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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, long time follower but first post on the forum.

I am 2 weeks into cycling a Cichlid tank, details of set as follows:

200 litre tank, Fluval 405 external pump/filter, 2 heaters, deep crushed coral subtrate, plenty of ocean rock.

You can view my tank here:


I am assuming the whole cycle will take 4 to 6 weeks but after 2 weeks my levels are as follows, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 5, Nitrates 50+

Are these levels what you would expect at this stage?

Should I continue to leave it alone and let it all happen naturally or should I be doing anything more at this stage (out of choice I would rather leave it alone and let it happen naturally but is this an option?)?

Following the link listed above and viewing my set up does it look like a good Cichlid environment?

Appreciate any comments.

Thank you.
 

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Your levels look very normal. I wouldn't bother testing nitrates because you can't get an accurate reading on them when you have nitrites in the water. I would do a couple of 20-30% water changes to bring your nitrites to 2-3 ppm. There are some on this forum who say having nitrites at 5 ppm or above will slow down your cycle.

I would also keep adding ammonia every few days to keep ammonia levels at around 1-2 ppm (the bacteria will die if you never feed it but you don't need to feed much).

Your tank will make a great home for mbuna.
 

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It looks like a great cichlid environment, but might be challenging to maintain. That's the trade off with heavily rocked tanks. You're going to get detritus buildup where it'll be difficult, if not impossible, to get to without pulling the rocks.

Zimmy is right on the mark, as usual, with the cycling advice. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Zimmy thank you for your advice.

Prov356, how right you are, it's been something playing on my mind. I have a feeding device which holds the food in one place above the subtrate section which I can syphone so the pump shouldn't blow it into the rocky area but there will inevitably be waste build up. I was planning on adding some Blue Botia (or something similar) to get into the areas the Cichlids cannot reach and keep feeding to small but more regular portions in an attenpt to minimise waste.

If there is anything else you can think of which I can do to keep the waste build up in the rocks to a minimum feel free to suggest.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As you were so kind to offer advice following my post I thought an update was the least I could do. My readings last night were Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate about 25, so a 15/20% water chagne tonight and another at the weekend and then I think I can add my 2 Multipunctatus, 2 Yellow Labs and my Demosoni and watch the readings over the coming week.

Thanks again.
 
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