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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, My wife and I just purchased a 27G Marineland Cube Aquarium (20x18x20) and want to set it up with African Cichlids.
Can anyone provide suggestions on type of Cichlids and a good way to set up the tank?

Of course, Coral is a good natural buffer for the pH.
And I have a Fluval 305 and heater.

For example, I plan to get a Coral Skeleton, but would prefer to get a type that suits the Cichlids I would choose. Since my tank is 20" tall, I would really like to build a rather tall structure (several corals?) allowing the cichlids to have several different places to possibly call "home."

How much Coral is suggested? I was thinking about 45lbs?

I also have read that it is prudent to have some Styrofoam or dense cardboard below the coral rock, since many of them like to dig and falling rocks can cause cracks or stress can be localized due to the non-uniform distribution of weight.

We are looking forward to setting up are tank, but we first just want to do it right.

Any suggestions are welcome.

thank you for your time,
herb
 

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Unfortunately, that's a very small tank for most cichlids with the possible exception of some smaller tanganyikans. I will defer judgment to those more experienced in tangs. Hopefully one or more will jump in here.
 

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If you want african cichlids, the best advice is to return the cube and choose a different sized tank that is better suited for cichlids. A 40 gallon breeder, a 55 gallon or a 75 gallon.

The only fish I would recommend for the 27g are tanganyikan shelldwellers, and they will only use the bottom of the tank.
 

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I had the same thought, shellies, but couldn't think of anything for the upper water except non-cichilds. If you're open to that, it could work fine. Check the profiles section here for some of the smaller ones and see if there's anything you'd be interested in building around. Several l. brevis pairs around a central rock pile would be cool. Then fill the rest with a tetra, etc of choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, Thank you.

Sadly, a larger tank isn't an option at the moment with the apartment I'm in. So I'll be getting shell dwellers, until I move at least.

My question is then: what is the best means of setting up the tank? I know the basics, but sometimes asking people with a lot of experience mitigates problems before they arise.

thank you all for your help,

herb
 

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To set up for shell dwellers you want a sand bottom, 1 to 2 inches deep, snail shells ( I use escargot shells from amazon.com ) You can add some rocks to seperate areas of shells for different territories. I use aragonite sand, but there are other choices for sand as well.
 

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My question is then: what is the best means of setting up the tank?
Do you mean substrate/rocks/shells, etc, or filtration, or all of the above?

And don't be sad, this can be a cool tank. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
General:
I was mostly thinking of the substrate and possibly small details I wouldn't have immediately thought about.
For example, about an hour after I sent my message, I learned that coral rocks can be too jagged for cichlids, damaging their fins, etc.... I was planning on using coral rocks as a good way to buffer the pH.
I do plan/hope to add some coral skeletons, both for beauty, but also for other fish to use.
And - yes - I do now plan to use sand. thanks <shellies215> for the suggestion of aragonite sand and also the escargot shells.

Fish:
If there are suggestions on fish that can co-habitate with cichlids at a pH > 8.4, I'm all ears. I like the idea of the Tetras as mentioned above, but my reading suggests they like a much lower pH. I know my wife would like something small and schooling.

Filtration:
The filtration should be fine. I have a Fluval 305. But if there are suggestions on any special media I may wish to include in the filtration, that would be good. (It has 3x2 chambers.)

Enthusiasts - thank you ever so much! =D>
herb
 

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In my fluval canister, I run the foam pad it comes with, and the baskets with biomax and 1 small carbon bag. Some people say carbon is not needed, but someone gave me boxes of it, so I use it. You might want to rig up a pre-filter made from a filter sponge to keep sand out of your canister pump and/or keep the filter intake about 4" above the sand.
 
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