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Hey there, it’s Oliver Knott!
Today I’ll make a video in German. Many people have complained that I put on so many videos in English … But I’m doing a lot of stuff internationally, so I have to decide what I’m doing. But of course, with German being my native tongue, things are much easier for me this way. I’m on the company premises of Jöst in the German Odenwald region. They have two aquariums I’m looking after. This cichlid tank over there … I’m here, by the way, hi! See, it’s really me. They already had this cichlid tank when I started working for the company. And we’ve built and installed this 5000 liter tank for them, it’s been running for a good year now. The cichlid tank has been running for around two years, I believe. It has around 2000 liters. This is the main entrance to the company. It’s lit with two LED lamps, and there’s a colorful mix of Malawi cichlids inside. Not only Malawi cichlids, African cichlids in general. We’ll remodel this tank in January. We’ll use the new sinking rocks made by Back to Nature. These are some of the modules. We’ve put them in for testing. We’ll decorate the entire tank with these modules and cover the overflow so you don’t see the glass there. We’ll give this tank an overhaul and give it a new, fresh look. It has to run till then …
The filter system is relatively uncomplicated. Let’s see if I can reach it. Sorry … there we go. This filter has several chambers with an overflow and two pumps – really simple. As I said, this aquarium was already running when I started here. Let’s turn around … … and this is the tank I created. 5000 liters, approximately 4,60 to 4,80 m long … 1,20 meters high, 90 cm deep … it’s on a very low stand. The stand has only 40 cm in height. If you stand in front of the tank you have quite an uncommon perspective. You think that this is really a high tank – well, it is high, with 1,20 meters. You have a much better view this way. As you can see, the focal point in this tank is the huge tree root. It was a lot of work to get it in when we set up the tank. It weighs around 240 kg, … So we needed 8 people to heave it in. The tank was already standing there, and I had to glue it in since I didn’t know if it had buoyancy or not. That would have been hard to test with such a huge piece of driftwood. Six, seven months ago, I planted these ferns here. I just stuck them onto the driftwood with their roots. The roots of these different ferns have grown into the water. The ferns and some Ficus pumila, a climber. These plants require no care at all, they live here on their own and supply themselves with water from the tank. They even remove nitrate from the water. So that’s our central piece of driftwood. The tank is planted with easy plants, Java fern and Anubias, … Bucephanandra and some moss. The most important feature is easy maintenance here. I come by every two weeks to cut back some moss, the rest of the maintenance is done by the company. Down here, there’s a lid that’s only opened for service work, if you need to switch on the lights out of schedule, for example. Down here we also have the fertilizers from Aqua Rebell, controlled by two dosing pumps. Let’s test them … The fertilizers are added to the tank on the top left. It’s important to keep the hoses above the waterline … … to prevent water from running back in the hoses. That would be bad. CO2 is supplied by means of a diffuser, that’s very easy. The current carries the CO2 bubbles through the tank. Since we have pretty soft water here, … … this simple diffuser is sufficient. CO2 is supplied during the day, when the lights are on. During the night it is shut off. We have a carbonate hardness of 3-4 degrees, ideal for such a planted tank. So this small diffuser is sufficient to lower the pH, too. We run a 2-kg CO2 cylinder here. Very simple! So these are the covers for the openings in the stand. Just clipping them on again. Now it looks nice again. What else we got? There’s the fish food, but we’ll talk about this later. These are the tools I use for this tank. I have these cutting grippers here, from the gardening sector. I use it to cut my plants.
Nice and long, and can be operated with one hand. There’s a razor blade on it.
Let’s put it away, shall we? This one is my special cleaning tool, … … made by a very well-known company that makes household helpers. It comes with a pad you can use to clean your floors. Don’t use that pad for your aquarium, though. I have a special pad here, which doesn’t scratch the glass. We’ve specially made it for that thing. You can reach even the corners in the back with this tool now, … and the front glass, too. Usually I use an algae magnet to clean the glass, but for these gigantic tanks … … I like using my super tools. Let’s put it away, too. Let’s talk about fish food now. Oh, wait, there’s something interesting here. I’ve caught these out of the cichlid tank – three baby Otocinclus. We have some catfish in there, here you can see a Bruno … … there are some here, but also some Ancistrus. I’ve added some driftwood so they can graze on it. It’s somewhat hidden. From time to time, the catfish spawn, and then … … the baby catfish often go into the filter sump. There you can take them out. I’ve totally forgotten to tell you about how we change water here. It’s very important! For changing water in the large tank you just open this tap … … and add fresh water at the top. That works like a bathtub. We have an overflow that is connected with the sewer. The water overflows, and you just open the freshwater tap … … and you automatically change water. The fresh water flows in here. The old water flows out back there. When this tap is closed, the other tap is open. It’s a permanent water conduit that adds around … 140 liters of fresh water to the aquarium every day. This adds up to a water change of 25 % per week. So we have a permanent, automatic water change here. The best method for large tanks like this one. Of course, if you remove muck or siphon off the substrate or something … … you can still do that manually. But for changing water, you simply open the tap. No need to handle hoses and stuff. So, let’s have a look at the fish food. It’s a granulated food. I’ve pre-soaked it for the cichlids, that’s better. It’s more digestible this way. And in you go! Here we need to feed quite a bit since there are many fish in the tank. If you feed too small an amount, some fish might go hungry. I like feeding them in two steps. Of course, I’m not always here, so the employees here mainly look after the fish and feed twice a day. For the weekend, we have a feeding automat – that’s important. If no one works Saturday or Sunday, we can’t let them go hungry, that would be bad in a densely stocked tank. This tank has a large filter, too, and an automatic water changing system. So the amount of food is not really a problem. Up here we have some plants … Epipremnum and Ficus. They’ve been only there for two, three months. It starts stretching its roots into the aquarium. And it has started climbing up here all by itself. Ouch, my fingers start cramping … So let’s feed these guys, too! I like varying the fish food in both tanks … … so the colorful mix gets abundant food. We have rainbowfish, two kinds of red-headed characins … Kongo characins, gold-dust mollies … the blue ones are Blue acara. Blue electric – or whatever they are called.
We also have red angelfish in here, but … … they seem to be hiding since I’ve just changed water. And I worked in the tank – then they get shy and hide. But they’re slowly coming out again. Usually I also add some sinking food for the bottom-dwellers. We have quite some Ancistrus plecos here, and some armoured catfish. And they can now eat in peace and come out and get their food. And the other guys also eat it, see? That’s about it … I’ll go down and show you the filter in a moment. And we’re almost done here. Now you have a good overview. I’m here every two to three weeks, … …and the rest of the maintenance is done by the company staff. These tanks are here to look beautiful and run well, … … a planted tank with colorful ornamental fish … … and cichlids. Now we’re down here … this is the filter room. We are directly below the aquarium in the cellar. I almost need to shout because the filter is so loud! It’s not really suitable for your living room. Here we have the water hoses from the tanks. Two outflows and two inflows. They run here and then into the filter here. This is a special filter medium for sand filters. It cleans up better than normal sand. And this is the sand filter, also often used for pools. It’s a complete system. It’s really great for large tanks like this one. This is a biological filter. The major part of the biological water filtration takes place inside the tank, though. The bacteria sit on the driftwood and the rocks under the plants. These are to be reckoned with, they are very important. Some dosage pumps are connected with this filter. For chlorine and stuff, but I don’t use them, I think they are not precise enough. I rather add the fertilizers as I have shown you above. The UV lamp is also a standard part of this pool filter. We don’t use it permanently, only when required, for example when we put in new fish. The water runs through here, through the pump, and is pressed through the sand filter. All the particles in the water are held back here Once a week this filter needs to be backflushed. The water circulation is reversed, and the dirt is flushed out. The dirty water is led into the sewage system through this pipe. That’s all. The cleaned water runs back into the tank through these pipes. Here’s a bypass through the UV lamp, and back here there’s another bypass through the flow heater. We have 26 degrees Centigrade, up in the tanks we have 26-27 °C. All very easy. It’s quite loud, so this is a filter you want to put in a closed cellar. When used on swimming pools, this filter is usually also not directly near the recreational area. For the large tank, this type of filter was the easiest solution since we didn’t have enough room … …to place a sufficiently large filter inside the stand. It’s only 40 cm high, you saw that earlier. And this system runs completely smoothly, so – great! That’s it for today. I hope you liked the video! And I hope you understood me – I’m not really a huge storyteller on YouTube … … even though I try, from time to time. I think I’ll try to do some videos in English, too. But this one is in German, and we’ll see … … how people react to it. I hope you liked what you saw … … and you got all the info you wanted.
Please leave a comment below. I wish you a nice day!
The guys here are about to take their dinner break. So, with a last view of this giant piece of driftwood … … I wish you a very good day! Don’t stress yourself. Take a look at your tanks and take a deep breath. Nuff said … Byebye!
I’ll see you! I’m yours, OK

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