I thought I would start this journal off with a bit of background so folks can get a sense of where I am coming from. As some of you on this forum know I have a real interest in African Cichlids.
I started keeping fish when I was around 4 years old when my parents gave me a tank for Christmas. As a kid I was lucky because there were two hobbyists in my neighbourhood that kept nice fish rooms and I could spend my weekly allowance there without question. This interest in fish fuelled my passion for biology and my university studies to become an ichthyologist with a strong background in fisheries biology/ecology, combined with lots of practical experience. In the mid-80s that training and interest led me to the North Vancouver Outdoor School in Brackendale (Cheakamus Centre) where I spent most of my career as Principal Co-Administrator. At the school I developed multiple programs and managed various facilities including Save-the-Salmon hatchery with extensive salmonid development at the Dave Marshall Salmon Reserve - part of the Cheakamus River system and centred at the school.
While at the school for about 30 years I became really interested in African Cichlids thanks to Wing Chow. Wing and I both worked for NVSD and live in North Vancouver. For most of my Africa Cichlid time I have focussed on Malawi cichlids with a bunch of breeding success - a few hobbyists have bought or traded fish with me over the years. Things got more serious in 2013 when I built a small fish room as part of a house renovation. In 2016 I retired from full-time in the School District and had a bit more time on my hands so I thought why not investigate Lake Tanganyika .. particularly Tropheus. In 2014 a nephew of co-worker gave me a Fluval Venezia 190 L - I was impressed with the tank design and thought this would be a great opportunity to dive into Tanganyikans!
This journal will focus on the development of that Fluval 190 L and more recently it's sister tank Fluval 350 L and growing interest in Lake Tanganyika cichlids.
Fluval Venezia 190 L initial set-up
Right from the beginning I knew that I wanted this tank to have high water quality for the demands of Tropheus a fish I knew liked those conditions. Some may think this set-up is TOO MUCH but my ecologist background tells me any system will be inadequate compared to a healthy natural lake / stream system, there is no way to duplicate that 100%; given that perspective as my starting point I set up this tank with the following:
- AquaClear 70 with Biohome / Hydroton Bio-Media
- Fluval 406 with Biohome / Hydroton Bio-Media
- Rena Filstar XP 3 - with Biohome / Hydroton media
- Swiss Tropical poret foam Corner Matten filter with 2 jet lifters
Water Circulation / Aeration: Besides the 2 Jet lifters, XP3, Fluval 406 & AC 70 filter flow, extra water flow and aeration to this tank are supplied by:
- 2 - Ehiem air diffusers
- Hydor Koralia 850 Circulation pump
- Marineland Maxi Jet 600 submersible pump
- Jehmco DAPMH15 air pump
Initial set-up ... 2017.02.19