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CryptKeeper54 04-21-2012 09:00 PM

CryptKeeper54's 44 pentagon cichlid tank
Got a renewed interest in aquriums again. Thought I would try making a cichlid tank.

Born date: 4/14/12

Had this tak decommisioned in 2004. Clean up time:

Adding lighting grid (from lowe's), sand, concrete blocks, ABS pipes and rocks (lace rock and unidentifed rock):

Amazon delivered my Fluval 306 on 4/18. Great build quality and good price. Happy with my purchase. Time to add plants (java fern and anubias bateri). In retrospect, should have added more rocks in corner to lift bateri, hard to see in jungle of fern:

Was skeptical about this LED light but it is fantastic looking to me.... I used to run MH lights over this tank in 2004 and the LED light gives me the same shimmering effect that I love.

lauraleellbp 04-21-2012 09:02 PM

Looks awesome!

What cichlids you going for?

LB79 04-21-2012 09:22 PM

Oh, man, that'll look awesome when you've got it full of water and fish.

CryptKeeper54 04-21-2012 11:57 PM

Thanks. Too bad I don't get to see it everday since it's at my mom's house. She babysits my daughter often, so I thought I would revive this tank for my little girl. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Going to add my otos today to keep algae in check. I'm currently researching on how to care for cichlids. I'm leaning towards electric yellow labs and demasonis. I think the contrast looks awesome. I just need to decide on the ratio. I was thinking maybe 6 labs and 12 demasonis. I would love to hear any suggestions from forum members.

annexthebear 04-22-2012 12:13 AM

I had Ottos in with some fairly small bream that I caught and had in a tank for a while, and the bream ate them. I'm thinking they won't stand a chance with african cichlids around lol. I love the scape though, looks very cool looking. I've always been a fan of the rock wall look with sand, and the plants on top are a nice touch.

snoopy65 04-22-2012 12:36 AM

I agree, with mbuna the poor little otos don't stand a chance. Mbuna do a good job of keeping algae in check all on their own.

CryptKeeper54 04-25-2012 12:27 PM

Against everyone's advice, I added 8 otos and 50 RCS. The shrimp are in hiding, I only saw a few the other day. I was planning to just house the shrimp for a few days till I can get them in my nano tank. Big mistake on my part, I hav no idea how I'm gonna lure them out to catch'em. Gonna add 6 electric yellow labs on Sunday.

Gotcha38 04-25-2012 12:35 PM

Tank really looks great. Shame about the feeder fish though. You can try to setup a fish trap to get them out.

Kai808 04-26-2012 11:44 AM

Great tank! Google DIY shrimp traps to get them out. If you have too much shrimp I'll buy some from you.

wabisabi 04-26-2012 12:39 PM


vincenz 04-26-2012 02:07 PM

Really like the hardscape and the ferns are a nice touch. They're very close to the light though-- you're not afraid of algae covering the leaves eventually?

trixella 04-26-2012 02:36 PM

Beautiful job with the plants and hardscape!

My only suggestion would be to wait a while before adding any more fish since the tank still has to go through the cycling process (unless you already put an established filter on it).

Neoman 04-26-2012 04:18 PM

This tank looks awesome already. What are you planning for mid-ground plants?

Also, if you don't want your shrimp to be an expensive snack, the labs (or any rift lake cichlid, for that matter) are probably not a good choice. If your gonna put them in that other tank, get as many as you can out before you put the labs in.

CryptKeeper54 04-26-2012 07:56 PM

Thanks for all the generous comments. My light is at a fixed height, 3.5 inches off water level. I hope o don't run into alagae probs, but that's why I bought shrimps and otos. Here is a pic of my DIY:

@ kai808: thanks for the shrimp trap suggestion.. gonna google it now.

@ neoman: this is it. I won't add any other rock or plants. Gonna focus more on caring for the cichlids now. I'm happy with the way things turned out thus far.

CryptKeeper54 05-01-2012 12:53 AM


Added 6 electric yellow labs... 2 males. These fish are fun to watch. Not bothering my otos much but they are hunting down my red cherry shrimp like there's no tomorrow.

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