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South American - 45 Gallon

2339 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  pgallagher
My tank journey has been a true roller coaster but I couldn't be happier with where I'm at now!! Lots took place during a recent move and no need to write a book on everything so here's my current setup!

Tank details:
Tall 45-gallon tank (24" in height)
Substrate: CaribSea Super Naturals Blue Ridge Aquarium Gravel capped with Flourite Sand
Filtration: Fluval 307 cannister filter
No C02
Light: Hygger Advanced Full Spectrum LED light

Current Fish Stock: 2 Rainbow cichlids, Panda and albino cory’s, X-Ray tetras, 3 Yoyo loaches, a Rubblerlip pleco, and 2 Mystery snails

Plants: Jungle Val, Amazon Sword, 4 Anubius, a few Crypts, a small patch of Anacharis, and 3 newly planted cardinalis plants.

Water Parameters:
Temp – 76 F
ph – 7
KH – 4 (Tap is 3)
GH - 7 (Tap is 4)
TDS 150 - 250 range (Tap is 125ish)

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Time for an update...

I know that you're not supposed to trim Val but I had to in order to allow some light to the rest of the tank. It was completely blocking the light and starting to grow some algae too. The swords are steady but all of my anubias have some form of algae. I need to do some spot treating with Excel and am debating adding a small CO2 set up.

We added two female Rainbow cichlids to help calm the aggression from the one male and it's been helping a lot! They still hide when I first come to the tank but then they all come out to eat. I have also noticed that they occasionally enjoy eating some of the plants. A few val leaves are split and the cardinalis have little bites taken out of them. I'm not too upset but definitely found it interesting. I need to get better photos of them individually because their colors can be very vibrant. Overall, I would highly recommend them for community tanks and for people wanting cichlids in the 4"-6" range.

Plant Botany Terrestrial plant Pet supply Vegetation
 

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Beautiful. More or less what I have planned for my new 75.

Where did you get your Val?

I’ve bought and been shipped Val from multiple vendors that never really took off. I bought some at a LFS that is doing quite well, but, they rarely have it in stock.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Beautiful. More or less what I have planned for my new 75.

Where did you get your Val?

I’ve bought and been shipped Val from multiple vendors that never really took off. I bought some at a LFS that is doing quite well, but, they rarely have it in stock.
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Thank you!! I'll definitely keep an eye out for your set up too.

As for the Val, I got it from my LFS too. It took 2-3 months before it really started to grow, but once it did it took off like crazy!! I think the increase in TDS helped but that's a complete guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Latest water change and cleaning... I'm really loving how this tank is looking, the only thing I want to add is a background. I'm thinking either a light blue or white.

The only issue is that I'm going to have to thin out the Jungle Val soon which should be an interesting adventure!!

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update time...

Since the last update, I've been dealing with two dilemmas... What to do with the overgrowth of Jungle Val, and the Rainbow cichlids have become more and more skittish (you can read more about that HERE). Luckily enough I think both issues are related because with more Jungle Val it blocks out light and creates large sight blockers which in turn make it harder for the fish to see when anyone is n the room. The solution that I went with was to cut back on the tops of the Val. I know that others have experienced some serious adverse effects when doing this but mine for the most part stay in tack and only die back slightly. With that in mind here are the results...

Plant Pet supply Terrestrial plant Grass Aquatic plant


So far the result of this trim has been successful! The extra room to swim, broader sightlines, and more light within the tank seem to be helping!! I know that these fish will never be like some other boisterous cichlids but I'm just glad that they aren't terrified and running into the walls every time anyone goes near the tank.

Plus, I think the extra light and flow in the tank have been a huge help too!

Plant Organism Fish Underwater Iguania


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