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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to being on a fish forum, so HI!!! My name is Dakota and I've had my tank running for about a year with the original fish and some new additions. Anyways, more about how I started with cichlids later... quite by accident I promise you...

So my tank is a 54 gallon bowfront corner tank. My Grandparents got it for me for my birthday and I am SOOOO pleased. They said "What do you want for your birthday, a Wii and video games? Money?"

Now, I was turning twenty so that was an obvious choice, but I'm not obvious. Lucky me the Petco grooup of girls loved me and they gave me a twenty percent discount on the tank and further more the stand was on clearance for 98.49! So lucky.

Anyways, so my comment to conversate about is my tankmates.

One 6" Green Terror named Verde
Two 7" Tinfoil Barbs named Dum and Dee
One 4" Lake Malwali named Pearl
One 4" Zebra named Kensington
One 10" Pleco named Ginger
One 10" Brown Pleco named Snap
One surviving baby pleco named Litte Foot.
One 6" Chinese Algea Eater named Frisky
One 7" Shubunkin Goldfish named Hawn
One 2" Dyed Jellybean named .... JELLYBEAN (she was my first that started me off)
One male Crowntail Betta named Royal

But what do you think? Everything has been going smooth for the better part of the year with everyone staking out their territory. My turtle tank is also a bit odd.

One Red Eared Slider
Two Gold Gourami's named Faucet and Sara
Five Tiger Barbs named my Dolls (after the pussycat dolls)
Three High Fin Tetra's named my Girls (after the dream girls)
One 6" male Lake Malwali Cichlid named Avita
 

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Ok dude, welcome to the forum.

Second, I'm not 100% whether you're fishing for arguments, it happens a lot. So I hope you genuinely want to discuss what you have in your tank there, because it needs work. I also hope you listen, take it on board and don't take offence.

Here's the deal - you have waaaaay too many large fish in a tank that's only really suited to one 6-7" fish and a few community mates, or a pair of large fish and that's it - ie a pair of Rotkeil severums in a 55 is about the bare minimum space you can provide for them. Especially when we're dealing with the territorial nature of Cichlids.

You have a 6" GT that in time can reach 8-10"+, which is fine, but not when you have SIX other fish ranging from 7-10". Double the tank size and you're still pretty full. The only reason your fish haven't killed each other yet is because they are so massively overcrowded that territory establishment is going to be impossible - there simply is not enough room for fish to hold a territory in that tank, fish will always be in the way. When your Green Terror has had enough it will make space.

You can come back and say it's worked for a year, I honestly don't care, you have way too many large fish in a tiny tank, it's just not fair. You need to make room.

Which fish would you remove? Here's what I would remove:

Everything..... Apart from the GT and a pleco (even then I'd opt for a younger, smaller plec). I'd then add some appropriate dither/target fish for the GT - ie Congo tetra's, Tiger barbs, harlequin tetra's all make for interesting tank mates, some of which the GT will chase and prey on. I'd keep that GT as a wet pet in that tank, I wouldn't feel comfortable with a pair of GT's in anything less than a 90.

Getting the idea?

If you'd rather go the African cichlid route then you need to take some pics of what you have and post them in the Unidentified Cichlids section, not knowing is dangerous - if you have a M. auratus you have one of the most aggressive mbuna available..... You need to find out and then decide which fish you want to keep and where you want to go with this.

Without a shadow of a doubt I'd remove the goldfish, it will eventually get nailed. I'd remove the CAE as they're nasty buggers, if you want an algae eater for a planted tank Crossocheilus siamensis actually eat algae, don't get as big and are half as aggressive - CAE's have a reputation for latching on to other fish. I'd take out at least one pleco. I'd personally get rid of the Africans - if you want to go that route do it properly and research what works together, these aren't fish that you can always just chuck in a tank and have success with, they will kill each other eventually.

I don't know what Jellybeans are, I assume a parrot fish? I don't know.

Here's my 55 gallon and this is what I consider to be chock full, I've actually removed pretty much everything apart from the Severum and my male Bolivian ram, I will be adding another 4 Bolivian rams but that's it, these are fish that reach 3.5" but their territory is what fills the tank up, ok:

This was quite overstocked for a SA tank, it had:
3 Cleithracara maronii (4" fish)
1 Rotkeil sev (7" fish)
1 Mikro altispinosa (3.5" fish)
and
2 P. taeniatus Dehane (breeding) (3" fish)

That is overstocked because the total territory requirement of all of those fish far outweighs the total footprint of the tank, it's irrelevant if the fish is only 3" when they hold a 10" territory. My P taeniatus are the smallest cichlid in that tank yet they claim half of the total footprint to themselves and not even the Rotkeil can venture into this area without risk of being attacked.



Get back to me, let me know what you're thinking.
 

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What are you trying to say? About unusual fish mixes?

My oddest mix wasn't odd at all.....But can some of you say that Boulengerochromis microlepis and Tropheus duboisi can safely be kept in the same tank? Mine were! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Firstly I'm glad you have responded. You seem ver informative and your tank is beautiful. Are those live plants?
I tried but my Blood parrot(bannana, now deceased) at the time ate what i had in there.
Now to address your questions.

I had started with two dyed blood parrots in a vase as a centerpiece, not knowing what i was doing. she was pink and he was blue and cute at walmart so i thought good idea.

Not so. Jelly bean ate the other blue one. so i got a few books and looked it up. found out she was a cichlid and dyed and needed warm water and a large amount of space. So i got a regular 55g rectangular 18"/4' tank.

So she went in it. I went to Petco and asked what i could get. i knew i needed aggressive fish to contend with this one that i had, and probably a bit bigger to stunt her rampage. so i bought a three inch yellow blood parrot (bannana, now deceased), a two inch giraffe looking one (curry, now deceased), the two inch green terror (verde), the one inch zebra striped one (kensington) and a three inch blue one (peacock, now deceased). Plus two tiny plecos, no more then an inch at the time.

they seemed so small in th big tank, but i had an older book from my dad (Exotic Aquarium Fishes 19th edition by Dr. William t. Innes) that said you couldnt fill the tank by how much water but by the amount of surface area (air? footprint?) was available.

Now, had i known these fish would get so big, i would have stuck with just the dyed blood parrot i had and be done with it. I had limited money, still do, and wanted to buy fish mates, not fish food for my violant blood parrot. and nice fish wouldn't have been anything more then victims.

they did great. then my peacock ended up dead and eaten on the surface.
then a added some driftwood for hiding, cause the tank was just a filter and water. I was so new, i didnt even know they needed a heater, or what ph was. i thought water, fish, surface area and hiding. im good. pleco to clean everything filter for everything else. this was fine and dandy till the giraffe looking one dyed.

i still thought cichlid is cichlid. mean fish can go with mean fish. i didnt know about lakes, or the size they got. my GT grew and then started courting my natural Blood parrot. i thought they were fighting till i read the book, a whole section on "wrestling" and dominance to see if they were strong enough for the other. i was amazed.

the had babes and the babies all were eaten by the zebra one and th dyed parrot. so i added another driftwood to the tank for territory. and a heater. and i upgraded from goldfish flakes for food to frozen brin shrimp and live minnows aswell as flakes and turtle pellets.

everyone grew except the dyed parrot.

i got a couple tinfoil barbs, knowng not how big they got, and put them in as some smaller fish to make up for two deceased ones.

then a noticed they started growing too. so now everyone is growing and they need more room. i dont have money so i start saving. there was a beautiful corner tank i wanted.

Petco had someone bring in a bunch of fish to adopt out cause they were moving.

large goldfish
koi
angelfish
red eared slider turtle
betta
and a beautiful white chiclid with purple/light blue stripes and yellow spots.
two gouramis

I took them cause the were free. The koi was eaten by the turtle, the angelfish died natural, sensitive to water im sure. the white strped chiclid became the aggresor to the tank. the betta was in a seperate bowl, so no worries. and the gouramis and goldfish swam with the barbs.

then i got the corner tank for my birthday. and i guess the natural parrot dyed due to the water change and moving of the tanks.
i kept the gouramis in the rectangular tank with the turtle and just transferred the mean white striped one back into it in lieu of the pearlescent cichlid i found at petco. i had the betta in the trutle tank, but moved it to the corner tank when i switched the white strped cichlid.

its been a year since and like i said no problems.

but im not sure what you mean get rid of? as in flush or take to pet store? i dont have any money hardly and this is my only hobby. the mony and time *** spent was worth alot. now for the health of the fish i understand they need more room and plan on purchasing another tank either to house the calmer fish like the barbs and goldfish or a really large tank to house the same ones i have now.

and seperate the plecos? the just had a babies (only one survived) should i really seperate them without repercussion? i guess it would make sense to have one cleaner per tank, especially if i had three tanks with one pleco in two and the CAE(sp)the other.

also im trying to catch on to the abbreviations, so maybe a little help there?

and if i moved the tiger barbs and highfin tetras from the turtle tank in with the GT wouldnt that be a waste of the money i spent on them? especially if like you said they might be eaten?
 

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chevyjock said:
Firstly I'm glad you have responded. You seem ver informative and your tank is beautiful. Are those live plants?
I tried but my Blood parrot(bannana, now deceased) at the time ate what i had in there.
Now to address your questions.

I had started with two dyed blood parrots in a vase as a centerpiece, not knowing what i was doing. she was pink and he was blue and cute at walmart so i thought good idea.

Not so. Jelly bean ate the other blue one. so i got a few books and looked it up. found out she was a cichlid and dyed and needed warm water and a large amount of space. So i got a regular 55g rectangular 18"/4' tank.

So she went in it. I went to Petco and asked what i could get. i knew i needed aggressive fish to contend with this one that i had, and probably a bit bigger to stunt her rampage. so i bought a three inch yellow blood parrot (bannana, now deceased), a two inch giraffe looking one (curry, now deceased), the two inch green terror (verde), the one inch zebra striped one (kensington) and a three inch blue one (peacock, now deceased). Plus two tiny plecos, no more then an inch at the time.

they seemed so small in th big tank, but i had an older book from my dad (Exotic Aquarium Fishes 19th edition by Dr. William t. Innes) that said you couldnt fill the tank by how much water but by the amount of surface area (air? footprint?) was available.

Now, had i known these fish would get so big, i would have stuck with just the dyed blood parrot i had and be done with it. I had limited money, still do, and wanted to buy fish mates, not fish food for my violant blood parrot. and nice fish wouldn't have been anything more then victims.

they did great. then my peacock ended up dead and eaten on the surface.
then a added some driftwood for hiding, cause the tank was just a filter and water. I was so new, i didnt even know they needed a heater, or what ph was. i thought water, fish, surface area and hiding. im good. pleco to clean everything filter for everything else. this was fine and dandy till the giraffe looking one dyed.

i still thought cichlid is cichlid. mean fish can go with mean fish. i didnt know about lakes, or the size they got. my GT grew and then started courting my natural Blood parrot. i thought they were fighting till i read the book, a whole section on "wrestling" and dominance to see if they were strong enough for the other. i was amazed.

the had babes and the babies all were eaten by the zebra one and th dyed parrot. so i added another driftwood to the tank for territory. and a heater. and i upgraded from goldfish flakes for food to frozen brin shrimp and live minnows aswell as flakes and turtle pellets.

everyone grew except the dyed parrot.

i got a couple tinfoil barbs, knowng not how big they got, and put them in as some smaller fish to make up for two deceased ones.

then a noticed they started growing too. so now everyone is growing and they need more room. i dont have money so i start saving. there was a beautiful corner tank i wanted.

Petco had someone bring in a bunch of fish to adopt out cause they were moving.

large goldfish
koi
angelfish
red eared slider turtle
betta
and a beautiful white chiclid with purple/light blue stripes and yellow spots.
two gouramis

I took them cause the were free. The koi was eaten by the turtle, the angelfish died natural, sensitive to water im sure. the white strped chiclid became the aggresor to the tank. the betta was in a seperate bowl, so no worries. and the gouramis and goldfish swam with the barbs.

then i got the corner tank for my birthday. and i guess the natural parrot dyed due to the water change and moving of the tanks.
i kept the gouramis in the rectangular tank with the turtle and just transferred the mean white striped one back into it in lieu of the pearlescent cichlid i found at petco. i had the betta in the trutle tank, but moved it to the corner tank when i switched the white strped cichlid.

its been a year since and like i said no problems.

but im not sure what you mean get rid of? as in flush or take to pet store? i dont have any money hardly and this is my only hobby. the mony and time I've spent was worth alot. now for the health of the fish i understand they need more room and plan on purchasing another tank either to house the calmer fish like the barbs and goldfish or a really large tank to house the same ones i have now.

and seperate the plecos? the just had a babies (only one survived) should i really seperate them without repercussion? i guess it would make sense to have one cleaner per tank, especially if i had three tanks with one pleco in two and the CAE(sp)the other.

also im trying to catch on to the abbreviations, so maybe a little help there?

and if i moved the tiger barbs and highfin tetras from the turtle tank in with the GT wouldnt that be a waste of the money i spent on them? especially if like you said they might be eaten?
WOW.
I think you need to slow down and do some research BEFORE getting anymore fish, you have a little bit of a mess there and unfortunately there's no easy way out of it. This pet store you got the free fish from...see if maybe they can take some of yours for a store credit or something. It might be best to start with a clean slate.
Whatever you do don't get discouraged we all make mistakes just make sure you learn from them!
And be careful of the advise you get from these chain petstores...most of the time they dont know what they are talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
its a good idea that i wasnt going to get anymore.

so going onward
Heres what i have to work with, and id really like to keep everybody.

20 gallon cold pond outside.

55 gallon corner bowfront with heater.

55 gallon 18"/ 4' rectangular tank.

and then the fish

One 6" Green Terror
One 4" kenyi
One 4" lake victoria
One 3" o.b Zebra
One 2" Dyed Blood Parrot
One male Crowntail Betta
One 10" Pleco
One 10" Brown Pleco
One surviving baby pleco
One 6" Chinese Algea Eater
One 7" Shubunkin Goldfish
Two 7" Tinfoil Barbs
Two Gold Gourami's
Five Tiger Barbs
Three High Fin Tetra's
One Red Eared Slider Turtle

so how should i divide everybody up, going with the idea of trying to keep everybody?
 

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Thanks, yes I use live plants.

Straight onto it....

The better footprint 55:

One 6" Green Terror
One 10" Pleco
Five Tiger Barbs

One tinfoil barb- this is where the tank becomes heavily stocked and really I would get rid of these fish completely - never flush fish bro, phone your LFS and see what you can work out, I know of several local fish stores (LFS) that will give me at least 1/2 the value of the stock, if not full value, failing that they are always willing to do a swap - ie if I took in your tinfoil barbs I'd be asking for a large group of congo tetras in exchange (as many as you can haggle to divide between the tanks) - these fish can tolerate a lot and are very fast and hard for the GT or others to kill.... This way you don't lose money, it doesn't cost you money and you end up with a much better stocking that will benefit your fish. Not only that but by freeing up that tank space you give the fish a chance to express some of their more natural behaviour.

Without a tinfoil barb in there you could have a group of 8 congo tetras and it would look awesome. Neither Tiger barbs nor congo tetras are an easy kill so no, it isn't just money down the drain. If you were to use slender bodied, less boisterous dither fish then yes you would essentially be feeding your predatory fish, but this is why I make the recommendations I do.

--------------------------

The corner 55:

One 2" Dyed Blood Parrot
One 10" Brown Pleco
One 6" Chinese Algea Eater

The other tinfoil (again because of the huge size of these fish they really limit you and without them you could have a decent size group of smaller but hardy dithers.)

--------------------------

I wouldn't put your africans, your betta, your gouramis or your goldfish in either of those tanks. I suppose if you got rid of the tinfoils you would be able to put the gouramis and betta in the corner 55, with the BP, Pleco and CAE. But even then I wouldn't advise you to put africans in either of those tanks.

Your pond, if indeed cold water, is probably too cold for the Africans and unfortunately I don't know much about goldfish, but, if possible the goldfish would be much better suited to the pond as it is a bit of a misfit with all of these other warmer water species.

Essentially at the minimum you need to get rid of those two 7" tinfoil barbs, they just eat up so much space that you don't have and really bro, there are much more entertaining and interesting fish that aren't even half the size....

I seriously advise you to return the africans as well - these fish are always available, you can get them again in the future, but AFTER having read and researched (ask here, lots) about what species you can and can't mix and how best to provide them with a suitable environment. Trying to keep hold of either the Tinfoils or Africans is just making your life complicated and IMO is unfair to either them or your other fish which are already in well stocked tanks (if stocked as I recommend above).

At the end of the day it's entirely your choice. I cannot advise regarding turtles other than I know they can occasionally prey on fish and for this reason I would be inclined to either sell it or buy a 20 gallon tank that you can set up just for him (if you're that attached).

Unfortunately mean fish don't just go with mean fish, Cichlids are incredibly intelligent, complicated and diverse creatures that have many, many characteristics, not just between species but between individuals even - ie take two of the same Cichlid and one may be incredibly aggressive whilst the other is more tolerant. They are far from mindless, quite the opposite, Cichlids are calculating and intelligent, to the extent that some can be trained, they can assess heirarchy and can communicate using changes in colouration and with specific body language. As I already mentioned the importance of footprint I will repeat myself here - even though the fish may only be 3" in size, the territory that fish possesses can be many, many times it's size - as an example, your GT, in time, will quite happily possess the whole 55 gallon and will even bite and charge at you (you don't even need to be that close to the tank).... How do you think this fish will react to others that compete for territory IN the tank...

You seem like you are willing to take stuff on board and put the effort in to find out what you have and hopefully what you need to do, so welcome bro, officially. This isn't a hobby that needs to be expensive - you already have fish that you like to work with, you just need to compromise so that the fish are catered for. All that means is parting with those which bring impracticality and instead replacing them (hopefully with a straight swap) for something practical and better suited to the general environment and stocking of your tanks. This doesn't have to cost more than the time and journey there and back, that's it, the end result is certainly worth it.

:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok, so if i decided to keep the tinfoil barbs, i should definately split them up and then even still the tanks would be cataclismic, more so the tank with the GT.

so either the better footprint tank
has the tinfoil and the tigerbarbs but no congo, or no tinfoil and yes to the tigers and congo?

i am excited to change up my tanks like this, it should be different.
so its going to be

Rectangle
One 6" Green Terror
One 10" Brown Pleco
One surviving baby pleco
Five Tiger Barbs
Five High Fin Tetras
Five Congo Tetras

Corner
One 2" Dyed Blood Parrot
One male Crowntail Betta
One 4" Lake Victoria
Two Gold Gourami's
One 10" Pleco
One 6" Chinese Algea Eater

Pond
One Red Eared Slider Turtle
One 7" Shubunkin Goldfish

Trade in, adopt out and or sell
One 4" kenyi
One 3" o.b Zebra
Two 7" Tinfoil Barbs

***Is this right? Will this be ok and work?

How should I go about setting up the rectangular tank? I have two tetra 40g in-tank in the rectangular tank and a marineland h.o.t magnum canister filter in the corner one.

do i leave them as is or switch?
 

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Rectangle
One 6" Green Terror
One 10" Brown Pleco
One surviving baby pleco
Five Tiger Barbs
Five High Fin Tetras
Five Congo Tetras

Corner
One 2" Dyed Blood Parrot
One male Crowntail Betta
One 4" Lake Victoria
Two Gold Gourami's
One 10" Pleco
One 6" Chinese Algea Eater

Pond
One Red Eared Slider Turtle
One 7" Shubunkin Goldfish

Trade in, adopt out and or sell
One 4" kenyi
One 3" o.b Zebra
Two 7" Tinfoil Barbs

***Is this right? Will this be ok and work?
Yup that's the plan bud.

I would remove the tinfoil barbs period, I just don't see them in either tanks equation. It really is up to you but I just prefer to keep things on the lighter side of stocking. I'd probably also return your Lake Vic - I presume you mean a Haplochromis of some sort there, trust me dude, if you want to do Africans it's worth doing them properly, like I said earlier - these fish can always be found again at a later date when you're ready for them.

I'd check about your turtle and the temperature ranges they tolerate as I am not familiar with Turtle husbandry. But yeah that sounds good if it will work.

How should I go about setting up the rectangular tank? I have two tetra 40g in-tank in the rectangular tank and a marineland h.o.t magnum canister filter in the corner one.

do i leave them as is or switch?
Well first a couple of questions for you:

1. Do you have heaters for both tanks?
2. What is the filtration capacity of your filters - do you know the flow rates?
3. How many water changes can you manage?
4. How are both tanks currently aquascaped - if you can, pictures would go a long way.

:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i have a heater in the corner tank, purchasing another for the rectangle since ill have my GT in there.

flow rate of the canister is 250gph and up to a 55 gallon tank.
the in-tank filters both have flo rates of 90gph and up to 40 gallons

if i had my tank running smoothly, why would i change water? both have the necessary bacteria etc, right?




note-obviously the rectangular tank will have more water when the GT goes in.
 

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if i had my tank running smoothly, why would i change water? both have the necessary bacteria etc, right?
Ok dude, I really need you to read up a couple of things for me. It is incredibly important that you do if you intend on keeping your fish. Here we go!

Starting right from scratch, because it's worth covering:

http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/cycling.php

Water changes are absolutely vital to the health and vitality of your fish. There is no doubt about it. Please take the time to read this and pay attention to using water conditioner - I use Prime by Seachem:

http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/water_changes.php

http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/water_treatment.php

Another important part of fishkeeping is to check up on the condition of our tanks water every once in a while, just make sure that the filters are functioning well with the bioload, and to ensure that nitrAtes aren't too high (therefore requiring a water change):

http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/test_kits.php

Fish mixes that would work great in your size tank should you wish to start from scratch:
http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/cookie_cutter_55g.php

Here are the profiles of the fish you keep, I recommend you go through them and pay attention to the Maximum size, pH, Temperature and Water Hardness:

http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=502
http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/Species ... hp?id=4765
http://www.fishbase.org/summary/species ... p?id=12298
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shubunkin
http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/cichl ... parrot.htm

http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/pdf/betta_article.pdf
http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_tricho2.php

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/s ... hp?id=1556
http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=798
http://cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=807

Get back to me once you've read those articles through and let me know what you think....
:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I appreciate your concern and information, because that must have taken you quite a bit of time to help me out and find those fish links.

however, i did know the importance of water changes and treating the water, i thought you were refering to changing the entire water of either of the tanks before moving the fish.

lol, my misunderstanding.

currently i do a 20 percent change every two weeks. seems to keep the water clear and my tests coming back happy!

As for the fish,
We had already been discussing getting rid of the ob zebra, kenyi and two tinfoil barbs with the turtle and goldfish living outside.

I found a LPS that is going to store credit me with 25.99 for each tinfoil based on size and health and 19.99 for each cichlid, again based on size health and coloring.

yeah for me.
 

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currently i do a 20 percent change every two weeks. seems to keep the water clear and my tests coming back happy!
20% every two weeks is not enough with the massive overstocking of your tanks. 20% once a week would barely be enough to actually benefit your fish with the sort of stocking you've had - your filters aren't massively powerful and certainly with the sort of bioload we've been talking about you've been on a fine line, trust me.

What exactly do your tests read:
Ammonia
NitrIte
NitrAte
pH
GH KH

If you can an easy way of getting an accurate idea of how much **** is in the water (which won't necessarily show up in the above tests) is to perform a test of TDS - total dissolved solids. With 20% fortnightly your nitrAtes may still be below 20 (although I'll be surprised) but I guarantee your TDS will be insanely high. Nothing reads that for you unless you get a specific meter. The TDS of your water will have increased over time as your water change volume and frequency is not enough to reduce TDS levels through dilution. So even though things might look great on basic testing, there is more to water chemistry. Obviously not all of us can afford TDS meters and so the only way to ensure we stay within reason is to perform frequent water changes.....

I hope you read the articles anyway, to make sure you fully understand biocapacity, bioload, gph, the importance of parameter matching etc etc etc.

You should be doing at least a 25% water change each week, just by doing that you will improve the health and virility of your fish, more is better - I perform 50%WC each week on all of my tanks. When I was breeding fish I would perform 30-40% WC (water changes) each day on all of the tanks with fry (55, a 40, a 20 and a 10.) It's a commitment and it makes all the difference in the world to your fish. You bought them, you made the decision to keep them, so it's your responsibility to provide for the properly, part of the parcel with fish are the water changes bro.

Up your water changes, it's great that you'll be dividing the bioload between tanks as well as this will also make a huge difference to the quality of water - or rather the rate at which the quality deteriorates will be somewhat slower. Even so, a minimum of 25% water change on each tank each week, please! Really with the large fish like GTs and pleco's they are so messy you should be thinking along the lines of 40% each week, especially considering the filtration in use. On my 55 (which I showed above) I perform a 50% WC each week and I feel pretty bad if I don't change it for a fortnight, I run a Rena XP3 and a Fluval 305 on that tank and it's stocklist bioload is dwarved by that of your 55....and I worry if I don't change it weekly.....

You need to consider that with less filtration, tank maintenance becomes more important - you don't have the biocapacity to deal with spikes from build-ups of waste/uneaten food.

Stick with it, the end result of all of this, should you take heed, will be tanks of happy fish in the best water they've ever had. It makes a big difference to be able to sit in front of your tank and watch truly healthy fish thrive in the environment you provide for them.

As for your other thread, regarding the "Lake Vic" - ie Haplochromis, I really don't get it, you do realise in the other thread you made that you were only advised that they could be kept in a 55 BECAUSE you'd not made people aware of the actual stocking situation in your tanks. I'm trying to stay patient here but that wound me up - your little comment. Take the fish back, you don't have room for it. I can't make it any clearer than that. If you want to do Africans, do them again in the future, but after researching them properly, planning stock with those of us here, and finally executing.

Well done on getting the LFS to take those fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
but using a bucket to travel back and forth is difficult. especially since im in an apartment and cant really think of any other way to do it. although my garden outside looks great.

anyways, sorry i "wound you up" i merely wanted to keep that thread for indentity not how to do the tank. did i make a mistake? i didnt think in identifying fish that the tank size mattered...
 

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anyways, sorry i "wound you up" i merely wanted to keep that thread for indentity not how to do the tank. did i make a mistake? i didnt think in identifying fish that the tank size mattered...
It was your comments about how you could keep the fish in a 55 but "others" were telling you how you couldn't. Basically pissing on my advice whilst not providing the full picture for people to see why "others" were saying what they were.

you said:
i think its a decent size. but everyone else seems to be harpooning me.
its a 55 gallon
Number6 said:
I only mention it to back up that a solo fish should not present an insurmountable problem in a 55g.
you said:
good to hear... i ve had some other people saying i need to rid my tank of everything except my 6" green terror.
I'm not here to be made to look like I don't know what I'm talking about - I'm the only person trying to actually help you work this out.

Seriously, it doesn't matter, just show a little more respect for people who are putting their time into helping you. I don't hold it against you I just wanted to make you aware that it's the sort of thing that will put people off helping you.

Moving on to the important stuff:

I do all of my water changes using buckets bro, it's just part of it and it's really not that much effort at the end of the day.

I used to drain in to a 20 gallon bin then I'd lug that downstairs, through the house and into the garden, 3x a week on that tank. Then I'd do the same on the tanks downstairs, you just need to dedicate a morning to it - for me it's Sunday mornings.

I get up and start draining the tanks - now to drain the tank I use a garden hose (make sure it doesn't have mould inhibitors) with the other end out in my garden - you could equally put the other end in your bathtub if you can't get it out to the garden.... I quickly go over the substrate (with my filtration almost nothing stays on the bottom for long so a quick clean is all that is required) and then leave the tank to drain to half way.

Whilst the first tank drains I start the next. By the time the first has drained to 50% the second is ready to be left to drain to 50% and I go fill up my first 15l bucket with temperature and parameter matched water, dechlorinate and by this time that second tank is done draining to 50%.

Fill the first tank, etc. Only takes me an hour max per two 50 gallon tanks @ 50% WC's.

...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i dont think you got me quite clearly about buckets... i dip a bucket no more then 2 gallons worth into the water, carry it to the thub and then back and forth for about an hour, then i fill it with the tap water. i dont have a hose to do it the other way.
hence why only 20 percent.

and to fill it up i wish i had a ose large enough.

as for the indentity thread.
i dont know why people would get pissy because i didnt mention the tank size. i wasnt saying the opther people were wrong for harpooning me, simply that they were. and obviously most anyfish kept alone wouldnt be a problem. I knew that. i had already disclosed the other two african cichlid in that thread, so they knew i had those in the tank atleast when thay said i could keep the lone Lake Vic. Basin in their with them.

I'm beginning to think I cause alot of turmoil i might have been better off reading. I didnt want to make anybody frustrated or angry, and it sounds like you are getting impatient aswell.
I have quite a bit more knowledge then i did before, so thank you, but i wont trouble you anymore.

and so you know, people have been private messaging me with help, so you are not the only one helping me out, although i do thank you for the time you have spent with being so nice.
 

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I'm glad others are helping you out, although I'm curious as to why they keep it to PM when it would be of benefit to the general forum to express multiple opinions here.... I am after all only expressing my opinion based on my knowledge, preferences and experiences.

You don't cause turmoil, you just need to be a bit more tactful about some of the things you come out with ;).

I'm not fed up, I simply pointed out how you were coming accross - ie as disregarding sound advice. Everyone starts somewhere and it's in the general interest of those that care about fish to help the keeper care for them as well as possible.

Can you not get a regular bit of garden hose so that you can syphon the water out of the tank and into the shower/bath instead of having to use buckets like that? I understand entirely what you meant, you're doing pretty much what i used to do, except I would syphon into the little bucket. I got tired of that pretty quickly too, this is why I ask if you can get a length of hose that will run to a drain. That way you only need to fill up with buckets, There's enough pressure from the syphon for decent cleaning of substrate etc.

The easier you can make water changes, the more likely you are to do them regularly.

If you have any questions you know where to find me. I generally don't bite. :lol:
 

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Blairo has given some really great advice and has been thorough and patient.

I don't know if it has been mentioned yet, but in case not, let me recommend purchasing a "Python" syphon, which you should be able to find at a chain pet store.

This device can be attached to a sink faucet in your house. It is able to use the water flow from your sink faucet to pull water out of the tank and into and down the sink....then, you turn a nozzle and water flows from your faucet to fill the tank with fresh water.

I went through my first 6 years of fish keeping without one and am all too familiar with the toils of bucket water changes on large tanks. This device will save you tons of time.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
THANK YOU so much! I have seen the petstores using them, i just thought... DUH!

are they bright green?

and just so you all know, the GT is in the seperate tank and the two lake chiclids and tinfoils are sold. we shall see....
 

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No problem. Yes they are clear with some bright green and black on them. You can buy them in different lengths. The one I have is long enough to reach any place in my apartment from the kitchen sink; so, I can change the water in all of my tanks without ever having to unhook the "Python." When you are finished using it you can coil it up while the faucet is still on, which basically sucks all water out of the tube. I like this alot because when I used to use normal syphons the tubes would get moldy due to water droplets sitting in them. Mine was between 30 and 40 bucks and more than worth the price.

and just so you all know, the GT is in the seperate tank and the two lake chiclids and tinfoils are sold
Good job :thumb: It sounds like you are making the right choices to rectify your "odd" mix of fish. You will find that fishkeeping is much more rewarding as you learn more and make your best effort to do things the right way.

Once again, good luck.
 
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