Giving in to my water - Planted tank with Africans?
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:03 PM   #1
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Giving in to my water - Planted tank with Africans?

I really really really like south American fish. Apistos, rams, tetras. And I like plants. I switched to planted tanks from Africans, oh, 22 years ago.

But my tap water is KH 10, GH 10, and it's been a constant fight to keep that nice, soft water with proper buffering and water chemistry.

And so, as I'm slowly bringing my 200 gallon back online I am considering going with what nature and my city water utility are giving me. I'm thinking of a tank with some peacocks and perhaps some other Africans (NOT mbuna!). The tank is high tech high light with CO2 injection, Seachem onyx sand substrate. The tank is hard plumbed into a RO system, if I go African I can ditch the RO and just fill/water change through a micron filter and carbon block.

I've got lots of limestone all around the yard that I can use for in the tank. (It's why my water is liquid rock - I'm sitting on a big shield of limestone/dolomite.) I'm thinking of tying some Anubias on limestone, a large sword or two, and I've got a whole colony of a bronze crypt (~foot tall) and crypt spiralis that are heavily rooted and should/may resist the fish digging. Also have some chain swords that may or may not survive the changeover if I do it.

Thoughts? Will these plants survive the water and the cichlid onslaught? Other plant suggestions?

Edit - OK, with a google search I found this on APC:

Any other experiences?

Last edited by cheesehead; 01-05-2013 at 07:12 PM.. Reason: Found more info...
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:16 PM   #2
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Cheesehead..I have the same water but I have an RO unit for the Discus tank and Angel tank. For Christmas I created a 75 gallon bowfront for my husband. It is stocked with Peacock Cichlids and lightly planted with Jungle Val and java ferns and I use the liquid rock LOL!. The jungle val grows like a weed- seriously! The Peacock Cichlids are wonderful compared to Mbuna behaviorally.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
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Many of the plants we keep in soft water will grow just fine, perhaps better, in hard water. There are just a few that really demand soft water.

Fish eating them is another issue. I would try a little of everything that seems to be fish-proof, and a bit of some of the others. When you find out what is good with the fish you want, then get more of those and finish out the planting.

Bolbitis, a fern that is nicer leaf shape (IMO) than Java, and thrives in the path of flowing water. Grown anchored to a branch or a rock.
Vallisneria. There is even a species of Val that is native to some of the lakes. Any of the Vals will creep under the rocks and pop up between the rocks.
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african cichlid

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