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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just starting a new 60 gallon tank. I do want to establish cichlids in it eventually. Length is 48" . I currently have a 36 gallon tank with community fish..does it make sense to seed with gravel from that tank? Also, my tap water is naturally 7.8, do I need to raise it into 8.2 range for Cichlids?
 

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I would just do a fishless cycle or use media from your current filter. Gravel is smooth and doesn't have inner pores so there won't be hardly any BB on it.

About the pH as long as it's stable you're perfectly fine, no need to buffer.

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Example: If you had 2 filters on the 36" tank and put one in the 60G tank it would support the equivalent of 1/2 the bioload of your 36" tank.

So maybe not a fully-stocked 55G from day one, but you could then bump up the crop of beneficial bacteria with ammonia before adding fish, or add your cichlids in small groups (say 5 at a time every other month) and let the beneficial bacteria catch up between additions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will do this. I don't mind waiting a while, so maybe do it twice, a week apart. Many thanks. I do have another question about fish choice and quantity. Will follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Would it make sense to add maybe 4 blue Johanni and 4 yellow Johanni to this tank. (it is 55 gallons, not 60)

I love the colours. My Ph at 7.8 still OK? Will they breed at 7.8 PH?
 

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I would skip johannii in a 55G. The blue are the males and the yellow are the females. Even in a 75G you would want only one male/tank. Seven or more females for this aggressive fish.

Do what twice? Wait a month or more between additions. The bacteria need time to grow.
 

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7.8 is fine and they will breed when (a) settled and (b) mature enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, now I know that Johannis are not a good starter Cichlid for me. If I add say 5 per month as suggested, are there any colourful blues or yellows that would make sense ? And how many would be a sensible limit of fish.
 

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Three species with 1m:4f is a good guideline. Labidochromis caeruleus is an excellent yellow for beginners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very happy with 1 + 4 Lab. Caeruleus, as 1st addition. Would Cynotilapia Sp.
Hara be a decent 2nd add, same ratio?
I'm guessing 10 fish are enough for a year or so..true?
 

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hara are good for 2nd addition, but you want 15 to manage aggression. What about rusties for month #3?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Think that would be a great 3rd addition..So now, need to get that tank properly prepared..Thank for all the help!
 
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