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Overstocked?
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CICHLID RAGE
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Joined: 08 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.05.09(Mon)20:39    Post subject: Overstocked? Reply with quote

I just put up a 100 gal. Tank with the folling fish: 5 kenyi, 3 yellow labs, 1 orange african (?), 1 albino african (?) 3 clown loaches, 3 lace syn. Cats and two giant danio (dithers). They are all very small some less then 1 inch at this time and all seem to be doing very well together. Is this to many fish for this size tank? I have a lot of rocks, caves etc. The tank has a large built in rear filter and large powerhead. Any thoughts? (yes I know some will say the clown loaches won't do well with the agressive kenyi's but time will tell)
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dr_fosg8
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Location: central Illinois

PostPosted: 2005.05.10(Tue)7:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds OK to me. If anything I would add 2 or 3 more yellow labs.
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Tommy
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: San Jose, CA

PostPosted: 2005.05.10(Tue)11:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry but I see some serious potential problems here...

First of all you said you "just put up" your tank. Did you fishless cycle it with the addition of ammonia? If not then you are relying on this mix of fish to cycle the tank for you and you will need to monitor ammonia and nitrites carefully for the next month before even THINKing about adding more fish. If you are cycling with fish I would immediately pull out the clown loaches and the lace cats or they will likely stress out and die. Neither of these fish is appropriate to place in a tank which you know will be experiencing ammonia and nitrites.

The next issue is the clown loaches in general. These are NOT appropriate to plan on keeping with African Cichlids long term. They require softer water than the cichlids plus they stress easily and in a high action/energy environment like an african cichlid tank they will not fit in well. This is just not a good idea all of the way around.

Thirdly the goal with a successful rift lake cichlid tank should be to achieve "colony" type stocking plan. To keep one single fish of a species mixed in with a colony of a different fish such as the kenyi is not a good idea and will likely result in increased agression against the single fish. I would agree with bumping up the number of labs, as well as the "orange" and the "albino" to a minimum of 6 each and allow them to manage their colony such as they would in the wild. Again like I said above, make sure your tank is FULLY cycled before slowly adding more fish.
Hope this helps...
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CICHLID RAGE
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Joined: 08 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.05.10(Tue)15:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, and no this tank has been running for 2 weeks with no fish and 1 week with just the danios. Have tested the water, it is fine. I will add another couple of the yellows, albinos and oranges then. I am closely monitoring the loaches, I have read that they will do OK in a small group with Africans, although I have also heard otherwise. Loaches adapt well to the higher pH, harder water tanks from the literature I have read. My concern was a possible over crowding. Thanks again.
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CICHLID RAGE
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Joined: 08 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.05.10(Tue)15:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just tested everything again- Nitrate 40 mg/L, Nitrite 0, GH 150, KH 180, pH 7.8. Looks OK, I would like to take the Nitrates down abit and pH up just a tad. Will do a 20% water change and gravle vacuum this weekend.
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.05.10(Tue)16:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cichlid rage, please read the boards position on stocking of tanks:
http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=20742

Please do not dismiss the advice you are being given.
Some could take replies such as yours,
"My concern was a possible over crowding. Thanks again."
as insulting. I am sure that is not your intent. Please try to accept the advice as given. You don't have to follow all advice, but you should know how to accept it graciously. Please keep that in mind when you hit the submit button. Thanks.
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kjh90
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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: 2005.05.10(Tue)16:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you keep the danios I would suggest getting 3 more because they are schooling fish that do best in groups of 5.
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Tommy
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: San Jose, CA

PostPosted: 2005.05.10(Tue)16:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

CICHLID RAGE wrote:
Thanks for the info, and no this tank has been running for 2 weeks with no fish and 1 week with just the danios. Have tested the water, it is fine.

Hate to break this to you, but absolutely nothing was accomplished by your tank running empty for two weeks. The nitrogen cycle begins in the presence of ammonia which is first converted to nitrites and then eventually to nitrates. In your case the clock started one week ago when you put your fish in. From that point it takes approximately 2-3 weeks for ammonia to build to the point of toxicity followed by even more toxic nitrite. Total cycle period is going to take about 4-6 weeks depending on just how toxic the levels of the two chemicals are allowed to become. This isn't a process you can avoid, it happens in every tank until the bacteria build to sufficient levels to process the ammonia that you fish excrete on a daily basis.

I will make two suggestions of what I would do if I were you and then you are of course free to do what you wish. I would first of all gain access to a used filter media from another tank (or two or seven...) even if I had to go to my lfs to find it. I would take and squeeze as much of this seeding material into the new tank as possible. This material is loaded with good bacteria and will go a LONG way towards reducing the toxicity of your cycle. Cycling with fish can be accomplished without ever reaching levels of toxicity if steps are taken to properly "seed" the tank with bacteria from an established tank. I personally do not trust the bacteria in a bottle products but some do so you might also want to try that in addition to the seeding material.

Secondly I would stop being subborn Wink and remove the clown loaches before they stress out and die. You don't have to believe me on this point, but I have been keeping cichlids and clown loaches for 20+ years and I can assure you that they are not suited for this situation due to both the cycling tank and the prospect of living with african cichlids. I'm assuming that you are talking about normal store sized clown loaches and these are NOT he heartiest of fish until they get a number of months (years?) established into a tank they are comfortable with.
Best of luck to you.
Tommy
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