08-19-2006, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jsm11482
I was originally going to Cichlids but now I'm not so sure...I wanted a planted tank but African Cichlids apparently aren't so good for that.
African Cichlids can be kept with certian, less palatable species of plant such as Giant Anubias, Dwarf Anubias, and Java Fern. There is however, an issue with keeping plants that should be considered. If not kept in ideal lighting, with a proper food source, and necessary CO2, the plants will begin to deteriorate. As result, your tank will experience a major increase in the amount of ammonia produced in the tank subsequently resulting in a bacterial bloom. The water will begin to take on a cloudy white appearance as the nitrosomas and nitro spira bacterias overpopulate the tank. Though the bacterial bloom is of little if any concern to the health of the fish, the appearance is quite disheartening. But the conditions that follow will be enough to drive you mad. With both the increse of food source for the bacterias, and the increase of the bacterias converting the waste from the decaying plants, your Nitrates will build at an alarming rate. Ive seen levels climb to 160ppm in only a few days. The end result, an Algae Bloom so thick that the visibility into your tank will be less than 12". Water changes will prove futile as you will see that this process takes only days to develop. An 80% water change will provide you with about 3-4 days of green free viewing before you start pulling your hair out again. and the worst part about this whole process is that very few people will be able to acurately identify the source of the problem. I learned this the hard way.
I'm not saying that this is an inevitable problem, as there are other factors that attribute to the health or demise of a plant (did you know that with an air pump, the bubbles in a tank will draw the CO2 to the surface of the tank and release it into the air, thus starving the plant), but should you experience this problem, try moving the plants to a QT and completeing 2 large water changes (80% about a week apart) and see if the conditions return.
And do your homework on keeping planted tanks. :D