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would love to give this a go but how much maintenance would there be ie do u have to clean the gravel often

would love to do it in my 4ft as i have never done a planted tank ever.

you were sugesting some crypts and swords i think [MENTION=6158]beencees[/MENTION]

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Yeah, not your average cichlid tank that one hey? Very nice.

Of course it all depends what fish exactly you plan to have but Java and Anubias are always a safe bet and Swords are pretty robust of course. The best thing to do is have more plants rather than just a few so they don't jump out at the fish as something odd so much and also if it's a new set up then having them in the tank before the fish are introduced is the way to go.

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Was going to have it with my e.yellows and maybe some other smaller African juvies I have got the yellows in a yellow separate tank just have to wait to sell my peacock colony and then I can start doing the plants. So what sort of gravel or soil do they grow in that is easy to maintain and was thinking some val as well

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Iv tried something like this a few years ago. Didn't work for me at all, not say it won't for you.

In my experience electric yellows will munch on any plant you add in there. Mbunas love to graze.

good luck!

And if you get it going please share I'm interested.

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In have got them in a tank with one plant on some driftwood and they have never touched it so hoping they won't eat but I will give it ago and put photos up I think its Anubis that in with them ATM

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I have the java and anubias in my tank with yellows and they pick every now and then.i didn't plant in gravel I got it to grow onto my lava rock

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Yup, Java and Anubias don't want to be buried in substrate as they will rot so better to attach them to DW or rockwork which gives a great look to the tank anyhow. This leaves it pretty open on the substrate side of things, even inert gravel will do the job or if you wanted you could do a partial DIY and then gravel on top which would have the Swords growing like mad. So many people who have got Swords from me have been shocked by how fast they produce new growth.

You could always plant out some Lilaeopsis with some crypt and see how it goes for ground cover. If enough of it's in there and not just a bit here and there i would suspect it would do pretty well.

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Yup, Java and Anubias don't want to be buried in substrate as they will rot so better to attach them to DW or rockwork which gives a great look to the tank anyhow. This leaves it pretty open on the substrate side of things, even inert gravel will do the job or if you wanted you could do a partial DIY and then gravel on top which would have the Swords growing like mad. So many people who have got Swords from me have been shocked by how fast they produce new growth.

You could always plant out some Lilaeopsis with some crypt and see how it goes for ground cover. If enough of it's in there and not just a bit here and there i would suspect it would do pretty well.

Always the best advice from beencees, lots of real experience and most of all a top guy with a genuine outlook

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I had some giant val that used to outgrow the eating rate and even a couple of large silver dollars couldn't slow it down. It kept the water crystal clear and only died with a dodgy water change(way too much chlorine), what a disaster that was. Unfortunately trying to get healthy giant val seems impossible these days.

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In the Wild, not many plants occur in the Rift Lakes, well at least not in the areas where the "typical" malawians live. Just my opinion, but why not go for a natural rift lake look? large rocks arranged tastefully, and then have a nano planted cube with shrimps and tetras? (or even a big planted tank?)

The idea of having an Aquarium is to observe nature. If you think about it, the majority of tanks that you see photos of and go "Wow", are biotope tanks or similar.

Also, PERSONALLY, i think the idea of having Malawians is for their vibrant colour and activity, why drown it out with a huge planted display?

I've tried this in the past, not with malawians, but i wanted a planted display aswell as a cichlid tank, and in trying to do both in the one tank, in my experience, its very hard to do either properly.

Edited by Cooder

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Will those plants in a cichlid tank need co2 pumped in or less air being pumped in from bubbler or neither. Haven't kept plants that much but like the idea

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All i used to have was the spray bar rippling the surface and a small powerhead with the bubbles on a low rate, it was a almost overstocked tank and slurped up the nitrates nicely. I did have to put in some plant food drops to keep them nice and green and eventually got some little clay plant food pellets that you push into the root ball but other than that they where powering and all my levels where perfect. They used to grow at about 100mm a day with a single fluro tube on for about 10 hours a day, in a bright spot you wouldn't even need fluros at all. The fish would graze all day and only need a small feed at night, if i put more food in it wouldn't get touched. They can even handle low light and are very low maintenence, pull them out at gravel vac time and put them back in again. You even have to give them a haircut every few days they grow so fast. One thing i did notice was the water would go cloudy after a water change but it would clear up after a few hours. The place i used to buy it from went broke and anywhere else it's half dead already, it needs to be almost a florescent medium green with thick wide leaves and no dead yellow sections, i had a clump of about six plants and they lasted for about 2-3 years before the holocaust hit. All the other vals would get hammered but trying to get quality to start with is not easy. Now you got me thinking about it again so i will suss out what's around and maybe try growing some in a barrel or something.

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Will those plants in a cichlid tank need co2 pumped in or less air being pumped in from bubbler or neither. Haven't kept plants that much but like the idea

No CO2 required ;)

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Plenty of areas in rift lakes that have heavy fields of val, its a common nursery area for schools of female mouth brooders to bulk release their fry.

Its also likely why eye biters have that strip down their face........ helps hide them while they slip thru the val hunting fry.

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