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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to start setting up a new 55 gallon cichlid tank.I have some experience with aquariums but never with cichlids. I plan on stocking it with around 20 various mbunas and a few plecos but right now I'm just trying to make sure I set my tank up correctly to care for them.
My tank came as a kit with an Aqua tech 30-60 hob filter. I'm either going to put a Aqua clear 70 filter or a Penn Plax cascade 1000 canister filter on along with it for filtration. Any advice on which to go with would be appreciated. I also want to know if I would have to have an air stone with either of these combinations or should they create enough movement to oxygenate the water?
 

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Is this a standard 55G that measures 48" x 12" in a rectangle shape?

Think in terms of 15 mbuna...if you are going with 3 species and mixed gender with 1m:4f of each.

Given those choices I would go with the aqua clear. You want your total GPH to be between 8X and 10X.
 

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While I usually like to overstock a tank (long as filtration is up to the task) this time I have to agree with DJ. I would not put more than 12-15 max into a 55g. I also wouldn't do a few plecos. One BNP would be good for a 55g. Anymore than that and you'll just be adding waste to the tank as plecos are waste machines. I also agree on the AC70. While I think the whole "8-10 time turn over" thing is vastly blown out of proportion on this site (4-5 times is 100% ample I have never had a need for more than that even on heavily stocked tanks) I have owned a number of AC70's in the past and they are a good quality long lasting filter so would be a good choice for the 55g.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. I've been told so many different things. To begin with I was planning on about a dozen mbunas until I spoke with the guy that runs the website I plan to order from . He advised me to get at least 18-25. He said that was the only way to prevent them from getting territorial and hurting one another. I thought that sounded like too many fish for this tank.
I've also been advised by several different people to stock the tank full at once rather than buying 8 or 10 and then adding a few more down the line. I just hate the thought of buying $250 worth of fish at the very beginning and run the risk of getting sick fish or something going wrong and the fish dying. Is it really that important to get them all at once?
 

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Steve C said:
While I usually like to overstock a tank (long as filtration is up to the task) this time I have to agree with DJ. I would not put more than 12-15 max into a 55g. I also wouldn't do a few plecos. One BNP would be good for a 55g. Anymore than that and you'll just be adding waste to the tank as plecos are waste machines. I also agree on the AC70. While I think the whole "8-10 time turn over" thing is vastly blown out of proportion on this site (4-5 times is 100% ample I have never had a need for more than that even on heavily stocked tanks) I have owned a number of AC70's in the past and they are a good quality long lasting filter so would be a good choice for the 55g.
I'm pretty sure the 10 times turnover thing is not recommended because it is necessary for biological filtration, it definitely isn't. If you look at the flow rates and tank size ratings of most canister filters, particularly Eheim filters, they are even less than 4 or 5 times. People recommend 8-10 times (me included) so the bottom of the tank stays clean. If my tank was 4-5 times the bottom would probably look like a dump. I'd be vacuuming constantly to keep it clean.

4-5 times might be fine if you also have powerhead(s) circulating water and blowing the stuff off the bottom.
 

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4X works fine for filtration and 10X keeps the debris off the substrate better...all true.

Adding the fish all at once, especially if you have cycled with ammonia beforehand, keeps the beneficial bacteria alive and well. You can also stock a smaller number initially, but it does not give them a better chance of survival.
 

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gillmanjr said:
Steve C said:
While I usually like to overstock a tank (long as filtration is up to the task) this time I have to agree with DJ. I would not put more than 12-15 max into a 55g. I also wouldn't do a few plecos. One BNP would be good for a 55g. Anymore than that and you'll just be adding waste to the tank as plecos are waste machines. I also agree on the AC70. While I think the whole "8-10 time turn over" thing is vastly blown out of proportion on this site (4-5 times is 100% ample I have never had a need for more than that even on heavily stocked tanks) I have owned a number of AC70's in the past and they are a good quality long lasting filter so would be a good choice for the 55g.
I'm pretty sure the 10 times turnover thing is not recommended because it is necessary for biological filtration, it definitely isn't. If you look at the flow rates and tank size ratings of most canister filters, particularly Eheim filters, they are even less than 4 or 5 times. People recommend 8-10 times (me included) so the bottom of the tank stays clean. If my tank was 4-5 times the bottom would probably look like a dump. I'd be vacuuming constantly to keep it clean.

4-5 times might be fine if you also have powerhead(s) circulating water and blowing the stuff off the bottom.
Hey hey, we can finally agree on something lol!!!!!!
 

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gillmanjr said:
I'm pretty sure the 10 times turnover thing is not recommended because it is necessary for biological filtration, it definitely isn't. If you look at the flow rates and tank size ratings of most canister filters, particularly Eheim filters, they are even less than 4 or 5 times. People recommend 8-10 times (me included) so the bottom of the tank stays clean. If my tank was 4-5 times the bottom would probably look like a dump. I'd be vacuuming constantly to keep it clean.

4-5 times might be fine if you also have powerhead(s) circulating water and blowing the stuff off the bottom.
I run a large powerhead as well as a Jabo wavermaker in mine. The 8-10x turn over thing might make a difference in waste on the substrate in a smaller tank, but in a larger tank it just doesn't make much at all. I've got a pair of Fx5's on my 240g and even with one on each end due to the 30" height you don't get much movement on the substrate in that tank without the powerhead & wavemaker.
 

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Steve C said:
gillmanjr said:
I'm pretty sure the 10 times turnover thing is not recommended because it is necessary for biological filtration, it definitely isn't. If you look at the flow rates and tank size ratings of most canister filters, particularly Eheim filters, they are even less than 4 or 5 times. People recommend 8-10 times (me included) so the bottom of the tank stays clean. If my tank was 4-5 times the bottom would probably look like a dump. I'd be vacuuming constantly to keep it clean.

4-5 times might be fine if you also have powerhead(s) circulating water and blowing the stuff off the bottom.
I run a large powerhead as well as a Jabo wavermaker in mine. The 8-10x turn over thing might make a difference in waste on the substrate in a smaller tank, but in a larger tank it just doesn't make much at all. I've got a pair of Fx5's on my 240g and even with one on each end due to the 30" height you don't get much movement on the substrate in that tank without the powerhead & wavemaker.
I agree completely, I have 4 strategically placed circulation pumps in my 180 gallon tank even though I've got a ridiculous amount of turnover from my return pumps.
 
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