Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all.

So I am gonna grab eight Rheoheros lentiginosus soon and thinking about the tank design.

Ultimately say in a year’s time or whenever the R. lentiginosus gets too big, I will be setting up a much larger tank (thinking 250gal or more, not sure yet) with a sump system. For now I am gonna keep them in a 40-50 gal with internal filtration, staying away from AIOs this time, which should be fine for a bunch of 2” fish for a while.

Here’s my research so far.

Based on that, my plan is to have the substrate be a mix of sand, gravel, and rocks. Originally I was thinking 90-95% sand, but after watching videos of Rio Chacamax and so on, especially where R. lentiginosus are featured, there are far more rocks than I thought. So I am thinking more like maybe 55% sand, 10% gravel, and 35% smaller rocks (pebbles), and then have some larger rocks scattered throughout.

In the back left and front right corners I will fill up with some rock + woodwork, just piling them up but creating spaces in between to create spaces for the cichlids to hide/breed in. These will be areas of lower flow.

Right side of the tank I will have a sponge filter, and just above it a strong wave maker, which hopefully I can set up to take in the air bubbles produced from the sponge filter. I will wrap it with filter floss to protect live stock from being sucked in. To the sides I will attach some pieces of bark to give it a more ‘natural’ look. Same with the sponge filter actually - or lightly pile some rocks around.

Center back of the tank I want an internal filter with the outlet also pointed to the left, and also wrapped with bark to give it a more natural look.

So the flow should go from right to left and hopefully be strong enough. My main concern is aeration as these cichlids seem to require highly oxygenated water.

Temperature I am thinking of keeping it at around 25 C. Or perhaps lower, around 22 C, will play around with it to see what the fish likes.

I am also thinking of having crushed coral, or maybe just the rocks normally used for marine aquariums to buffer pH.

Minerals however… not sure how to best work that out. So this is where I’d need recommendations.

In terms of establishing the tank, after cycling I will scrape some algae from my current tank and add it to this tank, while also adding some ferts. Will also leave the lights on for a long time each day, hoping for algae growth to be rampant. That will be followed by adding pest snails and cheap shrimps, hoping to get a lot growing and breeding all over. This will be supplementary food for the fish.

I will also try to see if I can get some potato plants growing at the surface, probably above the two corners, eventually the roots can grow downwards and add more cover and for the fish.

And finally, fish!

If things go well, the fish will feed in the open areas, and then chill in the two opposing corners. Feeding is the one thing I am still finalizing - specifically what food to actually add to the tank and how much, considering the fish will hopefully already feed on the snails/shrimps.

What do y’alls think? All recommendations are welcomed. Except for getting a bigger tank right now.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,956 Posts
Looking good!
This is an unusual Central American Cichlid species, and you are definitely right in looking to 'up your game' a bit in the care & keeping of these speckled beauties.
To begin...
-
Rocks. Yes... ROCKS!!! In Mexico these guys just seem to actually live in them. I called the area we were working full of 'ankle busters', and it did make for some tough sledding in that heavy water current (plenty of live bearers, and some Amatitlania on the caught score sheet - ONE R. lentiginosus). The look is informed by smooth, big and medium sized rocks worn down by current, with smooth little pebbles and coarse (Pool Filtration type) sand, down in the gaps.
-
Food. These things are little predators! So, in addition to your outlay above, go with mosquito larva, black worms and even supplement with excess fry from live bearers (spawning pair of Convicts? African Mbuna). Offering bits of fresh, peeled shrimp will help to color them up for you. Your algae idea is great, and they probably will pick at it a bit, esp. when little in size. Live plants are (relatively) safe from these beasts. Digging, plant 'rips' etc may be common... not much eating or nipping.
-
Water Current. Yes! Absolutely. These Cichlids live IN IT! That's definitely one reason it was such a tough roll in hunting them down for collection. (Ken Davis actually wound up buying one from a kid that he caught on a rod & reel). HOWEVER...... be careful how much electrical gadgets and gizmos you put in that aquarium with them (heat producers). If water temps approach anywhere above 76 degrees or so in their aquarium? You will inflict some serious stress on these oxygen lovers. These Cichlids are WHITE WATER, all the way. Opinion: In my preps and set up for these? I went 'All In' with Under Gravel Jets to more evenly distribute some seriously massive levels of water flow delivered from some sizable, submersible pumps sited down in the sump (180 gallon with 2, Mag Drive 1200 GPH pumps!).
-
Water Chemistry. You may be excessively sweating the details. Our day out we measured the river PH out at around 7.6 to 7.8. Rusty said the area gets down to about 7.4 when it dries up a bit, and can go up as high as 8.2 when things are really moving and 'brown' looking. So, if you can provide stable water out of the tap at between 7.4- 8.0 in PH? You're gonna be set up just fine. Of much greater concern is water quality. Look out! These guys are sensitive. Jeff Rapps said that the WC ones are a bit like Altum Angels. You get 'em in, and work like the dickens to keep those divas alive long enough to (hopefully) spawn once or twice for you. WCs of this species WILL die earlier, than later on you. F1s have a bad rap (pun?) of being a little ugly - it's the F2s on down in R. lentiginosus that grow out really nice-looking and are the most durable when kept in the aquarium. Even then, smaller percentage (30 - 40 percent) water changes done twice weekly in maintenance, is NOT uncommon when keeping these, esp. if you want them to spawn for you.
-
-
You should definitely share out what you get when these come in for you. Keep us informed on how they work out! :cool:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mazan

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a bunch for your answer and your lil’ story about your adventures in the rivers lol. Yeah I suppose I could always go a bit light on my efforts to manage pH and see how it all goes. Who knows, once I have things in the pH might come out perfect and all is fine. XD

Not to mention these particular fish has a large range anyways.

Re: gen of fish, I believe the ones I want to buy has been captive bred through multiple generations, so should definitely be less sensitive then. All in all sounds like it should not be too much trouble.

Interesting idea re: undergravel pumps btw, that could really help out. Gonna have a think about it.

Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,956 Posts
I think you're gonna be fine with these Cichlids. ;)

Disclaimer: I am NOT a fan of 'Junk in da' Tank' (trunk?!!). And yes, I get it.... those wave makers, powerheads and electric gizmos can be necessary.
~ IF YOU DON'T PRE-PLAN THE TANK TO BUILD-IN/ACCOMMODATE THAT NECESSARY WATER CURRENT ~

Electric submersible Heaters, power heads, and anything else you can think of to cram down into that aquarium just simply detract/distract from the natural beauty of the fish stocked in the aquarium and the aquascape - sometimes so painstakingly built by the aquarist. Those electric gadgets will diminish the look of your aquarium!
And yes, the more electric things you place down into the water column of your tank - the more heat they will produce.
-
Are you familiar with aquarium, Under Gravel Jet systems?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,956 Posts
This older thread may help,


My response is about six posts down in the thread. Plenty of info about Under Gravel (sand?) Jets there, to get you started. :)
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top