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Old 04-10-2006, 10:51 AM   #1
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Hi - A few questions about a new tank

Hi, my name is Ric, I've been keeping aquariums for 30 years. I've had aquariums ranging from 2- 55gal, stocking everything from a single african frog, FW, SW and brackish. I've been cruising thru the forums here for a couple weeks and decided to join in the fun! Many thanks to the experts and admins here - you've got an excellent site here!

Now, on to my questions:
Last year I had to break down my tank (prepping for a move). The tank was a simple plant tank with a few community fish, but my focus at the time was on the plants.
Here I am now about a year later and all moved into my house. I recently set up the tank with fresh gravel and the driftwood and rock that I had previously. I'm running a Magnum 350 which I've put behind the wall (running the hoses thru a bored hole). I like this setup because when viewing the tank there is absolutely no sound at all!
For this go around, I would like to focus on SA cichlids, in particular, the managuense. Now I know the SA's don't like plants but I do enjoy having some greenery in the tank so my first question is, are there any types of plants that I can work with? Floating? I'm not against plastic, but would prefer to keep things as close to real as possible. I've read some posts here how people have been able to keep cichlids with live plants, but must do a lot to maintain the "peace".

So #1, plants. Floating? Plastic? Other ideas for approaching a bio-type tank for SA cichlids?

#2, other cichlids to join the managuense(s). Once upon a time I kept oscars and dempseys. I know these fish pretty well, but I would like to experience keeping some other varieties. I'm pretty sure a pleco will be in the tank, but suggestions for other tankmates would be great!

Thanks again for your advice!!

Ric
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA!!! Most large SA cichlids do not like greenery. You can try some either real or fake but as they grow they will try to rip it up. I finally gave up on my oscar and let him live withjust his rockwork. I would imagine that floating plants would be fine, unless they like the taste of it.

I found this link which mention keeping plants with them: http://aqualandpetsplus.com/Cichlid,%20Jaguar.htm

Good Luck and we want pictures.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:23 AM   #3
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Hi Ric, and welcome to AA.

In most cases it's difficult to keep live plants with cichlids because they dig them up. There are a few plants which grow well in low light conditions that can be tied to rocks or driftwood. These should work well in your Managuense tank. I would suggest java fern, or any of the anubias species. You could also try growing some crypts in small clay pots filled with gravel.

As for tankmates with the managuense, I would think severums might be a very good choice. Actually any cichlid which is not especially nasty (such as red devils), could be done without too much aggression as long as the tank provides enough territory.

HTH
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:26 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA Ric.

You are not alone in running the canister hoses into the next room. If that next room has a faucet, you can set up a holding tank and some plumbing for effortless water changes:

http://home.comcast.net/~tomstank/to...s/page0015.htm

I haven't taken the cichlid plunge yet, so I can't help you much there.
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:07 PM   #5
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Nice work Tom. I've put my canister pump in a 10 gallon tub just to keep the area tidy in case of spillage. I'm not overly concerned with water changes because I have a sink within range of the tank and can use my python to clean the gravel/do partial water changes.

On the cichlid front, I'm thinking of putting hornwort on the surface and java fern on some of the rock and driftwood.
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:56 PM   #6
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Welcome to AA! I too have given up on plants in my cichlid tanks. I am currently trying some floating plants. Hornwort and pennywort. The down side is I have a lot of current from the heavy filtration and the plants zoom around the tank.
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