Planted Malawi Tank

If you’ve ever had Malawi fish then you’ll know that many people keep them in a hardscaped tank with few (if any) plants. A few months ago I had some spare plants so I decided to put them in with the Malawi to see how the fish would react and also how the plants would react to harder water. It worked out pretty well because the plants are growing and recovering from being eaten half to death by snails (more about those in another post later).

Before

Here’s the tank when I started re-scaping it this morning.

Click here or on the image for a bigger version.

 

As you can see I my previous rockscape was completely destroyed over time by all the digging and the plants were just in a big mass while I tried to figure out what to do with them. The fish had dug down all the way to the bottom of the aquarium so there was plenty of depth and the sand was in mounds, which is what they do anyway when they excavate their wee caverns.

First off I took out all the greenery until I could sort through it and organise the plants by type. In the tank, I had some kind of Rotala and a few larger Anubias plants as well as a few different types of grasses which had been mostly eaten by apple snails in the previous tank.

After

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As you can see I tried to follow the rule of thirds and put one focal point on the left and another on the right. I’m not entirely happy with the way the rocks are lying on the right, but I’ll play around with that over the next week and no doubt the fishies will help with moving everything to places I don’t want them to go 🙂

Here’s more pictures from during the process.

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