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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hi folks, I'm a newbie to planted tanks and have some questions about my setup.

I wanted to do a semi-biotype aquarium with lake tanganyika in mind. I have all predatory fish from that lake, along with synodontis catfish. Only a single herbivore in the tank. I have a 4" 75g tank.

Anyway, my substrate is african rift lake mix, which is crushed lace rock mixed with a few shells. I added in a bag of Laterite in the areas that are planted, and also added root tablets (plus iron) to the areas with vals. Right now I seem to be rebounding from an initial Val die-off, but was curious whether I have too much light, and not enough carbon.

I've been using Seachem Excel carbon substitute, as well as their Florish iron supplement. I also use Kent marine Proplant in the reccomended doses. As for lighting, I have a 48" triple florescent strip light with T8 bulbs, and a quad power compact with 65w bulbs. Right now two of those are actinic, so perhaps not contributing much to photosynthesis.

I am very hesitant to go the CO2 route because of the high-PH requirements of these fish. I generally have the PH in the 8.2-8.5 range.

I have a number of lace java fern, which appear to be doing well, though there is a bit of algae on the leaves. These are rooted on lace rock in the tank. My vals died off pretty badly at the outset, but the addition of root-tabs seems to have made them much happier. I have some round-leaved amazon swords, which have already started shooting long stalks to the surface, with root-bearing segments on them. I detatched and planted these, and they're taking hold. I also have some anubis and crypts in the tank, which have grown a number of new small leaves, and look like they're doing OK overall.

I'd love any advice or "duh, noob" observations.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 06:58 PM
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I don't know of anyone thats keeping plants with African Cichlids because I've heard they have a taste for vegetation. Try retitleing this thread to something like "African cichlids and plants", Maybe someone with more cichlid experience will chime in with some more insight than I can provide.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-27-2004, 01:14 AM
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That's a lot of light. Vals normally don't require all that much light. Do you know the nitrate and phosphate levels? Also Vals if I'm not mistaken are one of the plants capable of biogenic decalcification. So if that's the case then CO2 is not needed but regular water changes would be otherwise the pH could go up quite high.
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