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Re: Tang tank w/plants

> 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?

80-100watts NO FL's. If you add 2 x 55 watts it'll require CO2, 2 x 40w
_might_ work.

> 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?

Why not use the onyx? Flourite works well also. You don't need the CaCO3
substrates for AF cichilds and all the things that duplicate their home
range. Unless your dealing in wild, and or sensitive fish, and you have soft
tap water(most have hard tap water in the US), tap is fine for them.

If you look down on the ions and pH ranges for the lake you'll see it's not
all one single pH, nor ion concentration level. The Lakes have wide ranges
and the fish can handle these.

Guess what some of these ions are? K+ and SO4, adding K2SO4 for the plants,
will help the fish.

Little work has been done on pH and hardness(or specific ions) and the pH
readings assume no CO2 is being added. I'd say it's mainly the dissolved
ions that the fish most likely need, not so much the the pH. You can have
high pH and soft water. The fish seem fine. You can have moderate pH and
high dissolved ions, and again, the fish are fine.

At a KH of 8/GH of 10-15, this is fine for any F1 or F2 cichlid out of those
lakes. pH is about 7.1. If you wish try a KH of 15 and a pH of 7.4. These
fish do not need this kind of pandering.

I raised cichlids before I got into plants. I NEVER used "cichlid salt"(it
was not around then) or messed with the pH. If your tap is hard, your fine
even for the most demanding fish from Tangy. Acclimation and food are big
Maintain hardwater (Both GH/KH) and you can do fine using CO2 and these
> 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
> tanks?

They should sell them, look around more or go to a glass shop and buy the
hinge separately.
> 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.)

I'd add DIY before a liquid CO2. Easier/cheaper. The plants will grow much
faster if you use CO2, they can use the KH but they will like the CO2 far
more. It'll also give you better results with other plants if you want that.
> 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?

The Val is but the Anubias certainly is NOT a biotope plant in anyway.
Little plant collecting is done from the lakes, it's mainly fish. There are
certainly a number of plants from there but no ones done collecting. Vals
are the only ones cited often. They are old lakes so it's likely they have
more species/genera. Around the river inflows you'll find more plants.
Tom Barr 
> Thanks,
> Amy