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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've long planned a SA cichlid community tank featuring cichlids I encountered on a research expedition to the Rupunini savanna of Guyana in 2009. The area of research was located at the interface between the Rio Branco and Essequibo River basins near the Guyana/Brazil border. This region is interesting because these two basins are disconnected except during the wet season when flooding connects a few small tributaries. Thus, this represents a portal for Amazon fishes to exchange genetic material with those from Guyana, fishes that are otherwise geographically isolated and genetically distinct.

I've finally found some time and energy to set up this tank. I set up the tank in my office at work where I have access to RO water and where I can show off the tank to others. Of course I get to observe it all day long as well!

So, here's the set up:

Tank: I went with a 125 gallon Aqueon (6' x 18 3/4" x 22").

Background: Aquaterra 3-d "Rainforest", two 48" sections cut and spliced to fit 72" tank. Three 1.5" screened holes cut 2" above substrate along bottom of the background for circulation.

External filter: Fluval FX5 with biomax, carbon, peat, prefilter, and polishing pads. Intake on left end behind background hole#1, outtake at top-middle via 2 tubes extruded through background.

Power head: Seitz 360 gal/h submersible pump place near bottom behind background near bottom hole #3.

In-tank filter: Additional biofilter media (bioballs/potscrubbers) placed behind background between FX5 intake and power head.

Heater: 2 Fluval 200 watt heaters, opposite ends of tank behind the background, one placed by FX5 intake, the other next to power head.

Light: Marineland double-bright LED, 36-48" model, one unit placed over middle of the tank.

Substrate: pool filter and play sand, mixed

Rocks: Small chunks of sandstone

Wood: Several large pieces of local, heavily weathered, root-like driftwood.

Here are some pics:


Back of tank painted with black latex. This photo shows installation of the Aquaterra background. The tools are used only to brace the background during the tracing and gluing steps.



View from front of tank.

Powerhead placement behind background.


Background siliconed in place.


Close up of background/tank interface showing heavy bead of silicone. Don't skimp on silicone when gluing these backgrounds down!


Filling the tank! Side view.


Tank full of RO water, starting to cycle!


Driftwood, rock and lights! Fin!





So that's the show so far. Fish pics soon to follow.
 

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Quick question. In all that I have read (still new to the wondrous world of cichlids) driftwood lowers the ph of water. I know African cichlids require a high ph. Is this different with SA's? If so how do you plan to adjust the ph to be suitable for your fish?
 

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rmiller, a lot of SA cichlids like lower PH, some even down to 6 or lower.

Rupununi, excellent tank! With that background you can pull off a minimalist approach as far as the rest of the decor goes without the tank looking empty. I'm excited to see pics with fish!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sebqc said:
i love it, amazing setup

not familiar with Sa cichlids... what do you plan having in there?
I'm still tracking down some of the species I want in the tank. I'll post pictures of them as I get them. For now, here are some pics of the most common cichlids we encountered on our expedition in 2009.


Acarichthys heckelli


Apistogramma sp. Probably new species.


Biotodoma cupido. "Cupid cichlid"


Cichla ocellaris


Acaronia nassa


Crenicichla lugibrus


Geophagus sp 1 (near dicrozoster)


Geophagus sp 2 (near abalios)


Geophagus sp 3


Geophagus sp. 3 sucking my thumb


Guinacara sp (confirmed new species named dacrya, paper in press by Arbour and Lopez-Fernandez)


Mesonauta guyanae


Satanoperca leucostica

Other cichlids we collected (photos unavailable):

Aequidens tetramerus http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=173

Apistogramma steindachneri http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=399

Cichla temensis http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=529

Crenicichla nr. alta http://www.aquatarium.de/home/pict/expd/ro17gr.jpg

Crenicichla nr. regani http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=586

Krobia guianensis http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=193

Satanoperca jurupari http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=493
 

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Hi Rupununi,

Amazing tank. The background looks impressive. The Mesonauta festivus look great.

What is the pencil nose sucker fish? Could you list the tank inhabitant and numbers of each?

Thank you for sharing a great tank.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here are captions for some of the fish pics. Sorry I didn't include them the first time.

Mesonauta guyanae:


Geophagus dicrozoster:


Krobia guianensis:


Mesoanauta guyanae, I think it is a male (it's a bruiser, constantly attacking it's "partner"):


Satanoperca cf. leucostica and G. dicrozoster:


Krobia guianensis:


Geophagus dicrozoster:


Farlowella acus (twig or whiptail suckermouth catfish, as the previous posters correctly noted)


Satanoperca cf. leucosticta


Peckoltia sabaji (para pleco) and Apistogramma steindachneri. Unfortunately the pleco was found dead 2 days ago, not long after the Mesonauta were introduced to the tank. I have read that others have had trouble with festivums killing plecos. Anyone with similar experiences?


Apistogramma steindachneri, female. This is her "crib". I have a trio, 2 fems and a male. The other female has her own hideout. The male just cruises around. HOpefully he'll perform his duties and produce some offspring. I think the females are up for it.


Moenkhausia nr. oligolepsis. Waiting to see how it fares. Has lasted 1 month but the festivums were just added, so we'll see.


Farlowella:


Geos and Apistos


Satanoperca and geos


The other female A. steindachneri:


Female A. steindachneri posing nicely for the camera.


Farlowella sucking on biofilms.
[/quote]
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Valous said:
mlancaster said:
what is the pencil nose sucker fish?
I believe that is a twig catfish or whip tail catfish. both the same just diffrent names. but correct me if I am worng.
Correct. Farlowella acus aka twig or whiptail cat (Loricariidae).
 
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