My 250L tropical aquarium - Page 2

  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I came home from work, and decided to do water tests before doing water change. Both tanks had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates, wow! :eek: Both are heavily planted, and big tanks filter might be an overkill... but SO worth it. On the other hand, there's only 60ppm calcium, and gH is 9 dGH and KH is 2 dKH, should I add something to ensure there's enough calcium for shrimps? Wonder shell or something? I'm really new in thinking of gH and kH, I understand what they mean but I have only vague idea what, if anything, I should be doing about them.

After those results, I decided to just add some water to replace evaporation. I'm doing another test in few days. I also planted Hygrophila pinnatifila that came in post today, thank you ebay. As I was already up to my shoulder in the tank, I replanted some of krypts to make space to other plants I've bought, so it's easy to plant them when they arrive.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I was having my usual morning coffee with my fishes, and for first time I saw all Otos hanging out together. I counted them several times when they moved around, and if I'm not mistaken, I might have lost one of the 10 new ones. Not too bad, since first couple of weeks are critical ones for these guys.

IMG_20210228_050000_2.jpg


I also have been wondering something about snails. Why do some of them have algae growing on them, and some of them not? Like these two same size Ramshorns, one is covered with algae, one has none on it. Also some of them have clear line between algae / not algae part of shell? And I even saw one assassin snail that had a sharp edge on middle of its back, so left side had no algae, but right side was totally green. I don't really believe they can affect to that themselves, so how is that possible?


IMG_20210226_073810_2.jpg
IMG_20210226_073750_2.jpg


I finally got a good image of 2 of my Amanos, if they are Amanos. They might actually be something else, not quite sure. But here's picture of them anyway.


IMG_20210226_073525_3.jpg
IMG_20210226_072912_2.jpg



I haven't lost a single new Oto! :eek: All 11 are hanging out in here:


IMG_20210228_062442_2.jpg
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Yesterday I got live copepods, tubifex worms (boogieworms, as Life in jars in youtube calls them and that stuck to my head) and daphnia came. I devided them to my 2 tanks, and naturally all has been eaten in small one, but in large boogieworm ball has "melted" to form a nice colony in gravel where I placed it. I haven't seen copepods or much of daphnia, perhaps they are somewhere hiding, since light at this time is still really low. I'll see situation better after work. Today I also get a pair of bn plecos delivered from my lfs, then I have everything that I've planned in place.
 

WateryDreams

Member
mrsP said:
I don't have any goldfish any more, I rehomed them. However, I did breed them (accidently) myself, and that fish wasn't born with lip like that. I think it got ripped off in some accident, but it was growing back, slowly but surely. It was eating, and growing at same speed as others. You can send the image to your cousin if you like.

I ordered a few more plants today to add to larger tank. Lace plant with curly leafs, banana plant and Hygrophila pinnatifila are coming next week. I need to re-arrange some of the plants today before cleaning and doing water change to make suitable space for them.
Yeah cousin said it looked like a regrow, still puffy/swollen.
mrsP said:
I just ordered 2 feeding dishes, live tubifex worms, copepods, seed shrimps and daphnia for my tank(s). I try to establish colonies of them to my large tank and take some of them at times to feed my predators (bettas and neons) in small tank. However, I'm not sure If daphnia is able to handle filter flow? I've turned it down to about half, what do you think? I know tubifex are fine since they live in substrate, but I'm not totally sure about others. Any hints or advice?
Daphnia typically hang out around the water surface, and can be delicate so too many bubbles for example can mess them up. They also love sunlight, the more the merrier usually. They like algae a lot, yeast too I think. Been awhile, LOL. They're filter feeders but you might run into problems with water changes.

Tubi's in the sub, so you can't really vacuum but with daphnia you can't take from the surface either, since they tend to live up there. We always used to grow our own in separate tanks because of this. Plus with the amount of sun daphnia like, algae growth in the tank can really skyrocket, depending, and the colony can't keep up with it all. Having a lot of plants and a shoal of bottom feeders can help, but you still might be overwhelmed.

I'd say keep an eye on conditions and play it by ear if you're doing in the tank growth.
mrsP said:
I came home from work, and decided to do water tests before doing water change. Both tanks had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates, wow! :eek: Both are heavily planted, and big tanks filter might be an overkill... but SO worth it. On the other hand, there's only 60ppm calcium, and gH is 9 dGH and KH is 2 dKH, should I add something to ensure there's enough calcium for shrimps? Wonder shell or something? I'm really new in thinking of gH and kH, I understand what they mean but I have only vague idea what, if anything, I should be doing about them.

After those results, I decided to just add some water to replace evaporation. I'm doing another test in few days. I also planted Hygrophila pinnatifila that came in post today, thank you ebay. As I was already up to my shoulder in the tank, I replanted some of krypts to make space to other plants I've bought, so it's easy to plant them when they arrive.
I wouldn't add anything into the water for calcium, your 60ppm is OK (abit high bit still good especially with shrimp) so instead I'd try just feeding them good with additional sinking pellets or wafers if you need to. Since they're so small, calcium usually isn't a problem for them if they're able to get good foods. They also scavenge any dead shrimp they find and eat their shell layer, etc. If in doubt, you can get some freshwater clam shells and crush them up a bit to sprinkle on the sub so they can graze on it but at this point you should be okay.

Your kH is abit low and gH is within range - so long as everyone is acting okay you're good for now. 60ppm calcium falls into the gH spectrum and your gH is 9 so I wouldn't worry.
mrsP said:
I was having my usual morning coffee with my fishes, and for first time I saw all Otos hanging out together. I counted them several times when they moved around, and if I'm not mistaken, I might have lost one of the 10 new ones. Not too bad, since first couple of weeks are critical ones for these guys.

IMG_20210228_050000_2.jpg


I also have been wondering something about snails. Why do some of them have algae growing on them, and some of them not? Like these two same size Ramshorns, one is covered with algae, one has none on it. Also some of them have clear line between algae / not algae part of shell? And I even saw one assassin snail that had a sharp edge on middle of its back, so left side had no algae, but right side was totally green. I don't really believe they can affect to that themselves, so how is that possible?


IMG_20210226_073810_2.jpg
IMG_20210226_073750_2.jpg


I finally got a good image of 2 of my Amanos, if they are Amanos. They might actually be something else, not quite sure. But here's picture of them anyway.


IMG_20210226_073525_3.jpg
IMG_20210226_072912_2.jpg



I haven't lost a single new Oto! :eek: All 11 are hanging out in here:


IMG_20210228_062442_2.jpg
That's good, you WANT your Ottos hanging out in a shoal! If you still have room and are comfortable, I'd even suggest getting another 5-6, QT before adding.

For snails and algae, it really all depends on a couple factors in my experience. The 1st, is the outside texture of the shell. If it's got some grit and groove to it (not smooth polished) then algae will attach and grow more readily, especially if those snails prefer being out from under any cover and into the light alot. The 2nd, different parts of the shell could be more amenable to attachment or also due to rubbing against the glass, other snails or plants, etc. Snails will also sometimes munch on each others shells for algae. Their shells can also become a hub of good bacteria in your tank which can affect things.

I'll admit it's weird but totally normal.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Thank you WateryDreams! I don't like to add anything to my water if I don't have to (and I haven't, I just have everything in cupboard), for various reasons. One being that it's easier for fish and shrimp to adapt to steady water conditions, second because I like to keep things as natural as I can, it tends to work better that way. As you can imagine, there are no daphnia left in tank, they have either been eaten or more likely filterd out, but boogieworms are doing great. Instead of vaccuming substrate, I'm going to agitate water so dirt on top of substrate will float, then I'll siphon close to it to get out as much as possible. But since a lot of bb is growing also in mulm, I'm not too concerned about it in moderate amounts but I definetly won't let it accumulate too much. That would look dirty and most likely not beneficial to tank either.

Instead of doing water changes all the time, I'm doing full set of tests every few days, and if results are perfecet, I'm not changing water, instead just adding evaporated amount. I've been doing this now for a week, and so far everything is good, including fish being comfortable. Two days ago my bettas were doing courtsihip dance, but there's no bubble nest, and no more courting witnessed. However, I did add piece of bubblewrap to tank if Salad wants to use it for nest, and I'm ready to fish out the neons to temporary home if needed. Come summer I might even transfer these guys outside, but they would need a heater (English summer, eh...) so not sure if that's really doable. I will be able to start daphnia culture outside, that will be interesting to do.

I haven't lost a single Oto after the one that jumped out, so all is good in that regard. My stocking is now almost complete, I might still add a few Red cherries and Otos, but that's about it. And some plants are still coming. Oh, and totally random thing I've noticed, after trying all kinds of foods to offer to Hillstreams and Otos, only thing that they seem to accept is Hikari sinking wafers. Otherwise they just graze on plants, glass, rocks, you name it. Hillstreams were also courting this morning, so I hope to see more fry eventually. And all Otos have nice, round belly.

Some time later:
Ok, tests are done, and even when they were either perfect (25 L) or excellent (250 L) I decided to do some maintenence. I changes about 30% of water and cleande filter of small one, and did about 25% water changed and cleaned filter (first time ever to The Beast) of the large one. Nothing unexpected, everything normal.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
It's entertaining to watch Salad and Tomato to do their wiggle dance, they might breed in some point. Salad hasn't built a bubble nest yet, but he's showing off to Tomato, who is in her best colors and dances nicely with him.

I also saw a shrimp molt today for first time ever, it was really interesting. First I noticed a ring around abdomen (oh no, Ring Of Death...!) but no, in couple of minutes it jumped out of it. :eek: There are lots of molts around tank, and I did a small water change and gravel vaccuum (10 L) today just to tidy up a bit. I guess soon I could get more shrimplets.

Salad is building a bubble nest, and there was attempt of breeding. However, instead of embrasing Tomato, he totally missed the whole girl, and simply sank to bottom. :rolleyes: Maby next time, buddy.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Ok, now things are getting interesting. I removed all 6 neons to my big tank (I think if there are fry anywhere, they are safer than possibly eggs and fry in 25 litre one) because I don't want to risk the wrath of Salad in case they succeed. In that case also Tomato will be moving to 250 litre tank, after being recovered in breeding net in said aquarium.

Salad is building a bubble nest and acting like a big boy, and Tomato is a bit roughen up, but checks the progress at times and then goes back to hiding under indian almond leaf. I'll get some pictures when I locate my phone. ops:

IMG_20210306_180934_2.jpg


IMG_20210306_181009_2.jpg

Some bubbles can be seen under plastic light support, but he's building nest now under the leaf. He really didn't like me taking pictures!
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I'm excited... There's a large bubble nest under catappa leaf, and Salad and Tomato are lazily swimming around each other there, Tomato clearly offering embrase, but Salad either is not quite ready or he's a bit young to know what to do. They are basicly touching each other nearly all the time, and Salad is dancing to her. I'm going to keep lights off for today, I don't want to distract them in any way. First time ever they are not interested about food either. I wonder what color combinations could I get from Cambodia female and royal blue male?

They're starting to embrase, OH MY GOSH!!! :eek:

Couple of hours later...
Salad is an idiot. He tries to wrap around Tomato, but instead folds over next to her, and promptly sinks down on his own. o_O

Some pictures:

IMG_20210307_075755_2.jpg


IMG_20210307_075749_2.jpg
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Update to yesterday: no breeding yet. Salad has impressive nest under the leaf, but they haven't managed to embrase, so no eggs. Normal life continues, and perhaps they will succeed in some point.

In large aquarium I noticed a small clutch of eggs under crypt leaf. They are not snail eggs, clutch looks different (snail egg clutch tends to be flat, this is not). I'm not saying they aren't snail eggs, but I need to keep close eye on them just to be on safe side.

I also might... who am I kidding I AM having a problem with ramshorn snails, I saw hundreds (I wish I was exaggerating) about 5mm / 0.25 inch size snails in and around glass feeding dish. Oh gosh, how on earth am I going to solve this one? Getting tons of assassins? I have 10, but they can't keep up with that amount.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
How do I know if there's actually eggs in the nest? Because it's under leaf, I can't see it too well.
 

WateryDreams

Member
mrsP said:
How do I know if there's actually eggs in the nest? Because it's under leaf, I can't see it too well.
Hello! Wanted to get to your most recent post first - if your female DID lay eggs, she'll be hanging out around that area. Rest of the fish should be clueless. The male Otto will NOT help the Mom - males don't help. So watch that leaf for about 2 weeks. In the mean time, make sure you have enough ground cover (plants) and floating plants (crypts are great) - if there's babies they'll split, usually, in my experience - bottom tank and top.

The babies, when they hatch, will either dive for plant cover on the bottom or the top - like I said, floating plants like crypts are great. In the end, they'll end up at the bottom - so the most ground cover, hides, etc. you can give them, the better. Make sure when your hand is in the tank you move "slowly" - you don't want to spook your Ottos. Fish can put out pheramones and sometimes eggs can pick up on it so go slooooow.

Watch that leaf, don't disturb it right now. Watch the bottom and top of your tank for little eyes and make sure you have enough plant matter.

Crush up flake flood and sprinkle it on the top among any floating plants - sink some pellets and wafers. Wakers you're okay but pellets try to bust them up in your fingers in tank water before letting them sink.

Can you get me some pics...?
mrsP said:
Update to yesterday: no breeding yet. Salad has impressive nest under the leaf, but they haven't managed to embrase, so no eggs. Normal life continues, and perhaps they will succeed in some point.

In large aquarium I noticed a small clutch of eggs under crypt leaf. They are not snail eggs, clutch looks different (snail egg clutch tends to be flat, this is not). I'm not saying they aren't snail eggs, but I need to keep close eye on them just to be on safe side.

I also might... who am I kidding I AM having a problem with ramshorn snails, I saw hundreds (I wish I was exaggerating) about 5mm / 0.25 inch size snails in and around glass feeding dish. Oh gosh, how on earth am I going to solve this one? Getting tons of assassins? I have 10, but they can't keep up with that amount.
Salad might be scoping out a place, this is normal, it can take awhile.

Oh this might be breeding! This is great!

Uh oh... ramshorn snails usually don't breed rapidly but if you have really good conditions, it's possible! Can you move some to another tank? You can get Assassins, if you do have "hundreds" of babies you'll need at least 10 more Assassins BUT get ready to put alot in another tank, if your Ottos are breeding.
mrsP said:
I'm excited... There's a large bubble nest under catappa leaf, and Salad and Tomato are lazily swimming around each other there, Tomato clearly offering embrase, but Salad either is not quite ready or he's a bit young to know what to do. They are basicly touching each other nearly all the time, and Salad is dancing to her. I'm going to keep lights off for today, I don't want to distract them in any way. First time ever they are not interested about food either. I wonder what color combinations could I get from Cambodia female and royal blue male?

They're starting to embrase, OH MY GOSH!!! :eek:

Couple of hours later...
Salad is an idiot. He tries to wrap around Tomato, but instead folds over next to her, and promptly sinks down on his own. o_O

Some pictures:

IMG_20210307_075755_2.jpg


IMG_20210307_075749_2.jpg
You have a mating pair going on! If this is all between your Ottos, then yes, less light is the best.
mrsP said:
Ok, now things are getting interesting. I removed all 6 neons to my big tank (I think if there are fry anywhere, they are safer than possibly eggs and fry in 25 litre one) because I don't want to risk the wrath of Salad in case they succeed. In that case also Tomato will be moving to 250 litre tank, after being recovered in breeding net in said aquarium.

Salad is building a bubble nest and acting like a big boy, and Tomato is a bit roughen up, but checks the progress at times and then goes back to hiding under indian almond leaf. I'll get some pictures when I locate my phone. ops:

IMG_20210306_180934_2.jpg


IMG_20210306_181009_2.jpg

Some bubbles can be seen under plastic light support, but he's building nest now under the leaf. He really didn't like me taking pictures!
Wait, your bettas are now breeding? That beautiful blue looks like a boy betta to me! Bubble nests are another great thing for the males.. I thought this was all otto talk but bettas, woo!

Let me know what's going on, for ALL....
There's so much going on in your tank, it's amazing! Please let me know - pairings, egg placements, species, etc. I know it sucks to rehome fish, but if THIS is your result? Happy fish, breeding, etc? Wow, way to go! Again, let me know which, etc. Pics help too! Doing great so far. Just remember, lots of hides for the babies!
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Heh, yeah, there's a lot going on, and I think I'm lucky to have good, soft water (even when there's that pesky ammonia in it) and I do spend time every day to watch what's going on.

I have tons of plants, and more on a way. I love jungle look, and I specially like Foo the flower horn vids, and get a lot of inspiration (about planting etc) from them. More plants = more natural environment = more natural behaviour = more babies. Or at least I hope it goes that way. On the other hand, ramshorns are already proving that right.

I've noticed that less water changes has actually got otos to come out more, and they have even learned to come and eat Hikari sinking wafers. That's great! Otos have nice and plump bellies, and quite a few of them look like they might be carrying eggs. Unfortunately they all hang out on back, so I'll take pictures when they're more conveniently placed. But here's a few photos of the $%&$*^&$%^ snails.


IMG_20210310_060234_2.jpg


IMG_20210310_060227_2.jpg


IMG_20210310_060244_2.jpg
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
*Sigh*

She's in breeder net box, eats well and behaves normally but clearly pineconing.


IMG_20210310_191257~2.jpg
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Tomato is still doing like before. I'm going to make a salt bath for her before going to work, and see if it helps. I also orderd medication that arrives tomorrow. I hope she won't die before it arrives, and it's not too late in that point. This is first time ever I need medication to my fish, I guess I've been lucky so far.

On happier note, I noticed a few fish fry this morning when having my coffee, and sitting in front of the tank. There were few different size Hillstream babies, and it's really great to see them either breeding more, or more likely fry surviving better because there's a lot less predators in tank. Only ones are neons and they seem to eat only tiny food, and fry are bigger than their mouths even when really young. I like that.

And then the really small fry. I can't be sure if they are just teeny tiny Hillstreams or actually Oto fry. They are close where those mystery eggs were, and they are too small to say anything else than they are... well, fish fry. They seem to hide really well in gravel, and I saw 3 or 4 of them. As soon as I can get any pictures, I'll add them also here.
 

GoldfishEnthusiast

Member
My goldfish absolutely shred any of my love plants I put into my tanks so great work on keeping yours green and healthy
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Secret is to get plants that grow quicker than they get eaten.

My local fish store is amazing! I called them to ask if they have solutions to my snail problem, and they do. They are happy to have any ramshorns I can catch, and if I'm not able to take them there, they’ll come to collect them. From door, not tank obviously.

If I could, I would give them a shout out here.

Edit
If you live in Yorkshire and want to use a good fish shop, pm me, I'll send you details.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I might - repeat - MIGHT have Oto fry. Today I saw lots of Hillstream fry, but also couple of smaller, slightly differently colored and differently swimming fry. Either they are just younger Hillstreams, or first Oto fry. Statisticly thinking they are likely to be Hillstreams, as they are breeding constantly, and I have lots of different age fry in tank. I don't have any idea how many, as my tank is quite densly planted, and gravel substrate hides them well. If having snail population explosion is a price to pay to get lots of Hillstreams and possibly Otos, I'm ready to have snails too. I can simply catch them and take to my LFS.

I'm thinking of pygmy corys as possible solution for snail problem. Any experience / advice on that?

Edit:
I do have Oto fry in my tank. I've been watching like a hawk my tank today, and finally I saw one of the different fry with small Hillstream fry on same rock, and had a good look at them. One of them was different size and shape, and had different kind of markings on it. They were rather horizintal than vertical, like Hillstreams, and head part didn't really have much on it, unlike Hillstreams. After that I spent quite some time googling Oto fry pictures, and now I'm sure I have at least one Oto fry, most likely more than one. I'm really happy!

I also had to transfer Tomato from small tank to large one, and increse risk to small fry in there, but I'm sure she would die in small one. She still might, but any medication doesn't seem to do anything to her pineconing, and I think that it's more humane for her to at least not needing to be vary of Salad when she feels poorly. If she recoveres, she stays in large one, and Salad can have the small to himself. They might be ok together in large one, but I don't want to take any risks for Tomato or additionla to any fry in there. Perhaps some day I can try to breed green or turqoise bettas, but that day is not here yet.

I also got snail traps from amazon, and try to catch as many snails as possible to take to lfs tomorrow. There are so many of them.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I've been trying to take photos of Oto fry, but they're camera shy. They are so much smaller than Hillstreams, and they rest on their ventral fins just like adults, so adorable. Thank you WateryDreams, I never could've done this without your input!
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I've been catching snails to take them to lfs this weekend, and oh boy there's a lot. I also need to check water quality today, and do maintanence. Why does everyone recommend blanched veggies for fish? None of mine eat them, but give them fresh zucchini, and they're all over it. I never blanch veggies for them any more, and they seem to have good appetite for fresh ones.

I also have a porblem with amazon sward, it's not doing well. Leaves are getting yellow, and it's growing algae. All I can think of is that it needs more nutrients, so I'm going to plant it to a pot into soil topped with gravel and rocks, and it should be ok after that. I also need to deal with Bacopa caroliana, it's gone haywire and tries to take over the tank. Thankfully I have planted it to a pot too, so it's easy to deal with. Just cut the tops, discard the bottoms and plant the tops. I just think I have more tops than I have space for, perhaps I could take those to lfs too. I need to call them and ask.

I'm planning to change my 25 litre (6,6g instead of 5 that I thought it was... thank you for calculators on right side!) tank to saltwater / reef tank. I'm starting slowly to get things I need, like salt, refractometer etc, and last things will be live sand and live rock. I love the idea of them, because it would be so interesting to see what pops out and starts to grow! I've never been eager to saltwater due it's complexity and cost, but after a lot of research I've come to realise it doesn't have to be that difficult or complex.

I would also love to have 2 more, small tanks for bettas. Salad has too strong breeding instict for Tomato, so I would love to have 1 tank for Tomato, and a shallow (perhaps 15cm deep) 50x50cm tank for Salad. I know my hubbie won't agree to that, so I need to think about this more. I have material to make the shallow tank myself, but the other 25 litre... nah. Or perhaps I should just forget reef tank, make shallow tank for Salad and give excisting 25 litre tank to Tomato. Let's see, I need to plan some more. But first, water tests.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I managed to destroy bn plecos "nest" when I decided to replant and tidy up some plants. Bacopa caroliana is planted in small pot, so I took it out, and pulled plants from substrate. Then I started to wonder that do I really see a fish tail fin in there, and pulled it gently. Oh yes, I pulled out a very miffed male bristle nose. I freaked out (fish out of water, you see) and took it back to tank. Then I continued to tidy up plants, and when I started to replant them, I noticed a bunch of orange eggs... *sigh* I'm an idiot. OF COURSE there are eggs, why would male otherwise stay there when pot is taken out of water? I took all the eggs I found, and placed them to another cave (ordered breeding box from amazin, arrives tomorrow) and hope for best. 4 eggs have ended out of cave, but at least I can keep an eye on them to see what's going on. Tomorrow I will place eggs to breeding box when it arrives. Any advise how to procede with this? Do these eggs look fertilised? And do they change color before hatching, or stay the same? So many things I have no idea.
 

WateryDreams

Member
mrsP said:
Heh, yeah, there's a lot going on, and I think I'm lucky to have good, soft water (even when there's that pesky ammonia in it) and I do spend time every day to watch what's going on.

I have tons of plants, and more on a way. I love jungle look, and I specially like Foo the flower horn vids, and get a lot of inspiration (about planting etc) from them. More plants = more natural environment = more natural behaviour = more babies. Or at least I hope it goes that way. On the other hand, ramshorns are already proving that right.

I've noticed that less water changes has actually got otos to come out more, and they have even learned to come and eat Hikari sinking wafers. That's great! Otos have nice and plump bellies, and quite a few of them look like they might be carrying eggs. Unfortunately they all hang out on back, so I'll take pictures when they're more conveniently placed. But here's a few photos of the $%&$*^&$%^ snails.


IMG_20210310_060234_2.jpg


IMG_20210310_060227_2.jpg


IMG_20210310_060244_2.jpg
Hello! I'm still here, sorry for long silences - its hard to balance everything! Okay so let's dive in here.

No you're totally right, more natural plants = better EVERYTHING, BUT... when it comes to breeding fish, you don't want SO many that you can't see enough of the adults, especially. Right now I'd say your tank is just about perfect for what you have going on/what you wanna do.

If the Otto's have plump bellies, you definitely might have babies on the way - the snails are GREAT, they'll help the tank. One thing baby fish don't like, and watchful Momma's like Otto's, are alot of tank maintanance an such and your tank looks great right now. We can address the snails later if you want to.

Yes when Otto's enter breeding, they get triggered by good conditions (which you have) and "spring" like water changes - after that, less changes are good or if not watch the water temp when you replace.
mrsP said:
*Sigh*

She's in breeder net box, eats well and behaves normally but clearly pineconing.


IMG_20210310_191257~2.jpg
Oh poor baby, yeah keep her in the box. Can I ask how big it is? She looks of a size..
mrsP said:
Tomato is still doing like before. I'm going to make a salt bath for her before going to work, and see if it helps. I also orderd medication that arrives tomorrow. I hope she won't die before it arrives, and it's not too late in that point. This is first time ever I need medication to my fish, I guess I've been lucky so far.

On happier note, I noticed a few fish fry this morning when having my coffee, and sitting in front of the tank. There were few different size Hillstream babies, and it's really great to see them either breeding more, or more likely fry surviving better because there's a lot less predators in tank. Only ones are neons and they seem to eat only tiny food, and fry are bigger than their mouths even when really young. I like that.

And then the really small fry. I can't be sure if they are just teeny tiny Hillstreams or actually Oto fry. They are close where those mystery eggs were, and they are too small to say anything else than they are... well, fish fry. They seem to hide really well in gravel, and I saw 3 or 4 of them. As soon as I can get any pictures, I'll add them also here.
No I think your Tomato will make it, yes she's showing some symptoms but you said she's still eating and swimming okay? Deep breaths! A mild salt solution wouldn't hurt, can I ask what meds you ordered?

That's great about the fry! Probably both - better conditions and less predators. Neons don't normally go to the bottom, so they should be okay to be left in the tank. You do have floating plants, yes?

Hm could be Hillstream or Otto fry, the smaller the mystery snail eggs the better as both will chow down if they can and both will hide. Pics would be great!
mrsP said:
Secret is to get plants that grow quicker than they get eaten.

My local fish store is amazing! I called them to ask if they have solutions to my snail problem, and they do. They are happy to have any ramshorns I can catch, and if I'm not able to take them there, they’ll come to collect them. From door, not tank obviously.

If I could, I would give them a shout out here.

Edit
If you live in Yorkshire and want to use a good fish shop, pm me, I'll send you details.
That's great your snails are exploding, means good tank conditions for the bottom which is what you want for Hills and Ottos - see if they can take some of your snails, if you want, for store credit but NOT a ton of them. Remember, you want their help while the fry grow for another month or two but you can definitely get rid of half or more if you want to.
mrsP said:
I might - repeat - MIGHT have Oto fry. Today I saw lots of Hillstream fry, but also couple of smaller, slightly differently colored and differently swimming fry. Either they are just younger Hillstreams, or first Oto fry. Statisticly thinking they are likely to be Hillstreams, as they are breeding constantly, and I have lots of different age fry in tank. I don't have any idea how many, as my tank is quite densly planted, and gravel substrate hides them well. If having snail population explosion is a price to pay to get lots of Hillstreams and possibly Otos, I'm ready to have snails too. I can simply catch them and take to my LFS.

I'm thinking of pygmy corys as possible solution for snail problem. Any experience / advice on that?

Edit:
I do have Oto fry in my tank. I've been watching like a hawk my tank today, and finally I saw one of the different fry with small Hillstream fry on same rock, and had a good look at them. One of them was different size and shape, and had different kind of markings on it. They were rather horizintal than vertical, like Hillstreams, and head part didn't really have much on it, unlike Hillstreams. After that I spent quite some time googling Oto fry pictures, and now I'm sure I have at least one Oto fry, most likely more than one. I'm really happy!

I also had to transfer Tomato from small tank to large one, and increse risk to small fry in there, but I'm sure she would die in small one. She still might, but any medication doesn't seem to do anything to her pineconing, and I think that it's more humane for her to at least not needing to be vary of Salad when she feels poorly. If she recoveres, she stays in large one, and Salad can have the small to himself. They might be ok together in large one, but I don't want to take any risks for Tomato or additionla to any fry in there. Perhaps some day I can try to breed green or turqoise bettas, but that day is not here yet.

I also got snail traps from amazon, and try to catch as many snails as possible to take to lfs tomorrow. There are so many of them.
This is WONDERFUL, congratulations!! If you see one or two fry, there's always usually a dozen others hiding. If I could suggest it, if you have any other room for plants as of this time, do it. Tomato will be okay, can you tell me how she's doing and what meds? Only thing I worry about is meds added to the main tank where the fry are. I can help you come up with a plan for Tomato, I don't want you to lose her either.

One good way to catch snails, is a big thin slice of blanched (1-2 min) or zucchini or plain iceburg lettuce. Sink it down/weight it maybe and wait 24 hours - they'll dog pile it! If you want to be rid of a lot of them, try 2 sinks of either/or and wait....
mrsP said:
I've been trying to take photos of Oto fry, but they're camera shy. They are so much smaller than Hillstreams, and they rest on their ventral fins just like adults, so adorable. Thank you WateryDreams, I never could've done this without your input!
You're more than welcome, I'm so happy for you! Yeah they hide A LOT until they're bigger - just remember the feeding technique - they're tiny so sinking pellets/wafers are hard and they can't come to the surface because of fear (even in floating plants) so crush a little of each into a bowl. Pinch some in your fingers, and slowly put your hand to the bottom - no fast moves, no bubbles and spread it around same time you feed the adult fish with your other hand. Start the adults first...

Your baby Hills will be okay with the sinkers but the Ottos babies need just a bit more help. It might seem counter productive but 2 big pinches of crushed/ground food for the babies 3-4 times a week will be great - the baby Hills and snails will clean up the rest. The Otto's need a lot of food but being so small they're more scared than most to try and get it so help them out. Thus the greatness of Hills and snails to balance. If you HAVE floating plants, you might have Otto's hiding there too, so you can if you want, sprinkle a lot food on top.

In my experience Otto babies mainly choose the bottom but they also go top side for hanging/floating plants so don't think they're either/or.
mrsP said:
I've been catching snails to take them to lfs this weekend, and oh boy there's a lot. I also need to check water quality today, and do maintanence. Why does everyone recommend blanched veggies for fish? None of mine eat them, but give them fresh zucchini, and they're all over it. I never blanch veggies for them any more, and they seem to have good appetite for fresh ones.

WD = Blanching helps lock in nutrients and softens the veggies, it can also help purge any harmful enzymes, etc. and it great to do before freezing. Fresh zucchini is GREAT for bottom swellers, especially snails. If you want to catch a lot, use zuch or weighted down iceburg lettuce.

I also have a porblem with amazon sward, it's not doing well. Leaves are getting yellow, and it's growing algae. All I can think of is that it needs more nutrients, so I'm going to plant it to a pot into soil topped with gravel and rocks, and it should be ok after that. I also need to deal with Bacopa caroliana, it's gone haywire and tries to take over the tank. Thankfully I have planted it to a pot too, so it's easy to deal with. Just cut the tops, discard the bottoms and plant the tops. I just think I have more tops than I have space for, perhaps I could take those to lfs too. I need to call them and ask.

Amazon Swords can be tricky - yellow leaves means it's not getting the nutrients it needs but instead of replanting have you considered tablets that you tuck under the roots? Can I also ask what plant care you have going in your tank, as is? Lighting, liquid nutrients, etc? If your BC is exploding that's good on many levels, some plants when they're happy explode like that. Your LFS could definitely take extra, or during your pruning you could process the extra in a food processor, etc. to turn into fish food. I could help with that if you want? Just make sure not to trim TOO much.

I'm planning to change my 25 litre (6,6g instead of 5 that I thought it was... thank you for calculators on right side!) tank to saltwater / reef tank. I'm starting slowly to get things I need, like salt, refractometer etc, and last things will be live sand and live rock. I love the idea of them, because it would be so interesting to see what pops out and starts to grow! I've never been eager to saltwater due it's complexity and cost, but after a lot of research I've come to realise it doesn't have to be that difficult or complex.

Very true but it IS different, I could help with that too if you want. The key to saltwater tanks is the ideal environment like freshwater but saltwater it's CRITICAL - depending on what you wanna keep. It's not just salinity and hides, it's corals, anemones, etc.

I would also love to have 2 more, small tanks for bettas. Salad has too strong breeding instict for Tomato, so I would love to have 1 tank for Tomato, and a shallow (perhaps 15cm deep) 50x50cm tank for Salad. I know my hubbie won't agree to that, so I need to think about this more. I have material to make the shallow tank myself, but the other 25 litre... nah. Or perhaps I should just forget reef tank, make shallow tank for Salad and give excisting 25 litre tank to Tomato. Let's see, I need to plan some more. But first, water tests.
mrsP said:
I've been catching snails to take them to lfs this weekend, and oh boy there's a lot. I also need to check water quality today, and do maintanence. Why does everyone recommend blanched veggies for fish? None of mine eat them, but give them fresh zucchini, and they're all over it. I never blanch veggies for them any more, and they seem to have good appetite for fresh ones.

I also have a porblem with amazon sward, it's not doing well. Leaves are getting yellow, and it's growing algae. All I can think of is that it needs more nutrients, so I'm going to plant it to a pot into soil topped with gravel and rocks, and it should be ok after that. I also need to deal with Bacopa caroliana, it's gone haywire and tries to take over the tank. Thankfully I have planted it to a pot too, so it's easy to deal with. Just cut the tops, discard the bottoms and plant the tops. I just think I have more tops than I have space for, perhaps I could take those to lfs too. I need to call them and ask.

I'm planning to change my 25 litre (6,6g instead of 5 that I thought it was... thank you for calculators on right side!) tank to saltwater / reef tank. I'm starting slowly to get things I need, like salt, refractometer etc, and last things will be live sand and live rock. I love the idea of them, because it would be so interesting to see what pops out and starts to grow! I've never been eager to saltwater due it's complexity and cost, but after a lot of research I've come to realise it doesn't have to be that difficult or complex.



I would also love to have 2 more, small tanks for bettas. Salad has too strong breeding instict for Tomato, so I would love to have 1 tank for Tomato, and a shallow (perhaps 15cm deep) 50x50cm tank for Salad. I know my hubbie won't agree to that, so I need to think about this more. I have material to make the shallow tank myself, but the other 25 litre... nah. Or perhaps I should just forget reef tank, make shallow tank for Salad and give excisting 25 litre tank to Tomato. Let's see, I need to plan some more. But first, water tests.
If you can let me know you're full set up, AS IS, we can come up with something. Right now Tomato needs to get healthy again and so long as Salad is healthy and blowing his bubbles/being a good male... we can figure this out. The key to convincing any spouse is a REALLY good plan. Let me know, I'm here! PLus the whole board. Sorry for the bold font, my browser is whacky.
mrsP said:
I managed to destroy bn plecos "nest" when I decided to replant and tidy up some plants. Bacopa caroliana is planted in small pot, so I took it out, and pulled plants from substrate. Then I started to wonder that do I really see a fish tail fin in there, and pulled it gently. Oh yes, I pulled out a very miffed male bristle nose. I freaked out (fish out of water, you see) and took it back to tank. Then I continued to tidy up plants, and when I started to replant them, I noticed a bunch of orange eggs... *sigh* I'm an idiot. OF COURSE there are eggs, why would male otherwise stay there when pot is taken out of water? I took all the eggs I found, and placed them to another cave (ordered breeding box from amazin, arrives tomorrow) and hope for best. 4 eggs have ended out of cave, but at least I can keep an eye on them to see what's going on. Tomorrow I will place eggs to breeding box when it arrives. Any advise how to procede with this? Do these eggs look fertilised? And do they change color before hatching, or stay the same? So many things I have no idea.
Oooh gosh.... they might be! Yeah try hard NOT to rearrange the tank - planting extras can be stressful but helpful but taking out and rearranging... try not to if you can. The typical yellow/orange color comes from the yolk sack and they're sticky so they want to stick to plants, etc. Where is Dad? Dad is the protector/caretaker.. it might be to late for this brood, I'm not sure... I wouldn't suggest a breed box for the BN. Can you can get me more pics, is this the same tank as the Ottos or...?

Watch for Dad... if you do the breeding box, make sure it's mounted to the tank where the filter stream can get to it - not too hard/fast but a nice, gentle stream. The eggs need it. Do NOT touch with your hands, if you can use a leaf, moss, etc. better that way and leave it in the box for now.

Please let us know how everyone is doing!!
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Thank you WateryDreams ! Please don't feel you need to hang out here at all times, there's this thing called life.

This is what the tank looks like now. Pleco eggs are in bottom left blue pot.


IMG_20210321_073922_2.jpg


Mum and dad has found the eggs. I wasn't able to take a picture of dad, but mum likes to hang out in here:


IMG_20210321_073633_2.jpg


Do you think that powder Repashy Soilent green would be good for fry? I mean in powder form, sprinkled to water? I know that in unorthodox way to use it, but I've done it couple of times before to fry, and it did seem to work nicely.

This is how I feed my fish in 250L. I have glass dishes that I place to bottom, and one of them has pleco nuggets and the other has algae wafers. There's also honeydew melon on fork, as everyone seems to love it. I've noticed that fishes are not so keen to eat in the morning (first image) but in the evening there's a buzz (second). I love to watch them, it's like a dance. I the morning it's easier to watch for small fry that likes to hang out on the bottom and between gravel.


IMG_20210321_073934.jpg


IMG_20210320_171526.jpg

Tomato is doing well all things considered. She's still pineconing some, but her fins are healing and she's eating well and annoyd to be confined to a net box. I get it, she's used to space of 66 gallon, and now she's in a cupboard compared to that. But you do what you have to. Is there a thing called false pinconing? Just thinking since she's otherwise doing fine.


IMG_20210321_074014_2.jpg


Salad is being a good hubby, building a nest and showing off. It's quite funny actually. He's hanging out and blowing more bubbles under bubblewrap (pun not inteded but quite funny), and then suddenly shooting next to Tomato and posing like a bodybilder! After a moment he goes back to nest, just like nothing happend. Heh, they are really intertaining.


IMG_20210321_074236_2.jpg


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Here's a few pictures of the other parts ot my tank. I have mint growing in one corner:


IMG_20210321_073527_2.jpg


and peace lily in other:


IMG_20210321_073547_2.jpg


And this is how I decided to "naturalise" filter outflow:


IMG_20210321_073511_2.jpg


just because I had a piece of Java fern that didn't want to stay anywhere else. That small piece of Bacopa caroliana ended up there on it's own, I'll let it stay there if it likes. If you have plants, you can grow them pretty much anywhere.

I'm really trying to learn the balance of doing and not doing things in the tank, it's surprisingly difficult. But I'll get there, one of these days.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I got breeder box deliverd, and transferred eggs there. I noticed that there's a few empty eggs, so not fertilised, but perhaps around 50 eggs have orange sack in them. Snail has been removed from box. It will be interesting to see if anything will actually grow.


IMG_20210321_171127_2.jpg


IMG_20210321_171106_2.jpg
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I've been working a lot lately, and have no energy to anything else than that and careing for fish.
I lost the batch of eggs to mold, but that's not surprising since I'm not a male pleco. Speaking of that, I haven't seen him. He might be hiding under driftwood and java fern, there's a lot of space for them, or he might be guarding more eggs. I'll see that later, I guess. But now I need to go, but I'll write more on weekend.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I had problems with catching my Hillstreams for lfs. Thread about it is here: https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...ong-catching-hillstreams.493555/#post-4929922

Instead of using a trap, I might teach them to eat in large baking glass bowl. That way I can easily catch them while they eat by simply putting a lid to it, and emptying to other container. Sigh, still not feeling too great about that, but all I can think is to learn about experience.

This weekend activities:
100% waterchange and thorough cleaning to 25 litre tank (it's lot more work than bigger one), and 2 buckets worth of very gentle gravel cleaning to big. I have a small gravel cleaner, and I gently put in on top of gravel, let it suck mulm and take it off. That way I hope I don't vaccuum Hillstream eggs. I easily counted 50 fry, and they are lovely. No news about Otos though.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
Yesterday there was bit like dust floating around in my tank, so I had an idea... (I know, thinking doesn't really suit me) I have 2 brand new bags of filter pouches, super fine ones, to my Fluval gravel vac. Picture below.



1617083502553.jpeg


It was late for me, around 9pm, and I didn't want to start doing anything that takes long, I simply took one bag and slipped on to outlet of my filter. It was so lovely and white... and look what it's like at 6am.


IMG_20210330_060223.jpg


Wow, I'm surprised. Water is crystal clear though, so NOT complaining! This is easy way to get rid of those annoying floaters.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
That bag is now dark brown, and I rinsed it well in the morning. It was dark brown then, and after rinsing it was as clean as possible without washing it.

Aaaand I just - might - have gotten myself tiny indoor pond. It's actually a flower pot, about 2cm of organic potting soil, and 5cm of aquarium planting "sand" on top. I said to my husband that I want to see if certain plants will grow above water and flower. And I genuinely want to see if that happens, I just need to add heater too. Light is 50w floodlight, so plenty of that there. I have planted most of it, just some dwarf grass still coming. One of the most interesting plants is red tiger lotus, I would love to see it flowering. I will be adding daphnia and other tiny critters there.

IMG_20210331_172814.jpg


IMG_20210331_172814_2.jpg
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I was thinking... My aquarium forms gas bubbles in substrate (gravel). Since they don't smell at all, they can't be sulfur, and that leaves nitrogen as to what it is. It might explain why my nitrates are so low in tank. I assume it's a good thing that nitrates turn to nitrogen?
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I euthanised Tomato this morning. I also now know why she was pineconing. She had large tumor in her abdomen, and this morning I noticed she was discolored (white) on part of her abdomen, and in middle of that was large, deep lesion into her abdomen. She had cancer. I'm sad, but I also know there's nothing I could've done to heal her. Perhaps I should have euthanised her earlier, I hope she wasn't in horrible pain. She was still eating a bit, so I really don't think so, but I can only hope that's correct.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
My tank today:

 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
This morning :


IMG_20210408_185918~2.jpg
 

Cawafuoshi

Member
mrsP said:
I was just enjoying my tank and thought you might like to see some of photos too, I'll attach them to the end. Tank is 250 litres, or 66 US gallons, planted, and I have a lot of fish in there. Stocking includes:

6 goldfish, accidental spawn around year ago, so I grew them myself
Hillstream loaches, bought 5, spawned, no idea how many there are now, but LOTS
1 bristle nose pleco
2 otos
6 yoyo loaches
Guppy / Endler hybrids, dozens of them
snails
3 clams
female betta

I had 2 female guppies and bought 3 endler males from my lfs, as they had lovely colors, and I wanted some small fish. They didn't have any females, but they breed easily, to now I have lots of exiting color hybrids. There are neon oranges mixed with opalecent blue or white and black, or blue, orange and black, or black and orange, or nearly see-through females with yellowish color (I imagine that they give that lovely pearly color to offspring that I regulary see). There are nearly every finn shapes you can think of, and no 2 fish are the same. I specially love couple of males that have neon orange tail with black markings, and opalecent pearl and blue snakeskin sides.

Every information about Hillstream loaches say that they need high flow tank. Mine is not high flow, but moderate, and I have quite a lot of plants there. However, they breed. I originally bought 5, since I thought that might be nice, minimum number of them to that size tank. Oh well, they spawned (story of that is somewhere in forum) and now I have absolutely no clue how many there are, since I see juveniles all over. I love it!

I got yoyos because I hade literally hundreds of snails, but they don't seem to eat that much of them, or I just don't notice that. However, they are fun to watch, and look hilarious when they sleep on their side somewhere. They definetly caused some concern before I realised they just sleep that way.

And my darling betta. She's lovely, and she was some of my nearly first fish I got. She's always lived with others since I got her, and never had any problems even when people generally say that bettas don't tolerate other fish. I disagree. I've always had betta or two in my tank, and never had any problems. There might be few reasons to it, I've always had planted tanks, and fed my fish well. And keep water quality good. I think those are main things to be able to keep quite "aggressive" fish with others. She does have couple of favorite hang out spots, but she's not too jealous if some other fish share it with her.
Screenshot_20210110_103228_com.google.android.apps.photos.jpg

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Screenshot_20210110_102815_com.google.android.apps.photos.jpg

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Love it, but darn, 250l do not really translate into a gigantic tank. Tank sizes always strike me. The small ones look big to me whereas the big ones do not look their part. Perhaps it has to do with planting and size of fishes.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
I think you're right, and I've never been good with scaping. Best I can do is some kind of jungle style, an even that's a stretch in my opinion.

I would never want a gigantic tank, I think 250L (66g) is possibly biggest I like to have. In some point I might want to upgrade a bit, or get second 250L one. Bigger is easier to manage.
 
  • Thread Starter

mrsP

Member
This morning first batch of 50 Hillstream loach fry, about 2cm size, left to my lfs. Those 50 were about 1/4 of all fry, I guess. They came to get them, and at same time I returned Salad (male betta), because he's been miserable after Tomato died to abdominal tumor. I also gave them large amount of ramshorn snails as they said they're happy to get them any time, any amount. Be my guest... I also did partial water change, about 25%, to my 250 litre tank (and usual daily wc of 50% to my 25 litre tank). It wasn't needed because ammonia, nitrites and nitrates were all 0, and yes, my tank is cycled. Plants use the nitrates, and I also fertilize them every day. I dose 10ml of liquid carbon and 5ml of tnc complete. No algae problems. I'm quite happy about how it looks, these 2 are taken today after water change. No filters used. I have peace lily growing on surface in top right corner, and mint in left, right under light. Curly leaved lace plant, on left back of tank, is flowering constantly. There's 2 flower stems and 3rd growing. Giant hygro on right is also growing above surface, and I'm interested to see what it looks like if it starts to flower too, and how tall it's going to grow. Banana plants has sent it's first leaf to surface, and I would love to see it flower too. I'm considering to add pothos there too, it would look nice climbing on back wall, or flowing down on left side to cover my fx4.


IMG_20210418_101159.jpg



IMG_20210418_102535.jpg
 

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