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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Insert clever tank name here

This is my first attempt at a Cichlid tank. Originally I was going to do high tech planted but changed my mind after having nearly everything purchased. This won't be updated much, if at all since it's basically sand with a pile of rocks and the only thing that will be changing is the fish size as they grow (hopefully).

I know this is plantedtank.net and I have no plants, but the main reason for posting is to show that you shouldn't necessarily believe or rely on everything you read online. I wanted to use my reef ready 125 gallon tank with dual herbie drains and a 75 gallon sump in my basement. Much of what I read suggested that it wouldn't work well the way I wanted to do it: "You should have short drain lines. They should be equal length. They should go straight down into the sump with little to no horizontal runs. Etc."

Well guess what? I'm decided to try it my way. I'm such a rebel.

What I ended up with is a dead silent system that moves a ton of water with awesome flow in every corner of the tank and it purges the air from the lines within 30 to 45 seconds of startup.

Some of the specs:

125 gallon Marineland reef ready tank
75 gallon Aqueon tank converted to sump
Iwaki MD-55RLT return pump
2 - 36" Current Satellite Plus PRO lights (originally purchased for the planted tank setup)
Reefkeeper Elite system
Tunze ATO
Caribsea Eco-complete Cichlid sand (ivory coast)
10 & 20 PPI Poret foam in sump
24 liters (yes, 24 liters) of Seachem Matrix in sump

Some pics:



Rocks. Lots of rocks.




48" long 1" diameter spray bar produces amazing, even flow to all corners of the tank.




Some of the plumbing under the tank. It's in a perfect location in front of a cold air return so I could run everything through it. No holes to cut through the floor. If I decide to move on to a different hobby I just have to buy a new grille.




Lots of Spaflex to make plumbing easy and eliminate 90 degree elbows.




The nerve center. The dosing pumps from the RKE aren't currently in use. Again, they were purchased when I planned to do a planted tank.

The system was up and running for a couple of months without anything in the display tank for testing. About a month ago I added the substrate and rocks and the cycle completed last week. Fish should be arriving tomorrow or Wednesday.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 10:12 PM
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Can't wait to see the fish. I'm a cichlid and reef guy myself but have a spot for planted tanks too.

What kind of cichlids do you plan on stocking?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going with an all male peacock/hap setup. Before someone chimes in about 'rocks are for Mbuna'...I've read that they're all pretty comfortable with a rocky habitat. Since they'll all be around 2" to start, it'll give them good cover. I'll remove rocks as they grow to give them more swimming room.

I had a 125 gallon reef before this one. Got tired of trying to do maintenance in the duplex I was renting. Now maintenance is a breeze. The sump is about two feet from a sink so I can do water changes without hauling buckets and hoses all over the house.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:41 PM
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Wow, that is a very impressive set up!

Just an old dog trying to learn some new tricks...
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:54 PM
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Love your set up! It's funny how you decided to post this because I've had a planted tank for about 4 years with all the high tech stuff and still love it but as things turned out my 50 gallon had a broken center brace, multiple scratches on the glass and pond snail everywhere, even in the filters ugh. So I tore it down and gave all my fish, shrimp, nerite snails away then took the 50 completely apart to either make some tops for my new 55 or maybe make a smaller tank. Any way long story short I started looking for a different direction and decided to do a mbuna cichlid tank but wasn't sure if I could post anything on TPT because well it's about planted tanks. I will keep watch and see how things go for you. I still haven't decided on fish yet, so many options.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:57 PM
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Damn! Very impressive sump set-up. Looking forward to see it fully planted and live stock added.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appleton71 View Post
I'm going with an all male peacock/hap setup. Before someone chimes in about 'rocks are for Mbuna'...I've read that they're all pretty comfortable with a rocky habitat. Since they'll all be around 2" to start, it'll give them good cover. I'll remove rocks as they grow to give them more swimming room.

I had a 125 gallon reef before this one. Got tired of trying to do maintenance in the duplex I was renting. Now maintenance is a breeze. The sump is about two feet from a sink so I can do water changes without hauling buckets and hoses all over the house.
Peacocks/Haps are the way to go. I usually keep rocks with mine, however it does cause alot more aggression due to territory disputes.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 03:27 PM
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Any updates on the fish?

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 03:31 PM
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I have had tanks both with Mbuna mixed in, and without- and have had both with rocks, and without. In my experience, as long as you have the right stocking levels, and weed out more than 1 male of each species, it will be fine.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 07:46 PM
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I have a 150 planted peacock hap tank. The use of crushed coral for substrate limited me to anubias and Crypt ponterifollia. Going to start scooping out the crushed coral soon so I can have more plant diversity. It was tough seeing some of my favorites killed in the early stages. Now I have a Red empress with one eye. Things have since settled down and I added 4 more juveniles with no problems. I was ready to tear it down and go full south american community. Now I have a large group of syno lucipinnis and multi growing out that I will add. You can absolutely have plants in there with them. I haven't even hooked up my C02 system to this tank. Plants add an ever changing landscape that I think you will enjoy once you finish stocking. As long as you don't use crushed coral (which you didnt) plants are an option.
Fantastic setup.
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Twin high tech 75's -
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 08:47 PM
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That's some pipe management porn right there.

I like tanks.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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I received 25 male haps & peacock cichlids and 3 Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish last Tuesday. One of the cichlids was in really rough shape and I debated putting it in the tank or the toilet. It didn't last long. I also lost a Fossorochromis Rostratus yesterday. It always hung out by itself and looked to be malnourished although it was eating. Everyone else seems happy and healthy.

Unfortunately, I'm a Cichlid noob so I can't identify many fish. I know I received a Copadichromis Borleyi, Blue Moorii, Nimbochromis Polystigma and a Nimbochromis Livingstoni. Some of them are already coloring up so hopefully I'll be able to ID more soon.

Sorry for the picture quality. Between the glare and the fact that they won't sit still for two seconds, they aren't the greatest.







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