New 60gallon Looking for tank mate Suggestions/setup
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New 60gallon Looking for tank mate Suggestions/setup

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New 60gallon Looking for tank mate Suggestions/setup
Old 06-26-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
 
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Thumbs up New 60gallon Looking for tank mate Suggestions/setup

Hello and hi to anyone who has not seen my other 2 posts as i am new here but have enjoyed reading through the forums. Now down to business :D I have a 60 gallon thats going to be moving in to its new home in about 7-12 days time and in it will be going a juvenile Jack Dempsey and two juvenile black convicts.

My idea for the tank it's self is going to be lots of places to hide(caves ect.) and would love to have it planted with a decent amount of plants and looking into a large piece of drift wood possibly for the middle'ish area of the tank. I'm unsure Of what other fish would be a good fit. I was thinking on maybe a blood red parrot cichlid and a peacock bass cichlid and maybe a eele (maybe a Striped Peacock or Dinosaur Bichir) but unsure if that will work with the dempsey. I also like the looks of a raphael catfish. Now i turn it over to you great people here to start tossing some recommendations my way on fish i can add and heck even planting tips and im always up for some food ol' DIY projects if anyone has any for good hidding spots/caves. I also added a video showing the media i have and asking for what more i need for my Cascade 1500 Canister Filter(picked up for $50) again ty all this place is great!

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Old 06-26-2012, 12:52 PM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by mysticganja420 View Post
Hello and hi to anyone who has not seen my other 2 posts as i am new here but have enjoyed reading through the forums. Now down to business :D I have a 60 gallon thats going to be moving in to its new home in about 7-12 days time and in it will be going a juvenile Jack Dempsey and two juvenile black convicts.

My idea for the tank it's self is going to be lots of places to hide(caves ect.) and would love to have it planted with a decent amount of plants and looking into a large piece of drift wood possibly for the middle'ish area of the tank. I'm unsure Of what other fish would be a good fit. I was thinking on maybe a blood red parrot cichlid and a peacock bass cichlid and maybe a eele (maybe a Striped Peacock or Dinosaur Bichir) but unsure if that will work with the dempsey. I also like the looks of a raphael catfish. Now i turn it over to you great people here to start tossing some recommendations my way on fish i can add and heck even planting tips and im always up for some food ol' DIY projects if anyone has any for good hidding spots/caves. I also added a video showing the media i have and asking for what more i need for my Cascade 1500 Canister Filter(picked up for $50) again ty all this place is great!

Cascade 1500 help - YouTube
I might consider just one convict for if you were unfortunate enough to get a male and female convict,life will be rough for other fishes if and when the pair of convict's decided to spawn.
They WILL inflict seroius damage ,not maybe ,but Will and you would soon be looking for homes for the hundred's of fry produced, that you can't give away in most cases.
Parrot cichlid might fare well with Dempsey if both are same size when purchased and enough caves made of clay pot's,flagstone,slate, are available but Peacock Bass would grow much too large for 60 gallon tank, and it and the Dempsey would no doubt have it out at some point, and my money would be on the Peacock.
PVC pipe glued to slate,or flagstone could provide refuge for the bichir,raphael, but i fear plant's would be uprooted by all of the fish mentioned unless planted in pot's with soil,covered with fine gravel.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
 
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ty for the heads up on the peacock bass, deff. dont want a show down in the tank. On the convicts, i take it there is no real way to tell the sex of the juvenile's? What do/should i look for when they get older to see if i have a male/female? im not looking to breed them was hopeing on 2 males or 2 females but if needed have another home for one. Are the fish realy that bad with the the plants? Do they sale "pots" just for aquarium use? Casue when i imagine pots i think of house hold plant pots and that wont look to good everywhere or 3" of gravel/sub. hehehe.. Are there no plants that can hold up to them or like i said a very small pot? Another question to toss out there about the fish, Was sitting here looking at my 20g community tank and was wondering is there any larger fish(fish that cant/wont be eaten) that can be put in that are more of a schooling fish?
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
 
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i had a few more questions so thought i would break them down,

I have plants in my 20g show tank and still want to try and get some hardy plants going in my new 60gallon, What if any substrate can anyone recommend to help a healthy plant? Do i have to use it for my entire bottom or can it be mixed with med gravel? Another thought is, is it possible to maybe use it as a bottom layer then my gravel on top to better help hold the plants but give the roots what they need/want?

Do Plant fertilizer's really work? I have seen lots of good and bad opinions about them but not sure what to make of it. If they are good what is recommended thats fish safe and wont cloud the water?

Is there anyone who uses or has used a in-line heater ( Hydor ETH In-Line Heaters ) Are they as good if not better then the normal ones that sit inside the tank? Do they take longer to get the water up to the temp you need/want?

Has Anyone ever used/seen these 3D Naturalistic background and are they any good? ( AQUATERRA - 3D naturalistic backgrounds for fish and reptiles. & https://www.azgardens.com/c-262-aqua...s-3d-foam.aspx )




Last edited by mysticganja420; 06-27-2012 at 01:00 PM.. Reason: Added another 3D link to better explain
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
 
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I have plants in my 20g show tank and still want to try and get some hardy plants going in my new 60gallon, What if any substrate can anyone recommend to help a healthy plant? Do i have to use it for my entire bottom or can it be mixed with med gravel? Another thought is, is it possible to maybe use it as a bottom layer then my gravel on top to better help hold the plants but give the roots what they need/want?
Plants will grow in almost any substrate, from pea gravel (nothing larger for several reasons) to fine gravel to sand. Using one of the "enriched" substrates is hit and miss. I can only speak for Flourite which was a real disappointment (I have had it in one tank for more than a year with plants in my gravel and sand tanks actually as good or better). I have not tried some of the newer products like ADA and such. But it still comes down to the plant species, what you expect from them, and what method (high-tech, low-tech natural, or something in between) you intend using.

Aside from the above, if you are intending medium to large cichlids, they will dig in the substrate and any underlying layer of soil or whatever will be dug up and could be a real mess biologically. With substrate-rooting/burrowing fish I would stay with fine gravel or sand, uniform throughout.

Quote:
Do Plant fertilizer's really work? I have seen lots of good and bad opinions about them but not sure what to make of it. If they are good what is recommended thats fish safe and wont cloud the water?
Following from what I said above, plants need sufficient light and 17 nutrients in order to photosynthesize (grow). They can grow slowly but still be healthy and lush with minimal light and nutrients, or they can grow faster with more light and nutrients. The main thing is that light and nutrients must be balanced. Light must be sufficient in intensity and spectrum. I'll move on from this for now, but can come back if asked.

Nutrients occur in fish food which makes its way into the substrate as organics. Some nutrients, especially the "hard" minerals calcium and m magnesium, and sometimes others, may occur in the tap water in varying levels depending upon the GH (general hardness). Depending upon the plants, fish load and tap water, this might be sufficient for plants. But most of us find that something is usually insufficient, so we use fertilizers. And yes, they work, provided the balance between light and the 17 nutrients is present. And the nutrients have to be in balance or proportion with each other, which will be taken care of with one of the reliable products.

None of them will cloud the water unless something goes wrong--overdosed, tank's biological equilibrium upset somehow, etc. In most situations, a basic complete liquid fertilizer will be sufficient. All plants assimilate nutrients via both the roots and leaves, depending upon the nutrient and the plant species. Substrate-rooted plants that are heavy feeders with extensive root systems, such as swords, benefit from substrate fertilization in the form of tabs, in addition to liquid. But even so, they will grow fine without the tabs.

Byron.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
 
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Ty byron you have gave me a lot to think over with my plants. And rethink my layout for my 60g

Quote:
Aside from the above, if you are intending medium to large cichlids, they will dig in the substrate and any underlying layer of soil or whatever will be dug up and could be a real mess biologically. With substrate-rooting/burrowing fish I would stay with fine gravel or sand, uniform throughout.
So you say fine gravel or sand, Wouldnt sand be easy to keep being kicked up in the water thus clogging the filter? and will this work? CaribSea Aquarium Sand - Gravel & Sand - Fish - PetSmart and if i do go that route am i looking at around $100 to drop(4 bags)? Or is there some sort of cheaper sand alternative? Also i see a lot of reviews about having to clean it befor it even go's in?


On the plant note again, If real plants will only be up-rooted with larger cichlids are there any "realistic" style fake plants that can be added? What i mean is when i see fake plants say in a tank with healthy live plants you can spot the fake's right by the color and in some cases lack of movement. So liek i said are there more realistic ones that arnt so plastic and fake looking?


Thanks again for all the info it's making this new tank go along a lot easyer
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:54 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by mysticganja420 View Post
Ty byron you have gave me a lot to think over with my plants. And rethink my layout for my 60g



So you say fine gravel or sand, Wouldnt sand be easy to keep being kicked up in the water thus clogging the filter? and will this work? CaribSea Aquarium Sand - Gravel & Sand - Fish - PetSmart and if i do go that route am i looking at around $100 to drop(4 bags)? Or is there some sort of cheaper sand alternative? Also i see a lot of reviews about having to clean it befor it even go's in?


On the plant note again, If real plants will only be up-rooted with larger cichlids are there any "realistic" style fake plants that can be added? What i mean is when i see fake plants say in a tank with healthy live plants you can spot the fake's right by the color and in some cases lack of movement. So liek i said are there more realistic ones that arnt so plastic and fake looking?


Thanks again for all the info it's making this new tank go along a lot easyer
I don't think there is anything wrong with that linked sand/gravel, but it is expensive. You will want about 60 pounds for a 60g tank, enough for a 2 inch substrate throughout. I have never kept the "larger" cichlids so I don't know just how much they dig. Someone like 1077 or Tazman with experience with these species can give you better advice as to whether sand or gravel is best. I believe sand is generally suggested because it is easier for the cichlids to sift. But if the species occurs in Central America, fine gravel would likely be its natural substrate, or mud.

If sand is selected, i would use playsand. Two 50-pound bags would give you sufficient and to spare, for a few dollars. I use Quikrete Play Sand now. I've never had issues with the filter, if the canister return is 5-6 inches off the substrate, but here too i will let the members with more cichlid experience comment.

On the plants question. This is an opportunity to be authentic with a semi-biotope tank. Forget fake. If you check our profiles for the relevant species, you will find a section on origin which will usually mention the aquascaping aspects of their habitat, and sometimes under Description i include tank aquascaping suggestions related to the species. Gnerally speaking, fine gravel or sand substrate, several chunks of varying size bogwood and branches. No substrate plants. Java Fern and Anubias can be attached to some of the wood [this is the semi-authentic part, as these plants do not occur in CA or SA) but they are not in the substrate and they are low light. Because floating plants are all but mandatory to provide the indirect light these fish crave. And floating plants process nutrients faster, being close to the light and able to assimilate CO2 from the air.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:09 PM   #8
 
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If sand is selected, i would use playsand. Two 50-pound bags would give you sufficient and to spare, for a few dollars. I use Quikrete Play Sand now. I've never had issues with the filter, if the canister return is 5-6 inches off the substrate, but here too i will let the members with more cichlid experience comment.
Wow i did not know getting my hands on sand could be as simple as a trip to my local hardware store and went from a possible $50+ to around 6-$10 lol So yea that tip byron is a BIG help... provided like you said one of the other members with more exp. with cichlid fish. Also does that play sand need to be cleaned like the stuff you would get from the pet store?

On the plant note, i found a site that sales plant habitat kits and one of them was a south & central american plants. now i dont feel like buying it through them since most the plants can be picked up from local pet stores, would these hold up? here is a list of what they sale in that pack that i guess is "suppose" to be from where some of the cichlid come from, https://www.azgardens.com/p-124-sout...60-gallon.aspx
  • 8 Corkscrew Val
  • 8 Jungle Val
  • 8 Contortion Vals
  • 5 medium Amazon Sword
  • 2 Large Red Rubin Swords
  • 2 Anacharis
  • 4 Cabomba
  • 6 Narrow-leaf Ludwigia
  • 2 Medium Ruffle Swords
  • 7 potted tennellus Chain Swords
i have java fern and anubias in mt community tank and i must say it indeed is easy plants to have and wouldnt mind them in the 60. Also would a large rock like from this place be a good fit for the tank im looking to set up? AAG Aquarium Lace Rock
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:06 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by mysticganja420 View Post
Wow i did not know getting my hands on sand could be as simple as a trip to my local hardware store and went from a possible $50+ to around 6-$10 lol So yea that tip byron is a BIG help... provided like you said one of the other members with more exp. with cichlid fish. Also does that play sand need to be cleaned like the stuff you would get from the pet store?

On the plant note, i found a site that sales plant habitat kits and one of them was a south & central american plants. now i dont feel like buying it through them since most the plants can be picked up from local pet stores, would these hold up? here is a list of what they sale in that pack that i guess is "suppose" to be from where some of the cichlid come from, https://www.azgardens.com/p-124-sout...60-gallon.aspx
  • 8 Corkscrew Val
  • 8 Jungle Val
  • 8 Contortion Vals
  • 5 medium Amazon Sword
  • 2 Large Red Rubin Swords
  • 2 Anacharis
  • 4 Cabomba
  • 6 Narrow-leaf Ludwigia
  • 2 Medium Ruffle Swords
  • 7 potted tennellus Chain Swords
i have java fern and anubias in mt community tank and i must say it indeed is easy plants to have and wouldnt mind them in the 60. Also would a large rock like from this place be a good fit for the tank im looking to set up? AAG Aquarium Lace Rock
Playsand needs a lot of rinsing to get all the dirt out. Tedious, but the end result is worth the effort, and the cost savings too.

If we are talking larger cichlids, those plants will not last. And lace rock is nice, i have some, but wood is preferable for these cichlids we are discussing. Unless you are thinking different fish now.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:24 PM   #10
 
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Playsand needs a lot of rinsing to get all the dirt out. Tedious, but the end result is worth the effort, and the cost savings too.
Okay thats what i thought it had to be cleaned, what is a good method for cleaning the sand without making tuns of a mess? And how long is clean time half a day or a hour or so depending?

Quote:
If we are talking larger cichlids, those plants will not last. And lace rock is nice, i have some, but wood is preferable for these cichlids we are discussing. Unless you are thinking different fish now.
I just liked the look of the rock thought it was pretty neat.. but no i'm not changing on the fish as i already own the juvenile convicts and jack dempsey so for sure the 3 fish will be going in the tank. What i put with them is unknown besides im pretty set on a blood red parrot fish when the tank is up and going. Will there be more then that.. yea most deff. You suggest a sandy wooded tank? will wood provide the hidding places needed like some rocks with caves can? Also you said bogwood is a good choice how about african driftwood? https://www.azgardens.com/p-229-larg...driftwood.aspx
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