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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a brand new Cichlid owner I mean brand new I purchased the tank on the 4th of April and bought my rainbows a week later I've never owned Cichlids before now either. I woke up this morning and there are eggs! I can't believe it! I was planning to do my water exchange today but should I wait? This is my first post I hope I have this in the right section.
 

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You can do your wc whenever. Just stay away from the eggs so you don't suck any up. Another question, is your tank cycled? You said the 4th and purchased fish a week later. I would test your water and do water changes regularly if not cycled. If so all is well. Good luck. And don't forget to post pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Flippercon. This is so embarrassing I'm not sure what cycling is? Like I said new very new at this I would appreciate any advise I can get. Here's a picture I hope it works

 

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In your case I would say return them but it seems like they are fine. You need to get a fresh water master test kit and test your water daily. If you have ammonia or nitrites I would stick to 50% water changes untill your cycle is finished. Dont be embarased to ask any questions, this is what we are here for. Generally someone here will be able to answer your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again this is great! I'm really looking forward to learning a lot more. Like I said I've only had them a couple weeks and it hasn't taken me long to fall in love with the little guys. I'm thinking about selling my T.V. Lol
 

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Hi Lepidopterous,

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the wonderful world of cichlids. Definitely read up on the cycle link that Flippercon gave you and follow his advice. I think your water is probably ok since your Rainbows look healthy and they've spawned in your tank but having a water test kit is good to have.

Since you sound fairly new to fish keeping, here are some tips. Once you're confident your tank is cycled, weekly water changes about 25-30% of the water. Remember to use a good water conditioner to get rid of chlorine or chloramine. Prime made by Seachem is generally consider the best but it stinks of sulfur so its really up to you on which you use.

Also if you ever do tank maintenance, never rinse out your filters in running tap water. Fill a bucket with your tank water and rinse your sponges and media in the tank water. The reason being, a good majority of your beneficial bacteria resides in your filter media and the chlorine in the tap water will kill them.

So good luck with the tank and there are a ton of really great and helpful people here, so don't be shy about asking questions.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I forgot to mention something earlier. This is bad but perhaps it has had some effect. I got the tank used and it came with 7 big pond goldfish which we had in there for less then a week with no cichlids. Then I added my 3 rainbows and 2 mystery cichlids which hung out with the goldfish for a week to less then a week. At this point we gutted the tank took out the old gravel and put new gravel in. (I know I should get into sand but that's a topic for another day) The Goldfish found a new home at this time. All the gravel, water and rocks are new they have been in there for a little over a week. I also noticed at this point one of the mystery cichlids developed puffy foggy eyes and hid but now he is better. So I'm not in the clear yet. I will be running out to get a test kit today. Is there anything I should look for in the test that will indicate whether or not to change the water today? Or should it be done regardless. Jason in your response you seem to imply that I should wait for my tank to cycle before changing the water.
 

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Sorry for the misunderstanding. I meant once you know your tank is cycled and start doing regular maintenance.

In the meantime, test for ammonia and nitrites in your tank. If you find ammonia and nitrites, then your tank isn't fully cycled and you should do water changes to bring those numbers down and not stress your fish.

With the cichlid that had the cloudy eye, it was probably bad water. Since you bought the tank used, it may have had some beneficial bacteria in the tank and filters already but when you switched out the gravel and gutted the tank, you probably lost most of the beneficial bacteria and that the tank went into a mini cycle and you probably had ammonia and or nitrites in the tank. Now that the bacteria is catching up, your water parameters are probably better your fish's eye cleared up with the cleaner water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay the results are in! I looked around the library and could not find anything to help guide me through the results of my water tests perhaps someone can point me in the right direction?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've done some searching around the net and this is what I've found please correct me if I'm wrong these are my results and what I gathered from them:

Nitrate = 10 (Good)
Ammonia = 0 (Good)
PH = 7.5 (Good but a little high)
Nitrite = 0.1 (Okay but still high) = Water Change

By the way this is so fun! I though just keeping fish was fun in itself, but now I get to be a chemist too.
 

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You had to bring out the dirty word.... Chemist....

There's two ways you can approach fish keeping. The chemist way, or the K.I.S.S. method. Personally I subscribe to the K.I.S.S. method.

I never test my water. Wasted a lot of money on a master test kit and tested my larger tanks once to find out they were fine.

Your tank was set up before, that's a plus. You probably have plenty of beneficial bacteria in the tank, it's close to impossible to kill it all unless everything was bleached. Even rinsing the filter media under tap water will not kill it all. If that were the case I'd have a fish room full of dead fish. I rinse the snot out of my sponge filters when they look like they need it... I do it right under the tap. Yes, I have city water. As long as you do not use extemely cold or extremely hot water to do so you'll be fine.

The fact that you're keeping one of the easiest cichlids to breed and keep and the fact that they have already spawned leads me to believe your water is just fine.

Do 1/3 water changes from here on out for the existence of the tank and you'll be fine.

Now this doesn't mean to stop reading and learning... I've been breeding cichlids for 25 years now and I'm still learning something new all the time! I just don't want a new hobbiest to get scared off by being overwhelmed with testing water and such.

K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid

:D

Rant over :D Enjoy your cichlids and enjoy this site, there's a wealth of knowledge here!
 

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i agree with the KISS
i only go checking things and over reacting when something "fishy" happens. terrible pun
but if the fish all look and act healthy (breeding sounds like ur fish are healthy) i wouldnt go crazy.

good luck
 

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I hate to disagree with my buddy, but I think that test a NEW UNCYCLED tank is good. You will see problems before they get out of control.

Once the tank is cycled, I agree that it is unneccesary. Except to check Nitrates once in a while to see if the frequenct and amount of water you are changing is sufficient.

Also, dont touch your filter or gravel for a month. Let the beneficial bacteria grow and thrive. Then you can get on a normal routine. Also dont leave the lights on too much or algae will grow on everything.

Your fish and tank look great. Keep it up.

And show us the mystery cichlids so we know if they are appropriate for your tank.

...Bill
 
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