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100G Cichlid Tank

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Marcus Willett, Jun 15, 2005.


  1. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    As a few of you know, I had a fantastic opportunity come my way about 2 months ago. A very wealthy lady I know bought a home with an Oceanic 100 gallon reef tank with stand, canopy, sump, trickle filter...the works. She didn't want it, and basically said to me if you want it, come take it. :eek:

    So, after moving that incredibly heavy setup, and deciding what to do with my cichlids that I already had in my 55 (I was debating salt/fresh), I finally decided to just move my cichilds into a much larger home and voila:

    [​IMG]

    Now I know some malawi/mbuna purists will complain because it's not a "correct" mbuna tank...i.e., sand and rocks. I know this, I just don't care. I like the look I have now, and these same fish have had this setup (fake plants 'cause they'll eat and dig up real ones, and black gravel instead of sand) for the last 3 years and seem to be fine. Only problem is with a trickle filter, I need to stay on top of water changes to keep nitrate levels in check. Otherwise I've seen that they start to get much duller in color. Also been using regular ol' tap water :eek: for the same 3 years and it has not been a problem. Whadda ya'll think?
     
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Looks excellent!

    MY kids would ask you "Where's Nemo ?" though.
     
  3. Only

    Only

    Sep 8, 2002
    Warrensburg, MO
    Nemo wouldn't last ten seconds with those beauties! :D

    Awesome looking tank and fish!
     
  4. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yep my chichlids start to get darker if iI get lazy on the water changes. The blue ones start to turn black. though I find that the trickle filter is better for keeping nitrate levels in check that a standard canister filter. I run both normally but the trickle filter is currently out of action (leaking bulkhead, which I'll replace soon), and I'm finding I have to do water changer more often.

    If it was a reef tank previously, does it have a protien skimmer? Those are designed to help keep nitrates in check, though I don't have one and I'm not planning on getting one either. I enjoy doing water changes and looking after the little buggars!
     
  5. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Actually yes. I hadn't thought of using it, but I guess I could...hmmm. Although having to to water changes makes me clean the tank more often as well. This setup is so low-maintenance, it's easy to get lazy.
     
  6. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    By all means use it. A protein skimmer helps with nitrates, but does not eliminate them. You will still need to do water changes.
     
  7. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I also like cichlids, I have a 55g, and a 30G right now. Saving for a 225g....
     
  8. Nice tank! I have a 75g with african AND S. americans in it. I don't care what people think about mixing them. The tank is well balanced aggression-wise and the fish stay happy. Nice tank! That's a sweet score!
     
  9. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Wait, so there are even purist snobs among fish collectors?
     
  10. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    REALLY? I had thought about that for a while, but didn't think it feasible. What kinda South Americans? Not anything like Rams? That would be cool as I've always really liked Ram cichilds.

    Oh yeah. A lot of the cichlid forums have "show your tank" type pages. Guys get ripped on how it's not a "real" mbuna tank, or the rock type/size is not right...blah, blah.
     
  11. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've got a Olive Green Sevrum in with my Africans and there's no problem. I do however have an Africanl Marble peacock in a seperate tank right now because he was way too agressive for the other Africans. As you say, it's all about matching agression levels.

    That said, agressive fish and predatory fish aren't the same thing. How many times have I seen people put an Oscar in a tank with the rationale that if it's small enough, it can't get too nasty with the others. The poor thing spends a whole day getting hammered by the bigger fish and all of a sudden, it realises it's hungry and so kills one of them........
     

  12. The secret is to start out all of the species as little ones or close to it and then they grow up together... or so it would seem. Every time the guy at the store asks me what I'm feeding I get a look of distaste like I'm an idiot. I've had the tank for over 3 years and not one aggression related death. In fact I've only lost 2 fish.

    I have:

    A red zebra, a Kenji, a Manganuese(jaguar), 2 dempsies, a green terror, firemouth, one of the blue guys with the vertical stripes from the original post and a texas cichlid. The two fish I lost were jewels. What is the blue guy with vertical black stripes? I can't seem to figure that out. I also have a twig catfish, a banjo catfish, a bumblebee catfish, and a 14" tiger pleco.

    On a related note, next time I start a tank it will be all African as my S. Americans are just getting so big and I would rather have 20 fish in the tank than 10!
     
  13. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    that would be a Saulosi, Pseudotropheus sp. "taiwan" and the yellow is probably the female.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    The fish in my pic that I'm assuming you're talking about (smaller, blue with vertical bars) is a Pseudotropheus Demasoni. There are 3 in the tank. They are dwarf cichlids that only get to about 3 inches or so.
     
  15. Mike McGibney

    Mike McGibney Not impossible ... Inevitable

    Apr 13, 2005
    Essex, UK.
    Nice tank! I used to have a couple of kribs that I bred - was so satisfying watching them bring up the young. Good times.
     
  16. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    nice tank!!!

    :)
     
  17. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Well, I'm a neotropical cichilid guy myself (i agree with wayne libel that rift lake cichlids are pretty but stupid).

    anyhow, the tank looks cool. I have a 125, and keep lusting after a 240.

    aas far as nitrates go, H2O changes are the way to go. If you have just malwi cichlids, you can do huge water changes, tanganikian cichlids don't like much over 20%. I'm sure you know enough about the nitrogen cycle to realize that the nitrosonomas and nitrobacter bacteria will convert ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate, but nitrate just stays in the tank.

    IF your water is hard enough i'd suggest using the protein skimmer. You'll find out if the water is hard enough to support the skimmer action. The skimmer won't remove nitrates, but it will remove DOC (dissolved organic carbons) so by removing these before they end up being converted to nitrates you'll keep the levels down, and other DOC such as hormones end up getting removed as well.

    In any event, water changes are the single most important thing you can do for your fish (i hope your tap water is chlorine/chloramine free or you're using an water conditioner to remove chlorine!!). I do 75% water changes weekly on my cichlid tanks and the fish do phenomenally well.
     
  18. tifa

    tifa Padawan Bassist

    Mar 8, 2005
    Blackburn, UK
    Nice set up! Really nice.

    We have a couple of tanks at home - one is taken up with a load of baby convict cichlids at the minute (Hell, do those things breed like crazy!) :D In fact, they have just laid another batch of eggs :rollno:

    The other tank has a variety of cichilds from both S. America and Africa, including a big Blue Acara, the boss man! :)

    We arent too bothered about mixing them either - as long as their natures are compatible, its cool. Once you know your fish, you know who they will like and who's gonna cause trouble....

    Malawis looks great though, really colourful :) I love the look of it Marcus!
     
  19. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    LOL...Yep. I was one. I had a strictly correct South American tank at one point!
     
  20. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I always have 100L (25gallons) on water in plastic containers ready to go, enough for a 50% water change at ANY time. I add water conditioner and it'll often sit there for a week (or two if I'm lazy / busy) before it goes anywhere near my fish tank.

    Now if that seems excessive, consider this. Every now and then I get a string of phone calls, one after the other, from desperate fish owners because their fish are dying. All of them put water straight from the tap into their tanks. All it takes is for something to be not 100% at the water treatment plant and everyone's fish start dying all at once. Meanwhile my fish have no problems, even a week later when I eventually use that same water in my tank, the conditioner and the idle time mean it's perfecty safe.