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Newbie with new tank...

1219 Views 8 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  richter.billy
Not new to aquariums but new to African cichlids. Currently running 72 bow front with dual fluval 306 and a Walmart hob to put my heater in. At full strength I'm filtering 900 gph. I have undergravel filter as well primarily as aeration. Tank temp is 74-76ish. Pea gravel and assorted rocks forming wall down the center of the tank. Tank has been running 6 weeks and has been stocked with 9 assorted cichlids and a small pleco. I have been testing every few days and nitrites are still a lil bit high and doing about a third water change weekly. Feeding twice daily. Flakes in the morning, pellets in the evening and bloodworms evenings once a week. I guess my only question is am I forgetting anything? Have enjoyed the process so far. My last tank 8 years ago was 125 stocked with oscars. Just trying to make sure things are good and fish are happy. Thanks in advance.


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***stocked at about 4 weeks.
Probably the place to start is what cichlids did you stock?

I would stock a 72 bowfront like a 55G assuming the sides are 12". Depending on which species and genders you chose, 9 could work. You may need to skip the bloodworms depending on the species.

The nitrites should be zero. Are you cycling with fish? I would change 50% or more daily to keep nitrites below 0.05ppm.

Raise the temp to 78 degrees.
Electric blue johanni
Chipokee Cichlid
Pseudotropheus zebra Cichlid
Bumblebee Cichlid
Electric yellow lab
Pseudotropheus demasoni
Red zebra Cichlid
Cobalt zebra Cichlid
Unsure of last one.

I bought 6 originally and added 3 a few days later. Unsure of sexes. Original 6 were purchased at Pet Smart and other 3 purchased at VIPets.
Cycled with feeder comets added one week after filling. Tank ran 4 weeks total before adding cichlids. Feeder comets taken out last night.
It's not cycled if you have nitrite. Or did you mean nitrate?

In a tank this size for one-of-each you want to stock 8 cichlids...maybe 10. Usually people do all-male with a one-of-each tank because the males are colorful and the females are not.

You want no fish that look alike. So you may have trouble with the johannii and the chipokae...both stripes. And the zebra and demasoni...both blue bars?

The bumblebee is too large-aggressive for a tank this size, especially all-male.

Pseudotropheus zebra cichlid is not correct or specific enough to know what you have. "Zebra" usually means Metriaclima. The red zebra and the cobalt zebra are also Metriaclima.
I may have jumped the gun a lil before stocking. Will be at pet store tomorrow and will have better descriptions of current stock. Just going off what receipt says. This is test strips I am using.


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Grab an API Freshwater Master Test Kit while you are there and test nitrite. It looks very high according to the test strips. Change 50% of the water right away. No more bloodworms...go for a food with low protein. If you decide you have to buy different food, check back here.
So, a lot of work later and things are finally where they should be. 50% water changes daily Friday- Monday. Got proper test kit and and some filter media from the pet store, no nitrites and nitrates within proper range. Aquarium is currently stocked with bumblebee Cichlid, red zebra Cichlid, yellow lab, zebra o/b Cichlid, acei Cichlid, chipokae Cichlid, jacobfeibergi peacock, electric blue johanni along with electric blue hap and diamond jewel added today. Everyone looks happy. Thanks for the help.


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