Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Id like some advice on starting an african cichlid tank. I have an already established 44 gallon tank that used to have regular tropicals, clown loaches, tetras, ect... It is a planted tank with a bunch of amazon swords and a few java fern plants. I have a double tube 24" T5 light on it and a marineland magnum 350 pro canister filter . I have various rock caves, driftwood and big fake upright log in the center that fish can hide and swim through.

The only fish in there is a common pleco that is about 8-10" big. I know he will out grow the tank so i plan on getting at least a 75 gallon or bigger hopefully this year. *** seen some good deals on some 100+ tanks on craigslist so the bigger i can get the better. :p

My questions are, I know that africans require considerably different water parameters than normal tropicals. *** read posts on here stating that the ph really isnt a concern, the fish will adapt. what about the KH and GH? am i going to need to mess with them? My tapwater has a very low ph and im wondering if i am going to have to make adjustments to water parameters every time i do a water change. Will I be able to keep my pleco? Or will the africans beat the **** out of it? Will the africans eat the live plants? I have that small pebble type substrate down, its a light brownish color, will i need to change that?

Any suggestions will be appreciated :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Kevin25 said:
The only fish in there is a common pleco that is about 8-10" big. I know he will out grow the tank so i plan on getting at least a 75 gallon or bigger hopefully this year. I've seen some good deals on some 100+ tanks on craigslist so the bigger i can get the better. :p
A common Pleco will outgrow a 75 too, this is my favorite picture to illustrate that point:



Kevin25 said:
My questions are, I know that africans require considerably different water parameters than normal tropicals. I've read posts on here stating that the ph really isnt a concern, the fish will adapt. what about the KH and GH? am i going to need to mess with them? My tapwater has a very low ph and im wondering if i am going to have to make adjustments to water parameters every time i do a water change.
Depends on the species and how low your pH is...if you're under neutral (less than 7.0) i'd recommend treating your water to keep rift lake cichlids (Malawi and Tang especially) with the cichlid buffer recipe in the library here...and that means every water change. However, if your water is acidic I'd sort of nudge you towards making your fish fit your water parameters as opposed to the other way around. Plenty of South American and Riverine African cichlids would thrive in soft, acidic water and it would mean a lot less work for you in the long run. Heck, i know a few Discus guys here in Vegas that would kill us both for that water from the tap! GH and KH do matter slightly, KH measures your buffering capacity and GH is simply the hardness of the water. GH for most species can be adjusted to by the fish, KH is a little more important because it directly affects how resistant your water is to pH crashes which can be bad news.

Kevin25 said:
Will I be able to keep my pleco? Or will the africans beat the #%$& out of it? Will the africans eat the live plants? I have that small pebble type substrate down, its a light brownish color, will i need to change that?

Any suggestions will be appreciated :)
Keeping the pleco depends a ton on what fish you're thinking of keeping, and how large a tank you're going to upgrade to...they can easily grow to be 18". Many africans will eat your plants, or just simply destroy them for what seems to be the simple joy of it. Your substrate you could keep, most africans are going to prefer a sand subrate (pool filter sand ftw), but plenty of people keep them with gravel and pebbles.

Honestly, if you're looking at having acidic, soft water out of the tap and keeping a planted tank, i'd recommend seriously looking at the South American or some of the Non-Rift Lake Africans like Jewels. If you're still itching for africans (and believe me i understand) it would help if you took a look at some of the cookie cutter tanks to find a species you like and to post your water parameters so we knew just how soft and/or acidic your water is. Also know a 44, depending on its dimensions, will severely limit your selection of Africans. Some will be too big, some will be too agressive.

Either way, kudos to you for doing the research before just buying the fish! Good Luck with whatever you decide!
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top