Cichlid tank - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 509
Cichlid tank

I am an experienced hand and I understand the difficulties of having a planted tank with aggressive cichlids.

That said I'm putting a 150 online and I've made a lot of modifications to give a small amount of plants a chance to survive in specific areas. There will only be 6-8 6" cichlids in this tank. I have 3 full length strands of flex RGBW with almost infinite spectrum for light

I have a 150 with sand bottom, I started by adding an inch of organic potting soil in areas that will have live plants. I then added 3" of quartz sand. I made provisions so the fish CANNOT dig into my subsoil especially in areas above the subsoil..

Most of the plants will actually be in an area directly at the back wall and will be in an 18" wide area between tall rocks. I have made provisions so that the fish CANNOT touch the sand in front of plants and CANNOT touch the bottom 4" of plants (rock ledge) In front of the planted area I have a large 17" tall piece of complex Staghorn making it difficult for swim by attacks. The plants will be rooted through 1-2 inches of sand directly into the large are of subsoil. I have also added a 3/8" plastic tubing down into the subsoil to occasionally add nutrients.

All that said, my point is that I understand that cichlids and plants don't mix but I have made an experienced effort to try. My hope is that forum members will help me try instead of lecturing me about either the futility of my efforts or about my fish choices.

Last edited by MeCasa; 05-06-2014 at 05:43 AM. Reason: Grammar
MeCasa is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 509
My plan is to add moss on special built covers for my intake tubes, I want two different mosses that do not become invasive. I am looking at starting off at the bottom above the intake cover with flame moss and then adding Star moss on the top 12”. I feel confident about the Star but I’m unfamiliar with the Flame, is it controllable?

As for the plants in the back I want to fill in an area 18” wide and I hope it will grow the full height of my aquarium which is 28”
I have chosen 3 varieties.

Alternanthera reineckii roseafolia
Vallisneria Spiralis
Crinum Natans

I have some small protected areas in the front of the aquarium and I plan on using
Cryptocoryne parva

Any opinions on my choices or opinions on better choices

Thank you
MeCasa
MeCasa is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 08:37 AM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
Welcome to TPT!

I don't know of anyone who's had success keeping Starmoss alive long-term completely submerged. Flame moss should be a good choice. Fissidens fontanus is one of my favorites, and IME one of the least invasive.

A formerly active member once did a gorgeous planted African cichlid tank, you might benefit from reading through his thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...hlight=cichlid

Unfortunately his picture links are now broken, but you can see the tank here: http://www.malawicichlidhomepage.com..._simonson.html





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 12:28 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
roadmaster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
Posts: 5,576
Leopard val's would be good background plant as well as the Spiralis.
Best luck I ever had with plant's and larger cichlid's was by placing the plant's in pot's with soil covered with gravel/sand,and then building rock barrier around the pot's.
Wish you luck, and will be looking forward to your progress along with photo's?
roadmaster is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 509
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Welcome to TPT!

I don't know of anyone who's had success keeping Starmoss alive long-term completely submerged. Flame moss should be a good choice. Fissidens fontanus is one of my favorites, and IME one of the least invasive.

A formerly active member once did a gorgeous planted African cichlid tank, you might benefit from reading through his thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...hlight=cichlid

Unfortunately his picture links are now broken, but you can see the tank here: http://www.malawicichlidhomepage.com..._simonson.html
Excellent pictures and kudos to Travis, he's a brave soul and proof that people SHOULD always keep an open mind.

I fell asleep at 8 last night after working on the yard and obviously woke up at 2 with nothing to do so I re-studied my plants (10th redo)

I fell in love with Pogostemon Erectus and decided that the 16" wide area in the back of my aquarium should be one species so it will look dominant and not broken up. I'm staying away from color because there is a huge red Staghorn coral directly fronting this area (form of protection) and the red would look great against a solid green.

Any opinions on Pogostemon Erectus? I would use Pogo as the main plant and one Crinum Natans in the center.

I'm heartbroken about the Star Moss, I am an extensive reader and nobody mentioned that Star Moss can't be permanently submerged :-( Back to the Drawing Board for the intake covers.

I also love Fissidens fontanus and have used it in another area I was going to talk about later. The look I wanted for the intake covers was longer moss on the bottom (Flame or Fissidens) and Star on top because it would lay flatter and not be invasive.
MeCasa is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 509
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Leopard val's would be good background plant as well as the Spiralis.
Best luck I ever had with plant's and larger cichlid's was by placing the plant's in pot's with soil covered with gravel/sand,and then building rock barrier around the pot's.
Wish you luck, and will be looking forward to your progress along with photo's?
Promise :-)
MeCasa is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 509
I NEVER EVER show pictures of anything before they're finished but it's obvious that you will be able to help me better with input from me, so.....

Where the tape measure is opened is where the plants will sit. There will be three more colorful pieces completing this area. The fake anemones on the bottom will be partly buried in sand and they will sit on top of aa couple inches of sand with netting underneath to seal off my subsoil reservoir and prevent digging.

Will a line of Pogos with one Crinum in the center work here? How many pogo's?

That intake is one of two that I plan on covering with moss, I was also going to let a SMALL amount of moss attach to adjoining rock although I do not want it taking over.

I'm not a good picture taker no matter how much I spend on cameras so excuse the pictures and that tape measure is opened to 16"





This picture shows the rock ledge that will protect the roots and bottoms of the plants. The large peice of Staghorn will be incorporated into this ledge and should keep the plants behind and help with protection.





The entire tank



Thanks
MeCasa

Last edited by MeCasa; 05-06-2014 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Grammar
MeCasa is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 04:42 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 11,890
Congrats on being willing to take on a challenge. You may find it much easier than you think! I started with cichlids and then moved on into plants so my experience may have made it go better. I also had the idea that if the plants worked fine, if not I could go without them , so failure was always an option!

I think I might have some suggestions worth consideration. No warranty implied?
First some questions on which cichlids specifically. They do come in a wide range and some are easier than others when trying to make plants work. Also I am not a fan of small plants and find that good, as small delicate plants do just come out of the ground when a big guy goes by even if he is not interested in plants or digging. I do hope you are willing to make some concessions on fish and plant types if it makes life better for you and them? It kind of fits that planting small easily damaged plants and then pairing them with fish that love to eat plants will make life difficult.

Without knowing what cichlids, I will stick to some plant suggestions. For the tall plant as a centerpiece to catch the eye, I find red tiger lotus works well. Hard to keep it trimmed often enough to avoid it covering the surface but I love it for what it does for me. I have a mix of mbuna who would love to dig like Hongi, some who eat plants pretty quick like yellow labs and some who would never bother coming to the bottom if they could breed mid water like Protomelas Tanzania.

Lots of fish types, lots of plant types, so I go with the ones who work easy rather than fight with nature. I build places for the Hongi to dig and live under a rock "teepee", Plant tough plants like swords due to the labs and the Protomelas has a place at the end where there is clear space for him to swim and go down to breed when the time comes and his female is ripe.

I find the CA/SA group to be harder to predict so much of my plant experience is with Africans. So what fish do you favor? Both can be done but they do take different approaches.
PlantedRich is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 05:45 PM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
Quote:
I fell in love with Pogostemon Erectus and decided that the 16" wide area in the back of my aquarium should be one species so it will look dominant and not broken up. I'm staying away from color because there is a huge red Staghorn coral directly fronting this area (form of protection) and the red would look great against a solid green.

Any opinions on Pogostemon Erectus?
Probably not the best choice if you're not running CO2 on this tank (you're not, correct?)

Check out the sticky at the top of the Low Tech forum for better plant options to replace it.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 509
I'll start digesting the sticky's followed by a crash course on CO2

And the hole just keeps on getting deeper...and deeper..........and deeeeeper.........

:-)
MeCasa is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 509
That didn't take long. CO2 is OUT!!! No way, no how

I'm not sure the Pogo is out though. I read a lot of threads discussing the difficulty of low light but I have plenty of spectrum. My problem is going to be able to utilize those lights to find a natural balance that will cut back on maintenance and increase pleasure.

There were both low tech successes and failures with Pogo.

I have an 800 square foot greenhouse and I love my plants, always have. But I have a philosophy when I bring in a new plant, if it accepts the home I've arranged I'm happy, if not there's an empty bucket in that spot. If I really like a plant I'll try it again at a slightly different location, more water, less sun etc. etc.

If it doesn't make it the second time, it either becomes a perennial or history. I'm going to give Pogo a try :-)
MeCasa is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 04:29 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Ca.
Posts: 625
I have several different species of plants in my cichlid tanks one tank I have to use rocks around the plants to keep them from being dug up , other tanks no issues the bigger problem for me would be the water being buffered for the cichlids 8.3 ph and cichlid salt not the best for growing plants and as far as plants are concerned my tanks would be low tech no ferts plenty of minerals in the buffered water for the plants and no c02 ,so they grow slower and receive some abuse from the fish.
However a planted tank is possible with cichlids just expect some pros and cons to it ,trail and error for what works with your specific fish.

125g,75g,50g,40g,27g,10g
Aqguy is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 04:45 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 11,890
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqguy View Post
I have several different species of plants in my cichlid tanks one tank I have to use rocks around the plants to keep them from being dug up , other tanks no issues the bigger problem for me would be the water being buffered for the cichlids 8.3 ph and cichlid salt not the best for growing plants and as far as plants are concerned my tanks would be low tech no ferts plenty of minerals in the buffered water for the plants and no c02 ,so they grow slower and receive some abuse from the fish.
However a planted tank is possible with cichlids just expect some pros and cons to it ,trail and error for what works with your specific fish.
I find this is totally true on taking a wait and see attitude on what may happen. What is missed so often is that fish can be almost as diverse as people. When we start grouping things together we miss out on some real opportunities to take advantage of the diversity we might find.

That's where I might be gin to disagree some with what AGGUY has said. When you mention buffering to 8.3 for the cichlids without saying which cichlids, I feel we may be falling into the trap of looking at cichlids as a group rather than individual species. And then there are often times when I find the commonly written instructions are wrong. When I read about PH, I often find the common instructions are not true. I keep and breed several different types of African cichlids in my planted tanks. I am currently running the PH down from 7.8/8.0 to as low as 6.6. I am now settled pretty close to 7.0 but it swings up and down during the day. This is certainly not what the books say is required for Mbuna!
That leaves me thinking we are missing some real opportunities if we don't try some things that are not what fit the books. I've never seen any reason to use cichlid salt so if it is a problem, I would try going without it.
PlantedRich is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 05:31 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
roadmaster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
Posts: 5,576
I wish the OP success,It can be done.
The one thing I have noted here as well as other planted tank forum's,is that there are those who plan their tank's,research fishes, and this is a good thing I believe.
Then there are those who believe fishes should adjust to whatever condition's are presented.Been that way forever.Ain't nothing wrong with what you do with your tank's if this is how you feel ,but to suggest to other's to do likewise is not doing the hobbyist's or the fishes any favor's.
I killed untold number's of fishes when I began caring for tropical's some forty year's ago by buying fish and believeing that they should conform to my wishes/water condition's.
Seem's to be just as popular today as it was then.
The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth and still does when I hear of those who are encouraged to do as I did when internet was not yet born,and book's were scarce.
roadmaster is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 08:44 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Ca.
Posts: 625
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I find this is totally true on taking a wait and see attitude on what may happen. What is missed so often is that fish can be almost as diverse as people. When we start grouping things together we miss out on some real opportunities to take advantage of the diversity we might find.

That's where I might be gin to disagree some with what AGGUY has said. When you mention buffering to 8.3 for the cichlids without saying which cichlids, I feel we may be falling into the trap of looking at cichlids as a group rather than individual species. And then there are often times when I find the commonly written instructions are wrong. When I read about PH, I often find the common instructions are not true. I keep and breed several different types of African cichlids in my planted tanks. I am currently running the PH down from 7.8/8.0 to as low as 6.6. I am now settled pretty close to 7.0 but it swings up and down during the day. This is certainly not what the books say is required for Mbuna!
That leaves me thinking we are missing some real opportunities if we don't try some things that are not what fit the books. I've never seen any reason to use cichlid salt so if it is a problem, I would try going without it.
I find that not all lfs buffer there water for the malawi its more neutral closer to 7 ph so the fish will adjust to the ph or water condition.
To stand corrected I buffer the water to hopefully provide a better environment for the fish my plants come second.
I used to have just a planted tank but went more uniform with my water for the cichlids it was to hard to make different water for different tanks.
My experiment has been to have success with different plants in malawi cichlid tanks when the norm is to be told of failure it really depends on the specific fish even of malawi.

125g,75g,50g,40g,27g,10g
Aqguy is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome