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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all

So iv just pre-ordered an 240l tank which I will be picking up next week. Iv been fish keeping for over 15years with tropical but recently took 6 months out ( just fancied a break) so im back in the game!

So im brand new to cichlids and could do with some friendly advice but sorry if I sound noobish. First the shop said they would offer me bacteria to get the tank cycled so that side of things is sorted.

So here are my questions:

1) Being a 240l ( 52 gallon ) what would you recommend? My partner likes the blues and yellows ( colourful ) so I was looking at malawi's?

2) I have absolute no decoration so could you suggest stones/rocks/wood which I can get cheaper than shop prices (Im from the UK) or even suggestions how to do DIY project.

3) Im planning on using two external filters (first time using external iv always used internal). One which comes with the tank ( looked good to be fair) and this one off amazon 'All Pond Solutions 2000EF Aquarium External Filter, 2000 Litre/ Hour' good idea?

4) I really like the look of sand but always find after time it fades and its hard to keep clean.... so thinking of using crushed coral (which i know raises the PH which cichlids would appricate) good idea? Easy enough to clean?

5) The tank itself comes with a nice little LED light but not planning on having plants so how long would you recommend for lighting? 4-5 a day?

6) Guy at the shop said with the bacteria and quick cycle time you wouldnt need to just add a few but adding a load would be more beneficial ( he knew what he was on about but I didnt want to question him)

Thank you all so much for reading and any help!
 

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What are the dimensions of the 52G? Corner tanks can limit your options.
 

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1-Labidochromis caeruleus and Metriaclima callainos.
2-Rocks from a landscape supplier
3-Not familiar with the brand, but the liters/hour sounds OK...how many liters/hour is the first filter?
4-Crushed coral is worse than sand for the concerns you have...I've never had sand fade? Don't bank on crushed coral changing your pH...what are your test results?
5-Keep it under 6 hours/day.
6-Unless he is giving you bacteria from a tank and not a manufactured product, I would cycle the tank with ammonia. Allow six weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for your help!

1) She loves the colours!
2) Thanks
3) So the filter which comes with it is ocellaris 850. The second filter which I linked above wouldnt fit the cabinet so I am looking at the same model but 1400l .... but im open to suggestions if you can recommend one?
4) Over the years I used Moonlight pure white sand (love the look with T5 lighting) I just found it hard to constantly maintain it from mess etc. I would prefer sand but thought a fine crushed coral would be easyier to clean?
5) Brill
6) So guy said they would give me water from an establish tank to put in my filters... said around 5-7day I would be good to go. He said it would be better to add more than less ( 20 think he said) but before I get going I would take samples into the shop because Im not risking spending all that money. So I want to be 100% ready before adding anything.

Would bristlenose be able to go in a tank? Or would they get bullied?

Thanks again for your help!
 

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I am not familiar with the filters...shoot for 8X to 10X liters/hour turnover.

Crushed coral is anything but easy to clean...at least originally. I use pool filter sand. The 20 grain makes it easy to clean with your Python.

I would get a new advisor. There is almost no beneficial bacteria in the water as they attach to surfaces. This is why filter media has so much surface. I would cycle with ammonia and allow six weeks. Buy a test kit and do your own testing.

I would stock 24 unsexed juveniles and remove the extra males as/when they cause trouble to end up with your 1m:6f stocking of each species.

A bristlenose should work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you!

Last question (I promise)regarding cycling. I have a friend who has an established tank who offered to help but just checking the process ... can you take a 25% of the black or white sponge and put it my filter? This would help speed things up would you need to add anything else? Failing that I do have a spare filter (internal) could I ask him to put it in his tank for a few weeks to get that going then put in my tank?

Sorry its been years since I last cycled a tank!

Thank you
 

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Easiest way to cycle a filter is to let it run on an established tank for 30 days and then move it over to the new tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
With my last tank my pH was 7.5ish but with cichlids it needs to be 8 or slightly over so I was planning on getting a media bag and adding some crushed coral and putting it in one of the external filters. Would it matter where it goes in the filter and also would it be ok just sat/pushed down on one the sponge pads?
 

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The crushed coral will not raise your pH from 7.5 to 8.0 but it does not have to.

I replace one of my bio-media trays 100% with crushed coral. I would leave the sponges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So far iv got myself
loads of rocks (diff sizes)
Gone with sand
2 filters (850 and 1400) in which I customizing myself with Coarse, Medium and Fine for mechanical... filled with biohome mini ultra top 2 layers.

Quick question I picked up a wavemaker but only 2500 litre per hour.... I think that could be a little low so suggestion on another one?

Also regarding my filters iv been advised that "with that set up filter system it is perfectly safe to cycle with fish as long as you add them gradually over a period of 6-8 weeks."

Not sure I agree with that statement? But my question is can i put a smaller filter in a friends aquarium and like mentioned above leave it in there for a month then swap it in my tank would be an instant cycle or would i need leave it there so my main external catch up?

Thanks
 

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The fish may survive, but I think it is going too far to say they will be perfectly safe.

It would be an instant cycle, but only for half the bioload your friend has. The bacterial grow to support the number/size of the fish in the tank.
 
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