Who switched from community fish to cichlids ? - Page 3

KribensisLover1

Member
Tho whoever suggest Snow Whites--I'll be getting my next tank with a black background and those will look fab!
 
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Dechi

Member
Done ! I’m fully overstocked now ! I got what I said in my previous comment except I got 4 cynotilapia sp. Lion instead of 3.

I also put back the yellow lab that was beaten up as he was completely cured and with so many fish and rocks, I think he’ll be okay.

I’ll let them settle a bit and then I’ll post a video.

List of my fish :
Labidochromis caeruleus : 4
Pseudotropheus demasoni : 4
Pseudotropheus acei Ngara : 3
Labeotropheus fuelleborni OB : 3
Cynotilapia sp. lion (Mara rock) : 4
Astatotilapia Latifasciata (Lake Victoria) : 4
Total : 22 fish

Let’s hope they form a nice community and don’t try to kill each other, lol !
 
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Dechi

Member
I added the fish and more rocks but I’m not satisfied with the rock scape. It will have to do for now as I am not moving those rocks anymore.

Here’s the fish this morning :

 

KribensisLover1

Member
Dechi said:
I added the fish and more rocks but I’m not satisfied with the rock scape. It will have to do for now as I am not moving those rocks anymore.

Here’s the fish this morning :

AWESOME. where did you get the rocks? AND how large was tank prior? This is really making me realize what a huge diff a tank size makes. I say this Bc my largest is a 40 breeder so I don't have experience yet with bigger tanks.
 
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Dechi

Member
KribensisLover1 said:
AWESOME. where did you get the rocks? AND how large was tank prior? This is really making me realize what a huge diff a tank size makes. I say this Bc my largest is a 40 breeder so I don't have experience yet with bigger tanks.
Thank you ! I buy my fish and most supplies at a cichlid store in my area. I’m very lucky to have them as they breed and also have high quality fish from top notch suppliers.

Before I had a 45 gallons bowfront, 36 inches long. I decided to rehome my community fish and go with Mbunas in last october/november. When I got the fish, I quickly realized my tank would not be large enough for cichlids. There was a lot of fighting, even though I chose the most peaceful species, supposedly.

Seriously, a 75 gallons is one of the easiest tanks you can have. Lots of stability because of good volume, enough space for your fish if you choose wisely and not too big that maintenance becomes a hassle.

This is my second 75 gallons and I love this size. The other one I had for 12 years and had very little problems or disease in my tank.
 

KribensisLover1

Member
Dechi said:
Thank you ! I buy my fish and most supplies at a cichlid store in my area. I’m very lucky to have them as they breed and also have high quality fish from top notch suppliers.

Before I had a 45 gallons bowfront, 36 inches long. I decided to rehome my community fish and go with Mbunas in last october/november. When I got the fish, I quickly realized my tank would not be large enough for cichlids. There was a lot of fighting, even though I chose the most peaceful species, supposedly.

Seriously, a 75 gallons is one of the easiest tanks you can have. Lots of stability because of good volume, enough space for your fish if you choose wisely and not too big that maintenance becomes a hassle.

This is my second 75 gallons and I love this size. The other one I had for 12 years and had very little problems or disease in my tank.
That's so cool! I'm happy for you that you have success now and are able to add fish. What a diff tank size makes!
 
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Dechi

Member
Update : since adding the 11 fish ten days ago I’ve been having a little ammonia spike. I knew it was very possible but decided to deal with that instead of having to go back to the store three times (1 hour to get there and back) and risk not having the male to female ratio I wanted or having the LFS running out of the species I wanted.

So for 10 days now I’ve been doing almost daily water changes. There isn’t much ammonia, it’s below 0.25 ppm but at a higher PH of 8.2 it is more toxic.

I was expecting a 3-4 days spike, not 10+ days. Hopefully it’s over soon.
 
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Dechi

Member
I’m still have an ammonia spike. It seems to be even increasing a little bit, maybe 0.35 ppm so I’m doing lots of water changes.

I knew cichlids bred easily, but I wasn’t expecting this. This is ridiculous, just about every female in the tank looks like they’re holding ! I won’t have room for all these fries so I’m hoping nature will take its course. There are so many littles cracks in the rocks, I will be surprised if none survive though.

Then in a few months I’ll have to remove all the rock scape and fetch the little ones to rehome them, and think about what I want to do with the rest of the fish. Maybe an all male tank if I have to. My hope is to keep my stock as it is though.

This is quite an adventure...
 
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Dechi

Member
I’m still having a little bit of ammonia, 0.25 ppm or less. It’s been three weeks today since the addition of the 11 fish. I figure it will take 1-2 weeks more to get rid of it.

There is no nitrite spike, it’s always 0. And nitrates have always been about 3-4 ppm. The fish are fed twice a day, every day so this is kind of a mystery. Why are nitrates so low ? I’m not complaining though, I’m really happy about that.

I’ve lowered the temp from 27C to 25C and the fish look calmer. Or it could be because they have acclimated now, or a mix of both.

They are all doing well. Except one labidochromis caeruleus male. He has been harassed by the dominant yellow lab since the beginning. He is very thin and he breathes fast. Since the move to the 75 gallons, he has been left alone a lot more, but he doesn’t eat enough and isn’t getting better. I’ve tried to catch him but with so many rocks, it’s almost impossible to do. I’m really hesitant to remove the rocks because it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe I’ll try a homemade fish trap.

Most of my females are holding and I think one both acei females have given birth. I saw one, maybe both, come up to eat today. I have no idea if there are any fries or what happened to them if they exist. There are so many cracks in the rocks, it they find food they will survive. I’m letting nature take it’s course, hoping the tank won’t be flooded with juvies...
 

KribensisLover1

Member
Dechi said:
I’m still having a little bit of ammonia, 0.25 ppm or less. It’s been three weeks today since the addition of the 11 fish. I figure it will take 1-2 weeks more to get rid of it.

There is no nitrite spike, it’s always 0. And nitrates have always been about 3-4 ppm. The fish are fed twice a day, every day so this is kind of a mystery. Why are nitrates so low ? I’m not complaining though, I’m really happy about that.

I’ve lowered the temp from 27C to 25C and the fish look calmer. Or it could be because they have acclimated now, or a mix of both.

They are all doing well. Except one labidochromis caeruleus male. He has been harassed by the dominant yellow lab since the beginning. He is very thin and he breathes fast. Since the move to the 75 gallons, he has been left alone a lot more, but he doesn’t eat enough and isn’t getting better. I’ve tried to catch him but with so many rocks, it’s almost impossible to do. I’m really hesitant to remove the rocks because it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe I’ll try a homemade fish trap.

Most of my females are holding and I think one both acei females have given birth. I saw one, maybe both, come up to eat today. I have no idea if there are any fries or what happened to them if they exist. There are so many cracks in the rocks, it they find food they will survive. I’m letting nature take it’s course, hoping the tank won’t be flooded with juvies...
So quick question--I finally removed my large lab from a 40 breeder (which actually is 44 gallons) that houses Kribs and angels and red eye tetras. The lab seemed happy in there but was not with her own kind. I set my 26 gallon flatback up with 4 smaller labs (and 18 tiny pristella tetras) and have now added the larger lab. How will I know if she's happy in there? I know you had problems and could tell a huge diff with a larger tank but perhaps that was just aggression. That might happen in this smaller tank (she was aggressive in the 40 but didn't nip) but I just moved her yesterday so can't tell yet how she will behave with the smaller labs. Is there a way to tell what tank the large lab is happier in? With her own kind in smaller tank (she used to live in this smaller tank for a long time until a tropheous Duboisi almost killed her which is why she was in the 40) or in the larger as the only lab? Or will I be able to tell based on her aggression? I love her and want her to be happy! She seems to be trying to meet the new labs and they're scared and swim away! Should I put the large in a breeder net so the smalls can sniff her out? I hate to do it Bc catching her was awful for her. It was tough and she was extremely stressed.
 
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Dechi

Member
KribensisLover1 said:
I just moved her yesterday so can't tell yet how she will behave with the smaller labs. Is there a way to tell what tank the large lab is happier in? With her own kind in smaller tank (she used to live in this smaller tank for a long time until a tropheous Duboisi almost killed her which is why she was in the 40) or in the larger as the only lab? Or will I be able to tell based on her aggression? I love her and want her to be happy! She seems to be trying to meet the new labs and they're scared and swim away! Should I put the large in a breeder net so the smalls can sniff her out? I hate to do it Bc catching her was awful for her. It was tough and she was extremely stressed.
As you know I’m also in the learning process but as far as I know, you can’t put bigger fish with smaller ones as the smaller ones might get killed. It depends on the size difference. I suppose on your case it’s not too much.

There is a great chance this new tank is going to be too small but if you really watch them closely and have a plan B in case it turns into a blood bath then I think it's okay to try.

Since the move really stressed her, if she’s not hurting anyone I would leave her there to settle. As she adapts and gets comfortable though make sure to watch her as she might harrass the smaller fish.

Cichlids keep us on our toes, don’t they !

As a side note, I noticed today the runt of the tank is getting better. He is swimming more and happier to eat. He seems to have gained a little bit of weight so there is hope for him.
 

KribensisLover1

Member
Dechi said:
As you know I’m also in the learning process but as far as I know, you can’t put bigger fish with smaller ones as the smaller ones might get killed. It depends on the size difference. I suppose on your case it’s not too much.

There is a great chance this new tank is going to be too small but if you really watch them closely and have a plan B in case it turns into a blood bath then I think it's okay to try.

Since the move really stressed her, if she’s not hurting anyone I would leave her there to settle. As she adapts and gets comfortable though make sure to watch her as she might harrass the smaller fish.

Cichlids keep us on our toes, don’t they !

As a side note, I noticed today the runt of the tank is getting better. He is swimming more and happier to eat. He seems to have gained a little bit of weight so there is hope for him.
That's great news! Makes me happy! Thank you. Will def keep an eye out and keep you posted'
 
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Dechi

Member
Update : after about 30 days of adding the fish, I’m still having 0.25 ppm ammonia. I’ve tested my tap water to compare with the results in the tank and I’m not crazy. The tap water comes out a deep yellow and the tank water is a slightly greenish yellow.

This is throwing me off a little. If I still see traces of ammonia in 1-2 weeks, I’ll start considering maybe I don’t have enough surface in my Fluval 407 to hold enough bacteria for all my fish. This filter has 4 big baskets though, three of them filled with biological media. That’s a lot. I also added biological media in the Marineland Maxi-jet 1200. It can hold about a handful. Not a lot, but stil.
 
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Dechi

Member
Mystery solved ! I’ve been doing research for a while, trying to make sense of this 0.25 ppm ammonia nonsense.

Seachem Prime gives false readings when used with API test kit. It’s as simple as that !

Here is from Seachem’s website, FAQ section :

Q : I tested my tap water after using Prime® and came up with an ammonia reading. Is this because of chloramine? Could you explain how this works in removing chloramine?

A: Prime® works by removing chlorine from the water and then binds with ammonia until it can be consumed by your biological filtration (chloramine minus chlorine = ammonia). The bond is not reversible and ammonia is still available for your bacteria to consume. Prime® will not halt your cycling process.

I am going to assume that you were using a liquid based reagent test kit (Nessler based, silica). Any type of reducing agent or ammonia binder (dechlorinators, etc) will give you a false positive. You can avoid this by using our kit (not affected by reducing agents) or you can wait to test, Prime® dissipates from your system within 24 hours.
 
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Dechi

Member
Update : mystery wasn’t solved and yes, Prime can give false results, but it wasn’t the problem in my case.

After 8-10 days of not adding any Prime at all and doing 2 x 33% WC, I still had 0.25 ppm of ammonia, even right after doing a WC.

I figured either the problem was in the filter, or I needed a bigger one to grow more bacteria (which was iffy because the one I have has lots of space for BB).

So I did a complete maintenance of my filter (except for biological media, which I didn’t touch) and voilà ! No more ammonia ! I compared the test with my tap water, which has 0 ammonia, and the color was 95% identical. Maybe a very slight touch of green but not enough to qualify as ammonia.

I am having diatoms and there was a lot on the sponges and everywhere in the canister filter. I suppose it was too much for the BB to deal with.

I’m hoping it won’t happen again but at least now I know what to do.

(I was doing a strict maintenance every 2-4 weeks, rinsing the sponges in alternance. This time I rinsed them all very well.)
 

RelaxingBettas

Member
My cichlids are just a pair of baby angels, but I went hard on the vals and dwarf sag, I hope they like it.
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
If you are changing the substrate, you will lose all the BB there, but you will keep the BB in your filter, which is the more important part.
What color is your old substrate? Will it clash with the argonite? I myself am a fan of white mixed with black. A dark substrate brings out the colors better in the fish, as they try to blend in with the darker bottom. If your substrate is all white, they fish may be a little paler as they try to blend in with the bottom. Also a substrate that is all white or all black shows dirt better, which is handy when cleaning, but ugly in general.
If your new substrate and your old substrate don't look good together, I would just pull it. You may lose a little BB/time growing new BB, but ugly is forever.

Keeping a little of the old water is ok, but generally the last water out of the tank is filled with decomposing gunk from the removed gravel. I think I would toss it and rely on your filter. As you are adding fish slowly, it should be fine.
Just my two cents though, maybe someone knows better.

Your plant choices sound great. The java fern and anubias are super hardy/not tasty, and the vallisneria grows naturally in Lake Malawi. As long as they are anchored well, so the cichlids can't dig them up, they should do well.
I am still hopeful I can grow a bed of vals in my new tank. We'll see how it goes
 
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Dechi

Member
Update : problem not solved. Right after a 50% water change, the ammonia is still 0.25 ppm. And it was 0.25 ppm the day before too.

It just doesn’t make sense. I wish I knew what the problem was. This is so frustrating !
 

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Dechi said:
Update : problem not solved. Right after a 50% water change, the ammonia is still 0.25 ppm. And it was 0.25 ppm the day before too.

It just doesn’t make sense. I wish I knew what the problem was. This is so frustrating !
What test kit are you using Dechi? Maybe your kit is wrong?

Right now, I am using JBL test strips to check my tank. They kept showing my pH at 6.8, despite having a ton of crushed coral in the sump. I tried a different test kit and it is reading at 8.2.
Kinda frustrating.
 
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smee82

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As far as i know all liquid tests have a +/- .5 range i try testing some water you know is ammonia free if your worried but i personally wouldnt be.
 
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Dechi

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
What test kit are you using Dechi? Maybe your kit is wrong?
I’m using API master test kit. I’ve been using this test for 20 years without any problems. It’s not the most accurate but it’s consistent.

smee82 said:
As far as i know all liquid tests have a +/- .5 range i try testing some water you know is ammonia free if your worried but i personally wouldnt be.
In my case the test was showing no ammonia at all with the same water, same house, for 18 months. I’ve also compared it to tap water more than once, and again a few days ago and there are definitely traces of ammonia in the tank water compared to tap.

I’ve opened a new thread to discuss this particular ammonia problem, if you both would care to participate.

Permanent 0.25 ppm ammonia (not a cycling post) | Aquarium Water Forum | 492251
 

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