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  1. I'm not sure if the best thing I ever did, or the worst thing I ever did was introducing a school of six Endler males to my community tank of ruby and ember tetra, Tucano tetra, Otocinclus, and a badass betta. On the plus side, no one runs away. I can sit and watch them interact: the Tucanos inhabit the mid to top region, the tetra the mid to bottom. The Betta is a Siamese housecat, and does what he wants. They didn't always do this: the ruby and embers used to hide behind the hardscape if I was there. I think the Endlers are the catalyst. The Endlers are a ceaseless ball of frenetic energy, constantly engaged in a roiling ball of chaos. I started to feel bad, until I sat down and watched them. When they're tired, which is when the light is off, they leave each other alone. But unless they're eating, their daylight hours are spent in a Byzantine web of treachery and attack. They form temporary alliances, betray each other, run away, and then charge back in as soon as they see weakness. All this while never really hurting each other, and becoming the most colorful and vibrant inhabitant of my tanks, like constantly fighting peacocks swathed in orange, black, green, and blue. Even zebra spots on their fins! I hate them for their chaos. But their tankmates don't care at all, just obediently move aside as the spinning ball of colored rage moves through the tank. I need to be more like a fish, and just accept chaos and hostility. That is why a school of male Endlers may be the best and worst thing to ever happen to my tank.
  2. Thanks! I did not know that. I'll change up the photoperiod and see if that helps. So far, by observation only, it seems that slow-growing plants like buce and anubias seem to attract it. I hardly ever see it on my stem or root feeders, mainly on the epiphytes.
  3. I do! It's so weird you should ask that, it's something I started about halfway in and it worked so well with me and my schedule that I never thought of changing it. Because it is low-tech, I can't ever go past halfway what this light can do without destroying my tank with algae. So I have a siesta mid-day, from 12-2.
  4. 20 Gallon tall, 75 degrees. Using an Aquaclear 50 HoB filter and a Fluval Planted 3.0 light. Plant-cycled, with the centerpiece plants being some buce, altherna reineckii red, and crypt usteriana red. First fauna in were Otocinclus, and they are breeding, but they are so accustomed to the photoperiod that I never see the big ones unless I'm getting up in the middle of the night. Second were ruby tetra. Then some tucanos, some male endlers, and my chill big boy, Ozzie (the Crimson and White King). It's getting close to balanced as I dial it in: my biggest problem is some blackbeard algae. The filter is running without any help from me except changing the topmost media: some filter floss once every two weeks, and topping off with Prime-treated tap water. I am fortunate to have soft, acidic water.
  5. Thanks, this is my fourth serious attempt at a tank, and each time I get a little better. This one literally helped me get a job; I was interviewing at a really competitive corporation, and the final part of the interview process was a thirty minute presentation and thirty minute Q&A session. I did mine on aquascaping. The final part of the presentation was a time lapse of this tank, Ozzie. Which is fed by your fertilizers. And the basics of all that, I learned by watching Cory and Irene. I moved on to Amano, Farmer, and Walstad, but without the basic foundation, and particularly, Cory's amazing anti-establishment mentality, I'd never have learned the basics, and then gone, "You know what? I'm going rogue." Haven't changed the water in this tank in months. I hot-rodded my filter because of ya'll. That's sacrilege to many. But not here. Anyways, thanks, guys, to this community for fostering the spirit of reasonable opinion, and teaching me the basics of what ended up landing me my dream job with the two time winner of best employee in my state.
  6. 20 Gallon, Low Tech. Inspired by Ozzie Newsome, featuring the colors of his career: red, white, black, purple, and that horribly ugly Cleveland Browns burnt orange-brown. The two midground Crypt Usteriana have been trimmed to form goalposts, framing the centerpiece plant, A. Reineckii Red. (Roll Tide! Go Ravens!). The betta is named Ozzie. Other fish: ember and ruby tetra, male endlers, and a breeding colony of Otocinclus catfish. And some crystal red shrimp.
  7. Heck, I'd prefer if it was the Silver Otos. Sounds way more regal than Common Otos. Oto fry with eggsack. I wish I had a microscope. Two week old fry One thing I have noticed about LFS wild oto vs. the the tank bred is that the latter are fearless. I can do a water change with the siphon inches from a tank bred oto baby. I hardly ever see the original wild parents, ever. Sometimes when I accidentally dislodge a rock, or bump into the stand, I'll see them. Otherwise the OGs are ninjas. They even swim different. The parents swim so fast I'm afraid they'll hurt themselves, the others kinda mosey around. I sometimes mistake them for a tetra they swim so lacksadaisically.
  8. I actually have a video of my original otos mating dance, but I don't know how to post it here. Here are some links: Oto dance Gravid Oto Getting Ready to Lay Eggs Getting busy on a Crypt Leaf I am pretty sure it is the common otos (Otocinculus vittatus) that are breeding, although it may be Silver otos (Otocinculus vestitus). My water parameters are: 0-5ppm nitrate, 0 nitrite, 50ppmGH, 80ppmKH, 6.7pH. Water temp is 73-75 degrees F. ~110 avg. TDS. I feed dried leaves (cattapa, mulberry, oak), algae tablets, ominvore tablets, freeze dried hydra, frozen bloodworms, blanched veg, and glassgarten bacter ae and shrimpbaby. There are also breeding CRS shrimp in there, and ruby tetra. The otos seem to prefer the omnivore tablets and the blanched veg. Those always draw a crowd. The Bacter AE I also find useful for growing the soft green algae they eat. I do not have any snails, or any other bottom feeders other than the shrimp.
  9. July Update- Oto wheel! They LOVE blanched zucchini, and they are so cute sharing it. This is the third batch of adolescents eating some zuke. I've also noticed one of the otos is gravid again, so more babies! I might have to get another tank started for them if this keeps up.
  10. I'm now on my third round of oto babies. There are six new ones that are just now old enough to get photos. I now have the eight original, the eight first generation, and now six second generation otosinclus. The water is slightly tannin stained from the mulberry, cattappa, and oak leaves I put into the cave once a month.
  11. Those plants may have been carrying a bacteria that got in your water and found its missing love, and started making sexy time. You could always get a second bowl, take a sample of the top half where the water is forming the dense, frothy bubbles, add it to what you filled the tank with, and then drop a half dose of antibiotics in, and see if it clears up. If it does, you could try on your bowl.
  12. Have you tried a round of Maracyn (Erythromycin)?
  13. It's low tech, and I have a fluvall nano 3.0. It's almost harder NOT to grow algae. I never run my light above 50% of its capacity, or else the bad algae like blackbeard and hair gets out of control. Edit: I'm not going to say it's impossible to breed otocinclus in a high tech, but it must be lot a harder, or require a lot more dialing in. The balance between plant growth outcompeting algae is a lot different. In a low tech tank, if you add about 10-20% more light than the plants need, you can grow less aggressive algae. Too much more light than necessary and you start getting hair, beard, and brown algae. Also, 5 oto "teenagers" (4 months old) on a blanched zucchini. 1 on each side, one below, one above, and one on the rim. As for the soft green algae: it needs a seed crystal, and a matrix to grow on. The micro-food I feed like Bacter AE provides the seed crystal, but you can't overfeed, or overlight, or else the more aggressive and less beneficial algae will overrun. It's a lot like gardening. And as your tank gets more and more plants, you must increase the light.
  14. Hi, Congrats on your oto fry! Mine eat a lot of stuff, but their favorites are blanched veggies like squash and zucchini, and algae wafers. They also eat my shrimp omnivore wafers, and I try to not clean any of the glass but the front, so they can get the soft green algae and diatoms off of it. I also feed glasgarten ShrimpBaby and Bacter AE. Here are two, about three months old, still able to fit on the same anubias nana leaf, and one a little younger on some squash.
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