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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM AERATION

african cichlids aquarium aeration

 

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM AERATION

Your filter system not only cleans your aquarium water, it also provides water movement,

contributing to your African Cichlids aquarium aeration.  So, do I need to do anything else for proper water

movement and aeration to maintain a aquarium healthy environment?  Your filter system is not designed to

specifically aerate your aquarium water.  That is where an air pump and bubble wall provide proper African

Cichlids aquarium water aeration.

african cichlids aquarium aeration

Your bubble wall promotes gas exchange by producing air bubbles that rice up through your aquarium breaking

the water surface.  These bubbles are oxygen-rich air that enters your tank, while expelling gases.

 

Is your African Cichlids aquarium aeration adequate for your system?  To make things more interesting, the

amount of oxygen available to your African Cichlids varies under different conditions.  Your water temperature,

number of fish, and organic waste materials all affect the dissolved oxygen content available, and can lead to oxygen

-deficient water.  Each of these water parameters will be visited.

 

WATER TEMPERATURE

Simply put, as your aquarium water temperature increases, your oxygen level decreases.  The warmer your aquarium

water is, the less oxygen it can hold, and creates the need for proper African Cichlids aquarium aeration.

 

NUMBER OF FISH

The more African Cichlids in your aquarium, the greater the need for a steady supply of oxygen. The same holds true

for larger fish, like your cichlids.

 

ORGANIC WASTE

Oxygen naturally breaks down organic waste.  An aquarium with a large amount of organic waste, such as your African

Cichlids, requires additional oxygen to break this waste down and maintain efficient biological filtration.

 

Finally, an air pump is a key piece of equipment to your African Cichlids  aquarium system and needs to be a part of

the set-up.  Your air pump provides the force behind your bubble wall providing your cichlids with a healthy, oxygen-rich

environment, you with peace of mind, knowing that you have proper African Cichlids aquarium aeration!

 

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enthusiasts, please comment on the subject at hand.

 

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AQUARIUM SET-UP, AFRICAN CICHLIDS

aquarium set-up

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

AFRICAN CICHLIDS, AQUARIUM SET-UP

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. 

GUIDELINE:  EVERY INCH OF FISH REQUIRES ONE GALLON OF AQUARIUM WATER.

                   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

 

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CICHLIDS IN YOUR AQUARIUM

 

cichlids

 

 

 

 

 

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Would an aquarium filled with brightly colored  fish catch your eye?  African Cichlids display every color of the rainbow.

The neat thing about that is they are freshwater fish, and less expensive then  saltwater inhabitants in your aquarium.

 

cichlids    cichlids          cichlids

 

African Cichlids are very hardy, intelligent and energetic. They can tolerate a wide range of pH levels They know who

has the food. It’s pretty cool to see them go to the top of the tank when they see the person with the food coming!

Cichlids have a lifespan between 4- to years,  which is longer then most freshwater fish.

They require a larger tank because of their size. On average they will grow to a size between 4-6 inches.  This is

a good thing because a bigger aquarium is easier to maintain and keep their environment stable. What that

means for you is less time cleaning your tank,  giving you more time to enjoy your investment!

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS TEMPERATURE ?

 

african cichlids temperature

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS TEMPEWWRATURE

Your African Cichlids temperature can be the single most important factor in the life of your African Cichlids.  They are

super sensitive to change in their aquarium water temperature, especially when it happens suddenly because it can send

their systems out of whack and possibly be fatal.

 

A major component of your African Cichlids temperature and aquarium system is your heating system Choose the

size of your heating units based on 3-5 watts per gallon as a guide.  Remember, that each heating unit can raise the

temperature of your aquarium water a certain number of degrees.  

 

During the year, the ambient temperature of the room where your African Cichlids aquarium system is located will fluctuate

with the seasons.  A quality heating unit helps to maintain a constant temperature in your aquarium and minimize

temperature fluctuation in your cichlids environment.

 

When hot summer day temperatures are gone, warm days can continue to linger into the Fall season, creating a unique

challenge for African Cichlids aquarists concerning your African Cichlids temperature.   These warm air temperatures

can result in higher aquarium water temperatures in your cichlids environment causing havoc on the ecosystem.  If the

proper precautionary measures are not in place to regulate your aquarium water temperature.  You can guarantee a healthy

ecosystem for your African Cichlids with an understanding of what happens when your African Cichlids temperature

warms up, by investing in quality heating equipment to prevent a warm water disaster on your African Cichlids.

 

This posses the question, ” How do I know if my aquarium water is to warm for my African Cichlids?”  If your cichlids change

color, are overly active, found gasping or “yawning” at the water surface because of the lack of oxygen available,  your water

is probably to warm for them. 

 

Ok. I’m going to get a little scientific here for a moment!  Your African Cichlids are exothermic, simply meaning they rely on

the  temperature of their environment to regulate their body functions.  Therefore, it is important to maintain a constant

aquarium water temperature of 78ºF to keep you cichlids healthy.  When their environment, “heats up” and

potentially exceed their preferred range, which can be the case during the Summer and Fall months, a number of things take

place:

 

HYPERACTIVITY → An increase in your African Cichlids metabolism causing them to be more active.  This increase in

                                            activity cause your cichlids to require more oxygen, but there is less of it available because the

                                            warmer aquarium water can’t hold  as much dissolved oxygen as cooler water can. I’m going to

                                            be a bit scientific again!  This  cooler water and decreased dissolved  oxygen level also affect

                                            the aerobic bacteria in the nitrogen cycle, resulting in your biological filtration to be less effective,

                                            causing an increase in ammonia in your African Cichlids environment.  Add to that, the higher

                                            African Cichlids water temperature increases  your cichlids metabolism causing them to eat more. 

                                           What goes in, must go out!  So, more fish waste.  You now have the recipe for a water quality

                                           disaster.

 

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS! → There are several easy ways to counter your African Cichlids temperature  being to warm in

                                                     their environment.  Don’t locate your tank in direct sunlight, by heating or air conditioning

                                                     vents, and ensure that excellent water circulation exists in your tank to assist in keeping a

                                                     constant aquarium water temperature.  Monitoring your African Cichlids temperature

                                                     and following a few simple guidelines, you will ensure that your cichlids will keep their cool,

                                                     all year!

 

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AQUARIUM STAND FOR CICHLIDS TANK

 

aquarium stand for cichlids tank

 

 

 

 

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AQUARIUM  STAND

Your African Cichlids aquarium stand not only serves as an elevated support to ‘show case” your African Cichlids aquarium

system, it also can serve you as a storage place for your aquarium supplies and equipment, as well as, a piece of furniture

in your home complimenting your interior decor!  Choosing the right aquarium stand depends on your personal furniture

style and budget.  The single most important question you will need to answer is, ” will my aquarium stand adequately

support my African Cichlids aquarium?”

 

Purchase your aquarium stand  from a reliable source such as the manufacturer of your tank. to ensure that it is properly

constructed and has the reinforcement needed to support your tank.  Personally, I have used All-Glass  cabinets exclusively

without any issues.  This is a major piece to you entire African Cichlids system that is going to serve you for many years,

so purchase quality.  That’s it on purchasing your aquarium stand for your African Cichlids tank!

aquarium stand for cichlids tank       aquarium stand for cichlids tank

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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 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.

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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