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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM WATER QUALITY

 

African  Cichlids aquarium water quality

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM WATER QUALITY

Most filters give you a recommendation on aquarium size for a given filter.  That is exactly what it is, a guideline.

Several factors can reduce the efficiency of the filter and compromise your African Cichlids aquarium water quality .

Consider the following in maintaining excellent aquarium African Cichlids aquarium water quality in your system

and having your filter system be operating as efficiently as possible.

Your  fish load, or the quantity of fish, in your cichlids aquarium affects the efficiency of your filter.  As you add

more cichlids, and they grow in size they produce more waste and put a higher demand on your African Cichlids          

aquarium water quality.  If your filter system is unable to keep up with your fish load , you may end up spending

additional time on maintenance.  Your aquarium may suffer from poor water quality and you may have less time

enjoying your cichlids. 

Cichlids have a large body mass and require a 3 stage filtration system (biological, chemical, and mechanical)  to

accommodate this.

Another consideration in maintaining African Cichlids aquarium water quality is the chemical filter media. 

It improves your water quality by removing toxic chemicals.  An excellent choice to significantly enhance the existing

filter is activated carbon which is already included when you purchase your Aqua Clear Power Filter!

The amount of food you feed your cichlids also plays a key role in filter efficiency.  If you constantly overfeed your

cichlids, two things may eventually  effect your African Cichlids aquarium water quality.. Your system may require

additional filtration to remove uneaten food, as well as, fish waste.  This can cost you in filter expenses and increased

maintenance.   Neither of which needs to happen.  Maintaining your cichlids health, top filter performance, and no

expense for additional filtration can be achieved by using this simple rule of thumb! FEED YOUR YOUR CICHLIDS

THE AMOUNT OF FOOD THEY CAN CONSUME IN ONE MINUTE.  Any remaining food will probably end up

on the substrate (gravel) of your aquarium where your cichlids will “graze” for several minutes after you feed them eating

the food that has fallen to the bottom of your aquarium.  These steps can help you maintain excellent, healthly African

Cichlids aquarium water quality in your system!

This looking threw  six feet of water from one of the tanks I maintain.

African Cichlids aquarium water quality

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER IS SMOKEY !

 

African Cichlids water

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER IS SMOKEY!

 Your African Cichlids water appears to have a white smoke swirling around in in!  No reason to panic. First, it is

important to understand what is taking place in your African Cichlids aquarium, and why.  The process taking

place is normal during your African Cichlids aquarium set-up period.  It is usually a part of the ‘cycling period”

after water is added to your tank.  Most likely, there is a concentrated level of ammonia in the water causing

nitrifying bacteria that consume the ammonia to reproduce quickly and over populate to the point that they

become visible , creating what looks like clouds of white smoke swirling in your aquarium water. 

 

This is a normal reaction in an enclosed ecosystem such as your  African Cichlids water.  This takes place

when an ecosystem has inadequate nitrifying bacteria to consume the ammonia in your aquarium water.

  In most cases, as the nitrogen cycle continues, your  water will clear up.  Be patient, and let nature take

its course. 

When you can do is test your aquarium water for ammonia and nitrite levels when your  water first becomes

cloudy!  What you will probably discover is that your ammonia level will be high, and continue to rise, and the

nitrite could be zero, or low.  As time passes, nitrite reproduction will take place and this level will continue to

increase .  Suddenly, one day ( usually within a week of your aquarium water becomingcloudy), the ammonia

level will drop to zero.  When this happens, nitrite-consuming bacteria, nitrate, begins to colonize and turn the

toxic nitrite into less toxic nitrate, completing the “nitrogen cycle” in your African water.  At this point, you can

test your water for ammonia and nitrite again.  In addition, test the nitrate level.  Ammonia and nitrite levels

should be zero, and the nitrate level close to or zero as well.

So, during the period of “smokey” aquarium water , all you need to do is test your water.  The bacteria in your

African Cichlids water will clear it up. .  It is best to let nature take its course.

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS MAINTENANCE – POWER FAILURE

 

African Cichlids maintenance

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS MAINTENANCE-POWER FAILURE

African Cichlids maintenance.  Power outage! Are you prepared? There are some simple steps you can take to

minimize stress  and possible death on your cichlids.

Loss of oxygen in your  aquarium water will will most likely happen first after the power is lost, followed by lowering of

your aquarium water.  The loss in temperature can cause ich to occur.  The third change is ammonia build up. Since

African Cichlid aquarium water have a higher pH, the more toxic the ammonia becomes.  Have a battery powered

air pump, airline, and an air stone on hand to address these issues.  oxygen depletion in your aquarium water can

happen in as few as a couple of hours, and your pet store may not be open or may also be experiencing the power

loss. This is a critical and pro-active action that is strongly suggested for your African Cichlids maintenance.

When  the power goes out, unplug the filter and pumps so toxins are not released back into your aquarium

water when the electricity comes back on.

Hook up the air stone and place it near the water surface.

Insulate your aquarium by placing a blanket over the top of it after the light cools, if it was on. This will help keep

heat from escaping the water and aid in keeping your aquarium water warmer.

DO NOT feed your cichlids.  This will create toxins in your aquarium water.

When the power returns, clean the filter media in the 4 gallon bucket of aquarium water you use to clean the media.

Simply immerse the mechanical media and charcoal in the water and clean each by squeezing out the debris until

clean. Get the filter operating as soon as possible.  Do a 10% – 15% water change to dilute the toxins in your

aquarium water and restore water quality.

These precautionary measures will have you prepared if the electricity goes out.  More importantly it will save you

precious time by already having the items on hand!  Keeping your aquarium water oxygenated and reducing the

temperature loss will reduce the stress on your cichlids and possibly prove to be a vital step in your African Cichlids

maintenance , should your experience a power outage.

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM FILTER SYSTEM

 

Adfrican Cichlids aquarium filter

 

 

 

 

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YOUR AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM FILTER SYSTEM

Your African Cichlids aquarium filter system is a key part to the health of your African Cichlids.  Power filters usually

have three main components of filtration:

MECHANICAL MEDIAwhich usually is a pad or sponge, CHEMICAL MEDIA, consisting of carbon, and a

BIOLOGIGAL MEDIA, with a large surface area for bacteria to colonize.  To keep them all in top condition, it is

important to have an understanding what each stage of the filter does, and  how to keep each component doing their

respective job.   This topic will be reference  your African Cichlids aquarium filter system and the

Hagen Aqua Clear Power Filter

                               African Cichlids aquarium filter

The mechanical media acts like a strainer sifting out debris.  If it gets to full it becomes clogged, diverting the water

flow from your  filter, releasing the debris back into your aquarium water where toxic ammonia can form.  This media

should be inspected weekly, and cleaned at least biweekly, in the container of aquarium water you have set aside.

( The 4 gallon plastic bucket).  Simply immerse the sponge into the water and squeeze out the debris until it is clean. 

The purpose of using aquarium water is that it also houses the beneficial bacteria that are in the pores

of the sponge.  This water preserves the bacteria while cleaning it.  The sponge should last several years before

it needs to be replaced.  This should be done when your sponge doesn’t, “spring” back to its original shape when

squeezed.  Following this process will ensure you that it won’t become clogged and will provide you with years of  service

as you African Cichlids aquarium filter system.

 

The chemical media of your African Cichlids aquarium usually consists of carbon which bonds with dissolved organic and

other impurities.  This needs to be rinsed in your container of aquarium water biweekly, and replaced monthly. 

After the period of time the carbon will have exhausted its chemical benefits and start collecting bacteria which could result

in loss of your biological filtration.  This could also cause an ammonia spike and release nitrites into your aquarium water

causing stress on your cichlids.  So, clean the carbon biweekly, and replace monthly.  Yep, what was just mentioned

was repeated!

 

The biological media of  your African Cichlids aquarium  filter is a major part of the quality of life within your aquarium.

It should have a large surface area and water flowing through it.  If the water flow through this media becomes diverted, 

that area of bacteria in the sponge dies from lack of oxygen.  In order for this to function properly, this needs to be rinsed

in your container of aquarium water biweekly, and replaced monthly.  Another reason for using aquarium water is

that it is not chlorinated,  so it won’t damage the the bacteria in the media.   The media should last for several years.  When

it does come time to replace  it,  do not clean your aquarium at the same time.  The sponge needs time to colonize bacteria. 

To assist and speed up this process you can add, “cycle” to the aquarium water. This is a bacteria additive which aids in the

bacteria growth process.  Following these guidelines for your African Cichlids aquarium filter system will give you results of

a healthy, efficient filter systemClean the carbon biweekly, and replace monthly. This was mentioned several times

in the article to stress it’s importance, and not to insult your ability to read or intelligence. Thanks for your understanding.

That wraps up this article your aquarium water and African Cichlids aquarium filter.

 

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TANK PLACEMENT FOR AFRICAN CICHLIDS

 

 

tank placement

 

 

 

 

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TANK PLACEMENT FOR YOUR AFRRICAN CICHLIDS

Successful tank placement of your African Cichlids aquarium depends on research and preparation concerning

fundamental aspects including the  placement of your aquarium and size to avoid costly mistakes.  Location,

location, location. This is the key to your African Cichlids  tank placement.

 

Most important, place your tank where it is easily accessible for maintenance.  Just as people need space around

them, so does your aquarium system, such as the back, for filtration and  the top, for water changes and lighting.  If any

equipment is going to be located in a cabinet, make sure that area has adequate ventilation to avoid humidity and heat.

 

Place your system no further than 3 feet away from an outlet, away from vents and exterior doors,  AND avoid

direct sunlight.  This is to avoid using extension cords and eliminate a tripping hazard.  Stable water temperature is

imperative to your African Cichlids health.  Locate your system out of direct sunlight , heating and air conditioning vents,

and exterior doors where there may be drafts which could drastically alter the temperature of the surrounding area.

One last consideration for your tank placement is to locate it near a water supply to make water changes easier for you.

 

Check to see if the floor, “gives” under the weight of your body. Use a level to see if the flooring is even.  If your African

Cichlids aquarium system isn’t level,  you run the risk springing a leak.  Once completely set-up,  your African Cichlids

aquarium weighhs at least 12lbs./gallon of water.   With a 55 gallon system , this will weigh at least 660 pounds.  So,

choose your location carefully, it’s going to be in that spot for a long period of time!  For larger tanks, play it safe,

consult a professional that your flooring system is capable of supporting the weight.  Be sure that your tank

location is level.  If your aquarium is not level it creates increased pressure and stress on the interior of tank glass

which adds the risk of a leak, and the possibility of it tipping over.  Not a good thing either way!

 

The last consideration for your tank placement  location  is  your aquarium size.   The larger your aquarium, the

happier your African Cichlids will be!  

 

 

Giving some thought and consideration to your tank placement before setting it up could be the difference between

an enjoyable aquarium or a continued eyesore  of your hard work and efforts.

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS TANK MAINTENANCE

 

african cichlids tank maintenance

 

 

 

 

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African Cichlids tank maintenance  is key to the continued success of your hard work and patience youhave put forth

in your investment. We have all heard something like, ” an ounce of prevention, is worth a gallon of cure”.  This is

absolutely true when it concerns your aquarium maintenance. This article focuses on your weekly and monthly  steps to

keep your system in “tip top” shape, and your African Cichlids healthy!  The best part of it all is that your aquarium

maintenance won’t take much time to do!

 

 

WEEKLY AFRICAN CICHLIDS TANK MAINTENANCE

Replace evaporated water with freshly drawn COLD tap water.

Treat with Tap Water Conditioner

TIP → Completely rinsed out plastic gallon milk cartons work great for this, and can save you time if you can save

a few bottles and fill them with water for future use, and put the cap on them after filling with water.

Clean the outside of your aquarium glass by spraying a small area with alcohol and wipe dry.  NO STREAKS!

Clean the inside of the glass your magnet cleaner.

Clean your filter.  ( power filter)

 

 

TIP→  Have a 4 gallon plastic square container , FILLED WITH AQUARIUM WATER, set aside for this.

Remove the filter basket and take the sponge and put in the container and squeeze out the debris until clean.

Check to see the filter is level with a small level.

Check the temperature 77ºF

That’s it for your weekly African Cichlids tank maintenance!

 

 

MONTHLY AFRICAN CICHLIDS TANK MAINTENANCE

Do a water change.

1/3 of the water volume with a “python siphon”.

TIP→  Insert the siphon tube completely into your gravel and keep it in the same spot until the water is clear

before moving on to a different area.  Repeat until you have cleaned all of your gravel.

Reverse your siphon and replace the water with COLD tap water.

Add Algeafix and Tap Water Conditioner per directions.

Clean bubble wall with a denture brush.

 

 – * WATCH YOUR AFRICAN CICHLIDS.  THEY WILL, “TELL”

            YOU IF SOMETHING IS WRONG IN THEIR WORLD.

  • Done.  That’s it for your African Cichlids tank maintenance. Enjoy your tank!

african cichlids tank maintenance            african cichlids tank maintenance

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM. FIRST THINGS FIRST.

 

African Cichlids aquarium

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM. FIRST THINGS FIRST!

1.Wash tank , and anything that will be in it your African Cichlids aquarium , with HOT  water. NO SOAPS. 

        Have 3 or 4 large plastic containers on hand to separate the rock into small, medium,  and large stones. This

        part of the step will make placement easier when putting it in  your tank.

2. Wash your lace rock  until the water running through it is clear as well.

3. Place the rock from step 2 into the tank.

       Larger stones in the back, medium-sized in the middle, and the smallest in the front

       of the tank. ( This process takes a little time, but the end result gives your African Cichlids

                              aquarium  greater feeling of depth when looking at it).

4. Place the lace rock into your tank with larger and taller pieces toward the back , and the smaller shorter pieces

     toward the front of your aquarium, creating caves for your African Cichlids .

5. Place your air curtain at the back of your African Cichlids aquarium, behind the lace rock, so you can’t see it when

     viewing your aquarium from the front side.

6. Install the rest of the equipment that will go into the tank.     Heater, filter, thermometer.

7. Attach air tubing to your air curtain and air pump.

8. Fill your tank with COLD  tap water.

     Let your tank sit overnight to be sure that their are no leaks.

9. Treat the water with tap water conditione and cycle, as recommended.

10.  This is the hardest step.  Be patient.  The water in the tank needs to cycle . Balance itself .  During this  process,

        your water will turn cloudy.  This is normal, indicating that bacterial growth is taking place. The water will clear up

       as the bacteria, “settle into”, the filter media and rock work.  This process will take between 2-4 weeks.   Again, be

       patient, the time and efforts put forth in your African Cichlids aquarium system will give you back years of pleasure,

       enjoyment, and relaxation!

*  START WEEKLY AND MONTHLY TANK MAINTENANCE.

11. This is a good time to to make sure everything with the system is functioning properly:

         Check your thermometer to be sure the temperature 76 degrees F, adjust  if necessary. Check your filter to be sure

         it’s functioning properly.

             remove the filter basket,  take the charcoal filter bag out and rinse it out in a plastic container previously filled with

            COLD tap water.

                 repeat the same process with the sponge filter.

12.  Purchase a pH test and an ammonia, nitrate, nitrite test kit.

         pH should be around 8.0

             * The first test for the ammonia, nitrate, nitrite test should be done no earlier then 2-3  weeks after

               system set-up. 

13.  Replace any evaporated water with COLD tap water. Should have a couple of plastic 1 gallon containers set aside for

       this purpose only.

              * Not used for anything else .The water in these will be going into the tank.

                    be sure to keep the caps to put back on the containers when not in use to keep them clean inside.

14 After 4 weeks, no sooner, test the water for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites.  All 3 parameters should be  near, “0”,

        or safe enough by this point to add a couple of fish.  This is an exciting day!  Go to a reputable fish store and purchase

        your first African Cichlids. Purchase a pair.

15.  Acclimate your cichlids to their new home before adding them to your tank. Have another plastic container on hand. 

       A plastic ice cream bucket works perfect.  Place the fish bags in this and add about 4oz. of  water from the tank to the

       bags. Repeat this about every 15 minutes, for 1/2 hour.  This lets your cichlids gradually adjust  to the aquarium water

       reducing stress.

      After 30 minutes, net the fish from the bags and introduce them to their new home!  Place the net in the water and let

      the fish swim out on their own. Wash the net out in hot tap water.

16.  Patience is now critical. Your African Cichlids aquarium water needs to adjust to its new inhabitants.  Your fish also

        need time to adjust.  Two weeks.  Better safe then sorry.  During this time, decide on what color of African Cichlids to

        have in your tank.

17. Decide the number of fish that can occupy the tank.

         Guideline.  Every inch of fish requires 1 gallon of aquarium water when full grown.

           Example:   A 100 gallon tank  will have about 90 gallons of water available for fish.  Rock in the your displaces 10

                               gallons 90 gallons of available water = 90 inches of fish that can safety inhabit you tank.

                                 On average, adult  African Cichlids are between 4-6 inches in length.

                                   5 inches makes it easy to figure out the number of fish.   90÷5=18 fish.

    Purchase your African Cichlids in “trios”, 1 male, 2 females. The reasoning behind this is that the male will be

        aggressive to get the female attention. 2 females reduces stress on the female and helps to keep the male, “occupied”,

        and in full color.  18 fish ÷ 3 trios = 6 trio pairs for the tank.

18.  After 2 weeks, purchase another trio. ONLY IF ALL IS WELL WITH YOUR WATER AND FISH

           Follow step # 15 to introduce the fish to the tank.  2-3 weeks later, purchase another trio. Follow this process until you 

            have purchased all of your African Cichlids. 

           DO NOT RUSH THIS PROCESS. YOUR WATER NEEDS TIME TO ADJUST TO NEW INHABITANTS. YOU

           HAVE THE RISK OF YOUR FISH DYING IF YOU DON’T DO THIS. SO, DO YOURSELF, AND YOUR

           AFRICAN CICHLIDS A FAVOR. 

 

19. Enjoy your African Cichlids aquarium system

 

     Follow these steps and your system can look like this

 

African Cichlids aquarium African Cichlids aquarium        African Cichlids aquarium

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM SYSTEM SET-UP

 

 

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1.  The right sizedtank.  55 gallon is the recommended minimum size.

  •   The larger your tank, the better.                                                                                              
  •   Long and skinny for greater water oxygenation.                                                                      
  • The more water available, the more stable the water environment.

2.  Decoration. Rock

  • This is the second most important element when setting up your African Cichlids aquarium system.
  • African Cichlids are aggressive, territorial fish and require areas in the tank they can claim as, “their
  • turf”.
  • The use of this rock, better known as, “lace rock”, provides them with natural caves and
  • holes.

3.  Substrate.  More commonly known as, “gravel”.

  • African Cichlids show up great against this medium because of the natural   earth
  • tone colors.

4. Aeration.  The purpose of this is two-fold.

  • First, it provides the water with oxygenation to help maintain a healthy
  • environment within the tank.
  • Secondly, it provides an eye-catching visual effect as a wall of air bubbles rise to the
  • water surface.

5.Filtration

  • Flow rate.   Gallons per hour, (gph).  The water in the tank should “turn over”, a minimum of

             3-4 times the volume of the tank.

  • Example:   If you have a 100 gallon tank, the filter needs to have a flow rate between 300 –
  • 400 gph.

6. Heating  Minimum wattage should be 3-4 watts/gallon.

  • Example:     100 gallon tank requires between 300-400 total watts.

7. Air Pump.

8.  Lighting. 

9.  Top.`

10.Thermometer.

11. Stand

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AS YOUR AQUARIUM INHABITANTS

Before pursuing the art and science of African Cichlids aquaria concentrating on tank setup and maintenance, it was important to become knowledgeable on the subject.   Following is what I learned over the past  17 years since  I setup my first African Cichlids  tank, and still holds true today.

They are prized for beautiful coloration.  Difficult to find another freshwater fish that are more colorful.  It is also a challenge to find a saltwater fish more colorful for more money.

     

They are very hardy animals, and easy to maintain.  African Cichlids require alkaline water. These animals can tolerate a wide range of pH levels, whereas most freshwater fish will “belly-up”, if this water parameter varies more then .5.

These fish are also popular because of their energetic personality, one of the easiest freshwater fish to breed, and range in size from 4-6 inches.

African Cichlids do cost more then other freshwater fish, however, that is a positive because you will be getting more, “fish for you’re dollar”.  The average life span is between 4-10 years in age.

1,200 species have been identified, and only about 1/3 are available to the enthusiast  What this represents is the opportunity for more of these cichlids to be readily available for enjoyment.

Because of their size, they do require a large aquarium.  This is a favorable aspect as well because the larger the aquarium, the easier it is to maintain a stable environment in the tank.

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