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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 55 gallon, 75 gallon, and a 60 gallon which is 30 inches long 25 inches high and 18 inches deep
I currently have angelfish in the 55 gallon and was thinking of moving them to the 60 gallon to make use of how tall it is.
Looking for stock recommendations for the 55 and 75 or if you think I should keep the angels in the 55 then stock for the 60 and 75.
Was thinking of lake Malawi cichlids in one of them and maybe geophagus and blue acaras in the other but open to other recommendations
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

You could do Malawi in either the 55G or 75G so let us know when you figure out the other two tanks. Others will chime in the the new world cichlids.
 

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Hello!
I can be an 'others'. And well, I love to chime in on New World Cichlids! :)
And yes, that's a good choice in moving the Angelfish to the taller tank. They can do sort of okay in these lower tanks, but I always think they look kind of sad with their top and bottom fins all tucked in.
  • How many Angels do you have now?
  • Are the Angels in a community tank setting? If so, are you planning on just moving everyone to the taller, 60 gallon tank?
  • And yes, for the 55 gallon aquarium an individual Andinoacara pulcher, Blue Acara would work well with a 1M-3-4F harem of dwarf Geophgagines. In this case, the tough little Red Headed Tapajos Earth Eater, would be a great stocking choice for a four foot long aquarium.
I would personally reserve the larger, 75 gallon aquarium for setting up and stocking with those African, Lake Malawi Cichlids you are considering.
 

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You could abandon the Malawi idea and use the 55 for some IMHO a much more interesting tank such as...1. Tanganyikan Shell Dwellers & reserve the upper half of that tank for say Cyprichromis leptosoma,,, or 2. just do a nice breeding colony of Neolamprologus brichardi species only tank. Granted a Malawi tank may provide you with more color but the Tanganyikan's I believe will provide a lasting interest with much better fish interaction.
You could then use the 75 for a nice South American Tank such as Red Head Tapajos, Heckelii, or G. Balzanni with some nice driftwood & plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello!
I can be an 'others'. And well, I love to chime in on New World Cichlids! :)
And yes, that's a good choice in moving the Angelfish to the taller tank. They can do sort of okay in these lower tanks, but I always think they look kind of sad with their top and bottom fins all tucked in.
  • How many Angels do you have now?
  • Are the Angels in a community tank setting? If so, are you planning on just moving everyone to the taller, 60 gallon tank?
  • And yes, for the 55 gallon aquarium an individual Andinoacara pulcher, Blue Acara would work well with a 1M-3-4F harem of dwarf Geophgagines. In this case, the tough little Red Headed Tapajos Earth Eater, would be a great stocking choice for a four foot long aquarium.
I would personally reserve the larger, 75 gallon aquarium for setting up and stocking with those African, Lake Malawi Cichlids you are considering.
I currently have 4 angels planning on getting two more when I move them into the new tank and they are in a community tank but I’m thinking of selling most of them and just keeping a school of Cory’s, a bristlenose pleco and maybe another schooling fish
Also wondering if you think I can pull off the tanks with only sponge filters and weekly water changes or if I should go with canister filters.
 

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Oh my.....
Also wondering if you think I can pull off the tanks with only sponge filters and weekly water changes or if I should go with canister filters.
That got real technical - real fast! :oops:
Well then... air driven sponge filters can definitely provide ALL of the delicious biological filtration your Cichlids can eat these days. Those oversize, high particulate sponges pack a lot of beneficial bacteria on those surfaces!
But.....
Biological filtration is sometimes only part of the necessary equation to consider when properly setting up an aquarium.
  • The quiet riverine Cichlid types such as your Angelfish, Discus or even many of the African Hemichromis (Red Jewels, etc....) will appreciate low current and water movement values in their aquariums. They need high-quality water conditions. But oxygen saturation with high current is not as much of a factor with those Cichlids. Sponge filters driven off of air stones will work great for those Cichlid types.
  • African Mbuna types are frenetic, high activity Cichlids that come from a shoreline (lake) biotope that is just practically saturated in water current and oxygenation. These Cichlids NEED a steady current of water to provide them with the right conditions to thrive. Once again though, the air stone driven sponge filters can provide sufficient biological filtration for the African Mbuna aquarium. They just can't provide the needed water current that system requires. Powerheads or possibly even a dedicated Undergravel Jet System rigged up with in-line external pump(s), can provide a really nice level of water current (oxygenation) for those tanks.
  • White Water Cichlids, well..... they can take things to a different water current level in the aquarium than even the African Mbuna system. More water current! MORE!!!!!
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And yes, canister filters can pretty much 'do it all' for an aquarium,. But, as my scholarly associate @SenorStrum so precisely pointed out, there are tradeoffs to everything in this hobby.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm not much of a fan of canister filters. Esp. the periodic breakdown and cleaning of those somewhat diabolical things....
 

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Malawi for a 55G, one idea:
1m:4f Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
1m:4f Cynotilapia sp. hara
1m:4f Iodotropheus sprengerae rusties

Another viewpoint on canisters. I find the breakdown/cleaning to be infrequent and easy. I like the idea that the entire container can be cleaned inside/out unlike a sump which I believe is not usually moved...so must be cleaned in place. I like avoiding plumbing and connections which can leak (even if they never do if done properly). They are quieter than HOB or sump.

I might do HOB on the 2 smaller tanks and canisters on the 75G. If you are used to the noise of sponges, the small water noises the HOBs make should not bother you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh my.....

That got real technical - real fast! :oops:
Well then... air driven sponge filters can definitely provide ALL of the delicious biological filtration your Cichlids can eat these days. Those oversize, high particulate sponges pack a lot of beneficial bacteria on those surfaces!
But.....
Biological filtration is sometimes only part of the necessary equation to consider when properly setting up an aquarium.
  • The quiet riverine Cichlid types such as your Angelfish, Discus or even many of the African Hemichromis (Red Jewels, etc....) will appreciate low current and water movement values in their aquariums. They need high-quality water conditions. But oxygen saturation with high current is not as much of a factor with those Cichlids. Sponge filters driven off of air stones will work great for those Cichlid types.
  • African Mbuna types are frenetic, high activity Cichlids that come from a shoreline (lake) biotope that is just practically saturated in water current and oxygenation. These Cichlids NEED a steady current of water to provide them with the right conditions to thrive. Once again though, the air stone driven sponge filters can provide sufficient biological filtration for the African Mbuna aquarium. They just can't provide the needed water current that system requires. Powerheads or possibly even a dedicated Undergravel Jet System rigged up with in-line external pump(s), can provide a really nice level of water current (oxygenation) for those tanks.
  • White Water Cichlids, well..... they can take things to a different water current level in the aquarium than even the African Mbuna system. More water current! MORE!!!!!
-
And yes, canister filters can pretty much 'do it all' for an aquarium,. But, as my scholarly associate @SenorStrum so precisely pointed out, there are tradeoffs to everything in this hobby.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm not much of a fan of canister filters. Esp. the periodic breakdown and cleaning of those somewhat diabolical things....
Thank you for all the info I was thinking of an Mbuna tank so final question. Are powerheads noisy? If not then I’ll try the sponge filter and power head but if they’re noisy then I’ll just get a canister filter for the Mbuna tank. Any idea if geophagus and blue acaras need the strong current?
 

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The sponge is noisy. A powerhead with that is not going to be more noisy.
 
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Well now...
..... so final question.
Phfaaw! These things in C-F go on for as long as the OP needs them to!
So - Noisy?
Nope. Not really. As @DJRansome informed, they will run quieter then your bubbling and humming (air pump) sponge filters. But, power heads ARE a plug-in/electric-driven, technical looking gadget thing placed right down into the water column of your carefully aquascaped aquarium.
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(Yet another) FULL DISCLOSURE: after personally making a really SHOCKING discovery a number of years back on the (powerhead) reason there was live electric current running through one of my aquariums... (Whew, an electrifying situation! My unhappy fish prompted the investigation into the problem), I'm just NOT a fan of those things.
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And no... the Red Headed Tapajos Earth Eater is a New World Cichlid species that is occasionally found in white water habitats (PH sometimes higher than 8.0!). But, that does not mean they require such an environment to thrive in. So, a 'simple' filtration system with a couple, air-driven sponge filters in the aquarium, should work great for the Blue Acara and those tough little Earth Eaters.:)
 

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Like DJR said, air is noisy. Full stop. If you use Air to move water, the bubbles will be noisy. No way around it, that's physics. SO, most people complain about the noise that the pump makes. I found that pondforse pumps off amazon are actually inaudible when functioning. (you cannot hear the pump because the bubbles are so loud. Bubbles are loud, remember?)

What I have done in the past is to get a powerhead (we've all probably been talking about "bladed wave makers" here actually) and hook it to the sponge filter to move the water without air. This allows you to move more water more positively through the sponge filter, and it's silent. The powerhead is actually a specific piece of gear meant to lift water up a lift tube, typically attached to an undergravel filter.

Another thought on noisy powerheads. AC motors have more noise than DC because of the 60 cycle hum. Any Statocaster player can tell you what I'm talking about, but it gives a cheap AC motor a distinct "hum." If you have air going in the tank, you'll never notice any other noise, probably though.
 
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