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Old 07-14-2005, 04:42 AM   #1
carpoxylon
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Cichlids vs. Plants


I have a 55 gallon tank with various mbuna which I feed a strictly veggie diet. I would like to grow a few plants as well, however I have read many threads and articles about how difficult it is to grow plants with cichlids, particularly Africans. I'm rather fond of my cichlids and I accept the challenge to attempt to grow plants in the same tank.

I'm thinking about going with the 2x55 set-up from AHsupply. I don't want to get into CO2 just yet.

I'll be using 2 bags of "Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate" and 4 bags of "Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate for African Cichlids (Fine Grade)" and I know I will also need to fertilize regularly.

I realize that by only going with 2w/g and also insisting on cichlids, this greatly reduces my choice of plants, but I'm optimistic there are plants left that are able to survive cichlid behavior...

Suggestions are welcome.
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Old 07-14-2005, 04:52 AM   #2
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I already posted this in your question in lighting but I will replicate it here and maybe we can get the discussion going further....

What I am doing with planting my cidhlid tank is trying to select a good quantity of 'Tough' plants: Anubias, Java Fern... And from there just trying plants as I find ones that I like. The worst that is going to happen is that the fish are going to get a fresh meal. So far all they have eaten all of is an unknown moss I got from Aquabid (they really likes that one, it only lasted 1 day ) they do munch on my Java Moss pretty regularly but don't destroy it. Other than that I have a large quantity of anacharis growing very well. I just recently added some hornwort that is growing like a weed (which is what I wanted) and they have not touched it yet. This is kind of an experiment in progress for me, maybe we can get more African Cichlid keepers posting what works in their tanks for plants, I know there are more of us out there.

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Old 07-14-2005, 05:04 AM   #3
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It would help if you listed the species you have in the tank.
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Old 07-14-2005, 06:32 PM   #4
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Mbuna are the hardest to keep plants with, they eat almost anything other then java, anubias, when you find a plant that they dont like it is fine. Peackcos and Tang. cichlids are a little more forgiving. Although it doesn't stop them from digging up the plants. It can be s struggle but the payoff is great and you are left with a beautiful planted tank. It mainly trial and error
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Old 07-15-2005, 03:29 AM   #5
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Well here is a listing of what I have in the tank right now: Synodontis acanthomias Catfish, Neolamprologus brichardi, Placidochromis milomo,
Pseudotropheus elongates, Yellow labs, Electric Blues, Pleco, Red Zebras. I do have a problem with them digging though. I am considering from the Africans in the future. I have been keeping them for a few years and think I am ready for a change to something new, but I have not made up my mind on that yet. On that point is there anybody in the San Diego area that want a few cichlids, I am overpopulated right now and need them to go to a good home.



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Old 07-16-2005, 03:19 PM   #6
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CF, I vacationed in San Diego last month. I would have adopted your fish, for sure.

Bigstick120, sounds like you have a nice set-up. I'm learning about aquariam plants and set-ups in hopes of planting some by the end of the month. I was curious about the advantages of having CO2 even though you have 2w/g like I will have. I thought you needed higher light levels for the CO2. How does that work? What are the pros and cons?
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Old 07-16-2005, 10:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpoxylon
CF, I vacationed in San Diego last month. I would have adopted your fish, for sure.

Bigstick120, sounds like you have a nice set-up. I'm learning about aquariam plants and set-ups in hopes of planting some by the end of the month. I was curious about the advantages of having CO2 even though you have 2w/g like I will have. I thought you needed higher light levels for the CO2. How does that work? What are the pros and cons?

Yeah just keep looking around before you jump into planted tanks. As far a CO2 in 2wpg, plants are going to do better no make what wpg you have. But with 2wpg or less you can have what is call a low tech tank without the CO2. My plants grow like weeds with it and the tank looks alot better
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Old 07-17-2005, 06:55 PM   #8
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Thanks for the perspective... I've started looking at CO2 systems in the latest Foster and Smith catalog. (interesting) Once I have some plants established, I will most likely get the CO2 system.
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Old 07-17-2005, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpoxylon
Thanks for the perspective... I've started looking at CO2 systems in the latest Foster and Smith catalog. (interesting) Once I have some plants established, I will most likely get the CO2 system.

Dont think that you have to spend that much on a CO2 system. You can set up a system for 100-150 bucks and have all that you will need
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Old 07-21-2005, 04:42 AM   #10
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I've had good luck keeping plants with dwarf mbuna, specifically L. caeruleus and Ps. demasoni. I've also kept Ps. acei, Ps. elongatus "Usisya", and Labeotropheus fuelleborni in my planted mbuna tank. The L. fuelleborni ended up really going after some of my plants when they began to mature so I can't recommend them, but the others have worked pretty well, with the Labs doing most of the digging. I try to set aside open areas of substrate where the fish can dig and I've found that this reduces their tendency to dig where the plants are.
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