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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Playing with fire

It has been awhile since I've had a tank. Long story short I got a free 55g and stand. I also got a rescued Peacock cichlid. I have read that cichlids like to dig up plants. For now I have some basic plants in the tank with Flora Max substrate covered with black gravel. Has anyone had success having a planted tank with cichlids? Any tips maybe?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 12:36 AM
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If the Peacock is a digger, try planting in clay pots.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
If the Peacock is a digger, try planting in clay pots.
I just don't like the look of the clay pots. Ruins my semi pirate theme.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 01:33 AM
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Clay pots can be quite small. If you look in a craft store I bet you could find them in smaller sizes than you realized! And since your substrate looks fairly deep I would bet you can bury them.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 01:54 AM
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Aarrg!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 02:56 AM
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Step one when dealing with the African cichlids is- --start with a very cynical mind about the info you may read!!! I find much of it is of little use as it is the same old story that was written back about mid 70's when we didn't know a lot about them. Keep an open mind on what you find and you can do a lot more with them.
Not all African cichlids fight, dig and eat algae. Some do, some don't so look at the specific one that you find rather than grouping them into one lump.

For your cichlid, you may be dealing with a real peacock or one which some lump into haps/peacocks as if they were the same. I recommend going to cichlid-forum. com to dig deeper into the ID. On a rescue fish, it may be a mixed or hybrid as they do cross breed quite easily.
But for plants and peacocks, there is a good chance it will dig when it becomes mature if there is a ripe female in the tank. He will dig in a chosen spot so the trick is to plant where he doesn't. This will take some time to find what he wants. In the meantime, increase the odds by trying to outguess the fish!
He may like an open spot 6X6" with some room to move around without other fish entering while he does his dance for the female. He will dig only on the bottom, not on top of rocks. So step one might be to fit your planting into spaces where it is too crowded to make a nest site as well as up off the floor. A plant with rocks stacked around the bottom so that the fish is not near the roots has a good chance. I find small plastic bathroom cups are easier to hide and big enough to do the tough plants that work best with cichlids. Think sword,crypts and not the small carpet stuff that pulls easy.
It can be done but all my pics are on another computer while I travel. Can't access them now.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 03:01 AM
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That pirate ship would look cool with different mosses growing all over it. I'd bury the rock base and then do a carpet around the hull too.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 05:05 AM
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It's an evolution.

Your first tank has the pirate ships, rum-sluggin skeletons, neon gravel and fish picked because they were pretty.

Your second and third tanks are planted biotopes with driftwood and fish from the same natural habitat.

My suggestion would be to add lower light floating plants and things like Anubias that don't need to root as much.
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