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Discussion Starter #1
Im new to planted tanks, but have been dabbling with fish for quite some time now. But this forum has taught me a lot about plant needs

heres what ive got so far:
lights: coralife t5 aqualight w/ 2x6.7k 31watt bulbs
substrate: black fluorite

as far as which cichlids to get, i was looking at the demasonis and the yellow labs

and as far as plants go, i was looking at anubias, java ferns, and java moss.

any suggestions/input would be gladly welcomed :D
 

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20 liters, or 20 long? 20liters- no way for cichlids (well shellies maybe), 20gallon, you'll need good filtration, frequent water changes, and a referee to break up the fights, unless you're only going with a couple. You might have more light than you need for those plants, really I think you'll have more options than just those 3 with that light.
 

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Demasonis are quite a bit more aggressive than yellow labs, so it may not work. But if you can get it to, that will be a beautiful combination of colors. The key with mbuna is overstocking, to spread out the aggression, but a 20 long is still on the small side for them...you might be able to do two or maybe three of each until they outgrow the tank. I'd also suggest lots of rockwork or clay pots for them to hide in; they love caves. (You probably already know those things about them though.)

The plants sound fine though, mbuna usually leave those alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
20 liters, or 20 long? 20liters- no way for cichlids (well shellies maybe), 20gallon, you'll need good filtration, frequent water changes, and a referee to break up the fights, unless you're only going with a couple. You might have more light than you need for those plants, really I think you'll have more options than just those 3 with that light.
20 gallons, its just something i had lying around. I realize i have a bit more light than is needed for those (but i didnt want to feel limited as to which i could get, or if i wanted to get something a bit more needy as far as lighting goes). I was just curious as to which other plants would do well w/ cichlids.
 

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Have you looked at the apistos from South America? They are good for a planted aquarium and a threesome should work out fine. You can have a small school of tetras plus the algae eating crew in your 20L.

Another group of cichlids that were mentioned earlier are the shell dwellers from Lake Tanganyika. They are small and they would work out really well. Some of them are small enough for a 10g and they would really like your 20L. They need sand and shells. Pool filter sand and Escargot shells work fine. They also like hard water.

Both apistos and shell dwellers usually breed like rabbits plus they are usually in high demand. Apistos and shell dwellers leave plants alone, but the sand dwellers are really good diggers. Plan accordingly.
 

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I think you are asking for trouble with two separate issues.

With that much light over a 20L you are going to have serious issues with algae unless you add Co2.

You fish choice is not good for a 20L. They are just too big and way too aggressive. You won't be able to get enough of them in that tank to keep the aggression down. As Left C pointed out a 20L is a excellent tank for Apisto's but even with the smaller Apistos you are probably going to be limited to a trio due to aggression.
 

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Stick with dwarf south american cichlids with that tank size. especially if you're going for a planted tank. South american cichlids and a majority of plants prefer soft slightly acid water conditions. If you kept yourself to just one 31 watt bulb you wouldn't need to worry about supplementing C02, and you would run less risk of washing out the coloration of your fish. Many low light, undemanding plants are out there for the beginner.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think you are asking for trouble with two separate issues.

With that much light over a 20L you are going to have serious issues with algae unless you add Co2.

You fish choice is not good for a 20L. They are just too big and way too aggressive. You won't be able to get enough of them in that tank to keep the aggression down. As Left C pointed out a 20L is a excellent tank for Apisto's but even with the smaller Apistos you are probably going to be limited to a trio due to aggression.
im not really concerned with having only a few fish in the tank. Once i get the hang of planted tanks, id like to upgrade to a 40g breeder :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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that pretty much sums it up. i checked out those sights, and fell in love w/ the A. cactouides and the opal borelliis. Thanks for those links Left C :D
Your LFS will be beating on your doors wanting some young cockatoos for their customers when they find out that you have some.

Don't mix the opals with the cockatoos. The cockatoos will kill them. The opals are rather meek in comparison.

Did you see the white cockatoos at SouthernApistos?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your LFS will be beating on your doors wanting some young cockatoos for their customers when they find out that you have some.

Don't mix the opals with the cockatoos. The cockatoos will kill them. The opals are rather meek in comparison.

Did you see the white cockatoos at SouthernApistos?
Thanks for the tip again Left C. The cockatoos were the first thing i looked at. Im stuck between the triple reds and the super reds!
 

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I had a threesome of the "Orange Flash" variety for several years. They were really neat!
 

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Orange Flash are my favs also. Have my first batch of fry growing out now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
a few quick questions...ive now got a 1x31 watt T5 HO light. should i raise it up a few inches (with the current set up its about 1" off the water and about 10" off the substrate)?

and is that enough light to grow amazon swords and the pygmy chain swords?
 

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a few quick questions...ive now got a 1x31 watt T5 HO light. should i raise it up a few inches (with the current set up its about 1" off the water and about 10" off the substrate)?
I've never seen a 31w T5HO bulb. Is it 30" long?

Raising it some may be a good idea.

and is that enough light to grow amazon swords and the pygmy chain swords?
Many Amazon swords get too large for your aquarium. I have some Tropica swords in a 15g and these are great small swords. http://www.aquabotanicstore.com/Tropica_Sword_p/pf104.htm

I don't think that you will have any trouble growing a small sword and pygmy chain sword.
 

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how long did you have 'em before they bred?

got any pics of the fry?
Had a difficult time finding them. Ended up getting them on Aquabid. It was a fry pack so I had to grow them out to adults so it was several months before they paired off. No pics of the fry but here is the Male.
 

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