Cichlids of Victoria

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 Post subject: trying to choose the correct substrate
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:20 am 
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was wondering if anybody had any opinions on substrate (specifically for the kyoga flamebacks). I just picked up a 40 gal for these guys and a I wanted different opinions of what to put on the bottom. I have pool filter sand in several of my other aquariums and i think that it works very well. One thing that I've noticed is that the colors of the new world cichlids with a PFS substrate seem a little washed out where as the mbuna i'm keeping seem as vibrant as ever.
What effects will the white sand have on the colors of these fish?

Also, i would like to add crushed coral but i've had somebody tell me that it could scratch the mouths of my cichlids?

My plan now is to use no background and a mix of 3 parts PFS and 1 parts crushed coral. Does anyone see any potential problems with this?


Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:20 am
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 Post subject: Re: trying to choose the correct substrate
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:35 pm 
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I like to use a mix of aragonite and pfs. the aragonite is like crushed coral but finer, has less chance to damage or scratch their mouths. The lighter colors will tend to make the fish wash out. They key is to give them good caves and places to hide and call home. They will color up there and then strut their stuff around the tank.

Fake plants anchored down will help give them some security in the tank.

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 Post subject: Re: trying to choose the correct substrate
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:12 am 
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RLHam3 wrote:
Also, i would like to add crushed coral but i've had somebody tell me that it could scratch the mouths of my cichlids?My plan now is to use no background and a mix of 3 parts PFS and 1 parts crushed coral. Does anyone see any potential problems with this?

I used crushed coral as a substrate for quite a few years and didn't really like it much. Even after thorough washing it seemed to cloud up the water when ever the substrate was stirred up even a little bit. The fish didn't pick it up and move it around as much as they usually do with the sand. I finally threw it out and went with sand and I couldn't be happier. Some people say that a breeding female might get a bit of sharp coral in her mouth picking up eggs and it will scratch and damage the eggs. I've never noticed that myself.

RLHam3 wrote:
One thing that I've noticed is that the colors of the new world cichlids with a PFS substrate seem a little washed out where as the mbuna i'm keeping seem as vibrant as ever. What effects will the white sand have on the colors of these fish?

I've noticed that a lighter substrate makes the fishes color lighter and a dark substrate makes the colors darker. I used black sand at one point and some of the riverines (B. nigrodorsalis, etc) looked better. But all my Victorians seemed to look better with the lighter substrate. I do have the back glass painted black, so that makes the light colors pop a bit too.

Kevin

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