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I was wondering what l can put in my 2 1/2 foot tank besides a mixture of cicihlds ........what else will live in peace with them ...ie: catfish , tetras (cardinals, neons )..would love a huge school of tetras...........,Can rasboras live with cichilds ???..............Any advice would be great thanks guys l know l sound like a noob..........been along time since l've had cichilds.....thanks

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you would have to thimk about what area of the tank the cichlids use ie...they live on the bottom so i wouldnt be putting too many if any catfish in as they occupy the bottom also......so you need middle dwellers and top dwellers.

Neons like the middle to top so they would be ok as well as any of the other tetras....barbs are good middle fish and add colour and activity to a tank.

The rainbow fish are good for the same reason and are active also.

Look up community fish on google , theres some good advice there too.

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I've got a great mix of community fish going atm, but not sure if they are compatible with cicihlds ?

They include neons, cardinals, lemon and rosy barbs, guppys, bumblebee gobys, red eyed tetras and bristlenoses ( most of them are bottom/middle dwellers tho)

Be very wary of tiger barbs ( I learnt the hard way with them in my other tank) :P

Edited by Jules
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It's all about the water conditions. Cichlids live in african water which is hard and the ph very high. It is not suitable for community fish. Also they are agressive and teritorial as well. Yellow cichlids are more peaceful than most but still not suitable for a community tank. Lisa make sure you do lots and lots of reading before spending on your cichlids. Some lps really don't know what they are taking about and will sell you fish anyway and tell you it is ok to keep them in community conditions, if they die you will go back and buy more. I go to the Cooper st aquarium in Cranbourne and I have to say he doesn't know much about bettas but he really knows his cichlids. He has a beautiful display tank of them and a huge range for sale. Well worth the drive. With his advice I have never lost one cichlid nor have any of them been sick. :P

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thanks guys ......Ipia l've been doing some reading ..online but l thought l'd ask on here as well and thanks for the aquarium name ....l'm only in Boronia so it isnt that far away and besides with eastlink now and monash as well ...wont take me long ..lol what used tobe a 1 hr drive for me to work in Mentone is now only a 30 min drive because of eastlink....Brillant !!! ...l'll definately go and look and speak to him thanks so much..l'm definately going to get electric yellows and l was hoping for peacocks as well but l've been reading that they are really aggressive ..so l dont know.............l would like a relatively peaceful cichild tank despite the aggresivnessl know they are cichilds but you know what l mean not really overly aggressive...and l want stunning color .......my boss is over seas at the moment doing his missionary work so l've got 2 wks free l'll definately go to cranbourne and speak to this man u mentioned thanks again.

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Not all cichlids live in Africa in hard alkaline water.

There are many peaceful South American cichlids.....particular dwarf varieties( these are the only varieties I'd put in a 2.5 ft community tank)

Apistogramma....(lots of different varieties)

Mikrogeophagus ramirezi....aka rams

Crenicara

Nanacara

These cichlids live with tetras, corys in the wild so they work well in a community tank together

Rasboras, danios, rainbows.....will all live happily with these dwarf cichlids

I'd only keep one pair of dwarf cichlids in that size tank....give them the right conditions and they may spawn and raise their babies in a community tank!

I agree with lpiasente.....dont buy any African cichlids to keep with the fish you mentioned (other than West Africans....Kribs)

Edited by Rod
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I've got a pair of rams already and they've spawned a few times now babies /fry havent survvied.l actually saw wrigglers one time......l didnt mean l was going to put tetras and so on with the africans l was merely given an example as l wasnt sure what could go with them ...l really want africans not americans............. l've had those before many yrs ago .....l want color and l really want something different to what l've had before .....l really really want Discus but l cant afford to buy them ...so l'm compromising on the discus.........l've got 4 tanks going at the moment a

15 litre with 4 lemon cichilds (Leliupi) in it

25 litre with lucky my delta tail male betta and 2 panda cories, 2 bronze cories and a orange bristlenose in it

and a 48 litre all in one with 6 female bettas about 6 harlequins, pepper cory , clown loach and 2 bristlenose

then there is my 2 1/2 foot tank which is the one l want for the africans .........its currently got my 2 rams in it , 3 lyretail guppies and 2 platies to cycle my tank...

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Think l'll do that as well mike .....got both sides of both stories .and go from there ......then l'll need to buy plants and l've got an under gravel filter in my tank .........but l could try the dinosaur dung and dino pee in the gravel ...and see if that helps the plants to grow that way l could have my school of tetras ...Can l keep my pair of rams in the same tank as the discus???.....if l can then could l put apistos in as well or should l jsut stick tot he rams in with them and a decent sized school of tetras?????

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Stick to the rams and tetras. Ditch the under gravel. Replace with a $20 internal power filter. Spend the rest of your money on lots and lots and lots of plants. If you have it absolutely full of plants, the plants will do most of the filtration for you and the power filter is just to move the water around. I saw a 3 foot tank recently that was heavily planted, had an internal power filter and rather more fish than I would have expected you could keep in that size tank. It hadn't had a water change in 15 months! And it was only a partial water change at that. The fish and plants were healthy as anything.

One way of getting cheap plants in Melbourne is to attend the EDAS plant study group meetings. Members always bring plant trimmings in. You just attend a few meetings and you've got enough plants for your tank plus extras to swap for other plants.

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I dont think my husband is going tobe happy about me ditching the under gravel ........its a money thing .......he wont be happy at all ..is there not any plants l can put in with an under gravel filter......????? he wont be worried about me buying a $20 internal filter ...but he wont be happy about me ditching something l've only had for 3 days.....I just had a look on oakleighs website and his got "Super Red 5cm-18cm" at the moment .sigh!! why does this hobby have to be so expensive....

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Okay in that case you can stick to stem plants like hygro, wisteria, rotala, pennywort, ludwigia and bacopa would be okay I think. Also java fern and anubias anchored to something. And for a foreground plant you could grow java moss tied to river pebbles. If you have decent lighting and you keep trimming them you'll get a nice mossy lawn effect.

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Thanks so much for your help Michael ..l'll still buy the $20 internal filter.......but keep my UGF.......one thing l was wondering and this might sound stupid.but the UGF plates have slots in them wouldnt the roots of the plants go down through those slots in search of food and to anchor themselves in the black granite sand????......l'll write down the names of those plants and take it with me when l go shopping...As regards to lighting l've got a T5 light and it's bloody bright roflolmao..we are finding now we only need 1 table lamp on in the living rooom at night because the T5 throws out so much light ...hahahaha

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In regards to the UG filter........think about how much its going to cost to set up a fully planted tank and then think about having to pull down your tank and uproot evry thing each time your UG needs unclogging , cleaning etc.....

It just isnt practical to have one in a planted tank and your plants will appreciate not being disturbed .

Fishkeeping is trial and error at first and we have all bought things just to chuck them aside , yes it is a waste of money but you get over it lol.

Bazzis suggestion of an internal filter is the ideal solution. Easy to clean , plenty of water movement and no major disruptions to the tank when cleaning.

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I dont have the money to throw away like that jusdeb...my husband will hit the roof...it took alot of work to talk him into setting up the 2 ft tank in the first place..........it was a surprise that he took me shopping on saturday(its not that his mean so please dont think that ...weve been doing IVF for 15 yrs ,,its time to get on with life and buy a house....thats why l cant waste the money ) ....l'm going to go to the 2 places that Ipiasente and Bettarazzi suggested and have a talk to both of them......l might take one side out then l could plant one side............we will see what happens ......

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But is it the correct kind of light that will promote plant growth? Although PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) is one of the most important consideration when choosing a tube, information about a tube's Kelvin rating is usually easier to find. In very broad, general, fingers crossed terms, a Kelvin rating of 6400K - 6700K corresponds to the optimum PAR. This is why most planted tank people look for that rating for their tubes.

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LOL I was so slow writing my response that 2 posts appeared in the meantime. Removing one of the gravel plates could be a good option. I've actually succeeded in growing plants using an under gravel. Not deeply rooted plants but most of the plants I already mentioned. However what I did was to have a really deep substrate and I only ever gravel vacuumed open areas. I didn't disturb planted areas. Mostly I was just cleaning the gravel in the front part of the tank. The gravel was probably really dirty and clogged but it didn't seem to do the plants or fish any harm. It's worth a try. You won't be able to get a stunning heavily planted result but it should be satisfactory for the moment. If you're short of money I wouldn't bother getting the power filter. Spend that money on more plants.

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Just to throw something else into the mix :lol:

Plants at the back of the tank could be kept in pots. You could get quite creative in terms of what you use for pots and in disguising them (provided everything is fish safe of course). Haven't done it myself. Maybe someone else has? :lol: It might be fun in the flexibility it gives you to rearrange your layout at a whim.

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That's a good idea having half andhalf. Like Michael said wh a ugf you can still have plants growing from driftwood and rock. I have wisteria floating. Fighter girls love it. If you decide on cichlids then you don't need plants anyway as all they do is dig em up and if you have the higher ph of an african tank not a lot of plants will survive it. I have an underground filter in my cichlid tank and val grows very very very well. I am in the process of cycling an internal filter so I can take the underground out. Just a personal choice. Is a 2ft big enough for discus? They do grow very big.

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ok l went to Cranbourne Aquarium today and Amazing Amazon in Waverely.....Ipia the guy at Cranbourne is a really nice guy he asked me if l was married when l said " yes happily for 17 yrs " he said "Darn " rolfolmao and then said " l'll put that down in the book your the first one this year who has said that" lol his a charcther.

Anyhow l had a long talk to him and he said no africans for my tank .......but he said a few small discus would be ok ............but too make sure they are locally bred and not imported, because imported disucs are used to a ph of 5 to 6 wheres our water has a ph of 7.......and to not pay anymore than about $40 each for discus.

Also regards to UFG's he said there is no reason why l cant have a planted tank with UFG in the tank.....his huge discus tank had 6 or 7 UFG in it and it was planted out. So for now l'm looking at creating this tank with the plants making sure its really cycled...l'm going to keep my single pair of rams in there ..l will also get some tetras like cardinals /neons.its amazing how this T5 light is making the ones in there positvely glow...l wouldnt mind some more harlequins l love those ...and l'm considering some rainbows ....l might think about the discus a few weeks down the track.

I took 2 pics of my tank tonight after putting in a few plants, please tell me what you think ..thanks everyone for all your advice and help...

Tankwithplants.jpg

Tankwithplants2.jpg

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Have you untied the bunches of stem plants? Ideally you would plant each stem individually. But it's ok to plant 2 or 3 stems together. Just looks like some of them are whole bunches. Is there a look that you're aiming for? What kind of scene are you trying to create?

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I have a grow out tank that has several plants growing in terracotta pots and gravel and they are doing really well....It started out as a place to put excess plants but they have gone off without ferts. or special gravel...

None of us have the money to waste on fish keeping gear but sometimes we buy things we dont have any need for..its part of the whole fish keeping hobby.

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l just put them in like that because it was nearly 5pm when l got home and hubby was about to walk inthe door l had to make dinner as we were going out by 6.45pm .....l'll have a play tomorrow

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