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Old 03-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #16
Indychus
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I found this:

"Experience has shown that both Tanganyikan and Malawian cichlid fish will prosper and breed at pH values as low as 7.2 and hardness values to 3 DH. What seems critical is the stability of these values rather than their absolute magnitude."

on FishChannel.com (HERE)

Is that a reliable source? I believe I can duplicate those conditions...


*EDIT: I re-read this after posting it, and I don't mean it to step on anyone's toes... I'm just trying to decipher the huge amount of varying information available.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:33 PM   #17
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Would Mbuna be more suited to what I'm after?
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:03 PM   #18
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Hmmm, certainly a lot different then my opinions. I'll say that I avoid Malawi and its cichlids out of preference. There could be some Malawi folk on here that have far more expertise then I. As to Tanganyikan tanks, I can say that lowering the Ph is really not a viable option where we live (Tap is 7.8-8.2) unless we really start fooling with the water chemistry and I dissuade anyone new to water chemistry from trying it. I keep a small variety of plants in with my Tangs, but I am completely low tech (no CO2) in all of my tanks and all have some plants in them. I would advise against adding any CO2 to a Rift lake system as the PH swings overnight would be tremendous. I usually recommend attempting CO2 in a plant focused system with fish and inverts that prefer what CO2 does to the water chemistry. Adding Anubias, Java Fern, and some Val are all great options in a Rift lake tank and none require CO2 or really anything other then low light. I myself would recommend a secondary tank to dedicate to plants and have 2 different focused aquariums.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:11 PM   #19
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I am perfectly fine with no CO2 if that's what needed... I have some java fern in a 20g that will be divided and moved into this tank, and plan some anubias as well... I have petite nana in my 20, but probably want a larger variant for this tank. I also have some swords in the mail thanks to an RAOK on here!
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:33 PM   #20
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What about the tank you want with fish you want, but make it a riparium? I was looking at hydrophytes tanks, and thought of your thread.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:57 PM   #21
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Hmmm... Do you have a link for that thread, or how can I find his tanks? Still new here, so trying to find everything. I'm having to rethink a lot of my initial plans. It's cycling now using a walstad method, but I really want cichlids so I'm thinking maybe just a sand or crushed coral substrate is more appropriate.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:12 PM   #22
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Nevermind, I found his thread. Riparium is an interesting idea that I had not considered. Definitely worth looking into. I wouldn't really want to lower the water level much, which means I wouldn't be comfortable derimming my tank.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:15 PM   #23
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Well you dont have to lower it. You just grow out of any level you want.

He adds to a thread on another forum i'm on, for other examples
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/v...p?f=4&t=205654
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:30 PM   #24
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Nice, thanks for the link! I've been lurking on there trying to gather some info, but I don't know enough about cichlids yet to ask any informed questions. I plan to have the tank planted with just the mosquito fish for 6 months or so to stabilize and let the plants take root, so I have plenty of time to research.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:20 PM   #25
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Well, i'd just start with the basic info on your setup or setup to be, what fish your interested in etc etc. You seem interested in africans i think thats what i gathered. I'm not a african guy, i only do south american, and central american species, but people on there specialize in africans for sure. Honestly cichlids are pretty easy to take care of. I think they are way easier then the fish most people on here keep with their plants, and are healthier, hardier, way more of a personality, live longer. Right on, good luck
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:38 PM   #26
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You stated that you want to have a natural look more than a scaped tank. Most of the African cichlids prefer just rocks and more rocks. Heard a few successful stories with plants and African cichlids but I have no experience with them.

I have tried tang cichlids with anubias but failed. Plants were uprooted because they were digging like no tomorrow. I end up removing the plants and went back with the natural look with lots of rocks on one side and shell pile on the opposite side. I have a calvus and a colony of multies in this tank.

It is probably better trying to tie the plants to rocks or driftwood.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:18 PM   #27
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Ok, so I've been doing a lot of research, and setting the tank up slowly... I have a lot of rocks that I've made from foam/concrete, with caves and hiding spots, and my ph is stable at around 7.9. I have given up hope on a jungle looking tank, but it will still be lightly planted.

My question now is, why is it not advised to mix fish from lake malawi and lake tanganyika? It seems like both fish can withstand similar water conditions... I'm not too worried about recreating their natural environment, since they don't live in a glass box in the wild anyways... but I also don't want a bloodbath.

In particular, I am looking at the five bar cichlids from tanganyika (Neolamprologus tretocephalus) and the Yellow Lab from Malawi (Labidochromis caeruleus). As far as I can tell, both are semi-aggressive and similar sized, which should work ok, right? I have also read that they do not burrow much and are safe for plants. I am considering 2 pairs of each.

Another question I have, where can I purchased sexed cichlids, preferably juveniles? My LFS has no idea how to sex them, and after looking for a while, I'm pretty sure they had all males... but I'm only going by what I've read online. Keeping the male/female balance in check is crucial in a 55g I think...
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:24 PM   #28
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Also, I realize that these fish are rather large for a 55... I have a 125 also, but can't afford to set it up currently (floor in my house needs more support)... It should be up and running within a year though, and I plan to move the cichlids to it and repurpose the 55.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:21 PM   #29
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If you are wanting what you did when you first made this thread, I would say no to africans. They basically work on controlled mayhem. You generally over crowd the tank so that the alpha males can't single out an individual fish to pester til they pass on. Fish will have ADD...essentially, they chase after a fish, but before they get to them, they are after another one. If you want a nice, peaceful planted tank, I would highly recommend south americans. You could do several dwarf species like Rams, Apistos, or Curviceps, or you could focus on larger species like a group of firemouths, severums, festivums, and then just mix a group of corys and a group or two of tetra.

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Old 03-13-2013, 08:24 PM   #30
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My bumblebees are fine with plants, convicts are serious diggers. I have an albino somethin... I just can't quite id and he digs a little, but not around the plants, and really likes eating duckweed.
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