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The Cichlid Aquarium

By King of DIY on

Joey Mullen: Setting up the uaru aquarium is definitely going to pose some challenges, but here's how I did it. The background I'm using is an Aquadecor background from there e- models. This is actually the E plus model that they make, more specifically this is the E22 model from their website. You can add in extra wood and vines and whatever else you want as well if you want to do it similar to mine.

I found this background is going to be perfect for uaru because it does have an Amazonian theme, but maybe it's also an agent theme or- really it could be anything where you're looking for mud and roots and the rock look. I think it's definitely one of my favorites thus far. The sand we're using is very similar to what we used before is actually identical except I watered it down with a little bit more white sand just to brighten things up a little bit, which later on, I decided, was a bad idea.

Joey: Now, these wooden logs, these are pretty interesting because they all didn't come with the extra vines wrapped around them. I actually took some and drilled them myself and made them that way. I tried to focus on making sure that the routes and everything were matching with the background, but it did prove to be difficult to do so.

Joey: What I did think after I was done was, it's beautiful and these fish are really big and they are going to get big. They do need some room. I felt like I'm adding in too many of these logs. I need some plants to liven things up. The next day, I removed everything and started creating these little rock piles with some river stone I collected locally many years ago. Now, the challenge here is one, I want to have plants but the uaru will probably going to eat them. Adding in Java Fern is sometimes a safe bet as most fish won't eat it. The theme for this aquarium is adding supplants that fish won't eat, well at least the uaru won't eat. They're certainly going to try to. Not only will they not eat it, but I want easy to grow plants that you guys could also do.

The theme here is actually plants that don't need a substrate. I'm a huge fan of that because I'm not really great at growing plants. I'm more of a fish keeper. I can do plants at aquariums and stuff, but it's just not as- it's not as rewarding to me as a beautiful tank with beautiful fish. I'm just going to have to learn to accept the fact that a lot of people like plants. The second plant I added in was actually, I believe it's an anacharis naja.This is a fantastic plant to remove nitrate from your tank. It's good floating, planted and, or just stuffed in some rocks. It should do okay.

To be honest here though, I'm just trying to check to see what the uaru won't eat. Pretty basic. I did a couple rock piles, a couple of different types of plants. I don't think this tank looks gorgeous, but I do think it's going to be a great test subject to see what's going to work out longer term. I then stuffed some simple Java Moss into some of the vines, just three of the logs, just to see if it would attach and spread that way.

I don't want to invest too many plants into this tank because the uaru ultimately are just going to make a smorgasbord out of this and eat it all day one anyway. Now one plant, I'm pretty positive they won't eat that. A lot of people hate that I actually love, however I've never really showcased on this channel is floating frog bit. I think it's a fantastic addition to an aquarium. It offers a little bit of shade, some cover, some fish will even spawn in it, depending on how thick the roots are.

It also removes nitrates from your tank. Again, all of these plants that I'm adding, you might want to check them out. They're all easy to grow, low light for the most part. Don't need a substrate and can liven up your aquarium. What I'm also showcasing here is that you don't need 50 to a hundred plants to start out with. Obviously, you can have a little bit more success with as much plants as you want, but the average hobbyist- I mean, look, we grab a few plants and propagate as we go.

As they grow, we can split them or cut them and replant them. This is where it's at right now. That was actually a few days ago. This is the tank as of right now the. The frog bit, as you can see, some of the wave maker is sucking that up.

We do have one of the neuro fives on this tank and some AI prime lighting. As you can see back here, this is what I'm hoping will happen is that it'll group up, it'll start to set off runners and start to grow and duplicate itself, but it is going to get caught up here and there, like the output of the filter and whatnot. We'll see what happens long term. As for everything else, I didn't really love the substrate, so I did darken that up. This tank starting to feel like, I'm not sold on it. I don't know if I like it with plants, guys. I just don't know if I do. I think that once the fisher end, we can make a better choice and get a better idea of what's going on. I do want to see what they'll eat.

I want to know if I can eat this anacharis. Oh, that's not the naja. I said it was the naja. No, this is your more common anacharis.

That stuff is the densa, the naja. I actually do have for another query, quickly confused as I would watching the footage with you guys. I'd love to know if this is going to do well in this tank. This is one of the heartiest plants, the fish don't tend to eat, so we'll see if they strip it or not, as long as I keep them all fled. As you can imagine, if this actually does grow in, I just want like one plant to really take off. I don't care if it's the Java Fern or the anacharis and put it, this grows. It's going to grow to the top of the tank.

It's going to be very bushy. It's going to be awesome. I think it coupled with the frog bit. I think that that is actually perfect. Now, for those that don't know what uaru is, let's go check them out. These guys are actually in the cylinder tank right now making this hundred gallon cylinder tank actually look quite small. It also distorts them a little bit, but this is the cichlid that's going to be going in it.

Whether they'll do okay in that tank or not is a another question in here. We also have a bunch of the Tetras. They are actually going to get some Tetras in there with them. I think I'm going to do the Ember Tetras with them. Then, on the bottom is actually their biological media that I still have to move to their filter system. I'm going to give that tank a little while to settle and maybe the plastic get some roots.

It's already been a few days. I don't know, maybe a few more days. Give it a full week of being set up before I transfer all their biological media to their filtration and add them back into that tank. This is going to look- they're going to look good in it. See, I'm not necessarily sold on this tank just yet, even though it is beautiful. I know a lot of you guys are going to like it. I think I liked it before with just the root system. I think I want a darker substrate, but I'm going to let you guys weigh in on this. Let me know what you guys think. We'll go from there. Once again, this is going to be an easy to replicate tank. Obviously, the background and stuff is something that you wouldn't be able to replicate unless you've got it. I mean the scape is so simple. We do only have a few sticks leaning up against the background. The plants are simple, easy to keep, easy to find and really don't require any special care. You can essentially add them to any aquarium with some ample lighting. It doesn't necessarily need to be a crazy fancy stuff. As for filtration, filtration is actually built into the back of this.

As you can see, right behind these roots I cut out a square piece and put a mesh silicone to it. I put the input and output of the canister filter. As you can see back there, right back there, we are just using a pretty cheap canister filter for this aquarium. I wanted to keep these things pretty relatable. I want you guys to be able to actually be inspired by not only the scapes and the fish, but to see that I'm running relatable equipment to you.

I used to run sumps on these and I still can. Some, to my opinion, are far more superior than a canister filter, but not everybody's going to run a sump. I don't come originally from a world of sumps. Maybe about 15 years ago I built my first one, but most people are going to use canister filters. I think a lot of you guys will too. That is definitely going to be the theme with the entire gallery is a lot of these tanks are running very simple equipment.

It's no longer going to be like, "Oh, he's only able to do that because of his fancy equipment," or, "He's starting off with massive amounts of plants, or this or that." I want to make sure that you guys feel like you can actually replicate or do something like I'm doing. Hopefully, this tank is a nice start to the remainder five tanks or four more tanks that we have to set up. I already have two more to go.

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this video. I can't wait to hear what you guys think. I'm a little nervous to hear what you guys think, if you like it or not. I might just add the fish and make changes later on, but we'll see. Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed the video. If you're not subscribed to this channel yet and you want to see all these changes to come, make sure you subscribe or you will miss it.

[00:10:13] [END OF AUDIO]

About King of DIY

Joey is THE King of DIY, and when he built his gallery of aquariums he chose the Custom Aquariums rack system with 120-gallon tanks...a lot of them!

Joey Mullen is also known as the king of DIY, uarujoey or the DIY fishkeeper on social media. Providing education and inspiration for aquarium enthusiasts on YouTube, he is also the author of The Ultimate DIY Handbook; for the DIY Aquarist. His channel is about educating all levels of fish tank hobbyists who are passionate about caring for fish and keeping an aquarium of their own. Joey's aquarium rack systems were custom made by our professional fish tank engineers, here at Custom Aquariums.

Please watch the King of DIY's videos for some helpful information and great tips on diy aquarium keeping.

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