Setting up a African Cichlid Tank

Setting up a African Cichlid Tank

AFRICAN RIFT LAKE CICHLIDS ARE SOME OF THE MOST COLOURFUL FISH HOWEVER,THEY CAN ALSO GROW LARGE YOU WILL NEED AN AQUARIUM.FILTER,HEATER,CALCIUM CARBONATE CHIPS OR CRUSHED CORAL,NET,CHLORINE NEUTRALISER,GRAVEL CLEANER ,HIGH RANGE TEST KIT AND LIGHT

AFRICAN CICHLIDS HAVE DIFFERENT WATER REQUIREMENTS THAN OTHER FISH THEY LIKE HARD AND ALKALINE CONDITIONS.AFRICAN RIFT LAKE WATER CONDITIONER WILL HELP.PH SHOULD BE 7.6-8.0

PLANTS ARE NOT USUALLY VERY SUCCESSFUL IN AN AFRICAN TANK,BUT IF YOU WANT TO TRY SOME WE

RECOMMEND.JAVA FERN,VALLISINERIA

YOUR TANK CAN BE DECORATED WITH PLANTS, ROCKS, WOOD AND ORNAMENTS

WHEN SETTING UP YOUR AQUARIUM YOU WILL NEED TO WASH OUT THE TANK(DO NOT USE DETERGENTS)

DO NOT PLACE YOUR TANK TOO CLOSE TO A WINDOW OR YOU WILL HAVE AN ALGAE PROBLEM

TANKS SHOULD HAVE STYRENE FOAM PLACED UNDER THEM

WASH YOUR GRAVEL THOROUGHLY BEFORE PLACING IN TO YOUR AQUARIUM.

WHEN ADDING WATER,POUR THE WATER ON TO A BOWL SO THAT YOU DO NOT DISTURB THE GRAVEL.WHEN HALF FULL ADD YOUR ROCKS,DRIFTWOOD,ORNAMENTS AND CHLORINE NEUTRALISER

YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW HOW MANY LITRES YOUR TANK HOLDS TO ADD YOUR CHLORINE NEUTRALISER AND ANY MEDICATIONS THAT YOU MAY NEED.TO CALCULATE THE VOLUME IN LITRES,MULTIPLY THE LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT (IN CENTIMETRES) TOGETHER THEN DIVIDE BY 1000

TEST YOUR PH AND ADJUST IF NECESSARY WHEN ADDING PLANTS TO YOUR TANK THEY WILL SURVIVE AND GROW A LOT BETTER IF YOU FERTILISE THEM.(GLOBES ONLY GIVE OUT THE RIGHT SPECTRUM FOR PLANT GROWTH FOR ABOUT 6-9 MONTHS)

WE RECOMMEND THAT ONE SMALL FISH TO 10 LITRES OF WATER

BACTERIAL POPULATION IS CRUCIAL IN ANY TANK AND A NEWLY SET UP AQUARIUM DOES NOT HAVE ANY

PRESENT.THIS PROCESS MAY TAKE UP TO FOUR WEEKS BEFORE YOUR FILTER HAS BUILT UP THE NECESSARY GOOD BACTERIA

NEW TANK SYNDROME REFERS TO A FEW EVENTS THAT CAN OCCUR IN AN AQUARIUM DURING THE FIRST FEW WEEKS OR AFTER KILLING OFF ALL THE GOOD BACTERIA.THE PROBLEM IS WHEN WASTE FROM YOUR FISH AND LEFT OVER FOOD BUILDS UP TO DANGEROUS AMMONIA LEVELS. THIS CAN RESULT IN FISH DEATH

SYMPTOMS OF THIS POISONING ARE THE FISH SITTING ON THE BOTTOM OR GASPING FOR AIR AT THE TOP OF THE TANK.THIS PROBLEM REQUIRES A WATER CHANGE TO DILUTE THE TOXINS AND DEPENDING ON THE SEVERITY OF IT IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO CONTINUE WATER CHANGES EVERY COUPLE OF DAYS UNTIL IT SETTLES DOWN

AMMONIA IS LETHAL TO FISH AND IS THE HIGHEST KILLER IN FISH

NITRATE IS LESS TOXIC BUT IS STILL STRESSFUL TO THE FISH AND IN HIGH READINGS CAN CAUSE DEATH

THE PROCESS OF GETTING ALL OF THE BACTERIA CORRECT TAKES AT LEAST FOUR WEEKS TO ESTABLISH FULLY,BUT ONCE IT HAS IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO WASH YOUR GRAVEL WITH TAP WATER AS THIS WILL KILL LARGE NUMBERS OF GOOD BACTERIA AND THE PROCESS WILL HAVE TO START AGAIN

INTRODUCING YOUR FISH SLOWLY IS VERY IMPORTANT.WHEN YOU BRING YOUR FISH HOME,FLOAT THE BAG ON TOP OF THE WATER IN THE TANK FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES.THIS WILL ALLOW THE TEMPERATURE OF THE WATER IN THE BAG TO BECOME THE SAME AS IN THE TANK,REDUCING STRESS FOR THE FISH,OPEN THE BAG AND PUT A LITTLE OF THE TANK WATER IN TO THE BAG AND FLOAT FOR ANOTHER 5 MINUTES BEFORE RELEASING.

WATER CHANGING& MAINTENANCE

IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO CHECK THE Ph OF THE WATER . IF THE PH IS WRONG THIS CAN BE RECTIFIED BY ADDING EITHER PH UP OR PH DOWN TO THE TANK

WATER CHANGING IS NECESSARY AND VERY IMPORTANT FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS.

THE FIRST IS THAT THE POLLUTION THAT OCCURS IN THE WATER CAN BECOME QUITE TOXIC IF IT IS NOT

DILUTED BY FRESH WATER,SECONDLY THE GRAVEL AND FILTERS NEED TO BE CLEANED ON A REGULAR BASIS TO PREVENT THEM FROM BECOMING CLOGGED(A GRAVEL CLEANER CAN BE USED TO SUCK OUT THE DIRT.

WE RECOMMEND A 25% -30% WATER CHANGE EVERY WEEK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE WATER YOU ARE REPLACING IS OF SIMILAR TEMPERATURE TO THE TANK WATER AND HAS BEEN TREATED WITH DE-CHLORINATING DROPS.

DO NOT TOTALLY CLEAN YOUR WHOLE AQUARIUM WATER,GRAVEL AND FILTERS ON THE SAME DAY AS YOU THEN HAVE REMOVED THE GOOD BACTERIA AND YOUR TANK CYCLE WILL HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN,WE SUGGEST YOU RINSE THE FILTER OUT IN THE WATER YOU HAVE REMOVED FROM YOUR AQUARIUM

MANY AFRICAN CICHLIDS ARE PRIMARILY HERBIVOROUS SO THEIR DIET NEEDS A LOT OF VEGETABLE PROTEIN (VEGGIE FLAKES),TO ADD VARIETY TO THEIR DIET INCLUDE FROZEN MYSIS SHRIMP OR BRINE SHRIMP AND NEVER FEED YOUR FISH LIVE BLACKWORMS, FROZEN BLOODWORMS OR TROPICAL FISH FLAKE.

VEGETABLE MATTER AND SHRIMP ARE IDEAL FOODS A SMALL AMOUNT OF FOOD TWICE A DAY IS SUFFICIENT CHEMICALS

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER NOT TO SPRAY ANY CHEMICALS NEAR

YOUR AQUARIUMS,SUCH AS FURNITURE POLISH,INSECT SPRAY ,ROOM DEODORANTS ETC.

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