55g african cichlids tank

A_Strad

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Hey i have a 55g african cichlid tank with a male kenyi 3 female kenyis a male kenyi crossbread of some sort and a male electric blue johanni... along with two synodontis cats... is this tank overstokked? every once in a while the male kenyi will chase off the hybrid male but thats it for fighting... if it's not overstocked what kind of stock would you call it? light? medium? heavy? and what kind of water changes would you recomend ? 25 % weekly? 50%? 30%? i have an aquatech 30-60 G filter from walmart... thanks alot!
 

sirdarksol

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I'm sure one of the cichlid people will be around to talk about stocking (I know nothing about African cichlids), however, I can answer the water change question.
The way to determine water changes is to do a nitrate test immediately before a water change and figure out how much you need to change out to reduce the ppm to 10-20. If you aren't a mathematician, this will take a bit of guesswork and re-testing, but you'll get more accurate on the first try each week, and will eventually get a good base amount.

However, in most aquaria, switching out 50% of the water weekly will be enough to keep the nitrates plenty low. This is the amount suggested by a professional breeder I've talked to.
 
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A_Strad

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Thanks alot! anyone know alot about my cichlids go ahead and let me know!
 

Nutter

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I would say your tank is lightly stocked but it depends on just how many caves & crevices there are for the fish to hide in. Extensive rockwork is a must for rift lake cichlids. It might be a good idea to remove the male hybrid if the aggression continues. The male kenyi won't appreciate the competition for 'his' females & will attack anything he percieves as a threat. His aggression will get worse as he gets older. You could easily add 3 female Johannii & another group of 1 male & 3 female mbuna around the 4-5" mark. A goup of something like Pseudotropheus Crabro or Melanochromis Auratus would be suitable given the aggressive nature of Kenyi & Johannii. What kind of Synodontis do you have in the tank?

Excellent advice above from Sirdarksol regarding the water changes. Rift lake cichlids are rather sensitive to nitrates so try to keep the nitrate under 20ppm, even better if you can keep it under 10ppm. 50% weekly water changes are a good place to start. 2 x 25% changes each week is also perfectly acceptable. Let your test results determine how much you need to change how often though.
 
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