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I'll also add that what our amigo senor strum can get away with in his 10' tank is not likely to scale down as nicely to a 55g tank. There's just not as much room to run and hide. But, I've never tried it to the number 2 level of overstocking so who knows?
 

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Rhinox said:
I'll also add that what our amigo senor strum can get away with in his 10' tank is not likely to scale down as nicely to a 55g tank. There's just not as much room to run and hide. But, I've never tried it to the number 2 level of overstocking so who knows?
Que verdad, amigo.

I've been unable to find anybody who's done a Mbuna tank on this scale. I am also really quite certain that most people don't have as many species mixed in their tanks. I broke lots of "rules" in stocking this tank hoping that overstocking and size limits issues and hiding males. I'm really hoping that decrease in aggression scales logarithmically with tank length. :)

I'm mostly doing this because I think it's fun, but I can also give folks an idea of how species interact with each other in a larger environment. There is a not-small fear in the back of my head that this thing will turn into the Thunderdome. Stand by and I'll let ya'll know how it's going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I have one last question. My tank is processing 1ppm ammonia in 8 hrs. My fish are in transit but says they won't be here until Friday. How long should I continue to dose the tank to keep bacteria from dying off before my fish arrive? How long can bacteria live without food?

Thanks for all of your help here!
 

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What about nitrite? The beneficial organisms can live for months without food, but why not dose up until arrival day? You should be able to process 2ppm of ammonia in 24 hours and have nitrite=0.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
They're at zero also. I referred to processing as converting ammonia to nitrate, my fault. I haven't checked nitrites every time I check ammonia, but the last few times I did check them, I had zero. Will it only build more bacteria to continue dosing? I only asked because some guides I read for fishless cycling said to stop dosing 48-72 hours before adding fish.
 

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You can stop. If your ammonia and nitrite are zero every morning, not sure why you should stop 72 hours before, but it will not hurt.
 

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If the last dose is 48-72hrs before fish arrive, that gives a day or 2 for the last ammonia dose to be processed and then you can do "the big waterchange" the day of or the day before adding fish to bring nitrates back down low. Technically you could do your last dose 24hrs before fish arrive, let it process overnight, and do the big change right before adding fish. But it does no harm to get that done a day early either so you're not worrying about having too much to do when fish arrive. A couple days without ammonia isn't going to harm anything.

I'm not sure I'd go a month though. I think I remember that after about a week you'd start to have die off. Some amount of organisms might survive for up to a month but I think they're feeding off the dying organisms that are being converted back to ammonia. In an established aquarium, there's probably other filter wastes being broken down that can sustain the bacteria for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
All of that makes sense. Thank you both. I'm going the route of water change the day before just so I'm not rushing to get fish in on the day of. Thanks for the help and I'll keep you guys updated on the tank!
 

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Each fish may or may not be compatible, but I like it. It usually depends on the personality of the fish. Make the Rusties bigger is you haven't already bought them. I agree with this setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
As promised, the finished product. For now.....
I wanted a freshwater reef look. I may add a Java fern or two to give it some color. The rocks also add a ton of caves and hides within its nooks and crannies with holes big enough for fry to hide in, but larger fish can't reach. They seem to love it! They're all picking out caves and territories. The Msobo deep love the bottom caves, while the Cyno Zebroides Cobue seem to like to hang around above and on top of the rock.
 

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Nice work! 8)
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And, please post up some more pics of your tank, if you decide to add a couple Java Ferns in there, (I personally recommend adding a LOT of Anubias... :wink: ).
 
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