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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are a few of my African and American cichlids... Enjoy...
 

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Very nice1 I'm always in favor of seeing how well it can be done. It is often said that planted tanks can't be done with cichlids byt then it does look like it works for you. Thanks for sharing.
Mind telling you which cichlids you keep?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is the tank! Its a high tech 120gal

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Very nice1 I'm always in favor of seeing how well it can be done. It is often said that planted tanks can't be done with cichlids byt then it does look like it works for you. Thanks for sharing.
Mind telling you which cichlids you keep?
It can definitely be done. Its a little more work and you have to stay on top of things for awhile. This tank is 4 months old and the first few months I was constantly replanting things but once they took hold everything has been fine.

As far as fish goes, I have 3 jack dempseys, 3 plecos, a firemouth, a blue acara, a convict, a jewel, and 5 peacocks.

I know people say you should keep Americans with Africans but I have the water parameters somewhere between what they both like. They have plenty of cover and generally get along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks! I still need to fill in the background more. I've slowly been transplanting the rotala, moneywort, and anacharis to fill it in. There is jungle val in the back left but it doesn't get much light because of the filters and rocks so it is growing super slow. Another few months and it should be good.

I wish my camera was good enough to pick up all the pearing. Even with the CO2 off it still looks like a glass of champaign. You can kinda tell in the pictures. The specks on the crypts are sand from the cichlids digging but the specks floating in the water is all oxygen bubbles. I am running three big filters and the water is exceptionally clear with no debris at all.
 

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Your 75gal is awesome. Once all those plants fill in its going to be a jungle!
If you dont mind let me show you what it looks like. I will snap a pic and share but I dont want to hijack your thread.
 

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I like the African and find they can be much like people on some points. They can be really interesting and really worthwhile but they do take some extra attention at times. And as time goes by they can change so it pays to watch. Kind of like people?
Dempsey and peacocks may grow to be some trouble but that doesn't mean they aren't great for now. I keep lots of fish that I don't plan to marry.
Nicely done, so enjoy!
 

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I posted an update on my journal. Look at the difference in just three weeks. I am actually amazed, especially the carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My Jack Pair

I tried to get a good picture of both my jacks earlier but the female (I think) would not come out. Can you guys tell which one is the male and which one is female or are they both female? They are definitely a pair because they are always together, they will stay in the same cave, and they lock lips pretty frequently.

I think the black one is male and the light one female but if you guys know for sure please correct me.

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I posted an update on my journal. Look at the difference in just three weeks. I am actually amazed, especially the carpet.

Wow man thats crazy thick growth! When you say "low tech" what exactly do you mean? What light do you use, ferts, DIY CO2?? I only ask because your "low tech" is making me wonder why I spent all the money on HOT5s and pressurized CO2 lol! Good work man!
 

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Thanks for the compliment. By low tech I mean low tech. The lighting is a 10 dollar walmart special shop light with a pair of 9 dollar for 2 ge 6500k t8 tubes. I dose glut daily. I use o+ home made root tabs and no fert dosing otherwise. Filtration is a magnum 350 with a sponge prefilter and matrix bio-media and I have a home made pvc water polisher with floss and purigen with a powerhead running the rig (it can be seen in the left rear corner). Low tech indeed. After an initial bout of bba and a bit of hair algae the tank has settled into a decent state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That is awesome growth for a low tech tank plus you didn't have any algae issues.

This is what I'm running.

Glass tank - 60×18x24

Lighting - 48″ Coralife four bulb high output T5 running three 6,700K bulbs and one 10,000k. 48″ Aqueon Optibright LED light bar.

Filtration - One API Filstar Large canister filter and two Aqueon 75 HOB filters. One Aqueon 950 circulation fan. Two 24w “Green Killing Machine” UV sterilizers.

Pressurized CO2 system - Premium Aquatek regulator with solenoid, 5lb tank, and a large Ista Mix Max CO2 reactor on my canister outflow. Bubble count can’t be determined because it is too fast but I can drop my pH by 1.0 within an hour of starting CO2 flow.

Heating - Two 200watt heaters that keep tank ~75 degrees.

Substrate - 150 lbs of aquarium sand.

Ferts - All seachem products, biweekly dosing of Flourish, Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphate, Iron, and heavily utilized root tabs.

Rock - Sand stone (doesn’t effect my H2O chemistry so I’m lucky)

Misc - Two analog timers that run lights from 9am-7pm and run CO2 from 730am-6pm. Glass thermometer, drop checker (useless), and a magnetic algae scraper.

Chemistry - pH: 8.2 pre CO2 and 7.0 post CO2. KH and GH are both pretty high.

Plants - Rotala, Jungle Val, Java Fern, Ludwigia, Anacharis, Cabomba, Amazon Swords, Anubias, Moneywort, Lobelia, Banana plants, and crypts.

The pics Im posting are before and after from the day I initially scapped and from today to give an idea of growth.

The first pic is from April 4th and the other one is May 30 so basically 2 months of growth.
 

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That is a gorgeous setup. I have a 125g sitting downstairs waiting to get setup when I get that apartment remodeled, right now we are in an upstairs apartment and I wont set it up because of the weight. I think we are going to embed it into a wall while we are remodeling. I also have cichlid tanks. I have a tank with a pair of altolamprologus calvus I keep hoping will breed but they are still small. I also have a super red top hongi. Both of my clichlid tanks are unplanted as they are diggers, especially the hongi whose landscape changes daily from the digging. Both of those tanks have sandstone i collected from Southern Illinois. Do you have much issue with your sandstone eroding?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That is a gorgeous setup. I have a 125g sitting downstairs waiting to get setup when I get that apartment remodeled, right now we are in an upstairs apartment and I wont set it up because of the weight. I think we are going to embed it into a wall while we are remodeling. I also have cichlid tanks. I have a tank with a pair of altolamprologus calvus I keep hoping will breed but they are still small. I also have a super red top hongi. Both of my clichlid tanks are unplanted as they are diggers, especially the hongi whose landscape changes daily from the digging. Both of those tanks have sandstone i collected from Southern Illinois. Do you have much issue with your sandstone eroding?
The sand stone erodes if I scrub on it too hard but I dont notice anything if I leave it alone. Before I put in the sand stone, my tank had a bunch of artificial decor. I havent noticed a change in my KH, GH, or pH so I would assume if it is eroding, its doing so very slowly.
 

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The sand stone erodes if I scrub on it too hard but I dont notice anything if I leave it alone. Before I put in the sand stone, my tank had a bunch of artificial decor. I havent noticed a change in my KH, GH, or pH so I would assume if it is eroding, its doing so very slowly.
I notice some bits of mine around the tank but not much. Some sandstone will just crumble apart. I love the look of it though. And its inert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the complement on my setup.

This is my first planted tank. I went straight from a rock scapped cichlid tank to a high tech tank. I had no idea how much of a learning curve it was going to be. Besides having to constantly replant what the cichlids dug up, I darn near killed them a few times with the CO2. I also didn't listen to others online who warned me about how sensitive a high tech tank is in terms of balance. Thank goodness I have learned my lesson and put in countless hours of study into how to keep things balanced. The plants have rooted so deep now that even my big Jacks cant pull stuff up. The black one will grab some of the plants and try to uproot them but he just swims in place :)

The pic below is what happened two weeks after I started it up. I didn't do my homework when I first started and just kinda threw in a ton of light, co2, and ferts without knowing what I was doing and just thought everything would be fine. I read about people saying how sensitive a high tech tank can be but I didn't listen and though it wouldn't happen to me.

That algae bloom went from clear water, to hazy, to milky, to peasoup in literally 4 days and that was with water changes...
 

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Thanks for the complement on my setup.

This is my first planted tank. I went straight from a rock scapped cichlid tank to a high tech tank. I had no idea how much of a learning curve it was going to be. Besides having to constantly replant what the cichlids dug up, I darn near killed them a few times with the CO2. I also didn't listen to others online who warned me about how sensitive a high tech tank is in terms of balance. Thank goodness I have learned my lesson and put in countless hours of study into how to keep things balanced. The plants have rooted so deep now that even my big Jacks cant pull stuff up. The black one will grab some of the plants and try to uproot them but he just swims in place :)

The pic below is what happened two weeks after I started it up. I didn't do my homework when I first started and just kinda threw in a ton of light, co2, and ferts without knowing what I was doing and just thought everything would be fine. I read about people saying how sensitive a high tech tank can be but I didn't listen and though it wouldn't happen to me.

That algae bloom went from clear water, to hazy, to milky, to peasoup in literally 4 days and that was with water changes...
Ouch!! I'm glad you got it figured out and the results speak for themselves. I cant imagine the panic you must have experienced during that time and looking at a muck soup.
 

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I kind of went about the planted a different way as I was not at all interested in plants other than to make my fish look better. With that in mind, I went strictly low ball on everything at first. I was mostly letting Africans breed and raising them so I felt really okay with just putting some plants in a 20 with some small Hap ahli fry while they grew out. All went so well that I picked up a small cousin of the yellow labs and added them to the growout tank. Those began to breed with no trouble so I was ready to move on up.
At the same time, a fellow wanted the 20 bad enough to finance me buying CO2 for a 55. That's when I first hit a snag as the yellow labs in that tank would not leave anacharis alone! I see you get by fine. Just luck at times? some things seem to fit while other times they are a complete bust. I've never been able to use anacharis as they just strip the leaves and leave the stalk.
So it has gone 20, 55, 75 and now 125!!!
It's always interesting to see how it works for somebody else as much of the time, I feel like things are just more random than planned around here.
But the hard alkaline water is not showing as any problems.
Tap is close to 7.8PH and above 300PPM. The city reports it as 21 grains hardness.
 
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