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Re: Cichlid tank with plants and an algae problem

Grant asked:

> I recently took some of my extra swords and vals. from my planted tank and
> transferred them to my 48 gallon Malawi cichlid tank because I was running
> out of room in the planted tank.  
> I know from experience that C02 will get rid of these algae in my planted
> tank by lowering the pH.  Should I add co2 injection to the cichlid tank
> too?  Won't this lower my pH from 8.2 to lower dangerous levels for the
> cichlids?  This was just an experiment as far as plants in a cichlid tank so
> I guess I could just pull them out - a shame because the tank looks really
> nice.  The cichlids don't seem to chow down on them or dig them up at all
> either.  I have been leaving the light on too much (love to look at the
> fish), so I will reduce the light to 10 hours a day.  I've also added PMDD
> in the past for the plants - maybe this is the cause of the algae?  What
> about adding SAEs to the tank?
> PH 7.8 (yikes, time for a 1/3 tank change. I'll need to add pH 8.2 buffer in
> too)
> KH 6 (usually up near 10)
> GH 2 (always low, here in Vancouver.  I've even added calcium as per Steve
> Pushak)
> Coral mixed with fine gravel
> Lace rock
> 2 40 watt fluorescent bulbs
> 8 small Malawi cichlids and a pleco
> Anyway, I hope there is someone out there with some experience in this that
> can offer some suggestions.  I've checked past postings, but nothing seems
> to answer my questions (other than people suggesting that cichlids and
> plants don't mix).
Whoever said cichlids and plants don't mix?! It depends on the 
cichlid and the plant. Convicts, Oscars, Jewels, etc. definitely won't 
work w/ plants (for long), but the dwarf SA cichilds and the Africans 
can be put w/ plants. I had the same situation, my planted tanks 
were over-grown and I needed a place for the extras. I started 
tossing them into the African tank (10dH, 18dK, ph 8.2, NO3 
20ppm, PO4 0.5ppm, no CO2). It's mainly bolbitis, java moss and 
ferns, and several types of anubias. The tank only has 0.75w/gal 
vs. my planted tanks @ 3+w/gal. The plants don't grow fast, 
actually just barely, but nothing dies either. Every month or two a 
new leaf will unroll. I think the low w/gal has helped the algae stay 
at bay (knock-on-wood) and there's also a persistant 5" pl*co that 
stays busy. That was a year ago, and now it's jammed full of 
plants. I hardly ever use any PMDD since everything grows so 
slow, and I'd definitely NOT use CO2. Heck, it's hard enough to 
keep the pH over 8. 
So, Grant, I'd cancel the CO2 thoughts, hold off on the PMDD 
(might cause more problems than what it cures - algae), keep the 
nutrient levels down, and put the tank on a timer. About the SAE's, 
my Brichardi's would never allow a new tank member, but you may 
get away with it. They probably like soft, acidic water better, but 
they may acclimate just fine. The pl*co in my tank came from a 
soft, acidic planted tank and he seems happy as ever. Vals are a 
suggested plant for African tanks (hard water, high pH) and should 
work. Give them a while before yanking them out. Where you 
gonna put them anyway ;-)? Good luck.

Jamie    <"\\\><