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Tank Deco

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by Doug Romine, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Doug Romine

    Doug Romine AC Members

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    Hi all, I am new to the forum and I have a question for you all. I am currently in the process of getting my 60 gallon tank ready for african cichlids. I have a rock/cave that I had for my leopard gecko that I no longer have. If I sterilize the wood and rock can it go in my aquarium? I don't know if the rocks for lizards are made from a material that is safe to go into tanks. I am just trying to get as many hiding spots as I can for the little guys without spending a fortune on decorations and stuff. I do have some rock from a local river that has been cleaned and ready to go in there. Thank you.
     
  2. myswtsins

    myswtsins Global Moderator
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    Welcome to AC! I wouldn't use a lizard cave or wood in an aquarium. They are not built for the same purposes and although some could possibly be safe to use, it is not worth the risk IMO. I barely trust a company's product to do what they are intended to do lol. The cleaned local rocks are much safer and will be more appreciated my the fish too. If you don't want to collect more local rocks look for rock yards or landscaping supply places. You can usually find stone fairly cheap.

    Just curious...Is this a 4ft long 60g? What kind of africans?
     
  3. OrionGirl

    OrionGirl No freelancing!

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    Agreed--many of the items sold for reptile use are not safe in aquariums, and often, even if they are, they float.

    You probably won't want the wood in an african tank--most of the commonly maintained 'africans' are cichlids that come from Rift Lakes that mostly have higher pH. Wood releases tannins, which soften the water.
     
  4. FreshyFresh

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    Just to add to the great advice above, if you intend to use rocks or other heavy, sharp decor, makes sure to have a substantial enough sand or gravel substrate layer to absorb rock hits to the bottom glass. Bottom glass doesn't just crack on 4ft and above tanks. It EXPLODES into a million little bits being tempered glass.:eek:
     
  5. Doug Romine

    Doug Romine AC Members

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    Thanks for all the great advice, I will avoid using. I have some local rock I may get more, I would like to get a couple of flat slabs and a couple of bigger columns to start my rockaquascape lol. I may have to silicone some of the smaller rocks I have together, I don't want anything to fall. I don't really have the funds at the moment to get rock at my local rock/landscaping store. Most of my rock is round and flat anyone else use this type? Any opinions on how it works, things to do and avoid would be great. Thank you all again.
     
  6. wesleydnunder

    wesleydnunder Discus Addict
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    Those tanks with tempered bottom glass do just as Joel described. All tanks 4' and larger don't have tempered glass bottoms however. Those that don't are drillable for bulkhead fittings, etc.

    Mark
     
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  7. Doug Romine

    Doug Romine AC Members

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  8. myswtsins

    myswtsins Global Moderator
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    Well, what kind of african cichlids are you going with? How to setup the tank/rocks would be very different between say shell dwelling multifasciatus and rock dwelling Mbunas or open water cyprichromis.

    I have seen many scapes done with round and flat stones and as long as it is does securely it works great cause the round rocks make taller caves and the flat rocks make wider caves. I did flat rocks with lace rock for Mbuna and it was awesome, won tank of the month a few times even. ;)

    If you are doing a lot of rocks a few things to consider are.... putting eggcrate along the bottom of the tank to help dispear the static weight and the kinetic weight if/when a rock falls. This also helps if you get diggers because you stack the rock directly onto the eggcrate and then add the substrate. (man is wish all my 72g build pictures weren't gone, stupid photobucket!) Also you may want to secure some rocks together with reef epoxy but not all the rocks, do it in sections so you can remove them and rearrange them. This is also where using the expensive lace rock came in handy because it was so course that it didn't slip off one another easily. You can get that same effect from lava rock though and it's cheap.
     
  9. Doug Romine

    Doug Romine AC Members

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    I am really leaning to Mbuna, I am looking for some colorful fish and these guys seem pretty awesome. I have not completely made up my mind though so if anyone has some good stocking suggestions I am open to opinions. It does have to be african cichlids, just not sure which kind.
     
  10. myswtsins

    myswtsins Global Moderator
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    This would be so much easier if all my picture links weren't broken cause I would refer you to my 72g planning, building, stocking, running threads that I invested so much time into. I shake my fist at you photobucket! *clears throat* Anyways...

    Mbunas are beautiful fish and can be quite enjoyable. Things to be aware of though... a 60g is about the smallest you want to do a mixed Mbuna tank in. They are SUPER aggressive once they mature. To get the most color with the least amount of headaches I'd suggest something like a demasoni tank maybe with some yellow labs or syno cats. Or a Saulosi, rusties and syno cats. My favorite mix is yellow labs and acei but with you're tank only being 12" front to back I wouldn't suggest acei. If you really want to go with Mbunas take it from me, get a bigger tank. You do that now and everything else will be MUCH easier! I wish I went bigger than a 72g for my mixed mbuna tank or just did labs and acei, maybe rusties too and syno cats.

    If you do a more mixed species tank be prepared to do a fishless cycle then buy a ton of young fish to grow up and then divide them into breeding groups of 1 male to at least 3 females (more females better) and then possibly have to change the stock or individual fish many times till you get a group that works well. A good local fish store is so helpful here, mine would not do ANY trades or donations EVER. Or you can go with an all male display, same idea with cycling then buying tons of fish but then separating them into best males only while keeping some back-up in case of death or one being too much of a bully. I find this way even harder though. And I could go on and on but I'll leave it at that for now till you decide if you even want them lol.

    No matter what african cichlids you pick be prepared for work. Either dealing with aggression, switching fish in and out, time-outs for fish, rearranging the tank, tons of water changes, slow growing fish etc etc etc They can be big commitments but very rewarding as well.
     

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