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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On March 24 I posted these over at another site I hope its ok if not I will remove.....

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/...&start=0&sid=0d05b26820bb467b28f2cb08cbbae6d0

I have been keeping Cichlids for roughly 4 years. I have tried planting but at most one apon would live a few months then wither away. 2 weeks before the post I lost my best Fish Friend Big Red. He was a parrot cichlid that has been with me since the start.

SOB STORY WARNING= He had been through some tough times the worst being 3 years ago when I got married in Mexico and I was having trouble getting my wifes visa. We spent 3 months in Mexico and my buddy was looking after the tank. Stopping by my house once every 2 weeks. Needless to say my Automatic feeder broke while I was gone, and my buddy thought the water seemed to cold so he turned the lights on. When I got home the lights where still on and the tank was covered with 1/4" algae all around. Luckily my parrot loves algae. Here is a pic of the old guy....




After his death I was really bummed. He was harassed by 2 other parrots that where younger then Big Red but had surpassed him in size with time. I knew Red :angel: loved plants so I decided to do a planted tank in his memory.

First was the advice I got from the folks and specially macclellan . I was hoping to do a simple planted tank and keep the fish I had but as time went on my Cichlids specially the 2 killers got on my nerves. :angryfire Pic of the tank before remodel....



Cichlids enjoying the new caves....





At first I thought simple. I buy Co2 and stick the plants in. So I did just that.
But I was having issues. I had been experiencing odd shifts in my PH an had decided to go with crushed coral in my canister to buffer the water. That helped but only to an extent. Then I read about using Holey Rock. Went to the store and found some Aragonite coral rock. It was only 2.40 and the holey rock was 3 lbs. Went with the Coral rock. Got my PH up to 7.2 and dipped to 7.0 with CO2 on. Fish where happy, I would say to much. My Killer Parrots wouldn't stop digging. Here they are, notice the buried leave and apon.



So after 2 weeks of fighting with them, I mean literally being attacked while aquascaping I had enough.:icon_twis I ravished the tank and took in all 35 Cichlids to the LFS. Went with Tetras and Rams. Using some glass shrimp as they are interesting. So here are the pics of the new tank....







My plants started to looked bad. Yellow tips and algae going wild. I did a search and took a crash course of PMD. With in a weekend and endless hours of savaging thru forums I had my PMD and schedule down. :hihi:


I do have a question in this pic it is a Nubia and it has some black spots and pin holes on the leave. Kind of looks like a cigarette burn, I did just start dosing this week so maybe a dificiensy?....



I am still in the process of moving things around and am considering some micro swords as I have read the Glosso is messy and quite a hassle, I am thinking of going with micro sword but do I need to have everything set in place before putting it in? or can I still move things around without damaging the micro sword? Any advice or criticism welcomed. BTW thanks for your help macclellan :thumbsup:
 

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That tank has come a LONG way, Welcome home more or less!!

I can't help with ferts, sorry.

But I love your backround, also a bit of aquascaping advice those swords and aptogens will get really big, move them back in the tank some and get some midground plants to cover the transaction section of the tank.

Rams are lots of fun, I'm sure you're finding that out.

-Andrew
 

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omg it's all my fault!!! I infected you with the plant-bug!!! and now you've dropped your africans!! you're experience with planted tanks will be better without mbunas. I am glad I didn't do my mbuna planted tank first, I gained a little experience with more plant-friendly fish first like, Bolivian Rams. ;)

Only thing is you don't really need the grotto wall now though, do you? If you decide to keep it, I've got a ton of Java fern plantlets....PM me if you want some. You can trade me that sexy lace apon ;) Get some apistos in there, they'll love your water's softness!

IMHO, microsword is a PITA. In a tank that big, glosso won't give you too much trouble and will fill in really fast.

RIP, big red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have taken your advice Fish Newb and moved the plants toward the back. I am in the process of looking for some mid-ground plants. Thanks for the welcome and the advice...


Thanks for reading Iwooters.

Macclellan: Highly infected. Can't believe I ever went with a non-planted tank. You are right about the caves, they don't get much use but I am sure I will find another fish that will like them and are compatible with my wifes new love found love, rams.

I have been looking at Java ferns but have decided not to cover the wall with them and just let it be as is. Your take on the Glosso sounds interesting since you are right I do have a big surface area and the quick growing characteristics of the Glosso would be a good thing. Thanks for the advice on the Glosso. Will have to take a trip to the LFS to get some in.
 

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Nice transition. You had a HUGE mistake before, it looks great now. Good thing oyu got the cichlids out before the africans killed the SA ones. You did a pretty nice job on the rock cave wall, i've never seen it done on a larger scale like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, Jessica that is one awsome tank Gdominy has. Those wood pieces are SWEET, the slate looks great but I would be to nerves about the wait. I used to panic when I would stick 4 flat rocks on top of each other.....

Dufus, I must of not mentioned it but I bought the SA when I turned in my Africans. To bad though the Mbunas really loved the caves.

Note:My wall is actually not attached to the back. It is actually slanted about 5 degrees and is pushed down in about 3-4 inches of soil.

But Anyone who dares make a cave wall take note. If you plan on getting your fish out anytime in the near future make sure you take everything out because I tore up many leaves to get all the Africans out. Next time I dare do something like that I will make sure to remove the wall and anything fragile. If you notice the wall is in three sections. I measured the glass and the gutters to a T giving myself 2 inches of space on both ends but I never thought about the rocks that would line the outer part of the gutters. Ended up taking one rock gutter out to make it fit. Did make holes in the gutter before installing on the top side in case I came up with some form of securing it to the wall, but their is no need for them yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I found a use for the caves. I just purchased 3 Blue Rams. This makes it 2 Bolivian rams (Local)@ 1.5 inches. 5 German Rams (Local)@ .5-1 inch, BTW all peaceful and 3 Blue rams @1 inch. This new guys are MEAN!!! They appear to look like a mix between my German and Bolivian. Pink on the fins but facially look like the German with blue neon on the lips. Anyways the fish have been using the caves in order to escape the 3 Monsters!!!! Should be interesting the first few days. Can these fish do real harm to each other like African do? The fish where so peaceful till I brought home DEATH in the size of 1 inch fish!!!
 

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They shouldn't be aggressive enough to kill each other.

The germans are actually the same as blues. the "blues" are just hyped up on Hormones tomake 'em colorfull, if you keep them at about 80*, the germans will color up like that with maturity(males anyway).
 
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