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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all first of all im new here, i have kept a community aquarium for a few years now and i think its time for a change i love the variations of cichlids both colours and general apperance. i have been looking and changing my set up over for a while but the more i look online the more i get confussed lol.
basically i have a 45 gallon tank currently with a aqua one aquis 750 canister filter ( not sure if this filter will cope with the load af milawis or not). my tap water it ph7 after resting for 24 hours so from what i have read i decided that i would use coral sand to increase ph and tufa rock. however i have read other posts saying that coral sand will make the fish look dull etc. so now i dont know what to do lol.
also i have been trying to work out what fish would be suitable i want bright colours and fish that are active. pls any help will be great inc stocking levels my intentions are to apgrade to a much larger tank in about 12 months or so.
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

What are the dimensions of your 45G? A tank that is a 48" long rectangle gives you a decent amount of options for stocking with Malawi. They will mature in less than 12 months, so better to stock for the larger tank once you actually have it.

I'd plan to use baking soda to increase your pH. The substrate and rock (smooth limestone will do the same job without fish injury) can help with buffering, but will not dissolve fast enough to keep pH high given the 50% weekly water changes. (I have had expensive aragonite substrate and crushed coral in the filters for over five years, no increase in pH.) Read the Library article in Chemistry for the formula.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
my bad its only 41 imperial gallons its dimensions are 100cm x width 40cm x height 55cm i no its not the ideal size as its quite a tall tank but its the only option i have at the moment
 

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40" x 15". Gallons and height are not as important as the footprint because the fish want to claim a territory on the substrate.

It would be a good tank for a single species of dwarf mbuna. You you get two colors by choosing a dimorphic species like Pseudotropheus saulosi.

I'd avoid full-sized mbuna that mature at 6" or more.

You could do a small, peaceful species peacock tank, but only the male is colorful. Baenschi for example. Or combine the peacocks with labs (Labidochromis caeruleus).

You could probably combine a group of labs with another dwarf mbuna species.

What is the gph of your filter? I like to shoot for 7X hourly turnover, but I have gotten by with 4X turnover in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
filter is only 400ltr hour so i will have to look at either replacing with a larger 1 or getting a second. labs look kool and those male peacoks are amazing so how many would i be looking at having roughly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
just been looking and i think ill change my filter to a fluval 405 should give me plenty of filtration
 

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Maybe 1m:4f of labs and 1m:4f of peacocks. An all-male peacock tank might be really difficult in a 40" tank. The Library article suggests a 75G tank measuring 48" x 18" or larger.

Coral sand is fine if you like the look of it. I have not found my aragonite sand increases pH at all. Also no impact from crushed coral in the filters. Don't forget you are going to change 50% of the water weekly. The minerals just cannot dissolve fast enough to correct the new water.

I think you are going to want the baking soda.
 
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