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 Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...

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DL Lawrence
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PostSubject: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:28 am

First topic message reminder :

Well, no go on CL trying to get rid of my 55 setup.  Coincidentally, the sailing season is over, and the weather is turning cooler, and there's lots of football on the TV = more time inside.    Liz was right- time will become limited when the weather gets nice, but you probably want to save that broken down tank stuff- you may need it.  Well, whaddya know....

So, since I have more time (again), I've set up my 55 into a Cichlid tank (probably Mbuna).   I did get another background from Universal Rocks (this one is flat) and I took a bit of a gamble on one of those Chinese made SunSun canisters- it's a monster- 550 GPH, with an internal UV Sterilizer, which is rated for a 220 gallon tank, in keeping with my belief in over filtering.  A couple of artificial plants, a bit bit of pool sand, and voila'!  

Here's what it looked like last night, prior to filling:


You can see how big that canister is....

It was filled this morning, and the big SunSun seems to run great- no leaks, VERY quiet, and no issues I can see yet.
I think I have my stock list finalized, but will probably run the tank for a couple of weeks before putting anyone in, excepting one of the Clown Plecos from the 46, who has gotten really big.  I did seed the canister with plenty of cycled media from my Rena XP4 on the 46, so I'm thinking this tank should cycle very quickly.   There's 5 trays in the Sun Sun canister- on the bottom, mechanical- then, bioballs- next it ceramic media, then a layer of filter pad under crushed coral. The last layer on top top is a polishing pad.  Lots of filtration!

Hopefully the crushed coral will help raise the Ph to where it needs to be for Mbuna.  My well water out of the tap is about 7.2-7.4, which is not quite high enough.
We'll see how it goes!

I think this hobby is a bit addicting.....nobody told me that....or did they?  Wink
Here a picture this morning after filling- water is still a bit cloudy....
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:41 pm

Outstanding! CVAS has done us good... I love seeing hobbyist share and look out for one another. Most pet stores can not. I have at least 6 well kept Angelfish I need to rehome now that the holidays are over...  Cool

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Angelfish Show Tank
(Angelfish, Guppies, Neons and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Growout Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Growout Tank
10 gal. Planted Bristled Nose Plecos and Guppy Show Tank
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Ron
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:21 pm

Hey JohnnyAMH I sent you a PM I may have an interest.

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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:46 am

DL, be careful about adding a full load of fish (especially adults) to a tank that hasn't been running. Even though you might have a "cycled" tank with some bacteria, it doesn't live forever without constantly being fed. You may end up with a spike if the bio load jumps dramatically.

You might also want to increase the number of rocks to help alleviate some aggression.
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DL Lawrence
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:51 pm

Hi  lkelly- thanks for the heads up!  I have been "feeding" the tank with increasing amounts of ammonia after it cycled in anticipation of stocking it all at once.  Friday evening I put a LOT of ammonia in it, and this morning everything was cool- 0 Am, 0 NO2, and about 25 NO3.  I then did a 90% or so WC (in preparation for stocking) after which the nitrates went to below 5.  The tank has been cycling for about 6 weeks, so I'm comfortable with the amount of BB built up.  I believe I have established a very robust biological filter.

I did add a bunch more rock, and created more caves.  Everybody seems to be settling in nicely!  I'll be watching the numbers closely over the next few days.   Here's some pics from this evening.  Thanks again to DLW!  





Last edited by DL Lawrence on Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:33 pm

Wow, The tank really looks great!
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:36 pm

Very nice DL...Makes me want Mbunas again. I like the extra rock you added.

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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:28 am

Thanks, all.  Here's a FTS this morning, with no flash, but brighter...still experimenting with the new digital SLR- our old Nikon D50 finally died, so I'm learning a new one...

This morning, I was glad to see that Am was 0, NO2 was 0, and NO3 was still under 10.  Since NO3 was just under 5 yesterday post WC and pre stocking, I'm thinking my usual routine of 50% WC weekly on my tanks should keep the numbers good.  I hope so.   I'd like to move one of my Clown Plecos in my community tank to this one, as a clean up crew.  Or, maybe snag a BN Pleco or two.  
Thanks again to David (DLW) for his generosity, and thanks to all for advice, and suggetions.  It's much appreciated!

We're really enjoying this tank!
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:06 pm

Nice pic DL. Very impressive Mbuna tank. Keep us posted on how things going with them.

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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:59 pm

Looks great!  Good advice from the members + some great-looking fish from DLW = success!  
Please keep us posted on how things go.  This has been a fun project to follow so far.
 Very Happy
(I'm even beginning to like those two short fake plants.)

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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:18 pm

The tank looks really nice. I like the way you stacked the rocks and the 2 fake plants throw in a nice touch of green. Its a nice mix of yellow and blue fish in there as well.

Is there any aggression in the tank? I notice the mix should be a pretty gentle mix for mbuna. I was mostly wondering if any of them had showed aggresion towards the one ob with all the blue. That one is a ob peacock but seems to be doing just fine from the pics.
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:41 am

Thanks, Ben and Deb!

Deb, glad you're coming around on the little green plastic plants....Wink

So far, no aggression "issues" as far as I've noticed. There's been a bit of "chasing around", but nothing that appears to me to be a concern- these guys have all been together in a 55 for quite a few years, so I guess they know each other, if that's possible.... Rolling Eyes 

They appear to be exploring their new digs, and staking out their "territories". They all hide in the caves at night, packed together, which is interesting. As they begin to get out and about during the day, the tank becomes a very busy place- it's fun to watch. These are some pretty cool fish.

I got a cool Gold Spotted Sailfin Pleco from AA this weekend, and he seems to be doing well also.

They only concern I have is that I've noticed that much of the food I put in has been collecting in areas on the substrate around the rocks where the current in the tank takes it. So, I'm a bit concerned that they are not eating much, but my understanding is it may be a few days before they get "comfortable" and begin eating regularly again. So I'm keeping an eye on that, and reading up a bit on it. The one OB with all the blue (Big Slap Daddy, we call him) seems to be very peaceful- he's rarely involved in any "chasing" either as the chaser or chasee. I did see one behavior that was pretty interesting. Some of the OB's and Cobalts seem so every now and then dive and "brush the side of their heads against the rock. Any ideas on this? It's almost as if they are scratching an itch.

This Saturday will be on week, so I'll post an update this weekend. Hopefully, everything will continue to "smooth out". The numbers on the tank are still good.
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:50 am

Great to hear they are adjusting well to the new digs. The hiding at night is common and the slow eating for a few days is also. Make sure you put a very small amount of food in and watch if they are eating it aggressively before adding more. As soon as they get used to you as their new keeper, and not a predator, they will begin to become less shy and more aggressive towards eating. Don't worry they are not going to starve. As they do become more aggressive, it is very easy to overfeed. Cichlids are amazing actors and will always act starved. In truth though they will actually overeat similar to a horse. Their stomachs through evolution is used to opportunistic eating and they graze throughout the day. Food is scarce and they eat a little throughout the day. Too much food and their stomachs are unable to process and can lead to Bloat as well as other diseases which can be fatal. They do graze around your tank even when you have not fed them. They will peck at algae, slime and such which is part of their natural diet. There are some experts who also say to not feed them at all for a couple days when first introducing to your tank. Like most fish I have observed as soon as the first guy or gal starts feeding the others begin thinking hmmmm I better not miss out.
You will find after they have adjusted that your likely to get wet when they see you getting ready to feed them. You will also find after they learn you and your wife are safe, that they will literally follow you from one side of the tank to the other. Kind of like a puppy. They will also hear you coming and be at the side of the tank waiting for you to come in the room. They're cool fish indeed and very intelligent.
The scraping, however, is possibly worrisome though. I would increase water temp gradually to a little over 80 and perhaps treat tank with Melafix and Pimafix to help them build back their slime coat and ward off possible Ich or other parasites. Keep a close eye on this. Netting the fish is stressful and removes some slime and scales. Also transporting and then introducing to new tank is stressful. The 2 products above from API really does help and they are natural ingredients which do not effect Nitrogen cycle. I have had great success with both and stock regularly.

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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:59 am

Thanks, Ron-

I'll put in a heater, and move the tank up to about 80, and keep an eye on it.  I have both Mfix and Pfix as well.

When David and I were netting them from his 55, three (!) of them hid on one hollow ceramic rock he had in the tank, VERY tightly- so we decided just for me to just take the rock in the bucket, rather than to try to get them out.  Lo and behold, by the time I got home, they had found their way out, which amazed me, because they were three big fish, through a little hole, in a very tight space.  I really thought I'd have to find a way to break the rock around them to get them out. I know the one Cobalt who's rubbing was in there, and possibly the OB- you can actually see some minor scale damage on the Cobalt.  So, I'm pretty sure this is when this must have happened.   They certainly do get stressed when netting!

I'll do the P/M thing, and see if it helps their scale "abrasions".
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:57 am

Ok, two weeks today since these Mbunas came to their new home.   All seems to be well.  The tank runs good numbers, but I'm used to small, community fish, and not such a large bioload on a tank.  So, I've discovered that weekly WC's are a must (which I do anyway)- it appears about 50-70%, to keep the NO3 under 10 or so. Today, after one week, NO3 was approx. 30 ppm (from just under 5 one week ago).  That's a lot of fish waste, but they're pretty big fish.  NH3 and NO2 are holding steady at zero, so that's a good thing.  I read up a bit on the flashing behaviors I've seen, and am comfortable that this is so occasional, that it is not a concern.  Apparently, it's relatively common, as long as they are not doing it too much.  I did go three days on the Pfix/Mfix, and the Cobalt with the scale damage seems to be doing much better.

This is a very cool tank- we're enjoying watching these fish.  While they have not yet gotten to where they come to the glass when they see us, they becoming progressively less shy.

Thanks again to everyone for the help!   clapping
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PostSubject: Re: Well, can't seem to get rid of it, so...   Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:36 am

Glad to hear that everything is going well!  (I'm relieved you didn't put your clown plecos in this tank, though!)  

The pic you posted on Jan 5 is nice and I'd like to put it on the home page, unless you have an even better one.  http://cvas.forumotion.com/portal      

DL wrote:
I got a cool Gold Spotted Sailfin Pleco from AA this weekend, and he seems to be doing well also.

I meant to ask you about this when I first saw it.  
Were you by any chance able to pick up the scientific name from AA?

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