Need Some Advice Cichlid Tank.

mconrad762

I am trying to set up an aquarium that I can keep as natural as possible so as few chemicals or additives as possible. The aquarium is 125 gallons, and for equipment I currently have a Fluval FX4, Aqua Clear 70, and a Tetra UV sterilizer 36 watts. My water right out the tap is ph 7.6, high test ph 8.8, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm, Phosphate 1.0 ppm, KH 3 ˚, GH 2˚. After setting and being agitated by an air stone for 24 hours the ph 7.6 , high test ph 7.4, Ammonia 0.50ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm, Phosphate 0.50 ppm, KH 2 ˚, GH 2˚. I am thinking of stocking the tank with African cichlids, using Pure Water Pebbles African Cichlids substrate to bring up the GH. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Dechi

It seems like you’re at the beginning of your cycle, since Ammonia is just starting to show. Your cycle will be done when you have no more ammonia, no more nitrites and some nitrates. Don’t add any fish until your tank is cycled, and start with only a few (2-3) then very slowly add new fish when you know the tank is handling the current bioload.

Just do one of the two PH tests. Double check but I believe at 7.6 from the tap, you should use the High PH test.

Are you using bottled ammonia to cycle your tank ?
 

A201

Hardscape with limestone. Usually easy to find & cheap at a local rockyard or landscape company. Small grain, natural gravel. Quikcrete all purpose gravel, inexpensive at Lowes & Home Depot. Your tank size & filtration are awsome for an African Cichlid tank.
 

mconrad762

Ok thank you. And to clarify the above mentioned water conditions are just my tap water (my initial post). My tanks water conditions at the moment are ph 7.6, high ph 8.0, ammonia .25 ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm, phosphate .50ppm, kh 4, gh 10. I have to artificially raise my kh and gh which is what I'm trying to get away from. I have had this tank set up for about three years but switching over to different kind of fish just lost the last fish from my original set up, had that guy for 7 years and he made three different moves with me.
 

A201

I did a poor job of answering your question. You won't have to artificially adjust anything relating to PH, or water hardness, if you hardscape with Limestone. Here's a pic of my African tank. The limestone buffers the water, keeping the PH 8.2 - 8.3.
20190730_131824.jpg
 

mconrad762

Your aquarium is beautiful I hope mine looks that good. I was thinking of going to a landscaping supplies depot to get some rocks, I will look for limestone, thank you for the advice
 

A201

Thanks
That's about 150 lbs. Of limestone. I hand picked it from a couple of local rockyards. It cost 12 cents - 25 cents per lb.
Its really cheap at the rock yard. Very expensive at the fish store. Have fun building your tank. Post pics.
 

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