Sooooo.... New Tank.

tomtomtom1230

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I'm trying a new set up and I've got a bunch of ocean rock laying about and a spare 150 litre (approx.) tank (80cm x 45cm x 50cm = WxDxH). I'm thinking dwarf cichlids?
 
Completely new to cichlids in general, what do I need to know? What species am I looking at? Thanks guys, as I said before I'm new to cichlids, treat me as a newbie.
 
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TallTree01

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Here's a list of cichlids that would work ( not all together ):
Convicts
Kribensis
Rams
Apistogrammas
Keyholes
Shell dwelling tanganyikans
Thomasi
Angelfish

There's probably heaps more but these are all the ones I could com up with.

Research these then tell me which ones you like most. Then the real fun begins. Mwahahaha
 
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tomtomtom1230

tomtomtom1230

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Hey there, 
 
Apologies for the lateness in my reply. Not a huge fan of Convicts although I wouldn't shy away if it turned out they're an adequate option for my tank.
 
My LFS has plenty of Severums, Tanganyikan cichlids (Lamprologus Birchardi I believe), Keyholes, African butterflies (Thomasi cichlids?), Rams, Kribs, Firemouths, Malawis and Angelfish. Love the Keyhole cichlids, they're really nice and the Butterflies are also looking good.
 
I believe Malawis and Angelfish are at risk of getting a little on the larger side of things for my tank and although the Firemouths won't grow too large (?), I understand they need lots of space. I really like the blue Rams that my LFS has in, alongside the Kribs, Butterflies and Keyholes. Not sure whether the Tangs I mentioned are the shell dwelling variety or not though? I asked and they said they could definitely get hold of a lot of different Apisto varieties. I just need to let them know what I want and they'll try and source it for me (I have a good rap with my local store. I help them out A LOT).
 
My area is a high pH, hard water area. The pH of the water that comes straight out the cold tap is always 7.5 - 8.0 - I've noticed that this depends on the time of year. I want to get everything correct for these guys and not make the same mistakes that I have in the past. So, following that I went to my water supplier and got a typical analysis for my area. It reads as follows;
 
Hardness: Hard
Hardness Clark / French / German: 18.0 / 26.0 / 15.0
Aluminium:                      5.88 μgAl/l
Chlorine:                          0.28 mg/l
Coliform bacteria:            0.00
Colour:                            1.57 mg/l
Conductivity:               547.14 μS/cm at 20°C
E.coli bacteria:                0.00
Fluoride:                          0.08 mgF/l
Iron:                               10.0 μgFe/l
Odour: None, acceptable to customers.
Pesticides:                       0.00 mg/l
pH (at source):                 7.36
Sodium:                           13.25
Taste: Flavoured slightly with Iron, metallic, acceptable to customers.
 
Plumbing metals:
Copper:                             0.03 mgCu/l
Lead:                                 0.60 μgPb/l
Nickel:                               0.90 μgNi/l
 
Any suggestions or anything I need to keep an eye on when setting up this tank based on the info here?
 
Many, many thanks.
 

TallTree01

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As you have hard water id stay away from south American cichlids.
 
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tomtomtom1230

tomtomtom1230

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I take it they prefer the more acidic and soft waters, where they're native too then?
 
This would suggest that the African cichlids are a more viable option for me, yes?
 
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tomtomtom1230

tomtomtom1230

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Ok, so. Following the previous information given and some research, I'd really like to keep some African Butterfly Cichlids (Anomalochrommis thomasi). Running a pH at 7.8+ however is my concern. Because my water is very hard (I'm yet to invest in a liquid test, I'm relying on the results of the tests my water company has given me, as posted above until then), I understand this will act as a buffer, and keep the pH high, yes?
 
Do I bother with coral sand and/or ocean rock in the tank? I have both materials laying around in the garage, ready to be washed and used but whether this is right for the fish for these materials has yet to be confirmed to me. 
 
Doing some research on the African Butterflies, I have been made aware on numerous sites and in a plethora of books from my local library, that the recommended pH sits just above neutral at 7.2. I understand that the difference between pH 7 and pH 8 is that 8 is approximately 100 times more alkaline than pH 7, therefore (potentially) affecting the fish's natural behaviour adversely.
 
Sadly, I'm not really into live bearers, otherwise I'd look at those, since they're easy to breed (although this isn't a concern to me, it would be nice to get conditions correct) and prefer harder waters.
 
The last thing I want, is to have to start buying and mixing RO water and filtering through pete. I'd love to just use the water I've got. I probably won't be planting the tank this time around, instead opting for silk plants due to maintenance vs. cost reasons, although I'll do my very best to mimic the fish's natural habitat.
 
I have also seen these in my local LFS. Not sure what they are exactly and neither are the staff members. I just know they're a type of cichlid. I spent a short while watching them. Their body shape and their mannerisms are typically cichlid-like. Can anybody help me identify these and perhaps tell me a little more about them? For scale, they're around 3-5cm long. They kinda look like the other Tanganyikan cichlids that are there but I'm not 100%.
 
Please click the image to enlarge.
 

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