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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been in the marine reef coral aquarist for 15 years. After 3 kids and about 20 different tanks, it's time to settle for something simpler than salt water.

So I couldn't resist when I saw a deal for a 450 gallon 10x3x2high. I love the colorful and active fishes so cichlid is the way to go. It's currently plumbed with a wet dry filter going into a sump with ceramic porous tubes. a Tunze 6015 with controller, a Koralia K4. The return pump (I have 3 and testing them all): eheim 1262, Sicce 1073.040 and Magdrive 12b. All around 950gph spitting out through two 1/2 loc-lines. Black background, black bottom and right side where the wall is also black. Two corner overflows with 1" and herbie drain.

Please excuse all the questions with obvious answer...sorry I'm a noob. A few questions:

1. Do I need sand and rocks or can I keep bare bottom?
2. How much water flow do cichlids need?
3. How many cichlids can I have?
4. Is there an order or preference I should introduce the new fish?
5. What kind of lighting is required?
6. Should I get live or fake plants?

thanks for understanding this novice.
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

What type of cichlids caught your eye? The answers are dependent on the fish you choose to some extent.

If possible we would recommend stocking them all at once, but this assumes you have a tank that is cycled for the full bioload before you add fish.
 

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popper231 said:
I've been in the marine reef coral aquarist for 15 years. After 3 kids and about 20 different tanks, it's time to settle for something simpler than salt water.

So I couldn't resist when I saw a deal for a 450 gallon 10x3x2high. I love the colorful and active fishes so cichlid is the way to go. It's currently plumbed with a wet dry filter going into a sump with ceramic porous tubes. a Tunze 6015 with controller, a Koralia K4. The return pump (I have 3 and testing them all): eheim 1262, Sicce 1073.040 and Magdrive 12b. All around 950gph spitting out through two 1/2 loc-lines. Black background, black bottom and right side where the wall is also black. Two corner overflows with 1" and herbie drain.

Please excuse all the questions with obvious answer...sorry I'm a noob. A few questions:

1. Do I need sand and rocks or can I keep bare bottom?
2. How much water flow do cichlids need?
3. How many cichlids can I have?
4. Is there an order or preference I should introduce the new fish?
5. What kind of lighting is required?
6. Should I get live or fake plants?

thanks for understanding this novice.
1. Pool filter sand and natural rocks are the way to go, rock configuration will depend on the species you select.

2. Lots. filters should turn the tank over in the 8x per hour area. i.e. 450 gallons you'd want right around 3,600 gph out of your filtration. And then a couple water movers to keep the waste afloat.

3. DJRansome is gonna have to answer that when you pick a species

4. Se DJ...

5. Absolutely none! But if you'd like to see them, a standard LED strip will work nicely.

6. No and NO! No fake plants, the only thing that will happen with those is they're going to turn into real plants....algae.

If you must have plants stick with the anubias family. Most cichlids will tear them out, beat them up and eat them for breakfast.
 

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Lol. I would disagree on one statement from the above. Live plants are very difficult with cichlids as they love to dig up the roots and munch on the leaves however there are several folks here that successfully maintain planted tanks with cichlids.
I have several fake plants in my current 150. Not sure why but I get very little to no algae growth on my plants. There are products available out there that have significant weight on the bottom of plants so that they are unable to be moved. My fake plants have been in my tank for 10 months(?) now and have not moved other than by my own hand and I have never had to remove and clean any of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the reply Filet and Morning. I like to have a bare bottom tank. What fish species do you recommend?
 

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I would stay away from the African Rift Lake fish with a bare bottom. I don't know how the New World species feel about substrate, hopefully someone else will chime in. I believe I've seen discus in bare bottom tanks.
 
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