are a staple in tap water to keep our water
free of microbes. You can get water conditioner
from your local fish store to take care of that
problem. I would still wait at least 24 hours
before adding a fish, just to allow the chemical
parameters of the water to stabilize.
The other main problem is the fact that
metabolic compounds can build up in a
new tank faster than the beneficial bacteria
colonies can form to deal with these
compounds (ammonia, nitrite, and finally,
nitrate). Adding a few at a time permits the
bacterial colonies to keep pace with waste
production. If you stick with small fish, I
think that it will not be a problem for you.
Just keep a sharp eye on your fish, and keep
checking the ammonia and nitrite levels to
make sure that they are doing all right, but
we don’t think that they will have a problem
in such a large tank if you stock it slowly.
I have about six Pelvicachromis
subocellatus, and I would like
to know how to tell the males from the
females and what the proper substrate is
Watertown, New York
The males and females of
this West African cichlid are
difficult to distinguish until
the fish reach spawning age.
Pelvicachromis subocellatus, female.
Then the female outshines the male—and
practically every other fish on the planet,
too. She will develop a blackish coloration
with a bright-red belly and flanks, edged
in pink. All this gradation in color makes