This is an awsome tank. Rarely do we see tanks with african cichlids in them. I would have to agree with the comment about the red plants. They seem to make your eyes fight to see everything in the tank.
I love the Ammania. It is about as forgiving as anything I've got in the tank and, given plenty of light, grows straight up with some minimal branching. Those stems that do branch end up looking a lot like a saguaro cactus because the branches curve around to grow straight up too. It grew fairly well without CO2 but, once I started supplementing, it really took off.
Here's a shot of the Ammania sp. 'Bonsai' as is looks today. It's really starting to get comfortable and has taken on a much richer green coloration than it previously had. Note the tiny 1/2" Ps. demasoni fry hovering in front of the C. wendtii 'Tropica'. He uses the stand of Ammania as cover from the large predatory male mbuna
And here's a shot of the stand of P. stellata that sits above and to the right of the Ammania. It really seems to be doing well in my hard water.
Travis the vigorous growth you have on the P. stellata looks awesome, I love the contrasting pink/bright green growth you have there. Are you using Tom's dosing schedule? Any other updates to the tank?
Raul - thanks! I am using a modified form of Tom's Estimative Index dosing with weekly 50% water changes. I find with my Africans I rarely need to dose NO3 as the levels remain fairly constant due to fish waste. I've been keeping phosphates around 1.0 ppm or a little above to help bring out the reds and reduce the algae on my Anubias leaves. I've been doing a lot of changes to the tank lately (I guess it's constantly in flux ). Here's a shot of the full tank I took on Christmas night to give you an idea of how it looks now:
wow..that looks amazing. im currently planting my mbuna tank as well but its not going to look anywhere as nice as yours. I suggest adding some Haplochromic of Peacocks! Many have amazing colors and are carnivores rather than mbunas that are herbivores and more likely to chew up the plants.
Hi Travis .
I still like your tank very much. I would lose the ricia though (don't shoot me, just my personal taste) because I always feel it looks out of place tied to whatever keeps it down. When I compare it with your other plants, for instance your Amania before that green stone which I absolutely love, it looks artificial.
That's stunning Travis! Now I can see why African Cichlid tanks are called freshwater reefs, especially with the rock work and the color contrasts you have. I'd like to see you enter this aquarium into this years ADA and AGA contests, I'm sure everyone would be surprised at such an extraordinary accomplishment.
If you're looking for a substitute for the Riccia try an Eriocaulon(not sure how it would do in your hard water) or Lobelia cardinalis 'dwarf'. On the other hand, I heard you were going to use Java fern..where are you planning on placing it?
Thanks, I'm glad you guys like it Sorry it took me so long to reply, my gmail account has been acting sketchy lately and notices of posts to threads on APC haven't been coming through.
I don't know much about entering tanks in competitions Raul, and I'm not sure my tank is at a point yet where I'd even want to. When is the ADA this year? I know the AGA is at the end of the year (November?) so I figure I've got plenty of time to grow some plants before then.
I just put some Java Fern in on the right side of the tank a few days ago. Standard, Windelov, and Narrow-leaf to see which ones look best. The left half of the tank is basically where I want it but the right half still needs work. At least that's the way I see it. I'm still experimenting with what types of plants will work in my tank because of the fish and the hard water and have had to scrap and redo plans several times because something just wasn't working.
I'd like to thank cS for sending me so many cool species to try out even when the plants that I sent in return ended up getting lost in the mail and taking seven days to get there, which wasn't pretty. cS sent me some Lobelia cardinalis 'Small Form' which should be arriving today, so I'll be adding it to the aquascape. I'm getting a bit tired of the monthly rebuilding the Riccia requires and may replace the Riccia on the left side as suggested. There's a really pretty C. blassii trying to grow up from behind it anyway
I'll post some more close-ups when I get some good ones. Thanks again guys
Here are three top-down shots of the right half of my tank, moving left-to-right. The Java fern obviously has some growing to do, but I hope this gives you an idea of the layout of the plants from an AGA layout-type perspective. I would love to hear any ideas as I'm not settled on how I would like things to look. Thanks
That is an amazing looking tank Travis. You say the fish are breeding. Are the fry living and growing? I would be interested how the pH is affecting the sex of the fry. It does not look as if you have the tank heavily populated with fish, so with plenty of cover and room the fish will be less aggressive and do less digging. I am surprised though you did not use more rocks
Thanks guys I will make a point of noting the sex of the fry as they mature. I was not aware that there was a pH/sex relation with FW fish but it sounds very interesting. The tank really isn't very crowded given its size and the current size of the fish living in it. At any given time I've usually got two to three Ps. demasoni and/or L. caeruleus holding. The demasoni seem especially prolific and the number of surviving fry has reached or exceeded the number of adult fish of the species. Every day things seem to get more interesting
I think the tank is incredible, the way you have the riccia and glosso thriving like that is something I would love to achieve but I'm nowhere near that yet.
I'd like to know more about why you chose to keep mbuna in a tank like this? I have recently designed two mbuna tanks for my friend, a 240 litre and 400 litre using only rocks to create a kind of mound. The fish seem to love this as it gives them loads of hiding places and the rock formation must have hundreds of concealed corners and crevices to hide in. Consequently the fish are thriving and producing fry all the time. The rocks are a kind of grey colour and under white/blueish lighting the tank looks pretty good.
Neil - this tank really started life about 6 1/2 months ago as a lightly planted mbuna-specific tank. I wanted to keep a few plants around the rocks to add some color. I had the right lights to begin with but I found out quickly that algae would be a real problem unless I added CO2. That's when things really got interesting I realized that I could keep just about anything that would tolerate hard water and I've been cramming in new species almost weekly since then. I'm fighting collector-itis very hard right now and set up a second 30G tank just for the overflow.
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