30 Gallon Tank Hillstream loaches and rosy barbs in a planted tank. - Page 2

V1K

One after the next my loaches came down with what I thought was whirling disease. The symptoms were very similar to what you describe in your hillstream loaches.
What made you think of whirling disease, if they weren't, you know, whirling? Unlike the barb my hillstreams weren't whirling, just got weak and clumsy, so I'm not sure if they had the same thing as the barb.
 

Mudminnow

What made you think of whirling disease, if they weren't, you know, whirling? Unlike the barb my hillstreams weren't whirling, just got weak and clumsy, so I'm not sure if they had the same thing as the barb.
My apologies, I thought Quicksilver was one of your loaches, not one of your barbs. So, when you described his flipping fits in the bucket, that sounded familiar.

With my kuhli loaches, they would sort of lay there listless (even for kuhli loaches). I would wonder if they were dead, so I would poke at them. When poked, the loaches would swim in erratic, flipping fits similar to what you described. That's what made me think they had whirling disease.
 

V1K

My apologies, I thought Quicksilver was one of your loaches, not one of your barbs. So, when you described his flipping fits in the bucket, that sounded familiar.

With my kuhli loaches, they would sort of lay there listless (even for kuhli loaches). I would wonder if they were dead, so I would poke at them. When poked, the loaches would swim in erratic, flipping fits similar to what you described. That's what made me think they had whirling disease.
Oops, my bad, I forgot to mention that he was a barb and thought that I did...
Yes, that does sound similar. I wish I knew that thing about tubifex before.
 

V1K


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No more deaths so far, so that's nice :)

The baby barbs started maturing, and to my disapointment they all turned out to be males - they are all developing black colouration on their dorsal fins. I have 2 adult males and 2 females, so additional 3 males makes the sex ratio completely unacceptable. I'll sell/give away 2 of the young males when they get a bit bigger and brighter, and probably get an additional female. I'm keeping the biggest of the young males, as he seems healthy, strong and beautiful.
A couple of the young:

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Here's them with an adult female for scale:

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I'm still having more algae than I'd like to. The staghorn is mostly gone, but now I have green algae (spot algae or similar) on old leaves. This time phosphorus didn't fix it. Ludwigia that used to be the best growing plant in the tank is now the one that's affected the most and have slowed down significantly. I removed and replanted some of it further of the front glass, since it was too tall for that spot and trimming it left it leggy.
Even my bamboo shrimp Sigma had algae all over, but it molted recently and now looks as crisp as ever:

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Also here's a nice photo of Bolt looking all photogenic in front of dark background with his trident tail. I used to dislike his raggedy tail, but now I'm starting to appreciate the unique look.

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V1K

RIP Sec (a hillstream loach). I was expecting this for weeks now, since it's been more passive, less competitive and less agile than others, just like Bai was before its death. I now have only 3 hillstream loaches left. So far all of them seem lively, but that can change any time. Still don't know what's wrong. I wrote the shop I bought them from, asking if they have experienced anything like that and maybe had some ideas what I'm doing wrong, but they neither experienced such type of deaths, nor had ideas what could cause them. Despite the recommendation to keep loaches in shoals, I don't think I'll buy any more, unless none of the remaining ones die during the summer - then maybe in autumn I'll get some more and hope it works out. If not, then I might switch to something less finicky, maybe some type of corydoras.
 

V1K

I'm down to 2 hillstream loaches - Dax died recently.
One male barb randomly lost colour to the point that you can only tell it's male from the black fins - the red is completely gone. At first I thought that sex ratio (5 males, 2 females) was to blame, but people on FB aquarium group said it's probably something else.
A female barb T'Ana developed a growth on her eye. It stayed the same for a few weeks, but then she got popeye on the opposite side eye and I separated her to a quarantine bucket with salty water. She's been there for a while but it doesn't get better so far.
I could try some antibiotics or antifungals or whatever, but honestly... I kind of gave up on these fish. Before I was thinking about selling some male barbs and buying female ones so that they can breed again, but now I think I'll just let these fish live as they are as long as they do and let the nature take its course, and then replace them with tropical fish. In the hindsight it was a mistake to get coldwater fish. My logic was - I'm not going to use a heater in my tank, so I need cold water fish. Ha, so stupid! I forgot that *I* am tropical. My own range of comfort is 23-28 C / 74-83 F. My apartment is kept at tropical fish temperatures. On top of that, we were having a long lasting heatwave recently, with the temperature in my apartment staying at 30 C/ 86 F for a few weeks. I think the recent problems were caused by that - and possibly by me using colder water for water changes to lower the temperature, I think that was a mistake.
Also one mystery snail died, but that one I think simple lived out its lifespan, as it was a big one. I got two new ones in its place though. A friend of mine has a nanotank with a betta. She had a pair of assassin snails, but they died. She thought her tank had no snails left and went to buy some nerites. The shop didn't have nerites, but suggested mystery snails assuring they were suitable for a 3 gallon tank (classic shop consultant stuff). When the friend wrote about it, I was like "what, the mystery snails are way too big for you!", and then on top of that a whole pack of baby assassin snails emerged from wherever they were hiding this whole time at the smell of fresh meat. So she got me those mystery snails to me ASAP :D.
 

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V1K

A few days after the previous post where I said I gave up on my fish, I changed my mind and bought some medication for T'Ana's eyes (and felt bad for not doing it earlier). Since I don't know what exactly is wrong, I bought some broad spectrum stuff (Omnipur). She's been medicated for 2 weeks or so now. At first there was no effect, but now I think her popeye is slightly reduced. Still not fine, but at least it doesn't look like her eye will fall out anymore.
The heat wave has finally ended and the water temperature is back to normal.
 

V1K

For the last 4 weeks I was treating T'Ana with Omnipur. The popeye receeded (though not 100%), but the growth is still unchanged. For the last week her condition stopped improving and stabilized, and I don't have any ideas what other treatment I could try, so I decided to return her to the fishtank. Her eye looks gross and the gill on that side looks kind of pink, but she seems in a good mood to be back home.

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Flash, the male barb that was discoloured lately, died 2 days ago. I only managed to find the corpse today. Also one of the new mystery snails died yesterday. I wonder if it could have gotten poisoned while eating the fish corpse - the overall water parameters were fine, I tested, but maybe there was a localized ammonia spike right next to the fish corpse..? So I'm down to 1 mystery snail now. Maybe I should get a couple of rabbit snails next, to see if I have more luck with them.

Today I saw some barb fry after a long long break. Their chances are low at this point, but it's nice to see that the barbs are back to spawning - they didn't do that all summer and I was worried about them.

The remaining 2 hillstream loeaches seem to be doing fine so far.

Plants are a mixed bag, some doing better than others, all having some algae on them, and possibly some carbonate residues on older leaves, but overall the tank look quite nice.

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V1K

First of all, I noticed an error in one of my previous posts – I said it was Dax that died, when it was Din. Dax is one of two hillstreams that are still alive and well, the other one being Hei, not that anyone is keeping up with my silly names :D.

Talking about names, I finally gave them to the 3 young barb males, up until now known as 1, 2 and 3. 1 - Fancy, 2 - D'av, 3 - Pree.

T'Ana, the female barb with damaged eye, is still going strong. Last week her eye got REALLY swollen, and the sort of, idk, exploded? Anyway, she didn't seem bothered by any of it :D, and now the eye shrunk and actually looks better. Obviously it's blind, but it isn't swollen and has no dangling bits or fuzzy growths, so I'm hopeful it will just scar and she can successfully live out her life.


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The baby barb is growing sucessfully, and now is big enough to hang out in open areas in the tank without the predation risk.

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Today I noticed 2 more babies :). I'd say their size is such that they're still at risk, but have good chances. One is seen on the mid right, another, more blurry, bottom left.

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I think the last of my mystery snails died - under mysterious circumstances, one might say :D. Not sure what caused this consecutive die off, since the ramshorns and the trumpets are doing just fine.

I still haven't gotten around to buying Corydoras sterbai and a rabbit snail. My schedule is a bit busy lately, no time for a trip to an aquarium shop.
 

SuspiciouslyFishy

Following. I'm really enjoying reading through this! I'm sorry about your losses.
 

Halloween

Wow, you're aquarium is awesome! I also have a 30 gallon planted with Rosies (and Corydoras) so this is very interesting to read about.
 

V1K

So, after consulting this forum I was informed that my tank isn't good for corys. After some further research I decided to get panda garras. They are definitely not a mainstream fish and not a cheap one too. I only found one place selling them, and got 5 of them today. They are really small now. Hillstream loaches are being territorial meanies, because the garras want to hang out on their stones. I hope that they don't stress them out too much and just settle a pecking order within the niche. Eventually the garras should grow larger and more daring than hillstreams.

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I also got 1 yellow rabbit snail. It was surprisingly expensive, nearly the same price as the fish! I picked a small one, thinking that it will be younger and therefore live longer, but now seeing it being not as active as I've expected I think I might have picked a runt. I hope I'm wrong and it just needs some time to adapt. I think it already lost a tip of an antenna to the barbs, but already learned the lesson to keep them tucked around the barbs. Naming it Rocket - partially because of the shape, partially as Marvel joke :D

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Yesterday did a big pruning of plants, removed some vals and moss. The plants aren't doing great lately, there's a lot of algae and maybe limescale on old leaves. I have a hypothesis that CO2 is the main issue. Since I don't plan to go high tech, and there's no way to increase CO2 in low tech, the only thing I can do about it is to reduce the competition by reducing plant biomass. The tank doesn't look emptier though, just much lighter.

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The title of this journal is becomming increasingly inaccurate :D
 

V1K

First aquarium cleanup since the purchase of panda garras. Let's just say it got more interesting :D. I had to be careful not to pull them out of the water with my hand. I was worried they might go inside the siphon, being this nosy, but no, they only cheched out its outside, I guess they have SOME common sense after all.
 

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V1K

It was 1 year anniversary of my tank on the 8th!
Today I replenished my ramshorn snails population. It gradually declined in my tank, I think mostly because the barbs keep eating the young. Back when I started a year ago, by the time my tank finished fishless cycling, they were everywhere in the tank, and now I'd need to look hard to find one. I don't think it's unsuitable conditions, because again, these things survived being bombed with ammonia everyday during cycling - what could be more unsuitable, - and propagated. So I was thinking to get more of them for a while now, bit didn't get around to doing it. A couple of days ago I saw one of those "What is it, do I need to kill it?" posts with a ramshorn snail on Facebook. Surely enough the "kill it with fire, ASAP!" crowd started gathering, and I knew this is the right place to score some snails. I commented that if anyone in the vicinity has too many of these, I'd take them off their hands, and today I've got an offer. I've got quite a lot of them, but definitely doesn't look like too much for my tank. The new ones are more on a pink and blue side, and a bit more leopardy, than the ones I have, which are golden.

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Also the snails were packed for me with some hornwort and elodea, so I put those in the tank too. Hornwort was one of the first plants I got and it just strictly refused to live for me. I wonder if that changed now. And I've never had elodea before. I don't really need any additional plants, but couldn't resist it :D
 

BlackOsprey

Really enjoying reading about this, I'm trying to pull off a similar setup right now. Following!
 

V1K

Really enjoying reading about this, I'm trying to pull off a similar setup right now. Following!
Good luck ;)
 

Basil

My ramshorns don’t over populate and tend to eventually need replenishing also. Although I’m thinking it’s my water that I make up to only a dGH of 5. I do feed them Snello for some calcium but probably not as good as hard water.
I also have red and blue with the leopard pattern. They grow out of that but they are cool when they show it.
 

Halloween

I noticed my ramshorns and trumpet snails population stays in check. The bladder snails i put in there completely vanish, i think they are more vunerable to my pleco. Now that you mentioned it, maybe my rosies also nip away at baby snails.

Oh, those pink/dotted ramshorns are gorgeous!! Mine are a dark blegh brown.
 

V1K

Today a female rosy barb T'Ana has died. It was the one with damaged eye. I guess the infection came back or something. She's been inactive and not eating for 2 days, so I was expecting it. Pity, she had character, I liked her.
Interestingly, when I came home, all the adult barbs were freaked out and hiding from me behind the big driftwood. Only the bottomfeeders and babies were out and about. As soon as I found (took some time) and took out the dead body, they came out from hiding and now are doing their thing. I wonder, what was going on in their little heads and how much of it they could comprehend. Maybe it's the smell of decaying fish that says "Danger! You could be next!" to them?
 

Mudminnow

I wonder, what was going on in their little heads and how much of it they could comprehend. Maybe it's the smell of decaying fish that says "Danger! You could be next!" to them?
I remember reading an article a while back about zebra danios. Apparently, a stressed zebra danio releases chemicals into the water that, in turn, stress all the other zebra danios around them. It's thought to be some sort of warning system. Like, "something bad is happening, be ready to flee." Perhaps something like that was happening with your fish.
 

V1K

Today I thought of names for the panda garras, and then after a long look to find differences between them, assigned them.
Croki - the biggest one by far, also has a faint "pause button" on its right

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Nibbler - the front yellow patch looks square from the left, and pointy from the right.

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Grogu - the front yellow patch looks square from the right, and pointy from the left - like a mirrored version of Nibbler.

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Mooncake - the front patch is more or less round.

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Xiao-Mei - has some scattered yellow scales around the main patches on both sides. Probably the smallest one, or at least one of the smallest.

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The photo quality is miserable, because they just can't stay still :D
 

V1K

Tonight a hillstream loach Hei died. Quite unexpectedly, I didn't see that comming, unlike with previous fish. In a hindsight, it might have been less active for a couple of days, but not enough to warrant concern. I'm down to 1 hillstream loach, Dax.
 

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