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austin_aaron
02-20-2003, 01:03 PM
Hey,

I've been researching, reading and wanting for a while and I just setup a small Malawi tank. Everything is going good/too early to tell.

Yesterday I passed by a 30?50? gallon hex with a sign on it "Free with saltwater supplies". I snapped it up in less than a minute.

So, I wanted to try my luck with Malawi and then setup a larger Tanganyikan. I know hex's are not ideal for cichlids so I am debating what I am going to do with it. Another issue is this tank has a sweet under-gravel filter/powerhead combo. I want to use sand for the Tanganyikan and I assume you can't use sand with this setup.

What would you guys do with the find?

Chet
02-20-2003, 02:12 PM
A hex tank is not ideal for any species, as the surface area for oxygen exchange is generally smaller than with a rectangular tank of the same gallonage. With that said, hex tanks are unique looking and can be very nice. The undergravel filter system cannot be used in a simple or effective way with sand. I have heard of people covering their undergravel filter plates with a fine mesh to allow them to used sand, but this still puts added strain on the powerhead and will most likely cause premature equipment failure. Use the powerhead setup with a medium sized gravel instead. Also, you will have to be careful about your fish selection because an undergravel filter does not function well with a fish regularly digging up the gravel. I would still supplement the undergravel filter with a powerfilter of some sort. Maybe you could have some plants and some more peaceful cichlid species in the tank. Good luck and nice pickup on the free tank.

austin_aaron
02-20-2003, 02:59 PM
Thanks Chet. I am going to go with gravel because the undergravel filter fits the hex floor like a glove. Seems like a waste not to use it. The setup also came with a power filter, I am going to have to take it to the LFS to determine what size filter it requires.

I'm thinking I will try and find some holey rocks and maybe put a couple Oscars in it? Suggestions anyone?

Chet
02-20-2003, 03:17 PM
Personally I would stay away from oscars. If it is a 50 gallon tank, then one oscar would probably be ok, but you could do so much more with a community setup. I would go with a planted tank, or atleast lots of plastic plants, and have gouramis, rainbows, and some either some africans or dwarf american cichlids. You'll have to ask others for specific species because I'm not sure which fish would be good non-digging choices. I just think a hex tank is better enjoyed from all sides when loaded with a mixed community rather than a single specimen. Good luck with whatever you decide.

matt1066
02-20-2003, 04:50 PM
I would suggest you go to Home depot or Lowes and buy some Light diffuser. Its like a grate. You can snip it to fit any shape, then lay that on top of your filter plate, that way the fish can dig just so far before the grate stops them. Used it with great success.

Matt

austin_aaron
02-20-2003, 05:25 PM
I've read about that idea before and I am curious about how that effects the filter. Is the filters functionality inhibited when you cover it up? Using that solution am I still limited to using a gravel?

matt1066
02-20-2003, 05:45 PM
If you see the item I'm talking about, it will answer all your questions.

But the answer is no, it does in no way inhibit flow, I also use mine in reverse-flow. Powerhead pushes water down the tube and up through the filter plate. Much more efficient.(opening a can of worms here maybe).

But its worked for me for 10 years. Buy the Marineland reverse flow kit, and hopefully you have the same brand powerhead.

If your interested in the details of Reverse-flow, let me know.

Matt

merlyn2221
02-20-2003, 08:36 PM
AustinAaron, even though I have Malawi myself, I'd put South Americans in there if it is a 50 gallon.
You could have a really [i:14158339dc]sweet[/i:14158339dc] South American community in there, with [b:14158339dc]just a few[/b:14158339dc] South Americans. Maybe three or four Green Terrors, Firemouths, or Convicts. Then you could put in a small school of some Pristella, Bleeding heart, Cardinal, Lemon, or Short finned White Skirt tetras. Since they require the same conditions, they will do well together, but they have to be in a group of at least 9 to 11, or they'll end up as expensive fish food.
If you go with gravel, definately do what Matt said and cover the filter with something, since South Americans like to dig.
You could help the surface area oxygen issue by heavily planting the tank with any of the numerous plants that grow well in South American conditions, like Amazon Swords, etc. Just make sure they are secured well so the "diggers" don't easily uproot them. A nice piece of bogwood could be used as the centerpiece of the tank and plants could be anchored to it. This would give you maximum viewing of the outer portion of the tank. In addition I would add some small air stones to help with the oxygenation issue.
Whatever you do with it, enjoy! (I'd love to have it myself!)

Frontosa29
02-20-2003, 09:08 PM
who says you cant do angels or even monodactylus both tall fish i deal for a tall tank.... :party:

merlyn2221
02-20-2003, 09:11 PM
Gee, Front, why didn't I think of that?

What a great idea!

Frontosa29
02-21-2003, 03:46 PM
:lol:

Rudy
02-21-2003, 03:57 PM
My two cents.

Angels is the best idea I would say as hex tanks are usully built for community, some salt water fish, angels.

Simply put the surface area is the problem. There are no defined territories in there. Any cichlids and you are looking for trouble. Cons may work with just a pair same with fire mouths however you may get away with a few tropicals in with the firemouths. Green terrors would not work at all. Get two big for a hex. They would fight to no end so you would end up with one.

If you had an undergravel filter the cichlids would pretty well just render it uneffetcive by digging. Chet is right about the equipment failure aspect as well. Maybe use some crushed coral with angels. That would look awesome.

Anyway good luck with that. Good find.

jonah
02-21-2003, 05:01 PM
If you had an undergravel filter the cichlids would pretty well just render it uneffetcive by digging. Chet is right about the equipment failure aspect as well. Maybe use some crushed coral with angels. That would look awesome.

The eggcrate idea over the UGF should keep the cichlids from completely uncovering the grate. Crushed coral will harden the water and boost the pH, not good for angels if I remember correctly (I've never kept them before).

What's the surface area on the tank? That has a lot more to do with stocking than volume.

You could always do a salt set up. UGF and crushed coral is old school, but it'll work. The biggest headache to me is the lighting for corals and if you don't keep those you'll be in good shape. Maybe some sort of predator like a dwarf lion or a pair of clowns and a goby.

Chet
02-21-2003, 05:21 PM
I would say the angels are the way to go. Like three angels, a few groups of livebearers, so cory cats, etc. Should make a nice display with some driftwood and some live plants. Good luck and have fun...

austin_aaron
02-21-2003, 08:05 PM
Here's the thing. I'm pretty new to this but I am attracted to Cichlids because of thier "neo-tropical" properties. I'd love to have a salt water setup but I feel it would be better for me to get a few years under my belt with freshwater first.

That said, I'm not too keen on planted tanks and classic fresh water fish. I like crushed coral, sand, limestone and very colorfull fish. Your basic poor man's reef.

I talked to the LFS and they suggested these really nice looking fish that look like big angel's but have the red and black coloring of Oscars. They said they are pretty hard to keep and have the oppisite water requirements as Cichlids.

jonah
02-21-2003, 08:26 PM
I talked to the LFS and they suggested these really nice looking fish that look like big angel's but have the red and black coloring of Oscars. They said they are pretty hard to keep and have the oppisite water requirements as Cichlids.

Now I'm confused, since different cichlids have different water requirements. Are they saying angels are hard to keep, or the fish you saw in the lfs are hard to keep? Maybe you should just keep yellow labs in the tank. You'd have the coral and limestone then and the subsequent high pH and hardness will be beneficial to them. Just keep the egg crate under the gravel to protect the UGF. Labs are also brightly colored and you could keep a second mbuna species with them as long as they aren't onew of the more aggressive species.

matt1066
02-22-2003, 04:49 PM
Along with the Labs you could add 2 peacocks.

Frontosa29
02-22-2003, 08:02 PM
:roll: mono?? but theyre not red and black *he says to himself* yellow and black maybe? by god watson ive got it...discus...good lord man please dont keep discus...by advice is based on the fact that you dont even know theyre name....if you do choose to keep discus....they have are very fragile and would do a lot better in a species tank....besides your tank still to small for discus...theyre big..

jonah
02-22-2003, 08:10 PM
I thought of discus too, but they don't seem like big angels to me. The info I've read on discus indicates 10g per adult and best kept in groups. I don't think a hex would be a good choice for them either. They also prefer a planted tank, they're very shy fish apparently and like places to hide.

Frontosa29
02-22-2003, 08:15 PM
yeah a planted tank is adefinitely a good choice for discus...but that goes the same for angels...its the only thing i could really think of that would kinda resemble and angel and usually all pet store discus are red and black or green...now if you wanna do discus i also suggest you look up a mr. jack watley..

Adam
02-23-2003, 08:00 PM
I talked to the LFS and they suggested these really nice looking fish that look like big angel's but have the red and black coloring of Oscars. They said they are pretty hard to keep and have the oppisite water requirements as Cichlids.

If I remember correctly, discus are cichlids, are they not? And they can be the best freshwater fish if kept in soft water with a lot of plants. Of course, my next tank would never be discus, for the one fact that I don't have 50 dollars to dish out, canadian that is, which is like 3 cents american, anyways, for each fish. Maybe a soft water tetra and angel tank.