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Flying in

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Mr Cichlid, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. Mr Cichlid

    Mr Cichlid Guest

    I've gone flying in (as usual), my 200 litre tank is quite heavily plated with Java fern (I use a phosphate buffer to lower the pH and it's the only plant that it won't rot - if anyone has other plants than can withstand this buffer, please let me know!).... plenty of bogwood and a sand substrate. Internal filter and stock as follows:

    1 x gold nugget plec
    4 x synodontis nigrevtris
    5 x x-ray tetras
    3 x rosy barb
    3 x neon tetra
    4 x cardinal tetra
    5 x corydoras
    1 x Apistogramma agassizi (male)
    1 x pair Cuckoo's (A. Macmaster?)
    1 x pair Keyhole cichlids.

    I have had absolutley no luck with Rams - or Gold Rams they have never lasted more than a month although they are my all time favourite dwarfs I have resigned to the fact I will never be able to keep them. The Agassizi killed the two females I had in with him but he looks quite happy now, and the latest additions seemed to have brought him out of his shell a little.

    My questions are:

    1) Can my tank hold more - there seems to be plenty of room in there
    2) Any tips on plants that will stand up to a phosphate buffer?
    3) Rams - any tips gratefully received.

    Apart from that, having kept fish for a number of years, the dwarf cichlids, and South American in particular are the most enjoyable I have kept so far. In terms of behaviour, and colour they are hard to beat I reckon.
  2. dunc

    dunc New Member 5 Year Member

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    Rams are very sensitive to water conditions, they don't like nitrate build ups at all - regular water maintenance is absolutely essential. They don't like being hassled, either.

    Cuckoo/Cockatoo cichlids are Apistogramma cacatuoides (like the one in my sig - though that's a sunset, yours could be a triple red or something).

    Hope that helps a little :)
  3. Mr Cichlid

    Mr Cichlid Guest

    Thanks Dunc

    When I was keeping Rams I was changing the water every 2-3 weeks at about 25 - 30% each change, I had hardly any nitrate or nitrite - usually the readings were nil and my ammonia reading was always 0, but at the time I had a pair of Kribs in the tank who were breeding regularly. Would these have bullied my Rams?

    Can you share your maintenance regeime and set up for successful Rams? I'm in a hard water area and just use a straightforward phospahte buffer to drop the pH to 6.5 - 7.0
  4. dunc

    dunc New Member 5 Year Member

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    I've never kept Rams at home, but I did look after a display tank with them at work (LFS).

    Personally, I think every 2 to 3 weeks is too infrequent for Rams. I would definitely recommend doing a 20% water change every week if you can. 30% a fortnight at the very least.

    Kribs can be absolutely awful when they're breeding, so yea I guess that could definitely have been your problem.

    Just as a matter of personal taste, I prefer filtering with peat/peat granules to using phosphate buffers.

    Hope that helps mate.
  5. Mr Cichlid

    Mr Cichlid Guest

    peat filtering

    Thanks Dunc, do elaborate - obviosuly peat filtering the water first is more natural, but I am hesitant about using peat when we hear so much about the depletion of peat throughout Europe.

    How fiddly is it, and how does it compare cost-wise? Are there any other alternatives, and how do you do these methods? Soak the peat in the water to be added in a change? (My tapwater is very hard!)

    I am using "proper pH" for cost, and ease of use. But it's downsides are only Java fern can stand up to it!

    It was definately the kribs - since I gave them back to the shop the tank is a much more peaceful place. I'd say kribs are definately a species tank fish - with hard catfish only. Mind you they even terrorised my gold nugget plec....... more trouble than their worth! - but beatuiful in their own right.
  6. dunc

    dunc New Member 5 Year Member

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    Lol yer mate they can be awful. They'll be fine in a community until they start breeding, then.. oh dear :)

    The way I peat filter is to ram a small internal filter full of peat granules - specifically JBL's Tormec.

    Works a treat, cost me £15+£8 total for everything I needed. If you have a bigger tank you may need a bigger internal filter but either way they're not expensive these days. Not fiddly in the slightest :) The easiest form of water softening IMO.