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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

A little background first. I am a complete newbie to Africans. I have kept salt water and fresh water tanks constantly for over 35 years, though it's been 20 or so years since I maintained a saltwater tank.

I'm just finishing converting my community, then large Oscar freshwater tank, to an African Cichlid tank. The tank is a 35 year old 125 gallon.

What I have done so far:
Removed 150 lbs. of gravel and replaced it with a mixture of 40 lbs of crushed coral, 30 lbs. Argonite fine sand, 80 lbs of CaribSea "live sand".
Rinsed all filter media in the two Marineland Emperor 400 Biowheel filters. (I did not clean the biowheels)
Added two 4" air stones
I filled and drained the tank at least 6 times to reduce the excessive clouding from the Argonite.
Added decorative rocks and artificial plants.

The tank looks good but I feel like I probably made a mistake in getting it so clean. It's been setup and running for 2 days and is finally clearing up. The Live sand came with an additive than was supposed to speed up the clearing process.

Please feel free to rate and advise on the setup. I guess my first question is how long do I wait and what should I be doing to be able to add a few starter fish?

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

Cycle the tank with ammonia before adding fish. Or if you think the live sand did the job, test it with ammonia first.

Ideally you will add all the africans at once so no one has the competitive advantage...avoid the need to quarantine new additions, etc. What kind of Africans were you thinking. Looking at the décor, maybe Tanganyikans?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Did you mean test it for ammonia?

I'm open to suggestions for what kind of fish. Being a newbie, I have no idea. I'll research the Tanganyikans now though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK I get what you were saying about cycling the tank with ammonia now. To get the cycle process started.
 

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Welcome to C-F!!

Yes follow the article on Fishless Cycling in my signature for best results though it can take up to 6 weeks depending on environmental factors and the 'live' sand you used. Don't be in too much of a hurry to stock as you want to do it right.
 

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I too use the Caribsea sand. It may stay cloudy for a week or two. Those little packets don't do much but clump up some of the particles. It won't hurt anything, no bad stuff in it. DJ, Deeda and the other mods/forum members here are very knowledgeable and helpful.
 

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Why did you choose Africans? Usually a species catches the eye?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess I was just completely bored with tropical, and don't have the time or the will to maintain another saltwater tank. Africans seem to be a good "in-between". Something new to learn. That and the Africans are so active and attractive. I wanted something besides two huge Oscars leaning up against the glass staring back at me. :fish:
 

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Sounds like color is a main objective? To be like marine? Then maybe Lake Malawi?

If behavior and shape is your interest then maybe Lake Tanganyika?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is there (I'm sure there is) a good single source reference to what species originate from which lake? Is it a good idea to mix?
 

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It is almost never a good idea to mix. Take a look at the Gallery for Old World and choose your favorite by the picture. Then we can stock around it.

Go to CF species profiles, but don't choose a category. At the top there is a link to African Cichlid Genus Gallery.
 
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