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I'm Dan and I just recently adopted 3 African Cichlids from the previous owners of our new house. I'm here cause learning about them just from books and the internet is overwhelming and I want to make sure these guys stay healthy. I already posted over in the Cichlid section cause I had a question about one of my fish not looking so hot.
 

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fishboydanny
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hey right back to you!!! my name is Daniel (most call me Danny), and I have a 120 gal. african cichlid community! my first tip is to buy a buffer called Malawi/Victoria Buffer by Seachem, and just follow the directions on the bottle. the other thing you should buy is also made by Seachem; it is called Cichlid Lake Salt. these two things make the water chemestry match what they like the most; high PH being the main factor. How big is your tank? what lake did they come from? What species are they? Knowing these things about your fish will speed up the process of research immensely. hope I helped!!!
 

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Welcome, you come to right place.... so far Danny gave you some good advise. You need to find out about the fish before you can provide for them...... I was wonder was it like get a plasma TV for buy the house type thing lol..... Most likely a built in unit.... as your learning about the fish you should learn about your equipment as will, in the way what to change when to change it how much to change. As will as proper water change process how much how often. Poor water maintence will give you alot of headaches.... If a good liquid (drops) test kit came with the system than look to make sure it not out dated on the bottles, if it is get a new kit. If paper dip strips came with it toss them oput and get a good liquid test kit for testing the water perams. You can find this stuff cheaper online stores like Big Al's, Pet Solutions, Doctor Foster and Smith. Look around your neighbor hood and see it you find a good local fish store. Not a chain stores, generally the people there do know alot about fish keeping, not all you will find some people who do know. The information you can get from a good mom amd pop aquarium store is so valuable that sometimea it worth pay twice the cost for a bulb.
 

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Thanks for the welcome and I'm going to be on here a lot until I head back to college and hand the care of it over to my sister. Yes, it was a built in unit and the previous owner said that moving them would be too traumatic for them to handle. I think its about 70 gallons. As for what species they are and where they came from, I don't have a clue. The two larger ones are orange, roughly 5-6 in. long and a yellow one that is smaller, maybe 3 in long. I'll get pics up later on of the fish and the tank. I'm brand new to all of this and having to learn on the fly. Now about the water itself. We are on well water so no city chemicals added. Is this ok to add directly to the tank? And for testing, is it like testing the water in a pool? I'm going to do a google search for local aquarium places and hope something comes up. Thanks guys
 

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Just like a pool test kit, you basicly do the same thing except your testing for different things. Some where are deadly to the fish.... As far as will water your should not have any chlorines in that water so you be able to add directly to the tank. However, you should get it tested for nitrate or test it yourself when you get the kit. So please, do that water change I mentioned earlier, I have a feeling that you haven't done one in awhile and that is what making that fish seems sick to you..... As you feed the fish and they do there things in the water it get naste, full of things that can kill the fish or let the onsett of diseaseies, and that can end up be hard on you and your pooket book. Some diseaseies will kill very slowly, so it ends up be torture for the fish, IMO.

Water changes, should be done once a week and at 20% to 25% of the water, Use a Gravel Vac (a long hose that a big tube on the end) to do it. Vacume only one quarter of the gravel. Divid the the bottom of the tank (Tank Footprint) into 4 sections, remmeber waht section you vac. and rotate it weekly after four weeks you start over again. This allows the beneifical bac. coloney to stay strong, and will give you better WC ie healther fish
 

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Small update: I did the water change and..wow..that was a more involved process than I had anticipated haha. It wasn't pretty or graceful but I got the job done. Do you guys have any techniques to water changing? I'll be heading over to the aquarium store prob tomorrow as its not open today. Anyways my digital camera eludes me at this point so I just used the webcam on my laptop to snap a few pictures. The 2 orange ones came up to the glass to see me as usual, but the yellow one just chilled and I couldn't get a shot of him. Enjoy.

edit: it won't let me post pics due to post count. I'll fix that.
 

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Ok you have alot of green algea in the tank you are leaving the lights on to long 10 hours max. you can get a cleaning kit at the store that will have a glass scrapper and different red pad for cleaning the glass. For water changes you can get a kit from a company called Phyton that attachs to a falset and refill the tank. You have a big heavy lid on it so this will be the easiest for you. they cost money so you can make you own if you can find a waterbed company and buy the fill kit form them and than you go to a hardware store and get a hose as long as you need it with a fitting to make it fit, Garden hose repair kits has the same threading. Doing it this way you will need to treat the complete tank for chor. from the water source. that will make WC easier but the costs more to get eaveything you need.........(also your sister will be able to do it without lifting the buckets of water whne you got to college) talk to the LFS and see if the have any aglea gone and treat the tank with that.... take the characoal out of the tank let the filter run for a couple of day until the algea is gone, than replace the floss and charcoal in the filter. Get the water testing kit and post the readings, please this will give people a better understanding of whatshappening there.... If someone came to your house to service your tank that would be the first thing done.
 

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people actually come out to your house to clean your aquarium????? wow! thats the first time ive heard of that. but hey thats awesome. i have used the waterbed spicket thingy and it works well. its a lot better then lugging a 10 gallon bucket 8 times to and fro.... just make sure you de-clor the tank. man i learn something new everyday! you guys are great!
 

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I live in a major city, doesn't hurt that we have alot of wealthy people here either. but yes alot of Mom and Pop fish store offer a service, alot like a pool service. they come and do the maintence on your tank and keep I eye on you livestock and equipment. You still have to feed them and watxh them but they pretty much do all the work. SW tank are big for this but I know of a few FW tank owners.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The pictures are kind of deceptive. Behind the glass on the far side, the wall is painted like a reef. I'm not sure if that is what you are referring to. But I will start turning the lights off at night and get the algae that's all over the rocks on the bottom cleared up. Thanks guys for helping me with all of this. I'll be back here with more questions and the readings from the test kit soon.
 

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Hi Dan. Welcome to the forum. Nice to have you here with us. Very nice looking aquarium you have there.
 
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