First planted tank...and it's mbuna!-UPDATED w/56K+ - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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First planted tank...and it's mbuna!-UPDATED w/56K+

First of all, thank you to everyone who tried to help me figure out how to let
you guys see my pictures! After hours of messing around with it, I sucked it
up and went to photobucket. Hope everyone can enjoy them now, though!

So...

After much inspiration from other pictures on this site, I set my mind to start
a low-tech tank (budget will not allow for high-tech). My tap water however
is quite hard with a ph of 7.8. I struggled with my first unplanted tank to
find fun fish to survive in this water. Then I realized my favorites - mbunas -
were perfect! However, I needed a bigger tank than my 20gal. for them. So
finally I found a 55 in my budget and began searching and tinkering to make
it perfect for cheap. So from the beginning...

Everything that came with the tank, plus some egg crate to support the
rocks.


Here with 50lbs. of pool filter sand plus driftwood (and fake plant)



Permanate location. Up and running with 40lbs. lace rock. Cycling fishless
starting with 3/4tblsp. ammonia from Ace Hardware. 11/02



Added more rocks and finally got some plants on Nov. 7 to help the cycling
go faster. Nov. 11 added 5lbs. Caribsea Live Sand to raise ph just a bit more
and help the cycling. I was already reading 0 ammonia, and dosing 1/2 tsp.
everyday, but nitrites were very high.







11/13 Finally my nitrites went down to zero, despite the ammonia addition
every day. With 25 fish in the mail, I bought two red zebras to test the tank
and make sure it was ready able to sustain live and not poison it since I had
never cycled fishless.




My zebras survived, even though one was very sick when I got it home. She
flourished after a few days, so I knew my tank was in great shape to heal a
sick fish, and not kill either one!

Then, my package came on 11/16 with 17 demasoni, 6 yellow labs, and 2
bushynose plecos. Now it was time to see which plants they devoured.



Got more java fern and rearranged a little.



Well, today - 11/28 - I still haven't had a single death, besides the corkscrew
val, but I knew that one was only a matter of time. My anacharis has been
cut up a few times, but there's no sign of eating. Maybe the accidently break
the stems as they go whizzing by. Ammonia and nitrites are still reading 0.
Nitrates never went above 20ppm (thanks to the plants I know). Finally
found something to hide the ugly air tubes with, too!



The red zebra that was very sick for a few days, but now as happy as can
be. She seems so sweet, but maybe only because you have to root for the
underdog.


My julidichromis dickfeldi that wanted to hog the entire bottom half of my 20
gallon and not let my shellies play, so I booted him here to fend for himself if
he could. Surprisingly, he has established his own cave, and everyone else
respects his boundaries. When he's wandering, no one bothers him and he
lets everyone be. I know he's an odd addition here, but everything in my
other tank was miserable.



These guys are so hard to catch pics of. But here's a demasoni with a yellow
lab in the foreground.




Specs -
55 gallons
90% pool filter sand 10%caribbean live sand
250w stealth heater
Magnum 350 canister w/ bio wheels and powerhead
Regal hob filter (holds two pads, but I don't have specs -it came w/ tank)
basic airpump, came with tank
92 watts diy standard socket compact flourescent

ph 8.0
hardness 250
nitrates 10
1.67 wpg
no dosing .... yet (maybe ferts in the future if needed)


stock
17 demasoni
6 yellow labs
2 red zebras
2 bushynose plecos
1 juli. dickfeldi.


plants
tons of java fern
4 anubias nanas
3 small wisteria?
Watersprite, both planted (1) and floating (lots of babies)
anacharis (~8 stems)
hornwort? (2 stems)


I know this seems terribly over stocked, but as the demasoni and labs all
reach sexual maturity, the males will kill each other off until one or two
remain. In the end I expect about 12 demasoni and 4-5 labs.


Any opinions are welcome, good or bad. Thanks for looking! I'll post more pics
in a month or two when the plants fill in more.


Anyone know of a good ground cover for this tank? I know I need to leave
some sand open, but...

Last edited by annedee; 11-30-2007 at 11:31 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 06:20 AM
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Pictures aren't working for me. Is it just me? lol Sounds like a cool tank though, wish I could see it.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 12:22 PM
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Me neither, but I'm behind work's firewall.

OK, not the firewall. the OP needs to change how they are linking the pics from:
<img src="http://images.kodakgallery.com/photos4284/1/26/43/91/46/1/146914326111_0_ALB.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

to using just [IMG] & [/IMG] with the address in between
[A]http://images.kodakgallery.com/photos4284/1/26/43/91/46/1/146914326111_0_ALB.jpg[B]

Where [A] = [IMG] and
[B] = [/IMG]

HTH

Walter

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 03:47 PM
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Me neither

For Sale: Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 04:05 PM
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I like the setup....keep us updated on the plants as I'm planning on re-doing my mbuna tank in the near future. I had java fern and anubias in that tank and they were eaten into little nubs....my re-do will feature almost exclusively demasoni and yellow labs, so I'm hoping they were not the culprits in eating the plants....

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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How much light do you have over your tank? It's looking really great for being a low-tech cichlid tank. If my Rainbows ever die off, I might consider converting to a low-light, low-tech tank with cichlids.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys! I'm confused. Sounds like maybe some of you are seeing the pics, and others aren't. Or are your comments just based on the writing? I don't know how to change the pics to IMG. Do I need to host through somewhere else? I've never done anything like this before, and struggled to get where it's at. Thanks.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 11:04 PM
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Great looking tank, keep up the good work.

You just need to follow tazcrash69's advice and change to image tags by placing [img] [/img] around your url and then your pics will work like this

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 11:10 PM
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If I stare long enough and hold my tongue just right.....lol...Does sound like a cool tank though.

Keep trying, We'll be here when the pics come.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Finally looks to be working for everyone, yes? weird that I could see it, but no one else could. Quick question, too...Some of the small java ferns I first put in the tank are melting(?)...look like they're water logged and others are getting brown spots (not algae). Any suggestions as to what is wrong?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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My java ferns get those brown spots when I'm not doing my dosing per the EI method consistently. I'm pretty sure from reading other posts on this forum that melting Java ferns and brown spots on them is usually indicative of a lack of Potassium. From my experience with my tank, that seems to be the case for me as well. You can get just straight Florish Potassium to help out your ferns if you don't want to do the EI method.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 02:15 PM
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Looks nice!

Watch the demasoni for bloat for the next 4-6 weeks. I started with 15 and got down to 9 (bloat and males getting killed by the dominant). Now they are breeding and I'm back up to 12 or so. Follow the treatment @ cichlid-forum.com if you see any listless dems. sitting on the bottom.

I'd say forget about the groundcover. You can try, but with so little light, no CO2, and such crazed inhabitants I doubt it will work.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 02:22 PM
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I can see them all now.
Looking good to me. I like the hardscape setup.

Walter

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 04:25 PM
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Very Nice. The hardscape is very neat to look at.

Bigger Pictures!! (or at least links to them)


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 08:44 PM
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I see them as well now.
Nice balance between plants and the hardscape needed for these fish.

And as mrbman mentioned, a bigger pic or 2 would be great.


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