125 Gallon African Cichlid Aquarium Rescape
100 Comments


I recently converted my 125 gallon tank from
mbuna to an all male peacock and hap setup with mostly juveniles. When I did that, I
removed most of the hardscape and kept only a few large pieces because peacocks and haps
don’t require the extensive rockwork and hiding spaces that mbuna do. But the more I looked at it, the more boring
and empty it looked. I don’t have a 3D background in my tank and the back is painted black,
so the hardscape is the only decoration I have other than the fish. I decided to add some of my previous rock
back in, and I stacked it up against the back of the tank to see if I would like it better.
Ultimately, I didn’t. It looked ok, but I had to sacrifice the circular flow from my
3 filters that I’ve come to really like. I also grew tired of the hodgepodge of different
rock types and colors. I decided to take it all out and get some
new rock. Now I would never buy rocks from a local fish store due to the inflated prices.
Instead I headed to a local landscaping wholesaler and found some for 19 cents a pound that were
exactly what I wanted. I bought 250 pounds for around $50 US. Here you can see me prepping the tank and
removing all of the old rockwork. I then did a quick pass with the python water
changer to clean the waste from the substate while I had everything out of there. Once
that was done I hooked up my 400 gallon per hour pump to the python tube to drain the
tank to around the halfway mark. Then comes the fun part. I had already laid
out the rocks in groups of large, medium, and small on the floor but I hadn’t really
done any planning of the layout. I knew I wanted them piled in one long row, with room
in front and behind them for water flow. I started with the large rocks and placed them
into the tank, making sure to move the substrate out from underneath. It’s important that these
big rocks lay flat on the bottom with no wiggling, as they serve as the foundation for the upper
layers. I went through all of the large rocks, then the medium, then the small, each time
making sure I was happy with the way they looked but also making sure they weren’t easy
to topple. I then dosed the tank with Seachem Prime and
refilled it just as I would after any normal water change. If only it went this fast. The last step was to turn the filters back
on, add some Seachem Clarity, replace the canopy, and wait for the water to clear up.
Again, this is sped up considerably. This is the end result, a day later. There
are a couple of things I will need to tweak, but overall I’m really happy with how it turned
out. I love the color of the rock and it’s uniformity. It almost makes the tank look
like it’s in greyscale except for the fish. Please let me know what you think in the comments,
and if you enjoyed this video please click the link to subscribe.

100 thoughts on “125 Gallon African Cichlid Aquarium Rescape

  1. I'm with @Chad Davis on this one. I have a 3D background as well but I love the crispness of a black background. Great job bro. I'm really liking your tank. Gets better every time I see it.

  2. Nice job on the rock. Can't wait till this weekend to get some slate and other rocks from my parents in Pennsylvania. You've given me some good ideas of what I want. Thank you!

  3. Nice tank! I would like to have a african tank.. Your video give me some ideas. Thanks, you have my sub.

  4. Pb sent me your way Steve ! Love your new scape and your channel looks great too so subbing. Look forward to seeing this tank progress with all those peacocks !………… beautiful 🙂

  5. love the new look & love how you made this video very straight forward.

    Question: i've thought of doing the same with those type of rocks? but when you bought them were they clean? like do they have any chemicals or something or a mineral that they might not be used to?

  6. tank looks great, just recently did the same to my tank…def agree with getting your rocks somewheres besides a fish store, the prices are way too much. i got lucky and found some where i ride my dirtbike.. check out my tank

  7. Very beautiful tank sir and the information you provide is very educational. I'm just getting my feet wet in this cichlid thing. I subscribe to you and please check out my videos

  8. still doesn't look that great. there is no depth in the rock work. It looks like a pile of rocks, artificial and to be honest boring…
    you can do a lot better than this in a 125 gallon tank 😉

  9. Hey nice looking tank .. Good job with the rock layout . What did you used to clear the water . I didn't hear you clearly . I just fixed my tank with new reef rocks and it's very cloudy . Let me know thanks . I subscribe to ur channel, return the love if u want . Thanks

  10. subbed! man this makes me wanna start another mbuna tank up.. if your into reef fell free to check mine out.. be easy!

  11. i see your vidios. You have very interesting and beautiful vidios) Do you know that i also have vidios here. If you want u can see and subscribe to my channel👍👍👍👍👍

  12. Tank looks great! Just wondering how you get the black background to look so dark almost like no light is hitting it

  13. making me wana do a rescape. i'm still so mad that the person i got the tank from painted an ugly blue background. why not black -.- i'm thinking of switching the sand to black sand. check out my tank and tell me what you think

  14. What becomes this tank ? Would you giive a look on mine and tell me what you think please ?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spk4_DcJ99Q

  15. Good point about creating a recessive grey/black backdrop to highlight the fish. Less is more. Look at the ridiculous Dramatic Aquatics videos – a British aquarium store with bright backgrounds and carnival lights for each tank. Added plastic flowers complete the circus landscape. No accounting for bad taste.

  16. Much better layout than before. If I ever make an african cichlid fish tank it will probably be similar to yours. Great video and editing. Take care

  17. Hi. I am wanting to rescape my 110. I like the rocks you have. Can you tell me what kind they are? Also, I like your lighting. I see you have 2 lights, what are they? I have the Current LED Freshwater. I have Peacocks and Haps also.

  18. Hello Steve. Overseas is looking at you
    Your Youtube chanel is one of my subscription here. I'm a newbie in cichlids (some monthes).
    I like (love) the simplicity of this tank. My next (bigger than my actual 450 liters) should look like yours I think.
    I don't understand the thumbs down here. Please, thumb down authors, post a comment to say why. Maybe you are jealous ?

    Greetings from France.

  19. I have been searching for Carderock or Basalt rock for my 125 Cichlid aquarium here in Texas for a while now. Still haven't located either. Landscaping places, stone and rock yards…..nothing. Frustrated, as I am going for that 'grey scale' look too, with sand and a black painted background. Recommendations? Awesome tank.

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