55 Gallon Tank Jmaldo's African Cichlid Build

jmaldo

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Will be taking it slow, but...It has begun. Wanted to wait until I sold the majority of the EBA juveniles (7-8 dozen) but it may still be a few weeks. Decided to take down my 55g Discus Community tank today.
Re-homed the inhabitants to the other 4 tanks plus setup another 10g . Purchased some Cichlid sand, rocks and working out a deal with my LFS.
Plan on approx. 10 young adult male Peacocks, already have Clowns and SAE's which will share the tank.
Right now using a triple dose of "PP" treatment to clean the tank, black sand plus I have a few rocks and driftwood I have collected over the years in the tank. Will see what color it is tomorrow.

Stay Tuned.
 
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jmaldo

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Well here is the tank after the "PP" treatment. Onward I go. Still need to rinse the "New" sand and rocks. One step at a time.

Cleaning 55g 81020.jpg
 

Kitley

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following. Setting me newest 75 gallon up today. I am using sand for the first time, and hoping to put in cichlids. I am sure I will be able to learn from your experience.
 
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jmaldo

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Ok, so here is a short list of my proposed stocking if available.
All males of course (1 each)

Aulonocara
maylandi, multicolor, maulana, rubescens, baenschi, startgranti, nyassae, kandeensis, jacobfreibergi
Haplochromis
Copadichromis, Placidochromis, Nyassachromis, Sciaenochromis, Protomelas taeniolatus, Copadichromis borleyi, Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan.
edit: the last three ideas courtesy of A201 "Thanks"
Along with 5 Clown loaches and 3 SAE.

Thoughts/Concerns?
 

A201

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I think all planned cichlids will mix really well. I'll throw out a few of my very favorite non aggressive Haps for consideration.
- Red Empress (most beautiful)
- Steveni Tiawan Reef (durable & colorful.
- Borleyi (bigger Hap, red body)
 
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jmaldo

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"Thanks" for the additional ideas A201 :emoji_thumbsup:

86 ssinit said:
Will you be breeding them?
Right now want to concentrate on providing the best environment for them, main reason I am choosing only males. Maybe in the future?
 
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jmaldo

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:emoji_thumbsup:Beautiful!
I looked them up before I added them to the list. I am partial to any "Blue". I can not believe I forgot about the "Red Empress"

Thanks, again
 

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One of my favorite haps I've kept/breed, electric blue iceberg(Sciaenochromis), I have moved on to other fish now but can't recommend these enough.
P4240023.JPG
 
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jmaldo

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Just started rinsing some of the rocks I purchased. I am noticing some really rough/jagged/sharp spots. Kind of concerned for the fish, should I sand these areas?

Please advise.
 

A201

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If possible, post some pics. My limestone hardscape originally had a sand paper texture, but has significantly improved once coated with algae.
 
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jmaldo

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Ok, Thanks, After I removed them from the tank for pics. And to add the cichlid sand and mixed it up with the black sand. Just placed them back in with no real scaping intentions. Here is a pic, (pardon the cloudy water/glass).
What do you think?
Rock driftwood pile.jpg
 

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Hmm... it's a start. What was the intended stocking again?
 
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jmaldo

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All males, 1 of each not the whole list of course.

Aulonocara
maylandi, multicolor, maulana, rubescens, baenschi, startgranti, nyassae, kandeensis, jacobfreibergi
Haplochromis
Copadichromis, Placidochromis, Nyassachromis, Sciaenochromis, Protomelas taeniolatus, Copadichromis borleyi, Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan.
edit: the last three ideas courtesy of A201 "Thanks"
Along with 5 Clown loaches and 3 SAE.

Thoughts/Concerns?
 

MacZ

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I would scratch the loaches, honestly. My neighbour has 4 (17-24cm) and an SAE in his 120cm/350 liter (4feet/90gallon) tank and they do obviously not have enough room. The SAE also zips from end to end far too fast. One can see both species need more room. He's trying to rehome them for months now.

Otherwise better don't go for more than 10 cichlids and with the aulonocara don't expect to find more than maybe three that you can surely attribute to a certain species.

Hmm... what else... oh, MORE ROCKS! :D Triple or quadruple the amount.
 

A201

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Instead of Clown Loaches, YoYo's might be a better choice. Not nearly as big as clowns & tough enough to coexist with the cichlids.
 
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jmaldo

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Really, no Clowns? They are around 3", I was hoping they would be "Ok". I understand they are not from the area. But during research they were mentioned quite often as compatible and kept with the Africans?

On the rock scape. Should I build a corner or center higher?
Plan on attaching some Anubias to the branches.

Just tested the water.
Temp - 78'
pH - 7.8 - 8
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5
GH - 125
KH - 196
TDS - 212

What do you think?
 

A201

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Clown Loaches are slow growers & chances are they will be fine for quite a while in the 55 g.
If I'm not mistaken, Coral Bandit has kept a good sized group of CL's in his 180 g. for many years. No giants yet.
Since your planned community will consist mostly of Peacocks & Haps, really no need for an XL elevated hardscape. Allow plenty of swimming room above and around the rocks.
Mbuna would require a much larger reef.
 
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jmaldo

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Ok, Thanks!
I got them from coralbandit
"Great" specimens..
Little fat cigars. I am planning on them to be the first inhabitants along with some juvenile EBAs until I get the Africans.
The SAEs will be a no go.
 

DK314

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I heard that driftwood would lower ph? Would that be an issue for africans?
 

MacZ

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DK314 said:
I heard that driftwood would lower ph? Would that be an issue for africans?
Only under certain conditions (i.e. low hardness) otherwiese the pH wouldn't drop.
And please open a new thread for that question or use the search. ;)
 

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Jmaldo,

I suggest you check out the Q2 2019 issue of , it has a section on keeping an all male peacock/hap tank - I am not familiar with Africans so I don't know if you are keeping peacocks or haps- but maybe it will provide some helpful tips for your tank !

Tank looks great !
 
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jmaldo

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FinalFins
:emoji_thumbsup: "Thank You"
Just read the section, some "Good" info especially about the lighting.
Question for the keepers: What is your lighting/photo period schedule?
Also, the suggestion to have another smaller tank setup/ready with the same parameters just in case, need to move a fish if there are any problems (aggression, sickness,etc.). Not really a QT but a time-out tank.
I plan on taking it slow, starting with a 55g and if all goes well, eventually will upsize to a 125g.

:emoji_fingers_crossed:
 
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jmaldo

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DK314 said:
I heard that driftwood would lower ph? Would that be an issue for africans?
:emoji_thumbsup:Thanks, I was going to ask the same question.
Since it is recommended to have a higher pH for Africans.
My tap water normally has a pH of 7.8 and the tank water after a few days is 8.2 -8.4 and slowly rising. So it appears right now the additional cichlid sand and rocks are raising the pH even with the driftwood. An additional question. Previous to this build I never dealt with different/raising pH for my other fish.
When doing a water change will that much of pH change be "Ok" for the fish?
 

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jmaldo said:
:emoji_thumbsup:Thanks, I was going to ask the same question.
Since it is recommended to have a higher pH for Africans.
My tap water normally has a pH of 7.8 and the tank water after a few days is 8.2 -8.4 and slowly rising. So it appears right now the additional cichlid sand and rocks are raising the pH even with the driftwood. An additional question. Previous to this build I never dealt with different/raising pH for my other fish.
When doing a water change will that much of pH change be "Ok" for the fish?
You may want to aerate your water for 24 hours before using it for a water change. This should bring the pH closer to what you have in the tank
 

A201

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Driftwood won't adversely affect an African Cichlid community, especially if the water is buffered with limestone or commercially available African Cichlid specific substrate.
IMO, Manzanita is the best wood for an African tank. It doesn't stain the water.
 
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jmaldo

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Here it is, rearranged some rocks, added 4 Anubias, secured with cable ties. Still a few weeks from stocking with the Aficans. Planning on temporarily adding some EBA in a few days.

55g 8212020.jpg


Temp - 78'
pH - 8-8.2
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5
GH - 125
KH - 196
TDS - 276

What do you think?
 

A201

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I like it. Very nice placement of decor, allowing for plenty of swimming space.
 
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jmaldo

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It's been two days slowly added approx. 18 juvenile EBA. Looking at the pic really only see a few, most of them are swimming around the rocks. I did notice, now and then they do school together and follow the leader. It's a sight to behold. They also enjoy swimming in the current when the powerhead cycles on. Still a few weeks until I start adding the Peacocks and Haps and of course remove the EBA.

55g  8232020.jpg
 
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jmaldo

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Looking for some advise. I suppose I know the answer but...
The fish club I belong to is having a swap meet in 2 weeks. See list below of some available fish. Most are juveniles, unsexed. Yay or Nay, as a start or should I just stay with my original plan of all male adults.

· Electric Yellow Labidochromis 1” $3
· Sciaenochromis Fryeri “Iceburg” (Nice German Strain) 1” $3.
· Aulonocara Peacock O.B. 1” $3.
· Aulonocara Sp. Strawberry Peacock 1.5”-2.5” $4.
· Haplochromis Obliquidens 3/4”. . . . 50¢
· Cynotilapia Afra Cobue 3/4” $3.00
Otter Point Jake Peacock (Aulonocara jacobfreibergi) 1"

Edit: Strike-throughs per MacZ
 

MacZ

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Scratch the Yellow Labs. They tend to be of bad health generally and introduce a lot of stuff to a tank you don't want.
Cynotilapia are classic Mbuna and basically out if you still want a Peacock/Hap-Tank. Also one of those can keep a whole tank of peacocks under it's thumb.
 

A201

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IMO, The Zebra Obliquidens would be a good choice. I have one adult female & one "hopefully" baby male. They don't grow too big & are very durable.
It's pretty easy to identify gender of juvenile Fryeri, Dragon bloods & OB's. Even as babies, the males of those species are usually more vibrant & active. The juvenile Otter Point Peacock will likely be more difficult. Look for any indication of blue on the face or a pointed analfin. The breeder will possibly be able to help.
20200828_122804.jpg
 

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