Themonstzer asked in PetsFish · 8 years ago

converting freshwater to cichlid aquarium?

heres my tank

Youtube thumbnail


some fish have been moved out since then like the catfish and oscars

i was thinking about converting this 65 gallon to a cichlid aquarium. i really like cichlids but dont know if i should. i would keep my tiretrack eel with cichlids if i did because i heard they aer good with cichlids. but if i do. how do i. new substrate?

How to raise pH?


as much info as possible would be appreciated


i like lake mlawi cichlids because they are unique but should i get rid of all my fish.

3 rainbow fish

african brown knife fish

black ghost knife fish

tiretrack eel

asain needle nose gar

african butterfly fish


6 Answers

  • Robert
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Lets tackle whether you want New World or African Cichlids. you mentioned raising the pH, so I assume you mean Lake Malawi and Tanganyika Cichilds (pH 7.6-8.5). The eel can be slowly raised to pH 8. I would suggest lake Tanganyikan schooling Daffodils and Maalwi peacocks and Haps as tankmates as they don't dig like Mnunas so they won't care if you have sand for the eel you can keep your brown knifefish, they will live in pH up to 8 as do Rainbow fish and Rainbow cichlids.. The others have to go. Tthey are lower ph fish. B lue Acaras will ive at p?h 7.8.

    .Anubias plants grow well in African cichlid tanks.

    Decorations are for the people,, the fish want rock piles and gravel to dig in. If you want some bottom dwellling species of Mbunas, get small lengths of PVC pipe, put silicone on them, and cover them with the substrate. then they will be perfectly good bottom caves for the fish that are territorial cave dwellers..Anubias plants can stand pH 8 well.

    Do not, as suggested let the Africans adapt to lower ph. Tthey loose their color and it weakens their immune .system. Dont use aqadvisor for ph and compatibilty. Half the African cichlids werwe poorly known when that program was made. You need to look up the pH of everything ny name. there are some that like pH 8.5, which you want to avoid. for Accurate info, use Ad Konings publ;ication. /he works those lakes all the time.

    If you want the best Malawi and Tanganyikan stock in the country, contact Anthony Stissi only sells first generaton captive breds, so they are not inbred and sickly.

    Source(s): Robert Price, Ph.d Ichthyology, Board Member Brooklyn Aquarium Society Ad Konings (books and articles)
  • 8 years ago

    Raise PH: CRUSHED CORAL. You can change your substrate or mix in crushed coral. Or, instead of replacing gravel, or mixing the crushed coral in the gravel you can put the coral in your filter system somehow. I have a sump and I fill nylon stockings with crushed coral making long tubes. Otherwise you could hide these tubes behind decorations.

    I would suggest adding 1 CUP at a time, wait a day, then test PH before adding more. Get the PH to desired levels then stop adding....

    Find the Africans you want most. Study on them, research! Then match their water values (parameters) with your other fish. You want to match things like water softness, PH, temperatures with tank mates. I know 1 answer states PH doesn't matter. Well, it does. It makes a difference between a healthy vibrant fish and a fish that's in fair wellbeing. Some species get sick, some get mean when water parameters are not met..

    African cichlid decor; you can do this a bunch of ways. Typically, you'll see people use a lot of lava rock with cave holes and stack them. Or Java fern, moss, planters for caves, Lava rock mix. Just provide a lot of break areas(places for fish to be that's secluded from eye site of other fish), some caves to hide in .

    I think that most your fish in your list will have to go. I could be wrong. I know about these fish but some species maybe able to tolerate higher PH. Just do what we do... GOOGLE search the species. Many profile websites offer great reading on all fish :)

    Source(s): Im looking for 3 needlenosed gar! Email me if you want to sell yours and your near Seattle, Washington, USA :)
  • 8 years ago

    For stocking ideas use here is an example of stocking (Mbuna) for your size tank:

    5 x Yellow Lab

    5 x Pseudotropheus Acei

    5 x Rusty Cichlid

    Your tiretrack eel

    As far as the PH is concerned you should NOT mess with it. The cichlids will adapt in short order and messing with ph is a challenge for even a pro. Decorations...sand substrate and LOTS of places to hide such as rock caves etc. I would not use plants as most cichlids are diggers and your plants will surely be up rooted in no time.


    If you want Mbuna aka most colorful lake malawi fish then I would get rid of everything BUT the eel. If you decide to get rid of the aal also then you could get one or two bristlenose plecos (which is one of a few bottom feeders that do well with malawi cichlids.

    EDIT #2:

    Robert is correct about the bad. I have had Mbuna cichlids for about 6 years and have never had to adjust the PH. But then again the PH of the water out of my tap hovers between 7.8 and 8.0. I live in Southern Ontario near Niagara Falls where high ph is par for the course.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I have a 55g community tank with a red oscar, tiger oscar, 3South African cichlids, a Texas cichlid, 2Peacock eels, a dragonfish and a large Bala Shark... Through trial and error i have found the cichlids and eels "counting dragonfish" love to dig and play in sand, if you go to your local gravel&Rock company you can get a literal truckload or less of "wash-Sand" for around $5 bring it home and wash all you want for your tank as if it was rice washing until the water is clear again and also making sure to only have 1" 1/2 " of sand substrate in your tank unless you want a difficult to maintain DSB "Deep Sand Bed", sand will also keep nitrites, Ammonia, and nitrates at near zero to complete zero.. Sand substrate is a need for all cichlids, eels "including dragonfish", and most oscars... Lowering and Raising pH is going to cost about $25.00 to get lower pH and raise pH solutions from your local pet store... Now all cichlids LOVE to play in rocks, caves and sand if you simply wash off large rocks that you find maybe at a lake, backyard, river or a store "slate, larger river rocks and marble are the best to use" you can simply decorate your tank or go the fun route and build rock caverns to watch your fish play in and around "making sure the rocks for caverns or caves are stable and cant be pushed over easily also using common sence for the tanks safety of course"

    Source(s): Trial and error
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  • krell
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Marine skill ' of the sea'. Aquarium skill 'a tank or pond the place water animals and flora are stored'. So for sure, Marine Aquarium skill the place sea animals and/or flora are stored. Sea water is saline, hence, clean-water animals/flora won't be able to servive in Marine Aquarium and vice-versa.

  • 8 years ago

    U should have kept the oscars such great fish what a shame

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