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aquarium set-up





Feel free to take in the following article before reading this information.

The key to successfully setting up your African Cichlids aquarium set-up is preparation. It all begins with  a

thorough cleaning  of your tank with warm tap water only. no soap.



1. Wash out your tank thoroughly with warm tap water. Then fill with cold tap water and let sit overnight to

     see if there are any leaks anywhere.   I know you are probably excited to get your aquarium set-up, but this is a

     must to avoid  yourself future frustration after its up and running.

2. Wash all of your rock until the water runs clear through it. Next day, tank has no leaks, place your aquarium on 

     your stand,  which should already be level, and arrange your substrate and other rock work .

3. Install your air curtain on your gravel,  behind your taller rock work to hide hide it. Attach your air tubing to the

    air curtain and to your air pump.

4. Locate your heater, set at 77ºF, filter, and thermometer in your aquarium.

5. Fill your tank with cold tap water. Add Tap Water Conditioner and Cycle to the water as directed.

6. Hook up your electricity. This completes your initial aquarium set-up, for now!

7. This step is one of the most difficult. Patience. This will be your friend in the long run.

    Your aquarium water will probably turn cloudy as it cycles and balances itself out.  This is a normal process

     indicating  that bacterial growth is taking place. Your water will clear up as this bacteria settles into your

     substrate and filter media.

    This process will take between 2 – 4 weeks. Do nothing here. Here is where your patience will reward

    you with years of  pleasure, relaxation, and enjoyment with the time and efforts you have put forth. 

8. Make sure that everything  with your African Cichlids aquarium set-up is functioning properly.  Temperature is   

     77ºF,  your air curtain has a solid, even line of bubbles rising to the water surface. Replace any evaporated water

     with cold tap water.

9. Purchase nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia test kits for fresh water aquariums.  After at least 4 weeks ,

     test your aquarium water as directed. Oh, get a large fish net as well!  All levels  should read “0”. 

10. This is an exciting day!  Everything is in working order that we have addressed, and no problems. Go to a 

               reputable fish store and your first pair of African Cichlids! 

               Acclimate your cichlids by placing the bag directly into your aquarium water and let it float for 30 

               minutes.  This  allows you  fish to adjust to your aquarium water.  After the recommended time, net your

               fish from the plastic bag and  introduce them to their  new home by letting them swim from  the net on

               their own power. 

11. Patience is again critical.  Your African Cichlids aquarium water needs time to adjust to its new inhabitants.

      During this  time,  decide what color of cichlids you want to have in your aquarium set-up.

12. Next, decide the proper number of fish that can safely occupy your aquarium. 


                   A 100  gallon aquarium will have about 90 gallons of water available for your cichlids.  The rock in your

                   tank displaces about 10gallons of water.

                  On average, adult African Cichlids are between 4- 6 inches in length. We will make it easy and use 5 inches

                  to determine the number of fish!

                                                                    90 gallons/water divided by 5″/fish = 18 fish

                                                   Purchase your cichlids in trios — 1 male and 2 females.

13.  Follow the same procedure in step # 1o for adding each additional trio  to your tank.  Allow 2- 3 weeks between

       purchases to allow your aquarium water to adjust.

14.  Enjoy your African Cichlids aquarium set-up!


Follow these steps and your  African Cichlids aquarium set-up  will look like this!

aquarium set-up     aquarium set-up    aquarium set-up


Feel free to leave a comment with your experience on this topic.  As a courtesy to your fellow African Cichlids

enthusiasts, please comment on the subject at hand.


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