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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im curious as to how well African Cichlids would do in a planted tank. The plants I have picked all seem to do well the cichlids but my concern is how much digging they will do.
If I have a soil based substrate will the African Cichlids just dig it all up?
 

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Yes.

Well it depends on which Africans I guess. But I can't think of any that do not dig. My mbuna dig the most and my haps/peacocks dig the least. Tangs are in the middle.

Java fern and anubias have the advantage of not needing a substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does anyone have suggestions about which cichlids do not dig?

I have gravel substrate in my 29 gallon and my Ice Blue and Jewel dont seem to mess with it too much.
 

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I can't think of any cichlids that won't dig at all, that are suitable for a 29 gallon aquarium.

There are some open water cichlids, but they typically need at least a 4ft long aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Im currently building a 55 gallon planted tank. I have a sand and mts substrate. I talked to my local aquarium shop and they suggested some Nigerian Reds and kribensis. He said the would only dig to make a 'nest'. I tried to do my own research on these species but came up blank.
Any thoughts?
 

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Just FYI the ice blue is a champion digger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Champion digger you say....hmmm. He is my favorite out of all the cichlids I have. He is very active, aggressive and always showing off. He is a lot of fun.
 

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He is also too big for a 29G. You would want to put him in a 48" tank as he matures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah I have to admit I that I got way too excited about my first tank. Buying the cichlids I wanted instead of the ones that would suit my tank the best. So needing to get a larger tank I picked up a 55 long. Im trying to get the most out of this project so I went for a planted tank aswell.
As the new tank comes slowly together I really like the way its turning out. The sand looks so much better than gravel.

If I was to create a lot of caves and plant lots of moss would this help with the cichlids digging?
 

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cchamp said:
If I was to create a lot of caves and plant lots of moss would this help with the cichlids digging?
No. What they like to do is dig the substrate in front of their caves to entice females to the "nest". Or the females may do it to make a hiding place or a place to keep fry safe, etc. They go right to the glass.
 

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He's about 2.5. I was being more tongue-in-cheek than anything. He also doesn't have any females to impress either
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like their might be some hope for my Cichlids after all. I only have the one female mbuna(didnt realize I was getting a female at the time.) Anyone interested in a Red Zebra? My bumble bee seems to be the only one interested in her and dug a nest in the gravel. It was fun to watch as he picked up stone by stone.
 

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This was a 75 gallon I had for some time.

It contains Anubias nana, Giant Vallisneria and Cryptocorne pontederiifolia.

The fish were Synodontis multipunctatus, Metriaclima estherae and Sciaenochromis fryeri.

The fish dug.. .but mostly under the rocks... sometimes plants would get unrooted, and I'd just stick them back in the sand. The key I've found, is you need LOTS of plants, or they become curiousities that are nibbled at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
wow what a great looking tank. whats the long grass looking stuff? and does it do well in low light tanks?
 

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Giant Vallisneria, as mentioned already. That tank had no CO2, no ferts, and just two Aquaglo bulbs over top. Relatively low light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for letting me know. But unless you told this complete noob that the Giant Val was the grassy looking thing I would have no idea. Anyways once again the tank looks great.
 

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cchamp said:
But unless you told this complete noob that the Giant Val was the grassy looking thing I would have no idea.
No, but then there were only three plants listed, and Google figured out this real neat way to search the internet. :wink: There is plenty you can find on Google.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah you are right I was lazy. Didnt think it was a big deal though. Thanks for the help though.
 
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