Jenynsia Onca Biotope tank build

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by junebug, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    As some of you know, I've been a bit enamored with this unusual livebearer species since I discovered them about a month and a half ago on Aquabid. Well, I bit the bullet and bought an unsexed group. Now, since they are so new to the hobby, not a lot of info is available on them. There are some who still think that they are one-handed fish - folks think that for breeding, the males can only use their gono on one side and the females can only accept the gono on one side. This is not true, and is probably due to them being slow breeders compared to most livebearing fish.

    Well, I've been doing a lot of research on them. They are coming next week and I want to have a great tank home set up for them, so I was looking at a biotope tank. After a quick look on Fishbase, which I trust as a fairly reasonable, scientific source regarding fish habitats, I have decided to construct a Lower Rio Uruguai habitat.

    I will be using a 15 gallon Clear for Life tank with a solid deep blue backdrop (the fish are white, so a dark backdrop is a must). A bit of research has yielded two plants I'll be including - broad leaf sagittaria and echinodorus uruguaiensis (uruguay sword). I'll be looking for more plants native to the area (if you know of any with reasonable evidence that they occur in the lower rio uruguay, I'd be very interested to know about it). The tank will receive mostly natural light, but I may add a small light fixture if I find the plants need it.

    I'm currently researching fish collecting expeditions in the area to see if I can find any references to specific plants that they noticed, and found in this research that corydoras hastatus and otocinclus cats are VERY common in the densely vegetated areas of the streams, lakes, and the rio uruguay itself, and will very possibly include some of these fish in the tank once I select a trio of the staple fish. Probably either a trio of Otos, or a shoal of 7-8 cories.

    The substrate for the tank will be Azoo's plant substrate. I'll be adding a heavy leaf litter and some driftwood and mosses (assuming I can verify the presence of fissidens sp. in the lower uruguay - if not I will probably open up a few marimo balls and attach them to the wood instead).

    I am still in the research phase as far as planting and tank setup, and finding info isn't easy, but I figured I should start the thread and get the ball rolling with you good folks. :)

  2. Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    I would love to see pictures when they arrive. :)

  3. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Oh trust me, pictures will happen. I'll be taking some of the tank, too, once it settles. Hopefully the dang tank arrives before the fish do... >.> sloooooow shipping from the Clear for Life factory. Srsly.

  4. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Well everyone, the fish shipped out today. They should arrive by Thursday (I hope). Fortunately, the tank arrived! So I went ahead and got it started. I added the substrate, which is Azoo Plant Grower Bed. I'm going to collect some oak leaves from outside my apartment and add them tomorrow (I had no patience for it today).

    But I added a few inches of water and the wood I was planning to use. Let me just tell you, getting the wood in was interesting. I was wearing gloves which are too big, because I didn't want to risk contaminating the tank with the icky stuff I was dealing with from euthanizing a group of myco infected guppies. And the "lid" to the Clear for Life tank isn't so much a handy lid as it is a solid piece of acrylic bonded to the rest of the tank, with a filter/heater cord hole in the back and a light hole in the middle. So yeah, that was interesting lol.

    I'm going to pick up a few plants tomorrow, and add them, and will continue planting the tank as I research and more plants are ordered in. I'm only going with tissue cultured plants if I can, as I know very little about these fish (no one knows about them) and can't say how hardy or disease-resistant they might be.

    Anyway, here's most of the hardscape. I'm considering if I want to put any rocks in there, but I kind of like it with just the wood. If I add rocks, they will probably be river rocks, very smooth, but I dunno. I'd love to hear thoughts on it.

    DSCF6637 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6638 (1280x721).jpg

    How is the wood placement? One piece is kind of sticking out the back of the tank, but I may leave it. I'm considering adding an amazon sword and letting it grow up and out the back of the tank (since there's a giant hole in the back), so that might work to my advantage.
  5. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    That's a lovely piece of wood or is it two? I can't tell from the pic.
    Interesting project, look forward to seeing its progression :)
  6. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    It's two. One twisty oak(?) piece and a manzanita burl I collected a few weeks ago. Possibly the twisty piece is a manzanita root... I don't remember exactly where I found it so it could be either. Either way it's a nice hunk of wood lol.
  7. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    I really like the look so far, JB! From your description I am seeing a gorgeous tank when complete!
  8. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Thanks shayla! I'm just hoping I can find all the plants lol. There's so littleout there on ccollection biotopes for these fish that my options are limited. Best I can guess, it will be amazon-like with some Uruguayan plants as well.
  9. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    The fish arrived today :) They look great! I have one girl and it looks like 4 boys, but we'll see in more detail once I get them comfy in the tank. Looking at the size, I'm reeeeally glad I went with a 15 gallon instead of a 10. The females are pretty big if this girl is anything to judge by.

    I added two medium sized amazon swords and a small row of moneywort to the tank. The rest of the plants are still in transit, so hold on, little fishies.
  10. RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Pictures, pictures, pictures !! :)
  11. bescherValued MemberMember

    What is the name of the fish
  12. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Their scientific name is the thread title...
    Rivieraneo I will get pics ASAP. Gotta light their tank lol.
  13. FlowingfinsFishlore VIPMember

    The fish sound really cool! Can't wait for pictures!
  14. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    I got some pictures! All but the largest male are fairly skittish. He's bold as heck and hanging out near the front of the tank.

    There doesn't seem to be much size difference between him and the female. I don't know if that means she's young, or if they just don't run quite like some other livebearers where the girls are huge and the boys tiny. As it is, they are not striking fish, but they are a nice silvery white color with black dots, and I really like them. I'll have to update as I watch them over the next few weeks. Since I ended up with only one female, it'll be interesting to see how the males act in the tank together.

    I am so impatient to finish the tank! I want the plants, the filter (which did not arrive on time, unfortunately) and the c. hasbrosus RIGHT NOW! lol!

    Anyway, without further ado, here is the new Jenynsia Onca breeding colony:

    DSCF6639 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6640 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6641 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6646 (1280x721).jpg

    The largest male:
    DSCF6643 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6647 (1280x721).jpg
  15. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Looks like they're settling in well, I can't wait for you to get the habrosus too they're such cute little corys ;)
  16. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    They are all out and about this morning, which is a great sign. Seems they're not quite as shy as I thought. :) I'm sure they will come out a lot more when I get the plants in and the filter running. Good thing they're from slow moving streams or they'd be sad fish right about now lol.

    I'm going to be letting the pH lower in the water until it sits around 6.5-6.7, to mimic the only info I can find on their natural habitat.

    Also it's C. Hastatus, not hasbrosus, sorry.
  17. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Update: The poor fish are kinda stressed. For reasons unknown to me, their filter STILL hasn't arrived, and I don't want to risk contaminating their tank with one of my other filters (for those of you who don't know, I have a mycobacterium issue going on in several of my tanks right now - don't want to transmit that to these new little guys).

    However, their colors are coming in nicely. I'm still trying to figure out how the light fixture they sent with the tank works... it's basically a black box with no electrical to it, no bulbs.... just trying to figure out if I want to buy the rest of the pieces to put it together or let it be a natural light tank and figure out alternative photo lighting. Anyway at least two of the fish have colored up. Their black spots have deepened in color and the lighter colors are heading more towards white.

    According to the UPS website their filter is arriving today, so hopefully that will relieve some of the stress and get these guys the oxygen they need.

    I will take more photos when the weather gets better (I'll have actual light that way), and see how they begin to look after they get some aeration in their water.
  18. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Woo! The filter arrived last night, and the fish are MUCH happier. They retreated to the bottom of the tank, into the many hiding places I made for them. I fed them some shrimp this morning, and they don't seem to like it at all lol. Wondering if a veggie flake would be more appropriate. They ate it and spit it out... thank goodness I got some plants in the tank to soak up some of that funk. Since the shrimp was pretty much powdered by the time they were done with it, I have no way to remove it.

    I need to upgrade to a 5-10 gal. air pump to get more flow, because once I finish planting this tank, it'll be pretty lush in there.

    Here's what it looks like as of now. I added some plants - echinodorus "rose", Echinodorus "red flame", echinodorus urguayensis, in addition to the moneywort and amazon sword that were already in the tank. I've ordered some pennywort as a floating plant, and some pygmy chainsword to use as foreground unless I can find a more appropriate plant. I also want to add a stem forest on the left side of the tank, and possibly twine the pennywort around the driftwood.

    DSCF6648 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6649 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6650 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6651 (1280x721).jpgDSCF6652 (1280x721).jpg

    My next step will be to collect some oak leaves from my yard, rinse them and add them in. They will make a nice leaf litter. When I do this, I'll need to buffer the water pretty heavily to keep the pH where I want it (for this species, appropriate pH seems to be from 6.5-7.2, though they can likely tolerate more alkaline water if needed).

    Interestingly, the fish are significantly shier than I thought they would be. They hide in the wood's caves unless I startle them out. I've also observed and interesting behavior. I thought it was just them being weird in a new environment, but it's becoming apparent that it's something else. Perhaps a breeding behavior? I don't know. But occasionally, the fish will ram each other. There doesn't seem to be any malice in it, they just randomly run into each other and one will kind of bounce off the side of the other.

    I'll continue to update as I observe their behavior, especially if and when I add catfish to the tank. :)
  19. NCE12940Well Known MemberMember

    Coming along really well!
  20. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Thanks! I can't wait for the water to clear up so I can actually see the tank, lol. It's a bit gooey from being filterless for the whole weekend :(

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