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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a total beginner and have inherited a tank with the following:

1 x True Parrot Cichlid (Hoplarchus Psittacus)
2 x Breeding Pair of Pearl Eartheater (Geophagus brasiliensis)
5 x Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki)
1 x Red Tail Shark (Epalzeorhynchus bicolor)
1 x Bronze Cory Cat (Corydoras aeneus)
3 x Leopard Sailfin Pleco (Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps)

and the are all in:
240 Litre Tank
Fluvel 3 Plus Filter
Fluvel U4 Filter
EHEIM professionel 3 2073 Filter

I have had them for nearly 2 months now and have just been trying to keep them alive!!

Up until now I have been changing 50 Litres twice a week (Wednesday and Sunday) and they seem to have been doing OK.

Now I'm starting to worry about regular maintenance and looking after them long term. I have the following questions, and would really appreciate if anyone could help me out with them:

1. How often do I need to clean the gravel?
2. Do I need the 3 pumps running together (can I survive with just the Eheim or with the Ehiem and one Fluval)
3. I have been feeding them some frozen Mysis shrimp (once or twice a week) and flaked food everyday (they seem to eat whatever I sprinkle in - is there a more scientific quantity I can give them - I don't want to over or under feed them!)
4. How do I know when the filters etc need to be changed in the pumps
5. Is the quantity of water changes OK or can I do a smaller quantity (or less frequently)?
6. Is there any other house-keeping that is needed?

Thanks for any help!!


1,657 Posts
1. With tanks that had gravel, I would clean debris that was on top every water change but I only vaccumed the gravel once a month.

2. I've never used the fluval 3 or u4 filters. You could probably get away with just the Ehiem, but if it ain't broke don't fix it. If your water quality is good then I would leave it, but thats just my opinion.

3. I am not sure what type of foods are best with your cichlids so I'm not going to give advice on what to feed. However when you feed you should only feed a enough that they can eat in a minute or so. Smaller is better than too much. I feed my cichlids 3-4 times a day but in small amounts. Check the library section under "feeding" and do your research. Search the fish in the profiles to determine what type of food they prefer and go from there.

4. I clean my filters on a rotating schedule with each filter getting cleaned about once a month. I don't clean them all at once. When ever cleaning your filters, don't clean the bio media. And whatever cleaning you do, use the water in the fish tank only! This is important. Tap water will kill off your good bacteria which is the key to good water quality.

5. I do water changes once a week of about 40-50% of the volume of my tanks. The amount depends on what fish, how many and what your filtration turnover is like. So if you stay around 40-50% a week you should be fine.

6. I can't think of anything specific off the top of my head.
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