Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
August '03

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August '03 - Sandro Migliavacca's 360 L Cichlid Tank. (Brazil)

This is a good example of the style known as 'false marine', where saltwater substrate and decorations are used in an african cichlid tank. allowing the setup of a large, beautiful freshwater tank full of multicolored fish, with an initial investment that's much smaller than that of a true marine tank. This setup by Brazilian hobbyist Sandro Migliavacca is still relatively new and will certainly go through adjustments in population, filtration, maintenance routines, etc, but it's quite well done and very promising!

Owner:Sandro Migliavacca, 33, from Bento Gonçalves (Brazil)
Setup:March 2003
Dimensions:150x40x60 cm
Volume: 360 L (nominal), 280 L (effective)
Filtration:Platax internal modular filter with 2000 L/h powerhead
Lighting:4x40 W Fluorescent: 1 actinic, 2 Aqua-Glo and 1 Power-Glo
Heating:Aristos 300 Watts.
Substrate:6 cm of Halimeda
Decoração:45 kg of bleached marine rock and 3 plants (to make wife happy)
Water: Temp 26°C, pH 7.5-8.0
Fauna:An assortment of african cichlids including several species of Pseudotropheus, Labidochromis, Melanochromis, Haplochromis, Nimbochromis, Julidochromis, etc.
Feeding:Frozen blood worms (fish don't like it much), Frozen brine shrimp (fish love it), Tetra Cichlid Sticks, Tetra Spirulina Flakes, Alcon Spirulina, Alcon Ciclídeos

I've had small tanks in different periods of my life, but this is my first 'real' tank. I've always wanted to have a large tank, but my former experiences weren't the best, I once set up a marine tank and it didn't work (too small - 100 L - and the fish would always die), other times I had common freshwater fish tanks but when my favorite fish died I would give up. Now I'm much more excited about this tank, since all fish are doing very well so far, they're beautiful and their behavior is fascinating, each one has its own temperament. One of the Socolofis already has her mouth full of eggs, so there should be surprises soon. I spend hours in front of the tank, watching the fish eat like crazy and grow alomst in real time. Due to the large amount of rocks, there are a lot of crevices and I still haven't noticed any sign of aggression.

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

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Side view showing the rock wall and open space

Photos taken by Sandro Migliavacca and displayed here with his permission.

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