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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've just got a new 240L tank and I'm wanting to keep some Cichlids. It has an external filter, medium bubble disk gravel substrate and two pieces of bogwood at the moment. I also have 115 small plants on their way to me.

My problem is that I don't really know very much about Cichlids and I'm finding all the information a bit confusing. I want my fish to be as colourful as possible as my one year old little boy loves watching the fish. I have all the test kits so could test the water and give all my readings to help decide which fish would be best to keep if that would help?

Also do I have to keep all Cichlids or can I mix some community fish in there too? I just know somebody who has done this succesfully but everything I've read says you can't.

If anybody would be able to help me set this new tank up I'd be very greatful.

Thanks,

Lauren
 

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Hi Lauren,

Welcome at the forum. Unfortunately, fish keeping is not an exact science, so things can work out for one and completely fail for another. Also the kind of species determine weater you can keep them with others or not.

There is a suggested stocklist for 209 liter @ http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... er_55g.php and one for 285 liter at http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... er_75g.php you could pick something in between.

I suggest you read a lot and just pick species you like. Al lot of info in the library section will give you an idea oaf what can and what can't. If you picked your list, just post them to ask advice on it.

Have fun :)
 

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Also try checking out the galleries in the links below. Might give you some ideas. Keep in mind some of these fish get very large or can be very aggressive. Your water parameters would be helpful, yes. And, yes, it is possible to keep non-cichilds with cichlids in some cases. What are the dimensions of your tank?

African cichlids

New world cichilds
 

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Cichlids live all over the world. If you choose cichlids from the Rift Lakes in Africa (Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika), they will prefer hard water that is slightly alkaline. If you choose cichlids from the Amazon Basin in South America, they will prefer soft water that is slightly acidic. In other words, it matters a great deal.

However, this problem mostly applies if you want to keep wild caught species and some of the more exotic stuff not found in regular pet stores. Most fish you find in the Pet Stores have been bred in captivity for many generations, and can adapt to the water parameters of pretty much any tap water. In practice, I try to keep fish that can live in my water without the need to ad extra chemicals. That makes it much easier to do water changes, which are very important to maintain good water quality - 0 ammonium, 0 nitrite and low nitrate. With a pH of my tap water of 7.4 and a GH of 9, I can keep and breed almost any cichlid - except for South Americans that require very soft water for breeding (eg Discus and Apistos). Can you find out the pH and hardness of your tap water for us?

The choice of cichlid species can be overwhelming at first, but most beginners who look for an active and colorful tank will start with mbuna from Lake Malawi. They are fairly hardy, a good beginner fish, and their coloration is stunning. I would suggest to start with your research in that area.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have just tested my water and here are my results.

Tap water
GH - 71.6
KH - 2
PH - 8

Tank water
GH - 89.5
KH - 3
PH - 7.6

I do find that my tap water drops in PH after I've left it to stand for a few hours.

Aquarium size is 120cm long x 40cm wide x 55cm high.

Hope this helps a bit thanks for all your replys. :D
 

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Sorry, I kinda forgot about this thread :oops:

The slight drop in pH can be explained by CO2 from the air that dissolves in the water when it stands for a few hours. It's a common phenomenon.

Other than that, I'd say those parameters are typical for tap water all over the world. Pretty much any type of tank raised cichlid can be kept in them without adding chemicals to the water other than a simple dechlorinator such as Seachem Prime, Tetra Aquasafe or any number of similar products.

What I usually do to direct the parameters a bit in the right direction is to use some driftwood for New World setups, and put a bit of crushed coral in the substrate for Rift Lake tanks. The crushed coral would be good for example for the mbuna from Lake Malawi that I suggested you to have a closer look into.

Only if you want to breed sensitive South Americans like Discus or Apistos, you would have to use a reverse osmosis unit to significantly alter your tap water parameters, but I doubt that's a pretty specialized area that few people use to start in the hobby.
 
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