Stocking a new cichlid tank

Hookednotspooked
Member
Hi Guys this is my first post so please be gentle!!
I am nearing the end of my fishless cycle
Tank is a 260 ltr bow front
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrates off the scale!!
So I plan on doing large water changes to get the nitrates down to a manageable level before adding some peacocks and or haps.
My question is do I stock gradually or introduce everyone at the same time?
 
Wouldratherwatchaquarium
Member
Hi and welcome.

Usually introducing slowly is the best way to avoid overloading your good bacteria colony and getting spikes of ammonia or nitrite.

Whith cichlids however adding just 2 or 3 is going to elevate aggression between those.

Im not an expert on cichlids, perhaps add a group of 4 or 5 at a time and moniotor water closely and aggression.
 
  • Thread Starter
Hookednotspooked
Member
Hi thanks for your reply,
this is the quandary I find myself in.
As it is a new tank I don't want to overload the bacteria colony by introducing lots of fish at the same time.
On the other hand it seems to be not the best plan to introduce them slowly either.
Maybe a middle ground approach will be best?
 
Roman96
Member
I've personally never had that much of a problem with "overloading" a new tank's bacterial colony. I wouldn't add the complete final stocking to a newly cycled tank, but with african cichlids (what I assume you mean) they are usually juveniles when I see them at the store, meaning they won't create to much waste. Although, I just commonly see Mbuna and Peacocks, not Haps.

Add 4 or 5, and like Wouldratherwatchaquarium said, watch parameters closely and do a water change when needed (which is when ammonia or nitrite gets a little to high). Having ammonia and nitrites should either not be an issue at all or only an issue for a week or two if you cycled the tank correctly.
 
  • Thread Starter
Hookednotspooked
Member
Thanks for sharing guys
Once my nitrates are under control I'll follow both your advice and introduce 4 or 5 fish to the tank before fully stocking.
Your comments have given me the confidence to take this route thank you
 
Wouldratherwatchaquarium
Member
Hope it all goes well for you
 
BigBeardDaHuZi
Member
With a 260 L tank, you will probably want to stick with the smaller haps or peacocks. Most peacocks check in around 4-6 inches. They come in a rainbow of colors too, so that is pretty nice. Some of the haps stay smaller too - like the Copadichromis Azureus (a beautiful deep blue), Copadichromis Trewavasae (Ivory head Mloto - a beautiful black with a creamy blue/white blaze running down its back) or maybe the Otopharnyx Lithobates (the Sulphur head hap - it has a vibrant yellow streak running down its back) - those all stay around 4-6 inches.
A lot of the haps get big though, up around 10 inches, which would not fit comfortably in your tank.

Like others mentioned above, it is important to add African Cichlids in groups - 5-6 at a time is usually recommended - just keep an eye on your water quality. This is especially important after you have some fish established in your tank. If you add one or two fish at a time, they may be beaten to death. Adding a group disperses the aggression.
Some rocks and caves will be appreciated, but peacocks and haps need some open swimming area. I know mine will visit the caves occasionally - and they like the structure of the boulders in my tank - but they spend most of their time swimming in the open.

What are your water parameters?

Sorry, if you know all of this already
 
  • Thread Starter
Hookednotspooked
Member
Hi thanks for info my water is
ph 7.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrate 20
I did a massive water change at the weekend to get my nitrates under control which seem to be ok at moment.
I bought 4 haps and 2 peacocks on Monday so they have been in tank 24 hrs and the parameters hadn't changed this morning.
great advice on here and I appreciate everyone's comments and advice as it takes a bit of the risk away by listening to experienced aquarists (it's an expensive hobby)
Sorry I don't know how to tag anyone's names in my replies yet, might need to sign up to a computer forum!!
 

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