Cichlid tank

We have been establishing our tank for a couple weeks now. Water is perfect and ready for fish. We got the fish tonight and I have to say, I don't know why I never owned cichlids before.


Basic Tank Set up



  • Crushed Coral as the substrate (this increases the hardness in the water, raises the pH to 8.2 ((safe for cichlids)), and naturally balances nitrates, nitrites, alkalinity, ammonia, and chlorine.

  • Lots of rock structures with holes for hiding and territorial balance. Cichlids are territorial and aggressive, they need places to hide and call their own. Lace rock is perfect for this.

  • Heater- temp needs to be 72-82. Our tank is at 78, which is ideal in disease prevention.

  • Salt- NO cichlids are not salt water fish, but salt is a natural defense system, especially for cichlids. It will help prevent ick, fungus, and other parasites and gill disorders.


INTRODUCING NEW FISH



  • Only introduce a few fish at a time (3-5) for a large tank. There will be a spike in ammonia when introducing new fish, and too many fish= too much ammonia, which can be fatal to your fish and your tanks ecosystem.

  • Don't overcrowd, for tropical fish, think 1 inch of full grown fish per gallon. (ie. most african cichlids can get up to 4.5" so for our 55 gallon tank, we wouldn't want more than 10 or 11 fish)

  • When introducing fish, float them in the bag in your tank for 30 minutes to get them acclimated to the temp of the water, then let a little water from your tank into the bag, then you can set them free!

  • Watch your fish closely for any signs of illness or stress.

  • Especially for cichlids, they need to be about the same size. Don't get a 4.5 inch cichlid with a 1 inch cichlid.


We have been establishing photo 1920763-1We have been establishing photo 1920763-2We have been establishing photo 1920763-3


We introduced 4 fish to our tank tonight. 4 assorted baby cichlids.



  • Red Zebra

  • Albino

  • Electric Yellow

  • Blue Frost


Can't wait for them to grow up and to introduce some more fish!

Posted on June 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm
heartsetfreebylove
5
05/16/2009
heartsetfreebylove

heartsetfreebylove

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(4) Comments

GoingtobeGoff
10
05/14/2009
GoingtobeGoff

GoingtobeGoff

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GoingtobeGoff

heeee!!! THEY ARE SOOOOOO CUTE!!!!!


I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE cichlids... seirously.  They have AMAZING personalities!


I have 3 original blue frosts that have bred, so now I have a bunch of mish-mash purple-ish babies, lol.


I also currently have a red, his name's Papaya :)


Just a NOTE: cichlids are VERY (I repeat, VERY) territorial.. like... I've lost probably 30+ fish to fights..... it's actually better to overcrowd cichlid tanks with fish, so they can't steak out territories as much.  But if you have more fish, you better have a REALLLLLY good filtration system.  They are messy fish.


Also-note: heaters are not required by any means. I thought they were to begin with, and had a heater FREAK out and heat the tank to 96 degrees... killed my fav fish of all time, Peaches.  I got rid of all heaters, so the tanks flux between 70 and 80 degrees.


Vaccuum the gravel once a month, no more b/c of the bacteria that grows in it.  What type of filtration system did you buy??  :)


Eeek, i'm so excited for you!!  cichlids are DA BOMB!!

Posted on June 17, 2010 at 10:30 am
GoingtobeGoff
10
05/14/2009
GoingtobeGoff

GoingtobeGoff

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GoingtobeGoff

55 g looks a photo 1924615-1<--55 g (looks a little different now, took a lot of rocks out, currently has about 7 fish in including babies)


55 g looks a photo 1924615-2<--- 37 g (currently has 5 fish in it)


They are low on counts of fish, b/c they are FINALLY balanced and NOT FIGHTING!!!!  So I'm nooooot going to upset that now.  :)

Posted on June 17, 2010 at 10:35 am
heartsetfreebylove
5
05/16/2009
heartsetfreebylove

heartsetfreebylove

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heartsetfreebylove

Sarah,

Thanks for the tips! I'm the pet care manager at petsmart so I've had some serious practice with all sorts of fish, especially cichlids so I'm hoping I will be good. We are going to have a TON of territory space and match only same sex fish so we don't have mating (where a ton of agression and fish loss usually occurs).

How cute about your baby fish! Lol papaya, that's an awesome name!
Posted on June 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm
heartsetfreebylove
5
05/16/2009
heartsetfreebylove

heartsetfreebylove

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heartsetfreebylove

Oh and I use an aqua clear filter, I plan on switching to canister once they get bigger :)
Posted on June 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm

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