Newbie trying to plan a tank ahead of time

Deavister

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Hello Guys,
I am hoping I can get some direction from you. I want to jump into the beautiful colors the freshwater world holds in Cichlids.

Let me state my plan.

Pick out the fish I want first then get a tank and setup that fits my list.
Do a fishless cycle and introduce them all as juveniles together.
Keep the selection to fish between 4-6" ( it seems most of them are around that size and I would like to get as nice a variety as possible)
Going with African because of the colors and size.(probably Lake Malawi)
Probably 1 Pleco?(not sure of species yet)
I am attracted to the yellows and blues the most.
I am going to go to all my LFS to see what they carry and try to plan around that. Is there a place to order online if I have to that can be trusted to deliver what I order healthy? If there is that could expand my options. Lastly is there any I should avoid for other reasons such as being taking from the wild vs farm raised?

I will research all the species I select and ask your advice ahead of time but is there anything else I may be missing at this point I should be considering?

Thanks for the advice ahead of time. I want to do this right on the first try.
 

Disc61

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Africans are a great choice. the Lake MalawI Mbunas are very colorful and sound like they fit your likes.
if you go with Mbunas, stay with Mbunas only. at least a 55 gl tank.
use the 1male - 3 female ratio. and lots and lots of rocks....
 

claudicles

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It sounds like you are going mbuna in which case getting your rock work right is pretty important. The more the better and well stacked and secure. It will take a while to plan and execute, even before you start cycling. Most rcommend a 55 g minumum but if you go bigger it is better. I have a 125 and it gives me room for fry.
 

claudicles

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Well the thread has gone pretty quiet so if you have any specific questions then now might be a good time to ask them. There are plenty of people here with lots of experience ( I don't count myself in that. I am a mbuna newbie). The thing that took me the most time was working out a good compatible stock list from species available locally. Most recommend stocking a mbuna tank all at once as the fish are territorial and if you introduce fish later it can cause problems.
If you are looking for aquascaping advice there are tons of amazing tanks in the forum here:

 
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Deavister

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yea thanks I am that stage now. Picking a list from local sources. The most fustrating is the tanks of misc cichlid. I have been going with pics printed out from the net. lol Once I know what is available I will research them all and add them all at once to a established tank set up already so It will be a while before I take the plunge.
 

ppate1977

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I would be glad to help you and give you any advice I can. I keep mbuna cichlids and have for a while. I've kept johanni, labs, apistos, KenyI and haps to name a few. Once you find out what you are most interested in, it becomes easier to stock around. Good luck.
 
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Deavister

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This project has been postponed because I just got a big tank I am doing first.



Thanks for the advice and I won't forget it. Your responses have not been wasted.
 

navyscuba

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Hello as mentioned before rocks and if you want the fish color to pop really good use black as background along with white sand or crushed coral. Rocks I recommend going to a landscaping place and get some rocks there. Solid rocks are best. If you like black substrate I just used Black diamond blasting material is sold at trator supply or Northern tool supply in 50lbs for $7.99 is easy to clean and fish safe. Any questions check my pics or PM me.
 

Aj17

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I would recommend the Johanni. The male is a stunning dark blue with lighter blue, horizontal stripes and the female is a dark yellow. Almost like 2 different species!
Good luck with your tank!
 

navyscuba

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I would avoid wild type since they will be costly and when you get farm raised just make sure of there feedback. I just launched my site today and will be visiting some farms on Friday. If you want some specific fish I can check for you.
 

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