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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone ever do a planted cichlid tank? I know that oscars are notorious for uprooting, but how about other species of cichlids, I have a beautiful 120, that I'd like to do a cichlid tank with...but now that I'm getting all gung-HO with the planted tanks, I'd like to apply what I've learned on a pretty new tank as well...any thoughts/ advice or even ideas on what you would do given the chance to start fresh on a 120 would be welcome!


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Fresh Fish Freak
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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, thank you... That is my vision, I wish I was capable of doing something a fraction as spectacular as that, technically or financially :p


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I keep a 125 with mixed African cichlids. First step might be to tell you to ignore much of what is written. I find my fish and my tank don't match what I often read from the parrot talk.

A 20 gallon planted with Labibochomis breeding group and young Hap Ahli juvies.


A 125 with mixed African cichlids.


End view/same tank


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Discussion Starter #7
I keep a 125 with mixed African cichlids. First step might be to tell you to ignore much of what is written. I find my fish and my tank don't match what I often read from the parrot talk.



A 20 gallon planted with Labibochomis breeding group and young Hap Ahli juvies.





A 125 with mixed African cichlids.





End view/same tank





Choose your path carefully and then go for it! :thumbsup:

Am I seeing some sort of loach in that last picture?


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I have a planted 75 with festivum cichlids, angels, bolivian rams, laetacara dorsigera cichlids and it does fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a planted 75 with festivum cichlids, angels, bolivian rams, laetacara dorsigera cichlids and it does fine.

What is the ratio of cichlids to other fish, I'm wondering if it makes a difference to how they act towards the plants based on their numbers


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Quote: Am I seeing some sort of loach in that last picture?

Yes, there are quite a large number of various loachs in that tank. I no longer stress over what fish should be in a location. It is more of a plan where they find their niche or hit the road. I often get odd fish assortments in trading tanks that come with fish, so it is not unusual for me to put them where space is available and if they seem to work out, I leave them there. If not, I move them, either to other tanks or to sell/trade them.
I find I can read and study until I'm blind and still get the wrong information or I can try it. Things work out much quicker if I just try it.

On plants and cichlids there are so many exceptions to the way I do things that I can't really form up a firm plan to say, "this will work." There are tons of variables to consider and those things can change even on the same fish in the same tank. I feel that plant eating can sometimes be learned from watching other fish. I have had yellow labs in with plants and they never bothered them until I added othe fish who ate the plants. Then it became common for the labs to eat the plants.

These labs ate the plants.



These did not. Different plants?
 

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to the OP, some plants are more tasty to cichlids. As a general rule of thumb, anubias, swords, crypts and lotus plants that are a bit bigger and have a harder/crisper leaf are less likely to get eaten IME. Stem plants as well as young tender plants will be demolished by some fish including cichlids. I think most of the dwarf south American cichlids do well with most plants and wont bother them.

In my 75 I have 5 festivum, 6 laetacara and one angel. then I have a small school of corydoras and a small school of neon tetras. I would guess around a 1 to 1 ratio, but that's just my tank. My mixed cichlid tank is probably overcrowded if you went by the books, but I run a UV sterilizer, do large water changes and have lots of different places for fish to territorialize and it works well for me.

I will agree with what Grah the Great said about potting the plants, this helps to move them and suck up the poo when doing water changes. I also like to use sand so the waste sits on top and I can siphon it right off because cichlids are big waste creators. Don't get me wrong, probably all my plants have a leaf or two with a bite taken out of them because the fish have to at least try it once, but it doesn't bother me really. I have a thread on the tank on TPT its titled "My attempt at an Amozian biotope" I think.
 

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The plants are the easy part. Most of the common aquarium plants do not mind what the mineral level is in the water. Set the GH to suit the fish, and add whatever plants you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So should I try and get the flora/fauna established before I try and put the cichlids in?


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Discussion Starter #16
yes definitely.

Will I need some sort of livestock in there to stimulate the plants by creating waste?..I guess that's sort of a silly ? Now that I think about it, tons of people do plant only tanks I guess. So I guess I'll amend that to, will some basic ferts, and a decent substrate be enough w/o any livestock to stimulate the plants, or should I go with CO2 as well?


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you will need ferts as well as co2 if you want them to grow fast and big. as well as a good light
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would like to try 4 24" BML fixtures 2 of the Dutch planted tank fixtures and 2 of the 10000k fixtures


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