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Old 01-31-2013, 11:39 PM   #1
im2smart4u
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Comments/suggestions for my 40 breeder cichlid tank


I have a 40 breeder with assorted cichlids: Xystichromis "Blue Fire Fin", Christmas Fulu, and Honduran Red Points. The Blue Fire Fins and the Honduran Red Points have both been in fully planted tanks with no problem. The Christmas Fulu, however, are plant eaters, and they destroyed all my plants. Some of the fish also like to rearrange the substrate. I have a massive (barely fits in the tank) and pretty cool (I think, anyway) piece of driftwood, but I was unsatisfied with the way the tank looked. There are several anubias in the tank, but the fish kept pecking at them, so most of them are just floating around in the tank and look pathetic. Anyway, this is how it did look.

And excuse the sponge filters. They are just there until my new canister filter gets broken in.
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Last edited by im2smart4u; 04-12-2013 at 05:03 AM.. Reason: me
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:44 PM   #2
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It looked too empty to me, even with the massive piece of driftwood. So, I took it out. I had collected a lot of rocks from a stream that runs through my grandparents farm in northern Arkansas this summer. So, I switched from wood to rocks, at least temporarily, to try it out. After a couple of hours or arranging, I am finally somewhat happy with it.

Please give feedback on which you prefer. And, if you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them. They will be appreciated.

Below is a pic of how it looks now. The first pic is with the lighting towards the back, where it usually is. The second pic I moved the light towards the front, so you can see the rocks better.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:48 PM   #3
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I like the driftwood piece you have. What if you did both driftwood and rock?
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:57 PM   #4
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I thought of that. I really like that piece of driftwood, too, but without any plants that tank just seemed to bare with just the wood. The wood is so large, though, that it wouldn't fit in there with the rocks. It comes within a couple of inches of the glass in every direction, front, back, left, right, and top. I think it is really a tad TOO big for this tank. If I am happy with the current setup, I may use this piece of wood when I set up the bigger tank that I have in storage in the garage. It is 48x24x16, as opposed to this tank's 36x18x16, so it should fit a bit better.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:40 AM   #5
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What about cutting off some of the left hand branches, maybe right down to the trunk that would allow you to shift the whole thing to the left, giving a nice open area on the right?
Just and idea...
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMYukonon24s View Post
I like the driftwood piece you have. What if you did both driftwood and rock?
+1

I wonder how it would look if the rocks were built up on one side so the wood could be inverted (top of stump at water level) and the branchy roots shooting down and across. Just a thought.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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Just wanted to add that that is a great looking piece of wood. I thought the tank looked pretty good with it in there.

Does the Fulu eat (or even just damage) things like Java fern and Anubias? Because if you could get some plants in there with that wood, it would be amazing.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:42 PM   #8
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That piece of driftwood is beautiful, but heres an idea buld up some rocks trim the one side of the wood down the left side and silicone it to the top of the rocked are.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfromstlouis View Post
+1

I wonder how it would look if the rocks were built up on one side so the wood could be inverted (top of stump at water level) and the branchy roots shooting down and across. Just a thought.

I think I will try this tomorrow. The stump will not fit with the rock the way I had it, but it will upside down. I will have to remove some of the rocks on the right side and rearrange, but it will be possible. I will be sure to take pictures after I do it, so that I can get opinions from people.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
Just wanted to add that that is a great looking piece of wood. I thought the tank looked pretty good with it in there.

Does the Fulu eat (or even just damage) things like Java fern and Anubias? Because if you could get some plants in there with that wood, it would be amazing.

I don't know if the Fulu eats the plants or just rips them up, but they do it to all plants. There are Anubias in there now that look pretty horrible with all their leaves torn. I am seriously considering trying to trade the 4 Christmas Fulus to the LFS for some store credit (maybe plants). They look almost identical to the 3 "Blue Fire Fins", but I had the Fire Fins in a fully planted tank for over a year with no problems (other than a little bit of gravel rearranging).
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:33 PM   #11
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Well, I followed some of the suggestions here and put the wood back in the tank. I took out some of the rock on the right side, moved the rest around a bit, and put the wood in upside down to make it look like a stump. The wood barely fits, so there really isn't any adjusting it.

I took some pics, but between my crappy cell phone camera and the light from the window, they didn't turn out well. Below is the best of them. I will try to remember to take more tonight when there is no glare.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:12 PM   #12
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Using both look great! Just fill in some more space with some plants and you are good to go!
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:08 AM   #13
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that looks awesome,

i think its a great scape, and it fills the tank nicely since you cant use plants to do so
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:31 PM   #14
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Looks great.

As much as I liked the first pic, I think it looks even better inverted.

great find on that wood
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:46 PM   #15
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Looks quite nice! Excellent layout with the combination!
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