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I purchased a complete aquarium set, useing low iron white glass on the front and sides, allowing viewing of plants and fish in 100% natural colour.

Matching cabinet, arrived with unexpected grey & black striped doors.
T5 Lighting – 4 x 54w & one strip LED night light

Nautilus 1400 Canister Filter
200w Glass Heater x 2, temp set at 25 degrees

Aquarium: 150 x 60 x 65cm
398L

Aquarium has been set up since December 2017.

Substrate: bagged Glengobal pond mix, mixed with a cup of ironic iron sand & a handful of slow release native fern mix prills.  

Terraced and sloped toward the rear using new plastic unprinted corrugated signage board, then capped with at least 3cm of fine aqua one natural grit (just shy of 20kg) 

Planted heavily, here is my best guess (as they were sold under fanciful names)

-Hygrophila Polysperma Corycombosa, -H.P Difformis, -H.P Sunset, -H.Polysperma (Blue or narrow leaf).

Unidentified plant maybe Rotala Walliichii (red pine)?, Tropical Lilae St, Louis Gold, Elocharis Acicularis (needle rush), Echinodorus Melon sword?, E.Tenellus, E. Unknown little thing ;-).

And plants just hanging in there: Didiplus Sandra (star grass), Bacopa Monnieri (dwarf Baby tears), Cryptocoryne Wendtii and 2 lilaeopsis, Brasilinesis & Nova Zealandae (if there was a difference its lost now). 

Of course I also spent a wad of money on non aquatic plants I watched some rot, then tried to i.d the rest and hawked them out if they were unidentifiable. 

Month one, I added 7 Otocinclus, that is all they had at the pet store, 1 was dropped from the 2nd story tank on to the tiled floor, that poor sod died after 2 weeks. The others are still with me I believe hard to find them all in one count, I have 3 different subspecies marked by different size, spots and dorsal fin size, also 1 ventures out more by day the others under the night light.

Month two: I added 10 tiger barbs from a different pet shop 3 hour round trip and it was an unreal, untidy smelly mess. I took home 10 Tiger Barbs (tetrazona) and when added they where exhibiting signs of early ICH so I raised the temp high & fed frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms & mosquito larvae (which I bred) 3 weeks later (approx) I added another 20 making 30, they spent a week in a plastic tub set up as a quarantine tank (I know thats not long enough).

Questions for any readers: 

1/ I have read that ottos can not be with Tiger Barbs, it has only been a short time but the tigers exhibit no interest in anything but food, dominance behaviours & perhaps some mating rituals?  Will I loose my ottos or have I got enough water & distraction to keep them otherwise occupied?

2/ People have commented on the lack of fish stocking, I was happy to leave it low but now am considering if I should either get 6 equally sized barbs sachsii or padamya or 6 Botia Striata, I have 3 excellent hide holes built in at construction time (bet they are full of snails) I do have snails, but not disproportionate to expectations. 

3/ I purchased a cellulose capsule making machine and have been making my own root tabs, which I push under using pinsett/long tweezers these are working well. I have apart from the initial fill been using R.O.R.I water and have only now just started adding in a mix of some aged & dechlorinated tap stuff (I wouldn’t drink the Levin goop) and now I have some black algae appearing on the foreground lilaeopsis. I am not going to co2 and even excel carbon, which I have used in tiny amounts which will be too expensive. Any ideas? Or should I just wait & watch. 

4/ I have 4 species of Hygrophila Polysperma -I am wondering about the possibility of this family of plant releasing anti-competition chemicals or is it simply a matter of these being hardier and the other plants perhaps not so much?

Thats it, only low res photos loaded, but enough for you to get the picture (pun intended) please feel free to comment. Thanks Tony 

aqaurium 2 months.JPG

2 month tank

otto.JPG

If only the tiger stayed this still

tiger lilae.JPG

Tiger lily

tiger in grass.JPG

Tigers in the grass

aquarium late evening sun.JPG

 I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate

Edited by Tiger Tony
photo captions added

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Hey Coloured Denim!

Thanks for the kind words, I agree on the 'more of less' but visitors always have opinions, yesterdays comment was 'are you just waiting for the tank to cycle before you get some cool coloured ones'...sheeesh!  

I was very much into xiphophorus & found selectively breeding them not as easy as the noobs think, traits never always carried over and I was basing a blue/green strain on a cross that included some platy DNA and to cut a long story short my final batch was almost powder blue with green spots I think, they were really really short lived (barely coloured up) and may have been sterile (could only see U shaped gonopodium under a magnifying glass). So that was that, now I am just going to keep fish to observe their behaviour.

Are you working towards anything or are you letting mother nature and chaos surprise you?

><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>·`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸.><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸<((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>
 

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Good looking setup.

1. I think those who have trouble with with incompatibility do so because they have too few of a specific species. If fish are busy schooling within their large group they usually have no time, or interest, in other species as they try to keep their own place in the pecking order of the group. I never had problems when I kept tiger barbs but I know many claim they are nasty.

2. My tank is also quite lowly stocked and heavily planted. A lot easier to look after and you have more time to fix things if a problem develops (power cut, filter stops etc). 

3. Sorry can't help with this one. I have never used fertiliser or anything else in my tank and we don't have chlorine added.

4. You could be right but it is a hardy, fast grower so will out-compete anyway I suspect. I am inundated with C affinis and rotala at the moment. The fish are getting out their wee machetes to fight their way through the plant! Good for the Odessas though and they keep breeding happily with the eggs getting lost in the greenery.

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Thanks Caryl,

Your so young looking in your profile pic....mind you by that account I am a little hairy!

Thanks for the feedback I am finding lots of interesting stuff on the site. I hope you get sent this reply also???

Barbs are great fish and yes plants first fish second.....Odessa eggs, I imagine they wont survive or is the forest that thick that they have a chance, I hope so.

Thanks for the intelligent reply, more icthyologist than well... telling me my fish will be best friends or they will be happy :-).

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Not only am I young looking but I changed sex as well :smiley_wink_ani:. That's my 3 year old grandson.

Any time I come into these forums I see what posts have been made since my last visit so I can see you replied.

I have bred rosy, tiger and Odessa barbs outside during summer in 6ft diameter paddling pools. Filled them with water and bunches of oxygen weed anchored down with rocks, waited until the water temperature was warm enough then threw a few fish in (each type in their own pool of course). At the end of summer I'd empty the pool and see how many fish there now were. They grew a lot larger and more colourful in the pools.

I always have Odessa fry of varying sizes in my tank as the rotala is so thick there is always a handful of eggs that survive.

Fish have personalities and some are peaceful and some are not. Sometimes it is a matter of trying to see who gets on with who. For example, some tiger barbs will be peaceful, others will attack anything and everything.

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Hey Tony, I am a bit distracted with breeding Betta / Fighting fish right now, but my guppies - I'm currently working towards platinum half-black Koi. I have all the separate 'ingredients', just have to 'cook' them now. Basically they have a red head, gold 'shoulders', black body and red caudal & dorsal fins. I've seen vids of them from overseas, but not in NZ. No idea how long it will take, the koi gene is a new one for me, so just trying the steps one at a time.

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Hey colour genes,

Cool I think the koi look is great, I don't know much about bettas apart from quite short life spans and bubble nest (which are fascinating) and when I was in the middle east local people kept the beautiful little Emperors  in the tiniest containers, which I find unkind?  Good luck with your breeding program, I would love to see some photos!!!!!

I saw a huge swordtail koi probably an older female that has undergone the change was so spectacular I nearly moved over to livebearers from the carp family. However I like a tank of fish that all look the same and 20-23 degrees.

I have the dreaded milky white green water at the moment, 50% water changes and holding off all ferts apart from excel , its looking sooooo sad. Its been 8 days, I have ordered a uv light to kill the bacteria and I hope that whatever my error/s are (prob light and excess ferts or leeching pond substrate) all will come right.

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Hey back at ya,

Too much and too many types of ferts, but all good again now.

I got a UVC lamp it decimated & clumped up the algae dropping it out of the water column in less than 6 hours. I may use it to polish up the water periodically?

The tanks a bit of a jungle so some machete work needed. Hope all going swimmingly for you to :-)

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Been a while.....but in the same overgrown community tank I have a few Tiger Barb fry!

Not spose' ta happen, but it has, I hope some make it, they are clear wth dark stripes and very elusive sticking to the undergrowth and tall grass. 

I had a few issues, I lost lots of plants squeezed out by others faster hardier ones that now dominate. Tanks a bit of a jungle now. As well a horrible milky 'white out' in the tank and I lost more than half my tigers, all the ottos and after the chaos I had a snail explosion and they cleaned and continue removing green algae now, its low... extremely low in fact.

Do you think the snails might thin out population wise causing another spike?.....I got really dejected through all this. But its all humming along well now, the Tigers that made it through (the smaller bottom of the pecking order one made it not the big dominate alpha and entourage they all died) I picked up 3 SAE and they got huge quick.

Well thats it, will post a pic if any of my kids make it through.....it really brightened my night seeing them, kind of had a warm glow....fingers and toes crossed.

oh....the UVC lamp killed the green water but that I believe in turn gave me the bacterial/fungal 'white out' type infection. Two years on its all about balance but you know all that.

Happy Fishy times and I wish you daily wet sleeves! Thanks Tony

 

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well.....fingers still crossed, two tiny tigers surviving the dorsals have coloured up orange, still bite size and a food source for the the ten adult Tigers and the huge SAE's. The fry are rooted deep in the plants and hard to spot.

I have read it isnt possible to breed Tigers in a community aquarium and I know my Tigers are merciless hunters, I have fed garden worms, flys and other insects.

Just seeing these little lives surviving and growing makes me happy

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It is possible to breed them. It is having the fry survive long enough to grow too big to eaten that is the main problem.

My Odessa barbs produce frequently but only a few survive, thanks to very heavy plant growth. They aren't as aggressive hunters as tigers though either

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Hi Caryl, its nearly been a year since your last advice, time flies alright!

Thanks for that. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine?

It would be so great to increase Tiger numbers but I won't hold my breath.

I will try your summer breeding pool, next summer that is. I picked up a fiberglass trough but It got cracked getting to me.....so next year it is.

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This summer would be a good time to try breeding tropical fish outside here. We are supposed to get 35C in a couple of days. 32C has been bad enough but various barbs would grow well in ponds at the moment.
The only thing I have had in a pond this summer (apart from the goldfish in their pond) were 1,000's of snails. They'd been caught out of the fish pond to take down to Donna Moot, the turtle rescue lady in ChCh, but our trip had to be postponed when visiting daughter came off her bike and broke her collarbone. As a result of her being unable to travel home (to ChCh) we needed to find somewhere for the snails for a couple of weeks so set up a 6ft diameter plastic pond with a gazebo to protect them from full sun. The pond pictured is the same sort I used to breed Odessa and rosy barbs outside. Once the water had reached a minimum of 16C overnight, I would dump in plenty of oxygen weed then add fish. At the end of summer we would empty the pond and collect all the fish.

Snails in pool.jpg

Snail shade.jpg

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Wow! You make it look sooooo simple, I wouldn't have thought of covering over with a canopy....the sun being too intense in a shallow amount of water?

How do you stop birds (like kingfishers) having a quick lunch?

Ouch Collar bone I wish her a speedy recovery.

I am tempted to head to the wharehouse and pick up a pool and some Barbodes semifasciolatus, the Chinese barb, I have a few males but its been impossible down here to get females the local pet shops have not got the right contacts.

My big fibreglass troughs were really chucked around by the truckies and the wife wont let me 'waste' anymore $.

Donna Moot I will check out her work....I hate people that just leave or dump pets, the pets deserve so much more. I have two rescue dogs, both off death row, I love them like family hell I love my fish like family! I have three maybe more fry surviving well inside almost to big to be eaten now, but still very wee and hiding most of the time.

Thanks for the photos Caryl.

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I didn't cover the pool when I was breeding fish but when we were getting steady 33C temps here I was worried it might get too hot for the snails.

We don't have a problem with kingfishers here, usually herons, but they can't wade in the pool (too deep) nor land on the side (too thin).

All you need is the paddling pool (and perhaps some netting if kingfishers are a problem)

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Well, I am making more changes to the aquarium and so my knowledge grows. Pulled out 2 x 25L buckets of green matter and in doing so I have discovered quite a few fry some almost half adult size others opaque & really really tiny (scientific measurement, not) so I am glad I held off cleaning up probably should have waited another week.

I have been overfeeding a tad. So my imaginary fry stood a better chance, I will keep feeding but reducing over the the next couple of weeks....will be hard cutting back a pinch of this and cube of that.

But now I have more of the tiniest flat brown pond snails than I could ever want. I am not not gonna run out and buy eight loaches ( have the good loach book from loaches online) and planned hidey-holes for that number....I am waffling.. my question finally is as the snails die back will I get an algal bloom or another water white out as before?

Thanks

Tony

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