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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All, I have kept fish since the 1970s and planted cichlid tanks have always been my thing. I had great success with them when living in Ohio. Here is a shot of my 240G Frontosa tank from back then.



Since 2014 I have been living in New Zealand. I have a 1000L / 300G Mbuna tank that I am not happy with. The choice of cichlids is very limited in NZ, and my plants are not growing.









I have decided to make a radical change, sell the mbuna, focus on plants with dosing CO2, and try my hand at breeding Tetras.

Here is what I would like to keep:
1. The tank - obviously
2. The lighting. I have four 38W, 5000K LED shoplights over the tank, which make it fairly bright. Unless folks tell me that this is totally unsuitable, I'd prefer to stick with them.
3. The filtration system. The tank has an about 800 Liter sump system set up in a crawl space behind the rear wall of the tank. It is an unnecessarily complicated system with the sump above tank level that took me months to get running. It works great now and needs to stay. It's totally covered, but involves one Durso type drain, which I guess is not ideal.







4. Automatic water change drip system. Continuously replaces water at a very slow rate creating stable water parameters.
5. Substrate. It's simple sand from the beach that has been in the tank for over 2 years. Could be replaced with a plant substrate, but I'd rather not.
6. Volcanic rock. Totally inert. I like the look. Seems no reason to replace it.

What I think I need:
7. CO2 gas tank with all required accessories. There seems to be plenty of info about this on this site. I can probably figure it out from there. Not to worry about it at this stage.
8. Testing equipment. I bought a pH meter and have an API starter test kit (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH). What else do I need other than KH and GH?
9. Fertilizers. I am a chemist by trade - although sometimes you wouldn't think it - and have access to lab grade chemicals, but no idea what would be a good way to start for a newbie with a fairly large tank.
10. ???

All comments and suggestions appreciated!
 

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Hello,

That first tank you posted is beautiful! Regarding a couple of the things you posted; when considering co2 research which is best for your filtration type. I would imagine a large co2 reactor. The sand you have is fine even though you wouldn’t choose it if starting over. With fertilizer go to the stickies in that section and read up on best ratios for your style. Calculating what you need and how to dose it is simple when using a site like rotala butterfly’s dosing calculator. The number one thing I would say to do is jam it with plants! Can’t comment on your lighting intensity but I’m sure others can.

Best of luck and post progress shots


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick response!

One follow up question, how about MTS and planted tanks? I assume they are not desirable, but are they a huge problem? I have plenty in my entire system, and they'd be very hard to get rid of.

In the USA I would have introduced some assassin snails, but they are not available in NZ, and they are illegal to import.
 

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Thanks for the quick response!

One follow up question, how about MTS and planted tanks? I assume they are not desirable, but are they a huge problem? I have plenty in my entire system, and they'd be very hard to get rid of.

In the USA I would have introduced some assassin snails, but they are not available in NZ, and they are illegal to import.
On the contrary, Malaysian Trumpet Snails can be beneficial in a planted aquarium, as they help aerate the substrate and prevent dead spots from building up.
 

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Thanks for the quick response!

One follow up question, how about MTS and planted tanks? I assume they are not desirable, but are they a huge problem? I have plenty in my entire system, and they'd be very hard to get rid of.

In the USA I would have introduced some assassin snails, but they are not available in NZ, and they are illegal to import.

I love snails. They are an invaluable part of the planted ecosystem. As above mentioned, they stir the substrate and eat left over foods as well as keeping biofilm down. They only populate based on available food. Best way to keep population under control it to not over feed.


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