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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks, I'm just registered to this Cichlid forum (finally) after a couple years of relying on this place for quick answers. Anyways, I used to have a 36 Gallon Bowfront setup with 1 Bumblebee cichlid who managed to get around 5-6 inches tall in around 2ish years and he died after I added some AlgaeFix, which worked for some time, but then my fish started having breathing problems. =(

Anyways, I got a new tank, a 38 Gallon edgeless glass aquarium with some new NatGeo white sand. Here is my setup for the 38 Gallon (My 36 gallon is decommissioned):

- Fluval 306 w/ Additional Lava Rock
- Some old heater I got from my 36 Gallon
- 3 Pieces of CaribSea baserock (awesome)
- 1 Big Driftwood smack in the middle
- 1 stock LED lights + 1 Front LED bar

As for the fish:
- 4 Bumblebee Cichlids
- 3 Red Zebra Cichlids
- 2 electric yellow labs
- 3 Kenyi
- 1 Peacock cichlid (forgot the type, looks like a hyena)
- 1 Bristlenose Pleco

My Steps:
1. Setup the aquarium decor/substrate/background
2. Attach the 306 Filter w/ media
3. Fill aquarium with dechlorinated water (Stress Coat/ Used a 1ml/gal)
3. Dump one WHOLE pack of Marineland Aquarium Bacteria
4. Wait for 1 day
5. Added 8 fish then 6 fish (including pleco)

Results:

-Fish are very happy, not aggression AT ALL. Pleco is funny as he sucks on the wood most of the time and comes down to eat leftover cichlid pellets.
-Fish are eating VERY well and are active but not school of fish active (normal)
-water is very clean and near crystal clear
These have been constant for 2 weeks

Now the question is, how the **** did it work? I have a feeling the Marineland Bacteria pouches are really wonderful! My cichlids are very happy at least it seems, territories all established and they are swimming A-OK.
FYI: I purposefully overstocked (Did I do too much overstocking?)

Please give me some feedback as this is my first time with THIS MANY cichlids and actually dry running (not "cycled") a tank without adding 1 or two fish a week after cycling. I haven't actually got my parents to order water test kits, but my LFS said water is looking fine with light ammonia levels and nitrites almost none (I did very light weekly water changes ~5%) Thanks
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

If you added your established filter, there is no cycle because the bacteria in your established filter just moved from one tank to another, but they are still doing their job. Before we celebrate though, what are your test results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

What are the dimensions of the tank? Many 38G tanks are 36". Several of the fish you list would not be expected to do well in a 36" tank, but the yellow labs should work.
 

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I gotta agree with DJ on the stocking. I know you said there's no aggression at all, but your fish are still very small and just juvies at the moment. You have three of the most aggressive mbuna there are out there (bumblebee, Kenyi, and zebras) and with in the next 4-6 months as they mature it is going to be a bloodbath in that small tank. I wouldn't even mix those three species in a tank twice that size. The peacock is gonna be the first casualty, then the labs will be picked off next, then the zebras and kenyi will start getting picked off and with in the year all you will have left is one or two alpha mean ol' bumblebee.

I never like to tell people how to stock their tanks, but that mix in that tank is going to turn into a massive nitemare for you very shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm I haven't tested the water myself yet since I just bring some water whenever I go to the LFS to get it checked. I will definitely watch out for my Kenyi/Bumblebee/Zebras for aggression ( I know the male Kenyi is dominant at least in mine since he is the biggest and baddest, but the bumblebee cichlids are super nice and they just swim together). Everyone just plucks at the sand for food or comes up to the glass whenever I walk by, but So far the stress coat thing seems to help a lot. Thank you so much for the insights and will update on water parameters!

ALSO, what is a good (not too expensive) water testing kit I can buy for home use (as I don't want to go back and forth to my LFS and back). Are the all-in-one test strips pretty good?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DJRansome said:
Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

If you added your established filter, there is no cycle because the bacteria in your established filter just moved from one tank to another, but they are still doing their job. Before we celebrate though, what are your test results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

What are the dimensions of the tank? Many 38G tanks are 36". Several of the fish you list would not be expected to do well in a 36" tank, but the yellow labs should work.
Everything was new. The substrate, filters, and etc. The only thing not new was the driftwood and the CaribSea rocks. Btw, could I get another Pleco maybe? They are my favorite.
 

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ALSO, what is a good (not too expensive) water testing kit I can buy for home use (as I don't want to go back and forth to my LFS and back). Are the all-in-one test strips pretty good?
The strips are pretty inaccurate so stay away from those. Pick up an API master freshwater test kit, it will be the one with the tubes and liquid bottles. They are about $25 but well worth it because knowing accurate readings for your parameters is important. Ebay is usually the cheapest on the kit and has free shipping.
 

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I'm going to predict your tank has not even started it's cycle. The first two weeks after adding fresh water there may not be enough toxins to register on the tests. I would not add a pleco...the recommendation is to remove fish including all of these:
- 4 Bumblebee Cichlids
- 3 Red Zebra Cichlids
- 3 Kenyi
- 1 Peacock cichlid (forgot the type, looks like a hyena)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alright. Here is the water parameter:

Ammonia: 0.125 ppm
pH: 7.8
Nitrate: 8
Nitrite: 0.25 PPM

*EDIT* I used the API Master Test Kit (Got it for around $28 at Pestmart)
 

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Okay I gotta ask lol... how are you getting Ammonia .125 and Nitrate 8? Those numbers aren't even on the chart and the difference between colors on the chart in those ranges isn't even determinable to the naked eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I found for the nitrates, the numbers were between 5 and 10, but closer to 10's shade. For ammonia, it was between 0 and .250, but not quite 0 so I just did said somewhere between the two.
 
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