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My new native tank


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My new native tank

Filtration: Aqua one nautilus 2700 

Chiller: Hailea 150a

Stocking: Two common bullies 

Tank size: 120x30x30

Special thanks to Mathew Glenworth and his boss for the great deal on the chiller. Thanks also to Mark Paterson, William Pearman and all others who helped get this resolved.









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My one from WillyP leave the redfins alone (bullies are still small <5cm). At feeding time its great fun with the bullies being more on to it then the GK and they don't hesitate swimming up to mid water to try to beat him to a nice chunky bit of food.  If its a worm then its a mad grab and dash with the GK after them :D

Your mileage may vary though and a fully grown GK may be another matter.

As a side note, I introduced 5 Inanga's (most just above whitebait size) and heaps of shrimp last week.  Made the mistake of forgetting about the GK lurking under the log and he went into a feeding frenzy.  By morning I only had 3 new Inanga's, a lot less shrimp and a very fat GK.  He has left the 3 small ones alone since and they aren't hassled by him.  I think if you introduce the GK into the tank after the small fish have settled and are not swimming around panicking they will have a better chance of survival.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A confession and some advice needed!


I have had the kokopu for a few months with the plans of setting this tank up. I got it from MTI.

About two weeks ago I put it with the bullies. The bullies inspected it and then it snapped. I removed the two bullies and put them into their old tank.

The bullies tank is now getting too warm so I put them back in and straight away the kokopu gave chase. The bullies are back in their tank waiting for a plan.

Any ideas other than another chiller?

I'm also looking for ideas to make a cage for the dwarf galaxias. I was thinking a large container with small holes in it suspended in the chilled tank.



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Can't see from the above pics but does the GK have a hiding place large enough for it to get out of sight and feel comfortable in?  Such a hidey hole will make him feel more comfortable, less stressed and less likely to be territorial against the bullies.  Heaps of hidey holes for the bullies will also help - somewhere they can dash to if the GK is in a bad / hungry mood.

I would put in a lot more rocks piled up in at least 3 places for bully hidey holes and a hollow log or similar for the GK.  Then feed the GK well and when he's settled and resting in his hide quietly reintroduce the bullies.  His behaviour may be more territorial then food, if the bullies can escape from him with ease into their hides he should give up on chasing them.  But because the Dwarf galaxias are top water fish they may be a different proposition and in danger from the GK.  I have a few Inanga that were whitebait size when I got them last month and the GK generally leaves them alone.  But the tank has some Puha growing on the surface and if the GK gets too frisky the Inanga just head into the Puha's roots until he calms down.

If you think of their natural habitat, yes a big fish like a GK will try to eat a small fish like a bully or DG but they can still co-inhabit and the main difference from a bush pool and an aquarium is that the pool has heaps of hiding places. It is also why there are still native fish in streams that have a large stock of trout.

Worst case is to move the 2 tanks beside each other and use an overflow to drain water from the chilled GK tank into a Bully / Dwarf Galaxias tank. If you have canister filters it will mean having the returns in the GK tank and the outlets in the bully tank.

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Hi Shilo

The kokopu has a large fake log he can hide in (Which he often uses). There are a few hidey holes for the bullies but the bullies aren't scared of him. I feed the kokopu cichlid gold but he never eats much. 

I am not planning on putting the dwarf galaxias in as even the bullies have tried to eat it. Do you think I could make something like a cage to go in the chilled tank for it to live in?


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You might be surprised how fast the bullies can get out of the way from a GK, they are cheeky, curious and will push the limits but know when to scram (they remind me of hyperactive kids up to no good!).  Still reckon with enough hides for them the GK will learn not to waste its time - at least mines lazy enough not to, it even waits to take food from my fingers instead of chasing drifting food in the tank (I think he's trained me instead of the other way around!). Currently feeding my natives a small amount of either Repashy grub pie, tubifex, earthworms or whiteworms twice a day.  The GK much prefers the live foods & tubifex (not the best for him) but will scoff the grub pie if nothing else is on offer. 

I have seen some commercial "cages" like http://www.fish-street.com/boyu_baby_fish_isolation_hatchery but I doubt they will be big enough and will soon gunk up. I think a better idea would be to get some glass cut the inside width of your tank to partition off 1/4 of it.  If its sized to an inch below the water level then the top of it can have an overflow (weir) comb or mesh siliconed to it to allow water to flow over the partition but keep the fish to their part of the tank.  Kind of like those Beta breeding tanks. Perpex could be used instead of glass and if plastic then rocks could be used hold it up right to avoid draining the tank and siliconing in a glass partition. Just an idea.

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To make easy partitions / dividers / 'cages' you might want to look at stuff called 'plastic cross-stitch canvas' ,  you can buy it from most handcraft shops or try this link http://www.stitchnz.co.nz/product-category/73/

It comes in a couple of different grades (ie mesh size /density). I have used the transparent /white '7 count' version to make dividers for a Betta tank and it worked very well. I used all-plastic cable ties to join it together, and it made quite a rigid container with a good water flow through.

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Good advice from shilo and colourgenes.

More obstacles in the tank will likely help, if there are pieces of wood and rocks etc blocking the kokopus line of sight during a chase he will likely give up.

I suspect lack of food is also a factor with your GK, some fish seem to be much harder to feed than others. I've had problems with mine for the last couple of months, they've decided if it doesnt wriggle its not food, theyre currently on a diet of nothing but earth worms and woodlice/slaters and finding food for them is a constant issue. I believe that its a common problem with GKs being ambush hunters (Or maybe its just the ones from MTI who suddenly find themselves in a less competitive enviroment?). Bandeds are generally much easier, although not as visually pleasing ;)

Id recommend following Shilos advice about the hiding places and overflow, and keep the DG in a seperate tank. When introducing the bullies i'd place a temporary divider between them and the GK until theyve settled down.

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