About Yourself:I got into the hobby about 6 years ago when I started with mbuna. I now have a a peacock n hap tank still all juveniles growing them out to have sum amazing colour. I'm a slater and tiler by day fish tank King by night .
Advice: 20 - 30 % water changes every other week. Water change + Gravel Vac tank once a month. When keeping the semi aggressive and aggressive fish I usually spread out "Cichlid Gold" pellets on one side for the larger fish (Jack Dempsey and Oscar) while the juvenile Blood Parrot eats pellet on the opposite side of tank.
I do use live plants in my tank which I don't recommend, for they rip them out my gravel one or two times a week. I only keep them my tank because they look good.
I usually have problems with a high Ph (7.6 - 7.8), but the logs I keep in the tank and extra aeration brings it down.
When decorating your tank, be sure to leave a plentiful amount of swimming room, but at the same time have unique hiding places for fish. My cichlids are territorial and in my aquarium I keep places where each of them can sleep at night without being discovered.
Some fish don't like a lot of light! My cichlids seem more active when my light is very dim. Also, don't keep your lights on for too long. LEDs are great for being able to not raise temperature dramatically in your aquarium but they still promote algae growth. Logs and walls of aquarium will fill up with algae. I do have two small plecostomeses to help, but that doesn't ge the job done. Best thing to do is when it really shows take a toothbrush and scrape it off the walls and decorations. Then scoop up floating algae with your net.
This doesn't 100% work in all areas, but I highly recommend getting your fish and help from local pet stores instead of businesses such as Petco and Petsmart. These places are fine for getting equipment for smaller aquariums, but local places usually can help you create a safer habitat for your fish.
Rated #15: Freshwater Fish Stocking In 150 Gallons Tank
Advice:Please do research before you start what fish can go together how big they will grow and is your tank big enough some fish will not eat flake so they might eat bloodworm or pellets just do a little research before buying lots of different fish and make sure temperature is correct.
Description:My dragon goby
Rated #17: Freshwater Fish Stocking In 30 Gallons Tank
Advice:After 20 years of doing this, I've learned that if you ask 100 people what the best way of doing something is (filtration, lighting, water chemistry, ect) you'll get 100 different answers...and they might all be correct
Plan your project before you start, have a vision for your tank and be patient. The final product might take months to achieve. Mistakes can be expensive, but don't give up. Read, read, and read about the fish you want to keep and their natural biotope. Cichlid tanks can, and probably should, be "over-populated" to dilute their natural aggression. Everyone gets chased equally.
IMHO, frequent water changes, particularly in a large aquarium, are overrated once a clean tank is established. I only add water to top off the tank, and rarely do significant water changes. My water chemistry stays stable with no detectable nitrates and my fish are breeding.
Filtration is the key, but whether you use biologic, chemical, mechanical, or whatever combination thereof does not matter as long as you have enough flow to maintain a stable system.
Algae in an aquarium is an inevitability. Algae control is the name of the game. Get it to grow where you want, ie out of site, and not where you don't. Nerite snails are the best (even if you have a live planted tank--they don't eat anything but algae). In my tank, I allow a constant algae bloom in my refugium. My LED up top is excellent for fish viewing, but not so much that it fuels algae growth in my deeper tank.
Description:Breeding pair of texas cichlids
Rated #20: Freshwater Fish Stocking In 7 Gallons Tank