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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I'm new to keeping cichlids and I've just bought an aqua oak 4x2x2 tank fully stocked with everything needed (or so I thought) from someone wanting to get rid. I just need some experienced brains to pick.
There's around 50 or 60 Mbuna cichlids in there most of which are around 4-6 inches
I have coral sand substrate (came with the tank)
70kg of ocean rock
My filter is an efx600
My ph is at 8/8.2.
My ammonia is 0.25
My nitrite is 0
my nitrate is I think 40 is this ok?
My temp is 27 c
When I picked up the tank It took over 3 hours to transport home and fill tank all I've done in the past week is try to get the ph right and finally the last couple of days it's stayed at 8.
Sadly I lost 5 fish when bringing them home all of which where smaller than the ones that survived although I did expect this
The Fish have been fine I think because none have died but the past couple of days whenever I approach the tank they scatter and hide. This only happens when I go away then come back an hour or 2 later. They are ok if I stay there.
Should I change the filter media (I've bought the full pack from Maidenhead aquatics) or shall I leave it for now?
Should I do frequent water changes? If so how frequent?
Is there anything I need to buy or anything anyone can recommend me doing?
Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks
 

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Your nitrates are high...if you just filled the tank how did you get nitrates? Does your tap water have nitrates?

I like less fish in a 48" tank...what species and genders do you have?

50% weekly water changes are usually a good starting place, but if you have nitrates in your tap water, you may need to try something different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tank is around 12 months old all the filter media was kept I didn't clean anything I was in a rush to get the temp right because as I said 5 fish died in transit. That nitrate reading was after they had been fed if that makes a difference
 

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Excess food will increase nitrates, but over time...not from one feeding. When did you fill the tank and did you use tap water?

Nitrates will steadily rise in a tank...if they are 40ppm after a feeding they will stay at or higher than 40ppm until you do a partial water change.

What are the test results for nitrate for your tap water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The tank has been full a week tomorrow. All the fish seem to be swimming round fine but when I go in the room they all get frightened an dart inside all the rocks and at the back etc. I'll do a water change when I get home. Should I hoover the sand? Can you see the pic I attached? Thanks
 

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Post your test results for nitrates in your tap water. Buy a test kit if you don't already have one. Test tubes and liquid chemicals to test pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates can be bought as a kit.

The fish will settle down...give them several weeks.

With sand, you can usually vacuum debris by hovering over the surface...your water appears clear so I'd guess the substrate is already fairly clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As soon as I get home from work I'll do the tests. I did test my ph and it's 8.2
I'm waiting on a magnet glass cleaner to come in the post please excuse the dirty glass.
The guy who I bought it off told me to change out all of the filter media as soon as I set it up but won't that do more damage to the cycle?
Is the 0.25 ammonia anything to be worried about?
Thanks
 

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Don't change the media, but you will want to rinse it in tank water if you didn't when you set up the tank. When you do that you can see what shape it is in...I have had mine for 12 years and no need to replace yet. Not familiar with efx600, is it a canister? Hang on back filter? What is the GPH?

The ammonia may be due to your dechlorinator...some of them give you a .25 reading.
 

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So that is 713 GPH and it is a canister and your tank is 120 gallons. That is 6X hourly turnover which is a little light but it will work.

The only media I would replace is the white wool filter pad.

What is the test result for nitrate from your tap water?
 
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