Hobbyist Gallery - Dr Hector Cordero
Dr. Hector E. Cordero from Mexico City, Mexico.
My aquarium is a 120 gal (450 lt ;150cm X 60cm X 50 cm) tank with filtration taken care by a fluval 404, 2 power heads for water movement, heating is performed by 2 heaters 200 W each, lighting consists of 3 fluorescent tubes; 1 coral blue Azoo 40W, 1 tri-power Azoo 40W and 1 superlight Azoo 40W with timers to turn them on in steps to simulate the dawn and the sunset. Volcanic rocks are the main element of the decoration while crushed coral and shells are used as a pH buffering system and – of course – as a substrate. A 15% partial water change is performed weekly during which I also add rift lake salts by Kent. Feeding consists of spirulina flakes, Wardley flakes and cichlid pellets, which are fed twice daily. Every week I run a test for Nitrates, Nitrites, pH, KH and GH wich which normally are as follows :
pH = 8.0, KH = 8, GH = 3, NO3 <5mg/L, NH3 <0.3 mg/dl and NO2 0 mg/l.
The list of species that inhabit this tank is as follows :
5 maylandia estherae O
2 maylandia estherae OB
7 pseudotropheus lombardoi
3 melanochromis johanii
5 melanochromis aureatus
3 pseudotropheus elongatus
1 cynotilapia afra
5 labidocrhomis caeruleus
2 pseudotropheus socolofi
5 Pseudotropheus crabro
5 Pseudotropheus sp albino
Although the coral doesn't appeal to me, and the amount of cichlids seems to be a bit on the high side, especially when you consider their final sizes, my overall impression is that this tank is good! The wild rocky structure strikes me the most with good colour contrasts and a wealth of hiding spaces. A good thing is that the technical equipment is hidden very well, so all attention goes to the cichlids. I would like to suggest to remove the Aulonocara though, as it can't stand up against such a crowd of Mbuna. The plants don't really belong to a lake Malawi biotope, but because of their subdued positioning they add some frivolity to the aquarium, thus their presence is more than justified... nice setup!
As I already said at the beginning, I do like this tank. It seems he has managed to keep a very large number of (compatible) cichlids in a relatively small tank in a very good way. The tank seems to be correctly stocked and if you had never seen the list (and number) of species in it you would suggest to add some more fish. I don't know if the fish are adults - this could be a weak point for this tank. The water parameters prove that the filtration is efficient although (especially if the fish are not adults) he will probably have to increase the percentage of changed water weekly. The plants don't really bother me since he is within the acceptable limits and the result is pleasant in the eye. About the crushed coral I do have my objections but
Overall rating by MCH : 72/100