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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning to make the jump into the cichlid world. Looking for gaps in my plan, advice on looks or anything I might be messing up before making stupid purchasing decisions.

- Thinking all male Aulonocara, about 40 fish. Plan to order online as an "assortment - all male" package. Recommendations?
- 120 gal Aqueon glass aquarium
- Two Fluval 407 canister filters approx 380 gal/hr each (760 total)
- CaribSea African cichlid white sand substrate (about 140 pounds) - not sure on this, sand or crushed coral? White or the crushed stone look?
- Limestone rocks - limestone (whiteish) on white substrate with black or 3D rock background?
- Fluval sea and marine LED light
- Water conditioner
- Heater/thermometer
- Ammonia for cycling
- Wife said "whatever" when asked if this was OK
I have a test kit, net, siphon, net etc from my previous tanks
 

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TheGeezus said:
Planning to make the jump into the cichlid world. Looking for gaps in my plan, advice on looks or anything I might be messing up before making stupid purchasing decisions.
My thoughts:

- Thinking all male Aulonocara, about 40 fish. Plan to order online as an "assortment - all male" package. Recommendations?
You should include smaller haps, which are just as colorful. The trick is to have no duplicates and no look-alikes, which is a challenge.

- 120 gal Aqueon glass aquarium
This is a 48" long tank, 40 fish is too much. For africans tank length is the key dimension. You'd do better to get the 125gal or even the 100gal which are both 72" long.

- Two Fluval 407 canister filters approx 380 gal/hr each (760 total)
Sounds good. Though I would get two FX4's myself.

- CaribSea African cichlid white sand substrate (about 140 pounds) - not sure on this, sand or crushed coral? White or the crushed stone look?
What is the pH and KH of your source water? I would recommend a thin layer of sand 1/2" to 1" max. RE: 140 pounds: I wouldn't use nearly this much even in a bigger tank.

- Limestone rocks - limestone (whiteish) on white substrate with black or 3D rock background?
RE: rocks: I would make sure they are smooth with no edges to protect the fish.

- Fluval sea and marine LED light
I have no advice on this, sorry.

- Water conditioner
Seachem Prime or Safe (powdered form of Prime)

- Heater/thermometer
I've used and liked Fluval brand in the past.

- Ammonia for cycling
I've never done fishless cycling so no comment.

Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Appreciate the advice. I went with the 48 inch/120 gallon in order to get the "whatever" response from my wife, the most important consideration....72 inches would not fly : )
 

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I understand. It's just that the 48" length will be a real limitation on fish type (adult size) and number. But there are still many types & combos that can work. Some of the other members/moderators should be along to help with that.
 

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In a 48 inch tank I like 12 adults that mature <= six inches for all-male. Don't order an assortment...even when you hand pick fish you will need a spare tank for rehoming problem fish. It takes a couple of years of swapping to get a peaceful mix in an all-male tank.

Choosing the fish is half the fun. We have seen complaints from people with assortments about why inappropriate or incompatible fish were provided by a reputable dealer. Marketing assortments is one of my flags for avoiding a vendor.

Ammonia for cycling...bottom shelf of the grocery store cleaner area...cheap store brand with no fragrance or surfectant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very helpful. Would an all male mbuna setup be a better fit for a tank that has more height and width than Aulonocara? 12 fish in 120 gallons seams a bit sparse. I've read on this forum that the Aulonocara tend to stay lower in the tank where the mbuna go higher in the water column, perhaps they would make better use of the space. It is also easier to select mbuna locally to avoid the concerns with ordering assortments online (thanks for that advice).
 

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Same number of fish with mbuna...and due to their aggression mbuna all male is a difficult tank.

I would guess the mbuna would stay near the rocks more than the peacocks...but I doubt anyone will really use the height. If you had a 72" 120G tank the answers would be different. Although even in the 72" tank I like only 18 males.

Maybe another species that likes height like discus or angels?
 
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