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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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first Planted tank (29gal)

say what you realy think

Well i figured it was time to show people what i feel is a lackluster PT in hopes of getting a few pointers or ideas

my tank is a 29Gal with 100watts of light and 3 containers of DIY co2
my tanks PH is 8.6 with a hardness off the scale.
i dose with sachem ferts.

my tank occupants consist of 4 electric yellows 3 Otto's 1 bristle nose and one the LFS called a stingray CF and about 50 Mts

my plants consist of
3 swords
some valls and Cobuba that has yet to recover from my hack job (hair algae)
java ferns
HC I'm hoping to get rid of favor of dwarf hair grass
and a red plant that i cant remember

well thats about it the pics bellow are my tank and one of my Otto's having dinner

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 01:04 AM
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Mighty fine start!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 01:12 AM
Many plants...little time
 
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Nice...I just wanted to point out that those Electric Yellows are Yellow Labidochromis which is an African cichlid. You have 4 of them and if they pair or a pair forms you are going to have a problem...they will dig and move the substrate around and they will become very territorial...the pair will generally kill off the other 2 Labs and your Otto's will go bye-bye as will the ray. I'm not trying to be harsh but I would seriously consider bringing them back to the LFS. Good luck with your tank!!


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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the yellows are all males so there ok for now im woking on getting rid of them currently i will then be converting this to a species tank i just havnt decided what african cichid i want yet im leaning toards shell dwelers but i need to do more research.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 01:29 AM
Many plants...little time
 
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I have shell dwellers Gold Occelatus in my 90 gal tanganyikan tank but I used sand as a substrate because they love to bury there shells...nasty little buggers...I'd skip African cichlids...and go with Appistogrammas or GBR's.
but that is just my .02


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coltonorr View Post
I have shell dwellers Gold Occelatus in my 90 gal tanganyikan tank but I used sand as a substrate because they love to bury there shells...nasty little buggers...I'd skip African cichlids...and go with Appistogrammas or GBR's.
but that is just my .02
i know cichlids love to dig thats y i have left part of the tank open. as for GBR my understanding is that they require soft water and i have liquid rock. as for the appistogrammas thees all seem to be south American fish and therefore require soft water.please correct me if i am wrong.

i know most fish can adjust to different water parameters over time, but my LFS only deals in F1 cichlids no tank bread cichlids he doesn't even like taking them in
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 05:45 AM
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Glad to see your tank up and running! Next time your in binghamton shoot me a message.. mine is filling in nicely!

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 01:26 PM
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Meta, "liquid rock" I love it... you are correct on the soft water, and while there are ways of softening your water...ie. peat and I think there are water softening pillows, however the company name eludes me...I'll look later or someone else will post a link I'm sure.
I guess what I'm saying is you have to decide what direction you would like to head with your tank...a shell dweller setup with anubias, java ferns and other hardy low maintenance plants would go really nice!! You have to keep up with ferts though because its hard in my experience to get plants to grow in plain old pool filter sand...unless you use root tabs. You also have to think about the fact that CO2 fertilization will lower the pH in your tank and african cichlids esp. tanganyikans don't like lower pH...in fact the higher the better...I've found my Tanganyikan cichlids like the pH as high as 9.4. I realize also that an open area with no plants might seem good for the Yellow Labs but...in my experience they will forgo the open area and dig under your rocks, decorations, and up root plants...my pair decided to clear out under a rock and proceeded to tear up a nice Crypt. Lutea...roots were all over the place...LOL
As far is F1 cichlids go... I think its all overblown, first filial generation post removed from the wild doesn't really mean anything IMHO...some of the nicest cichlids I've seen have been tank raise fish generations down the line, In fact I had a breeding pair of Daffodil Birchardi's that I just couldn't keep up with! I probably have F10s (LOL) growing out right now in a tank in the basement...they are all beautiful and have wonderful coloration.
good luck!!


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the impute i have tried the water softening pillows to no avail i had a total of 4 at one point i would swap 2 out every 48 hours and recharge them, my water did not get any softer. my DIY co2 doesn't seem to have any affect on my ph i keep it pretty steady changing a bottle every week my Co2 test kit says i have a co2 level of 20 (cant remember units). i know plants don't grow well in pool sand so i have been contemplating the idea of changing half my substrate out for black fluorite sand. i currently have standard echo complete.

i like the idea of the shell dwellers since they are small and i have optimal water for them.

question in your cichlid tanks do you all the rift lake salts i have tried in the past but the water is so hard i have difficulties dissolving it without boiling the water and then letting it cool so i can add it in
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 09:37 PM
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Might I suggest getting rid of the backbround and go for a solid color. Painting your bg on works great.

Shellies are really the ONLY africans that can fit in a tank that size. Glad to see you are trying to get rid of the Labs, as they really aren't appropriate for a tank that size.

Further, don't expect the fish to only dig where you leave open space. They dig where they please.

I would recomend trying some "smaller" plants. Your plants you have are a bit overpowering, and it just looks crowded. Something with smaller leaves, and a bit more "delicate" looking would be awesome.

Good start, none-the-less!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metageologist View Post
thanks for all the impute i have tried the water softening pillows to no avail i had a total of 4 at one point i would swap 2 out every 48 hours and recharge them, my water did not get any softer. my DIY co2 doesn't seem to have any affect on my ph i keep it pretty steady changing a bottle every week my Co2 test kit says i have a co2 level of 20 (cant remember units). i know plants don't grow well in pool sand so i have been contemplating the idea of changing half my substrate out for black fluorite sand. i currently have standard echo complete.

i like the idea of the shell dwellers since they are small and i have optimal water for them.

question in your cichlid tanks do you all the rift lake salts i have tried in the past but the water is so hard i have difficulties dissolving it without boiling the water and then letting it cool so i can add it in
No need to add the salts if you have hard water. The real purpose of adding them is to buffer your tank. The reality is that I don't suggest adding anything unless you have a needed end--and messing with the ph is just one of those things I don't recomend doing. Check out cichlidforum.com for some great suggestions.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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do you have any plants you could recomend, also do you have any cichlids you could recomend. all suggestions would be appreciated.

my LFS says his importer can get him just about any african cichlid with a months notice
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by metageologist View Post
do you have any plants you could recomend, also do you have any cichlids you could recomend. all suggestions would be appreciated.

my LFS says his importer can get him just about any african cichlid with a months notice
I haven't kept shellies in a while. The folks over at cichlidforum.com could surely give you great advice re: shellies.

As far as plants, I'm hoping someone who has kept Africans with plants, and knows a bit more about the plants that like high PH/hardness will chime in.

I know that Anubias work great. You'll end up needing a bunch. You'll have to remember that shellies really like having open spaces in the tank, and that won't leave much room in the tank.

I'd use driftwood with anubias attached to get some vertical element in the tank too.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 03:33 AM
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I wouldn't bother with the salts...your water is fine.
I've had success keeping Anubias, Java Fern, and some Crypts with Shellies.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the input guys i guess im off to the cichlid forum
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