Best plants for African cichlid tank (hard/alkaline)
In wanting to add some live plants to my 100gal African tank. Wondering if anyone has had success with any plants in the high ph hard water conditions? Assuming the plants wont be eaten, what should I go for? I won't be doing anything special like CO2 but could add fertilizers. From what I've read it seems like maybe Anubias and java? Any advice would be appreciated!
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If you were to feed a pellet food such as New life Spectrum which has plenty of vegetable,fruit content,on regular(daily) basis, then you might be able to plant larger Sword plant's, or Vallesneria which likes hard alkaline water.
Problem is getting the African's to leave the plant's alone when they are young(the plant's) so that they can get established.(the food mentioned will help here)
Could purchase Mother plant's (Aquariumplants.com) such as Swords and Crypt's and these may stand a better chance than young plant's.
I have also grown plant's in pot's for tank's holding larger South American cichlid's with some success.
These are easy to move for gravel vaccuming and more difficult for fish to uproot.
Hope some of this helps.
There are very few plants which work successfully in an African tank, the fish get curious and will nip at them or as 99.9% of them are diggers will uproot them at some point.
1077 gives you some good suggestions, however I would stay away from the Crypts, tried it in my tank once and the fish ripped it to shreds.
Another possibility is are you planning a sump system at all for the tank? Almost any plant can be placed into a sump, and with a small grow light can be successful. Not only is it out the nibbling mouths of the fish but it can provide cover, should you decide to use one of the chambers as a fry grow area until they are large enough to go into the main display tank.
Your tank is large enough that I would very seriously look at making a sump, there are many videos on youtube about creating a cheap wet/dry filter, pm me if you want the links to good ones.
Vallisneria grows naturally in the rift lakes, so this is ideal. They grow in thick stands near the shore in the sand. This is a very fast growing plant, so it might survive the habits of the fish. Corkscrew Vallisneria likely the best.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm thinking of doing some trials with small plants before going out and buying some decent sized ones, they're quite expensive around here!!
Tazman, for this tank I won't be doing a sump, it has a wet/dry trickle filter which works brilliantly. I'm thinking of getting another large tank in the near future, about 125gal which I think a sump would be best. Plus I wanted the plants to be on display also. I'd never thought of using it to grow out fry that's really handy
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