Number of votes: 145
Quote: This is the last tank I'll ever have. Until the next one.
Fish Kept: Frontosa Cichlid, Various peacocks, Electric Yellow Mbuna Cichlid, Yellow Lab Cichlid, Blue Johanni, Albino Socolofii, Acei Cichlid, Bumblebee Cichlid, Blue Dolphin Cichlid, Auratus Cichlid, Texas Cichlid, Green Terror, Kenyi Cichlid, Pseudotropheus Elongatus Cichlid, Compressiceps Cichlid, Red Zebra Cichlid, Venastus Cichlid, Julidochromis Regani Cichlid
Corals/Plants Kept: Crushed coral substrate. Artificial plants.
Tank Size: 150
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: Mixed African cichlid tank