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[APD] Anubias and Java Fern with Cichlids

I am thinking about setting up a 75 for some Heros sp. cichlids, aka Severums. Severums are omnivores and they like a lot of plant matter in their diet. Many people that keep them say you can't have plants in the tank with them, but I wonder how some more durable plants would do. The most obvious choices in my mind would be Anubias and Java Fern since both are pretty sturdy plants, and aren't typically eaten by herbivorous fish. They also both can be attached to wood or rock, so they aren't as likely to be dug up by the fish if they get some breeding time excavation urges. I would probably attach the Java Fern to wood in the tank. I would bury a pot with some laterite or flourite in it and then place some decent sized rocks around and on top of it that the fish couldn't move or dig under. Then let the Anubias attach to the rock and grow its roots down into the richer substrate that they like.

Has anyone kept Anubias or Java Fern with cichlids that tear up or eat plants? Do the cichlids still go after these plants or leave them alone?

The other thought I had was to feed the Severums a good amount of veggie matter. Maybe spirulina pellets, peas, and romaine lettuce to keep them out of my plants.

A tank with a few different anubias (A. barteri and A. coffeefolia) and some ferns (Java Fern and Bolbitis) would look great with a pair of Severums floating around, but I would hate to set it all up and watch them tear it apart in a bout of hunger or passion.

AZ Burns

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