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Hello! New here and having some problems with my tank--(African cichlids inside)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by boostedzx3, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. boostedzx3

    boostedzx3 Registered Member

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    Hello! Im not new to forums, but I am young and somewhat of a rookie when it comes to fish. Im a car guy from the time I was young and spend lots of money there. However i've always loved aquariums, I guess who doesnt? My first one was a 25 gallon with regular community fish. My ex now has that, so I recently upgraded to a 37 gallon tank with more complicated African Cichlids.

    Ive had my 37 gallon African Cichlid tank for probably 9 months now. We have about 10 varieties of cichlids in it with the algae eater and they have created a great community and they all mesh well. They were a hard fish to figure out at first, I didnt have a big enough community and I did not have enough hiding spots. After finding we had a dominant male and not enough hiding spots we quickly solved the problem and as I said its been great since.

    They are very entertaining fish to watch, much more entertaining than any other kind of fish I have ever seen. This isnt my only hobby though so I dont have thousands of dollars to pour into big tanks and complicated filtration systems. Though one day soon once I get this down I would like to upgrade to around a 70 gallon or so. Maybe even a small salt water tank.

    Now the problem. Its only been of recent that the water has become quite cloudy and even turning somewhat green. We have not changed any of the filtration system components with excpetion of the filters every couple weeks. We use a dual filter whisper 60 filtration system, and we have been using Microbe-lift bacteria to help promote water clarification and ammonia, nitrate levels.

    A few months back we had an ammonia scare where the levels crept up to dangerous levels. I was able to get it under control without much work, but ive been changing out about 1/5th of the water every week now just as added maintenance. I also add in a little bit of stress coat when adding water to help them "chill" out.

    So we have ended up with cloudy water now thats hard to get rid of. Changing the water helps for a few days but it just never gets as clear as other tanks I see. My 25 gallon tank never had this problem. Im out of ideas here and could use some advice. Thanks for taking time to read and for any suggestions!

    Note also: the tank is not in direct sunlight but does get lots of natural indirect light, plus we leave the UV light on all day. Is this to much?
     
  2. Rbishop

    Rbishop The glistening drop....
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    Welcome to AC! Have you started a thread in the Cichlid Forums?
     
  3. kenjivaj

    kenjivaj AC Members

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    I think your tank is too small for your cichlids. They were fine small untill they starting to out growing your tank. Then your ammonia started to act up. I have put 3 large peacock cichlids in a 37gallon before. It barely as enough room for them. You are over stocked in fish (too much waste). Therefore changing water can unblance the nitrogen system causing it to be cloudy. The turning somewhat green water is the fish urine with waste. The color of the water also depend on what kind of cichlids food you feed them. 37gallon tanks are norally not long. Most of them are just tall. Changing to 55gallon long tank will be perfect of that amount of fish.
     
  4. stephcps

    stephcps AC Members

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    If your water is indeed green (put some in a glass and hold it up infront of a white piece of paper), then I would say algae bloom. How long do ou keep your lighs on xactly? Have you changed anything about lightng recently?

    Based on what you said about an ammonia sare, however, It could also be a bacterial bloom. Wht are your current water parameters?
     
  5. boostedzx3

    boostedzx3 Registered Member

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    I tested the water today and the only thing that's a little off is that it is somewhat acidic and the nitrate level is slightly off but it's not bad. However I see what you all are saying about the fish to tank size ratio. Is there anything I can do to help until I get a bigger tank? Should I maybe just keep up with frequent water changes? This seems to work best for awhile
     
  6. stephcps

    stephcps AC Members

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    Yes....you can overstock and make up for it somewhat with frequent water changes. The goal of course being to get a bigger tank. You need to do big ones to...40-50% 3 times a week is what I would shoot for.

    Is the water cloudy white or cloudy green though? Fish waste won't make our water green...algae does.
     
  7. kenjivaj

    kenjivaj AC Members

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    Here my frontosa tanks (150g top and 130g bottom tank connected together). 1 pump and DIY filter. No lights or heater to it. The water looks green/red, when I feed it New Life Spectrum cichlid Formula. Before I feed than that kind of food it was brown clear looking (yellow picture with more frontosa).

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  8. boostedzx3

    boostedzx3 Registered Member

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    O wow. Yea mine are not near as big as that. The biggest is maybe 5 inches at max. We chose some of the smaller ones but they are noticeably bigger than orignally obviously. The water is a cloudy kind of white right now. I'll keep up with the water changes then
     
  9. ksterling

    ksterling AC Members

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    White cloud is ammonia or bacterial bloom. If ammo tests low (under .5 or 1.0ppm) then its bacterial bloom or sediment in water column. Bacterial bloom will settle in a few days to a week or 2. If sediment try a water polishing pad or put some water clearing drops in & then vaccum the smokey looking stuff after it settles

    Sent from my SCH-I405 using MonsterAquariaNetwork App
     
  10. boostedzx3

    boostedzx3 Registered Member

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    Yea it seems like the consensus is I need a bigger tank soon though. I want to go to a 70 at some point so I think that's the next step. How many cichlids could I do with a 70 gallon. Also I take It that with a 70 it wouldn't give me the same kind of issues I'm experiencing now.
     

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