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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

After a few years off of keeping Cichlids I'm setting up a new tank...bought a 60 gal (48x15.5.17.5 or close to that)...

Filtration: Eheim Professional 2, 900gph maxi jet powerhead
Light: 48 inch 50/50 10,000k/Blue Actinic
Heater: Via Aqua 300watt submersible
Substrate/Decor: 40 pounds (or 60?) Eco Complete African Zach Black
plus 85 lbs. Texas Holey Rock

Planning on setting up this weekend...going to try to keep

15 Ps. Demasoni
6-8 C. Afra White Top Hara
4-5 Elec. Yellow Lab
4 m. sp. 'Hongi' super red top Kimpuna....
3 S. Petricola
1 Moray eel (once all other fish are full grown)

Question...having kept Cichlids in London for 5 years with liquid limestone...will I need any buffers with So Cal tap water with Aragonite substrate and Holey Rock in the tank?

Question: The hongis in london area were mostly purplish bodied, with a firey red/orange dorsal...the ones I've seen here are mainly bluish with a yellow top (even sold as super red top)...the only problem is I think they may attack Demasoni and vice versa as conspecifics...but the purple bodied strain...has anyone found them in Cali?

What kind of bio filtration will I get from the Holey Rock...can I stuff one more species in there?

Cheers
 

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four foot tank and four species of mbuna sounds full up to me. Your problem is not so much filtration as territorial space.

It's best to keep stable tank parameters - much better than constantly trying to mess with your water and bouncing those parameters around. Yes, limestone and argonite will buffer your water, but with large weekly water changes, that buffer is rather negligible. Let a Californian keeper chime in with what the water is like, but more than a bit of baking soda and mabe some epsom salts is probably not necessary (if that).

Post pics! It sounds like it's going to be beautiful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've just spoken to my local Caribsea dealer....he's told me it's very difficult to get Zach black in right now and he suspects they may have stopped making it? Anyone else get ahold of eco complete cichlid Zach black anytime recently? If so give me a shout. Apparently a lot of people have just been going with live reef sand 4 salt and killing the salt bacteria with thorough rinsing and drying it in the sun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So after more extensive searches the only buffering all black substrate I can find is live reef sand (black) for saltwater...does anyone see any danger in using this if I completely wash it and then dry it out in the sun to kill all salt bacteria (besides the obviously inflated price for 'live' sand)...at $25 per 20lbs I'm tempted to try 40 lbs. in my 60e tank and hopefully thats enough.
 
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