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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-08-2007, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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What size tank do I need to purchase for these fish?

I bought a 2 gallon tank at Christmastime because I wanted to have a beta at my office. The tank came with an "undergravel filter" (turned out to be just a tube with an airstone in it that pushed stuff underneath a platic panel at the bottom). I purchased an appropriate size heater to add to the tank.

Apparently, we have bad water, and it took us awhile to figure it out. After my beta died, Lucas decided he wanted to keep the tank at home, so we bought 2 guppies to put in it. The water started getting really coudy and dirty, so we added a regular submersible filter for a 2-10 gallon tank and a cory catfish. The guppies died a few days later, but the cory was okay. We couldn't get rid of the cloudiness in the water, so we took everythink out of the tank, and temporarily housed the cory in a fish bowl (we put the heater in the fish bowl to keep him warm) and took the tank outside and thoroughly cleaned everything. Reassembled the tank. Added a treatment that is supposed to nuetralize pH, ammonia and chlorine. I also added a treatment that is supposed to help add beneficial bacteria to new tanks. The next evening (about 25-26 hours later) we put the cory back in the tank. He is still doing fine (and is actually quite active), so we decided it was safe to try fish again.

We got the cory from Wal-Mart (I was there picking up prescriptions anyways), and since he survived so well, I decided to head back there. Knowing full well that we would need to upgrade to a much larger tank asap (assuming that we got our water problems solved and they survived), I got 2 cichlids. We have talked about doing a cichlid tank for quite awhile now, just never did it. We went price shopping for aquarium set-ups yesterday and are getting ready to move them to a bigger tank. And found 2 more cichlids that are beautiful and we must have (no I didn't buy them yet. We need to upgrade to a larger tank first).

However, I have two questions:

1. Can the cory catfish be moved to a larger tank with the cichlids? I know cichlids can be territorial and aggressive. Right now, they are not bothering the cory. They both have female/juvenille colors, but I'm not sure if they are female or young males. The blue cichlid we have seems to like the sinking pellets we bought for the cory, and he/she will even eat off the pellet at the exact same time as the cory. They are getting along well for now... Do cichlids generally get along okay with cory catfish, or would we be better off keeping the cory in the 2 gallon by himself?

2. If we want to keep 4 cichlids (and the cory if it is okay to keep him in there), what size tank do we need? I know we need at least a 20 gallon. Would a 20 gal be okay, or do they need a 29 gal?

Please don't get mad at me for temporarily housing the cichlids in a 2 gallon tank. We had decided that because we were having problems with the water quality that we were only going to try one more time, so I wanted to make sure that we got the water right and the cichlids survived before spending a ton of money on a bigger set up. If we still hadn't solved our water problem and the cichlids died, we would have spent all of that money on a large tank that would never get used, kwim?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-08-2007, 03:42 PM
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1. Depends on what kinds of cichlids you want. You didn't say what kind you bought.

2. Once again, it depends on the cichlids you'd like to keep. Are they African or American? If they are African then which lake are they from? To help you I really need to know the species .

Quote:
Please don't get mad at me for temporarily housing the cichlids in a 2 gallon tank. We had decided that because we were having problems with the water quality that we were only going to try one more time, so I wanted to make sure that we got the water right and the cichlids survived before spending a ton of money on a bigger set up. If we still hadn't solved our water problem and the cichlids died, we would have spent all of that money on a large tank that would never get used, kwim?
I understand what you are thinking but if they died it might not have anything to do with your water. That 2-gallon is already over-stocked with the cory cat and ammonia could easily build up. So it's more likely they'd die from the ammonia or over-crowding rather then your water. What was wrong with your water, anyways? The pH? I can help with that .

Oh, and cory cats shouldn't live alone. They prefer to be in groups of at least three so I'd buy a couple more when you get a larger tank .




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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-08-2007, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, they are all Lake Malawi African cichlids.

As for the water, the guppies showed signs of ammonia poisoning. The water conditioner that came with the tank helped with chlorine, but not ammonia. The water conditioner that I bought is a 3 in one, it balances pH at 7.0, neutralizes chlorine and neutralizes ammonia. Reading online, I have seen that cichlids prefer higher pH, so I need to either buy the 3 in 1 that makes pH 7.5 (not in the store, I'll have to order it online) or buy some test strips and pH Up and raise it myself. I haven't had a fish tank since high school; I wish I had kept all of my old supplies.)

These are the two cichlids we have:

Maylandia lombardoi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (the blue female/juvi male in the back)
Melanochromis auratus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (but we have a female/juvi male that looks like this: Auratus Cichlid - Melanochromis auratus )

And these are the two that we would like to add:

Electric yellow cichlid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pseudotropheus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (the blue/black Pseudotropheus saulosi in the top picture).

eta: I love our Cory, so I definitely don't mind buying him a few companions. Is it okay to house them with these particular cichlids, or do they need their own tank?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-08-2007, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corgimom
Sorry, they are all Lake Malawi African cichlids.

As for the water, the guppies showed signs of ammonia poisoning. The water conditioner that came with the tank helped with chlorine, but not ammonia. The water conditioner that I bought is a 3 in one, it balances pH at 7.0, neutralizes chlorine and neutralizes ammonia. Reading online, I have seen that cichlids prefer higher pH, so I need to either buy the 3 in 1 that makes pH 7.5 (not in the store, I'll have to order it online) or buy some test strips and pH Up and raise it myself. I haven't had a fish tank since high school; I wish I had kept all of my old supplies.)

These are the two cichlids we have:

Maylandia lombardoi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (the blue female/juvi male in the back)
Melanochromis auratus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (but we have a female/juvi male that looks like this: Auratus Cichlid - Melanochromis auratus )

And these are the two that we would like to add:

Electric yellow cichlid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pseudotropheus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (the blue/black Pseudotropheus saulosi in the top picture).

eta: I love our Cory, so I definitely don't mind buying him a few companions. Is it okay to house them with these particular cichlids, or do they need their own tank?
Water doesn't usually have ammonia in it naturally...or at least not enough to cause problems. I would actually test just your plain tap water and see if it has any ammonia. If it does then your town probably uses chloromines and most water conditioners remove them . I use Prime, personally, and recommend it. Our town started adding chloromines not too long ago. Chloromines are basically a mixture of chlorine and ammonia which is why the water would show up as having ammonia. So it's not that you have "bad" water...you probably just need a different water conditioner .

Ok...as far as the species you have...

I would return the "Maylandia lombardoi". They need at least a 75-gallon aquarium and are really, really aggressive. It may kill your other fish.

I'm afraid that "Melanochromis auratus" are also pretty aggressive. You could keep on in a 29-gallon but it might harass the other fish when full grown =/. I don't know a whole lot about them, though. Maybe someone else here has kept them and can tell you more .

The other two that you are interested in getting would probably be fine...except they need a larger tank. You could probably keep the Electric Yellow in a 29-gallon but I have a feeling that if it was kept with the Bumblebee there might be fighting in that size tank. Maybe if you had plenty of rocks and hiding spots it would work out . So you could try that.

I hope someone with more African Cichlid experience can help more .

The cory cats would need their own tank since they like lower pH =/.

Oh, and for getting the water to the right pH I would recommend using more natural methods rather then chemicals...sometimes things can go wrong. They make special substrates just for cichlids and crushed coral will also raise pH. You mentioned getting test strips but those are actually not very accurate. I would get regular chemical tests .




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