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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently got news of a friend of a friend with new baby cichlids with no space for them. I have a 10 gallon tank and set it up with crushed coral. I plan on getting 6 babies which are under an inch now and have them grow out for a few months in this 10 gallon. On my 29 gallon I have an aqua clear and a sun sun canister filter. The sun sun has been running for about two months on my established tank and I want to use it on my 10 gallon but I don’t want a massive die off of filter bacteria moving it to the 10 gallon. while there is nothing in the tank currently to give off ammonia I don’t want to have to re-cycle the filter and I don’t want to shock the cichlids when I get them in which should be mid week this week.

If anyone can point in me in the right way to the best time to set up the established filter on the new tank that’d be great. I as well don’t have any liquid ammonia.

Thank you -TJ
 

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I might ask what type cichlids as that is a factor in how big and how quick but for the filter, I would not set the ten up much more than overnight before getting the new fish brought home to use the tank as that gets no time for a bacteria dieoff but also the filter should have plenty of good bacteria for six small fish under an inch.
Bacteria does not die off immediately but just tends to go dormant until the food shows up again if in a reasonable time.
But there are always ways to help avoid any hazard. One is to ask how different the water they are currently in and what you will have? I don't find PH too much trouble for many types of my African cichlids but the GH seems to bother them more than PH. Not a huge concern if you are somewhat close on the water and cichlids are very adaptable.
But, even when watching carefully, there are good reasons to do a few simple things to avoid any potential ammonia or nitrite spikes. One is to avoid the urge to "feed the babies" when they are new to a tank as they tend to not eat, so why add to the bio load question. Wait a day and then try it very small amounts until you actually see them eat it before it reaches bottom. If they don't eat, don't feed until they do and that hedges the bets on whether the bacteria is ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply wanted to make sure on the filter. But they’re not far me from me and the owner has them and the parent fish setup with crushed coral pieces and after letting him know the size of the tank to start them with he said 6 babies at max and gave me enough for this 10 and more for when I upgrade the size. Would the coral be the best bet on the buffer?
 

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If you don't have liquid ammonia, then could you not just feed the empty tank with a small amount of fish food to keep the filter ticking over? Fish food will break down more slowly then the instant hit of liquid ammonia so is more of a slow release, low level source of ammonia. I've fishless cycled tanks with just fish food in the past before I found out there was such a thing as bottled liquid ammonia! Just an idea...

Dr Tim's "All-in-one" bottled bacteria is very good - you can allegedly add fish from day one with a new filter. Not sure I would quite do that, but it is the fastest way to establish (restablish or boost) a biofilter that I have found. Maybe worth adding along with the fish as an insurance policy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I believe they are mbunas but don’t know exactly what mbuna and this is the father and another male. @PlantedRich
 

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Good deal! When folks say cichlid that doesn't pin it down as they can be lots of things from South america like angelfish to big bullies like red Terror or they can be African cichlids which may be really nice or as mean as "eye-biters"!
So it looks like you may have some which could turn out to be great but knowing the African cichlids is often really difficult and becoming harder as they do cross breed really easily. Some like the yellow labs are so easy to breed with and the males tend to be somewhat less aggressive so that males of lots of other breeds often slip in and fertilize the eggs as they are picked up, so that the hobby is now into full blown confusion on species as there are so many mixed breed fish around.
The first picture of the bright blue makes me think possibly Copadichromis azureus.
Link to great site with great cichlid info here:
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1008
Recommend doing some reading on the excellent articles on cichlids if this is a first go with them as there are many things we can do to make it go smoother. Some info I do not agree with as well, so keep an open mind for what you see in YOUR tank, rather than fully accept all the written word!
On e I really disagree on is crowding to reduce aggression.
Doesn't work for nay other animal , certainly doesn't work for humans to put them into ghettos to reduce fighting, so I spread my Africans out and give them room to live more normal lives, even when confined to really small water.
Lot of tricks to share if you get into keeping them in planted tanks as they do require a bit different thinking to avoid problems with digging but it can be worked out.
Best of luck on a really great group of fish potential!
A 20 long tank with young yellow labs and a larger species Protomelas group growing out. This awas an interesting tank as I placed it here in front of a window which got it lots of sunlight to grow the thick wall of algae on the back glass, specifically for the labs who really liked to snack on and search through it as they do more of in nature. The protomelas are open water types and had no interest in the back wall but it was a chance to spot how different they are from the Mbuna and that let me do better when I combined a group of mature mbuna and the protomelas in a 125 tank where I set the tank to give both groups what they wanted for housing.
I loved working with the group but be aware that it does take some thinking to fit them all together with the plants!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea I am relatively new to cichlids but had a feeling it was like that when it comes to identifying Lake Malawi cichlid exact species. And for the upgrade I already got lined up a 40 gallon that’s not currently in use which I’m looking forward to when they grow out. Yea I’m not trying to get many fish in this 10 so they all get their own territory, been reading and watching videos and will continue, thanks for that website link.

But two more things if you could help me with: 1 is how fast do African cichlids grow or is that really dependent on species and
2 is there a way to see differences between male and female at a very young age to try to get an all male tank as I would like no breeding to what you said with the interbreeding, than also with space issues, and correct me if I’m wrong but when there are females in the tank, sometimes the males tend to be more aggressive with each other.
 
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