Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
May '06

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605_Malawi_Cichlid_Tank_1.jpg (38kb)

May '06 - Arend Bloemink's 720 L Malawi Cichlid Aquarium. (Netherlands)

When an veteran aquarist sets up a huge Malawi tank like this and does really good, frequent water changes in a region where the tap water is ideal, who cares about water parameters? That's the lesson from May's beautiful tank! :-)

Owner:Arend Bloemink, 59, from Nieuwegein, The Netherlands, 12 years of fishkeeping.
Setup:September 2005.
Dimensions:200x60x60 cm.
Volume: 720 L (nominal).
Filtration:Sacem Marathon 1500 canister filter (1600 L/h).
Lighting:2x Dennerle Trocal Super Color Plus, 9:00-24:00 h.
Heating:Visi-therm 300 W.
Substrate:Aquariumsand, 75 kg.
Decoration:Background: Pangea Rocks Rocky III, different kind of rocks, lots of algae.
Water:Temp 24C, no further checks on water conditions.
Maintenance:4 times a week 15% water change, twice a week window and sand cleaning, also plowing through the sand to get rid of the dirt inside the sand bed, fresh water right out of the tap, no additives.
Fauna:2x Sciaenochromis fryeri (couple), 1x Crytocara moorii (male), 2x Nimbochromis Venustus (couple), 2x Pseudotropheus lombardoi (males), 2x Aulonacara steveni (couple), huge group of Cynotilapia afra (at least 40) of all ages, 5x Synodontis petricola.
Flora:Anubias, Java Fern.

605_Malawi_Cichlid_Tank_4.jpg (10kb) I'm very pleased with the design of this Akva Stabil aquarium designed and produced in Denmark, and also with this Effect-light cabinet that is completely in line and in style with the aquarium, and which I assembled at home. In the beginning I had four fluorescent strips (two more, also Dennerle, African White) but since the fish did not need that much light I now only use the two Super Color Plus TL's which have a nice, somewhat blueish light. It is great for growing algae on the rocks and the back. I had a lot of problems in silencing the filter pump (the cabinet amplifies the sound of the pump) and it cost me a lot of time (and money) to come to an acceptable solution. The filter pump now is covered all over with foam. Since I am still in search for a better system of filtration and water circulation (combined), I am now considering a DIY solution: building my own filter. I feed twice a day, and on an irregular basis there's a day without food. I offer all kinds of cichlid food like pellets and flakes, but also lettuce, cucumber, eggplant, peas, rice, sepia, crab, shrimp, mussel, cod, and so on. No diseases until now. I bought some wonderful Vallisneria, which unfortunately was gone a few weeks later...but both Javafern and Anubias have grown. Fish are healthy and there's lots of breeding.

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

605_Malawi_Cichlid_Tank_2.jpg (39kb)
How about one of these to decorate your room?

605_Malawi_Cichlid_Tank_3.jpg (26kb)
Zoom out view of the tank and stand

Photos taken by Arend Bloemink and displayed here with his permission.

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