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 African Cichlids and Planted Tanks?

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JohnnyAMH
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PostSubject: African Cichlids and Planted Tanks?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:10 pm

I’m an Angelfish enthusiast but I enjoy observing all fish. African Cichlids have some of the most vivid colors in freshwater aquaria. Whenever I see an African Cichlid Display tank or view pictures posted here, they grab my attention.  I don’t recall seeing any in planted tanks. Can African Cichlids be housed in planted tanks? If so, how come I rarely see one? I would appreciate any information regarding African Cichlids and Planted Tanks. Thanks in advance… Question

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gerald
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PostSubject: Re: African Cichlids and Planted Tanks?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:01 pm

Certain species of Africans are mainly herbivores and chew up plants, but if you feed them plenty of veggies (peas, sweet potato, zucchini, etc) to satisfy their needs, they can coexist with hard-water plants. Also, many cichlids dig, but you can put plants in buried pots with a couple flat rocks on top. Many Tanganyikan cichlids dont damage plants at all: Julidochromis, Lamprologus, Telmatochromis, Cyprichromis, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: African Cichlids and Planted Tanks?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:20 pm

I keep my Kribensis in a moderately planted tank with no problems. I second that potted plants can work with smaller cichlids, with strong plants like Vallisneria, Anubias, and Crinums.
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PostSubject: Re: African Cichlids and Planted Tanks?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:57 pm

Mbuna probably limit your plants to java fern and maybe Anubias. With peacocks and haps you may have luck with some of the tougher rooted plants like vals.
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PostSubject: Re: African Cichlids and Planted Tanks?   Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:30 am

The simple answer......a lot of different cichlids make a habit of doing some serious digging and rearranging of substrate, which digs up many plants, and they also do a great deal of nibbling on plants. That is the main reason you dont see cichlids in planted tanks.

That being said, these fine fellows have plenty of examples where plants can work fine in a cichlid tank, but you have to choose your setup carefully. The type of cichlid, type of plant, and planting method must all be evaluated or its going to be a messy salad bar.

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PostSubject: Re: African Cichlids and Planted Tanks?   Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:03 pm

Kribensis would work in a planted tank, like some SA "dwarf" cichlids do, since they come from a riverine area with softer, more acidic water than the lake species. They're cave spawners, so they don't spend a lot of time digging around.

I've kept peacocks with Anubias, java fern and java moss, and Tanganyikans with the same as well as valisneria and onion plants, but I don't think you can have a "traditional" planted tank with the Malawi and Victorian species. Even the wee shellies will rearrange the substrate to bury their shells that there would be no hope of any rooted plant varieties.

However, I have kept A. calvus in a tank heavily planted with Crypts and floating hornwort.


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PostSubject: Re: African Cichlids and Planted Tanks?   Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:06 pm

Thanks folk for sharing. I can't keep all the fish I enjoy viewing and learning about but here I can get information from everybody's first hand experiences. I think that is pretty neat... Cool

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Angelfish Show Tank
(Angelfish, Guppies, Neons and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Growout Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Growout Tank
10 gal. Planted Bristled Nose Plecos and Guppy Show Tank
(Guppies, Bristled Nose Plecos and kuhli Loaches)
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