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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have taken on the responsibility of taking care of a neglected 125 gallon for a local business. The tank houses 9 frontosas and a few other cat fish and algea eaters. The owner wants me there once every two weeks to maintain the tank; water changes, filter checks, etc. I'm looking for ideas/suggestions on what to use for substrate and shelter/hiding areas. Currently they have black gravel mixed with white silica sand and large clay pot cylinders for hiding. Any input, pictures, links, etc. will be very helpful.
 

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I like using large stand alone rocks (no sharp edges).

This is only with my preference...
I would scoop out all the sand. Place the rocks on either eggcrate or on the glass. Then you can put your sand in. I like black sand; not a mixture. This will prevent the cats to dig under the rock and cause the rock to fall. I like rock that is at least 12" tall and so 1 of those can use an the break of line-of-sight and the fish can swim around it without seeing who is on the other side. Then you can fill a small rock pile just for the cats.

I don't like creating hiding spots for frontosa myself. No hiding space = no fighting for area. It works for me.

ps. black sand + black background will further brings out the blue on the frontosa.
 

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I like black sand and black backround too. I love large rocks but think a 125 is a little on the smaller side for 9 fronts and lots of rocks. I placed large rocks in my 125 and then took them out. I felt it was more important to have open water space where the subdominant fish could out manouver the alpha. I like to give the alpha a "frontosa bank" in the middle so that he can claim it and defend it (it's natural for him to do that - it's what he does in the wild). I use low hiding spots so that the subdominant fish have more areas to out dodge the alpha.

Again, I love big rocks (and I think they make for a great looking show tank) but I don't think a 125 with that many fronts is a great idea. How agressive is the alpha?

Here's my 55G grow tank


Here is how I started aquascaping my 125 (ignore the pvc) and I abandoned the big rocks


Here's what I ended up with (not as showy as I wanted but OK) - my priority was a succesful breeding program over a show tank). If I get a bigger tank I would love to put some monster boulders in the tank.


Just my 2 cents.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the replies! very nice looking tanks everyone. the alpha male isn't all that bossy. he chases others around but doesn't do any damage to their fins or anything. overall it's a very social and friendly tank.(especially for an african tank.) i like the idea of having a few larger rocks as that would make for easy cleaning. do i need the egg crate? also i would really like to use black sand but all i can find around here is white silica sand.
 

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hey_wood1981 said:
thanks for the replies! very nice looking tanks everyone. the alpha male isn't all that bossy. he chases others around but doesn't do any damage to their fins or anything. overall it's a very social and friendly tank.(especially for an african tank.) i like the idea of having a few larger rocks as that would make for easy cleaning. do i need the egg crate? also i would really like to use black sand but all i can find around here is white silica sand.
Yes, use egg crate or the hard plastic grig material that you use in florescent lighting.

Black sand - look up 3M's website, call them and ask them for the nearest dealer/reps in your region for 3M Colorquartz (T Grade).

Keep us posted please - how about a few before pics :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
vista mike, i really like the look of your tank in the first picture! i looked at some drift wood at the store today, kind of on the pricey side but being that it isn't my tank i won't have to pay for it. from what i have read all you have to do is soak it in water for a good 3 or 4 days changing the water in the buckets untill the water is clear meaning all of the tanins have been released. any other tips? i'll see if i can get a camera and take some before and after pics. i'm really looking forward to this and i already know that this is going to make me want a 6 foot tank even more. i bought the frontosas 3 years ago with the intentions of getting a larger tank but it didn't happen. so i did what i knew what was best and donated the 9 to this shop knowing that they would have ample room. it's funny how a year and a half later i'm taking care of them again.
 
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