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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, my name's Brett and I'm 14 years old. I love animals, and I've had some experience with fishkeeping before. I'm interested in cichlids, and I'm looking for something that can live comfortably in a 55 gallon tank. I was thinking about a group of Malawi cichlids, or maybe a single Green Terror or Jack Dempsey. Can anyone give me some good ideas and info? Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome Brett! You should get your water tested to find out what is in your tap. You can either buy a kit or have of tested at your fish store. If you supply this info better judgments can be made. :)
 

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Flippercon is right, once you have a handle of what your water is, fitting a fish to it will be easier.

You have a broad spectrum of interests it seems so I'm sure there is a cichlid you will be very happy with that will thrive!

Ps, welcome to the club, now you won't get anything done on the computer ever again. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But can't certain buffers be used to keep the pH at the right level? I've heard that the right amount of aragonite sand and even baking soda can be used to maintain a high pH if I decide on a Malawi cichlid tank-is that true? Right now, I'm leaning towards a Malawi mbuna tank-everyone else in my family is more interested in lots of color and activity than a single, large fish. How many Malawi mbuna cichlids can live comfortably in a 55g? I was thinking about using expandable foam to build the rockwork that they need-is that a good idea? What kind of sealants and stuff would I have to use?
 

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I don't find aragonite substrate to be effective, but baking soda is. See the Water Chemistry section in the Library for more specifics.

There is also a list of cookie cutter tanks in the Library which can give you some ideas for stocking a 55G.

And a DIY forum where you can get lots of information about building backgrounds.
 

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If you have city water chances are it is close to the correct pH and hardness levels that you need. If not there are some other things you can do to help, such as crushed coral substrate.
But as DJRansome pointed out there are tons of articles and other posts that have plenty of info and suggestions to help you out.

Welcome btw! :D
 
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