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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to do African cichlids in the tank. I have read a fair amount of the literature available on this site and done most of the setup on my tank and would like to see if it's all correct and what specific breeds would be good for the tank. I still have about a week before I actually plan on adding anything.

This first picture is from two days ago when I started adding water to the tank. We washed all the substrate but it doesn't seem we did a good enough job with it. I've been doing water changes to get out most of it where it settles. The second was taken today.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v62/m ... 260114.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v62/m ... 270125.jpg

The substrate is a forty pounds sand that was marketed specifically for African cichlids (if it does it's job right it will raise the PH for me) and fifteen pounds of crushed coral mixed in because I though it would be fun for the cichlids if they decide they don't like the substrate arrangement to discover little shell bits and such while they dig around. if they don't I like the colors it provides.

The rock's are those plastic things you can get from a local petsmart (mine is blessed with two individuals that actually keep and know more about fish than those stupid little cards on the tanks) or somewhere to that effect. There are four separate pieces to it currently held together with fishing line in case the design is unsuitable. It was rather funny as my dad and myself were sitting in the middle of the aisle building it on the floor to see if we could get a design we liked that looked natural-ish.

There is also a piece of driftwood I plan on putting in the foreground of the tank but it is currently soaking to remove the tannins present. God willing I'm going to try java ferns on it and java moss around the fake rock.

I've also noticed the silt that was not sucked up by the filter seems to all be settled in bottom left front corner of the tank and was wondering if that means there is a dead zone there and if so what would be best to alleviate it. I vacuumed it up a couple times yesterday and when I checked today this is what I found.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v62/m ... 270126.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v62/m ... 270127.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v62/m ... 270128.jpg

Apologies if the pictures are a little blurry. Any advice is welcomed and appreciated as are critiques on whether or not the fish will like the design.

Before I forget what type or fish make good top tank and bottom tank mates with cichlids all of the information I've read tends them to the middle of the tank.
 

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There's not many Malawi cichlids that will work well in a 36 bowfront.

You could do some tang's, shell dwellers.

Check the cookie-cutter setups for more info on what might work.

I looked at that fake rock setup you have in the same stores and decided against it due to the holes to the interior of the pieces. Otherwise, I think the fish will like it.

What type of african cichlids you looking at?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm rather open about what types to get.

With any luck I'm going to phase the fake rock out over time in favor of real stone. I couldn't find any in my initial search so I may be forced to check the specialty store in Charlotte but they mainly deal in marine fish.
 

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Honestly I would say 4-5 Jewels (maybe 2 males, 3 females) would look good in there.

Then you can get some dithers for the upper levels and be okay.

You probably wouldn't have to add any chemicals to get the pH up there for those guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
will the substrate i'm using be ok for the jewels since it's been raising the ph in my tank oh so slightly as it's disolving (I know the driftwood will somewhat counter that but I want to make sure).
 

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I made the same mistake with the substrate - it will never dissolve fast enough to have any significant effect on your water. The water changes will introduce new/fresh water too frequently for any leeching of minerals into the water to have a last effect.
 
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