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About Me

  1. I’ve decided to keep a journal of breeding German Blue Rams this summer. Simply put, here is why: Just took this snap of our young male GBR. It’s not hard to argue that this is one of the most beautiful small freshwater fish. In addition, they have an intelligent personality. People are quite divided on how easy / hard they are to keep. When we first wanted to buy some, one LFS owner swore he’d never order them again. “They die, and require an advanced level of care. If I order them, you pick them up the day they arrive from our shipper here, and I can offer no returns or refunds whatsoever if they die on you.” We were newbies to the hobby — my oldest boy and I — so we left there discouraged. We stopped in at another LFS, just to see if there were any interesting fish. While there, we asked the other owner about keeping Rams. “They’re great!” he said, “I’ve got a bunch right there,” pointing to a 20 gal. tank. We bought a pair, and the rest is history. We’ve bred hundreds of them now — nothing on the scale of Dean, or other breeding specialists — but we’re confident in a certain approach. In this journal, my hope is to share everything in great detail, offer answers to questions (though hopefully others with even better answers will chime in) and above all to _learn new things_. At the end, I hope to wrap up the journal with a tank full of beautiful breeding age Rams that I’ve bred and raised from scratch, all documented here on the Forum. First off, I bought a female. She’s probably _not_ a pure color strain. It seems like she’s probably got Electric blue Ram color genetics in her heritage. This would bother a serious breeder, but it doesn’t get under my skin. She’s not a “hybrid,” just a slightly mixed color morph. I bought her a month ago or so at the Ram-friendly LFS mentioned above. She’s been hanging out in our Discus tank for awhile. Temperature is up around 84° F. That’s a key: Rams like temperatures above 80°. More recently, I bought a young male German Blue Ram (photographed above). I set him up in a 20 gal. long with a school of tiny Glowlight Pygmy Barbs as tank mates. Rams can be bred alone, 1:1 — some breeders stress this. But if they’re not stressed, they’ll breed in a community tank as well. There seemed to be a hint of Ich. I hit his tank hard with Ich-X, water changed, boosted temp... and it seems good. Tonight, I’ve added the female. First suspending her in a specimen container. It was so neat to see him turn up the interest. Once I added her, the romance really began in earnest. I’ve left the light on to see what happens. Here’s how their first “date-night” started off: Just a couple minor notes: (1) the rattling sound in several videos above is just an old impeller in a HOB. It’s an unnecessary piece. I’ve left it for flow. (2) But don’t Rams prefer _less flow_ you may ask? Yes. But I don’t care. If they’re interested, they’ll find a place to spawn. (3) If they spawn, I’m going to try to pull the eggs and hatch in an isolated space. If I can get fry over the 2-week threshold, I plan to break the internet by moving this breeding pair out to a mini pond, and trying to get them to breed and raise a batch of fry outside on the back porch over the summer. Stay tuned!
  2. Here's my breeding setup for my rainbow shiner 10gallon Sponge filter with a directional flow Temp at 70 Ph 7.3 ish This setup will only work if "she" is ready. It may take more than 1 try. I wouldn't leave them in their for more than 2 day, since the male can rub her side open. Separate the male and female. I start by pumping up my female with quality food/dry food for a few days to weeks. When she is fat with eggs, I'll place her with the male in a plant basket with a few good size rocks that night. Spongefilter flow will be pointed into the basket. They should spawn in the morning and be done soon after. I'll remove the parents and collect the eggs. I treat the eggs just like how you'll do for rainbow eggs. The whole idea is to have a setup where the parent have no chance of touching the eggs. In the wild theyll be swimming upstream and when they spawn the egg is blow downstream immediately. In a home aquarium most hobbies will breed them in large group so the fish that aren't breeding is eating the eggs.
  3. Found these in the 75 with my Mekong River Puffer Colony today. Only other fish in there are victorea mouthbrooders and variatus platys doesnt look like either of those . 6 and counting just turkey baster'd them over to the breeder boxes
  4. I finally got my tub ponds set up for the summer. We’ve had some crazy weather this spring and it’s been too cold up until now to really get going. Since I got a late start, this year I’m only doing two 110 gallon tubs (I also have 1 110 gallon tub that has goldfish year-round) One tub will have some albino koi guppies and the other will have red cap medaka rice fish. The fish should be here by the end of the week! Right now, I have a variegated Japanese Iris in each tub, obedient plant in one, and bloody dock in one. I put a couple water hyacinth in each tub as well. I have some more floating plants coming that should arrive sometime this week. I was going to put some firecracker plants in the floating plastic lily pads, but I just got an email today that those were out of stock and I was refunded, so I’ll need to find something else to go in those. The water is starting to get a cloudy green look, so hopefully it will be fully green soon! Now to wait for the fish…
  5. Moved a large Threadfin Acara out this past week. Starting to watch these Discus to see if any pair off. Water change with ramblings… Feeding, with more ramblings… I recommend to every aquarist: if you keep Rams or Amazon fish, at least try keeping discus. Easily my favorites.
  6. Well, I think it’s time I started a general thread where I can post updates about all my tanks. If you like low maintenance planted community tanks, fish breeding projects, watching a novice set up outdoor ponds, and the occasional cat/chicken, then I think you’ll find something you enjoy here. 😊 Here’s the status right now: This is my main tank. It’s a 55 gallon with a power head and three cheap submersible lights. I’ve had it running around 15 months. Substrate is soil with a gravel cap, which I do not recommend. 😆 Fish: My honey gourami mating pair, Mom Fish and Dad Fish Two yo-yo loaches Two otos Two super red bristlenose plecos A school of 9 tetras (one neon and the rest cardinals) called the School of Dr. Neidecker after my mom who bought them for me Three amano shrimp Oh and a few snails that the yo-yos haven’t eaten yet. This is my 10 gallon grow-out tank. It’s usually for the baby honeys, but right now it’s quarantining a new honey! I’m hoping this is a female so she can be Dad Fish’s next mate. It seems like Mom Fish is slowing down. Adding the new honey to the community tank will be iiiiiinteresting. 😁 And these are the new outdoor ponds! I just filled them up a few days ago. I’m excited to experiment with them! I’ve never done outdoor ponds before.
  7. In this topic we will try to track and record with precision the breeding of the Rhinogobius species! Fotos are very accepted!!
  8. Hello Forum, My Ivanacara bred for the first time about 36 hours ago. The dominant pair had 20 to 30 eggs in their cave. Mom stayed inside the cave with eggs. Dad was posted outside (at a safe distance from wifey!) chasing off all other fish. Over the course of yesterday their eggs were disappearing. Last night I counted fewer than 10 left and this morning zero and the pair are not guarding their cave like they were. Are they like Angels where they have to learn to take care of their eggs? Anyone know if this species is known for egg eating? Any other advice? I'm really not upset that their eggs are gone in that I am not really in a place to care for fry at the moment.
  9. Everyone has been there - get something new and you want to rush everything. I made a somewhat expensive mistake thinking my "peaceful" betta would tolerate a shrimp cleanup crew and added 10 "adults" I ordered online (nearest LFS is about 70 miles away). While he coexists happily with a group of chili rasboras, these set him into Terminator mode 😕 I was able to save half into what is now a shrimp-only nano tank. I had not tested water parameters in about a week as everything looked great- happy snails, happy plants, a bit of algae. When I started losing my rescues one by one, I did check... and found my ph was .8 higher than the other tank sitting 2 feet away. Only difference was 1/4 cup of crushed coral under the aqua soil. Despite all this, I have a single shrimp - the largest of the order, but still well under 1" - that is quite proud of his tank and his "pest" snail friends. A new order is about to arrive that has been raised in identical parameters to this tank - 7.6ph, 200gh, 80kh, 0ppm ammonia and nitrite, 30ish ppm nitrate. Temp 74 degrees. I've got my drip acclimation ready to roll, laser thermometer to check temps match. For the veterans out there, any other advice? Really want these guys to thrive!
  10. After debating what I wanted to with my 10 gallon I'm gonna breed some gardneri killifish. If anyone has tips to get them to breed and raise the fry. Here's how they look
  11. Hey fish friends! Have you guys ever had a pair of rams bond and then suddenly “break up?” I'm new to rams and had my pair for a month now. They were inseparable, cleaning off rocks and her belly was so pink and large I thought she might explode! Now, the male is overzealous about breeding and is stressing out the female to the point where her head turned black and she was hiding behind the filter breathing heavily. I think she re-absorbed the eggs because she's barely bloated anymore and the belly is only slightly pink. It might be worth mentioning that I brought home the female with a male she'd been bonding with at the store, but he passed shortly after; she became really restless and constantly glass-surfed until I got this male for her. I separated her in a mesh breeder box and she recovered pretty quickly once she realized he couldn’t get to her anymore. The next morning she was trying to swim to him, so I released her. They were fine until nighttime and I had to separate again. What can I do? Would adding another female/pair help? I can probably do that, if so! I have a spare 10 gallon I can set up if separation is the only option, but when they're separated they act so restless! I've attached a pic of her being normal and a pick of her when she turned super dark hiding. O wise ram gods, give me some wisdom! 😂
  12. Anyone out there working these fish? I would love to see picture and hear all about it. This is my 3rd generation with me, still pretty young about 6 month. I want them to hold their fin out wider, they don't have to be any longer than this. After I get their body conformation right, I'll start working on their color.
  13. Like what traits are dominant, recessive, co-dominant, etc. I'm wanting to do some guppy breeding to figure out how colors, patterns, tail shape and size, etc interact but I'm not finding too much on the different traits that guppies have and how they present phenotype-wise.
  14. Any locals (Puget Sound area) interested in these guys? They’re similar to Kribs in almost all regards (care requirements, size, etc.) but prettier (IMHO) especially when they’re getting ready to breed. The females turn a gorgeous, true purple. They do seem to prefer a cooler tank, mine stay around 74-76, any warmer and they won’t spawn. The spawning also appears to be cyclical/seasonal. I have also noted that they like to redecorate the tank, namely by moving or chomping plants that they deem not feng shui, so don’t put them in your prized planted tank or you’ll likely regret it. I’ve got Val, anubias, and bolbitis in their tank currently and they all do fine. You’ll notice the theme with the plants though… hardy stuff only! Anyhow, my OG pair spawned almost a year ago (ish?) and I’ve been growing the babies out since… rough guesstimate of about 12-18ish of them. They’re not quite mature yet but have colored up and can easily distinguish male/female. They’re starting to get feisty amongst each other so time for them to go to new homes… can do pairs (not guaranteed but by observation only!) or a group. If no interest will sell/donate to the club. Thanks y’all! Any questions welcome.
  15. Hi Guys,I have a secret only people in this forum will ever know, I seriously have a problem with the tricogaster genus of fish. Its like some type of magic, I love these fish a lot! Especially the dwarfs.So I did what any sane person would do and procured an array of 9 1.5ft tanks15 Gallons (breeding various gouramis) and a 3ft to hold the rents once they are done. (planted and planing to add guppy grass, already have a lot of java moss (about 5 liters)) The tanks are drilled with an overflow, I have very little flow/pressure going into the tanks (only flowing for 3 hours a day and not when breeding as it would disturb the bubble nest) and the overflow is covered with filter floss. Each tank also has a small sponge filter in, one amazon sword and some rocks along with java moss.Now someone on this forum should be able to give me advice on how to achieve this. Any advice would be appreciated, note i am in no hurry, I want to do this right. The main questions I have is would I be able to feed these fry hikari first bites? At what stage would I be able to feed fresh baby brine shrimp? Anyone with success please help me achieve the same. Will send pictures once tidy.
  16. I guess it will officially be considered a fishroom after this is installed. I can't add anymore tanks until I upgraded to a central air system. This should do nicely for a while.
  17. I ordered some black lame and silver lame ricefish eggs and the recommended procedure from the breeder was aged aquarium water, methylene blue and no recommendations for air. Wondered if the hive minds has any thoughts?
  18. A few weeks ago I found mystery fry in my quarantine tank. They’re either rummy nose tetras or dwarf neon rainbows. Now the fry are in a breeder box in the main tank and seem to be doing well. You guessed it - now I want to see if I can encourage breeding. I placed 1 slim (male I’m pretty sure) and 3 large bellied (supposed to be an indicator of fertile female) rummies in the fishless quarantine tank. I’ll be feeding them protein rich foods such as frozen baby and regular brine shrimp, freeze dried tubifex worms and some all around nutrition with the Co-op’s fry food. There are quite a few stems of pogostemon octopus floating and a large ‘fluffy’ plastic plant, along with a couple of moss balls. I’m using a sponge filter for filtration and no heater - the water’s been 82 - 84 lately. I have several more rummies in my main tank and they chase each other around regularly. From what I’ve seen it’s more breeding-style than just simple schooling. However, it’s a community tank and my guys are all little piggies so I don’t hold out much hope for any ‘wild born’ fry. I’m hoping it’ll be successful in a more controlled environment. Suggestions are more than welcome. Wish me luck!
  19. At the end of January I received 2 male and 2 female German blue rams, they arrived on the coldest day of the year. Due to an excellent job of packing and insulating by the breeder they all were healthy and seemingly not too stressed out. you can see both males are showing decent color. After a few days they easily settled into the QT. after a couple weeks I moved them to a 20G high. the 4 GBR are the only fish in here so really they are still in quarantine. They became real comfy real quick, after 4 days there was FRY! I am not ready for them to breed yet but if they make it great but I was not ready to pull adults/ fry and nurture them. Unfortunately none made it. Positive take, one of the females has some experience now. I am not sure which female it was but the female that will be in group 2 was guarding them and being aggressive so I’m fairly confident she is the mother. Pic is with the father also group 2. And because of this aggression I had to separate them before I wanted too but only by 5-ish days. They have been quarantined for a lil over 3 weeks now. So, the competition begins! I have separated the two pairs into mostly different environments. Group 1 will be in a 125G community tank. Rummynose/ cardinal/ glowlight tetras, salt and pepper corys, peppered corys, bristlenose plecos, otocinlus, and a large colony of cherry shrimp. They will be fed as the tank gets fed, a variety of krill flakes, pellets, crushed algae wafers, and what I call “dank” (a good version of stank) it’s a mixture of the list above and a few other dry foods (very guarded recipe) I also feed this tank live blackworms and frozen bloodworms, shrimp, and daphnia. I do target feed the GBR when feeding these. There are no “caves” in this tank but a few cave like spots and it has a lot of medium sized flat rocks. The PH in this tank runs about 7.6-7.8. Group 2 will be in a species only tank. Will probably add some snails for a clean up crew when needed. This tank on initial set up (for these rams this tank has been running for over a year with other inhabitants) was seeded with a large portion of black worms. They were in the tank alone for 2-ish weeks before rams introduced.The feeding schedule will be exact same but these two won’t have any competition for food. This tank has a few caves and guarded areas, only a couple medium sized flat rocks will be added. The rocks will be placed in what I think to be good for them and still be visible and easily accessible. I cut the water in this tank with about 1/3 distilled water so the PH ranges 6.8-7.0 I think these tanks are both good conditions for the rams to breed. I’m interested to see if G1 in a much bigger environment can protect the fry but still co exist with the community. G2 will they learn to be good parents and raise the fry? In either tank the parents must raise the fry. If neither are successful I will change plans but I think both will be successful.
  20. I have had some success breeding spotted congo puffers but have failed at raising the fry so far. I haven't put much effort in since last spring but I'll be giving it another go. I wanted to created a place to dump all my info and photos so that it's a little more available to people searching on the web since a few people seem to be documenting it pretty well on social media but that tends to not show up in searches. I'll be add more info as I have time. Hopefully my experience can help some others out or encourage people to try. I am quite experienced aquarium keeping but most of my interest has been in plants. I am in no way an experienced fish breeder. I just collected some eggs for the first time in 6ish months yesterday that should be hatching this Friday.
  21. Hi everyone! Welcome to my journal! I've been keeping fish for almost a year now, but I helped my dad keep fish in a 50 gallon bamboo-framed aquarium he got in the Philippines when I was a kid. I'm 39 now and I decided to set up an aquarium for my 4 year-old daughter Zoey when her baby sister was born last spring. Don't get me wrong, Z loves the fish, but the aquarium quickly became a Dad Project. I joined the Army when I was 17 and was mobilized twice during the Iraq War. I had a very hard year in Iraq in 2004-2005, and finding healthy things to keep me centered has been a struggle ever since. Over the course of 15 years or so, I've gone from being homeless to getting married, having two kids, and getting a great job in tech—all while struggling with PTSD, addiction, and all that jazz. Keeping fish and raising them up, from collecting and hatching eggs to growing our fry, has been one of the most cathartic activities I've ever found. It's so rewarding to take a group of tiny, shy, and stressed-out fish and build an environment for them that nurtures them to the point that they're natural behaviors and colors bloom before your eyes. I love watching all my fish, learning about their species, and getting to know their personalities. And there's nothing better than rearing a new generation of fish in a little world you created. But enough about me! Let's meet the gang! Celestial Pearl Danios These were the fish I've wanted since I first started researching what kind of setup to get my daughter. I've got a colony of 12 adults and 4 fry. These is the first species I've ever bred. These guys live in a planted 20 gallon long aquarium in my living room. I'm currently harvesting eggs for a second attempt at breeding. Amano Shrimp There's about nine of these guys in my 20 gallon long. I bought these on eBay when they were babies, and months later I've discovered that there's only one female in the bunch. We've named the female La Reyna, and he's berried at the moment. I'm hoping to be able to pull her in a couple weeks and try to grow out her babies in a brackish tank. The Great Snail War In November, I purchased some plants from a LFS and inherited an exploding population of ramshorn snails. This wouldn't be a problem except I have a feeling that they're eating the CPD eggs before I can pull them out and they're overrunning the tank. I've been pulling them out manually and giving them away to other hobbyists, but it's Sisyphean task. Last month, I hired some mercenary assassin snails to help me out, but they're having trouble keeping up. Here's a video I recorded the first time I saw one of the assassins hunting and eating a rams horn. German Blue Rams These are the newest addition to my household. They're currently living in a 10 gallon tank in the garage until I can get my hands on something a little bigger. I've only had this male-female pair for four days, so they're still a bit shying. I'm really excited about learning more about this species because, from what I can tell so far, these are very fun fish to watch. Plus, they're absolutely stunning. Here's a wide shot of their current setup (they aren't using the caves yet, but I've heard that can take some time). That's all I've got for now. Thanks for visiting my journal, and if you have any tips for creating a great environment for GBRs, please let me know!
  22. Feeding BBS every night to the fishroom was starting to get laborious using a pipette. The first thing I did to cut time was to stopping rinsing BBS after hatching and I've seen no difference in my tanks, never going back to rinsing haha. I wanted something that was one handed operation and didn't drip on the floor. I could use a small pitcher but I wanted more control and be able to feed quicker than pouring. I settled on trying these no-drip, bottom dispensing, squeeze bottles. I think these are what Subway uses for their dressing as well. I've been using them for a couple weeks now. I'm pretty happy with the performance. I fill the bottle directly from my Ziss Hatchery. I can open a lid with one hand, squeeze a good shot of BBS with the bottle and move right to the next tank. Cleaning is easy, I simply fill it with tap water, give it a good shake, squeeze some clean water through the tip and dump out the rest.
  23. This story picks up at the end of the summer when it was almost time to bring my summer tubs in. In brief, I had one tub with orange platys and one with blue platys. The plan was to transition them into a 55 gallon permanent breeding setup in my fish “area,” which is in the dining nook of our kitchen. This first post is going to be about the setup of the breeding tank itself, since that’s probably more interesting than the story itself. 😄 I’ve been planning this setup in my head since @Brandy mentioned automatic fry sorters last fall during a discussion about matten filters. My brain stopped in its tracks and I thought “this is the best thing I’ve ever heard of!” So over the next few months, I kept my eyes open and eventually acquired everything I’d need. The plan was to have the orange platys on one side, the blue platys on the other, and all their fry would get pulled into the middle. I also wanted it to look nice, since we’d be looking at this tank a lot. So I picked out a bunch of pots and a nice stick that my husband can’t believe I paid $35 for. The saucers under the pots will let them sit above the substrate. After planning out the setup, I got to cutting holes in the matten filters. (The slit allows the pots to sit flush against the sponge.) Ta-da! Sorters are in! I made the sorters stick into the middle at an angle so they’d create a bit of a swirl in the water, hopefully increasing the overall circulation in the middle compartment. I decided to put actual soil in the pots, but this time (unlike what I did in my community tank), I was going to cover that soil with a nice deep sand cap! Since the pots are so deep, I also wanted to try to defend against huge anaerobic areas. So I put tubes of plastic craft mesh down the middle. Sort of like you do in a compost barrel to make sure it stays aerated. I was hoping a layer of gravel at the bottom would help too. As I filled the pots with soil, I made sure to put a layer of gravel around the middle tube so the dirt wouldn’t just pour in and fill up the space. I ordered some aqueon lights for the outer sections. Unfortunately they didn’t fit around the rim of a 55 gallon. So my dear husband chiseled some gaps for me. I don’t think they’re deep enough to threaten the structural integrity of the tank. Time will tell I guess…! I chose a mingdak (I think) light to put under the center bar. That was the best way I could think of to light the middle section without getting a huge shadow. It comes with suction cups but those weren’t going to work since the bottom surface of the bar isn’t flat. So I turned to electrical tape. I put everything in place… You can see why the large pots were necessary—the fry sorters wouldn’t have stretched to the bottom, even if they were fully extended. I didn’t want to stretch them too much because the taller they are, the more air flow you need to get water through the uplift tube. Plus I just thought this looked nice. 😊 Added sand substrate. Now I understand why people have those little zen boxes where they can rake sand all day. Started to fill with water. There was something soooo soothing about watching the water creep over the sand. After I got it half full of water, I added some plants! Hubby said it looks like something you’d see in a modern art museum. ☺️ I still don’t think he’s realized I stole one of our mugs to use as the smallest pot. 😁 I added a few snails and let the tank sit and cycle. I added a bit more water every few days, which gave the air time to move out of the matten filters. I didn’t do a hard core cycle because the tubs each had a sponge filter that I was planning on moving in with the platys. So far, everything was going great. Beautiful, peaceful, all according to plan. To be continued…
  24. I’ll try to keep it simple this time. Day by Day photo journal to figure this out. Any help or comments much appreciated.
  25. I have decided to start a journal on this forum to help myself learn and remember the ups and downs of my journey in this hobby and hopefully help others learn from my mistakes. I will start with a bit of background info about myself. I am a high school student from the hills of western Maryland. I have been keeping fish “seriously” for about 4-5 years now and currently have 5 aquariums. I will post a few pictures of each aquarium and share stocking lists and goals I have with each one. This is my 10 gallon purple mosaic ribbon fin guppy and cherry shrimp breeding tank. As you can see it also has a bunch of rams horn snails. I hope to start selling some of the guppies and shrimp on aquabid once the weather gets a bit warmer.Next up is my 55 gallon display tank. It is currently stocked with Odessa and green tiger barbs as well as a Bristlenose and yo-yo loaches. Next we have my 20L mutt guppy aquarium that is currently home to mutt guppies cull shrimp and kuli loaches. It has some green water currently which wasn’t intentional but helps the fry hide from the adults which is good. The only downside is that it’s harder for me to see the fish too. I also have a ten gallon with a male krib. I’m planning on getting a female and trying to breed them. This is my marineland 5 gal which is waiting for its next inhabitant which will hopefully be a pea puffer. I will have to make sure to remove the snail first. I am also helping my younger brother set up a 5.5 gal cold water aquarium for some danios or whiteclouds. I would love to hear what you think about my aquariums and any suggestions for improvement that you have. I would also love to answer any questions you have about any of my aquariums. Levi
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