125 Gal all set up!
I'll also get some clearer pictures this evening. Water was just sturd up a little, and it was taken with my phone, plus the fish went into hiding because of all the activity I was doing on the tank.
Just a bit about the tank:
- About 100 pounds of rock is in there.
- Have some fake plants, mixed with java moss, and moss balls.
- Wasnt too happy with the driftwood I originally put in the tank, so I went with a top fin decoration for the center piece.
- Running a Marineland C-530, plan on getting an addition HOB.
- Lights are standard T-8's that came with the tank. Along with an additional 24" light.
- Pool Filter Sand as Substrate
- Black Background
- Hydor circulation fan, getting rid of it, due to the fish I will be adding in there.
- 5 Giant Danios
- Jack Dempsey
- 1 Swordtail
- 1 Black Molly
- 3 Algae Eaters
- Beginning to get my SA,CA Cichlids in there
I am open for any suggestions or advice. Especially with the aquascaping. I'm wanting it to look as natural as possible. Something still feels a little off and unnatural.
Tank looks really nice! I would love a big tank like that.... oh to dream.
If it was me, I would get rid of the fake plants and get real plants in there.. but I am no expert and from what I have read here and there, I am sure lots of plants in an african cichlid tank is not a good idea, although I could be wrong? I thought they were rock dwelling fish, that destroy live plants haha... so I guess the plants are out. But you got lots of rocks in there! so that is good.
I know what you mean about the aquascaping, I have experienced exactly the same thing many times. You set the tank up and quite like the layout, and then after a day or so something just doesn't seem right, although you can't quite put your finger on it.
heres an example of the transformation my 29g tank has gone through. from this.....
and I am still not happy, always looking to move things, add new plants (all live by the way)
Cant wait to see your beautiful 125g all full up with your cichlids etc.
Live planting in a tank can be as simple or as difficult as you want to make it.
Water parameters do play a big part in successful growth, as in the hardness and ph value of your water etc. but to be honest I have never worried about that at all, I have never purchased plants due to their compatibility to my particular water parameters etc. I have never worried about my lights, which are the ones that came with my tank. T5 18watt I think, 1 daylight, and one warm light. Lighting is way over my head, I have only been keeping fish for a few months if that...
Its a shame that you only have chain stores around you, who probably see aquatics as a tiny part of the bigger picture in their business plans... A high quality aquatic store in the area does help things immensely! I am guessing the plant section is all full of algae and dirty water, like it is in a local chain store near me! I wouldn't buy live plants out of there if my life depended on it!!
I am lucky that there is a regional leading aquatic centre within 30 mins of me, and have been buying my plants from there. they have such a great selection and they have them in a co2 injected tank so they are in tip top condition when you buy them.
My advise would be to look for some really fast growing stem plants like Green Cabomba, Anacharis, or Wisteria. the Cabomba and Anacharis will grow until it reaches the surface so kind of like the look you have now with the fake plants. Giant Vallisnaria is another great addition, it looks like long reeds, I have it on the right side of my tank, and some at the back too. if you get the giant strain, it will grow to the surface and then along the surface too.. I love that look!
Mix that with a few substrate rooted plants like any of the Amazon swords, there are many types, some big some small etc.
Once you have your live plants growing in there you also get the added benefit of natural filtration of the bad stuff you don't want in the tank, these fast growing plants eat up ammonia, nitrites and nitrates too. It is possible to never really notice a cycle when setting up a new tank that houses plenty of live plants, it happened to me.
There is also the option to buy live plants online too, if you check out Geomancers thread on his 125g set up, from scratch http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...-begins-99203/
he mentions buying all his plants online, and also gives a detailed description of which plants he has purchased etc.
Its worth looking into, they look great and its fun to plant and add new interesting specimens... I like it just as much as the fish! and once you reach your fishy limit, you can still remain interested by tinkering and adding plants etc..
What kind of algae eater? Very few fish actually eat algae as a diet, and then only specific kinds. If those are Chinese Algae Eaters you'll be in for a (unpleasent) suprise.
Looks like you are stocking for hard water fish? Make sure any more fish you get fit into that catagory.
Jack Dempsey is not a soft water fish, they need medium hardness, and basic water.
The CAE are nothing but trouble as they get older.
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