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AndrewM last won the day on September 22

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  1. @Slipshodman - Thanks, yeah they say the best way to learn is from our mistakes. I am sure I will make mistakes again, but it is also difficult to identify some of the fish when they only just start to show some colour - which means we need staff to be more educated and know where their fish came from. I asked one aquarium store what their water conditions were for the Cichlids they had and their response was 'we run our aquariums with hard water - great for Cichlids', to which point I said thanks and walked out of the store.
  2. @Link2Hell - Thank you very much for helping clarify the species. Yes I am not happy with the aquarium store and I sent them an email over the weekend to explain the important of keeping good records when selling fish, specially considering how many tanks they have of salt water species and fresh water species. Having said that, they do have a great supply of equipment. I have found another supplier in Victoria who is supposed to specialise in Cichlids, so I will order a few Peacocks from them and see how it goes.
  3. @MFF - yeah the coloring changes quite a bit. The Mbuna bring on colour when they go up against each other or when I am about to feed them. But they are quite small still...
  4. @MattG_Sydney - Thank you and I will contact them and see. I made contact with the following in Victoria: Barnesys Cichlid Heaven (they are supposed to have a very large range, waiting for them to get back to me) Nature Aquariums (They have good equipment and wide range, but not really focused on Cichlids) Amazing Amazon (these guys told me not to buy from their shop as the stock are for mums and dads - they do special orders for those who are serious - will see what they come back with) The Aquatic Vault (these guys do not specialise in Cichlids but they game me some contacts) Labyrinth Aquarium (Unknown as they have not responded)
  5. I agree, the Compressiceps does not seem right, but it was the only thing that I could see was close. Teach me not to rely on an aquarium shop, I think they mainly specialise in salt water, although they have a very large selection of fresh water. As it grows, there will most likely be a point when I can determine if I am right or wrong.
  6. I picked up some Cichlids late yesterday for the tank, although made a couple of mistakes - due to the unhelpful sales staff. Ended up with 2 Mbuna (Labidochromis Hongi). Also they sold me two Compressiceps, one of which turned out to be a Champsochromis Caeruleus - it seemed wrong as the stripe was too high and there was a larger dark dot just under the eye. Having said that I could be wrong myself, as I am no expert. Also the second Compressiceps was a hybrid - we learn from our mistakes. Please also correct me where I am incorrect, as that would be appreciated. I have found a couple of suppliers so will see what their stock and support/knowledge is like. Images attached, but the list I ended up with: 1 x OB Compressiceps 1 x Champsochromis Caeruleus 2 x Labidochromis Hongi 2 x Haplochromis Livingstoni 2 x Otopharynx Tetrastigma And because I could not help myself, I also purchased: 2 x Balantiocheilos melanopterus (Bala shark) 2 x Epalzeorhynchos Bicolor (Red tail shark) Champsochromis Caeruleus OB Compressiceps Haplochromis Livingstoni Labidochromis Hongi Otopharynx Tetrastigma
  7. haha, yeah better to ask for forgiveness than permission... 😱
  8. @MFF - looks good, I am already seeding the idea of more tanks with my wife
  9. @MFF - ha! seems we thought of similar things. That's good and good work on remodeling your cover. Thanks for the tip on the jigsaw, I did not think it would melt the perspex, but it makes sense.
  10. @MFF - I am glad you changed your lights, imagine glass in the tank. I am also glad I have the LED lights, but they could easily improve the design of the lids. Link below to what I purchased at Bunnings for the perspex - it's 3mm thick. I purchased two sheets and cut each one into 2 pieces, including cutting out sections for the filter pipes out the back and feeding holes at the front (I also have some small pieces to cover a central feeding hold - not that its important). I was going to silicon handles on them, but they are light and easy to move around so I did not bother. As mentioned I had to make some brackets to hold the perspex covers. I did this by cutting 4 small rectangular pieces (350 x 50), siliconed 2 of them together (one on top of the other to increase thickness) after a few hours I then siliconed them to the tank on each end, as supports - see in the image. I cut the perspex with a hacksaw, but make sure you run a strip of tape on the perspex (both sides) and then mark a line on top of the tape for where you want to cut. The tape will help reduce damage from the cutting process, although you will still have to smooth the edges, which can be done with some light sandpaper. Also a small jigsaw with a fine blade would have done a far better job than me using a hacksaw, but you have to be careful not to crack the perspex in the process of cutting it - so stable suports underneath like some lumps of timer or something. Also I assume you know but don't remove the plastic covering on the perspex until you have completely finished all the cutting, otherwise it might scratch. Also I gave mine a quick clean mine after I removed the protective plastic, using a paper towel with some vinegar. While they also state the perspex is clear, it is not 100%, there might be a slight reduction in light in the tank (barely noticable) and the plants are growing. The Milfoil is growing crazy, it grows at about 10cm a week. 3 weeks ago it was hidden behind the rocks and by this coming weekend, it looks like it's on track to hit the surface of the water. https://www.bunnings.com.au/suntuf-600-x-1200-x-3mm-clear-pvc-handisheet_p1010176
  11. @Slipshodman - while I remember, I am not using the heaters that came with the tank as I do not like internal heaters. I purchased an inline heater and it is awesome, very accurate and efficient as it heats up the water on the outlet based on the water temperature from the filter - I also have thermometers at either end of the tank to check the temperature. The other added benefit is that it has an alarm that is quite loud, so if the water stops flowing the alarm goes off, or if the temperature changes too much it is also goes off. The alarm has gone off a few times when I switch the FX6 off and forget to switch the heater off, it will switch its heating off when the alarm goes - https://www.amazingamazon.com.au/inline-aquarium-heater.html I highly recommend it if you are not already on an external heater.
  12. Oh some great news also, I finally cycled the tank - took 28 days from when I first put water in - this included seeding it - not bad (poor fish). My water conditions (using chemical testing, not strips): Ammonia: 0.2 ppm Nitrite: 0 ppm Nitrate: 2 ppm KH: 11o GH: 11o PH: 8.2 Temp: 24 I am starting to feed the fish more to increase ammonia in the tank and see how well the filtration handles it during this week, before I start buying a few Cichlids (hopefully this weekend). It is a bit of a challenge finding breeders and good quality fish during COVID lockdown, can't travel to view fish and I checked out the local clubs but there are no auctions on for a while.
  13. @Slipshodman - One other thing, I see you are using the FX6, are you intending to hook up the Nautilus as well? I use both filters as if I need to switch one of the filters off, there is always another one running. I am also obviously over filtering but at the same time preparing for the bio load that Cichlids will bring.
  14. @MattG_Sydney - Thanks for the recommendations, I will have a look.
  15. @Slipshodman - Thank you for your message. Yes it is the same tank. I made the following modifications (I am also not a fan of the flimsy covers). I cut some pieces out of the back covers for the pipes as I agree the lids look better when they are flat (it is more difficult to cut than expected). It would have also been good if it came with some covers for the pipes as I have not solved this bit yet - in terms of visually seeing the pipes. I cut up some perspex into 4 sections to cover the top of the tank - helps reduce heat loss and evaporation - these also include some areas cut out for ease of feeding and access For the perspex covers, I had to silicon (aquarium grade) some perspex as brackets on both ends of the tank so the perspex cover pieces sit properly - for some reason the tank does not come with any brackets on either end of the tank. I also found some small plastic clips at Bunnings and siliconed them onto the underside of the front lid and the side of the tank. For now I have just tied string between them, so when I lift the front top lid open it stays propped up. The string is easy to remove when I want top do a clean, but I will find something that clips on when I have some more time. Also previously when I opened the lids, they just flipped back and sometimes it popped out of the grooves in the light box. Really bad design. See the image below of the right side under the lid. Also when I figure out a decent black cover for the pipes at the back of the tank (and the holes I had to cut), I will let you know.
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