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New member...New tank

440 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  KJF1976
Hi everyone, I just recently set up my 65 gal tank again for the first time in some 15 years. Its been about 3-4 weeks and I have some asst. Africans. My prob is my ammonia lvls seems to be ok atm, but my nitrite is still off the charts. *** done one PWC approx. 25% and been using Prime. The fish seem to be showing no ill affects of high nitrite lvls. Id really like to add new fish but the LFS says i need to wait till the lvls come down before doing so, which i understand. I dont remember it ever taking this long to make a cycle, is this normal and im just being impatient or is it something else?

Currently running a aquaclear 110, my lfs says this is plenty for my tank, but for some reason i have the itch to get me a fluval 405 canister =) but its a lil expensive atm ( what are your thoughts on this filter)

Also i would appreciate some input on what to keep together, here is what i currently have till my tank cycles.
As far as i can tell i have:
1 Convict
1 5 spot jewel (what my lfs calls it)
1 elec yello lab (really like his color)
2 Kenyii
1 elec blue johanni (love his color also i might have 2 of these but the other looks more like a elec blue something lol)

Thanks for your thoughts and inputs, its greatly appreciated...Ill try to attach some pics as well.

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I would continue frequent water changes to bring the nitrite level down to under 1ppm if possible. Cycling can take up to 6 weeks if you are starting from scratch without seeding from existing tanks. I run 2 filters in my 55 gallon. An Emperor 400 and a Fluval 305. I would recommend the 405. I've had no problems with my 305.

Although I am not a stocking expert so I'll let someone else help you there. I do know the Kenyi's get very aggressive as well as the johanni's. Those mbuna are best kept in ratios of 1m to 4 or more females. They aren't pairing fish. Assuming that tank is 4' wide you should only keep a max of 3 species of mbuna in ratios that I mentioned above. Some people have mixed all different cichlids from different countries with some success however it seems in the long run it doesn't work out or the fish don't thrive.
Thanks for the input, yeah i didnt really know what to put in, was just going with what the guy at the lfs said i could put in there and just tried to pick some stuff that was colorful.
Welcome to the Club!

You say your nitrites are off the chart, what are the test results? Definitely keep doing the water changes as the nitrite burns are bad as ammonia burns. Never had a 405 so I'll let others post on that.

The convict & Kenyi have the potential to be a problem considering both are aggressive species. You also have a mix of fish from different regions. Convict (CA) Africans (African Rift) and Jewel (SA). They require different diets, but shouldn't really be a problem if you just feed a good quality pellet or flake food.
Welcome to the hobby. There will be a lot to learn but that is part of the fun. For suggestions, there are many things that you will want to do your way and that is fine. I will tell you some ideas I have. One is on the hiding spaces in the rocks. I might move some around to make more spaces that are hidden from view. The fish won't feel really hidden when the opening goes all the way through, front to back. I would pull some of the rock down sloping to hide behind.

For fish, you may see some problems over time. Almost all of us do! Being from different areas is not a problem to me but you do have several who are going to get pretty rough as they get bigger. That doesn't mean they have to move now but just need more careful watching. All but the yellow labs may fit this group. Just be aware and if you see one hanging in a corner or other signs of stress, have a plan ready to move somebody. Whether it is sell, trade in, or give to the kid down the street, we should all have a plan for things we may need to change. I just sold 12 African cichlids to a shop for $12.50. They got a real bargain but I got out of a bad tank situation so that makes it a bargain for me as well. Better to sell them cheap than to let them kill each other which makes them pretty much worthless.
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@fish thanks, and my nitrites are over 5 ppm...strange thing is the fish seem to be doing fine.
And yes i see i have quite a mix, they are fine now, but as you said appears i could be in for some troubles down the road. My fault for not being educated and thinking the lfs knew what he was talking about...guess he wasnt completely wrong but....

@Pf thanks, and yes learning is half the fun, i think i spent 3 hours just reading this forum last night. your right its all about personal preference, im just looking for input of ppl who have been doing this a while, and ill mix and match ideas to my tastes. Specially about the fish, at roughly $10 a piece for 1-2 inch africans at the lfs id hate to lose to many fish. Thanks for the idea of the rocks, nice point. ill see what i can do.

1 other question i have is, are there "seasons" for fish? like id like to get some Aceis but i know my lfs dont have any atm. is this just something you look around for or have to get lucky and find, can you order them, how risky is ordering fish ect ect....thanks =)

also i guess, the guy at the lfs suggested the rocks i have, really kinda late to do anything about them without tearing down the whole tank, but how ok, bad are the rocks i have, instead of sand or a smaller media, my rocks are about the equivalent of pea gravel
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