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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My First Post :D

Before my long winded post a congrats to all of you contributors, moderators and lurkers a very informative and well laid out site with lots of knowledgeable and friendly folk on board.

Me: Have been keeping fish for about 20 years now (gasp is it that long) but without as much attention to details as other hobbies. Have had a tank running in the corner with generally a big South American cichlid lurking. Have had tanks up to 6*2*2 but with the advent of children and responsibility that one has gone.
I am now revamping a 90cm * 45cm * 45cm (36 * 18 *18 ) for those stuck in days of old. Am using my trickle filter which pumps through 1800 l/hour (bit more than this tanks needs!).
Purchased from here http://www.clayfieldaquarium.com.au/filtration.htm
I am hoping to set up an African tank something which is new to me.
I have changed substrate to sand and shell grit and the Ph is sitting around 8.
I am proposing to light with a single Philips Aquarelle 10 k
Here are some questions ranging from the semi technical to silly. Thanks in advance for all help.

(1). My trickle system disperses water through a spinner bar to biocubes the water then passes under a single dividing wall and back up into the tank via a pump. I have been told I might gain benefit from having something under water in the sump for bacteria to grow on. I have dumped in some Fluval Biomax. Comments on this and positioning.

(2). I have the heater resting in the sump to prevent in looking ugly inside tank. Problems?

(3). Fish? My initial thoughts have been movement and colour. At the moment I don't have too much rock (three piled outcrops) but have more. Was thinking along the lines of wanting so see fish rather than them hiding. Have been going through the 40 gallon cookie cutter tanks and I may be stupid but it is not quite clear to me how many fish in total in the different set ups. More explanation (or a slap on the forehead) please.

(4). Fish? Have also concern that after being sucked in by movement and colour I will get bored and seek the more unusual, rarer and possibly larger fish with more interesting behaviour. What fish really get you excited.

All comments and help please. And thanks for your time.
 

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Welcome aboard! This forum is an awesome place to hang out. Here's my 2 cents on your items:

1) There really isn't an upper limit on how much bio surface you can have. You really can't have too much. However, you will only develop enough bacteria to eat the ammonia the tank produces and no more, you can't have 'reserve' bacteria. If you have more surface area than necessary the bacteria will just colonize it more sparingly. I would guess you don't need to add the rings and that the 'bio cubes' are sufficient. Are bio cubes similar to bio balls?

2) Putting the heater in the sump is what most folks with sumps do, keeps the tank less cluttered and reduces the chances of it getting broken.

3) How many rocks depends on the kind of fish you select. If you go with Malawi Mbuna you will want lots and lots of rock because that is what their habitat is. If you go with other cichlids you need some hiding places but don't need a bunch of rocks.

4) I am passionate about both african and american cichlids. The best 'in a nutshell' I can say is that the americans are funner to watch from a behavioral standpoint and the africans are more beautiful. This is of course a generalization and there are lots of exceptions on both sides. I don't know what I would choose if I had to I have a large tank of Mbuna and a large tank of americans.

Have fun and make sure to post some pics when you get set up :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the help. I am now having all the fun of dreaming up stocking scenarios. Coming up against many of the same problems as dating!! Personality v looks....wanting what I can't afford...coveting my neighbours tank etc etc.

Being lured away from my original malawi intent to perhaps a tanganyiki tank with maybe

Altolamprologus calvus and compressiceps
and some
Neolamprologus leleupi

are there any interesting catfish that would like these conditions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why did I start reading this forum!!!!!!

So much to think about. Have started from scratch again. All the substrate out. I had mixed in the shell grit with my old gravel and it looked terrible.
Have now put in sand and three new big rocky outcrops. Tank still a little cloudy but clearing as I look. The sand looks fantastic. So natural.

Have now convinced myself that Tanganyikas are the way to go so buffered up the tank.

Now to let everything settle and hope that my stunt goldfish survives long enough to help that tank cycle.

Any chat re my setup or your favourite Tanganyika fish most welcome.

Photos soon.
 

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Hey Mate,
Its so hard choosing what type of fish to get hey, they all seem to have good points to them!
*** had many types before but *** recently setup a small tank with some tanganyikans and im loving them! They dont have the standout colours that the malawi have and not as interactive as some large americans but there behaviour is very interesting to watch. Oh they can be really beautiful too! and lots of different shapes to them, not like malawi.

I really like calvus, and the shell dwellers like multis, may not look like much but they got heaps of personality, i think they dont realise how small they are when they go attacking anything that comes near there shell bed!

As for catfish Synodontis petricola and Synodontis multipunctatus, they are from same lake and look cool but not sure if your tank is big enough...

Anyway i think you will be happy with Tangs

Keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the reply. Great to have a Brisbanite here with local knowledge. I fear I may plague you with questions! Have not really been "serious" about the hobby before. A bit slap dash. Wanting to do things a little bit better.

For all comers. Have changed the substrate to sand it is still very cloudy after three days. Despite giving it what I thought was a thorough wash I seem to be left with this murky water. Changed out over half the water about an hour ago but no miracle yet:) Very frustrating.
I am wondering whether I should chuck a bag of something absorbant in the sump. "Purigen"?? Or do I need to be patient.

Back to Brisbane local knowledge. Without raising moderators ire with commercial plugs are there shops you like to frequent "filling the silence". I tend to wander through Annerley Aquarium, Clayfield Aquarium and Exotic Fish Connection at Rocklea
 

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Im on the southside so mainly annerly aquarium and Pet city at mt gravatt for fish.

As for the water, it might just take a while. when i did mine i cleaned it well then set it up and it only took a day to get clear but it is a small tank
 
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