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Hi and Welcome to C-F!!!

Welcome back to the hobby! You are correct that searching for info has somewhat changed from relying on books or shop owners with the advent of the Internet.

Do you know what cichlids you are considering to keep? Malawi cichlids are some of the more colorful ones so I think those are what you are considering buying.

1. You want the the biggest tank that you can purchase, more specifically choose the tank with the largest footprint (Length x width) as most cichlids choose territories and use the floor space

2. Any brand should be fine, I'm not familiar with ones outside of the U.S.

3. Canister filter would be a great choice and I prefer the Eheim Classic series myself. There are a lot of newer brands and models available with prices ranging from under $50 to much more money.

4. Which fish to buy is always the biggest question along with which species will get along and also not cross breed with each other. Check out some of your local fish stores to see what they carry in stock or may be able to order for you. You also may be able to mail order fish or might have a local fish club in your area.

You can also check out the Library or Species Profiles at the top of the forum near the Home page as their is a lot of great info available that was submitted by members.
 
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