So I've been keeping African cichlids for quite some time now, and while I do enjoy the many colors, shapes, and sizes, I grew tired of them. I wanted some fish that would shoal and to be able to have various species in my 75 gallon aquarium.
So after about a year and half, I slowly began to part way with my cichlids. I gave some away and sold some. With the last two gone, I ordered up a tank full of tropicals. Of course I couldn't get completely away from the cichlids, I have some angelfish.
So here was my very first setup circa 2006.
Enter the fist inhabitants...
About a year later, I changed it up a bit. Look past my homemade mini seine, handy tool, not so good for tank shots.
A few years later, I got rid of the pool filter sand and put floor tile in the bottom.
November 2013...Having grown tired of the tile and plastic plants, and wanting to get tropicals, this happened. Sadly, this is the only photo I have of this stage of the changes, sorry.
I toyed with doing some live plants in the tank, but decided I just didn't want to mess with it. I didn't want to get into lighting, etc., and so for now, it's a hardscape. I will be adding more plants to the top of the tank in the same manner as the lucky bamboo, just waiting for spring to get here so there is a good selection at the local nursery.
However, I did get a video of all the new inhabitants. This was, by far, my favorite of all the scapes over the years, even though it is all plastic. (Just click the photo below)
While all those plastic plants looked good, at least to me, I wanted to simplify it all and make it to where the fish were prominent and not hidden from all the decor. So after some trials and frustration, I acquired some manzanita, which brings us to today.
From the left side
From the right side
The substrate is 100 lbs of pool filter sand mixed with about 30lbs of Black Diamond 20-40 blasting media.
6 Angelfish (help to ID these would be appreciated. I know we have one Smokey Blue, and one Black Lace. The others I can't recall and can't find my list. I think the 'yellow' one is a White Diamond?)
7 Panda Loaches
20 Neon Tetra
10 Harlequin Rasbora
9 Pristella Tetra
2 Dwarf Gourami (male/female)
7 Gold Skirt Tetra
2 Upsidedown catfish from my African cichlid days. I couldn't find them a home so they got to stay.
All are doing well with no signs of aggression at all. Of course, I know as the angelfish grow, that may change.
So that's my 'Then and Now' journal. I had to start somewhere. I'll update as things change and it'll be fun to see what it looks like 8 years from now.