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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anybody could help me......

Currently I have a 260Ltr aquarium set up as a community tank. Everything is going well, but I would like to change it to a Malawi cichild tank and I have a few questions I would like to ask. At the minute my aquarium is running on an external filter. I understand that the water needs to be 'harder' by raising my PH to about 8.2 and I have been told that I raise this my added ocean rock. How much rock do I need to use for my size of aquarium? And is there any other rock I can use? Also I have a couple of beautiful fish that I would like to keep and wondering is this is possible. The fish I would love to keep are a fully grown green phantom Plec, A royal plec, he is about 3 inches long, a talking catfish who is about 4 inchs long and 6 clown loaches, all about 4 inches long. Oh and a fully grown black ghost knife fish. Will these fish do ok with Malawis?

Also is there anything that I will need to change with my current set up?

Thanks for reading this and thanks in advance for your help.

Vicki
 

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Hi Vicki,

Please answer two questions to help us help you:

1. What are the dimensions of your tank?
2. Do you know your current pH?

kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi and thanks for your reply.

My current PH is 7.0 and the dimensions is 4ft my 1 1/2ft.

Also the substrate I have is sand. Is this going to be ok?
 

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I'm leaving work now (not a busy day!) and will answer what I can later - others may help you in the meantime. But I will preview by saying that there will likely be dead plecos in your future if you add Malawians.

7 is a bit low for Malawians but not unheard of. If you buy your cichlids locally tank-raised they may have lived their whole life in such a pH.

Sand is just great - most Malawi cichlids appreciate it more than larger grained gravel.

kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is such a shame that I can't have my plecs...... especially my green phantom. He is a spectacular fish! I thought I best check as my local fish shop said they would be ok but have given me duff information before.

I would be trying to raise my PH, Hopefully to about 7.8 as I have been told my plecs would be fine in that. However doesn't look like I will be keeping them. I heard that you can do this with Ocean rock or limestone? Is there anything else I can use? I am very new to this and I'm getting fairly confused ha ha.

Thanks for your advice and I look forward to your next reply.
 

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Now I'm not expert on plecos...I haven't even heard of some of the species you keep. So get second and third opinions - maybe here? http://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/

I've had a bristlenose pleco in with various mbuna in a 3' 38 gallon tank for several years, but for every lucky person like me there is another hobbyist who has had their pleco maimed or killed. Mbuna are aggressive and territorial at all times.

The best way to raise you pH is with salts during water changes. Limestone rocks or limestone in your filters can help but not usually do the whole job: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/buffer_recipe.php

But again, check with your source before you add cichlids - they may have been raised in the low 7's, in which case there's no need to adjust. My pH is about 7.5 and I leave it alone.

I've seen clown loaches with cichlids and many people do it. I'm not a huge fan because I'm a bit of a purist, but if they're grown and you add juvenile cichlids it should work out.

Here's a cookie-cutter for a 75 gallon aquarium. It has the same footprint as yours so you could stock along these lines. But keep in mind that the loaches should count as a species. http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... er_75g.php

kevin
 

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mattawan_cichlid said:
You could try it, and keep an eye on the aggression issues if any arise and keep a spare tank for your plecs
If the mbuna decide to kill it, odds are, you won't have time.
 

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Goofboy is right, you might be able to catch it, might not. Best bet is not keep them together, but if your thinking of just mbuna I would say definitely no, Malawi in general, a little more lenient
 

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I raise my water hardness with pre-packaged 'cichlid salt'. Just add it to the water when doing a change, my fish are doing fine. My Ph is usually a bit over 7.5 and they are breeding, so I don't think you will need it as high as 8 for mbuna. I would be a bit worried about the knife fish though. I think they like soft water, and they are pretty slow. The cichlids might cause trouble for him, I'm not sure.
 
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