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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see this is going to be my first post. I want to transfer a tank journal I've kept on and off for this tank since Dec. 2009 over on The New Jersey Aquatic Gardeners Club forum. I'm just experimenting with posting photo's since I don't want to pay the fees to Photobucket to use their site for image hosting. I don't know if this is going to work since NJAGC is a private forum. Here goes.


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40,913 Posts
I'm not seeing the pics either, but Welcome to Cichlid-forum...jerrytheplater!! I have talked to you before about the NJ plant club and planted tanks.

Experiment with the pics before you proceed, but feel free to add the post.

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DJRansome said:
I'm not seeing the pics either, but Welcome to Cichlid-forum...jerrytheplater!! I have talked to you before about the NJ plant club and planted tanks.

Experiment with the pics before you proceed, but feel free to add the post.
Hi DJ. Thanks for the welcome. I remember "talking" to you in the past.

I plan on taking a video today at feeding time because that is when everybody comes out. But I won't get it up here until I get the rest uploaded.

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ha, my fish in the 65 got spooked by the extra light I had to put on the tank to take a video. They would not come out even to eat. Normally feeding time is a frenzy of activity, but the light caused them to retreat into safety. Some came out over time, so I still upload the video to YouTube, but it takes 6 or more hours. I usually do it at night.

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am copying in this journal of a tank I have in my office at work. I started setting it up on Dec. 2. 2009. It has seen many changes over the years, but it is still set up. This journal documents the tank and its journey.

Jerry: I am starting to add the rocks to my new office tank at work. Here is my progress so far. My main question is, should I move the rock over to the right some more to have the point away from the center, and to put it maybe at 1/3 of the way across the tank from the right.

I plan to add more rocks on top of this basement rock and have a vertical rock on the right.

Testing for support areas:
Testing Rock Support.JPG

Marking support areas with tape:
Marking support areas with tape.JPG

Full Tank Shot:
Full tank shot.JPG

Underside of rock:
Underside of rock.JPG

Mark: man, I'd be sweatin' bullets lowering that monster in! I thought I had some big rocks... How'd you manage to maneuver that?
Drew: Jerry that rock seems huge to me. could you possibly stand it on end or put it on its side?

Mark- I planned out my moves very carefully and removed the 40 breeder underneath the 65 in case of disaster. I bumped the tank as I was picking up the rock and it shifted off the plastic shims I had under the stand. I am glad that happened as the tank would have cracked if it was full of water. I replaced the shims with one piece wooden ones I machined on the milling machine. They won't slip now.

Drew- I know it is big, it is huge. There is only about 3/4" clearance to get it in the tank. I wouldn't chance standing it up. I have another one I was going to stand up on the other side. I was hoping the substrate around and under the rock would hide a lot of it, and if the fish burrow out a cave-even better.

I am hoping for this to be an extreme close up of the lake border, not a long range over view of a large expanse of the lake.

These photos are from the Baltimore Aquarium and the rocks there are massive (most likely fake cement rocks). It gives a good idea of what I think the lake looks like where these fish are located.
Fish from Baltimore Aquarium 1.JPG

Fish from Baltimore Aquarium 2.JPG

Fish from Baltimore Aquarium 3.JPG

Mark: Sounds like a man with a plan! Look forward to seeing your creation!

Jerry: I finished the bottom of the tank and added the sand and some water. The one rock which will be vertical is not in yet. I glued on some silicone cement to the places where the rock contacted the glass and it is drying now.

Basement rocks:
Full tank shot 2.JPG

Silicone cement padding on vertical rock:
Silicone cement padding.JPG

Rock supports:
Rock supports.JPG

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
12-4-2009 continued:
Left side:
Left side.JPG

Right side:
Right side.JPG

Top view:
Top View.JPG

Sand and water in to settle and fill in the holes. I'll drain this water and add new if need be.
Sand in and under rocks.JPG

Sand under the rocks:
Sand under rocks.JPG

Jason: Loven the basement rocks, How far up do u plan on taking the rest of the rocks and will the glass hold that kinda weight.

Kara: Wow this is a very cool and different idea! Being new I might have missed it somewhere else, but are you planning to plant this tank? And I too would love to know how much more of the tank the rock structure will fill, it looks great so far! I can't wait to see how this one progresses!

Jerry: I have finished the tank to the point where I can put fish in it. I still want to do something with the rock on the left side because I can see the silicone too readily. I am not sure what I am going to do there. I was thinking of siliconing two rocks together so they could hang off the one rock and hide the silicone.

The photo is of the tank after pouring in a lot of mulm for the filter to suck up, so the tank is really cloudy.

Full Tank shot.JPG

This tank has Vallisneria in the front left and center only. I don't plan on any moss or Anubias. No duckweed or other floaters either.

I have two 65 watt 6700K PC bulbs up top. I am using one Eheim 2213 Classic canister filter and one 300 watt heater.

All real rocks and tried to match the substrate to the rocks. I tried to pick up the colors in the rocks in the substrate, as if it were a naturally occurring sand formed in place.

The substrate is a blend of Carib Sea African Cichlid Mix, Carib Sea Super Natural Peace River sand, Carib Sea Instant Aquarium Sunset Gold sand, Seachem Onyx sand, some fine reef sand of unknown brand with some pink tones, and some of the Crushed Coral used in the Mineralized soil mix. (4-18-2019 edit: The club and I set up a 150 gallon tank in my bosses office and used Mineralized Soil for the substrate.)

Mark: wow! Thats nice!
Jens: Wow, that is cloudy
Jerry: Much clearer today. This is not a planted tank, that's for sure. It is closer to a Biotope tank.
Drew: Nice Jerry!

Johnny: I guess working with rocks that size isn't for the faint of heart. It scares me just looking at it. NICE JOB!

Kara: Wow, this is very cool! I can't wait to see it cleared and with fish!
Hank: what is that on the left side of the big rock?

Jerry: Hank That is the silicone I glued on to the rock to pad it where it hit the side of the tank. That is what I need to hide. There is another piece of foam visible on the right side in the clear photos.


I have 3 male and 2 female Paracyps. I think one female is holding eggs. I put the N. buescheri in too. All have settled in well and have eaten some flake food already. I will be looking for a few more females once I figure out the locality of the Paracyps I have. I also want to get some more buescheri. They were all purchased at Absolutely Fish in Clifton, NJ. I did take some photo's of the cleared up tank, but the Paracyps are hanging out in the dark areas behind the rocks mostly and didn't get them. One male did hang out nose down right on the surface of the big dark rock on the right of the tank. Looked pretty cool.

I didn't put the Alto. calvus (not compressiceps) in the 37 gallon tank as I am not sure I really want to keep them. Drew says they are two years old. One bad thing happened. I didn't acclimate them to the water slowly and they went into stress right away. I checked pH and it was about 7.5. I don't know what Drew kept them at. I added some buffer-2 tsp and 2 tsp of lake salts. One died anyway. The other 4 are still alive and just sitting on the bottom, but look like they will pull through.

Clear water photo's, with the Paracyprichromis nigripinnis from Drew, plus one Neo. buescheri.

Full Tank shot, with the Paracyps swimming around:
65 Gal FTS  with Paracyps 12-10-09.JPG

Right side, with the Paracyps on the flat rock up top:
Paracyps on rocks 12-10-09.JPG

Center, slight rust staining on right side rock:
Local Rock Background 1.JPG

Hank: Jerry! I like it, Yep, you have created a Biotope tank. Clear pictures looks wonderful to me...

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Drew: I saw this tank yesterday and the pics don't do it justice. I love the darkness and shadows in the corners. Those fish look great Jerry!
Walter quoting Drew: Don't do it justice? The pics are stunning. I love the bright rock with the dark corners. I know the rock isn't that bright, but it is a great contrast.
Drew quoting Walter: haha! The pics are great, but when I walked in the room, it was like BOOOOOM!!!
Kara quoting Walter (Don't do it justice?....) : This was my reaction too! The pics are fantastic and the tank looks so great, how could they not do it justice?! Amazing. I love this tank, it's so different, definitely looks like an aquarium showcase piece!

Jerry: Thanks guys. The fish really like the dark corners. They are really happy and show up from time to time. One of the males was just fighting with his reflection in the black background.

I have a very small upside down Synodontis I've had for about 4 years now. I just added him to the tank. I don't want to put my S. lucipinnis in there because I want to try to breed them.

I am debating with myself whether or not to add the N. leleupi since I have the one N. buescheri and would want a few more. But I want some Julidochromis regani kipili too. I need a bigger tank.

I still haven't figured out how to hide the silicone on the left-any ideas? I am thinking of how to silicone up some rocks to hang them on the left most rock so they still look natural and not just hanging in midair. I am going to go back to Glenwild Garden Center and see if they have any more flat rocks to replace the bunch of small ones on the right. They look a little too jumbled to me.

Jason: Hey Jerry, If I can figure out how to send fish through the mail safely would you want my 2 upside downs for your tank? I have had them for at least 3 years. and I have them cramped up in a ten gallon tank with a parenting pair of jelly bean convicts

Drew: Jerry, IMO you are asking for problems by adding to many N. buescheri. They are nasty fish and only reason I kept 3 in the 90g was because I thought I had the room. One male would beat the tar out the other male. I finally figured it out once I found a way to scape it and give them enough hiding places. Lots of plants also helped.
I have some babies I am raising. They are yours if you want once they get big. Right now they are tiny.
Leleupi are also pretty mean...and will duke it out with the buescheri.

Jerry: I added a rock on the left to cover the silicone. The fish like it already. I have to look at it a little more. What do you think?
1 New Rock on left..JPG

2 New Rock on left..JPG

(edit 4-18-19- while looking at my photos, I see there were a lot I didn't add in originally. So you guys get to see them.)

N. buescheri:
N. buescheri.JPG

Paracyprichromis chillin':
Paracyprichromis chillin'.JPG

Paracyprichromis from underneath. This photo was taken through the left side pane of glass.
Paracyprichromis from underneath.JPG

Jon: i think the rock is too big. it gives a feeling that i'm looking at a cove rather than a rock wall with little caves. if that makes sense.
Jason: I like it, Can't wait to see what it looks like when the plants grow in.Have you seen ur upside down cat since you put it in there?

Jon and Jason

I will be looking at the tank today while working to see what I think about the rock. Thanks for your input.

The upside down cat hides at the top right next to the heater. He did this in the other tank too. I guess he comes out at night. He's plenty fat.

Jerry: Last night I added 5 Otocinclus cats from the 150 gallon (edit 2019: The 150 gallon tank was in my old bosses office) and a few pond snails to eat the brown and green algae that is starting to grow. The Oto's made the transition to the hard water fine. I adjusted them for about 4 minutes.

I bought 6 juvenile Julidochromis regani Kipili about 1 1/2" long today. I also bought one Altolamprologus compressiceps Red Lufubu today, again about 1 1 /2" long. I put them in this tank. I have another of the Red Lufubu's in another tank which I plan to add in later.

Altolamprologus compressiceps Red Lufubu.JPG

I had to remove one male Paracyprichromis nigripinnis as he was getting beat up by one of the other two males. Now I have two pairs. I am on the lookout for 2-3 more females.

I also removed the one Neolamprologus buescheri I had in here and put him elsewhere to allow my J. regani to grow in peace, rather than in pieces. In order to do that I had to remove almost all the vertical rocks. They were more difficult to move with the water in the tank. I took the opportunity to trim off some of the silicone on the left hand rock that bothers me so. It looks much better, but I am still not fully happy.

Johnny: I can't wait to see these tanks in march! May even sneak by if Jerry will have me earlier. (2019 edit: NJAGC held a follow up meeting at my work in March 2010 and this is what Johnny is referring to.)

Jerry: I am getting a growth of algae all over the rocks that are in the light. It started out as brown algae, now it is progressing to a green filamentous algae. It is pearling really well. Small bubbles floating up from it. This is a non CO2 tank too.

I cleaned the front glass today as it was getting really full of algae.

My fish are settling in fine. They just motor around the surface of the rocks and hang out. They pick at the rocks/algae from time to time. I feed them very, very small feedings a few times a day.

There is almost as much space behind the rocks in the dark as there is in the front. If I poke my head around the side and look back there I can see where the N. buescheri was starting to excavate a hole. At least I think it was him. He's not there any more.

I have thought about setting up a video camera to watch back behind the rocks, but I'm not sure how to go about that. What is involved in doing that?

Jerry: I see I haven't been keeping this updated. I added a few video's of the tank.

Here is an update I put on on Dec 22, 2009:

I was at work on Saturday after I planted my garlic and took a video of the tank. I had to split it up into two videos.

Part 1:

Part 2:

They just finished uploading, so I don't know if they are available yet.

This tank has two 65 watt PC bulbs over a 65 gallon tank. Sounds like 2 watts per gallon, but with the large rocks shading the back half of the tank, and me having the lights up near the front of the tank, I am thinking I have closer to 4 watts per gallon over the front half of this tank. The algae that is growing is a filamentous green type, and it is pearling!! Today I saw one of my Julidochromis regani "Kipili" grab a piece of the algae off of the rock and swim around with it in its mouth. I wonder if it ate it?

Jan 5, 2010 update:

The algae I have is Hair Algae, Spirogyra. It is still pearling but it is very long. I cleaned the tank last week with a 80 % water change and thorough scraping of the front glass. I took some before and after photo's and I'll get them up soon. Today the tank is just as bad as before the cleaning.

Tank before scraping:
Algae before scraping.JPG

Tank after scraping the algae off the front glass:
After scraping front glass.JPG

I have been thinking of ways to get rid of this algae: get one good looking Tropheus to eat it. Would only one Tropheus survive? Are there other Tanganyikan algae eaters?

Another option is a Florida Flag Fish Jordanella floridae html ... ridae.html I really don't want to go with non Tanganyikan fish though.

Reduce the lighting duration from 12 hours to 8 hours. Easy to do.


I ended up removing one of the 65 watt lights while keeping the lights on for 12 hours. This made a drastic improvement on the growth of the algae in the entire tank. Now I only get a thin layer of green algae on the front glass which is easy to scrape off.

We had a discussion on algae eating fish and I settled on Tanganicodus irsacae Moba Goby Cichlids. They are small and the least aggressive of the Goby Cichlids.

I added about 6 new juvie Paracyprichromis nigripinnis a few weeks ago to go with the ones I got from Drew. I now have about 10 of these, 6 1 1/2" Julidochromis regani Kipili, 1 two inch Altolamprologus compressiceps, four 1 1/2" Tanganicodus irsacae Moba Goby Cichlids were added in today, and four Otocinclus cats.

The Vallisneria is really starting to grow in and it is sending out runners. It is staying short so far, and from what I've read it will probably stay short in the African tank.

Here's a new video taken today:

Johnny: The tank and fish look great in the tank even with the algae seeing it in person. The algae on the rocks isn't distracting with the fish activity in there peeking in and around the rocks, it's pretty cool! Thanks for the quick tour.

Jason: Jerry looking great. I can see where your coming from with all the algae, I get annoyed with it as well. You know better than I do that it will go away with a little fine tuning. Great job man, and good luck with your bully fish.

Drew: Jerry, tank is looking nice. I love the way the rocks look.

Jerry: This is way overdue for an update. I've had two video's in the camera for maybe two months but have not been able to upload them. I now think my son may have deleted them. Ooops.

I just got the photo's off the still camera from February and will post them up later.

Super Moderator
2,034 Posts
Welcome again Jerry!! I merged some of the posts from your original topic and removed the unneeded ones as per your request to maintain the continuity of this topic.

I love the pics and the process of setting up this tank, nicely detailed and great pics.

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
3-30-2010 Jerry: Here are the photos that were on my camera taken Feb 9, 2010. They are showing the algae growing on the rocks with some of the cichlids in the tank. A lot are blurry.

Center of the tank:
Center of the tank.JPG

Full tank shot:
FTS 2-9-10.JPG

Here is one of the four Tanganicodus irsacae Moba added to eat the algae in front of a cave in the front right of the tank:
Tanganicodus irsacae in cave.JPG

Another Tanganicodus irsacae in the front left of the tank:
Tanganicodus irsacae.JPG

4-8-2010 Jerry: I have been tweaking the lighting to control the algae growth. I started out with two 55 watt PC 6700 K lamps running 12 hours per day over the front half of the tank. ( Some would call these 65 watt, but the guy at AHS says they run closer to 55 watts) The algae, (Spirogyra, I think. I hope to confirm this soon) grew to about 4 inches long. It entangled an Otocinclus cat.

I next removed one light. This caused a major die back in the algae on the rocks and front glass. I thought it was all going to die at one point. I replaced the second light and the algae grew back, but not as vigorously as before.

I next wanted to see if I could run one of the lamps on its own timer. I have a Workhorse 5 ballast and it has to run two lamps. I can't switch one off. I called AHS and learned I could lower the wattage on my lamp by removing one of the red leads off of each lamp and capping it off. This lowers the wattage to about 40 watts on each lamp. This is where I am right now. I have both on for 12 hours. The algae is still growing, but the fish are able to remove some of it faster than it will grow back. I am thinking of getting new ballasts to have two separate lamps .

I am happy with this tank, but I will need to remove some of the fish when they pair off. It is more crowded than my other tanks.

Johnny: How about throwing in some water lettuce temporarily to help subdue the lighting? or cut back the light to 8 to 10 hrs instead? why such a long lighting period for Sagittaria if that's what it is? I found sagittaria almost impossible to kill you have to make sure you get all of it.

Jerry: Johnny, The plant is Vallisneria. I stick to the 12 hours because that is what the fish see in Africa. I know the deeper water fish don't see light as bright as they get now. They don't even need any lighting-room lighting is sufficient. I have not used any fertilizers or trace mix yet. I don't think I will except maybe a very light dose of trace.

The water lettuce wouldn't grow in this tank because I keep it too full and there isn't any room for it to grow. I've grown Duckweed before, but I'm not too keen on it anymore.

Glenn: Water lettuce won't grow? Are you sure? I am going to give you some next time I see you Jerry. Just put a little in and spread some to your other tanks. Even if it dies off, it will help cut the lighting. Personally, in that tank, I am digging the algae. Looks very natural.

Jason: In all honesty, I would have to agree with Glenn on this!! Even though plain rocks would look good, I feel the algae gives it the extra something that it wouldn't have otherwise. Tank looks great Jerry

Jerry: Lake Tanganyika has about 2% silicate anion in it. The Lake salts do not contain any silicates and I have been thinking of adding them to see if the algae will change. I'd really like to see calcified algae like what is seen in the lake.

Glenn-I am thinking the water lettuce won't grow because there is hardly any air space under my glass cover on the tank. The water lettuce that was in the 150 (maybe from you?) kept breaking apart and clogging up the overflow. I netted it all out.

Jerry: I re-wired the lamps to full output last Thursday because I noticed some Red algae starting to grow in certain areas of the rocks. Not so sure which algae it is yet. Also, the fish were able to eat away algae from a fairly large area. I noticed an immediate increase in pearling from the algae when I boosted the light output.

Jerry: I cleaned this tank tonight after work, just a normal clean. All was well with the tank before I started. As I was re-filling it, I smelled a very strong chlorine bleach odor coming out of the tank. I have no idea where or how the tank got bleached like it did, but all of my fish were on their way to dying in a matter of minutes. I dosed the tank with a huge amount of Prime, and this removed the bleach smell, but their gills were fried by this point and they were swimming in spirals, upside down, dashing to the surface. It was horrible and I am just now getting reconciled to the disaster.

I am really racking my brain to see what could have happened. The buckets I used to fill the tank were the ones I used to empty the tank, and they didn't smell of bleach. I add Seachem Lake Salts and Tanganyika buffer during water changes. I took some of these chemicals and added them to a glass of water-no bleach smell. I don't keep bleach in my office or lab.

I lost my four Goby Cichlids, six Julidochromis regani Kipili, two Altolamprologus compressiceps, and about a dozen or so Paracyprichromis nigripinnis. All of these (except for the Alto. comps) were young adults just entering breeding age.

Jerry: When I got to work this morning I found 8 dead Paracyprichromis nigripinnis and none living to see. Not sure really how many I had. I can't see the fish in this tank easily.

One dead Tanganicodus irsacae Moba and 3 living.

3 small and one large Julidochromis regani Kipili dead and one large one living. One is missing and could have died before without me noticing it. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the large ones are the females and the small ones are the males- Si o No?

2 Alto compressiceps missing and not seen dead. But I very seldom saw them before anyway. Not too much hope for them really.

I am not glad this happened, but I really was getting to the point of beginning to think about getting rid of the Paracyps. I didn't really care for them and I don't plan to replace them. I do want a pair of Julies so I am on the lookout for one of the opposite sex to mine.

One small Synodontis nigriventris found living and thought dead months ago. Go figure.

Jason: I'm really sorry to hear of this disaster. The Synodontis nigriventris that I gave you use to disappear in a ten gal tank for months without being seen. By the way were they in the 90 yet or are they still in quarantine? I think they could live through just about anything. Anyhow, I will keep a look out for the Julies that you are looking for down here. My LFS is getting mostly S. American cichlids in with the occasional Africans. They usually have a great selection of Africans that they don't place on their web site. I may take a trip down there today so I will write down the name and take a look.

Johnny: WOW, Jerry that stinks.... any clues to what could've possible caused it yet?

Drew: Ah, Jerry say it ain't so...that's terrible! If it helps I have some N. buescheri available.

Hank: Jerry; Wow, that is awful! Now if you can't remember when you used Clorox for what ever reason, I would think this was an inside job. Not saying that one of the employees poured Clorox in the tank but they might have used one of the buckets that you use for the tank.Maybe they cleaned something and never bothered to rinse it out. I know from experience, one doesn't need much clorox to to send the fish to the surface, all it takes is 5 mLs in a 65 gallon tank, this will do the trick!

Jerry: Thanks guys. I saw one living Alto compressiceps today.

I now have a blue green algae breakout in the tank. This is a first for this tank. I have to recalibrate how much I feed the fish now. I know I over fed today.

Jason- the Synodontis are still in the 10 gallon tank. I know they are fine and healthy, I just have not moved them into the 150 yet.

Drew- thanks, but I am going to pass on the N. buescheri. I want the Julies and they would not be compatible in this tank.

Johnny and Hank- I really don't have any idea of what happened. It makes me scared to do a water change. I do know we use a bleach containing product to clean the toilets. It is called Soft Scrub, I think. I wouldn't know how this could have gotten into the tank. I was the only one at work when I was cleaning the tank, so nobody sneaked anything into the tank while I was not looking. They would really have to be a nasty person to do that though.

Walter: That really is sad. Is it possible that someone just used one of your buckets?

Darin: Jerry Sorry to hear what happened. I had something like this happen to the tank I am taking care of at my office. The tank belonged to one of the owners who passed away recently. The company was just going to toss the whole set up. Not sure of the size but might be a 45 gal. Any how a few weeks ago I did a water change and came in the next morning to 8 dead fish. The buckets I use are labeled for fish only and I think one of the cleaning crew at night used a cleaner with some bleach in it in the bucket. You could smell the bleach in the empty bucket. Now i have been told that it will be ok to use the Poland Spring water for water changes. If you have water delivered perhaps you could do the same or just use the water jugs to age the water in your office.

Jerry: I used the two 5 gallon buckets I drained the 30 gallons out of the tank first to refill the tank. They were each flushed with 15 gallons of water. We don't have a night time cleaning crew, or a night shift. This is what is baffling.

(edit 4-19-2019 I never did find out for sure what happened to this tank. But, there is the possibility that the water department was doing some pipe work nearby and super bleached the water in a local spot to purify the pipes they were working on. I've been told this can be done. I could have just gotten a big spike of chlorine at the point where I was filling my tank. I can't say for sure, but its the only thing I can think of to this day.)

Jerry: It has been a while since I've posted about this tank. The fish that survived have recovered nicely, as far as I can tell. I have 4 Tanganicodus irsacae, 1 Julidochromis regani Kipili female, at least one Altolamprologus compressiceps, and one very dwarf upside down Synodontis in this tank.

I am seeing BBA in spots. I also have an outbreak of Blue Green algae right now. Johnny and I cleaned this tank Saturday. I added a teaspoon of KNO3/KH2PO4 mixture after cleaning. I am hoping this will get rid of the BGA. On Monday PM I siphoned out about 5 gallons of water to remove more algae that had collected along the front glass. I was able to get the water in by very carefully picking up a partially full bucket with my right hand.

Here's a video from Aug 27, 2010. I just got it made into a video and uploaded tonight.


11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Its been a while since I've posted about this tank. The fish that survived have recovered nicely, as far as I can tell. I have 4 Tanganicodus irsacae, 1 Julidochromis regani Kipili female, at least one Altolamprologus compressiceps, and one very dwarf upside down Synodontis in this tank.

I am seeing BBA in spots. I also have an outbreak of Blue Green algae right now. A member of my plant club and I cleaned this tank Saturday. I added a teaspoon of KNO3/KH2PO4 mixture after cleaning to start fertilizing this tank. I am hoping this will get rid of the BGA. I know Erythromycin will get rid of it easily, but I use that only as a last resort. On Monday PM I siphoned out about 5 gallons of water to remove more algae that had collected along the front glass. I was able to get the water in by very carefully picking up a partially full bucket with my right hand. (10/4/10 Edit: I cracked the neck of my Radius in my left arm in a bicycle crash Labor Day with the Boy Scouts. It is still healing. I was not able to pick up and handle a bucket before this)

Here's a video from Aug 27, 2010. I just got it made into a video and uploaded tonight.


Anthony jokingly said I should put a Bristlenose in this tank. I answered:

I have at least 25 1' juvie brown bushy nose in one of my tanks. I don't want to put any in this tank because:

1. I want the algae
2. I'd never get them back out
3. They aren't endemic to Lake Tanganyika (I know, neither is my Synodontis-but I cheated)
4. I want the Tangs to use the caves, not the Bushy Nose.

I am going to use Hydrogen Peroxide to spot treat the BBA. I know a person that had fairly good success with this treatment. I can't use Excel or Glutaraldehyde because the Vals won't tolerate it.

I have a 38 at home with 5 adult Neolamprologus leleupi and way too many juvies (the adults didn't eat them :sobbing: ) This tank has a fairly good crop of algae, but nothing like the 65 at work. I just put 5 juvie Bushy Nose in there last night. I am curious to see what they do.

Jason: If you're still in the market for a male Julidochromis here they are on

Jerry: Thanks Jason. I am currently waiting for a LFS in Butler, NJ to get me some. I have never yet traveled to Atlantis Tropical Fish Hatchery, but it is on my list of things to do. I once started, but visited a fish nut/breeder from a cichlid forum I frequent first and ended up staying there all day. Never made it to Atlantis.

Jerry: I had an outbreak of a blue green algae that was different from the easily removed filmy type I have normally seen. I have had it for several months now. This stuff was very black and tightly adhered to the rock surfaces, killing the really beautiful green algae growing there. As posted above, the addition of KNO3 and circulation did not really help. I ended up using Ultralife Blue Green Algae Remover. I dosed a half dose at first by accident and then two days later noticed my mistake and put in a full dose. It has done wonders and killed every bit of the stuff. I cleaned the tank last night and the rocks looked like they had had a bad sunburn and were peeling. The BGA was tan and flaking off. In some place green algae was growing underneath. The tank is looking greener, like the algae on the rocks is starting to grow back.

I took a photo before I dosed with my cell phone. I'll go take another ASAP. Now to figure out how to get them off of it!!!!

Johnny: I normally have to send the pics by texting it as an attachment to my Yahoo account if you don't have USB or WIFI capabilities on your phone. Holy smokes did you say you have a cell phone??? that was a dbl take.

(Jerry edit 2019: This was the first time I announced I now had a cell phone. Everyone in the club knew I didn't have one and this is why Johnny is so amazed when I said I had some photos on a cell phone. He answered my wondering how to get the photos off of the phone before it sunk in that I had a cell phone.)

Jerry: Now don't get too excited Johnny!!! I only use it when I have to. I very seldom carry it on my person. It is in the bag I use to carry stuff to work. It came in handy on the summer's Boy Scout Bike Hike. Was able to keep in touch with the others in the group when needed. I bought a water proof (30 feet) floating case at Campmor for the phone to keep it out of the rain/snow.

I have the USB cable for the phone and it is sitting right next to me waiting for me to finish looking at the site so I can plug it in and see what happens.

Alex: 30 feet? it sounds like you purchased the dry pak case which is only 3ft. (Jerry edit 2019: Alex worked at Campmor back then)

Jerry: Alex, I need to double check what I bought, it is yellow and has an o-ring seal and a snap closure. Very hard to open. I'll let you know. I was guessing when I said 30 feet.
Alex: I made that post so you didn't try any underwater pics. With the o ring it sounds like the Otter box which is waterproof to 100 ft. No under water pics though.
Jerry: Alex, I checked tonight and I do have the Otter box and it is good to 100 feet. I didn't have any plans for underwater photography=Ha ha. No clear opening and no way to operate the camera on the cell phone.

Jerry: I cleaned this tank tonight. I filled it with the DI water from our waste treatment system. I use Seachem Cichlid Lake Salts and Tanganyika Buffer in the tap water, but the Conductivity of the tap water is over 550 right now and I didn't want to add that much extra to the tank. I've read about Japanese companies keeping Koi in the plating rinse water after waste treatment, now I am doing it too.

Here is the promised cell phone photo taken 1-3-2011 with BGA in the tank:
01-03-11 Before treatment for BGA.jpg

After Ultralife BG algae Destroyer did its work. 1-14-2011:
01-14-11 After treatment for BGA.jpg

Jason: Those boulders haven't come through the glass yet. I don't think they ever will!!!

Jerry: I am planning on removing the smaller flat rocks on the right side, or adding to them. I got a larger flat rock when working in the garden last fall. I was able to use a cold chisel and make it a little thinner along fault lines. I just used the two smaller pieces I got off in my 37 here at work. I will be putting some Julidochromis regani in there for a quarantine tank before adding them to the 65. I get them tomorrow PM. The 37 is the one that crashed and killed all of the Ancistrus. The plants have settled in nicely, but so did the BGA. I cleaned it tonight for the first time since set up. I also used Blue Green Algae Destroyer.

Jerry: Took some videos yesterday of two of my tanks at work.
37 gallon video:

65 gallon video:

More info later.

Alex: very nice jerry
Hank: Jerry! I like your Youtube productions..
Glenn: Love it Jerry! That 65 is very cool looking. Never thought algae would look so good, but man that works!

Darek: I was cracking up when the phone rang. Very nice Jerry.
Jerry: Thanks guys. I do enjoy this tank at work. It is nice to look at from time to time as I wait for a measuring machine to work, or need a break from concentration. I love the interaction of the fish with each other.

Since I started adding trace fertilizer, I have seen the Val growth greatly increase. I don't know, but, the algae even seems greener.

I have been using the DI water from my water recycle system in this tank after adding Seachem Cichlid Lake Salts and Tanganyika Buffer. I don't see any harm so far.

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry I don't have any photo's right now to update this thread.

This tank is almost three years old now. My nice green growth of algae has died back and some BBA has shown up. Last week the tank was without power for 6 days during Hurricane Sandy. I am left with one adult Tanganicodus irsacae Moba and a pair of Julidochromis regani and one Synodontis upside down cat.

I replaced a burned out 55 Watt PC and turned on the 96 watt PC this past Monday. The 96 watt lamp is new too. The tank is pearling amazingly out of the Vallisneria and I am seeing new green algae starting to grow over top of the dark algae on the rock faces. Even this is pearling. This is without CO2 and without any fertilizers. There is a lot of build up of mulm in the substrate that could use some cleaning, but I have not figured out how yet.

I removed about 1/2 of the upright rocks on the right side of the tank while looking for victims of the cold to remove them and have not replaced them yet. I"m hoping the ugly algae will die off on me. I know I can use bleach-I just have not used it yet.

I'm still undecided what fish I am going to get for here. I may have to think on this for a while. I'll still stay with Tanganyikans.

Here's a video I took today, 6 days after the power went on after being off due to Hurricane Sandy.

I noticed on Saturday night, Nov 11, that I had accidentally plugged the 96 watt PC light into an untimed outlet so that it was on 24 hours a day for at least a week following the blackout of 6 days. Maybe that is why the green algae is starting to make a comeback in this tank. It is now on a timer for a 12 hour cycle. So I have about 150 PC watts on this 65 gallon tank.

This tank spent 6 days without power during Hurricane Sandy. The water temperature went down to around 55 F or so. I cleaned all of my Eheim filters on all of my tanks while the power was off so I would not get a huge anoxic spike in the tank when the filter started back up. I am glad I did.

I have two PC lamps on this tank, 96 & 55 watts. Both lamps were just changed as they would not start back up after the power failure, or failed soon after.

I removed rocks on the right side while looking for dead fish and weighed them. The ones removed totaled 65 lbs. So I am estimating I may have had 250 lbs of rock at one point.

The video in the post above shows the tank right after removing the rocks. This video I"m posting today shows the tank a week later. The green algae is really growing in and has already covered the bare areas which were shaded by the old rocks.

It is amazing how much this tank is pearling without CO2. The lights come on at 6 AM. I get to work at 7 AM. The tank is not pearling at this point. By noon, pearling has begun. By 4:00 it is almost like the tank is carbonated. The only plants here are Vallisneria and Green Algae. I would like to ignore the Red algae on the rocks, but I am really fooling myself. It does look like it is getting overgrown by the green algae.

I added enough Potassium Mono Phosphate to raise the levels to around 2 ppm as phosphorus, not P2O5, not PO4. I really did not see any difference in the bubble production at the end of the day. I normally don't fertilize this tank at all.

Noon time video, Nov 15, 2012:

4:30 video, same day:

This post is way overdue for an update:

Sept 14, 2013:

It has been a long time since I've updated this post. The tank has really gone downhill in the past 6 months. I was down to 3 fish and a huge green water outbreak that would not quit. Plus the lights all went two weeks ago. Last week I did a 95% water change to get a handle on the green water. The tank still had a tinge of green water all this past week.

I completely broke down the tank today and forgot to bring my camera. I removed all of the rocks and gravel except for the big rock seen in post number one. Since I never weighed the rocks when I started I did it today and came up with 321 lbs of rock. The big one in post number one I can only estimate as being 100 lbs by itself, the rest I weighed. Now I know why it was so hard to get in the tank by myself without breaking it! I have a 40 lb slab of rock that was one of the vertical rocks along the back of the tank. The large rock on the bottom is about 2.5 times the thickness and about the same size. I had a 5 gallon bucket of substrate as well.

I suspected the substrate went sour since it has been 6 years since it was set up and never vacuumed since. I began siphoning it out and saw the water in the bucket was deep green. I knew I had found my problem. It all had to come out and I had to figure out how to get under the big rock to clean it. By swooshing the water under it I was able to wash out a lot of the gravel. There were still some pockets of solid gravel under there because I looked under the tank to see under the rocks. I decided to use the idea I've been kicking around in my head: I set up a lance using solid 1/8" tubing connected to the shop air compressor line via a long length of CO2 tubing. I have a regulator I can use for my tanks and reduced the pressure to 40 PSI. I used this air lance to blow out under the rock until all of the gravel was out. It did work great.

I set the tank back up with different rocks in a different pattern to accommodate my fish from my home tank that sprung a leak two weeks ago. I've been keeping those fish outdoors in a heated and filtered 38 gallon plastic drum. I did loose a pair of Julidochromis regani Kipili outdoors. Maybe it got too hot last week. The pair of N. leleupi and trio of N. cylindricus did well as well as some leleupi fry about 3/4" long. The Bushy nose did fine too. I had a pair of Julidochromis regani Kipili in the 65 before the breakdown so they are back in there.

I plan to move my Synodontis lucipinnis from home to this 65 gallon tank soon. I may even put in a trio of Telmatochromis temporalis Shell in the open area I left.

I'll bring the camera in to work next and get some photo's to add in here.

Work 37 gallon tank prior to the 65 gallon tank, but still set up to this day.
Work 37 gal 2-9-08.JPG
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