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Old 25-04-2003, 10:56 PM
kevin
 
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Default Loaches and MTS (plants, catfish, cichlids)

Rich,
In my experience, bottom feeders such as catfish and loaches will dig
around the base of the stems of your plants, creating a pool of waste
or even uprooting the plants. I find this quite annoying and suspect
it has led to poor health in some of my plants in the past.

I no longer keep bottom feeders in my planted tanks, except for shrimp
or dwarf plecos (if there are fish that will eat the shrimp).

All that said, I do keep a lot of cichlids, and I have found that
cichlids will disturb the surface of the substrate more than most
bottom feeders, anyway. (You can always let the MTS do their part,
too.) I have found this behavior to be true for almost all cichlids I
have kept (angel fish, festivums, don't do it much - all africans I
have kept do it). In fact, I do not keep *any* bottom feeders in with
my cichlids anymore, as they do the job well enough themselves.

If you want to encourage the cichlids, just feed them lightly for a
few days or so, and they'll start hunting around. Incidentally,
tinfoil barbs are *great* at turning over the substrate.

I use sand in all my tanks, as well, and try to get a population of
MTS in all of my tanks, too.

Good luck.

-Kevin


Rich Conley wrote in message ...
How much damage they do to the plants is not really too big of an issue to me. The
tank is a 55, WIth a couple of swords, Some stem plants...(something that is broad
leafed, tunrs pink in higher light...someone sent me it as a clipping..not sure
what it is...pretty though) and some apongenaton that grows like weeds.

It is heavily rocked in the center, and in the back corners, with the plants in any
open spaces. Java fern is krazy glued to some of the rocks (until it attaches
itself)
Tank occupants:
M-F
2-4 Labidocromis Caeruleus from 2.5" to 4"
8 (will be 1-4 or 2-4) Pseudotropheus Zebra Nkhata Bay 3/4-1.5"
8(will be 2-4) Cynotilapia Afra "Orangeback Cobue" 1-2"
5 Tiger Barbs (will probably be taken out as the cichlids get bigger..)

I have a 20H with plenty of MTS..and want them in the sand...as its 4" deep
(southdown aragonite sand)

I want clowns because I need something to stir the debris on the bottom into the
sand, so the plants can utilize it, and I think cories would get torn apart.

Does anyone know if Synodontis Multipunctatus digs in the sand..or stirs it in any
way?

Rich


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