Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
May '10

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05_Cichlid_Aquarium_1.jpg (35kb)

May '10 - Joćo Paulo's 300 L Malawi Cichlid Aquarium. (Brazil)

This month we feature a simple and beautiful African cichlid setup by a young and very dedicated Brazilian aquarist. Enjoy!

Owner:Joćo Paulo Volpato, 20, from Sćo Paulo (Brazil), 8 years of fishkeeping.
Setup:May 2008.
Dimensions:150x40x50 cm
Volume: 300 L (nominal).
Filtration: 75x30x40 (90L) Sump with 2 L of Siporax, 1.5 L common ceramics, bio balls and 100 ml of Purigen. Via Aqua VA2300 water pump.
Lighting:1x40 W pink fluorescent, 2x20 W actinic blue fluorescents.
Heating:Via Aqua 300 W.
Substrate:75 kg of pool filter sand.
Maintenance:10% weekly water changes, glass cleaning and repositioning of the sand dug up by the fish.
Water:Temp 26°C, pH 8.0, KH 7, GH 9, NH3 0, NO2 0.
Fauna:Gephirocromis moori (1 male, 4 females), Labidochromis caeruleus (1 male, 3 females), Labeotropheus trewavassae 'Red Top' (1 male, 4 females).

My second aquarium of considerable size. It was set up with the support of the people here at the forums and from the former CMCA site. I researched a lot before choosing these species, since at the time they were completely new to me. The initial project was to set up a false marine tank, but soon after I started researching I found several points against that, including damage to nature. So I ended up using natural rocks and pool filter sand, somewhat similar to the African cichlids' habitats. The fish dig all the time, making enormous holes during the night, so I always have to keep an eye on the tank so it doesn't get too messed up. The fish breed frequently and, when I can separate a few young, I raise them in the Sump until they reach a good size. They're very curious when there's someone around the tank. Sometimes during maintenance they'll nibble at my hands, especially the Gephirocromis moori. At feeding time, when the food is thrown in the rush to eat ahead of the others is such that they'll often get me wet by spraying water out of the tank on me. These fish have very unique behaviors.

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

Labeotropheus trewavassae 'Red Top' maleLabeotropheus trewavassae 'Red Top' female
05_Cichlid_Aquarium_2.jpg (97kb)
Labidochromis caeruleusGephirochromis moori

Photos taken by Joćo Paulo Volpato and displayed here with his permission.

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