55G Low Tech w/Calvus Cichlids - Updated 10-15-15 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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55G Low Tech w/Calvus Cichlids - Updated 10-15-15

This will be the journal for my 55G that I am building for my Calvus.

I will use clay rich yard soil and BlacK Diamond as the substrate, assuming it works well in my 10g.

Filtration will be a Penn-Plax Cascade canister that I have plumbed to an hob filled with lava rock. The intake will have a sponge placed over it.

Lighting will be dual fluorescents that will fit into my existing fixtures. Open to suggestions on tubes.

Here is the legend for the layout map:
A: Stacked sandstone rock pile with embedded Calvus caves. The sandstone will have moss placed around the pile.
B: Bladed, short type plants. Unknown seeking suggestions.
C: Granite block: I am going to use rubbing compound and a Makita buffing wheel to polish the face some. I will place moss on top of the granite block.
D:Vesuvius sword
E: Another tall plant unknown. Suggestions please?
F: Lower height bushy plants. Suggestions welcome and appreciated.
G: Moss bed



Livestock will be two Calvus, 6-8 Cyprichromis leptosoma, and trumpet snails for soil aeration. Open to suggestions for additional tank mates.

Ideas and suggestions welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking.

Last edited by thedood; 10-15-2015 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Change Thread Title
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 03:37 AM
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In planted tank with african cichlids you must consider using hard water hardy plants that doesn't / only need low co2. Anubias works great here. I've kept tanganyikans like frontosa, leleupi, julies, and some other neolamps in my anubias dense planted tank. They works great with pile of stones in both back corners for hiding places when aggression happens.

But when my fronts grew big they tear every plant though. I don''t know with calvus / compressiceps though, i think it should be fine.

For the non co2 bushy low plant i think Sagittaria subulata works fine. For the tall one maybe some amazon swords.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent ikuzo, thanks.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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I am accumulating parts and pieces. I bought a t8 48 inch dual bulb fluorescent fixture and 2 ge 32 watt 6500k bulbs. I purchased a powerhead to run a large sponge filter that is seeding in another tank. I have also ordered a pre-filter for the canister filter I am running.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Well I have started the build and calamity strikes. The wife wanted driftwood so we picked up a nice piece attached to slate. The piece is attached to slate. It is also a little tall. My solution was to put it directly on the bottom then cover with soil and BDBS. We started filling the tank and the damn wood had enough buoyancy to pull itself out of the substrate. I now have a dirt filled mess. I am going to pull the top layer of sand in the affected area and try to clean it. I am more worried about the osmocote+ I lined the bottom with free floating in the water. We will see what happens today. This happened at 1am this morning so I gave up and will try again today. Real bummer because the tank was looking pretty nice. Lesson learned.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 02:23 PM
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generally speaking, cichlids and plants do not mix well
only super hardy plants, and even then the cichlids can have a good salad bar at some point.
not sure about calvus, though.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2015, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Calvus are full bore carnivores that dine on fry. The tend to be a shy species that as shell dwellers will hide in shells or caves constantly sitting in the shadows waiting for an unsuspecting meal to happen by. They don't really dig or anything like that. I have a Super VC-10 Placidochromis Milomo that digs constantly. As a matter of fact the aquascape in that tank changes almost daily because of how that fish moves sand. I have a hongi in another tank that is the same way.

Bump: I have the tank all planted and running. I am debating filtration systems. There is a thread for my questions on filtration here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-...g-options.html

I ended up fixing the crater left by scraping out that whole section a layer at a time. One I had the sand and dirt dug out from the crater I scraped the top 1/4 inch or so of sand away. I cleaned the silted sand as best I could and redid everything. It isn't perfect and I still have some minor silting but it doesn't look to bad.

I have planted so far:
L. Repens
S. Repens
Fissidens
Vesuvius sword
Amazon sword
Anubias nano petite
Anubius
Dwarf sag
Unknow hairy moss almost like green poly fill
Xmas moss
Java fern

As soon as I can I will get pics.

The plants are obviously transitioning to the new environment but the were just planted Tuesday night.
I like the way it looks so we will see how it goes.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Last night I added a nice sponge pre-filter to the canister. I am including a pic of the tank as it sits. I am a little disappointed because there is some silt on the bottom that kind of uglies it up a little bit.

I used the canister filter that was on the tank and well cycled. I cleaned the filter and replaced some floss so I added Tetra Safe Start. The tank has 2 calvus and a couple of snails so far.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 04:28 PM
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cool tank. once the plants are starting to grow, it will look much better. Good idea about prefilter sponge. I use those myself, and makes cleaning the filter much easier, and less frequent.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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I had two goals with the sponge. One was keeping sand etc out of the filter and two was less frequent maintenance of the canister. I still have some work to do with the filter. Right now I have a black sponge made for the filter in the very bottom and then everything else is floss cartridges made by penn plax. I am ditching the floss but for what I havent decided. I am leaning toward scotch brite pot scrubbers in the middle and nylon pot scrubbers in the top chamber. My understanding is the nylon scrubbies work best in trickle flow systems as wet dry media. I dont know yet what I will do. I figure I have 30 days or so to decide.

One toy I also added was a finnex HC-810M heater controller and alarm. I am finding though that my lights are setting off the alarm for some reason and causing the controller to bounce around power on and off. I had the missus unplug the heater for now. I need to find a solution for this as our house gets really cool in the winter.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 04:49 PM
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the controller probably gets some "spill of electromagnetic flow" from the light, or whatever interference between them.
Use a different outlet for heater/controller, and put a little bit apart from the outlet of the lights.
OR, Use a surge power cord for the controller, that will filter the noise from the light. Can't see any other reason to make it resetting.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thats good thinking. I will move the controller to another outlet. The sensor is down near the substrate as far from the light as it can get so not many options there.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 05:20 PM
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the sensor itself probably is not a problem. just the controller. You can even try to wrap it in an aluminium foil, and check if that solves the problem. Moving it 5-10" from the outlet of the light can also solve the problem.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Who would think a light would affect the controller and I wonder why the controller isn't shielded in some way if it is susceptible to spurious radiation?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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This tank has been dismantled and the plants moved to my 75G.
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