In the battlefield
I had problems to design this tank, because I wanted to create a special "playground" for South American Cichlids without using plants. Cichlids from the depth -like Cichlasoma- and plants, as every chichlid-lover knows, aren't very compatible, because these amazing and smart fish really enjoy to dig huge holes all over the ground ( that's why I called this tank "In the battlefield"! ). The problem was: how to create something peculiar working only with rocks and woods? I started drawing few sketches and the first thing I decided was to create a cave on the left side. I started building it with mangrove wood and big lava blocks, because I wanted the water to be amber colored. I have hidden some lairs (made from a couple of broken flowerpots) under brown-red rocks and I watched the fish behavior to understand if they were feeling home. They liked it very much, but there was a problem: with the dark brown color of the wood, the yellow color of the water, the rust-color of the stones, the tank was totally dull, lifeless. I needed a center of attention but what? Luky me, in these days I was waiting for one of my retailers specialized in resin items, and I found what I was looking for: white ruts reproduction, very nice to watch and very comfortable for my fish!
Tank : cm. 125 X 80 X 55
Temperature : 25° C.
Lights : 1 HQI suspended lamp 150 watt
Mechanical parts: 3 heaters 300 Watt, 3 pumps 1000 lt/h, 1 biological filter (50 lt.)
Plants: Cabomba caroliniana (not planted but born by chance right down the surface)
Animals : 1 couple of Cichlasoma meeki, 1 couple of Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum, 1 couple of Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum var. white, 1 couple of Peckoltia tiger, 1 couple of Peckoltia pulcher
Chemistry : KH= 3, pH= 7.0, GH= 6, NO2= 0, NO3= 0-10.0
Water change: every 3 weeks, 1/3 of the total.
Notes: This is a great tank because there's always a nice chaos inside, thanks to these very nervous and aggresive fish! It is really a battlefield, everyday there are fights to conquer the lairs... Cichlids are very funny creatures !