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September '00 Week 1

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September '00 Week 1 - Gerrit's 230 Liter Malawi Tank.

As promised, here´s the first step towards showing more setups in this section: this month I´ll be featuring 4 great African Cichlid tanks, one per week! The September ´00 Mbuna Marathon begins with this very interesting cichlid/plant combination, owned by Dutch hobbyist Gerrit Stam (proving that Dutch hobbyists don´t just keep 'Dutch' tanks :-)

Here are the Tank Specifications:
Setup Date: January ´00.
Size: 130x40x45 cm (234 L).
Lighting: 1 Philips 84F neutral white 36 W (13:00 - 17:00); 1 Sylvania Grolux 25 W (10:00 – 23:00); 1 Sylvania Grolux 18 W (10:00 – 23:00).
Filtration: 1 external filter Sicce Genio I (450 L/h), 1 canister filter Eheim 2213 (440 L/h); cleaned every 2 months.
Heating: 1 Aquatec 100 W.
Temperature: day 24ºC; night 23ºC.
pH: 7.0-7.5.
Plants: Valisneria gigantea, several Amazon Swords, several Crypts.
Inhabitants: 3 Ps. estherae, 3 Ps. zebra sp. 'ice-blue', 2 Ps. saulosi, 4 Ps. demasoni, 3 Labidochromis caeruleus.
Owner´s Comments: "The bottom consists of gravel, size 2-3 mm. The tank is decorated with lots of rocks and several pieces of stone-wood, used for decoration and also for creating hiding places. The background is made of dark brown tempex and partly covered by big pieces of flagstone (also for creating hiding places). To keep the pH high I added split coral to the bottom gravel. Also the filters are partly filled with coral. Starting a planted mbuna tank is, in my expierence, not the easiest way to get a nice aquarium. The first months the plants did not grow (due to the high pH of the water). On the other hand the blue algae did very well. With a regular water change (25% every week) I got that under control. The last months I added CO2 to the water and with every water change some Iron. These last months the tank is finally doing great, the plants are growing well, the water is crystal clear and (the best part!) I got fry of the Caeruleus and the Estherae."

If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.

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Right Side Closeup

Photos taken by Gerrit Stam and displayed here with his permission.

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L