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Hi. I have set up a new breeder tank and my 15 Hongi fish arrive Thursday this week. It's a little earlier than I wanted but the supplier have the fish now and may not have in a few weeks. I have all the rock for my tank but I don't have the sand yet. Not wanting to miss out on getting the fish I want I want to know if they will be ok with a bare bottom tank with rock for a few weeks? After that I will get my sand and add the substrate with as little upset to my new fish as Possible.
 

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Yes fish are OK with bare bottom tanks. Put all the rock in though.
 

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Concur with 'DJRansome'.
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Plus, I've got some 'additionals' for you regarding your Labidochromis sp. 'Hongi' cichlid breeding project.
- Have you set up grow out aquariums for the babies yet? Your 245 Liter aquarium will be good to keep the original, 15 Cichlid breeding group. But, when spawning starts and your mouth brooding females spit those babies out - all of those adult Mbuna in that tank are gonna eat those babies right up. :(
- If you are REALLY serious about this breeding project? It might be best to set up THREE, smaller aquariums as grow out tanks for your baby cichlids. In this case that would be 2 small, 38 liter tanks for newly released babies. And then, a single 115 to 150 liter sized tank would be good to transfer the babies into later, for final grow out before sale. Typically, the larger your baby cichlids are - the more money you will get apiece in selling them.
- You will need to get filtration established on your little tanks. Ammonia and Nitrite spikes occurring in a baby cichlid grow out tank, will cause serious amounts of stress and can absolutely be fatal to your fish. To get things started, your 245 liter tank could be kitted-up initially with the filters that will ultimately be needed for those grow out tanks. And yes, they will look pretty weird hanging off of the 245 Ltr (Frankentank?). But, that technique will work nicely to ensure you have established filtration set up and ready to go, when it's time to move the baby cichlids over to their new home. :wink:
 
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