Need Some Advice on Cichlid Aquarium Setup

Mconrad762

New member
I am trying to set up an aquarium that I can keep as natural as possible so as few chemicals or additives as possible and need some advice. The aquarium is 125 gallons, and for equipment I currently have a Fluval FX4, Aqua Clear 70, and a Tetra UV sterilizer 36 watts. My tap water is ph 7.6, high test ph 8.8, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm, Phosphate 1.0 ppm, KH 3 ˚, GH 2˚. After setting and being agitated by an air stone for 24 hours the ph 7.6, high test ph 7.4, Ammonia 0.50ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm, Phosphate 0.50 ppm, KH 2 ˚, GH 2˚. I am thinking of stocking the tank with African cichlids, using Pure Water Pebbles African Cichlids substrate to bring up the GH. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

OB Guy

Administrator
Staff member
Your tap water parameters are very close to mine. The only chemicals I use regularly is Seachem Prime water conditioner when doing water changes. I'm not using any substrate in any of my aquariums but I've heard good things about the Pure Water Pebbles Bio-Activ Live African Cichlid Substrate. My ph stays around 7.8 and ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are always 0. All other parameters are good with no substrate at all. I really don't even test my water anymore unless I sense something is wrong. I'd say from what I've heard from others the Pure Water Pebbles Bio-Activ Live African Cichlid Substrate would be a good choice.
 

Mconrad762

New member
Thank you. Any advice on the types of large rocks I should use. I had a person recommend limestone but I'm worried it would make the water couldy. I was thinking of either going with lava rock or a type of granite since there both fairly common around me.
 

OB Guy

Administrator
Staff member
I wouldn't use limestone but lava rock should be fine. The only reason I never used lava rock is it has a tendency of little pieces braking off and sharp edges. With all of the small holes in lava rock it should be a good breeding ground for beneficial bacteria though. I use river rocks in my aquariums. I rinse them off and boil them before putting them in my aquariums and never had a problem. I have a few larger river rocks in all of my aquariums and a small river rock pile in my 125 gallon aquarium.
 

Mconrad762

New member
Just got the pure water pebels added to the aquarium it looks really nice, and got some rough cut limestone for pavers and retaining walls. Haven't had a chance to get them in the tank yet though.
 
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