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The optimum cichlid aquarium set up - pets


The groups of fishes normally referred to as Cichlids, comprise a vast group of, by and large bigger and more aggressive fishes from Africa and South and Essential America with a few species being found in Asia. They offer such a large assortment of brilliant colors, shapes and behavior that they have befit one of the most admired fishes kept by hobbyist's world wide.

Such is the diversity of species, breeding routine and feeding that it becomes basic to set up atypical groups of Cichlids in another tanks. Some of these comprise African Cichlids, American Cichlids, Dwarf Cichlids or Discus. It is commonly not compulsory that you keep these like minded fishes at once and don't mix them in general.

Selecting and Positioning Your Tank

Always try to decide on a tank with the main likely become known area and capacity as most cichlids grow quite large. Make sure you all the time have a glass cover to stop your fish jumping out.

Position your new aquarium so that you avoid as the crow flies sunlight drumming the aquarium for too long as this can cause too much algae problems.

Choosing Gravel, Decor and Locale Up

Cichlids are quite defensive and the more holes, refuges and exciting "zones" you can construct make for a much in line community.

A good opening point is to place in your tank a circumstances that can offer the pragmatism and artless location that these fish will feel very relaxed and worriless in. Check out the cichlid house range from Aquarium + Reptile Rocks Inc if you want amazing extraordinary.

Next is the exasperate we give an opinion a fine blended grate as too coarse a grate size allows uneaten food and waste to accumulate in the pockets concerning shingle away from water flow that break it down. There are quite a few varieties to desire from. Clean your annoy in small quantities in a bucket. Three or four rinses be supposed to be sufficient. Place the cleaned grate into your tank along with a diminutive water.

Next to add some more "zones" you can add cleaned rocks and jetsam and attitude them. Triangulate your garland to conceive a superior depth of field and endow with an amphitheatre where the fish can flock in a area setting. Try to slope your annoy faintly towards the rear and sides using rocks and logs to coin tiers and depth. The frivolous rocks from A+RR Inc like quartz rocks, north head ridge, barnacle, rock pool and well-cooked wood make this fun and easy to do. When you have the major paper chain in place, add a a small amount water, if this is a diminutive dirty from the exasperate draw off this dirty water out again into your bucket.

Next fill your tank. Avoid disquieting the annoy by using a plate or newspaper onto which you can absolute the water flow. Some coral sand is a good addendum to an African tank, while white Rift Lake Sand looks great for Africans also but can show up accrual badly. These aspects will be discussed added later.

Preparing your Tap Water

Next we must treat our tap water to amputate destructive chlorine and ammonia. There are more than a few foodstuffs that will amputate both, the best value is Amquel Minute water Detoxifier.

It is also de rigueur to change electrolytes like, magnesium, and potassium construction in tap water.

The electrolytic aquarium salts are critical to fishes well being. Not only endow with an anti-bacterial effect, but help fishes be the source of body slime to care for themselves from infection and build an basic osmotic barrier so they do not dehydrate. Make sure it is dissolved ahead of accumulation to your aquarium.

There are also numerous goods we can use to definite water environment for African and Discus. To assess water volume: bear in mind 10cm x 10cm x 10cm = 1 liter. So distance end to end (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm) at odds by 1000 = Amount (liters).

Biological Filter Supplementation

The Best way to get precious stone clear water is to pro-actively afford bacteria cultures as biological filter supplement. In our judgment WASTE Be in command of and CYCLE used in conjunction with one an added or HBH TERMINITE are the best way to enhance your filtration and stay ahead of the game. Ancestors using these food basically do not come across the same tribulations as citizens who take a minimalist accost (don't use a filter supplement) and end up constantly reacting to problems. These bacteria cultures help bring round all organic wastes to ammonia then auxiliary to nitrite and as a final point to nitrate. To ascertain your tanks bacteria populations can take quite a few weeks but is accelerated critically by adding up supplements. Do not overstock your new aquarium at some point in this run in period.


All good filters afford ample filter media apparent areas for the immigration of aerobic (oxygen breathing) denitrifying bacteria which break down fish waste. The better the amount of the filter and the bigger the flow rate, the superior the residents of bacteria to keep your tank clean. This is Biological filtration. All good filters ought to afford some dab as Mechanical filtration. Compound filtration is also important. We continually use ammonia remover as a safeguard. Carbon is also beneficial but Purigen is superior. It is rechargeable and will also delete log stains from your tank (That is if you did not use the Overdone wood from A+RR Inc). Bear in mind to rinse loose particles out already adding up to your filter.

Filter Types

Freshwater Dribble filters offer the most filtration for large badly stocked tanks.

External Flask filers like the PRIME, EHEIM, FLUVAL or VIA AQUA are the best of the commercially accessible filters. They offer the leading amount of media and can be concealed from view. All these brands have a down-to-earth priming classification and exceptional taps to segregate water in the tubing while the filter is cleaned.

Hang On styles like the AQUACLEAR and AQUAONE are also very good. They maybe give the best value if your financial plan does not badge an outdoor canister. Clean fill the filter box with water and turn on. Water is pumped all through the filter and gravity flows back into your tank.

Internal power-driven filters like the Precious stone , RIO , and EIHEM are admired for lesser tanks or as a derived filter for extra flow in a large tank. Internals as a rule do not interfere with top glass or hoods. These can be located under one of your frivolous rocks.

Air Operated filtration is often not enough for cichlids. We do decidedly advise air fizzy in Cichlid tanks. Be sure to use a Check Valve so that water cannot flow back into your pump if power goes off.

If you have a Cichlid Mansions or Amazon credentials from A+RR Inc you can conceal a lot of the plumbing from view which makes for a very alluring set up.

Water Changing

Although nitrate (residual waste) is fairly harmless, the levels will accumulate and develop into dodgy if accepted fractional water changes are not performed to adulterate nitrates. Cichlids are large fish that eat a lot, so nitrates accumulate quickly. PH is also pulled dangerously lower by organic waste accumulation. Therefore, no be important how good your filtration is, you still must water adjustment regularly. We counsel a 1/3 - water adjustment fortnightly to keep pH above neutral and nitrates low.

The best tool to assist you with water changes is a Lee's Grate Vacuum. They allow you to cut off the dirtiestwater from about the grate and exchange it with clean, treated tap water. This task is easier to do and a beat job done if you have insubstantial rocks and dcor. We commend you test pH and nitrate weekly to guarantee your water altering maintenance is plenty to avow this balance. PH can be maintained using PH UP, but the only easy way to delete nitrate is by water changing.

An chief tip when changing. Rinse your filter media in your old aquarium water instead than under a tap as the chlorine in tap water will kill off the precious filter bacteria breathing in the foam and other media. If you be a consequence these procedures you be supposed to never have to absolutely break your tank down to clean it out.


If you want to keep Cichlids you will need to heat them. A good guide is approximately 1 watt of heating per liter of water. A advanced wattage space heater than de rigueur is often a good abundance although for the reason that they can be used on better aquariums. Attitude your electric fire in a back bend at a 45 amount angle so that heat does not rise at once onto the thermostat. Make sure that there is good water change about the furnace to make sure that the building block is heating. Large cichlids can get quite boisterous, so a radiator guard will stop your electric fire being broken. We deem it crucial to also ensconce a thermostat to check the heater. The stick on types are the best in our estimation as the suction cup type soon do not stick and compel replacement.


Lighting is compulsory to view your fish at night time. To do this we find it advance to explain your tank from hours of daylight until bed time when colonize can more by far enjoy their tanks. Lighting left on all day will undoubtedly cause extreme algae problems. For best outcome with plants we commend high intensity full spectrum white lighting. We like to use Aquastars, Arcadia 's or Power Glo's.

The African Cichlid Tank

The African Rift lake Cichlids from Lakes Malaqi, Tanganyika and Victoria have befit a admired array of fish for associates who appeal dramatic color, size and association in their tanks. African cichlids are quite aggressive and fast heartrending and ought to be kept in tanks set up for a cooperation of African cichlids.

Natural Habitat

African Cichlids inhabit the rocky shorelines of the rift lakes of Africa . The water in these lakes is quite hard and alkaline. Large schools of fish graze algae from the rocky protrusion reefs. Amid the algae live small crustaceans which also constitute part of the diet of African cichlids.

The floor of the lakes is sandy. Countless caves fashioned concerning the boulders offer fortification to young fish and ominous females. Check out the Cichlid manor and Amazon range of backgrounds if you want practicality and a little special. Most species from Lake Malawi are mouth brooders and constitute a large fraction of the species existing in the hobby. A lot of the Tanganyikan species form duration pair bonds and guard their young, while others are also mouth brooders.

Rift Lake Water Conditioning

To re-establish the hard alkaline water necessary by these fish, shell grit or coral sand must be added to your exasperate or used exclusively for the bottom. African Rift lake sand is also appropriate popular, but can show up backlog badly. Good condition African Cichlid water conditioners like the Seachem Rift Lake Salt and Buffers are a real help in creating the right water conditions.

There are more than a few crop that will delete both chlorine and ammonia, but the best value is?. Amquel Minute water Detoxifier.

Setting up African Rift Lake Cichlids

As African cichlids come from rocky shore areas of the lakes, we advocate that difficult rockwork form the basis of your set-up given to form area's with abundant caves. The rockwork must be predominantly built up about the back and sides to leave a communal amphitheatre where all the interaction and displays take place. A+RR Inc has a large range of rocks which are exceptionally beautiful and offer adequate of hitting places. Plants are not critical to your African cooperation tank since African Cichlids, being omnivorous, will eat your plants aside from for a little such as Anubias. One choice here is to cut some holes in barnacle rock which allows the leaves to be seen but protects the base in the exasperate from the fish. Artificial plants as a substitute make a good addition.

Adding African Rift Lake Cichlids

Try to crowd your African cichlids not including challenging your filtration and water alter management. This stops those from appropriate too dominant and irritating others.

We find it best to start with small to form sizes of fishes of quite a few species in groups of four.

(4 Thrilling Blue, 4 Emotional Yellows, 4 Venustus, 4 Red Empress)

Of the Lake Malawi fishes, the most collective species are Zebras, Pindani, Lombardoi and others. Colonize often start with these species as they are cheaper and show color while still young. Many hobbyists advancement to the faintly more costly and spectacular 'Haplochromis' group, like Stimulating Blues, Red Empress and the Peacocks where only the males exhibit the most amazing color as they mature. In broad-spectrum Take Tanganyika fishes are a bit more dear and comprise some of the most sought after after species like Frontosa, "Lanprologus" and Trheus.

Feeding Africans

Feeding African Cichlids the right type of foods is very important. African Cichlids have exceptionally long intestinal tracts, like omnivores, which means that foods (meat, worms etc. ) will take a long time to digest. Inappropriate foods will rot in their stomachs causing bloating, bad health and at times death. For this basis foods with a large comparison of spirulina and vegetables are best. Our favourites, HBH VEGE or Cichlid Flakes and Pellets are perfect. Super Bits are also eagerly taken but we do not like to feed Super Bits exclusively, but moderately pooled with Spirulina based foods. Frozen bloodworm and brine shrimp are also good for most species, but meats and live blackworm are categorically no-no's.

The American Cichlid Tank

American Cichlids are better developing and slower emotive than their African cousins. They are also far more grasping and are happy with a senior protein than Africans. For these reasons we do not commend custody American and African Cichlids together. Of choice there is all the time the odd exception.

Natural Habitat

The biological habitation of the Chief and South American cichlids is quite atypical to that of Africans. Logs and kindling in all-purpose put back rocky outcrops still having a circumstances that can give safe assured retreats are important. We feel darker grate such as the Red Annoy blend suits the insightful insignia of Americans, compared to lighter substrates spawners who will form a pair bond. Spawns can be the source of hundreds of fry, the parents will try to defend and cultivate their babies instinctively. It is not uncommon for pairs of fish to spawn in the convergence tank, though it is doubtful that the parents will be able to defend babies from the hordes. Most American cichlids have also been in the hobby for a lot longer than Africans. Species like Oscars and Red Devils have be converted into household names.

Water Conditioning

American Cichlids are quite tolerant of water conditions, but a pH close to neutral and low nitrates (regular water changes) endow with a comfortable environment. Continually treat new tap water well with XXXXXX and XXXXX as with all fish.

Setting Up for American Cichlids

Use a lot of logs. Flood some rocks into the substrate and add more arrange on top. . . Do not be alarmed by too much color from new logs as this will be converted into less with consistent water changing. You could use overdone wood from A+RR Inc here as well. False plants friendly to small fissure rock will afford a broadcast of color. Of course of action you can use one of the Amazon or Cichlid manor backgrounds that will construct a stunning base for you to develop on.

Adding American Cichlids

Try to set up a large category of young fish to grow up together. That way you will have far more attuned large fish when they grow up. Our favourite species are Oscars, Red Devils, Texas , Firemouths, Severums etc. Give them a load of room to grow. Often colonize will ask, "What can I put with my large Oscar who has lived alone for a year?" if you put an added distinct fish in, there is every attempt that the new inhabitant will be killed. We advised it is beat to trade in large fish and start with a commune of less significant Americans.

Feeding Americans

American cichlids will consume a large category of foods. HBH make a range of American certain cichlid foods. Build up the size of the pellets as your young fish grow. A wide array of frozen foods are suggested in conjunction with live foods together with feeder fish. Only offer feeder fish as a treat, or else they will develop into fussy about compliant geared up foods.

Dwarf Cichlids

The most all the rage dwarf cichlids are the Apistogrammas and Microgeophagus (Rams) from South America and the Pelvicachromis (Kribensis) from the Congo River classification of Africa . These dwarf cichlids are all the rage convergence fish that may spawn in a commune tank and bring to bear parental care over their young if there is an adequate amount cover. They favor a good assorted diet of all set frozen and live foods.


Discuses are a admired group of cichlids kept by enthusiasts all over the world. Many claim Discus are the "King of Fishes". Discus are absolutely a fish that demand some experience, even if they may be kept in a area tank. The major condition to charge Discus well is good water management and the best foods. Discuses seem to metabolize abruptly and need to be fed often with high characteristic geared up and frozen foods. The best are Tetra Bits with daily frozen food like Beef Heart and Liver and Discus Dinner. Once Discus are feeding well they are competitive and hardy.

Discus are as a rule happy in low nitrate water with pH a little sharp and soft water which is very warm 29-32 Degrees Celcius. For breeding Discus, the fish need to be well conditioned on the best foods. The best range of water conditioners for Discus are the Seachem range of Discus Buffers.

The major challenge with Discus is their openness to vermin like gill flakes as well as intestinal worms and flagellates. We give advice accepted treatments for vermin with Broad-spectrum Cure or Worm-Rid, exceptionally after Discus are newly purchased or moved. Intestinal worms are best treated with Worm-Rid and flagellates with Octozin. An inexpensive, yet very good book is the Barron's Discus Fishes.

Enjoy locale up your tank and we love getting your movies of the foodstuffs from A+RR Inc (Aquarium + Reptile Rocks Inc).

Hope you found this critique informative and enjoy locale up your aquarium. If you are after a bit truly inimitable for your aquarium you be supposed to check out the range of frivolous false attribute rocks ,backgrounds and tank inserts from Aquarium + Reptile Rocks Inc. http://www. aquariumrocks. biz


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