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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I'm new to the whole cichlid thing. I've owned a few saltwater tanks and that was a pain. I've decided to setup anew tank for cichlids and could use advice on equipment and what filter to buy. I've just purchased a 60g tank and stand. Haven't bought anything else yet as I'm going to set the tank up in a few days and get going. Any advice on what kind of sand and rock to use and what brand filter. I would like to have around 8-10 fish total and planning on going with African species and keep them in the size range of 4". Any help would be appreciated, and yes I'm a noob and don't really understand these fish to much yet.
 

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Pool filter sand is a cheap option, that looks nice. You can find it at pool supply stores like Leslie's. Cheap rocks can be found at landscape supply places. Filtration depends on what you want, the aquaclear hang on backs are good, I've had a Rena/api filstar canister running for probably 12 trouble free years. Try to get filters that have a gph rating 8x-10x your tanks volume, 60 gallon=480-600gph.

Also read up on the nitrogen cycle before you get started, it saves alot of headache in the long run.
 

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All good advice by James.

That size tank and the size and # of fish I would recommend saulosi. 3m/9f would be just over your numbers but should work out great and give you 2 colors (blue and yellow)
 

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Most people will always suggest the 8 to 10 times turnover rate. It's become gospel on this site.
I've been running filters that do turnover at 3 to 4 times for 30 plus years. I do bring up the turnover with powerheads fitted with sponges which clean the water as mechanical filtration to bring all my tanks to 8 to 10 times turnover. The reason I do this is because slowing down contact with biological media in my cans allows longer contact time with the bb hence better filtration Imo. People confuse water movement with filtration.
They are 2 separate parts of a tank for various reasons but should not be combined. I can clean a powerhead sock in under 2 minutes and can do it often. A cannister not so much and any mulm in my cans is adding to my nitrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DutchAJ said:
All good advice by James.

That size tank and the size and # of fish I would recommend saulosi. 3m/9f would be just over your numbers but should work out great and give you 2 colors (blue and yellow)
Thanks I've already had my eye on those and will def be adding them.
 

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If you are going with Malawi think in terms of 15 fish that mature <= 6 inches for that footprint. Three species with 1m:4f is a classic. You have more options than saulosi and don't have to stick to fish that mature at 4".

My equipment/substrate/rocks recommendations would be the same as james. If you prefer hang-on-back filters (less expensive but noisier) AquaClear is a good option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DJRansome said:
If you are going with Malawi think in terms of 15 fish that mature <= 6 inches for that footprint. Three species with 1m:4f is a classic. You have more options than saulosi and don't have to stick to fish that mature at 4".

My equipment/substrate/rocks recommendations would be the same as james. If you prefer hang-on-back filters (less expensive but noisier) AquaClear is a good option.
Thank you, very helpful! I'm looking for a non hang on filter that is quiet. Are fake decorations good like tree logs and fake rock caves or should I go with real rock and make a lot of caves. Is it better to stack them against the back wall or kindve put them
In the middle and leave swimming room on both sides of the rock?
 

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I like real rocks...more realistic, cheaper, more effective and infinite variety. No need for logs. I like to stack in the middle for ease of maintenance...allow one python-width all around your rock pile between rocks and glass so you can vacuum substrate and scrape glass easily.

The canisters are quiet. Such as the one mentioned by james.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DJRansome said:
I like real rocks...more realistic, cheaper, more effective and infinite variety. No need for logs. I like to stack in the middle for ease of maintenance...allow one python-width all around your rock pile between rocks and glass so you can vacuum substrate and scrape glass easily.

The canisters are quiet. Such as the one mentioned by james.
Would you recommend this one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A9chooch said:
DJRansome said:
I like real rocks...more realistic, cheaper, more effective and infinite variety. No need for logs. I like to stack in the middle for ease of maintenance...allow one python-width all around your rock pile between rocks and glass so you can vacuum substrate and scrape glass easily.

The canisters are quiet. Such as the one mentioned by james.
Would you recommend this one?
.

Or this one?
 

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You would ideally like to have at least 480 gph turnover rate (combined if using more than one filter) with African Cichlids. Sunsun filters are okay for the price but I'd knock about 75-100 gph off the rating since they tend to be somewhat dishonest about the flow rate with a canister full of media. I highly recommend Eheim filters if it's in the budget because they last much longer and are honest about their flow rates.
 

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Seems too cheap to be any good. Eheims are good, and James and I both are recommending the API Filstar filters. I have six of them, all still running 10 years later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok. Yeah this one was $150 at my lps.
I found it on eBay for half the price. The one for 200g tanks produce 525gph. The 100g one was only at like 250gph. They had theirs setup on their display tank and said they have had it on there for 5 years with no problem. It was really quiet too. I think
I'm going to go with the 525gph and even if they lied about it it should still be in the 400's I hope. Whatcha think?
 
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