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Crabby

My 110 L Community Tank

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Crabby

Hey guys, I thought I’d just make a single topic for my community tank, so I stop running around in other chats asking the same questions 😁. I’m going thru a big change in the tank at the moment, so will likely update in the morning with photos once the cloudiness is gone. Be prepared for a possibly very long message about a 10 hour process 😂.

Cheerio!

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jayc

Looking forward to it.😀

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Crabby

Ok, so I’ve had water hardness issues for a while now, so after determining the issue as the gravel and rocks, I decided to rescape my tank with inert substrate and rocks (rocks looked good, couldn’t help myself...). Yesterday I made the switch, and the process took from about 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening. 

The steps I took (for anyone planning to do this in future) were first emptying the water halfway, then turning off the filter and heater, and realising I’d burnt out the heater (ARGH!), then draining the water to maybe 10 centimetres, and removing the driftwood and plants. The rocks had been removed 2 months prior. I then caught out every last little fish, counting along the way, as well as my shrimp. I chose to keep 5 Malaysian trumpet snails as future breeding stock, cuz they’re really cool (and even better in sand!). I housed my 5 shrimp, trumpet snails and 3 juvenile BNs in a small plastic container, so I could keep track of them, and the rest of the fish in a 50 Litre tub with the plants and wood. The tub was filled to 3/4 with the tank water.

I proceeded to remove the rest of the water, before bagging the gravel to see if I can get a refund. Then I was stuck with this weird black water at the bottom of the tank, along with a little bit of invisible gravel. I removed this with paper towels. Now I cleaned out the tank with my algae scraper and more paper towels (so much for team trees 😄). Next I cut a black yoga mat down to the size of my tank’s bottom (idea from Joey, King of DIY) and got a hand to lift the tank up while the mat was slid underneath. This is to cushion out any areas of high pressure, to prevent the glass from cracking, since the cabinet is getting a smidge of swelling. It worked pretty great.

After this, the next stage was to chuck in all the sand. I chose Pisces x Oliver Knott AquaIron, as it is inert, and it looks great so far! Unfortunately it only comes in 15kg, and I needed a 20-25 kegga, so it's spread a bit thin, but it should do. Next step was to set up the hardscape - the driftwood and new rocks (the rocks are called 'red wood rock', lfs said they had tested and they were inert) - so I mucked around and found a good look, then got some help and started to set up for the planting. Got my mate to sort the plants while I filled up the tank with 'aged' dechlorinated water (aged for the hour it took to plant before I could put the fish back in 😄). Once the water was filled, I stuck the filter on, tried to stick the heater on (and realised it had reached the point of no return, so yay, gotta buy another) and then we started planting. Once it was sorted, I had the fun time of catching all the fish AGAIN, getting them in, and then I got to clean up my huge mess... 

One thing I would have changed is acclimating my fish and shrimp before putting them back in the tank. And also not killing my heater. And maybe making a less stressful environment in the holding tub, because my blue Apistogramma turned orange 😂

 

Anyway, still have a bunch planned for the tank, next step is grabbing a new test kit (as I've run out) and heater, and seeing if I’ve fixed the problem. From there I can remove the Apistogrammas and change up the stock! I’ll keep this page updated for anyone who cares 😁

Also photos coming soon of the tank before, after, and during the fix.

🦀🦀🦀

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Crabby

Photos time.

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image.jpg

Edited by Crabclaw
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Elkwatcher

That's real nice @Crabclaw  Well laid out... black sand sure does make it, and the rock and driftwood are wonderful.  Do you think you might try some floaters?  

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Crabby
1 hour ago, Elkwatcher said:

That's real nice @Crabclaw  Well laid out... black sand sure does make it, and the rock and driftwood are wonderful.  Do you think you might try some floaters?  

Thanks Trish! If by floaters you mean floating plants, I have some duckweed in there that’s growing back, but may consider some other larger types once I restock my rocket killies, they love that sort of stuff.

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Crabby

So I got a new heater at my lfs, and picked up some api liquid testers, and am pleased to say it’s all looking good! Temp is now sitting at a nice 22°, will amp up the heater to get it to 24° later. Ammonia is unreadable, as is the Nitrate and Nitrite. pH is at 6.8-6.9, and GH and KH are both at 38.5 ppm. May need to add some GH/KH+ for once! 

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sdlTBfanUK

I may have misunderstood but don't you mean GH+ as these are tangerine tiger and you already have KH of about 2???

Tank setup looks great!

Simon

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Crabby

Oh, would I need to use just GH+? As I bought GH/KH+ a while ago, thinking that’s what I would need, and have never had to use it thanks to my evil substrate. I don’t really want to be spending another $40 on another product that I might not even need to use. Would I be alright just keeping it as is, so as to not complicate it further, and have more stable parameters? Or would GH/KH+ work, (sorta) as I think it raises the GH further... 

If you do think I need a GH+, then is there another brand that doesn’t cost heaps for a pile of powder?

Anyway, thanks Simon!

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jayc

I reckon, do whatever you need to do to maintain the parameters you have right now for Tangerine Tigers.

If GH/KH+ maintains the parameters, than that is what you use.

If you think Salty shrimp is expensive, that's when you need to read my DIY recipe for remineralisers in the Water Parameter subforum.

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Crabby
3 hours ago, jayc said:

If you think Salty shrimp is expensive, that's when you need to read my DIY recipe for remineralisers in the Water Parameter subforum.

Will do! Thanks jayc 

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sdlTBfanUK

If it is working as it is then I would do as JayC says, TT are almost as tough as cherry shrimps so they may be fine. 

The GH/KH will increase those at 2:1 respectively and I think it may also increase the PH also. It is designed for cherry shrimps but I think you may be ok with TT as well as many people keep those together as they don't interbreed and both are tough? Just be aware that GH/KH+ will affect those 3 parameters and not just the GH!

As I say though, if the shrimps are doing fine maybe don't use anything - if it's not broken don't try and fix it!

Simon

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Crabby

My tank is weird...

 

So! Some good news, and some bad news. Bad news first, cuz I gotta get it out. My crypts have all totally melted. Just in the first 3-4 days, they’re practically gone. Just roots and a couple of tiny leaves. My lace fern has done the same, but I think it just died... not sure why, but not a big deal. Will add photos later. Second bit of bad news is that I lost my male endler, Gerald. I don’t understand what happened, as everyone else is doin great, but I saw him one afternoon just staying in one spot in the top left corner of the back, by the heater, and he didn’t look to excited, so I fed some food back for him to see if he would eat. He ate, and I thought it couldn’t be that bad as there were no obvious visible signs of disease, he wasn’t gasping, and wasn’t visibly bloated. The next morning I had just finished feeding when I saw him lying on the bottom of the tank, in a bed of melted crypts, unmoving. He was straight beneath where he had been the previous day, except now Gerald was dead. Again, he didn’t look diseased or anything, just was lying dead on his side. I then removed him and buried beside my one dead shrimp’s grave outside my window. Am going to check the parameters this arvo when I have time. Any ideas on what else it could be?

 

Anyhoo, everyone else is doing very well, and the good news is that I believe my Apistogramma Nijsseni pair are breeding! I have no idea why, as they have just experienced a very stressful change in params (that from my recent research should have probably killed them!).

I may have accidentally caused it by adding an extra cave and increasing the temps to their breeding temperature. I’m still not totally sure, but I’ve been seeing courtship for a while, and two days ago they were doing some crazy aggressive mating-ey stuff. Yesterday I saw that my female was staying in one place along my driftwood, and she hasn’t moved from there since. She looks to be doing very well, still quite active, and has chased a few fish away from her spot. I noticed that there is a deep divot where she is guarding that she goes inside maybe once every two minutes. I can’t see in the hole, have tried everything, but assume from her behaviour that she is guarding eggs. Either way, we’ll know in a few days. I’m a little worried about their chances of survival though (the babies, I mean), in a community tank. I also have no tiny live foods, the best I can do is super fine flakes or pellets. Is hatching baby brine shrimp easy? If so I could try that I guess. 
 

Final thing is that when I got my refund for my bad gravel, I ended up in a long phone call with the guy, who was trying to give me advice. It was veeeeery frustrating, as he keeps saltwater and african cichlids. As such, he said the gravel was great for his tanks, and should be fine for mine. Hmm. Maybe that’s cuz your fish require a really high level of hardness?! He also said that plants are the worst thing you can put in a tank, that I need to get rid of them ASAP, and that they are the sole reason that algae exists. In addition to that, he said my oversized external canister filter wasn’t enough for my tank, that I needed a ‘biological filter’, and that’s why my killies died. It was a great convo.

Sorry, just needed to express my frustration with the guy to people who get it. 
 

Thanks for reading this long post, as usual any help is greatly appreciated.

Cheers guys! (And gals and peeps who are neither)

On 11/7/2019 at 8:18 PM, sdlTBfanUK said:

If it is working as it is then I would do as JayC says, TT are almost as tough as cherry shrimps so they may be fine. 

The GH/KH will increase those at 2:1 respectively and I think it may also increase the PH also. It is designed for cherry shrimps but I think you may be ok with TT as well as many people keep those together as they don't interbreed and both are tough? Just be aware that GH/KH+ will affect those 3 parameters and not just the GH!

As I say though, if the shrimps are doing fine maybe don't use anything - if it's not broken don't try and fix it!

Simon

Thanks Simon, forgot to respond to this. I think I’ll leave it as is. Keep it natural.

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jayc
9 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

My crypts have all totally melted. Just in the first 3-4 days, they’re practically gone. Just roots and a couple of tiny leaves. My lace fern has done the same

It might grow back, just leave it.

 

9 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

Second bit of bad news is that I lost my male endler, Gerald

9 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

Apistogramma Nijsseni pair are breeding!

Was Gerald and the Apistos in the same tank?

Breeding apitos can kill anything that strays too close. And if the victim can't swim fast to run away, they get pummeled.

 

9 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

Maybe that’s cuz your fish require a really high level of hardness?!

LoL, Durrr. You tell em!

 

9 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

He also said that plants are the worst thing you can put in a tank, that I need to get rid of them ASAP, and that they are the sole reason that algae exists. In addition to that, he said my oversized external canister filter wasn’t enough for my tank, that I needed a ‘biological filter’, and that’s why my killies died. It was a great convo.

Sigh, I just shake my head at that guys response. 

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Crabby
7 minutes ago, jayc said:

It might grow back, just leave it.

Suspected so.

8 minutes ago, jayc said:

Was Gerald and the Apistos in the same tank?

Breeding apitos can kill anything that strays too close. And if the victim can't swim fast to run away, they get pummeled.

They were in the same tank, but Gerald was a pretty fast fish. I mean, there’s a chance, but he didn’t look 100% the previous day anyway. 

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Crabby

Quick update - issue with Gerald was not from water params. Checked tonight and are the exact same as last week, very stable so far, so either he had an internal disease or parasite (wish I took a photo!) or he was killed by my apistos... 😢 

Either way, I’m considering waiting maybe 2-3 more weeks to see if my apistogrammas will breed in the right conditions, and if they don’t I plan to remove them from the tank. This decision would be made for the continuing safety of my current fish and shrimp, and that of the future inhabitants of this tank. 

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jayc
On 11/19/2019 at 10:05 PM, Crabclaw said:

Quick update - issue with Gerald was not from water params. Checked tonight and are the exact same as last week, very stable so far, so either he had an internal disease or parasite (wish I took a photo!) or he was killed by my apistos

Parasites don't kill their hosts so quickly, it doesn't benefit the parasite. So you can rule that one out.

Diseases also normally take a while, certainly not overnight.

Quick deaths are either toxins/poisons or aggressive breeding apistos. 

Either way, sorry to hear the news. Hope the Apistos make up for it with lots of babies.

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Crabby

Update:

Everything is going well, other than my breeding attempts with the apistogrammas. They haven’t shown any more intensive breeding behaviour. 
Water params are near perfect. Ammonia nitrite and nitrate at 0, gh 2, kh 1, ph 6.6...

Crypts are growing back, which is great, and plants are doing well in general. Just removed an abundance of duckweed, now the tank isn’t tinted green anymore 😁.

Will be removing the apistos after Christmas, and getting the cory cats, neon rainbows and replacement endler. Can’t wait!

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Crabby

1F59AA80-AC27-4E5A-9AAC-56C2D6566072.jpeg

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Crabby

Realised I haven't updated too recently on this tank and felt the need, and also am looking for some advice. So the tank has increased in stocking - I now have 4 new endlers (2 half guppy mutt males and a pair of japan blue that I plan to line-breed) as well as a pair that I'm holding for someone else, 2 new mature BNs (one male albino who has successfully reproduced for someone else and a common longfin who I cannot sex yet), and a beautiful pair of Pseudomugil Luminatus, who will hopefully be moving to another tank in the near future.

My two female endlers are heavily pregnant, and are being housed in a breeding box together (I only have one so they're getting a bit grumpy) until they pop. Suspecting/hoping to see fry within the week!

The addition of the 2 large BN seems to have reduced the aggression of my male apisto, which is fantastic! He's been checking the longfin out constantly, going "No fair! I was the largest!", but he has been much more passive. He is still one my favourite fish I've owned, with such fascinating behaviour and intelligence. I plan to breed the BNs all together, to get some albino longfins and calico longfins. I really hope to find some super reds and make a longfin variety of that, because that would be fantastic! PM me if you know a source in Aus.

In terms of the Pseudomugil Luminatus, I was checking out a local store the other day who are closing in Feb, and stumbled upon these guys. The store actually had 3 pseudo species - Gertrudae (Spotted blue-eye), Furcatus (forktail), and the Luminatus, Neon Red Blue-Eye - and I knew I had to get one of them. I settled for the luminatus because they were looking the best, and they're smaller than the furcatus. I've researched them previously so I knew what I was getting into, I just didn't expect to find a local shop that sold them! Speaking of which, the place is called Subscape Aquarium in Abbotsford, and it's worth a visit before you shut if you're in the area. Anyway, I'm hoping to breed the luminatus in my 5 gal, or even keep them in there if I can, as I got a single pair and they only live for 1-2 years. Now I know they're meant to be kept in shoals or schools, but they were selling for $32 a pair, and I just don't have the budget for more than 2 pairs (but I may get another pair if mine are doing well, and if I could fit all 4 in my 5 gal). The fish are doing very well, and colouring up beautifully. I took some nice photos of them with my canon earlier today, so will share as soon as I can. If anyone has experience keeping or breeding these I would appreciate any advice at all that you can give me. @Baccus I know you've kept gertrudae in the past, have you tried these? Or have any breeding advice that might translate?

As mentioned previously I did a photoshoot of the tank and some specimens today, so will post pics and maybe put some up in the gallery.

As always help and advice is highly appreciated.

🦀

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sdlTBfanUK

Great t have an update and you have a lot going on there, good luck with it and hopefully you will get baby guppies in a few days.

I can't offer any advise unfortunately (no experience with that) but hopefully someone else can, but I look forward to seeing the photos you took.

Simon

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Crabby

I just noticed my longfin has a patch of white on his head/nose, not sure what it is but it sure as heck wasn’t there yesterday! 
Just a scrape, or bacterial/fungal?

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sdlTBfanUK

First the disclaimer - I have no experience with these fish whatsoever so what follows id based on some research on the internet only.

The mark seems similar to that caused on some peoples fish caused by heater burn and I see you have a long glass heater so the mark could have been caused by that?

The breeding of these fish seems to involve the male cornering the female somewhere, caves or rocks usually and this can be quite aggressive. From the little research I did the male is plumper than the female so this could be a female (looks slim) that a male tried cornering to mate, the mark again looks similar to pictures I saw where the marks were thought to be from mating? 

Is it just marks on the skin or does it protrude when seen side on from the skin, like fungus?

Hopefully someone with experience of these fish will give their thought but this may give you a starting point. Obviously you can eliminate the breeding ritual if you only have the one of these fish etc? I see you have (beautiful) rock which has edges?

Love the ember tetras by the way!

Simon

 

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Crabby

Thanks Simon. I hadn’t thought about the heater, that could be a possibility. As could breeding damage, as I have males and caves, though I haven’t seen any breeding behaviour. It does look like marks and not protruding. I’m thinking it’s probably a heater burn,  and I think they will go away on their own, yes?

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sdlTBfanUK

Try not to worry and just keep an eye and see if anything changes. I expect (though don't know) breeding may happen more when it is dark???? One of the articles I read said you can get heater guards?

Simon

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