Hello all and thanks for reading. I have a 55g planted. The tank journal is located here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...0-15-15-a.html
The build doesnt make me to happy. I had an issue with some driftwood that I hadn't secured well enough and the buoyancy lifted it up along with the substrate and cap in its area (it was buried). I cleaned it up as well as I could but I have silt and O+ everywhere. The canister pre-filter is already turning brown again from silt in the water column and I just cleaned it Monday. I need to redo this tank. The tank is home to two calvus cichlids and the experiment hasnt worked the way I wanted so I am reverting it back to a rock scape and moving all of my plants and driftwood to my 75g.
I have been looking at fish for the 75g and I really like the German Blue Ram. The water parameters I have are ph 8.4 and kh and gh 9 to 11 and sometimes higher. Pretty high. So I want to plan this build so I can stabilize the water chemistry for a month or so before I start stocking fish. Reading about these fish and the fact they like acidic water is an issue to over come since I have no ro system and dw would start to get pricey after awhile. Here is what I have come up with.
1) The substrate mix. 1/3 clay rich yard dirt, 1/3 laterite, 1/3 peat. This would give me good cec and ph buffering?
2) I have an old hob that would be perfect for buffering water. It has a large reservoir that would hold a fair amount of peat stuffed bags. This particular hob has a knob I can slow the flow some if needed. Maybe I can use this as well?
3) Other ways of buffering water like dead leaves which are in abundance right now. I like this option as well assuming I can use oak leaves I find. I think the leaves add a sense of natural to the tank.
Maybe this is a bad plan considering I dont have access to an ro system. Trying to maintain a chemistry in this environment might be difficult and I should stick with fish that prefer harder water.
I realize one of the drawbacks of peat is tannins but I don't mind, I like the look as long as it isn't to dark.
I am curious what those who have blue rams have as tank mates and how their aquarium has worked with that combo. I have been interested in cichlids for so long a lot of these fish are unfamiliar to me.
My main goal is to provide an environment that the fauna will breed in. If that happens I think I have provided as healthy an environment as possible which is always my goal, more so than looks so please critique away.