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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've got a 90gl that I am wanting to set up as a super low tech, medium light dwarf cichlid tank.

My plans are this: Just fill'er up with tonnes of driftwood. No real scaping here. Just aquire it and load it up. I'll have mircrosoreum/anubias here and there with moss thrown in for good measure.

I'm wanting to have the bottom just covered in oak leaves and Indian almond leaves. No actual substrate here. Driftwood and leaf-litter.

Does this sound good?

As for fish, I'm thinking Black neons for sure (why are these fish not used more often?!) and then either fire mouths, or a bunch of apistos, or some Angels. I'm scared of doing the angels cause I've never kept them before and are not sure of their temperance towards Angelfish newbies.

I was hoping to do alot of apistos if I do- in the sense of almost over-crowding them. In the 90gl, I was thinking 4 or so males and 6 females (please, give opinions on harem ratios).

This tank is just an idea right now.
 

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I totally agree about why people don't stock black neons more often because they stand out against the green; but, do you think the black neons will stick out in your tank? I mean it seems like with the tonnes of driftwood around, they might be hard to spot? And about angels, i figure there will be alot of hiding spaces for your neons created by the driftwood. But, i think that angelfishes are overall peaceful if they have the space. Also, about the leaf litter, you picked a great time to get some haha.
 

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If the goal is dwarf cichlids, I'd stick with those and schooling fish rather than mixing in angels... unless your goal also is to spawn those, as well? Otherwise you run into too many fish spawning at the same time = war.

I like the sound of the tank setup. Though I'd probably put some substrate in just for the dwarf cichlids that like to dig out nests. Maybe just 1" or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was thinking, if I did, was to add 3MCQ for the substrate, but not even alot.

No, I wasnt going to mix Angels with apistos. It was one or the other. I've never kept angels and am somewhat intimidated by them and am not sure how forgiving they are (though, I am defs not some rookie within this hobby, but rather just with them).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Does anyone else have any suggestions?

In regards to the black neons being too inconpicuous in a tank like this, I am starting to agree. I hate to use cardinals, as everyone and their brother uses them these days. I could get my hands on green neons, for about $2/ea, with a price break if I buy about 30 or more.
If I go this route, then Angels are out of the question.
Also, I was thinking of not filling it all the way up to the top, but rather 2/3rds or just a tad bit over that, as I want the look of the driftwood sticking out of the water too. I want the illusion of an acid pool/log jam with tonnes of wood and leaf litter. Low to Medium lighting (this is going to be more of a wood tank, as opposed to a planted tank) is what I'm aiming for to help reduce algae taking hold.

Also, If I add substrate, I was thinking towards just a super thin layer of colour quartz. But then I got thinking of adding a couple of three inches or so of just natural river gravel so I can plant lots of crypts. I was picturing a leaf litter bottom with tonnes of crypts popping up between them.

Anyone thoughts on this?

Since this is going to be low to medium light, fish with that latent iridescent glow is what I'm looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Usually you just add to them....well, I do. I find they break down enough. I guess you could replace them but I dont see why I would.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm really leaning on wanting to do angels, but am intimidated by them.
I definitely can source some 'blue' angels (silvery black, with a latent tinge of metallic blue) that are absolutely stunning, for $6/ea. These are Juvenile/sub-adults.

AAAHHH, I have no idea what to do.

I know the guys at www.canadianaquatics.com and they have amazing prices.
So I am asking this: from their stocklist, pick me out something to house in this Acid pool (please, stick to something in the lines of tetras/rasbora etc. I am wanting to do either angels or apistos, so something suiting.
 

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I think black neons are perfect for this tank, so why change your mind about them? Plus, they are among the tightest-schooling tetras I've ever found. Constant-schoolers they are!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I'm not really trying to breed the angels, I just think they'd look good. As for the Black neons, there is still a part of me that wants to use them. They're like, $2/ea here, with a price break for quantity.
 

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I really like my angelfish schools. I have a group of 10 wild peruvians that are just a step down from Altums. I also have a bunch of gold veils that I raised from an older pair I had before. Angels can be a little pushy once they start spawning. Right now my golds are just getting to that stage. But these ones are not as aggressive as the pair that I already had. They were the only angels in my 125 when they started breeding. They controlled 2/3 of the tank. Now that there are a bunch of angels that have grown up together, there isn't quite as much of a problem.

Overall, I would recommend a school of angels. There are some really nice altum/wild peruvian setups around. I find that my peruvians kind of disappear into the background a bit. The golds really stand out.

I have had a school of cardinals with my angels for over 6 months. I like them, but I also just got some rummy nose and I like the rummies a lot better. I also got a small school of congos. The congos are beautiful, but they are not the same as a school of smaller tetras. I think black neons would look great too.

Kind of a long response. But I like my angels and wish more people used them.
 

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If you go for the tank-bred domestic angels, you should be fine. They're really pretty forgiving once you get them to a decent size--bigger than a quarter. I have found that the 'blushing' angels tend to be more delicate, so it would be better to steer away from varieties like 'German Blue/Blue Blushing' or 'Koi' at first. That's just been my experience though, some people have no trouble with those types.

Feed them good food, and they should be fine. They do like nice clean water, so regular water changes are important to them.
 

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I would second that. I don't have anything that really cleans my driftwood, and I'm having to scrub it pretty regularly to keep it looking spotless.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, sorry, I've been in Vegas for the last three days and was not able to check this forum (alot happens on here in three days!).

I was definitely going to add a bristlenose and a bunch of ottos for sure.

I'm so torn on what fish to have (other than black neons). I really want to also have this tank loaded (I mean LOADED) with amano shrimp.

This simple looking tank is starting to get harder to design...
 

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Look into Normans Lampeye for the schooling fish, they will do just fine with angels or apistos, they are grey to green in the body tone but have glowing blue eyes, would look nice in that tank, since the water will be super tanic with all the driftwood and almond leaves.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fish/normanslampeye.php

Python, i like the idea of something to clean up the wood, but rubber plecos are super ugly... get an albino bushynose, or if you have the patience/resource, a blue eye albino bushynose pleco. Even an atabapo pleco would fair well in that type of enviorment.

Just my take on the situation...



F
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Lampeyes do look really cool, but I'm wanting to create a biotope here, and it's saying that the Lampeyes are from Africa.
I may set up another little 'swamp/bog' for these guys in my 33gl though.
 

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haha, i don't blame you... I set them up in a swamp system I built as a half vivarium... the little SOBs glow in dark water...
 
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