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Tanganyika 40 breeder planted tank

Hi all,

I will soon be upgrading my 30 gal. Tanganyika tank to a 40 gal. breeder. 
Though the fish are from Lake Tang, the water parameters are closer to Lake 
Malawi. Vallisneria, the only plant in the tank, grows well, has taken over 
the right hand half of the tank and is invading the rest. I do not add CO2. 
I currently have a 3" deep calciferous substrate and lots of rock (Carib 
Sea's "African Cichlid" substrate and "Moon Rock"). Lighting is relatively 
modest at 2x30W NO tubes, but in the summer the tank gets about an hour of 
direct sunlight in the morning. The fish are plant friendly, but the fish 
load is moderately high and I feed quite heavily. The threat of algae lurks 
in the background (and makes slow-growing plants like Anubias impractical), 
but has been under control.

Since I am upgrading to a slightly larger tank, I wanted to take the 
opportunity to make some improvements, and look forward to the list's 
feedback. My questions are as follows:

1) I want to increase the lighting and upgrade to power compact, but don't 
want TOO much light, as growth is already adequate and I fear that much more 
light in a new tank (albeit with a mature substrate and filter) will cause 
runaway algae growth. How many watts would you recommend?

2) I have lots of extra Fluorite. Would it help to put down an inch of 
Fluorite under the "African Cichlid" substrate? How about peat?

3) I don't see any hinged glass canopies for 40 gal breeders in the mail 
order catalogs. How have other people with 40 gal breeders covered their 

4) Would the addition of something like Fourish Excel help the Vals, or can 
they get all the CO2 they need from biogenic decalcification? (I'm not 
motivated to inject DIY or pressurized CO2 in this tank.)

5) I know this has been discussed before, but let me ask again anyway: 
besides Vallisneria and Anubias, what other plants would be appropriate to a 
Tanganyika or Malawi biotope?


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