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Thread: 52gal thoughts

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2015

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    Default 52gal thoughts

    0 Not allowed!
    Hello, I am new to this forum, kinda new to fishkeeping. I was pretty obsessed with the hobby back when I started I think 3 years ago, but then for x reasons I stopped and I havent had an aquarium in about a year and a half. I've missed it, so I have saved up some money to get a decent sized tank going, and I want to do it correctly. I'm European and the hobby isn't as widespread and common in my country so practically everything is going to be a bit more expensive, or I have to order it online, of which I don't have pleasant past experiences (EU regulations make it hella difficult to ship even plants, and even equipment takes a long time to arrive)

    So I have found a 52gal/200L tank from a local online shop here at the decent price of 144 Euros, considering its half the price of what most other local pet stores/ online shops would charge for such a tank. The biggest of my tanks was 16gal in my previous fishkeeping term, so I couldnt keep anything much. This time, since I found the 52gal, I want to get involved with cichlids -always adored them, never could keep them- and I have narrowed my search to African and some specific species which I will mention later on. I also want this to be a planted tank, so I have had to let go of livestock choices that would shred plants. I have a DIY CO2 system I can easily make and it has worked for me in the past, so I would rather save on that with the DIY and spend my budget on other stuff, like lighting. I also have a JBL CristalProfi e700 filter with a maximum 800L/H or 211GPH, and I will probably add a second smaller one of the ones I have from the previous tanks to have sufficient circulation for the 52gal. I have airstones, pumps etc, probably will need a new heater though. Lighting is not a problem and probably will invest quite a bit in it since I want to heavy plant the tank.

    My local tap water parameters are:
    7.8 pH
    0 ammonia
    0 nitrite
    0-2 nitrate
    Haven't got a KH/GH test kit so will probably tend to the lfs soon enough for that one, although I had tested it in the past and I think my water is pretty hard.

    The above pH and KH/GH parameters steered me towards the Africans and the ones I have come down to are Astatotilapia Latifasciata, Neolamprologus Cylindricus, Neolamprologus Brichardi, Neolamprologus Leleupi and maybe Pundamilia Nyererei. Just to clear things up I don't mean all of them at the same time, I mean one or maybe two of these species if I can breed them in a tank where they coexist. They are all I think pretty easy to breed and I want to do that at some point in the future (so I need a breedable setup). I also liked Shellies Cichlids but they're too small to fill the tank by themselves and only inhabit the bottom layer, plus they get picked on by mid and top dwellers if I were to make them coexist with others so I ruled them out. I am looking towards a sand substrate (only the upper layer of course since it's gonna be a planted) and I think it would be OK with all those fish, correct me if I'm wrong. Some Malaysian Trumpet Snails to stir up the substrate would be a good idea I think, plus some Nerites/Ramshorns to take care of some algae and to add to the tank image. I want to add a bottom dweller, but I don't know any that would fit the setup, since most plecos like acidic water, I dont want to get involved with ottos and stuff so I haven't even researched them.

    So the tank is planned as follows:

    7.8 pH, Hard water
    Sand substrate+other layers beneath for the plants
    Some driftwood (really prefer it to rocks but might do a joint aquascape)
    JBL CristalProfi e700 +another smaller filter
    Medium-High lighting
    DIY CO2 system
    Astatotilapia latfasciata/Pundamilia nyererei/Neolamprologus cylindricus/Neolamprologus leleupi/Neolamprologus brichardi (with the number that can fit in my tank)
    A bottom dweller? (I was thinking of Hillstream Loaches if they fit this setup, otherwise if there are no good options I will just omit this)
    10-15 MTS
    3-5 Nerites/Ramshorn Snails
    Anubias, DB Tears, Swords etc. (haven't really thought about the plants yet)

    Please share any thoughts, comments or mistakes that you have noticed in this setup, also any advice regarding the bottom dweller, pros/cons of the main piece species proposed, and anything that might help me narrow down my choices and decide on the final setup.

    Note: I'm a plant noob so would prefer easy, hardy and forgiving plants although I'd spend the time to care for high demanding ones if they're worth it.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2015

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    0 Not allowed!
    Forgot to mention Red Zebras and Cobalt Blue Zebras as choices

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