African Biotope tank - general help needed (plants, filter and fish)


Staff member
MFK Member
Jan 14, 2016
South Africa
Good afternoon ladies and gents of MFK
In a month I will be setting up my first large tank (250L 4ft long) and need a few tidbits of help.:confused:

I plan on building my tank around a few small, flat stones and medium pieces of driftwood at the back to leave plenty of swim space and rear corners with an open foreground. I plan on using a dark substrate in the background and a bit of lighter sand in front.

I am not being strict to African plant species and am thinking of using Java moss as a foreground plant on the driftwood but am in need of help of identifying plants for:
-tall background plants to provide cover for tetras
-pretty surface plants
-a nice ground cover plant

I know almost nothing about aquatic plants so any help would be great!!:)

For filtration for my tank I am going to build a dual canister filter with 4inch PVC piping (2x1.5ft) with mechanical sponge, lava rock and AC running at 6x the tank capacity an hour (1500L or 390 us Gal p/h)

Will a filter system like that be enough for:
2 Kribensis cichlids
8 Congo tetra
1 African brown knife fish
2 African butterfly fish
3 Upside down synodontis
4 striped African brown catfish

Any advice, suggestions and info will be greatly appreciated!