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Our Mbuna Tank waiting on fish (my first african cichlid tank!)
Our Mbuna Tank waiting on fish (my first african cichlid tank!)
Our Mbuna Tank waiting on fish (my first african cichlid tank!)
posted by: anonymous

Jan 28th, 2008
Views: 21167 Rated: (32 votes)

Visitor Comments

harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 09:39 am
nice rock work
angela smith » posted 2008/01/28 09:45 am  
Thank you, This is my picture I was logged on when I loaded this on (I am new to this website) and it put it on here as anoyomus. I worked all day on it yesterday!!! After collecting rocks from different areas of Norris Lake TN for 2 days and then treating the rock myself with the help of my 5 year old son finding rocks.
We used crushed coral and sand for the substrate also.
Cichlid Storm » posted 2008/01/28 09:46 am  
a couple of questions before you add fish,
1. do you have Egg Crate under the rocks? In case the rocks fall this will help them from breaking the glass.

2. Do you have the rock work stable enough? Africans like to dig, and can take the support away from the rocks making them unstable by digging under them.

3.Did you know africans dig and can overturn or topple rocks if not stacked securely? as suggested in #2, they like to dig, and can/will dig under them if they can. Most would try to place eggcrate under the rock work, stack the rocks, then fill with gravel to keep them from digging under it(the rock pile)

4. have you thought about lesser ammounts or rock, but larger pieces to create the same effect? The reason I say this is that larger pieces of Lace rock are lighter, and take up more space than your average rock, leaving you with less to remove during tank cleaning time, because having to pull all that rock out every week for a tank cleaning is going to be time consuming and a royal pain.
James Martin » posted 2008/01/28 09:54 am  
Every rock, every week? Are you joking around? Once I get my tank the way I like it. It stays like that for months, with no ill effects to my fish. A quick gravel cleaning and 25-30% water change once a week is all I do. That's crazy advice.
James Martin » posted 2008/01/28 10:03 am  
Angela your tank is fine the way it is. Your cihlids will enjoy the rock work....just make sure it's stable, they will dig a little.
harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 10:04 am  
lol i go 6 months w/o taking rocks out do like james said , quick gravel clean and water change and done . you start folowing advice like that yout tank is going to break from rocks alright , but not from fishes fault but from yours due to re arranging them all the time . you obviously are no "greenhorn" due to the fact you knew enough to cycle your tank first . so have fun and enjoy !
harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 10:05 am
Cichlid Storm » posted 2008/01/28 10:09 am  
And again, this advice given to this woman is coming from someone who has very little decor in their tank. Angela, as suggested, just put some thought into larger pieces of lighter rock to make it easier on you. Proper tank Maintenance is a must when dealing with african cichlids. They need to be slightly over stocked making your filtration system work a little more than normal, so adding a second type filtration isn't a bad idea either, something else for you to consider.
Alex Odesit » posted 2008/01/28 10:11 am
I do not touch my driftwood, or large rocks for over the year period of time. The only reason I do, is when I want to rearange..the way it looks.
Not necessary task.
Joe & Christie » posted 2008/01/28 10:13 am
I use a lot of rock for my africans, I take it all out about every other cleaning, but I am a little crazy.. It is starting to get scary, the fish are so use to me being in the tank, they come and check out the new arrangement before I am done, almost squished one last time.
James Martin » posted 2008/01/28 10:16 am
Cichlid Storm » posted 2008/01/28 10:17 am  
lol Christie. I enjoy my tank cleanings, I do remove my rock work every 8-10 days during cleaning. Thank god for a floor drain and a garden
harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 10:18 am  
ok , great that you mentioned rocks and digging , but little advice to you coming from a once not to long ago newbie .........dont post advice then leave w/o posting smilies , new people like to see that their tanks are being appreciated not just being told what to do and what not to do ( helpful yes but at same time youre coming across as a parent to a little child ) all i'm saying . and angela sorry for this "arguement on your post " this is a great site to learn from and meet new people with the same passion as you !
harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 10:19 am  
angela smith » posted 2008/01/28 10:19 am  
Thank you all. The rocks are very secure, I worked HOURS on them yesterday and did end up knocking them down, starting all over again and again until it was all completly stable and secure. I also have 60lbs of sand and 20lbs of crushed coral underneath the rock to cushion the fall of the rock.

We are adding another filter system, we picked it out last night off of foster and smiths website. Its for a 100g tank. However we felt that a more powerful system added to the el cheapo that came w/ the tank kit would help w/ the overstocked cichlids.

Cichlid Storm » posted 2008/01/28 10:25 am
Just be careful of their Digging nature Angela, thats where the egg crate comes into play. Good to know you have taken time to secure them, chances are if they can fall, for some reason chances are, they will.

Other than that, it looks like your off to a great start so far. Any species in mind yet?
angela smith » posted 2008/01/28 10:31 am  
I have a list a mile long of the ones I would like to have! They are so beautiful!
I want Electric Blues but they are for 70g's and higher tanks.

First I guess it will be a Yellow Lab, Then My husband is wanting the Pseudotropheus Crabo (bumblebee)
Of coarse also since I can't have the electric blue I am going to go w/ the Cobalt Blue...
I also love the snow whites
Just some ideas...
Barb Okla » posted 2008/01/28 10:36 am
Personal conflicts here. U ALL GET A GRIP.. We all do our tanks differently with regard to cleaning and rock work.. Angela, this is not going to work out very good. AS U said U have another filter coming is is a Hang on the back kind?? your rocks if placed at the back glass is going to have to be moved to place in the filter intake tube. IF a canister, then NO problem but maybe so to get that intake tube in. A heater is needed to and I suggest a Titanium heater as it is NOT glass and sinks completely out of site.. U can always redo the rocks later on.. NOT a big deal here. I have a lot of rocks in my 125 gal and they need to be removed twice a month. IF NOT, then my nitrates get to high.. As Your fish are going to be small, they dont' need a lot of rock right now, but this does look nice and U can change it later on.. MR C is just letting U know know what is going/could happen with the fish digging. IF It falls, then it could break your tank glass. U stacking it sturdy is not going to make much difference once they dig under it.. The bottom may be fine, but the sides and front are very vonerable here.. WE all mean good advice here, some just get carried away.. Injoy your tank..
Joe & Christie » posted 2008/01/28 10:36 am
Have fun stocking Angela :) It is so much fun!
angela smith » posted 2008/01/28 11:02 am  
It is a canister filter we are looking to buy very soon. Prob in the next week. When we get our cichlids they will only be about 2 and a half inches long at largest to start the tank off. I have also drawn out a different plan for a less rocky aquarium later w/ 2 smaller piles on the ends, and some either lace rock or texas holey rock in the middle. This will be when the fish get way more stocked and larger sized.
angela smith » posted 2008/01/28 11:05 am  
btw we do have a heater in there, its a neptune? it came w/ the tank its working great yesterday when I filled the tank it was only around 60 degrees through the night and this morning we are about 78 degrees and the heater was on low.
harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 11:09 am  
k lol looks like you and i are the out of control guys again james . and whats with this ?"We all do our tanks differently with regard to cleaning and rock work.. Angela, this is not going to work out very good. " lol tell us how we are different then tell us what we are doing wrong? lmao ok i'm going back to bed this morning has been TO MUCH FUN !
James Martin » posted 2008/01/28 11:12 am  
If you're looking at canister filters I would reecomend an Eheim. Super reliable I've had the same one running for over 14 years.
angela smith » posted 2008/01/28 11:15 am  
I do have to ask about taking the rocks out 2 times a month and cleaning them. With my other tanks I dont take the decorations out twice a month when I vaccum the gravel, and the nitrites are almost always -0- in all of my tanks. Why would the cichlid tank be different, especially after I add another filter (a filter made for a 100 gallon tank canister plus the overhead filter) as long as I vaccum it out every couple weeks.
I was also under the impression you want alge growth for the cichlids on the rocks, as they are alge eaters also.
Vincent Steen » posted 2008/01/28 11:17 am
Tank looks great!
Make sure your rocks are secure - as you can imagine a crashing rock can do a lot of damage to your fish, and even worse to your tank!
Aside from that - everything should be fine.
As for cleaning: I have a ton of rockwork, and heres what I do:
Once a month(when I clean out my filters) I take a powerhead and blow out the debris in between the rocks.
This seems to work well - without disturbing the fish too much.
The tank looks great - repost a picture when you get your fish in there.
Alex Odesit » posted 2008/01/28 11:23 am  
I am second to Eheim. I have one 2260 and 2217 running for over decade.
Nothing has been replaced, except some o-rings, just to be on the safe side.
I use both of them in my 210 g tank and it give me all I can ask.
Larger fliter for biological and mechanical filtration. Smaller for chemical (Chemipure carbon) and mechanical.
*Yeah, and like many mention above 2 times a month moving the rocks it's being very analJ

karrie edwards » posted 2008/01/28 11:27 am
very nice!
Barb Okla » posted 2008/01/28 11:28 am
Removing the rocks by weekly is WHAT I do, U dont' have too uless U see a 40ppm+ spike in your NITRATES not nitrites. As this tank as NO fish in, the cycle as not started yet. it is just running. U need to fish in to start the cycle.. Also Vincent has a good idea on the powerhead to flush out the rocks. I have done this and it works fine.. I didnt' see the heater until after I posted.. so u are fine.. just trying to sqench these personal comments here.. THAT don't belong on someone POST asking for comments on their tanks..

HARVICTS "comment" is not worth a reponse BUT wil be delt with internally.. O U forgot your smiles too. 4x.. seems that was a comment U made clear to another poster...
Kye Williams » posted 2008/01/28 11:32 am
I use larger and less rockwork however, I rarely remove them because i am easliy able to clean around and between them with different vac attachments. I will also add that bigger rock can make a little more spacing for caves for when your fish get bigger and also can be more secure (if done properly)when fish dig. Again, just my preference.
James Martin » posted 2008/01/28 11:38 am  
And Angela you can get the electric blues if you want. as long as the tank is at least a four footer.
harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 11:44 am
harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 11:44 am
harvick fan » posted 2008/01/28 11:44 am
Scott Fisher » posted 2008/01/28 11:57 am
ok, so i must post a pic of my vac attachments .. you all will laugh... I've made some peculiar looking ones .. but they work and I don't have to move much rock around .. albeit i don't have my rocks stacked real high ?? nice tank . btw
Roger Hopper (m) » posted 2008/01/28 12:42 pm
Nice tank, Angela, I have a all male mbuna tank that is stacked with lots of rock. My wife does remove the rocks for cleaning every 6 weeks, my water and tank are about as good as you can get with ph ect.. If you keep it clean and regular water changes I don't know why this would be any different from ours.. Do weekly water canges and clean gravel, sand or whatever around it the best you can, and I think it will be fine.. I do agree with make sure the rocks are secure.. Kye has a good point about bigger rocks as well. Please just enjoy and don't make it more work than it has to be.
Shawn Williams » posted 2008/01/28 01:35 pm
I used eggcrate in mine and didn't go quite as high with the rock. I sort of spread it out across the bottom and about a third of the way up, making sure to stack them in a manner that provides plenty of moving room and hiding spaces within them. You are off to a great start and you will be addicted very soon.

Another thing, I would suggest against the crabro. Crabros tend to be aggressive and probably a little large for this size tank. I had one in my 55, and while I really liked her I decided to part with her for her own benefit. Another word of advice, stay away from the M.auratus as well.
angela smith » posted 2008/01/28 01:44 pm  
Im already addicted to tanks... I think its called multi-tank syndrome??!! This is my 4th tank, and I am already making plans in the back of my head for another one even if I have to pawn my other fish off on someone else! (Im wanting a pair of german blues BADLY!!) they are sooo beautiful! If I could have my cake and eat it too I would (put gb's in w/ african's) but thats not possible... But we are talking long after the Africans are settled and happy in their home...
sandy dennison » posted 2008/01/28 02:16 pm
Tank looks great!

I have a 55g and a ton of fish in it. Mostly mbunas' along with an elec blue, one peacock who took a butt kicin' in the pea tank and a cuckoo cat. There's about 16-18 fish in that tank. The average size is about 3" now. I'm def on the look out for 90s and or 100s for when they get larger. Right now I have sand bottom, (which I love) and run 2 filters. I check my water conditions once a week and find I don't have to touch that tank but once every 3 weeks at the most (other than adding some H2O if needed).

If you are not wanting a bigger tank down the road, then do better than me with the "oh I want that one too". lol Get what you want but keep in mind the full size of the fish down the road. I was always told at full size figure an inch per gallon. If you want to crowd them to try and control thier attitudes some then add a few more. Try to stick with the fish that eat the same type of food also. Once you got your fish...kick back, relax and enjoy!

Test the water and do what you need to by the results. If my readings are good, then why mess with a good thing? The only time I mess with the rocks is if I want to re-arrange the tank. ( I am with you... thought the algae is good & if nothing else I like the natural look it gives the tank). I haven't had a fish croke yet.

Filtration, fish size and the amount of fish play a big part in what you will have to do to your tank and how often. If they are going to be small from the start, I bet when you test you won't need to do everything every week...DO what works for you and your tank :)

Post a pic when you get them.
sandy dennison » posted 2008/01/28 02:19 pm
And let your little guy know he did a great job picking out the rocks! :)
Shawn Williams » posted 2008/01/28 02:28 pm  
You may be addicted to the aquarium hobby, but the addiction I speak of is the cichlid fever.

I have a fever, and the only cure is.....MORE CICHLIDS!
karrie edwards » posted 2008/01/28 02:32 pm  
LOL, listen to shawn, he def. has the fever, and im right behind him.
Tony & Melinda Williams » posted 2008/01/28 03:21 pm
***kylie *** » posted 2008/01/28 04:06 pm
wow that just took forever to read all that .. are you really confused now angela..i am . as with life i find you live and learn.. all the best .. i would add some plants .. mine love to eat them and its great for them .. and yep get that algae growing on the rocks.. i think they meant move them to clean the poop out from under them not clean the rocks.. i think ... thats what i do any way ..i only move one or two different rocks at a time ..mine are bigger though.. have fun fish shopping...
Jeremy Miller » posted 2008/01/28 05:01 pm
Very nice tank. Take some of the advice and arrange it however you like. Its yours, enjoy it how you want it. Hope you find the mix you are looking for!
danny boy » posted 2008/01/28 08:25 pm
Tamara Wilde » posted 2008/01/28 08:31 pm
As Jeremy perfectly stated, It's your tank and do what you want, you obviously have experience in keeping tanks! It will be beautiful and you should be proud of it. I should be the one reprimanded for tank set-up...I set up my 150 a week ago and stocked it already with 40 cichlids of 5 types, never even checked nitrate level, shame on me!
Alex Jackson » posted 2008/01/28 09:05 pm
No kidding this was a lot to read.

Only suggestion: Have fun!

Each to his own the way they designs. What EVERYONE is concerned about here is the simple safety of your tank, your fish, and your hard-earned money to buy all of it. :)

*1 Suggestion*
If you ever (for some reason) drain your tank. Go to the store and get a small tube of aquarium silicone, and put dabs inbetween your rocks (when its dry and let it sit a few days before filling). I did that with mine.

Anyways, best of luck, enjoy the hobby, and be sure to post your newest tanks/fish when you get them so we can be envious once again!

~Tell the little guy good job with the rocks!
Dan Noon (m) » posted 2008/01/30 09:25 am
Martin Vajs » posted 2008/01/31 04:12 am
jonnnnnnnnn marg » posted 2010/01/28 01:52 am
my africans always try to dig under my rocks! im afraid one say they are going to get burried one day but hopefully that will never happen, do make sure they are stable as the cichlids will try to dig under them.
duane richard » posted 2012/01/30 09:08 pm

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Latest comments:
Alexander Langer

Alexander Langer

cool, one of my favorites :)
Dee Casta

Its probably not a good idea if you have it in a tank with gourami & tetras
Dee Casta

Its a jack dempsey
Alexander Langer

as said in the other picture, could be true. Aquidens (blue acara) are know
Alexander Langer

wow, great colors, beautiful!
Alexander Langer

it's still small, but to me it seems as a blue acara is plausible. Wait unt