Changing the rock decor and adding plants to 55 gal cichlid - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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I am changing the rocks and adding more plants to my cichlid tank and I was wondering what is the best way to make sure that the fishes are not harmed during this process. They can get a bit scared and start darting through the tank when they are startled. Should I remove the fishes while I do this change and planting or should I just leave them in the tank?
Will they be ok for the duration that it will take me to do all of this (approximately about 1-2 hours)?

I am also thinking about removing the ugf that I have and just run an open end power head (2) system.
Does anyone have a diy system for a built in water filtering system?
I am looking for one that will be located in the tank and that will use power heads + filter that will run the system.
Thanks in advance for your help

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:23 PM
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Well.. if you are looking for a strictly biological filter you can always use just a big sponge filter powered by a power head. You can't the low cost and simplicty, but with larger cichlids it will clog pretty fast.

It would help if you could give us some more information. I see you have a 55 gallon tank... what kinds of cichlids are you keeping? Rift Lake? West African? South American? Central American?

For larger species (Rift Lake and Central American) you will need some pretty heavy filtration, so either stick with your UGF or replace it with a large Cannister filter (I'm sure the Rena pimps will pipe up on this topic soon enough).

If you are dealing with Smaller cichlids like West Africans or South Americans (assuming dwarf variety, or angels) then you can get away with something less, but I would still shy away from a powerhead driven filter. Hagen Quick Filters dont offer much surface area for bacteria and they clog easily. Sponge filters provide excellent biological media, but do little for mechanical filtering. I would go for a medium sized Canister filter here (Rena XP2?)

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-30-2003, 04:29 AM
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I would take out your Undergravel Filter no matter what cichlids you have. I personally hate UGF's although they certainly have been known to work for certain people. I believe that generally though UGF's will eventually get clogged and not be good for your tank. Buy a couple of sponge filters for your power heads. Also, you don't need to remove your fish from the tank when you are working on it. They probably would be more stressed if you tried to catch them and keep them out while you worked in the tank.

Hope that helps,
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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I have 4 Marakely-Small Spots; Madagascar cichlids (Polleni): 2 males between 4 and 5 inches, the 2 females are about 3"
One of the couple is currently displaying. I think that the female is about to lay eggs, she has a fat stomach and is constantly swimming with the large male in the tank.
I was in the process of adding plants and rocks to the tank but now I think I will let them take care of their business before I start messing with the tank.
As far as water parameter, my water is kept between 80 and 82 deg, pH @ 8.0, don't know what the hardness is, I live in Maryland.
I am starting a 30 gal tank to place the plants and rocks in while the fishes take care of their business.
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