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Hobbyist Gallery - Yiannis Pappas

 
 
 
YIANNIS PAPPAS (Athens, Greece) E-mail: ianpap@oneway.gr
 

DIMENSIONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL  :  180 X 70 X 42 (cm) = 529 L

 

 

 

 

 

 

NET      :   178 X 60 X 40 (cm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FILTERING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two FLUVAL canisters recycling 1840 lt/h. One full of bioballs and biostars and the other

with active carbon, sponges, ceramic tile and ammochips.

 

 

 

One powerhead 402 (1022 lt/h ) working for the undergravel filter, which consists of one

bed of smashed coral protected from digging with a plastic screen and a second bed of

real gravel ( 2 cm ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AERATION / HEATING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Air pumps : SCHEGO OPTIMAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Heater  : JAGER 150W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIGHTING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1  JBL solar 36W ( color )

 

 

 

 

 

 

2  POWER  GLO  20W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3  Blue  spots under tank bottom among the rocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUTOMATIONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 EHEIM feeder   ( 3581 feed-air )

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Electronic thermometer  TRONIC -  inside ( water ), outside ( room ) temp.

 

1 PH meter  HANNA TURTLE connected to P.C ( software included ) with electrode HI 1333

   permanently inside the tank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Electric programmers  for lights and air pumps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AQUASCAPE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocks are real and have been collected from Evia island brecciating the rocks of the seashore

of Agios Ioannis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gravel is real and has been collected from the rare "black beach " in Skoutari at Pelloponisos .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WATER PARAMETERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 .pH : 8,1

KH : 10

GH : 18

NO2 : 0

NH3 : 0

TEMP : 26,5 C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INHABITANTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Aulonocara   "Rubescens "

( male )

( 15 cm )

 

 

 

1

Aulonocara   Stuartgranti - Cobue

( male )

( 12 cm )

 

 

 

1

Aulonocara   Stuartgranti - Cobue

( female )

( 6 cm )

( 3 spawns )

 

1

Aulonocara   Hybrid "OB gold "

( male )

( 8 cm )

 

 

 

1

Aulonocara   Maylandi  "sulfurhead"

( male )

( 7 cm )

 

 

 

1

Aulonocara   Nyassae  Yellow

( male )

( 10 cm )

 

 

 

1

Aulonocara   Baenschi

 

( male )

( 9 cm )

 

 

 

2

Aulonocara  Stuartgranti

 

( unknown )

( 1 cm )

 

 

 

1

Nimbochromis     Venustus

( male )

( 19 cm )

 

 

 

1

Dimidiochromis   Compressiceps

( male )

( 10 cm )

 

 

 

1

Labidochromis    Caeruleus

( male )

( 6 cm )

 

 

 

1

Labidochromis    Caeruleus

( female )

( 5 cm )

 

 

 

1

Copadichromis   Borleyi - Kadango

( male )

( 10 cm )

 

 

 

1

Cyrtocara              Moorii

 

( male )

( 11 cm )

 

 

 

1

Cyphotylapia       Frontosa

( male )

( 16 cm )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MCH Verdict

This Malawi tank surely is a unique approach to African cichlids and reminds me a bit of one of Patricia's artful tanks. I would be happy to walk around in such a rough panorama as a tourist on a hike trip, but does it work for cichlids? It is not exactly what we can find in the lake, but I have to admit that I've already seen much less inspiring setups with the so called "right" materials. I would like to recommend the use of sand as a substrate though, as this is an essential element in the every day life of these fish. The fish choice can be debatable, as mainly only colourful males are used. Of course this prevents aggression drastically, but at the same time their interesting breeding behavior is greatly reduced, something which reduces the cichlid "experience" quite a bit in my opinion. Only the Aulonocara and Labidochromis females are present to prove themselves. Additionally, the Cyphotilapia is a lonely outsider that fits better in a dedicated Tanganyika aquarium with inhabitants that can't be regarded as food for it. All in all a very nice display tank, but no more than that in my opinion.

Since there is only one female Aulonocara and so many females, how is it possible to be sure - after every spawn - that the fry are not hybrids ? A second point is the existence of piscivore haps AND M'bunas in the same tank, while the C. frontosa comes from a different lake altogether. I would also like to mention that the filtration system is a bit "undersized" for this system while the use of a single 150 W heater (if I'm not wrong) probably relies on ambient temperature to keep the tank warm. On the other hand come the aesthetics. This is a tank with a really remarkable overall look. I - personally - do NOT like air curtains but the blue hue coming from the "background blue light" is an excellent idea. Stones look a bit too sharp to me. Finally,  it's funny how close-up pictures are considerably "darker" than those of the "full tank"

I have mixed feelings for this tank. On one hand, I really like it. I like the overall look of it, the vivid colors of the fishes that are really stunning in the environment he created, even the blue lights in the bottom add to the overall look. The use of the rocks in this way splits the tank "naturally" so I guess that it contributes to a decreased level of aggression. I also like the fact that this hobbyist built a tank which has the correct dimensions for what he intended to keep. Indeed, the extra length adds to the overall appearance of the tank and I am sure the inhabitants will appreciate it too. Last, I like the gadgets he used in this tank. Being able to monitor the pH and the temperature from your PC is something I like. Perhaps neither is too critical for the well being of these particular animals but it is good to know that you can react "on the spot". The fish in the tank look in prime shape and this is a very important factor. The filtration system is correct (although a bit "on the edge"). All in all, it is a "different" tank and in this aspect, it may offer other hobbyists a nice alternative to the classic "rocky" habitat. There are some things I dislike, too. The presence of the C. frontosa as well as the hybrid OB morph are definitely negative points. The absence of sand is also a negative point especially since haps - which love it - are kept in there. I will not regard the use of the undergravel filter and the crushed coral as a negative point since, in this particular setup, they will work and they will not affect the fish in any way due to the way he placed it.  Finally the presence of all those Aulonocara species raises the serious possibility of hybridization - what would happen for instance if the only male A. stuartgranti "Cobue" passes away ? The heater (or are these the probes) are still visible in the left hand corner although they are not distracting. As a conclusion I feel that some points should be deducted from the "technical" part but many points should be given for the aesthetics of this tank.

 
Overall rating by MCH :  76/100

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