Any aquarists here?


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The main challenge of making a big tank is the engineering of the tank. You need a skilled aquarium maker for this. If you want I can give you the contact details of a person who is known for his work in Kolkata. Let me know.

The other challenges include mainly filtration and cycling the water so that fish can survive. I would say instead of building a 16 footer (maybe a little unsafe in a house) a medium sized pond is a more viable option. But yes, the crystal clear tank water looks incredibly nice to look at. You could most definitely have a 6-8 footer at home and with 3 to 4 Eheim 2217 Canister Filters running and adequate water movement things would be great. Alternatively, you can also make a sump filter right below the main fish tank. But, once again you MUST cycle the tank before increasing number of fishes to balance the bio-load of the tank.

If you require any help regarding this do let me know and I will help you as best as I can. :)

P.S. You must also have a quarantine tank for fish. After you buy fish they will be kept here for 2-3 weeks and then be added to the main big tank. It is here that fish will be de-stressed after they are brought from the shop.


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Thanks so much.

Like I said this is not for fish. Obviously I can't reveal more details as it's under confidentiality.

The guys I am talking seem to be pretty confident of puling it off. The other thing is that technically, it's not in a mall. It's in a retail store inside a mall :) We can chat about the rest on PM.


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Oh okay... I will PM you after I get back from work tonight. But all the very best in making this monster tank, would be something to look at and you'll be amazed after it's completed I'm sure. :D


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Guys., i m in need of assistance and its regarding maintenance of my newly acquired Aquarium.
Can anybody pls mention names of some good forums dealing with the same ?

One step away from situation being escalated to Status Dire straits.


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^^ Yes IAH is a great place to get started at and for all your fish tank queries. Also, Fishlore is another great website with a good thriving forum. :)

But is there a particular problem your facing with your new tank? Might be able to help.


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Staff member
chiron said:
As mentioned just a few posts ago; » Forums

What's the problem?

Forums are nasty creatures u see. They keep coming up, and some of them go down in terms of content.. so its always good to keep a watch. :) Have already visited the iah one.

and thanks black hawk.

Been noticing yellow spots on the walls.. and also the artificially colored pepples (white) going yellow/dirty as well. Cant take the notice off since it has started and the local aquarium walla been very lazy as well.


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Yellow spots... looks like your aquarium is not getting the right filtration which is resulting in poor water conditions. How big is the tank? What types of fish do you have in there and how many fishes? Are you using a filter, if yes then which one? A few more details would be useful mate. Also, for cleaning the pebbles I would advice you to buy a siphon, something exactly like this:

They should be available locally in your fish store and are pretty cheap. These things are nifty and can go a long way in keeping the gravel/pebbles/sand clean to ensure pristine water conditions. I have sand as substrate in all my fish tanks and that siphon has been of great help over the years. Filtration is equally important in ensuring the tank water is well cycled and beneficial bacteria is keeping the water conducive for your fishes. :)

Btw, are the fish tank glass walls developing yellow spots due to the water in your tank becoming yellow or cloudy? Let me know.


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Staff member
Got the siphon. Have replaced the water 5 days back. And its bothering since past 2 days these spots.

Its a 90L tank with 10 cichlids

And the filter installed is the power filter.

I ll visit the shop on Sunday and blast him a good deal. Need to arm myself with the knowledge. Thanks for the input.

people been giving me smirks when i mention how long forums go in providing u with the info.. and sad part is i cant even make them sit down and use one even after a demo of the after effects.. sigh.



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Hello Spacescreamer :)

Thank-you for posting the photo's. Exactly what I needed to see. :)

Awrite, this is what I see from the photo's:

1. It's a 90L tank = 23 gallons.

2. The tank inhabitants are Malawi Cichlids and some Blood Red Parrots (BRP's).

3. The tank has aritifical plants.

4. There is a power filter present w/ a air pump working.

5. The water is cloudy.

This is what has happened:

1. Your tank was not cycled properly before the Cichlids were added. Cichlids need a well cycled tank. The tank could not handle the bio-load due to the new power filter not having enough beneficial bacteria colonies to handle the bio-load of the tank. Since the tank has not had the break-in cycling you have bacterial bloom effecting your tank and this has turned the tank water cloudy/turbid.

This is what you need to do:

The cloudiness will take time and resolve it's self on it's own. However do these to help in the process:

1. Do not add any more fishes in the tank, not even a single one.

2. Keep the tank lights off for the next 7 days. Do not switch them on. Let the tank be a little dark. After a week use lighting for 3-4 hours in the evening only, not during daytime. This should help in clearing out the cloudiness of the water.

3. Keep those water changes up! 30-40% water change, once in a week should do the trick.

4. Do not overfeed the cichlids, especially the Parrots (these are hungry little monsters!). Make sure not too much waste food is floating in the water after the fish is done eating.

More pointers:

1. Is your tank heated? Cichlids require a well-heated tank with temperatures set to around 26 C.

2. You have Malawi cichlids so put in a few rocks in the water. Rocks (small to medium size) should be available in your fish store. Malawi cichlids stay in rocky environments and like place to hide in. Also, rocks will buffer the pH levels of the water which in turn will be beneficial for the cichlids. If your unable to find rocks put in a small mud pot or 2 in the tank for fish to hide in. (However, put in rocks only after a month when the water is clear and not cloudy anymore). Buffering the pH of the water right now is NOT advisable at all.

3. Also, keep in mind you have put Blood Red Parrot cichlids in that tank, they are hybrid fish and grow very large. Trust me I have them. I have 4 of them in my 450 L (120 gallon) monster tank along with a single Oscar and the largest one is about 11 inches big and is still growing! So, even if you can keep them in your tank presently you will need to get a bigger tank after a few months to keep them. The other Malawi cichlids you have are slow-growers (specially the Yellow Lab cichlids I see in there). So, you should be fine with them. :)

4. Feed your Blood Red Parrots TetraBits for their color to stay rich and bright. They are known to lose color as their size increases so that food will help in holding the color of the fish body.

I need to know something else mate:

- Did you wash the gravel well before putting them in the tank?

- Are there ANY white spots (small) on the fish bodies? Look closely at your fish and their fins and let me know.

- You have mentioned that you have a power filter in that tank, can you tell me, if it's not too much trouble (it's hard to see through the water) how many what is the L/H specification of the filter's power-head? It should be something like 650 L/H or 1200 L/H.

Your tank is new so it will take time to become stable. Give it a month, let the cycling process complete and the filter establish enough bacterial colonies, keep the water changes up and your tank will be beautiful with healthy fishes and clear water conditions :)

More on fish tank cycling process can be found here: The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

More on fish tank filtration can be found here: Aquarium Filter and Fish Tank Filtration



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^^ I had done so earlier in this thread... I'll post some new photo's of my 120 gallon tank later this evening after I get back from work :)


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Couple of videos of the fish I'm currently keeping; Pearl Gourami and Ram Chichilds. Very noob friendly, low maintenance and at the same time pretty to look at too. Tank is a mess coz I do water changes every fortnight only but the fish seem fine with it till now.




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Staff member
@ Black_Hawk

Phew.. i think TE only needs to have a matrimonial section to claim an all round information bank running 24 x 7.
Will have to add reps for some other section post of yours for all this 'bit' :)
Okay, my part..

90L/23 Gallon tank
Multicolored stones. 2 artificial plants. 1 artificial bark and a set of 3 cask with cavities.
10 fishes: 4 BRP (2 with fin tail, 2 heart shaped), 2 Kissing Gourami, 2 blue cichlids of different variety.. one is mbuna i believe. 2 lab yellow

Water heater installed @ 28 deg C
Power filter installed. Capacity: 900 L/H
I would have done the cycling part but the tank+fishes were impromptu gift. Totally unforeseen
1) Family ppl are interested in adding more fishes but i dont intend to exceed the total number beyond 10 by any stretch.

2) I plan to cycle 20% of water weekly. And only with the RO water. Will that do ?

3) The filter cotton was pretty mucked up. The aquarium guy said wash it.. I said i wont be interested cuz i read about the beneficial bacteria being necessary. He suggested light washing the old one, and then placing a fresh cotton atop the old one. Still made sense and currently that is the setup. On course ?

4) Got worm based food and other color enhancing one (Sera bit and Sera red parrot). Fish are fed both after adjusting the prescribed quantity.

5) Currently i have taken out all the plants, artificial bark and the cask set which had the cavities.
One of The BRP never is fine with other fish entering the casks and malawi never fought for a corner. Only occasional trip when the bully brp is out.
Read and saw stones with cavities for cichlids but because of nature exhibited by the malawi and fear of congesting the tank i never purchased any stone. Seems like i shd get few..? how many if i have 6 cichlids ?

6) I have seen the big Mama BRP and am kinda concerned what am i gonna do when they grow big enuf.. u know the age they go about asking about the birds and the bees.. and fishes ofc.. would be a pain to part with them. Damn this pet business is a b!tch

7) The dumb seller never washed the gravel, nor mentioned it to me. I got it washed twice by the service guy. Now the white ones have gone pretty dirty with yellow tinge and black spots. Concerning scenario atm. Dont like em fishes swimming with dirt around

8) The fishes did developed the white spots (Ich) but only 2 have them (both got a couple on the lower fins) and they are stable after the service guy administered more quantity of anti ich medication. For the record, i had done that as prescribed b4 releasing the fish at the start.
Noteworthy: One cichlid died 2days after the tank was bought (22 days earlier). Developed ich all over within a day and died the following one. Since then .. 18 days and no more ich spots on the fishes. Stable.
Was it you who had posted a pic of Ram Cichlid on iah forums ..? Signed as


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^^ nope, I am not active there. Also, I keep fish very casually; that guy(as with most on iah) seems to be a lot more invested in the hobby.

Btw, I've learnt from experience that its not such a good idea to keep single pairs of chichild(or any kind of fish in general) as the more dominant one ends up harrasing the weaker one too much. This may not happen immediately in a new tank but once the fish get comfortable they also get territorial. imo 3-5 would be a better number.

I've seen ram chichilds laying eggs on the tank bottom but they invariably disappear after a couple of days. Same thing happens even when I put a pair in a separate tank. Not exactly sure of what to do as most sites say that the parents don't eat the eggs themselves and in fact take care of the brood for some time after hatching.


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Hi Spacescreamer :)

No problems, I'm glad to help. I'll be even more happier once your fish tank develops into a wonderful cichlid paradise with good healthy fishes. :)

Now to answer your queries:

1. Your 23 gallon tank has 10 fishes and I would say it's pretty well packed up now, specially with the BRP's in there. So, try and resist the urge to add more fishes in that tank. Plus, cichlids are aggressive fishes and so they will need lots of swimming space and room to maneuver around. I know how hard it is to see more colorful cichlids in your local fish store and not to end up buying them... but hold back the temptation... hehe!

2. Try and change 30% water weekly. That should do. I have never really used RO water for Mbuna/Malawi cichlids. RO water is mainly needed for soft water loving fishes like Discus and Angels or soft water planted tanks. Won't be necessary for Malawi cichlids AFAIK.

3. Filtration: This is where things get interesting. The cotton/sponge inside the power filter you have in your tank is the one holding the beneficial bacteria. Should you need to wash it or clean it this is what you should do:

A. Take a small bucket.

B. Scoop out some water from the fish tank itself. (Use the siphon for this)

C. Take out the power filter's cotton/sponge.

D. Wash that cotton/sponge in that water (the water you scooped out from tank itself in the small bucket). Don't scrub the sponge, just gentle squeezes should do the trick here.

Note: Do not use tap water to wash the cotton/sponge of the filter. The traces of chlorine present in the tap water will kill/harm the beneficial bacteria present in the cotton/sponge. This is something we absolutely do not want. Washing the same in the fish tank water prevents being detrimental to the beneficial bacteria.

4. The food you got is perfect. Sera makes great food products.

5. Once the water has cleared up and the cloudiness has fallen get some medium sized river rocks and put them in the tank. Try and build up small mountain sort of structures with gaps, you know like small mounds with the rocks so the fish can hide in the spaces in-between the stones.

About your BRP's being aggressive: Yes, some BRP's are more aggressive than the others, their temperament varies. All cichlids are pretty much territorial fishes and once they mark their territory in a tank they will defend it pretty aggressively. :eek:hyeah:

6. Yup, those BRP's will grow pretty big and outgrow that tank pretty darn soon. Then it's time to upgrade to a bigger tank... this hobby is also addictive I tell you!!

7. That's the only reason I do not use gravel as substrate in my tank. I use washed river sand. Cleaning gravel is such a pain in the wrong place. I swear it's annoying to find that no matter how hard you try to siphon dirt out of gravel it stays trapped beneath the tiny pieces of gravel and a dirty substrate leads to poor water conditions harming the fish. Sand is so much easier to maintain and clean.

8. I'm sorry to hear that you lost a cichlid early on. But cichlids are tough fish. Ich should go away and they should fight it and get all well. Just keep the tank water at a warm 26-28 C. That should eradicate Ich soon and things will be stable.

Regarding the tank decoration you had: I would say stick to the medium sized rocks (once you get a few of them) or a small pot or 2 for now. That should not cramp the aquarium and the fish will have ample space to swim about. One more thing mate if you decide to get rocks and should you have the need to check them (if they are aquarium safe or not) before dropping them in the tank this is what you need to do:

A. Take one piece from the bunch of rocks you got.

B. Buy a small bottle of Muriatic Acid... it's pretty easily available in any local hardware store.

C. Carefully drop one or two drops of the acid on the piece of rock you took.

D. Now time to observe: If the acid fizzes even a little then the rock is NOT aquarium safe. Can't be used in your fish tank. OTOH, if the acid does not fizz and nothing happens then the rock is completely aquarium safe and can be used. Once you have determined this, without further hesitation use all the other rocks you got in your tank. :)

Cichlids are great fish to have, they are lively, aggressive and fun to watch in a tank playing amongst themselves. :)


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Can someone please tell me where I might get Hikari Cichlid Bio-Gold Pellets in Mumbai?

Also, I have heard that prices vary from seller to seller... So, what is the ideal price to pay for a 57gms pack?