Advice:Have PATIENCE! Listen to the advice and wisdom freely provided by other amateur hobbyists and experts alike. Remember they are living creatures and treat them with the respect and hospitality they deserve.
Description:This in my 72-gallon bow-front Lake Malawi African Cichlid aquarium. Re-planed every few months to offset what they eat and what can't survive the high pH. It's been up and running for about 2.5 years. Kept as a hobby. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great day!
About Yourself:I have 7 tanks set up all around the house. 135gal, 55gal, two 29gal, 20gal, and two 10gal. I use the smaller tanks for breeding. I myself would rather set and watch my fish than watch tv.
Fish Kept:All afican cichlids. livinstonii, rostratus, venustus, (electric yellow,blue), lombardoi, powder blues, (cobalt, pearl, Red,ice blue redtop zebras) orange blossom peacocks and many many more.
Corals/Plants:Can't keep live plants with these guys do to the fact that live plants are in half of their diets. They will eat them. So I have been forced to use plastic plants.
About Yourself:I'm a fish addict - I need help! LOL =D
Fish Kept:Mbuna in 1 tank. Haps/Peacocks in another:
8 x Melanochromis Maingano
10 x Pseudotropheus estherae (red zebra)
7 x Labidochromis Caeruleus
4 x Pseudotropheus Saulosi
3 x Cynotilapia pulpican
4 x Cynotilapia Afra Cobue
6 x Maylandia Callainos (blue cobalt)
6 x Pseudotropheus Acei (yellow tail)
6 x Maylandia Lombardoi
8 x Metriaclima greshakei
7 x Labidochromis sp. "Hongi"
3x Sc Fryeri Electric Blue
2x Copadochromis Borleyi Red Fin Kadanga
2x Otopharynx Tetraspilus
2x Protomelas Taeniolatus Taiwan Reef
2x Oto Lithobates Sulphur Crest
2x Protomelas Sp Tanzania
2x Aulonocara Kandeensis 'Blue Orchid'
1 x Aulonocara "German Red"
2 x Aulonocara sp. "Stuartgranti Maleri"
1 x Aulonocara jacobfreibergi "Eureka Red"
1 x Aulonocara (Blue - unknown what specie)
4 x Aulonocara Tangerine ("Fire Fish")
1 x Aulonocara rubescens "Albino"
1 x Aulonocara jacobfreibergi
1 x Aulonocara koningsi
1 x Aulonocara Stuartgranti "Monkey Bay"
4 x Cyrtocara moori
2 x Nimbochromis Venustus
2 x Protomelas Taeniolatus Red Empress
3 x Sciaenochromis fryeri
Advice:Take your time - there is no rush. Study as much as you can on your fish. Not ALL fish can go together. Get the biggest tank you can! Good planning is all worth it in the end. I've had reef, planted and all things in between, cichlids have been the best I've kept.
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.