Hirobiro's 55
55 Gallon
Brief Description of Tank
I do a 30% water change each week. I add aquarium salt, Genesis water conditioner, Kent AF cichlid trace elements, and Kent AF cichlid chemestry. I recently added a Fluval 404 to replace the Magnum 350 as a full time filter. The Magnum is now used for periodical polishing. The Milleniums have a strong out-current, and I like the wet-dry/bio-grid feature which really aid in the biological filtration department. I have two bubble stones in each back corner and a Penguin 550 powerhead providing extra water movement behind the rock structures. The center piece itself is made out of coral-based rocks glued together with epoxy glue and finished over with aquarium-safe paint. It provides alot of hiding spaces for holding females and fry, and also adds great contrast to the substrate and the surrounding lava rocks. There are also four small flower pots strategically hidden in the back for additional shelter.

There are always at least two female labs holding eggs or fry at any given time, and fry can be found all over the place. If the fry survive, they become part of the community, if they don't, they become part of the menu (too much trouble catching them to put them into a grow out tank). The peacocks are breeding too, but I've never had a successful brood yet. They hold for a few days, then either eat them or spit them out. Maybe someone out there can tell me, why?

I'm constantly fighting the urge to go out and buy more fish or more gear everytime I get paid. HELP!!!

Update for 4/6/03 : I've been able to get some pictures of some of my surviving fry. Here are five of the biggest. From the last count, there are about 10 fry swimming among the adults. There are smaller ones hiding in the rocks, but they are too small to catch on camera. The other photo is of my Frontosa. He is starting to develop his "mellon".

General Information
Filtration 2 Millenium 3000 , 1 Fluval 404, 1 Magnum 350
Air Pump Tetratech Deep Water running two bubble stones; 1 marineland 550 powerhead
Heater Natural Hawaiian weather
Lighting Perfecto Canopy with light strip
Substrate White gravel / coarse sand
Rocks Lava rocks and coral based structure
Background Generic rock print
Plants All plastic
Feeding Hikari cichlid gold/staple ; spirulina flakes fed twice a day. Frozen brine shrimp occasionally.

Fish List
1 Cyphotilapia Frontosa
2 Aulonocara Stuartgranti : 2m
6 Aulonocara Baenschi: 2m,4f
10 Labidochromis Caeruleus fry
7 Adult Labidochromis Caeruleus

User Comments
Dec 10, 2002
nice. :)
Dec 12, 2002
nice tank
Dec 21, 2002
it's refreshing to see such an original centerpiece. the contrast of your rockwork's illuminated hues to your shadowy background is exquisite! looking forward to your next update!
Dec 22, 2002
This is my dream tank......althought i had almost the same layout as yours but yours is 10x better than mine
Dec 22, 2002
tank looke excellent. you've done a lot w/ a 55. your fish look great too.
Dec 23, 2002
i have just one word to describe your tank...AWESOME!!! i'm envious, but i hope that one day my tank will look as great as yours!
Dec 24, 2002
Jan 17, 2003
It looks like you put the time in and that you are reaping the benefits. Have you tried and silk plants? They 'flow' better than the plastic. Nice looking tank though.
Mar 25, 2003
One of the most aesthetically pleasing tanks I have seen on this forum... great job!
Apr 6, 2003
Hey you guys, thanks for all of your comments. I appreciate them!
Apr 6, 2003
So, which would you say is better? The millenium 3k or the emporer 400's. I really like the the Millenium's but I think the Emporer's are still stronger. Am I correct?
Apr 6, 2003
->taylor775, the millenium 3k have that biogrid that i really like, however, the filter cartridges can get pretty pricey. i'm thinking of getting an emperor 400 if and when my older mill3k kills over. besides, the emp.400 have a higher flow rate which is always a plus.
Apr 6, 2003
very nice tank, I know what you mean about pay day!
Apr 6, 2003
Thanks Bro, I think I will get a emperor 400. I have 2 280's in my tank right now but the flow rate by themselves is ok for a small tank but for a big tank its pretty useless..
Apr 7, 2003
Whats up bro? Just went to the LFS and was looking for emporer 400's. The owner stated its a good filter but your not getting the full 400 Gph due to the spray bar. The spray bar eats up 100 Gph. He recommended to get aqua clear 500's. He even gave a 1 week guarantee if I didnt like it I could bring it back and he will exchange it for the emporer. Well, I did it and I really love those aqua clear's. They really are strong in turning over the water. You might want to try it. Dan
Apr 7, 2003
Another note! They are alot quieter then the emporers! Im running (2)aqua clear 500's and (1) fluval 404...Not bad setup and no poop hanging around anymore...:)
Apr 8, 2003
->taylor775, I saw one of those aquaclear500s a while back. They're HUGE! 500 gph is alot of water moving. You can't go wrong with that. Especially with cichlids.
Apr 8, 2003
Yeah bro im loving it right now. I just went read the reviews on this site for aqua clear. Alot of people use this power filter and love it. They pretty much said the same thing, "More bang for the buck and the most powerful. Only drawback, it rattles a little bit on the cover and you have to check the motor/impellar every three months to make sure no debris are clogging it.
Jul 31, 2004
Very good diy stuff,tank looks great!

Last Updated: April 7, 2003

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