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I am curious if u have any tricks that u do to keep the mbuna from eating the plants? I am in the process of setting up my tank and i sound just like u. I am just lightly planting it but as i find myself purchasing better lighting and about to do Co2 i have a feeling its going to be heavily planted. :D its going to be mostly carnivores (haps/peacocks) im just afraid of them shredding up the plants. heres what it looks like now..please gimme any suggestions for some hardy plants u think would be good for my setup.
http://www.wtfhost.com/userfiles/Bavarian3/tankOT2.jpg
 

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commandantp - J'ai les cichlides d'Afrique a Malawi :)

Bavarian - I keep mainly mbuna so I can't really tell you how haps or peacocks might react, although I know someone who is having good luck with peacocks and plants. My rules are: keep the smaller mbuna that don't have a proclivity for digging; keep your plants algae free (mbuna are algae grazers); and feed your fish well so they don't seek out alternative food sources. I can't really say what the secret is, but those three rules have worked for me :)

I would suggest starting out with some hearty, fast-growing plants if you've got a lot of lighting: Java ferns, Hygrophila (just about any kind), Ceratopteris thalictroides. Later on you can add in all sorts of other plants, cryptocorynes are one of my favorites, and I've never seen my mbuna touch them. Don't be hesitant to try new plants once you get CO2 running either. You'd be surprised what you can keep alive in an African cichlid tank. Good luck :)
 

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That really is a fantastic tank Travis! I used to have a 30gal that was home to many cichlids over time, but became the main house for my frontosa I got when he was an inch long and kept him when he was about 10" long at least! Anyway, your tank is inspiring and wish I had another tank! ;)

Chris
 

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travis said:
Bavarian - I keep mainly mbuna so I can't really tell you how haps or peacocks might react, although I know someone who is having good luck with peacocks and plants. My rules are: keep the smaller mbuna that don't have a proclivity for digging; keep your plants algae free (mbuna are algae grazers); and feed your fish well so they don't seek out alternative food sources. I can't really say what the secret is, but those three rules have worked for me :)
I see, thats one thing i was curious about cuz i know bigger mbuna would definetly have more chance of shredding the plants. Im seen some fairly large demasoni at the lfs though...
One question about keeping the plants algea free. My tank is new so it appears im gettting diatom algea. The plants get really dirty and if i shake them a big cloud of particles wil come off it. so how do u keep the tank algea free? Especially with that much light.
 

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Diatom/brown algae will usually disappear in a few weeks time. It is symptomatic of the conditions often found in newly set up tanks. With high lighting, my first advice would be to get CO2 supplementation running. It is the best and easiest way to give your plants the edge they need to out-compete the algae that will thrive under the lighting. You'll very likely need to supplement nutrients as well. There are a bunch of great threads here on APC about nutrient dosing if you run a search.
 

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Some new pictures I took today. Over the last couple of weeks I've added some incredible plants that cS sent me: Isoetes japonica, Myriophyllum matogrossense, Microsorum pteropus 'Windelov', and dwarf-form Riccia fluitans. I am still amazed at the perfect condition of these plants when I received them. I will do my best to make sure they stay as healthy as they were when I put them in cS. ;) Also pictured: some Pogostemon stellata 'Broad Leaf' that is really starting to take off, a large Nuphar japonicum v Formosa lily that has recently started putting out a lot of new growth, and a stand of Limnophila aromatica in the background that is about ready to grow out of the tank.







 

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Wow

Travis - very impressive. Your tank makes me want to hurry up and get a house so I can house a big tank like yours. My current apartment does not have the room for another big tank (we already have 5 tanks in there now).

I have a planted Mbuna tank as well - not as fancy as yours and is only a 30G with 2 Labidochromis caeruleus adults and 4 Labidochromis caeruleus juviniles (I have more on the way in another tank). Also in my 30G are two adult Pseudotropheus zebra. I wish I had the room to put in the amount of plant varieties as you with the rock.

Currently my 30 has one set of lava rock with two Coffeefolia (Anubias barteri. 'Coffeefolia') attached to it, Anacharis (Egeria densa), two Red Rubin Swords (Echinodorus 'Rubin'), Asian Ambulia (Limnophila sesiliflora), Ludwigia Peruensis (Ludwigia peruensis), two Red Tiger Lotuses (currently bulbs)(Nymphaea zenkeri), two Bronze Wendtii (Cryptocoryne wendtii v. 'Tropica'), and some Baby Tears (Hemianthus micranthemoides) that will be used for ground cover.

Of course, my tank is NOWHERE near as mature as yours is - very good job - impressive actually. I hope one day I can create a tank similar to yours - I would ecstatic in fact.

In fact I joined solely to congratulate you on such an impressive tank (and of course gain more knowledge on plants by using this forum - but mainly to congratulate you)!!

Aries
 

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Wow, thanks. You can't go wrong with L. caeruleus in a planted tank. I know your tank is fairly limited in the species you can keep but if you get a 55G or larger I would highly recommend trying Pseudotropheus demasoni. They have a reputation for aggression (rightly so) but kept in a larger tank this is much diminished and is, IME, strictly conspecific. They are (again IME) harmless to plants and don't get large enough to do any serious re-arranging of the aquascape. Also look into Labeotrophues fuelleborni. They are very docile and eat enough algae to put your SAE's to shame :) Hope to see some pics!

I would also love to hear your experience with the zebras in your planted tank. I've held off trying them as I've seen what they can do to a tank when they put their mind to it :razz:
 

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travis said:
Wow, thanks. You can't go wrong with L. caeruleus in a planted tank. I know your tank is fairly limited in the species you can keep but if you get a 55G or larger I would highly recommend trying Pseudotropheus demasoni. They have a reputation for aggression (rightly so) but kept in a larger tank this is much diminished and is, IME, strictly conspecific. They are (again IME) harmless to plants and don't get large enough to do any serious re-arranging of the aquascape. Also look into Labeotrophues fuelleborni. They are very docile and eat enough algae to put your SAE's to shame :) Hope to see some pics!

I would also love to hear your experience with the zebras in your planted tank. I've held off trying them as I've seen what they can do to a tank when they put their mind to it :razz:
I agree that demasonis aggression is very conspecific. Ive kept a single one in a mixed mbuna tank and it wasnt aggressive at all. Apparently they are best kept alone, or with many other demasoni.
Please dont get zebras!! they can be real nasty little buggers, no offense towards aries fish, i just dont like them.

BTW when could i expect some of that clover? i cant wait to try it out im just dyin to stuff more plants in my tank.
 

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jcolletteiii said:
What is that goldish broad leaved plant left center w/ the really long petioles and ruffled leaves?
Sorry I missed your question. That is a Nuphar japonicum var formosa lily (actually two bulbs together). It took several months before it became comfortable in my tank but really took off after that, producing up to six leaves per week. I've since moved it out of the tank as it had gotten too big for even a 125G. I think one of these would look great in a taller tank, but in a 20" high tank they hit the surface, start spreading laterally, and (even though the leaves are somewhat transparent) start shading about 3-5 square feet of tank floor. I have to admit I knew this species got large but I didn't bargain for just how large it would grow.
 

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Well have decided to give it a go.

I have a 75 gallon cichlid tank and recently have tried some plants.

Cichlids are
4 yellow labs
2 Red zebra's
1 johanni
1 demasoni
2 msombo deep

I also traded several cichlids for my plants,my goal was to lower the amount of fish to give the plants a better chance at survival.

So far my plants are
4 medium amazon swords
4 cryptos of some sort
1 hygrophilia
2 clumps of anacharis-these were brought in for food, again hoping the cichlids would eat these and leave the other stuff alone.
1 reddish plant my lfs said was a cherry temple. no idea what it really is, but they said it was a pretty durable plant.

I bought the light they recommend, don't have the specs and will probably add some liquid suppliments of some sort.

I am about a week into this and so far it is to early to tell how it will work. So far my fish have uprooted the same 2 crypts twice, and that just started Wednesday. Must be something about those 2plants they don't like, I moved them after the first time, but when got home last night, those same 2 plants were floating.
I really thought the anacharis would be history by know, but so far they are really leaving that alone. I see them nip at once in a while, but I thought they would really go after it.
 

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Beautiful tank you got there!
What's the plant in the right backgroud? Tall straight one?
 

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Raul, it has changed quite a bit in the last year. If anything there are more plants and certainly a lot more Africans (hard to keep them from breeding :p). I will try to get some pictures this week and post them.

Nymph, I think you're looking at Limnophila aromatica (the reddish plant in the back on the left side?).
 

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I took some full tank pictures last night. The aquascape is still not at a mature state, but I think I've got things where I want them and am now just letting it grow in and trimming as necessary.

A shot of some Riccia from above with a Ps. demasoni floating over it:



A full tank shot:



And an oblique angle shot:

 
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