Planted 125G African Cichlid Tank (56K!) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Planted 125G African Cichlid Tank (56K!)

I'm new to The Planted Tank and just wanted to say hi and thanks for the great forum. Here are a few pics of my planted ARLC tank.












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Last edited by travis; 04-24-2006 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Updated
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post #2 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 01:24 PM
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Niiiiiice tank Travis...Looks very inspiring.

Craig

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post #3 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 02:49 PM
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Wow. Very wow!
So how long has the tank been set up? Do the fish uproot the plants much? Do they eat any plants? I've kept Yellow Labs with plants before, but it looks like you might have some Kenyi and Mbuna in there as well.
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post #4 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I've had the tank set up for about 4 1/2 months now. I've only been keeping plants in it for three months. All of the Africans I've got are mbuna: Ps. acei, Ps. demasoni, Ps. sp. Elongatus 'Usisya' (wild-caught), L. caeruleus. They hardly touch the plants I've got in there right now, pretty strange considering how many times I was told that you just couldn't keep Africans and plants together. The do love vallisneria and java moss though, not sure why, but if I put any in the tank they eat the vals down to the roots and shred the java moss. I had some trouble with the labs uprooting the Glosso while they were digging for snails, but once it took root and spread a little bit the problem went away. The plants also make great fry cover. I've got several fry in there right now that wouldn't be there if they hadn't been able to hide out in the plants.

Last edited by travis; 11-17-2004 at 09:37 PM.
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post #5 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 03:08 PM
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A lot of love went into this one. Beautifully scaped, Travis. Could you please share your water parameters (pH, KH, GH, CO2, etc.) and tank specs. I think your insight and experience could be very helpful to those who live in regions with hard water.

Ted

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post #6 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Well I'm new to planted tanks - I've only been keeping plants for about three months now. I've kept Africans for years and have just recently become fascinated with planted aquaria.

My tank is a 6' long 125G. I've got 444 watts of PC and NO lighting (192w @ 10000K, 192w @ 6700K, and 60w @ 6500K) set to run on a dawn - day - dusk - night cycle of 12 hours per day. It is filtered by two Rena XP3 canisters. I use an AquaMedic Reactor 1000 on one of the canister outflows for pressurized CO2 injection controlled through a Milwaukee SMS122 pH controller set to 7.2, and have an Aqua UV sterilizer attached to the other filter outflow. I've got Hydor in-line heaters attached to both filter outflows as well, but they rarely turn on.

Water parameters are as follows:

Temp: 77-80 (the lights bring it up during the day)
pH: 7.2-7.3
KH: 14-15
GH: 15-16
CO2: 25-30 ppm
Nitrates: 5-10 ppm (deliberately held low to help bring out the reds)
Phosphates: 1 ppm

I supplement the water column with KNO3, KH2PO4, and a CSM+B/MgSO4/K2SO4 mixture. The substrate is a mixture of 75% Eco-Complete Plant Substrate and 25% Eco-Complete Cichlid Sand. I buffer my fairly soft tap water using sodium bicarbonate along with the additional buffering offered by the Cichlid Sand. I've adapted Tom Barr's Estimative Index fertilization routine to my tank's needs and have found that it makes things a lot simpler and works beautifully.

I know the pH is low for Africans but I've found they adapt to it quite well and show no signs of stress at all. In fact it seems like they are breeding more at 7.2 than they were at 8.2 and their coloration is as bright as ever. As long as I keep the hardness around 14 dKH they seem to be quite happy. Well, the Ps. demasoni never seem happy, but I think that's just their nature
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post #7 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 03:58 PM
 
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I love your tank. I'm trying to plant my own african cichlid tank. Like you, most of the information I've heard was "you can't put cichlids with plants..". It's nice to know some people are successful with it. I think it just takes patience and trial and error. Congratulations on finding a combo that works well and looks great! I only hope I can, too.
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post #8 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Darla - you'll have to keep us updated on how it goes. I don't know very many people at all who are doing it and would love to hear about your experiences
I've found that crypts do great in these water conditions and that a lot of the other plants listed as not tolerating medium-hard water conditions don't mind it at all.
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post #9 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 11:41 PM
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You do know your Africans want water with a pH around 8.2 and such, not 7.2
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post #10 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 11:43 PM
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oh and one quick question, whats that really red plant in the front on the 3rd pic? thanks Sorry about the earlier post, I just read where you said you knew the pH was low for your africans, well if there breeding and keeping color and eating habits, no signs of stress, looks ok to me! Very nice job, I love the tank dude!
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post #11 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 12:13 AM
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Very nice!!! That's gotta be one of the best, if not the best, African planted tanks.

That purple plant looks like Ludwigia grandulosa (with some very nice coloration ).

Eric


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post #12 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 12:14 AM
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yes it looks VERY NICE. Thats why I was wondering haha
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post #13 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 12:32 AM
 
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That is a Beautiful Tank... !!!
What can I say, I love the aquascape... the plants selections and plant health are great, the fish are happy...what more could you ask for. Obviously your mbuna's are adapted well to the Ph since you have fry and thier colors really accent the aquascape. You sure learned a lot in a short time. Kudo's to you and the efforts that were obviously put into this piece of nature, a tank to be proud of.
I smell an AGA Entry with a couple months growing time and maturity...

Welcome to the forum Travis and thanks for sharing some photos !
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post #14 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well thanks for the compliments guys! I was wondering if I was doing things right or if it was too brightly colored (i.e. not enough truly green plants). I'm red-green color blind so I can never be sure

pufferfreak - Ibn is right, it's Ludwigia glandulosa 'Peruensis'. It was that color when I received it and, to my surprise, has remained that vibrant. Seems to grow sort of slowly in my water, which is another surprise since it's Ludwigia, but I don't really care, as long as it stays looking that way Here's a slightly blurry closeup:



When it comes to the AGA, I can already hear Amano going off on me about keeping Africans with plants

You're right about needing more growing time Buck. I'm anxious for the Glosso to finish carpeting and I've got several crypts (blassii, nurii, affinis, longicauda) that can't be seen very well right now that I can't wait to start hitting their growth spurts.

As to learning a lot in a short time - I've had great teachers, Steve Hampton on www.TropicalResources.net to name one. Just about everything that I've found to work well for me has come from Steve's advice. That man knows his plants. I'm sort of finding my way in the dark as far as keeping Africans with plants, and feel like I've been pretty lucky so far.

I think I've found the best planted aquarium site on the net here. Great forum guys!
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post #15 of 212 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 05:18 AM
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Wow...very nice...I see a December calendar in the works.
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