Cichlid Fish Forum banner
21 - 40 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
This is awesome! I never considered corals in fresh water - absolutely amazing. What have you found to be the best avenue to find colorful coral to use?

Thank you for sharing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Trackerdude said:
This is awesome! I never considered corals in fresh water - absolutely amazing. What have you found to be the best avenue to find colorful coral to use?

Thank you for sharing!
Thank you! I started out just buying a few fake rocks from petsmart. Rock was so expensive from LFS's, I could not spend that much money at once so I slowly added a pc here and there. There is a pc or 2 of holey rock, red lava rock, black lava rock, lace rock, and there are a few pcs I do not know the name of. Then I added 2 pcs of fake plastic coral for more color. I also had a few pcs of dead coral from tank purchases off of craigslist. Then the real boost came when a co-worker gave me a huge box of dead corals from their old saltwater tank they had in storage.

When the coral is added, the colors are very bright, but as the tank ages, and algae starts to grow on everything, it remains colorful, but the algae sort of blends it all in and mutes the tones a bit. I think the algae growth makes it look "more natural" if you will. While a bushy nose pleco, keeps up the contrast by creating clean white areas on the rocks.

You can pick up pcs of coral at any LFS. But It's pretty expensive. I highly recommend craigslist, garage sales, and fish auctions to score random pcs at cheap prices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Here's some info and pics of the stand for this tank. I had better raw pics of the stand but I think I lost them when my pc crashed. It' needs a cleaning underneath so excuse the dust.

The stand was custom built out of angle iron, steel tubing and powder coated. I provided the drawings and had it built. It was inspired by the 6th picture. The doors were to be swing open flush mounted doors between the framework. The guy I had build it screwed up on the plans and had to do modify the design so that in the end I could not flush mount the doors in between the framework as i had planned but instead they sit flush on the outside of the framework. Due to the fact this was built very cheaply by a by a friend of a friend there was no complaining to be done :wink: I had plans to make a canopy for it to match, but I lost my contact guy that built the stand so it's yet to happen.

i've included my drawings if anyone wants to use them or refer to them in help in building their own. I'm old school when it comes to designing so they are just written on paper.

The entire stand was built around the idea that it had to house a FX5.

The doors are mounted with door hardware like in picture 7.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
This is a beautiful tank and I was given a similar setup and wanted to try and recreate something with my own theme.

Are most of the rocks touching the back glass or do you leave room for the fish to fully swim around them? I'm not really sure on how to place the rocks.

Hopefully you see this. Thanks so much
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
VivaGardner said:
Are most of the rocks touching the back glass or do you leave room for the fish to fully swim around them? I'm not really sure on how to place the rocks. Thanks so much
Thanks for the compliment.

Start by putting the larger rocks on the bottom to help make a solid base. Medium after that, and smaller ones, lighter ones on top.

None of my base rocks are touching the glass. All of the middle and top layers are leaning against the glass. By having the larger ones sit away from the glass a few inches, this gives you enough room to start leaning the rest against the glass at an angle so they don't fall.

There is quite a bit of room for the fish to swim behind and around all most all of my rocks.

The other thing that helps is having rocks that are not smooth. Most of the stuff in my tank has lots of area's to "grip" the rocks around them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Awesome looking fish!! Don't really care for the saltwater look but its all about what you like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
looks totally un-natural, if u like it I guess that's all that matters. Feel sorry for the fish though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
jdthomas2789 said:
looks totally un-natural, if u like it I guess that's all that matters. Feel sorry for the fish though
I think that was a little rude, i think the fish seem fine since there are hiding spots and they are feed, its like saying should i use slate or cichlid stones? Either one would work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
jdthomas2789 said:
looks totally un-natural, Feel sorry for the fish though
I take no offense nor wish to offend you. I've heard this stated on many forums and many topics and I still don't understand this rationalization. The fish like to hide and dart in and out of things, what "those things are" does not affect the fishes happiness whatsoever. They could be natural rocks, plastic rocks, flower pots, pvc pipes, tree branches, heck you could throw in a box full of your old childhood action figures and the fish would be just as happy as having rocks found in Lake Malawi herself.

This statement seems to rationalize that a fish born and raised in a glass box in captivity is cast into a new glass box, looks around and says to itself, "man, this is not the same stuff my great grand daddy hid in when he was living in Lake Malawi, this sucks, now I'm depressed". I'm not buying it :roll:

I also think it's funny that most everything in my tank is something fish swim around in nature. there's not one piece of pvc or a flower pot in there :-?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Fandango2014 said:
Those pictures are AMAZING. I have a 90 gallon too although it has different dimensions. Do you add salt to the water to have Malawis?
Thanks you!

I do not add salt to any of my tanks. I used to and saw no long term benefit except the thinning of my wallet :D

I do find salt can help when used as medicinal purposed sometimes though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
That has to be the best Cichlid tank I have ever seen. But I would have gone with saltwater, I hope to move back to salt eventually. I know you must have already had saltwater or your tank wouldn't look as it does. Great job, the coral compliments the fish and the fish compliment the rock
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
trader_sam said:
That has to be the best Cichlid tank I have ever seen. But I would have gone with saltwater, I hope to move back to salt eventually. I know you must have already had saltwater or your tank wouldn't look as it does. Great job, the coral compliments the fish and the fish compliment the rock
Not a big fan of trying to make a fresh water tank look like salt. It is my dream too to one day be able to do a large saltwater reef tank. My main holdback is cost. Everything on the salt side of the hobby is way expensive. The cost of the lighting system alone is in the thousands on dollar range. fish, live coral, live rock etc... the costs are just so much more in salt.
 
21 - 40 of 48 Posts
Top