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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Morning
I'm interested in starting my second aquarium and thinking about Cichlids. Lake Malawi Cichlids perhaps? What am I looking at needing to get together?
We just picked up another aquarium which measures 36"w X 12"d X 23"h, but from what I'm reading here it seems to be too small to create a good environment for most of the Cichlids I'm interested in.
What do you think?
Brian Rodgers
 

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You could do Pseudotropheus (now Chindongo) saulosi as a species tank but your options are very limited. I'd get a 48" tank for more choices among Malawi.

The 36" tank would do some nice Tanganyikans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sweet thanks, I'm having a look at those now. I want a 75 gallon something fierce. Our first and only other aquarium is a 50 gallon 48" wide but only 12" deep it is currently a planted low-tech tank with mainly Tetras. We just picked up this 45 gallon aquarium for free and my wife gave me the go ahead to have another tank in the house. I'm jumping at the chance!
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/pseudotropheus-demasoni/ Beautiful fish, wowsa, but I'd have my hands full with such an aggressive species.
I hoped I came to the proper place to learn about Cichlids and it looks like they were correct over on Fishlore. https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/features/articles/quick-guide-to-tanganyikan-cichlids I never heard of this lake: "The mighty Congo river empties into Lake Tanganyika and this mass of water is almost one mile deep with, it is thought, another three miles of sediment underneath." That is one gargantuan body of water!
It appears the tank setup is crucial to each of these Cichlids.
Looking here http://thefishdoctor.co.uk/species/14-best-fish-from-lake-tanganyika-biotope/ Yeah man these are gorgeous fish. Thank you so much, I'll research each one.
Our well water comes up as pH 7.4 often changing to 8.6 when it hits the air settling back down to high 7s. It's hard water too KH 170ppm GH 210ppm I think ? did that correctly?
We both also love Mikrogeophagus ramirezi although I'm not certain how to deal with water hardness.
 

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pH of 7.4 and a 36" tank might be better with the rams.

If you decide Tanganyikans, skip the tropheus and the cyps with a 36" tank. A group of shellies and a pair of rock dwellers (i.e. calvus, julidochromis) would make a nice tank.
 

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DJRansome said:
pH of 7.4 and a 36" tank might be better with the rams.

If you decide Tanganyikans, skip the tropheus and the cyps with a 36" tank. A group of shellies and a pair of rock dwellers (i.e. calvus, julidochromis) would make a nice tank.
I know rams will live fine in that. I don't know if they will be able to breed in that hardness, I guess in hard water the eggs can't get fertilized. The plus side of using rams is you can add plenty of small schooling fish to fill the tank, just make sure they like to be maintained in 80 degree or so water.
If you do go with rams, go for tank raised and not wild caught though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/julidochromis-ornatus/ Boy howdy! These are amazing looking fish. What kind of temperament do they usually have?
I'll run the water tests again and read about how to convert drops to the accepted value. I'd say the hardness must be high as after the first year of our 50 gallon Tetra community there was enough white sediment around the top of the tank that I had to scrap it off with a razor blade.
June-4th-2018-Tetra-community.jpg

Another newbie question: Can we have a fancy pleco with these types of fish? Something like a Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps?
Thanks for all your help.
Brian
 

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I have Melanochromis auratus and a peacock and I also have a couple Cory's and a Bristlenose pleco. They all seem to get along fine. Everyone has staked out their territory and all is well.
 

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Briansfish, you can also check out the articles in the C-F Library and the Species Profiles. Both are available under the banner at the top of the page and provide good information.
 

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KH=9 is good for Tangs and a pair of small, peaceful Julidochromis will work in a 36" tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Another Newbie question. Since I will only be able to keep smaller Cichlids in this 36" wide tank. After I decide which Cichlids I want, where might I locate a supplier, as it seems like this might be a challenge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good morning!
We earned a bonus from a tower rental on our property recently. While of course I'll need to run this idea past my wife, I'd like to discuss the benefits of a larger tank than this 45 gallon aquarium we got for free.
While in Petco the other day I saw a 75 gallon tank for $199. I know Petco also has occasional $1 per gallon sales, which may not cover the 75 Gal, but perhaps they'll have a sale on the larger tanks at the same time?

My question is which species would be appropriate for this increased size of aquarium? Is this correct for a typical 75 gallon aquarium? 48" x 18" x 21"
From everything I've been reading thanks to you all, the quantity of fish whether same species or different depends a lot on whether there is room in the tank for decorations to break the line of sight from one part of the tank from another? Placing rocks in a 12 inch deep tank takes up a lot of space I know from my first tank which is a 50 gallon.
It also appears that many of these Cichlids grow quite large. Frankly there are so many different Cichlids that it is an overwhelming process looking up and reading about each of them.
Is there some way to group these fish by adult size as well as behavior and environment?
One of the stocking possibilities I've seen and like is a pair of Electric Blue Acara as well as a pair of Angel Fish.
What has drawn me to Cichlids is their unique behavior and dazzling colors, seen when we had accidentally purchased German Blue Rams thinking they were Bolivian Rams, we had to rehome them because of water different parameters needed being different than our 50 gallon community tank. They were so fun to watch while we had them. I would do GBRs again, but I would like to broaden my horizons of fish keeping with larger breeds if feasible.
Setting up a new tank is a lot of work and of course I'd feel better if the tank size were more appropriate for Cichlids :fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good morning
I'm now leaning toward Mikrogeophagus ramirezi and staying with the 45 gallon tank. Water specs are close, but not perfect: Temperature: 26 - 30 °C pH: 4.0 - 7.0 Hardness: 18 - 179 ppm. Plenty warm, more acidic than what we have from well water, the hardness looks about right.
What do you think about the German Blue Rams? Will it be too difficult to keep adjusting the pH. I would like to try my luck with leaf litter type system.
On of the positive points with this setup is I can use the aquarium we already have for Cichlids.
Also, I want to redo our 50 gallon low tech planted tank and create a high tech system with a proper substrate and CO2.
I'm thinking of progressing in this order, I'll create a wooden cabinet for the 36"x23"x12" 45 gallon tank.
Currently I've cleaned and setup the Fluval 406 and set it in the 50 gallon 48" long tank along with the Fluval 306 it already has to get the beneficial going in the new 406.
Move the 306 to the 36" long aquarium along with the BDBS substrate and some of the water from the community tank.
After the new tank is cycled I'll move all the fish from the 50 gallon to the 45 gallon tank until I have created the planted tank substrate along with CO2 enabling growing more challenging plants in the 50 gallon community tank.
Once the high tech tank is established or settled in I'll reintroduce the community fish to their new home and start to create a natural looking South American environment for the Rams.
From Seriously Fish:
A more natural-looking arrangement might consist of a soft, sandy substrate with wood roots and branches placed such a way that plenty of shady spots and caves are formed, plus one or two flat rocks or similar to provide potential spawning sites.

The addition of dried leaf litter would further emphasize the natural feel and with it bring the growth of beneficial microbe colonies as decomposition occurs. These can provide a valuable secondary food source for fry, while the tannins and other chemicals released by the decaying leaves aid in the simulation of natural conditions.

Aquatic plants can also be used with those from genera such as Microsorum, Taxiphyllum, Cryptocoryne and Anubias perhaps most useful since they can be grown attached to the décor, although none of these are native to South America.
This plan checks off a lot of boxes for my journey into a two aquarium household.
What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay, thank you james1983.
I was getting that drift from a few quick searches, but the saltwater Tangs kept interfering with the searches.
I'll now be able to search with a clearer understanding.
B
 
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