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Old 08-17-2012, 01:42 AM   #41 
Blackfeet
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Ok why can't you use the 200w heater. On the gravel there might be a way to cut your costs. It depends largely on your area, if you go to a local cement and/or gravel mines where they supply with aragonite gravel it would drastically cut your costs. I think pulverized brick or lime stone would work too but I need the guys here to confirm that. Lights- I have been seeing people posting decor and lights for all sorts of tank sizes on Craigslist lately. Decor you can use locally foraged rocks and use aquarium silicone and/or epoxy to hold them together just make sure you sanitize them. Lastly regardless if you were planning on it you can use flat black paint on the back instead of buying a background. It is easy to remove with a razor blade if you change your mind too. With the 10 gallon filer it would be be a good idea to use it too just use a sponge cut to size instead of filter media and it will act as a wonderfully easy to clean bio filter or a sponge filter run by air stone works great too. With these 2 filters you don't need the under gravel filter, besides an under gravel filter without a power head isn't doing as much as you would like to think. I tested it on my old 20g tank back in 1997 with blue food dye to see where the suction was, it was drastically reduced (as in might as well not have been here at all) just 6 inches away from the suction. Now without the gravel you can get play sand from home depot much cheaper
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:47 AM   #42 
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I forgot something. You can sometimes find fish cheaper on aquabids.com just pay attention to the shipping costs?
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:58 AM   #43 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackfeet View Post
Ok why can't you use the 200w heater. On the gravel there might be a way to cut your costs. It depends largely on your area, if you go to a local cement and/or gravel mines where they supply with aragonite gravel it would drastically cut your costs. I think pulverized brick or lime stone would work too but I need the guys here to confirm that. Lights- I have been seeing people posting decor and lights for all sorts of tank sizes on Craigslist lately. Decor you can use locally foraged rocks and use aquarium silicone and/or epoxy to hold them together just make sure you sanitize them. Lastly regardless if you were planning on it you can use flat black paint on the back instead of buying a background. It is easy to remove with a razor blade if you change your mind too. With the 10 gallon filer it would be be a good idea to use it too just use a sponge cut to size instead of filter media and it will act as a wonderfully easy to clean bio filter or a sponge filter run by air stone works great too. With these 2 filters you don't need the under gravel filter, besides an under gravel filter without a power head isn't doing as much as you would like to think. I tested it on my old 20g tank back in 1997 with blue food dye to see where the suction was, it was drastically reduced (as in might as well not have been here at all) just 6 inches away from the suction. Now without the gravel you can get play sand from home depot much cheaper
I can't use the 200W because its a glass tube heater and they have been know to knock it against the tank and crack it. According to the bf (he's working on being a civil engineer) there are two plants that have that but they don't sell it. He said we can go ask the one thats more lenient abut things and see what we can find. Now I have the lights, they work and are fine its just the cover part that was complete crap. I was thinking of going oldschool and getting some glass pieces cut to fit. I think I have enough decor, I might get more plants but that would be it. I have a bunch of aquarium stuff gathered from over the years and with the things I was given with the tank I have; two really big fake tree roots, a sandstone cave, a "broken" vase from petco, and a bag of plastic plants (I plan on siliconing some to the decorations themselves). I'll probably need some more plants but I plan on checking thrift stores first, a lot of times I've seen plastic aquarium plants in there. As for background I have an old black sheet I use. With my 20 gal going into storage it wont be needing it. I will get the under tank filter out seeing how its pointless and get the 10gal filter out and cleaned. And I have no problem with playsand in my tanks. I rather like the look.

As for fish I have looked at aquabid and If I can find one guy to buy them from I can really cut down on shipping costs. Now I have a local fish store that will specifically order the fish I want, she told me the place she orders from has a very large selection of cichlids and she would be more than willing to special order them. Now I don't know the total cost of this, but I'm thinking if I do a mix of ordering the ones I can't get at a pet shop from aquabid or her, and then getting a few of the other guys from petco/petsmart the day they arrive. So they all go in at once.
I really do like the look of the peacock guys but I'm assuming their going to be a bit more expensive. If I do get some of those what else could I put in there? Would the Jeweled cichlids and or the Yellow Lab guys be alright with them? or maybe the Demasoni? I have a chart in front of me and I'm trying to pick ones that aren't too aggressive, although the Demasoni can't be with other striped guys. Sorry I didn't put the scientific names, I can if you need me too.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:11 AM   #44 
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Use the 200w heater by putting it in a pvc pipe and drill holes in the pipe.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:13 AM   #45 
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That would work! All I'd need in some silicone and suction cups after :D

I also have a very large conch shell I'm not opposed to put in there. I think my mom had it in her tank some 20 odd years ago. I'd have to boil it but thats no big deal.

Last edited by lvandert; 08-17-2012 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:24 PM   #46 
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Ok so here's an update. I took the under gravel filters out and dug out my old 10 gallon filter. It turns out I even still have a few new cartridges. I bought a new Micron filter for the big filter and a bag of play sand (I grabbed the smallest bag they had, it turned out to be 50 lbs). I have a pvc pipe that will fit on the heater I just have yet to cut it and drill holes. I have all of the plants in there (unless you think I'll need more) and aside from one dragon statue my bf has decided to buy for me (when we find the right one) it's ready. I'm hoping maybe by the end of next week I will have it filled and running. After a few days of running I'm going to get a feeder fish or two and do a fish in cycle for a month before getting the big, mean fishies. Here's a picture of the tank, does it look alright? Do I need more plants or caves? With the money I saved I can order one of those plastic caves that hang on the side of the tank for more hiding holes.
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/431394_4393585875725_1978730160_n.jpg
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:49 PM   #47 
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I have had cichlids tanks for 15 years and have not ONCE had a fish break the heater in the tank.

Lake Malawi contains very little plants and as such to allow the cichlids a natural environment, rocks, rocks and more rocks is the main tank decor. You need more hiding places in that tank, rocks and lots of them. Having only a few places for fish to chill will allow the dominant fish to chase anything from those places. He/she will claim them for themselves.

Demansoni are extremely aggressive and would not be a good idea with the yellow labs or peacocks.

Lake Malawi Mbuna (yellow labs, demansoni) cannot be mixed with the peacocks. Peacocks are calm and mbuna are not. Only male peacocks will develop color so bare this in mind, females will stay a boring brown color. Ideally you want a group of 1 male to several females. As I mentioned in my post above, this is to spread aggression from the male, likewise males will fight with other males so this also needs to be taken into consideration.

If you are looking at a cheap hood, although cichlids are not really jumpers, then look at light diffuser panel (egg crate). You can a sheet from almost any hardware store and will set you back about $10 but will give enough to cover the tank.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:49 PM   #48 
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Alright. I found a cichlid forum, just like this but specifically for cichlids and they've been helping me all day getting things ready. I'll see if I cant get a nice group of lava rocks to stack and pile along with those wall caves. I've narrowed it down to pearl and caeruleus labs and Saulosi (going to try to find one where the female isn't yellow but we'll figure it out if not). They have a guidelines for a 55 gallon tank that I'm using.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:56 AM   #49 
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Well, I recently purchased some plants from Aquatic Magic. I will be letting you know when they arrive and in what condition they are in.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:23 PM   #50 
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Who all is still subscribed?
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