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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time poster on here. Had this tank set up as a saltwater set up at our old house. Decided to swap it over to freshwater at our new house and go the Cichlids route. Got the tank and stand all up. Now I'll be working on it this weekend to fill it and scape it.
Tank is a custom built 225 gallon Planet Aquarium tank with a Elite Aquatics 49 gallon sump. 2 EcoTech Gen4 Radions for lights. 2 EcoTech MP40 pumps for water movement. EcoTech L1 return pump. All controlled by EcoTech Reeflink.

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum! Sounds like a fun project.
 

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Welcome! Do you have a group of cichlids picked out already? Looking forward to seeing the progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We had went to a local shop and picked out what we want. I really don't remember the names of them, but basically the guy there helped us out as I have no clue about freshwater as I've had the saltwater setups for the last 15+ years. They have a whole section of all the fish compatible with cichlids all together. Guessing they got that question a lot, lol!
 

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Is the LFS holding them for you or were you just looking at what was available and he suggested? Definitely write down a list of what you may want to stock and we can definitely help you fine tune your list. Which cichlids are you considering, Malawi, Tanganyikan, South or Central America, etic.?

Is that first drawing the tank and dimensions? I'm seeing 40.5" x 34.5" for the footprint so what is the height of the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's just what they keep in stock. Knew I was gonna be a while with the build of the cabinets and stuff, I didn't want to rush. As stated, I really don't remember the names. I'll be going back in a few weeks, I'll look and see what they all were. I had basically talked to him for about an hour and he knew what route I wanted to go, so basically suggested everything he had on 1 wall because I wanted a pretty good variety of colors and stuff. I'll get a full list of what I'm looking for though. Thanks!

Yes, tank is 48" wide by 36" deep and 30" tall. 3/4" glass, 2ith the 6" false wall in the back that houses a powerhead body in each one. The middle section is the overflow. Worked really well with the saltwater setup, so hoping it's the same for the freshwater.
 

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"everything on this wall" sounds scary to those of us who keep Africans. :oops:

LFS don't always have expertise on every fish they sell.:(
 

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This look like it will be an impressive build. Saltwater based filtration systems tend to (mostly) work well in freshwater applications. The water chemistry won't support use of skimmer tech, but a lot of the other principles are pretty much the same. For the build out, if you are 'transitioning' from the saltwater - live rock look, an African Mbuna, Lake Malawi setup with a big ol' rock pile (freshwater reef!), will give you a different oriented aquarium, with the recognizable aesthetic of a (sort of) reef set up.
- Or - ....
You could go FULL MAKEOVER and build out a super nice riverine set up with a tank this size, using rocks, bog wood and lots of live plants (both aquatic and emergent-growing). That would definitely provide a very different visual look and sensibility from your previous salt water aquarium. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, visit the 3 saltwater stores around me and you'll see why me and half the people on the saltwater forum I was on only showed at the one place. Not saying the freshwater place is the best, or the worse. I'm just saying he sounded pretty knowledgeable and was trying trying to help. We had asked about a few other fish he had in the store and told us they wouldn't work together, so idk. Like I said, I'll make a list next time I go. We'll see what yall say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This look like it will be an impressive build. Saltwater based filtration systems tend to (mostly) work well in freshwater applications. The water chemistry won't support use of skimmer tech, but a lot of the other principles are pretty much the same. For the build out, if you are 'transitioning' from the saltwater - live rock look, an African Mbuna, Lake Malawi setup with a big ol' rock pile (freshwater reef!), will give you a different oriented aquarium, with the recognizable aesthetic of a (sort of) reef set up.
- Or - ....
You could go FULL MAKEOVER and build out a super nice riverine set up with a tank this size, using rocks, bog wood and lots of live plants (both aquatic and emergent-growing). That would definitely provide a very different visual look and sensibility from your previous salt water aquarium. :cool:
I'm reusing my rock from the saltwater setup. They sitting in a container with water that I keep swapping every week for the last few months to try and get as much of the salt off them as possible. I read online somewheres live plants and cichlids don't mix, that they'll nip them, so I'm not going that route. I was looking for more of a less maintenance tank anyway. Saltwater was just costing too much and taking up too much time with all the chemicals and dosing and what not.
 

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Hmmmmmm.....
I read online somewheres live plants and cichlids don't mix, that they'll nip them, so I'm not going that route.
Well yes... and no, to that one. Some Cichlid species are perfectly safe to keep with aquatic plants. But, if you have decided to go with an African Mbuna set up, then yes. Those Cichlids are pretty intense herbivores (algae grazers), and can often look upon aquatic plants as a sort of all-you-can-eat salad bar!
Your live rock should work fine. I've seen it repurposed for freshwater, African Mbuna tanks and it builds up a good rock pile. Just be sure everything that was once alive in it, is now completely GONE (no dead smells, etc) or you'll be dealing with organic waste problems (high Nitrates) for a while.
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And lastly, please do give these folks a chance to look over your potential stocking list, before you commit to a big purchase. Cichlids can be challenging to keep successfully - even when you are doing everything completely right! It can be horrific when you've inadvertently set up the Cichlid stocking conditions for a full-on, set piece WAR.in your tank. :oops:
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the advice. I will definitely post up before any fish purchase. I've pressure washed the rocks before I picked them up, then been flushing them every week with straight tap water. Will wash them again probably tomorrow or Thursday, then let them air dry for another day or 2 while deciding how I want the scape to look. I do have a bunch of silk plants I'll be using to add a little green color to the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm definitely in no rush putting fish in the tank. Will most likely be after the first of the year for 2 reasons. I want to make sure the tank is fully cycled, and I'm going on vacation for Christmas.
 

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I like the tank dimensions. Most cichlids will graze on soft tissue plants but will leave tough or fiberous plant leaves alone. You could use plants like anubius or java Fern that are tough and somewhat bitter to the taste. The Anubis leaves are very long lived and the plants are rather undemanding.
If you are going to be adding L. Malawi cichlids make sure they are different species that won't hybridize.
Look forward to seeing what you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, so just got back from the LFS. Here's what they have to offer in thw section I was talking about. I was told anything out of all these will all work together.

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I disagree that any and all of those will color up well in a tank together. IMO you would want to ignore anything in an assorted tank...assorted purebred haps??? If they are pure fish I would want the scientific name of each.

My advice is to pick one you must have, and then we can recommend fish that can work with him.

Since the tank if 48" inches long I would skip fish that mature > six inches such as moorii and venustus.
 

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There are at least three and at most five species in each of those tanks.

Second pic has Venustus which is too big for a 48" tank. It also has Aulonocara bi-color, Lwanda, German red and Hap white knight a.k.a. albino fryeri. Of those the bi-color and german red could be happy together and the fryeri and Lwanda could be happy together.

Fourth pic has fusco which is too big and mbuna which are too aggressive (unless you do only mbuna). It also has z-rock and lemon jake. The z-rock would be happy with the bi-color and german red from above.

Last pic has moorii which is too big. It also has Aulonocara lemon jake and Copadichromis azureus. The Azureus would be happy with the bi-color and german red and z-rock.

Can you narrow down which single fish, or at least which single fish in each tank is your favorite?
 

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Since the tank if 48" inches long I would skip fish that mature > six inches such as moorii and venustus.
The tank is 48.5" long but the internal overflow takes up 6" so there is only 40.5" long length of swimming space for the fish to get away from each other.
 
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