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Creating a Central American Cichlid tank - II

by John and George Reclos

The main element in the tank would be a formation made of pieces of bogwood. We had already made a drawing and we knew (more or less) what we were looking after. We visited the petshop and selected the pieces that would give us the result we wanted. The bogwood formation would start high at one end to hide the internal filter and would gradually get lower till the other end of the tank. The formation would also have many openings of different sizes which would help the smaller fish to escape the larger one at any given size. We first re-created the formation as we had visualized it in the petshop (see photo below) on our dining table.

We then took several measurements to make sure that the formation - when reconstructed and glued in the tank - would look exactly as we wanted it to. The results were drawn on a drawing showing the tank dimensions and the position of the filter in a precise scale so we knew how much place would be left for the fish.

The final formation that would fit all parameters is shown here. The formation was photographed and each piece was marked with a number in order to know the sequence we had to follow in order to re-create it in the tank. Since the pieces would be glued together we even needed to know exactly how they were placed in order to have the same joints. Once we had started there would be no way back since the gluing would have to be done step by step. Thus, piece one would be glued on the filter, then we should wait for 3 minutes for the glue to harden, then glue piece number 2 on piece number one etc. The two guys happily sitting behind the wooden masterpiece are the authors of this article. The gluing process was a time consuming job.

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