 now so I'm doing a partial WC. I imagine by the time my fish arrive on Friday it'll be fully cycled.
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:35 am

Amazingly I just picked up a 5 foot tank. I had a wanted ad on craigslist for one and finally someone about an hour away emailed me, I got it for $120 and its in good shape. I really excited about this, I already tore down the 75 and have the new 120 on the stand, I'm doing the setup today. My canister is still in place and I just have to move the hoses over. I also have to have lids made but thats no biggy, probably have that done today. Now what do you guys suggest for stocking? I've been wanting a 5 footer for a while but I've never really thought about what I would stock it with if I had one. Does a frontosa group become an option for me with this tank? FYI its a 120 gallon 5 footer...60"x18"25"
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:11 pm

I would go 72" for frontosa.

You could do some fish that mature <= 8 inches.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:55 am

Are there any larger fish that could be successfully mixed with Mbuna? Honestly I know very little about other species of cichlids (Haps, Peacocks, etc) other than Frontosa.
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:22 am

IMO it is not a good idea to mix frontosa and mbuna.

If you got a feisty hap and mixed it with yellow labs it could work. Taiwan Reef (Protomelas) is nice.

You would want the hap to be mature and established and add juvenile yellow labs maybe a year later.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:03 pm

So it sounds like its generally not a good idea to mix anything else with Mbuna?
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:13 pm

There are exceptions, such as the yellow labs and maybe acei, but in general you are less likely to have problems if you do haps and peacocks together and mbuna together.

The occasional experienced fishkeeper has had success with large, established haps when mbuna are introduced later as juveniles.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:17 pm

Here is the 120 gallon 5 footer all setup. I got some really nice limestone for this one. I'll take a better shot once all the bubbles are off the glass. I actually had to reseal this tank as it was leaking initially - I got it all setup and got it about half full of water and noticed a small leak, so I had to tear it all apart again, set the 75 gal back up, reseal this tank, and then switch back AGAIN. :x

Image

Still have some things on the way in the mail, including a larger heater (500W), a second Marineland C360 canister (I am going to custom pipe both canisters with all black PVC and loc line), and a new (larger) light fixture. I'll take a final shot once everything is complete in a few weeks.

I also already ordered more stock for this tank, this will be the initial stock, let me know what you think:

(4) Yellow Labs
(4) Red Zebra
(4) Cobalt Blue
(4) Maingano
(4) Afra Reef
(4) Yellow Tail Acei
(1) Albino Socolofi (female)
(1) Bristlenose Pleco

All groups of 4 fish are 1M:3F (at least that's what I ordered, who knows if it will actually turn out that way). That is 26 total fish, do you think thats a good stock for a 120 gal 5 foot? I don't want a massive overstock, I don't like having wall to wall fish. But I could potentially add one more female of each species and I'm also considering more Acei... :-? Are there any other Mbuna that school/swim on top like Acei?
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:46 pm

The number is a little high overall and too many species IMO. I have never had luck with quads.

For a 72" tank (yours is 60") I like 25 mbuna and 5 species with 1m:4f of each.

Don't save fry. I have never found Acei to school or swim at the top more than any other mbuna, despite claims to the contrary.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:48 pm

DJRansome wrote:The number is a little high overall and too many species IMO. I have never had luck with quads.

For a 72" tank (yours is 60") I like 25 mbuna and 5 species with 1m:4f of each.

Don't save fry. I have never found Acei to school or swim at the top more than any other mbuna, despite claims to the contrary.


Thats interesting that you haven't found Acei to swim at the top, I've read that all over the place. I probably wouldn't have even ordered them and may sell them if thats true, unless I really like the way they look. I also didn't order the Pleco yet since I just setup the tank, going to wait a little while until there's some growth in the tank.
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:35 pm

gillmanjr wrote:
DJRansome wrote:The number is a little high overall and too many species IMO. I have never had luck with quads.

For a 72" tank (yours is 60") I like 25 mbuna and 5 species with 1m:4f of each.

Don't save fry. I have never found Acei to school or swim at the top more than any other mbuna, despite claims to the contrary.


Thats interesting that you haven't found Acei to swim at the top, I've read that all over the place. I probably wouldn't have even ordered them and may sell them if thats true, unless I really like the way they look. I also didn't order the Pleco yet since I just setup the tank, going to wait a little while until there's some growth in the tank.
Me too. They are a pretty well behaved fish however. They need the right lighting.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:59 am

Here are a couple of better shots of the tank. I custom made sliding glass lids based on a youtube video from Steve Poland Aquatics. Brilliant idea for lids, they are actually much better than the hinged lids and were cheaper. I paid a total of 46 dollars including the molding, custom cut 1/8" glass, and the adhesive pull handles. If anyone is interested in these search for "sliding glass aquarium lids" on youtube and you'll find the video I am referring to.

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Re: I'm coming back!

Postby gillmanjr » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:43 am

Which stone do you guys prefer? I want to get some opinions on this because now I'm having a hard time deciding what looks better. They are very different looks between the bluestone (photo 1) which is flatter, longer, sharper pieces, and the drainage stone (some sort of granite I believe) in photo 2, which is more just random rounder pieces. They both make good caves but I can't decide between overall looks...

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