Ash2020 Ash2020
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  • Posted on: 21/10 8:25
First fish tank advice please #1
Hi all new to the forum, we've purchased a used fish tank, the seller guessed that its a 200 litre tank he has had it for 2 years

The fish are African chiclids?, approx 30 to 35 in the tank

I only collected the tank last night but the guy who we purchased from said there is no water heater and no water treatment to treat the tap water!

He advised he has always used untreated tap water mixed with hot and cold and never used a heater either!

I've topped up the tank last night with untreated tap water, I've not filled the tank back up the water is just below half but need to clean the tank out today as the water looks dirty

I'm a complete novice and would appreciate any advice. I am based in the UK West Midlands Coventry

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Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 21/10 13:34
Re: First fish tank advice please #2
Hi and welcome,

A few points for you to consider:

1) The tank appears to be overhanging whatever it's sitting on. You need to fix that by placing it on something larger or using a 3/4 inch sheet of plywood under the tank that's the size of the tank bottom as overhangs can stress the tank seams and cause leaks/cracking

2) The fish DO need a heater, set to around 25C. The previous owner maybe had a warm house and got away without using one, but it's not good for the fish.

3) The tank needs filling up to the top - the fish need the depth for swimming room and territory.

4) A dechlorinator for new water is essential - the filtration relies on the growth of beneficial bacteria that convert toxic ammonia from fish waste via slightly less toxic nitrite to mildly toxic nitrate which you then remove with water changes. Tap water contains chlorine or chloramine to kill bacteria that could be harmful and will also kill the bacteria in your filter leaving fish at risk of poisoning.

5) If the only filtration is the filter on the left of the image, it may not be adequate for these fish. Can you post the make/model so we can assess its suitability?

6) Malawi cichlids like these need a good deal of rock work in the tank to create caves and crevices they can hide and spawn in. This also reduces the risk of damage to any one of them from aggression by the others.

7) If you put the length width and height of the tank into the Tank Capacity calculator on the right of the page it will tell you what the tank volume is. This will help in working out whether or not the filter is adequate.

8) An essential item is a liquid-based test kit to monitor ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. This is particularly important in a new tank or after a move so if the previous owner didn't supply one, get one a.s.a.p. This is the one many of us use: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/API-MASTER- ... 6f9727:g:MpsAAOSw1JVaBEVz

9) It's important for these cichlids to have hard alkaline water so check your tap water hardness and pH on your water supplier's website and let us know what they say. You need to look for the page on water quality and then enter your postcode into a box that will generate a full report for your postcode area which includes hardness and pH.