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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Wow great work with that aquarium auballagh!!! I saw the link in the thread.

Plant pots are a great idea! I think I've constructed a plan for the planting. I'm going to plant the perimeter of the tank but not the front, so sides and back. All plants in pots. The plants I will be using (depending on availability) will be Anubias, Vallisneria, Java fern
Java moss on a center pice of driftwood only and Hogwart floating at the top. The plants will be layed out with smallest planted in the forefront/ sides and the tallest at the back of the tank. This will leave the center of the tank open for the fish to play in the substrate and be viewed. Then see what takes and what doesn't and adjust from there.

DJRansome raccoons get into my shallow pond plants all the time. They're looking for worms. They will rip them right out sometimes.
 

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All good, and I like the variety of plants on your list. Here's a couple more recommendations I can add,
  • The Anubias (various types, get different ones) and the Java Fern do not grow out in substrate, Affix or even glue them onto rocks or other things where you want them to grow.
  • Add some Valisneria to your substrate growers in that tank (pictured in the background with the Princess of Burundi Cichlid). Plus putting in one or two big ol' Amazon Sword plants into the aquarium, will hoover up those Nitrates and Phosphates out of your water for you pretty nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I didn't get any amazon swords, there was vary little at the store I went too. I'm confident I will find some eventually lol. I am trying some Java fern and moss, guppy grass, vallisneria and the only verity of anubias they had (I can't remember the verity) I put then in with my Mbuna as an experiment. I figured it's not alot I have invested anyway, and it would be fun to see what they eat and don't eat. Even of there is one plant they leave alone it was worth it. So far not much as been touched except the tips of the vallisneria. They seem to like that one. I thought the guppy grass would be devoured by morning but nope.

When I'm told to go with a species only tank. Does the mean Mbuna, Haps, Peacock. Or does it mean one one sub verity like electric yellow only mbuna ect?
 

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A 'species only' tank means just one, single species of Cichlid.
 

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The particular species being recommended is brichardi from Lake Tanganyika. Not from Lake Malawi like mbuna (yellow lab) or peacock or hap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Forgive me but I found a local mbuna breeder in my girlfriends neighborhood that has me rethinking. Plus I might stick with what I have because I has started really like what I now believe is a male hongi in the tank already. I also think there are three female hongi in there with him as well. Not the hybrids I originally thought they were. There is also one female electric yellow and a female white lab. At least I think that's what they are. The new plan is to add four yellow tail, one male and three female's, and three more white labs, one male and two more females. Plus a bottom feeder like a red tailed shark or clown loach. I do love the lake Tanganyika you recommended, and?I can't thank you enough for the advice and education you have given me.
 

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noki is very good at mbuna ID, why do you think they are not hybrids?

Hongi are among the more aggressive mbuna so I would be sure there are 7 females for your male. You would not want both yellow labs and white labs in the same tank because they crossbreed. I would skip the acei (yellow tail) in a tank your size. Be sure to fill your tank to the waterline with rocks as mbuna are rock fish.

I would skip the red tailed shark and/or the clown loach with mbuna. If you want catfish I would go with 3-5 Synodontis lucipinnis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I already bought the yellow fins, but I decided to only go with four do to tank size. I think they will do fine because the tank is 17+ inches at the widest point. Too bad about the red tail shark. I like those guys. What do you think about adding siamese algae eaters or flying fox's in place of the cat fish? I like the idea of adding some smaller schooling fish for the contrast. In schools of five or more.
I was thinking that about the lads, I think I will go the the white ones. The bright yellow on on the electric might make the brownish yellow on the female hongi look even more dull by comparison.
 

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Since you may have hybrids you will want to have Synodontis lucipinnis to help you with fry patrol. The adults may not eat every baby when they are spit.

Acei like to be in bigger groups and grow larger than most mbuna. Just because they have room to turn around in your tank does not mean they have enough room. Lake Malawi cichlids are faster and more active than the new world cichlids that can fit larger fish in a smaller tank in some cases.

Siamese algae eaters ideally are in a 60" tank and pH 7.5 or lower.

Flying fox is ideally in pH 7.5 or lower....ideally lower. SeriouslyFish says this: Bottom-dwelling fishes including cichlids and most catfish are best avoided as they may too be picked on.
 

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For plants, I'd start with something simple like Elodea if it's legal where you are. It can grow in hard water like that and it can grow in the substrate or floating, so you don't have to worry if the cichlids dig them up. I have hard water too, but the pH usually dips some in the tank. If that's the pH in the running, cycled tank, plants aren't going to love it. Rift lake cichlids and CA cichlids accustomed to harder water usually don't have much plant life in their habitats.
Hi!😃
Isn't that an American Pleco? It looks like a "small" version of our Kong who is like 13 inches big at this time!😳
 

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Hmmmmm.....

TOTAL +1 to that!
And yes, I know that those Nature Tanks set up with that expansive vista of carpeted plants look just absolutely amazing.
It's Eye Candy!
View attachment 143107
I mean, outside of a little mowing or something now and then, what could be easier to maintain?
Hah....
DO NOT BE FOOLED.
That aquarium set up with the low growing plants will be incredibly difficult to maintain. That is just about the highest expression of the Planted Aquarium you can imagine! And unfortunately, those things just don't exist without a dedicated CO2 injection system installed, to push those plants. Oh... and the water needed for those things? Will measure out at Neutral PH at 7.0 or slightly acidic.
Something the measured 9.0 PH of your natural source of tap water, certainly isn't!
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So, you have a visit to the LFS coming up it seems? Great! But, there are a couple things it may be helpful to keep in mind before you truck on in....
1) The LFS is primarily in business to sell you fish. Yep. And of course you might be informed all kinds of wild things about what could work out - GREAT!!! - in your aquarium. Once again... DO NOT BE FOOLED. Stick with your plan and the research. Don't throw it away on an impulse and with reassurances from the LFS, that really just wants to sell you fish.
2) Patience. Do your research. Study those species you are considering. Make some decisions. And DON'T be rushed into purchasing something(s) you may truly regret later. And, if the friendly LFS doesn't have what your carefully researched and well thought out plan needs? Then look online! It's highly likely that some or even ALL of the Lake Tanganyikan Cichlid species I recommended to you won't be in that LFS. Or, as they sometimes say, "Wait For It". ;)
Exactly!!😃
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
What do you think about this? I'm getting rid of the hybrids and adding at a 3:1 ratio female to male. Rusty's, yellow lab's, white lab's, yellow fin acari and some Synodontis lucipinnis.

I know the acari might be a bit big for the tank but the black spotted barb is 6" and has no trouble turning around in there. If it does pose a problem ill have to rehome them. The cat fish should take care of any hybrids born from the labs crossing and I don't want to run a breeding program anyways.
 

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I would never stock less than 4 females/male. And 3 species max on a tank that is 48" long and 12" on the side.

If I wanted the stock you plan, I would get a 48x18 rectangle tank.

Turning around is not the reason for the extra space. Each male would really like a circle to himself up to three feet (will be aggressive with interlopers).

The fish will breed whether you want them to or not. Keep an eye open for survivors and help the Synodontis (by removing hiding places temporarily) get them if you see any. Once they start to get as big as the adults, you will not be able to ID the suspected hybrids from the pure fish...making your whole tank unsellable and you unable to give them away.
 
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