Photo #1 - 55 Gallon Lake Malawi Mbuna Set-up. This Is My F...

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55 gallons planted tank (mostly live plants and fish) - UPDATED and GROWN OUT: Final set-up of my 30 gallon Planted Community tank. Tank gets co2 and liquid fertilizer, no special substrate, just play sand and no special lighting. The main fish are my paired Bolivian Rams. Tank has 2 pieces of driftwood, a large piece and a small piece of Mopani wood. There are small river rocks for the Rams to spawn on and all plants are real. Tied to the big driftwood is Java ferns, Java Moss and Christmas Moss. Floating in the top corner is a clump of Hornwort which my Gourami and Dwarf Frogs like to hang out in. I have a Philodendron house vine rooting in the tank next to the filter output. You can see the roots coming down into the tank; it is even growing leaves inside the water now. It has taken me 2 years of fussing and tweaking to get this tank the way I have always wanted. All natural, nothing fake in it.
55 gallons planted tank (mostly live plants and fish) - Final set-up of my 30 gallon Planted Community tank. Tank gets co2 and liquid fertilizer, no special substrate, just play sand and no special lighting. The main fish are my paired Bolivian Rams. Tank has 2 pieces of driftwood, a large piece and a small piece of Mopani wood. There are small river rocks for the Rams to spawn on and all plants are real. Tied to the big driftwood is Java ferns, Java Moss and Christmas Moss. Floating in the top corner is a clump of Hornwort which my Gourami and Dwarf Frogs like to hang out in. I have a Philodendron house vine rooting in the tank next to the filter output. You can see the roots coming down into the tank; it is even growing leaves inside the water now. It has taken me 2 years of fussing and tweaking to get this tank the way I have always wanted. All natural, nothing fake in it.
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Submitted By: sharon on
Photo Caption: 55 Gallon Lake Malawi Mbuna Set-up. This is my favorite tank to watch! Rocks are Lava Rock, and a couple big river rocks underneath for stability. I have black PVC “caves” under all the rocks and two pieces hanging at the back corners as hideouts for females. There are also a couple fake plants for color. Substrate is play sand. I add an African Cichlid buffer with each water change to keep the pH at a steady 8.2. Fish are: Electric Yellow Labs (Labidochromis Caeruleus), Red Zebras (Metriaclima Estherae), Pseudotropheus Yellow Tail Acei, Ice Blue (Metriaclima Greshakei), Labidochromis Hongi, and a Rainbow Shark. African Mbuna will thrive and be happy with the right set-up: a high pH, a lot of rocks and caves and all fish at similar aggression levels. When they are happy they do not hide, they are constantly busy and will spawn all the time.
55 gallons freshwater fish tank (mostly fish and non-living decorations) - 55 Gallon Lake Malawi Mbuna Set-up. This is my favorite tank to watch! Rocks are Lava Rock, and a couple big river rocks underneath for stability. I have black PVC “caves” under all the rocks and two pieces hanging at the back corners as hideouts for females. There are also a couple fake plants for color. Substrate is play sand. I add an African Cichlid buffer with each water change to keep the pH at a steady 8.2. Fish are: Electric Yellow Labs (Labidochromis Caeruleus), Red Zebras (Metriaclima Estherae), Pseudotropheus Yellow Tail Acei, Ice Blue (Metriaclima Greshakei), Labidochromis Hongi, and a Rainbow Shark. African Mbuna will thrive and be happy with the right set-up: a high pH, a lot of rocks and caves and all fish at similar aggression levels. When they are happy they do not hide, they are constantly busy and will spawn all the time.
freshwater fish - labidochromis caeruleus - electric yellow cichlid stocking in 55 gallons tank - Pretty Electric Yellow Labs
55 gallons planted tank (mostly live plants and fish) - UPDATED and GROWN OUT: Final set-up of my 30 gallon Planted Community tank. Tank gets co2 and liquid fertilizer, no special substrate, just play sand and no special lighting. The main fish are my paired Bolivian Rams. Tank has 2 pieces of driftwood, a large piece and a small piece of Mopani wood. There are small river rocks for the Rams to spawn on and all plants are real. Tied to the big driftwood is Java ferns, Java Moss and Christmas Moss. Floating in the top corner is a clump of Hornwort which my Gourami and Dwarf Frogs like to hang out in. I have a Philodendron house vine rooting in the tank next to the filter output. You can see the roots coming down into the tank; it is even growing leaves inside the water now. It has taken me 2 years of fussing and tweaking to get this tank the way I have always wanted. All natural, nothing fake in it.
freshwater fish - microgeophagus altispinosa - bolivian ram stocking in 55 gallons tank - Right corner of tank. The Bolivian Rams spawning on a river rock.
55 gallons freshwater fish tank (mostly fish and non-living decorations) - Busy African Mbuna tank. Fish: Red Zebra, Yellow Labs, Acei, Hongi, Rainbow Shark and a bunch of young fry.
freshwater fish - pseudotropheus acei - acei cichlid stocking in 55 gallons tank - Pseudotropheus Yellow Tail Acei: Male between his females. All now over 6". These fish are always busy, always hanging out together and are so mellow.
freshwater fish - labidochromis caeruleus - electric yellow cichlid stocking in 55 gallons tank - Electric Yellow Lab (Labidochromis caeruleus) Male and one of his females.
freshwater fish - pseudotropheus estherae - red zebra cichlid stocking in 55 gallons tank - Cat vs Fish. Every time my cat lays down next to the tank my Red Zebra male tries to scare her off by charging the glass and posturing at her.
freshwater fish - pseudotropheus estherae - red zebra cichlid stocking in 55 gallons tank - Metriaclima estherae- Red Zebra Male. A Male will have a blue sheen to his fins. He is the dominant male of the Red Zebras and father to all Red Zebra fry.
55 gallons planted tank (mostly live plants and fish) - Final set-up of my 30 gallon Planted Community tank. Tank gets co2 and liquid fertilizer, no special substrate, just play sand and no special lighting. The main fish are my paired Bolivian Rams. Tank has 2 pieces of driftwood, a large piece and a small piece of Mopani wood. There are small river rocks for the Rams to spawn on and all plants are real. Tied to the big driftwood is Java ferns, Java Moss and Christmas Moss. Floating in the top corner is a clump of Hornwort which my Gourami and Dwarf Frogs like to hang out in. I have a Philodendron house vine rooting in the tank next to the filter output. You can see the roots coming down into the tank; it is even growing leaves inside the water now. It has taken me 2 years of fussing and tweaking to get this tank the way I have always wanted. All natural, nothing fake in it.
freshwater fish - microgeophagus altispinosa - bolivian ram stocking in 55 gallons tank - Bolivian Ram Mama with her 4 month old fry.
freshwater fish - microgeophagus altispinosa - bolivian ram stocking in 55 gallons tank - Bolivian Ram male in full courtship colors
freshwater fish - metriaclima greshakei - ice blue red top zebra stocking in 55 gallons tank - Ice Blue-Metriaclima greshakei . Full grown Male at almost 6". He is one ornery fish! He fought my Yellow Lab male and is now the dominant fish in the tank. The Tank Boss. Father to two batches of fry so far.
freshwater fish - microgeophagus altispinosa - bolivian ram stocking in 55 gallons tank - Bolivian Ram fry at 2 months old. Still only about 1/2"

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More Info

State: Colorado
Country: United States
Description: 30 Gallon: Community Tank with Bolivian Rams & assorted tank mates 55 Gallon: Lake Malawi African Mbuna Cichlids. 10 & 20 Gallon: holds fry and holding females
Advice: Read all you can about a type of fish you are thinking about. Do your research first!! Don't just buy on impulse, you may very well regret it. ALWAYS remember, those small fish you bring home will grow up someday, so take that into account. Use adult size when filling a tank, not the size they are right from the store. No, you cannot keep community fish with African cichlids! They may all get along now, but when the cichlids reach maturity they WILL kill off the community fish!
Fish Kept: 30 Community Tank: 2 Bolivian Rams, 2 African Dwarf Frogs, 2 Oto Cats, 4 Cory's, groups of Zebra Danios, Neon Tetras, Rummy Nose Tetras, and a Mystery Snail. 55 Gallon African Mbuna Tank. * 2m/2F Labidochromis caeruleus (Electric Yellow Labs) * 1m/4F Metriaclima estherae (Red Zebra) * 1M/4F Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" * 1M/3F Lab. Permutts * 1M Labidochromis sp. "Hongi" (SRT) **10 & 20 gallon tanks: Assorted fry from Bolivian Rams and African Mbunas.
Corals/Plants: Amazon Swords, Melon Swords, Java Firms and Java Moss. Christmas Moss, Hornwort, Wisteria, Onion plant, and many others I cannot remember the names.
Tank Size: 55 gallons
Quote: **Living in the past is the only prison that will prevent you from soaring into an abundant future**
About Yourself: My son gave me a 20 gallon tank 2 years ago and that grew into a 55 gallon Lake Malawi Mbuna set-up, and a 30 gallon planted community set-up and 2 fry tanks. I really enjoy watching the interactions and parenting behaviors of my fish.

COMMENTS

Hi, i love your tanks. I have a quick question, how do u clean the 55 gallon tank with the sand? I use a siphon but it seems to pick a lot of sand up. just wondering if you have a better way. one more thing my female yellow lab is holding fry, i was thinking of leaving her in tanks and whatever survived well survived no special attention or any thing, or should i take her out of the tank . This is my first time having cichlids i have always had guppies. by the way thanks for all you help. fish avatar

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