The Quiche Niche: Fish, axolotls, & more!

Salutations! This is going to be the place where I document my tanks' progressions. I have 3- a 55g, a 40g, and a 5g. I think it'll be neat for me to look back on.

First up, we have the 55 gallon. It's an old tank established in 2017 that I just got live plants for.
IMG_1367.jpg
(Don't judge the scape - it's a weeknight, I had to throw everything in fast!)
Current stocking:
1 Pearl Gourami
9 Platies
1 Cherry Barb
1 Nerite

(Alright, let me explain the single cherry barb before I get lampooned! See, I had a school of 8 cherry barbs at one point, maybe back in 2018-2019 - 2M,6F - but all of them died within a few months of each other with no noticeable symptoms. I never figured out why - none of the other fish were afflicted and parameters were 0/0/10. I thought perhaps they were eggbound, because all the females, once cut open, had tons of eggs in them. However, I wasn't able to find information, and figured that the final cherry barb would soon follow. Well, months became a year and Hunchback Red just kept living. I don't know what to do - I'm not sure if I should get more cherry barbs or wait it out. I would be glad to rehome him, but there's a reason he's named Hunchback Red - where would I find someone to take a single cherry barb with a spinal deformity? I'll hear out anyone's advice! He's not aggressive to the other fish (he and the other male used to have spats but thus are barbs), besides occasionally chasing a platy out of "his" plant, so I'm not concerned on that front. I'm just wondering if he's lonely and if I should risk it and get a couple of females, despite not knowing their cause of death last time. I did get them from Petco though, so it's possible they had poor genetics.)

HunchbackRed.jpg
The point of contention himself: Hunchback Red, + 3 year old nerite!
You can see a delineation on his shell from when he started growing in my tank, kind of like a tree ring.


Alright, back to plants. There's anubias, anacharis, vallisneria, java fern, amazon sword, and java moss. The light is a Beamswork FSPEC. I'm planning on dosing Thrive once or twice a week, depending on if the plants need it, and there's Osmocote root tabs near the vals and sword.

Also, I've been fighting BBA. I boiled the driftwood recently and cleaned out the sand. Those fake plants are a pain to clean, they've got so many leaves! I think I'll steam them and let the platies eat what's left. Bon appétit? That's also partially why I got live plants - I hope that anacharis and co. will use up the nutrients. I'm going to use H2O2 to spot-clean on the anubias, which (fun fact!) have been there since 2017 and were the only plants in there until today. We'll see how this multi-faceted attack on the BBA goes, wish me luck! I might also get a few amano shrimp, as I hear they'll eat BBA sometimes. Obviously, I'm not relying on them to single-handedly (single-claw-edly?) fix it, but perhaps they can help out. Anyone got experience with amanos + BBA?

Which brings me to stocking. From what I gather, I'm not fully stocked quite yet. I just never got around to getting more fish because I didn't have a quarantine tank set up, but now I do. I'm open to any stocking ideas! I'm set on getting at least 2 more pearls, a male and a female, to bring it up to 1M2F. I'm wondering if I should get more cherry barbs, or instead go for a cory school. Here's are the two options I'm thinking so far:
4 x Pearl Gourami
10 x Platies
8 x Cherry Barb
1 x Nerite
5 x Amano Shrimp
3 x Pearl Gourami
10 x Platy
8 x Bronze Cory
1 x Cherry Barb
1 x Nerite Snail

Wow, that was a lot to type out. I'll share my 40g and 5g in my next posts. Until then, thanks for visiting the Quiche Niche, and hope you all have a lovely night! :)
 
Salutations! This is going to be the place where I document my tanks' progressions. I have 3- a 55g, a 40g, and a 5g. I think it'll be neat for me to look back on.

First up, we have the 55 gallon. It's an old tank established in 2017 that I just got live plants for.
View attachment 747810
(Don't judge the scape - it's a weeknight, I had to throw everything in fast!)
Current stocking:
1 Pearl Gourami
9 Platies
1 Cherry Barb
1 Nerite

(Alright, let me explain the single cherry barb before I get lampooned! See, I had a school of 8 cherry barbs at one point, maybe back in 2018-2019 - 2M,6F - but all of them died within a few months of each other with no noticeable symptoms. I never figured out why - none of the other fish were afflicted and parameters were 0/0/10. I thought perhaps they were eggbound, because all the females, once cut open, had tons of eggs in them. However, I wasn't able to find information, and figured that the final cherry barb would soon follow. Well, months became a year and Hunchback Red just kept living. I don't know what to do - I'm not sure if I should get more cherry barbs or wait it out. I would be glad to rehome him, but there's a reason he's named Hunchback Red - where would I find someone to take a single cherry barb with a spinal deformity? I'll hear out anyone's advice! He's not aggressive to the other fish (he and the other male used to have spats but thus are barbs), besides occasionally chasing a platy out of "his" plant, so I'm not concerned on that front. I'm just wondering if he's lonely and if I should risk it and get a couple of females, despite not knowing their cause of death last time. I did get them from Petco though, so it's possible they had poor genetics.)

View attachment 747809
The point of contention himself: Hunchback Red, + 3 year old nerite!
You can see a delineation on his shell from when he started growing in my tank, kind of like a tree ring.


Alright, back to plants. There's anubias, anacharis, vallisneria, java fern, amazon sword, and java moss. The light is a Beamswork FSPEC. I'm planning on dosing Thrive once or twice a week, depending on if the plants need it, and there's Osmocote root tabs near the vals and sword.

Also, I've been fighting BBA. I boiled the driftwood recently and cleaned out the sand. Those fake plants are a pain to clean, they've got so many leaves! I think I'll steam them and let the platies eat what's left. Bon appétit? That's also partially why I got live plants - I hope that anacharis and co. will use up the nutrients. I'm going to use H2O2 to spot-clean on the anubias, which (fun fact!) have been there since 2017 and were the only plants in there until today. We'll see how this multi-faceted attack on the BBA goes, wish me luck! I might also get a few amano shrimp, as I hear they'll eat BBA sometimes. Obviously, I'm not relying on them to single-handedly (single-claw-edly?) fix it, but perhaps they can help out. Anyone got experience with amanos + BBA?

Which brings me to stocking. From what I gather, I'm not fully stocked quite yet. I just never got around to getting more fish because I didn't have a quarantine tank set up, but now I do. I'm open to any stocking ideas! I'm set on getting at least 2 more pearls, a male and a female, to bring it up to 1M2F. I'm wondering if I should get more cherry barbs, or instead go for a cory school. Here's are the two options I'm thinking so far:
4 x Pearl Gourami
10 x Platies
8 x Cherry Barb
1 x Nerite
5 x Amano Shrimp
3 x Pearl Gourami
10 x Platy
8 x Bronze Cory
1 x Cherry Barb
1 x Nerite Snail

Wow, that was a lot to type out. I'll share my 40g and 5g in my next posts. Until then, thanks for visiting the Quiche Niche, and hope you all have a lovely night! :)
Following! I've seen worse scapes lol.
 
Following! I've seen worse scapes lol.
Haha, thanks I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

For BBA, here is a video. I will think about the stocking.
Ah, I recall seeing your signature around the forum and was thinking about @ing you at some point for stocking suggestions! I watched the video – I'll look into glutaraldehyde but I've heard about its toxicity, so I'm a bit hesitant. Also, I think I have a weaker strain of BBA as I'm able to scrub it off with a sponge. Perhaps manually eliminating it and then controlling lights/nutrients and allowing the plants to outcompete it will work, but if that doesn't I'll read up on glutaraldehyde.
 
Ah, I recall seeing your signature around the forum and was thinking about @ing you at some point for stocking suggestions! I watched the video – I'll look into glutaraldehyde but I've heard about its toxicity, so I'm a bit hesitant. Also, I think I have a weaker strain of BBA as I'm able to scrub it off with a sponge. Perhaps manually eliminating it and then controlling lights/nutrients and allowing the plants to outcompete it will work, but if that doesn't I'll read up on glutaraldehyde.
Haha, that's the benefit of signatures! Okay, also is your cherry barb content and happy on it's own?
 
Okay, also is your cherry barb content and happy on it's own?
I'm genuinely not sure, but I don't think so. I don't remember a lot because it was quite a while back, but before his school died out he used to split his time between chasing the females and flaring off against the male. Now, he usually swims around the aquarium or sits in his plant, occasionally chasing out a platy small enough for him to bully. I think the problem is that without a group, he has no form of enrichment; the platies pick at the BBA during the day and interact with each other, but he's not that interested in foraging, so there's no "activity" for him to do. I don't think he's as happy as the platies, that's for sure. Now that I really think about it, I do think it'd be worth it to get more cherry barbs, but perhaps from a better source this time and to keep a close eye on them.
 
I'm genuinely not sure, but I don't think so. I don't remember a lot because it was quite a while back, but before his school died out he used to split his time between chasing the females and flaring off against the male. Now, he usually swims around the aquarium or sits in his plant, occasionally chasing out a platy small enough for him to bully. I think the problem is that without a group, he has no form of enrichment; the platies pick at the BBA during the day and interact with each other, but he's not that interested in foraging, so there's no "activity" for him to do. I don't think he's as happy as the platies, that's for sure. Now that I really think about it, I do think it'd be worth it to get more cherry barbs, but perhaps from a better source this time and to keep a close eye on them.
After reading this, I agree with you. Getting more cherry barbs would be the best. I would go with your first stocking. Also, what substrate did you use in that 55 gal? Can you provide a link?


4 x Pearl Gourami
10 x Platies
8 x Cherry Barb
5 x Amano Shrimp

So, about the nerite snails, you might end up with a female and they lay eggs EVERYWHERE like this:
1607014263201.png
 
The substrate is Imagitarium white sand, here's a close up I took. (Pencil eraser for scale) Is it about the possible cories?

I'm not planning on adding any nerite snails, just sticking with the one I have right now. It's been 3 years and change and fortunately he's yet to pop out a single egg!
 
The substrate is Imagitarium white sand, here's a close up I took. Is it about the possible cories?

I'm not planning on adding any nerite snails, just sticking with the one I have right now. It's been 3 years and change and fortunately he's yet to pop out a single egg!
I guess your current snails is male. Also, thx for the substrate!
The substrate is Imagitarium white sand, here's a close up I took. Is it about the possible cories?

I'm not planning on adding any nerite snails, just sticking with the one I have right now. It's been 3 years and change and fortunately he's yet to pop out a single egg!
Also, no I just liked the substrate and wanted to ask. Maybe I will use it in the future.
 
I guess your current snails is male. Also, thx for the substrate!

Also, no I just liked the substrate and wanted to ask. Maybe I will use it in the future.

Ah got it! I remember hearing something about how cories preferred sands with a small grain size for sifting, but I wasn't sure haha.
 
How is the tank going Quiche ?
Oh my, I nearly forgot about this thread, thanks for checking in! Happy to report that all is well. It's been two weeks since putting the plants in and I think they're doing well - the vals both sprouted a runner. Unfortunately the older leaves seem to be melting off, but the young ones are growing maybe 0.5cm a day. Perhaps that's not actually that fast, but I'm used to my slow-and-steady anubias, so this was pretty jarring. All the other plants are doing fine; I can't track their rate of growth as easily as the vals, but so far nothing's withering away, so that's certainly a plus!

Speaking of which, algae is growing at an alarming rate. I assume it's the extra lights, but I'm not sure how I should deal with it. I don't want to fiddle with that until I get a few more weeks to know the plants better, though. Currently it's 6 hours a day, which seems low, but it looks to be a pretty high-intensity light.

Tomorrow I'll post a picture of the axolotl tank. I'm planning on doing a WC and tiling the bottom of it so I'll show to end result :)

Here's a slo-mo of the nerite for now!
 
Here's the axolotl tank! Click for higher res image

ArkrBc8.jpg
qyquJjY.jpg
15UuSyE.jpg

(I, uh, might've done the math wrong for the tiles - I thought they would be smaller than they are, hence the overlapping tiles. I'll figure out how to fix that later ^^')

Anyways, right now the tank holds Big Gray and Vaccine (Vaccine is the leucistic one on the left, he wasn't sitting in a photogenic spot) and Big Gray is the pudgy melanoid. The third one, Chris (short for Chrysalis), is a GFP wildtype. He has less of an appetite and is a bit smaller, so I moved him into a tub for now because he was getting picked on. The plan is to monitor his diet a little more closely, let his leg heal (got scraped by one of the others :c), and return him once he's back in shape again.

I tiled the bottom, cleaned the canister, and put in a bag of carbon today, just in case the tile leaches anything. It's slate and passed the vinegar test, so it should be fine, but I'll still be watching the axolotls for the next few days. I'll see if I can get better pictures of the axolotls in the coming days!
 
One of the platies just shuffled off this mortal coil. I wasn't sure what happened, until I tested my water: nitrates were 40ppm, up from my usual 5-10! I think I've been overdosing Thrive. The instructions say that 1 pump is allegedly 2 ppm, but I should've used a bit of common sense - now that I think about it, each pump looks way more than 2ml, just off eyeballing. Thrive increases nitrate by ~7ppm when dosed properly, so I'm guessing I gave the plants wayyy more than they need. The Osmocote root tabs are probably also contributing. I just did a 50% WC, so I'll feed lightly, skip ferts, and do another one in a day or two.

That's sort of a noob mistake - I should've been keeping a closer eye on parameters after starting the fert routine. Ah well, you live and you learn! (Well, unless you're that platy...my apologies.) Also, my pH seems to have gone up to 8.0? That's a bit concerning, but Thrive doesn't affect pH so I'm not quite sure what's happening.

I've been taking good care of that anacharis clump, it better help me fix this now >:\
nah, just kidding - I wouldn't put that burden on a poor plant (;
 

V1K

I love your axolotl tank! Well, I don't love the fake plants (I'd replace them with ferns glued to rocks), but those stone and tile structures - neat, unique, tastefull, 10/10. Did you glue them together so they don't fall over? As for overlapping tiles, before reading the description I thought this was by design, gives a certain character to the floor, so unless it's a cleanup problem or safety issue you might leave them as they are .
 
I love your axolotl tank! Well, I don't love the fake plants (I'd replace them with ferns glued to rocks), but those stone and tile structures - neat, unique, tastefull, 10/10. Did you glue them together so they don't fall over? As for overlapping tiles, before reading the description I thought this was by design, gives a certain character to the floor, so unless it's a cleanup problem or safety issue you might leave them as they are .
Aw, thank you! Cleanup is actually slightly easier - all the stuff collects under those tiles and I can hoover up 60% of the tank's detritus in one go, so maybe I'll keep it like that. And yep, the structures are siliconed together. I hadn't thought about swapping out the plants with live ones! I think the only problem with that is that I nearly never turn the light on, because my axolotls hunker down in the caves if it's too bright :/

Just found this thread, love the title!
Haha, thanks! My sister actually suggested "Quiche's Fishes" but pronounced so that it rhymes, but I think niche and leash are the only legitimate rhymes :v
 
I'm back! School's been getting rather busy, so I haven't had much time to post or read Fishlore :\ I've been grinding for an assortment of standardized tests lately, but mostly the SAT - wish me luck next week!
Anyways, I went three weeks between water changes at one point, algae covered up the whole tank, and I barely saw my fish for a week, but then when I finally did the WC I saw that the plants had really gone buck-wild (probably soaking up the nitrates, because they were under 10 when I checked), and a lot of little platy fry swimming around.
IMG_20210331_1806373.jpg
I'll admit that it's not necessarily the most luscious of tanks, but it's such a glow-up from a few months ago! Plus, fry are able to make it by hiding in the plants - a while back, folks here kept on telling me that more would live if I had plants and I kinda dismissed it because I thought the fish would just hunt them down regardless, but apparently not ᗡ: You guys were right!

And here's a comparison to the original:
Before.jpg

Edit: I also just ate quiche for the first time, which was what reminded me about this
 
Your Axie aquarium is lovely. They are fascinating animals and so interactive. I had a wild type called Phoenix for just over 2 years, he was enormous at 36cm long, great character, sadly passed away a couple months ago.
 
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