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Re: AF cichlids and plants

> Hi Everyone,
> This is my first post. I've been on the list for about 6 months
> now, just reading and learning. I've got a hi-tech planted 65, my first
> planted tank, with S.Americans. Our city water is hard and has a PH a
> little over 8. I finally succumbed and bought some African shell
> dwellers. No more fighting with the water.
> My question: From what I've read so far on this list, and correct
> me if I'm wrong, most plants should do just fine in this water. Most of
> the African guys don't recommend keeping plants.

Some folks here are both AF guys(or gals) and plant folks. Cyprichromis,
shell dwellers and actually most of the AF rift cichlids will do quite fine
in a plant tank. Juli's are very nice, Lamp's, etc. Mainly the diggers are
the bad ones. You can add plants to cork, rocks, wood etc to anchor them
down and this will prevent removal. Anubias, java fern, Bolbitis, Java Moss
etc are quite suitable for this. Crypts tend to do well. Vals as well.
Removal of the diggers or not keeping them will be another option. Plant
covered caves are good to prevent this if you HAVE TO HAVE a digger or cork
backed tanks. Gluing cork to these caves and covering with Java fern etc
will look nice and help them have a nice hiding spot. You add this to all
your rock set ups if you want. Another thing is laying down rock work around
the base to prevent the uprooting of plants. Plants in pots is another idea
buried in the gravel.

> Could be the fish
> behavior or is it they just don't put the effort in that the plants
> require, mainly the CO2. I was thinking of a tank with mainly anubias and
> the smaller shell dwellers.

Very doable. One of the nicest tanks I have ever seen was here in SF with a
ton of Anubias and large pack of Trophues moorii Kaisers with great tan
rockwork. The fish bred etc. They had CO2.
If you can keep a good CO2 range you can do this quite well without algae.
Some folks don't care and leave the algae. IME AF don't have to have the
high pH. But you can harden your water and still have enough CO2 for the
plants. It's all on how you want to do your set up.

A pH of 7.2 to 7.4 is fine with a KH of 10. Your GH can be sky high and the
plant will still do fine (mine's 24GH).  You do not need to have very low
pH's and soft water to have this.  That's pretty hard water and it keeps
plants well if you add CO2 to lower the pH to that range of (7.2 to 7.4)
without any algae and with great plant growth. Most AF fish are bred in
tanks and not collect from the wild. They will be perfectly fine at pH's of
7.2 to 7.4. 

Check out SFBAAPS member's (Erik) tastefully done tank:
Perhaps this is what you have in mine? More can be done or less even. You
can draw the line where ever you want. There are many more examples. I wish
I had a pic of the Tropheus tank to show. Anyhow, you can do the full
planted tank if you wish also is my point. Some plants will be viewed as
food by some species. Cyprichromis, Juli's, shell dwellers and many others
will not eat your plant though.
Tom Barr

> Thanks
> George Deihs