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Hi all
I'm have a query or two

Right now I have a 55 gal american cichlid tank. It has a 250W heater, 1 canopy flourescent bulb 24", a hang on filter I think it's a tetra 300 not sure, but I'm getting rid of it anyway. The tank I got free from a friend 6 yrs ago.

In it I have
2 x 5" Jack Dempseys
6 x 4" Male Convicts
3 x 2" Male Pink Convicts
5 x 2" Female Pink and Zebra Convicts
2 x 1" yellow labs
1 x 5" pleco

I have had the JD's for 5 yrs and they stopped growing 2 yrs ago. I was told that that can happen due to inbreeding in aquarium stock and that they might not get much bigger. I believe the convicts stunted their growth......I'm sorry ..........Anyway, I realize this is a lot of fish for this tank. I don't do water changes. Just fill it up and clean the filters when it needs it. I don't add chemicals. I just let nature do her thing. I know this is unorthidox but nothing dies in my tanks at all. In 6 yrs the only deaths I have had was, of course, convict fry, JD fry(about 6 clutches ) and convicts that got beat down. No one has ever died from sickness at all. My tank is an enigma.

Anyway, I am in the process of setting up a 90 gal for these guys. I have some colvert stones that I got about 7 yrs ago. Some are med-lrg and some are smaller. These are going to be used for the base rock. I am looking for ideas on aqua scaping this 90. I am think about a tall cove type with a deep cave system. You know the kind where you can barely see any fish until feeding time I saw this type at a dentists office once with an African tank and I couldn't believe that even the 8" pleco could disappear in it.

So things I want to know.
How much lbs of rock can a 90 gal fresh water hold?
Can I go to the water line with the rock? These will be stacked only so I can change the layout to reduce aggression.
How much open space do I need for the community area in the centre of the cove?

Some specs for the 90. It's 48"x18"x24" with stand and double strip canopy.
A Rena canister filter rated for 175 gals
a 300 watt heater
3 x LED bubble strip
2 x moonlight bubblers
1 or 2 deep water air pumps.
I do plan on maintaining this one really well. Way better then the last tank.
I am using white sand for the substrate at about 1"

Other things too. I know convicts infest tanks and am well aware of thier aggressions. The ones I have are 2, 3 and 4th generations. And for some reason, have a huge respect for my Jacks. And the Labs are perfectly fine and happy and have dug themselves a little space in the tank. Finally, all rocks will be placed on the glass before the sand goes in

Ok guys, any ideas would be wonderful! Thank you
 

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you would be amazed at how many lbs of rock a tank can hold... there is a youtube video floating around that i cannot find, but realisticall think about it, they already hold a LOT of weight in water alone. i wouldn't worry about rock weight
 

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Note that mbuna are harem breeders and you would be better off with one or five. That is way more species than would be recommended if you were doing mbuna only (three for a 55G) but I have no experience with new world cichlids.

For mbuna you would fill the entire tank half full of rocks.
 

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Newbie question.... For a 90 gallon, approximate lbs of Texas Holey Rock?
(48 x 18x 24) with an anticipated mbuna population!(I am aksing the question prior to setting up the tank...just know we want to go with a 90 gallon)
TIA!
 

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Put as much TX holey rock as you want.....
 

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For solid rock I do somewhere around 50 pounds per rock pile and three piles in a 48" tank. Since the holes are so variable, I don't imagine you can do it by the pound with holey rock.

Try for half full.
 
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