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Alexyay's tanks 02/02/14


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Haha, quite a few. No nice photography, but a big tank change. Looks like I certainly haven't updated in a while!

31L DPF tank is still the same, nothing different there


55L now has

3x A australe females (still haven't ordered my pair!)

7x Hara cats

I'm yet to go and get some black iron sand (can't seem to find any black sands at an OK price) for the hara cats, and once that's done it'll have a nice piece of driftwood too (which all the fish will prefer). I've upgraded to a Finnex Planted+ and am pretty happy with it!

Plant-wise my stargrass seemed to die off not long before I did the light change, but it's growing back again. My cyano came back a few weeks after a 4-day blackout (which killed almost all of it off), but appears to fortunately be growing slower under this light. Annoyingly, it seems to grow back faster after water changes, which is a right pain! (possibly indicates it prefers the low nitrates, as it's a low nitrate tank anyway at about 10-20ppm after 1.5 weeks).


The 120L has been havoc. Been upping my WCs but my API kit is still showing high nitrates (am yet to calibrate the kit, though) which is quite frustrating. Will clean out the filter foam next weekend. I lost my female thicklip gourami to what I presume was a bacterial infection, which you can read about here, and after introducing 3 honey gourami, my flagfish became lethargic and stopped eating, which you can read about here - I lost one within the first week, but the rest responded to Praziquantel. Then for an unknown reason one girl developed a severe case of dropsy (Pic here, which I treated as bloat but she was pretty far gone. As you can see in the link above I suspected the parasites had come back, but for whatever reason it just killed off the severely malnourished girl and the other two continued to eat as normal, except the male had some kind of blockage. The male's blockage lasted maybe, two weeks? I treated it for bloat also but to no success and lost him last night. As you can see here (warning: necropsy photo), he had a big sac (maybe his intestines?) of fluid. The only other odd thing I could find was this stringy green stuff (that appears to be on/in the sac in the first photo) here which may mean that he ate something that couldn't break down which caused a blockage? I'm struggling to find dissection photos of fish with dropsy, but all he had was the swollen abdomen (which looked "lumpy", rather than rounded - photo here and here and no usual pineconing, he was eating as normal until the last couple of days in which he looked quite lethargic. A high concentration bath of epsom salts (along with him being in a lower concentration for about 2 days a week prior) didn't help. So I'm left with a single female.

The male honey gourami that I got (1 male, 2 female) had a few wounds which eventually developed an infection - that whole thing was a mess, but basically, I lost him due to the infection.

So my current stocking list is

5x Red whiptails (I assume)

2x Female red honey gourami

3x Female Indian banded gourami

1x Female american flagfish

I may eventually move my new 3 wild-type thicklipped gourami in there too, but want to do plenty of WCs and get everything under control first.

Pic is bad, and it was just after a plant trim, so it's looking pretty messy here. The tank itself is quite a mess anyway.


And for a bit more exciting news, I managed to say goodbye to the 140L tall tank that I had & hated, and hello to my new 220L Rimless tank made by Greg!

Here are some build pics:

Old tank left, holding tank left top, new tank right



Wood is held down with a large stainless steel screw onto a plastic tray


Unfortunately I killed most of my plants (especially DHG) by leaving it too long in an Excel dip for BBA


Then it went weird - I accidentally OD'd the Flourish by 1.6mL and the whole tank went black. Caused quite a panic, and required a big frantic water change while all my fish were stuck in a 50L holding tank!


Cleared up a few days later


Sword wasn't happy & suffered what I think was a phosphate deficiency? The other 3 swords in the tank did fine, though, fortunately.

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Unlike in my other tanks, the stargrass here is growing via runners, looks much nicer!


I've set up some riparium-type planting at the back, and hope to make some nicer custom planters, and fill out the entire back of the tank


Species I think include:

Peace lily (variegated)

Chamaedorea elegans

Syngonium sp ( I assume S podophyllum)

Aphelandra squarrosa (I think - unfortunately the ends of the leaves of this keep on going black)

About to be added are

Fittonia albivenis

Calathea sp

All of which are South American :)

I'm using a mix of hydroton and vermiculite - the lights at the back for the plants give it a really nice "sunset" look at night


The current stock list

3x Regular kuhlis

3x Wild-type thicklip gouramis (thanks so much to Pupuke Aquarium Centre!) - supposed to be temporary

1x Female siamese fighter (just supposed to be temporary)

5x Rio BNs (ALL of which turned out to be female :an!gry)

1x Common BN female

6x Black neon tetras (lost the tailless one which developed some kind of disease, and lost one after a disaster in which I forgot to turn back on my heaters after a WC so was at 18 degrees for 2 days!)

1x Banjo catfish

6x Sterbai corydoras (hopefully 6, confirmed 5, I lost two at different weeks just totally randomly - no idea why they died)

And, more excitingly, UNKNOWN amount of Black kuhlis (Pangio oblonga)!

In holding I have 6 black neons, 2 royal whiptails and 3 more regular kuhlis - I also want some more banjo cats, spotted headstanders and apistogramma sp - will likely remove 3 of the Rios and hopefully will get a male.

Normally when I don't know how many fish I have it's more concerning than exciting, but when they're multiplied, it's more exciting!

I have 5 adults, but have had (I assume) at least two spawns :happy2:

This is the only pic I have, but I have 3 videos and will make another maybe tomorrow night.


(Unsure whether I can embed videos)

So I have juveniles out on the surface, at least 3, ranging from 3cm to 4-5cm in length (all 3 are different sizes, so perhaps my spawn aren't growing uniformly), and have young ones underneath (as you can see in the first pic) <3cm. I have no idea how they access the surface and vice versa, as picking up the rocks may cause them to crash down and crush fry/remove any passageways. Unfortunately I've not seen them spawn - I haven't even seen the females gravid (No idea how many females I have). I don't know how many I have and how old the spawns are, unfortunately, but I hope to maybe catch some adults and spawn them in a separate tank... somehow (catching them being the hard part).

Water parameters (5 days after a WC)

0-1 dKH

2-3 dGH

6.6 pH

Temp at 26-27 degrees C

Tap water (30%-40% cold water changes from the hose, either weekly or biweekly) - was surprised at how soft my tap water is! Makes things easier for me, though.

1-2 dKH

2-3 dGH

7.6 pH

And the tank drops to around 20-23 degrees C after a WC.

So, that's pretty cool :thup:

And some more random pictures -

Thicklip female


The MTS living in my DPF tank (as I discovered she won't touch them)


Hara cat (would one day like to spawn these guys)




Peace lily flowering on Dad's tank (pretty cool!)


Farlowellas in Dad's tank


My peace lily is doing really well, giving out new leaves etc. Only lit by room light (no sunlight, but 3-ish other tank lights in the room) and a cheap red&blue E27 LED


Thicklip male (came with some wounds but those have healed up well, next plan is to spawn these guys, male is looking bright and alive!)


A rather stressed out banjo cat (had just been released into the tank)


Hara cat nose, reminds me of star nosed moles!


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I'm pretty bad at the moment :( my white worm culture isn't thriving yet and I'm still waiting on some blackworms. So at the moment they get frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp. I've got some frozen daphnia but been anxy about using it in case of parasites (no idea where it's collected from, I assume it's from farmed daphnia but I keep on forgetting to use it).

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freezing should kill most parasites

commercial daphnia are farmed usually with no fish present in the water they are in, so no parasites

Awesome, thanks for the info :) Will try them on that too.

Silverdollar - your LFS should have frozen brine shrimp and frozen daphnia until you get some other live foods :) Both white worms and bloodworm are pretty fatty (I personally would choose frozen over freeze dried) so you'll want a variety for a staple diet - Brine shrimp are quite good to my knowledge.

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