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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2014, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

Hi all, I just set up my aquarium and have gone thru the fishless cycling and have a few questions on the cichlids that are now in. I have 3 dwarf cichlids, 2 blue rams, 2 festivums and 2 kribensis. From reading the kribs are aan African fish but the festivum, rams and dwarfs are from South America. My former tanks have been community fish in pretty heavily planted tanks. Im reading a few conflicting requirements from using now plants to using a lot of plants for cover and territory. Everyone is getting along good no real problems just seems one krib chases the other but not any of the other rams, dwarfs or festivums. Oh also all of them are about an inch long so not big totaling 9 fish.
Here are the specs before question .
75 gallon
0 amm and trites
10-20 trates
ph 7.4-7.8
rock décor with a large Malaysian driftwood in the center
Running a hob penquin 350 along w a sunsun canister and have the spray bar 1 inch below surface on the right smaller pane of glass so the spray is flowing from left to right of the viewing area. I also have co2 for the few plants at 3bps.
1. So here are some questions im curious on. I love plants. I have an anubius on the driftwood, some melon swords and amazon swords. What other plants could go in the tank to make the cichlids comfortable but not look at as food?

2. in the pic below do you guys have any opinion on rescaping?

3. Water flow..what water flow do these guys like?

Im sure ill have other questions and if I threw this in the wrong forum please let me know







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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2014, 02:42 PM
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

Without knowing what the 3 dwarf cichlids are most of this is a guess or species specific.
I have kept GBR and kribensis(both have bred for me).The GBR are a rather picky fish as far as waterquality goes but behaviorally shouldn't cause any trouble.
The Krib are not so picky about water and should also be fine.
I never kept the festivum,but I think they may get a little bigger then the other 2 I mentioned.
Without knowing what light you have I would stick with any plant that is low light or simple.I don't think any of the fish you mentioned will eat your plants.This is usaully an issue with African cichlids(from one of the three lakes) and not so much an issue till you get into bigger South American cichlids(oscars....).
Your tank looks very nice IMO!
And most of what you have doesn't rerquire super high flow so I think with the filters you are running you should be fine.
Your tank does look very nice!
If the white pipe bothers you(hard not to notice)krylon fusion(spray paint) is aquarium safe and many (I mean MANY,including reefers) use it to camo equipment.



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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2014, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

Haha yea the white pipe is in your face lol. K so I'll look and see if there are any other plants for cover. There aren't to many "caves" except for the 2 small white fake ones which they haven't even gone in. Should I move the rocks to make cave on one side and an open space on the other. Thank you on the compliment.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2014, 03:39 PM
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

The cichlids you have are not the "notorius" cavers.They will breed in terra cotta pot and the like,but as far as properly keeping them ;line of sight breaks will be fine.You are all good with your set up.Simple plants are anacharis,hornwort,java fern, java moss among the many.Most of the South american cichlids prefer soft(low pH) water,but a better guide then pH is the GH and the KH will tell you if your pH will stay stable.You want low GH and any KH over 3-5 and your pH will stay stable unless you mess with it.Don't mess with your pH!



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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2014, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

OK so its been a few days of changing water..probably 3_4 times between a couple 50-60 % and 1 90 % WC. Still nitrates are unacceptably high. Very red/ orange gauging about 80-160 ppm if not higher. With the wc's I haven't seen a drop. In one of the water changed I opened the canister filter and swished the filters in the removed tank water..still no readable change. Amm and trites are great but I can't get a handle on the nitrates. I've never had a problem in my other tanks with nitrates or with lowering them. What ate my next moves. I'm out of thoughts on getting them down

On another note regarding pH ive read on the fish I have and I've seen it should be 6.5 - 7.5. Mine is roughly 7.5 ( tested today again).
From reading on this forum I should be at a softer setting of 6.5 or so. My tap water is at 7.5. I don't have anything that tests GH or kh. I have replenish and baking soda as I've seen that can be mixed with a glass of tank water then put back in to help drip it. I have not done any of this but just curious.
I can say with pH and trates not really correct the fish seem content, their eating, swimming show no stress signs.

I know Coral said don't worry about pH but I just wanted to make sure all parameters are optimal.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2014, 12:59 PM
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

To lower your pH safely and consistently you need to mix your tap with distilled or RO/DI.I use RO/DI for breeding my apistos and GBR,but after the fry are a month old I start switching them to my tap(7.6 ph but low on kH and GH).
Test your source water for nitrates(have we been through this already?) and see if they are there anyways.
Seachem purigen will help some ,but not quickly.It is more a slow consistent product.The good news on the purigen is it rechargeable and some of mine is over 1-2 years old.



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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2014, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

Crap.. Lol. I'm sure you've said that and forgot and it never crossed my mind on grates in the tap. Off I go!!!


Edit: yup this seems its part of the problem. I can't exact the ppm but it is darker than the 20 or under ppm. Whether its 40 or 80 or whatever I can't really match it. Its not dark like 160 but it looks like a big contributor. What do u mean by rechargeable?

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

Well i just wanted to update anyone like Coralbandit that may be looking at this thread. i tested my tap water and it is in the 50-80 ppm range. So i figured it test a relatives water that lives right up the street.. same results. Then i thought.. is my test kit bad. So i tested a poland spring bottle of water and that came back with zero. Ok so now i know my kit is good.

Look up my towns water dept and they show that they tested nitrates at .9 ppm and MCL is 10mg/l which is roughly the same as ppm. So they state the nitrates at the 3 wells in town are at .9 ppm...so less than 1 part and well in acceptable limits. MMM no thats not the case at all.

SO i decided id call my water dept and sound like a complete weirdo "hey i tested the tap water for you since i have an aquarium and your not in the given specs." lol

The guy was very nice said that the way they test is let the water sit out for 72 hrs and then test nitrates and this gives then their results...

SO who lets their water sit out for 72 hrs before drinking it? Not everyone has a tank and cares about these numbers and ppl (relatives) think im a wacko but hey.. im getting 6-8x the accepted level and that is possibly toxic to even drink let alone put in a tank. Ill update as he says he is going to the lab tomorrow and will get me some answers.

Now i just need to convince the town to dig up these old pipes, install new ones, adjust the trate levels and do their job. I need to get paid for my research and testing...!!! Lol
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 04:20 PM
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

Your going to end up banging your head on the wall with the dummies in the water department IMO.They're going to tell you your test are not accurate ,they test differently.......
The purigen changes color when it is exhausted and then you soak it in a 50/50 bleach water solution for a day or more and it is good as new again.Of course after bleaching you rinse it well and then lett it soak in double dechlorinated water(bleach is chlorine).
Good luck with the people who get paid regardless of performance!



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

Haha^^^^ I may go the purigen route. How long does it usually take to drop nitrates? What is the usually ppm it will drop the water?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 05:03 PM
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

That is hard to say(for me) since I change water weekly.But if you used multiple 100ml bags i think it would help.Test may never show it,but the color change of the purigen is "proof in the pudding" for me.I keep 4 100ml bags in the sump of my 180g.I probly recharge 1 or 2 every month,but like I said I haven't bought any in almost 2 years!I really can't think of any other chemical filteration(that works) that is rechargeable.It also makes your water crystal clear which is pleasing in itself!
The nitrates in water supply is 95% proof that there is a leak somewhere and it is being drawn into the supply where the line is bad.After they dazzle you with BULL ask them to test your and your neighbors water at your source!Since the leak is after their treatment facility they won't get the same readings you do.They need to test your water NOT theirs.



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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Complete chiclid newb..need some advice

Yes that's exactly what my wife said. Have them come to the house. Hopefully this could get all sorted out. Agai...your help has been invaluable!!!
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