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About Me

  1. Hi all, Finally got around to set up the newest version of my tank. I'm calling it 40 gallons, though by dimension it's 45 (36 inches long, 12 inches deep, 24 inches high). Hardware: 4-fan chiller (Petzilla) 100 W Heater (Aqueon) Air pump (AQQA) Fluidized moving filter (AQQA), 2 Heat/Cool controller (Inkbird) Planted+ 24/7 LED light (Finnex) Scape: Cholla wood (NApremium), 1 piece Mopani wood (Zoomed), 4 pieces Plant and shrimp Stratum (Fluval), 8.8 lb bag x 2 (more like 1.5 bags plus from established tank) Shrimp cave (Aquarium Co-op), 3 Plants (except for anubias and moss balls, all from Aquarium Co-op): Anubias nana (petite?) from established tank Cryptocoryne wendtii, 5 pots Cryptocoryne wendtii green, 5 pots Java fern wendelov, 5 pots Java moss, 1 mat Micro chain sword, 5 pots Moss ball, 10 Valisneria, 7 pots Water sprite, 2 pots Treatments: Fritz Complete water conditioner Easy Green fertilizer Parameters (Tetra EasyStrips): 1/15/21 Temp: 77.2 Ammonia: 0 Nitrates: 20 Nitrites: 0 pH: 7.2 KH: 0 GH: 300 I didn’t test the water on the first two days because I wasn’t sure how much the ‘dirt’ in the water column would affect the readings.
  2. 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.
  3. Actually, I said it. While I have been looking (shyly?) at the aquarium stuff for a long time, I just recently committed. Never had a tank before. So yeah, trying this forum for advice, admiration and laughs 🤨
  4. hey everybody I've been making posts here & there on the general forum about this new aquarium I've put together. I thought I'd start a thread dedicated to this aquarium and it's progress. I'll be updating photos, keeping journals, among other things here. Here's a breakdown of my setup: -20 gallon plastic planter pot from Home Depot -construction site clear-crush 1/8" gravel (seems to be keeping the water nice & hard) -20 gallon air pump hooked into an upside-down glass beer bottle with 2 small holes at the top filled with filter media & an intake sponge, effectively filtering ammonias, oxygenating the water, and circulating the water -20 gallon submersed water pump mounted on top a small clay ornament, also buried in the gravel (to reduce death by suction); the out-take of this pump travels through a pipe which exits the waters surface and falls back into the aquarium from ~2.5 inches -100W TopFin heater; I also have a 100W EHEIM heater but the TopFin 100w takes up a bit less space / less noticeable -DIY co2 rig using 2 soda bottles, baking soda & citric acid -A 3 piece LED light with 5 different light settings; timers that I've not bothered to mess with yet -A big hunk of driftwood, anubias plants, a couple egeria densa, and a few pieces of floating green cabomba, or maybe hornwort -Plant growth additive, 5-in-1 test strips (pH,KH,GH, NO-2, NO-3), an ammonia test kit, and some de-chlorinator in case I need to quickly balance the aquarium with fresh water due to an ammonia spike or something -3 guppies currently while in cycle; one male and two fry who are yet to be gendered; I'll be adding 2 more males and 5 females, and I'll also add two otocinclus to help clean up I plan on bringin' this baby outside in the springtime to the front veranda or the deck in the backyard; I'll put wire mesh overtop and place a weight on it to keep out the riff-raff at night time
  5. I'll start this off by simply stating I have no idea what I'm doing. I have packed a two bedroom apartment with more aquariums that most people would consider reasonable. The story of how this all came to be may eventually get unpacked little by little going forward but the rundown is this: I left a job and lifestyle that kept me away from home for prolonged periods of time, I found myself with an unfamiliar amount of free time, and I moved in with a girlfriend who has no problem with fish tanks completely taking over every room. From there, things just kept going farther and farther down the fish keeping rabbithole. One tank turned into two, two into four, and four into concrete blocks and 2x4 racks across two walls of a bedroom. Its been insane. I decided the next evolution in this hobby would be to actually interact with other fish keepers. Aside from the occasional YouTube comment, I do not engage with any other hobbyists. This is my first foray and hopefully when things in the world are a big less complicated with social interaction I would be up for driving a few hours a month to join a local club, but for now, this will do. So, what is this Journal? Basically I am going to go around the apartment and feature a tank at a time. Talk about that tank, its story, what I've learned from it, its inhabitants and any other thing that comes to mind. Like I said in the beginning, I have no idea what I'm doing. This is going to a real life look into whats going on with these aquariums. I am going to likely have some things people think are good ideas, and I imagine some folks with look at a tank and wonder what was I thinking. Cool. I want to get better at this. Eventually, someday, maybe, we can ditch the apartment and find a house and really get crazy about this stuff. There is alot out there I want to keep. Endless projects I want to pursue. Lets see how this goes.
  6. I liked the idea of having a space to just babble about my tanks. I do have an Instagram, but I always felt like I need to post glamour shots to that, and not more mundane things. So here it is, a place to talk about how duck weed is taking over my house (seriously I find it on our doorknobs). I guess I'll start off by introducing my favorite fish, and therefore my favorite tank. Pooka is a synodontis eupterus who has an incredibly sweet temperament. She's hand tame, and often follows my hand around while I work on the tank. She's currently in a 40 breeder, and I MAY put her in the 75 eventually, but honestly I'm worried to put her in with my bichirs; Dragon (who I will introduce in another post), once took a bite out of a catfish like it was an apple. She seems to have enough room for now, and really isn't that active - her swimming style is doing calm moseys around the tank between long upside down naps. I once drew her as a Pookamon Pokemon.
  7. I am going to setup up a tank or more at my folks' house in the Vermont woods, since we have to move the White Clouds and Neo Shrimp inside. I got a 15 gallon for them, but they want something bigger, and they want to use this as a stand. I'm thinking a 29 gallon would be perfect. My dad took these photos. I just realized that I frame and crop much like the old man.
  8. I keep many small aquariums in my apartment, mostly Walstad-style, with organic soil from a local composting spot. I enjoy running really stable ecosystems. These photos don't show much of the fish and shrimp. I also keep some outdoor tubs here in Vermont. Cheers, Jason
  9. Hi everyone! Going to try out this journal thing. I currently have a Home Depot rack with 11 tanks on it. I drilled the tanks and ran a drain to a sump pump in another room, and I have a linear piston air pump powering them. I fill a 32g trash can with tap water and Prime for water changes. Here's what it looks like: The things I'd like to improve upon by building a fish room: I'm powering the entire rack (4 lights, 9 tank heaters, 1 AquaClear) with a single 15A non-GFCI outlet, and there isn't another outlet nearby. So I'm going to carefully plan outlet locations/breakers/GFCI/etc. In addition to the tank heaters, I have an electric oil heater warming the room to 75, but the room is pretty large, and includes a stairwell to the first floor. Ideally I'll be able to heat a smaller room to a consistent temp, and do away with most of the in-tank heaters. I'm going to plan an automatic water change system, so this is a good opportunity to incorporate that. I'd like to add a sink, so that I can do things like rinse test tubes or make brine shrimp without running up and down the steps. I have an idea to do 2 separate lighting circuits, so that I can have much lower brightness lights on for longer during the day without growing a lot of algae. I'd also like to make the room a lot brighter overall. More tanks! I'm already running out of room, so I'd like to plan for at least 40-50 tanks, but will likely start closer to 20-25. And probably wishful thinking, but I think I can keep the room more organized if I plan storage/etc better. This part of our basement is naturally split by a support column, I-beam, and soffit for HVAC ducts. These make the ceiling pretty low, but I think I can make it up with thin shelving and spreading out a bit more. Here are the dimensions I'm planning on: The bottom wall will be new, and that door will be the entry door. The right door goes to storage and our HVAC system. The top door is a thin room with our electrical panel, water heater, and oil tank. I'm hoping I can fit a ~75-100g water tote in there. Here's the space after draping some plastic: And the other side where the fish rack currently is: I spent last weekend framing it out and installing a door. Here's what it looks like now: This was my first time using steel studs. They're really great! You can carry 10 through a house under one arm, they cut easily with metal shears, and the room wasn't covered in sawdust when I was done. They were also about the same price as wood 2x4s. I chose them because the other basement walls were already steel studs, and some suggested that basements use metal instead of wood framing due to moisture. I had to get creative with keeping the existing drain and air PVC functional: Next up is electrical! Hoping to find some time this weekend to wire outlets and install new breakers.
  10. First BAP journal on platys: View of the colony some time later:
  11. (It's me. I'm baby.) Getting back into the hobby after a yearlong break. Tank & filtration: 36g bowfront The back is painted with black acrylic Aquaclear 50 HOB (+ aquarium co-op coarse sponge, purigen, minus the top because it rattles a little and that annoys me) Marineland Penguin Filter (+ aforementioned coarse sponge, matrix, spider plant, and rosemary) Lettuce. Not sure if I should count this as part of filtration or part of the plants, but oh well. If it grows, I'm not sure I'll be brave enough to eat it, so it'll probably go to the fist :`D The prefilter sponges I had on hand were way too fine, so I cut into the coarse sponge to create a makeshift prefilter for both HOBs I don't currently have a light big enough for the tank, but that's not a big priority at the moment, just because it is so hot. But next payday I'll probably grab a Nicrew. At the moment, I'm using a little Nicrew meant for a smaller tank (it was bought for my betta, who's sadly passed on.) In the next post I'll add in info about the plants and fish!
  12. I finally bought a 40 gallon breeder after years of wanting something bigger than a 29 gallon. Here are some photos of the set up. It's gonna be a planted community tank for South American fish. Any stocking ideas?
  13. Edit: Read to bottom for start of 75 gallon false bottom tank So I’ve had a 29 gallon tank setup for about a year now that’s happily producing a slowly expanding colony of otocinclus and habrosus corydoras. Breeding both has been a goal for a while, so that’s been fun. Due to the year being what it is, the tank has been pretty, ugly, and pretty ugly at times. The water is always clean, but I haven’t always kept up with the plant maintenance. The hard scape got removed to be cleaned after it got covered in algae, and once the crypts grew in I just never put it back.
  14. I have an idea. If you can do a geographically accurate biotope aquarium, why can't you do a historically accurate aquarium. Sort of a historotope if I'm allowed one neologism here. At an estate sale a while back, I acquired a 1930s era aquarium with a metal frame and a slate bottom. This is not one of those stainless steel MetaFrame aquariums everyone (including me) had back in the 1960s and the 1970s. It is clearly something much older. Everything about the aquarium was in good shape when I got it, and it was watertight. Last year when I was using it to grow mosquito larva outside I forgot to bring it in when it got cold. When ice formed in the tank the expanding ice blew out one of the glass sides. So, what might the rules be for a historotope? Rules: You are only allowed to use equipment available during your chosen time period. You are only allowed to keep fishes that were available during your chosen time period. You must use historically accurate foods. You must use historically accurate plants. You must use historically accurate substrate and decorations. You must use historically accurate maintenance methods. Since I have the aquarium (once I get it repaired), my chosen time period will be the mid-1930s in the United States. My first step is to get the tank water tight again. I will post more later as this experiment progresses and your thoughts and suggestions come in.
  15. First I just want to say Thank You to Cory and The Aquarium Co-Op for providing all the videos that have inspired me to setup my new tank. I have had small (failed) aquariums in the past but never have I started one with knowledge and understanding I have now. Looking forward to many years of NERMing out and doing business with the Coop. Sep. 8th Initial setup and cycling of the tank. Plastic Rocks float. LOL First plants from the Coop. Cypress Knee attached to slate to hold it down. I got this Knee on etsy and it was perfectly prepared out of the box. It did not leach any tannins. Almost too tall!! More Plants. All came from the Coop (WA) to me (FL). They were in the mail 7 days (we had just had a hurricane here so not the Coops fault) and they were perfect. Vintage Décor FTW! Oct 2nd I added 5 Platy's. PH 7.8, NH3 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, Nitrate 5 PPM. I turn the LED background lights on for an hour or so in the evenings just to enjoy the ambiance. I have more plants coming in today. To be continued... Thanks for looking. Mary K. Oh yeah... gottah show the stickers
  16. Jungle Tank Log I've wanted to make a log thread of this tank for a while, it has been a very fun tank for me and I would like to share its progress. This tank has been running for over a year now but I have kept logs since the beginning so I will start there and fill it in as I have time until we get to the present after which I'm planning on doing monthly-ish logs.
  17. Hello all! I hope you are enjoying your tanks. I’ve been eyeing this part of the forum because I thought it would be fun to keep a journal of my tank’s progression in a public place. Hopefully, we can discuss some of the successes, failures, and works in progress going on with my 75 gallon aquarium. Here is a little info on my tank. I setup this 75 gallon around the middle of May. 1/3 of the gravel and sand substrate came from my 25 gallon aquarium. I also moved over 30 mixed mollies (mostly fry), 1 neon tetra, three Corydora (2 peppered and 1 Sterbaii), 7 Rasboras, 4 otocinclus, 65 red cherry shrimp, and three mystery snails. I also moved over a lot of plants. My 25 had been my testing site for plants. So I have a variety. here are some images of my tank. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
  18. Following up on my What Did You Do Today? post from last week, I was able today to get a new aquarium set up in my office at work. I would like for you all to go on this journey with me, and see what we can make happen. It's nowhere near as crafty as Daniel's 1930's masterpiece, but I gotta start somewhere! I am not sure of the brand of the tank, although my guess is Marineland based on the biowheel. I've never seen a filter quite like this one! There are a couple pictures in case anyone has some insight. The media well runs the entire length of the tank under the lid, with a biowheel on one end where the return is. I have a tetra HT10 (or 30, I can't remember now and I just threw away the box!). I put a piece of lava rock and some spiderwood in there, along with my first attempt at a specialized substrate (CaribSea ForalMax), housing some ACO Dwarf Sagitara and two Amazon swords which were replants from my home tank. I haven't decided yet what will grace my office at work, although I have some ideas. I continue to be open to suggestions from the peanut gallery! Tell me what y'all think!
  19. I am getting ready to start my fishroom build in the house we moved into about a year ago. In all honesty it is for now really going to be a rack and it is in the laundry room but I am putting in a lot of the infrastructure and have plans on how it will expand in the future. to start off I have shot a video on a custom overflow solution that was designed and suggested to my by @Dean’s Fishroom. It's an exciting option that will make servicing my 10 gallons super easy. I'll be following this post in the thread with photos of the current space, drafted plans of the rack and systems and then progress on the build.
  20. I thought I would do a little journal of my journey with my very first 55 gallon tank. Even when I was big into fish tanks as a kid in the early 70s, I never had a tank larger than 20 gallons, so this is pretty exciting for me. I just came back to the hobby a couple of months ago and dove in headfirst. I have two 20 gallons, two 45 talls, a ten and the 55 gallon tank. Only one of them currently have fish; I have some guppies and cherry shrimp in one of the 20s. Although one of the 45s has finished cycling and will probably have more guppies next week. I'll focus on the 55 gallon though since I have not done anything with it yet, other than make a few decisions. Here is the tank currently: //content.invisioncic.com/b300999/monthly_2020_09/20200918_103659.jpg.2f661240beba402d3c31a8e47e5841a2.jpg Cables and such will be hidden. I have some material coming today to cover the top 2x4s with, then I'll make it a little prettier. I decided to do the plasti-dip for a black background and I am doing the twin wall polycarbonate for the lid. Most of my supplies for the tank are coming via UPS today, I bet our UPS guy is going to be surprised when I hug him... Filtration: I am going a little overboard with filtration for now, with the two large spongefilters from the Co-Op and a marineland 350 HoB. For air flow, I just grabbed one of the Aquatop Breza 100s from the Co-op and a battery backed up one from KG Topicals. Heater: I bought two of the 300 watt Eheim Jager's heaters and the JBJ true temp controller @Daniel recommended on another thread. I'm only going to put one of them in the tank for now, I just want one for back up. Substrate: Going with just Eco-complete. Plants: I already have a bunch of plants waiting in one of the other tanks. So far I have: Vallisneria Christmas moss Java Fern and Water Sprite. I want to also get some type of carpeting plant too, but haven't quite decided what yet. Hardscape: I'm going to walk down to the bay tomorrow morning and look for some interesting hardscape stuff. If I can't find anything I like over the next few weeks, I'll grab some of the usual suspects online. Fish: Probably will change, but I'm currently looking at 6-8 Boesemans Rainbowfish, 6-8 Rasboras, but haven't decided on which one, and 5-6 dwarf corys as well as some type of shrimp. {EDIT} For some reason it won't put the pic where I want it, instead it just displays the path and puts the image at the bottom of the post... //content.invisioncic.com/b300999/monthly_2020_09/20200918_103659.jpg.2f661240beba402d3c31a8e47e5841a2.jpg
  21. I recently got this used 150 gallon tank and figured I would start a thread here to log my progress as I get it all rolling. I just painted the room last week from a gross pink to a nice blue that I think goes well with the colors of the stand. Today I got the whole ensemble from my buddy’s house and let me just say, moving a tank of this size is insanely difficult, it’s over 300 pounds. I hope to have it cleaned out by tonight and start figuring out the sump. I still have no idea how I’m setting it up as far as stocking lol.
  22. After stopping by a few local pet stores today, I found some wild-type feeder Neocardinias for sale at a reasonable price, and decided to get my red cherry shrimp breeding project started! Ideally, this thread will be proof that these shrimp were not imported and were not bred here, where it is illegal to import aquarium shrimp, if I try to sell/trade these to a LFS. Regardless of the outcome of the breeding project, they can just be pets and chill in the tanks. Either way, I think it's a fun (and low cost!) breeding project, especially compared to my ricefish 😭 A bit of background: where I live, neocardinia davidi are an invasive species, released by aquarists into local waters and are out-competing the native shrimp. Accordingly, neocardinia davidi are sold as feeders. (further reading here and here) I picked up a bag of shrimp from two local stores; if you're a local to Oahu you'll know which ones I'm talking about. For brevity's sake, store one is KPS and store 2 is ELP. KPS: 2x 10 shrimp @ ~$2.50 per 10. ELP: 2x 8 shrimp @ $1.00 per 8 Noticed at least 2 shrimp were berried. The current cost of this project is about $8, which includes some Hikari shrimp food I bought at ELP. As the KPS shrimp came from...kind of a nasty store, they went into the orange ricefish tank, as there's more detritus, algae, etc. for them to snack on. ELP shrimp went into the Daisy's ricefish/bronze cory tank. I'm going to be setting up a breeding for profit rack soon, with a 30g tank and some 10g growout tanks. A group of the shrimp will live in the 30, and some will be going into the growout tanks to take care of any fungus-y eggs. I understand the basic principles of breeding and culling, but I'm interested in literature about breeding RCS from wild type neocardinia, as well as any tips you folks can offer! Should I be looking to selectively breed the darker/patterned ones? Or can the red develop another way?
  23. It has four walls now I can call it a fishroom right? What started earlier this year as a single rack of tanks, my nerm-side got the best of me. My desire to expand and add more tanks came from two things. That 40B is now a thriving Guppy colony and I'd like to try line breeding some of the color strains. The second thing was wanting to heat the room not, relying completely on individual heaters. Being in northern PA and the tanks being in the basement it can easily dip into the low the 60's (F) down there. I started in late September with the Dollar Per Gallon sale getting the tanks I wanted. Six 10s, two 20Hs, and two 5.5s. I like painting the bottoms black for a cleaner look. I prefer having bare bottom tanks for easier maintenance. I have also noticed less algae growth on the bottoms of the tanks that are painted black. I use Gloss Black Rust-oleum Enamel Paint. Next step was to enclose the area where the tanks are. They sit in a corner of my basement so I only have to make two walls. I like building simply and effectively to reach my goals. To enclose the tanks I made a framework using 1x2 furring strips and 1/2" styrofoam panels as insulation. After that I needed to move the 40B and the shelf it was on. I did that by draining it to about 3 inches of water. Lifting the shelf enough to get furniture sliders under each leg and sliding it out of the way. I used a Nano USB pump and airstone to keep the water moving for the day while I prepared the new rack. I also added some insulating panels to the wall to keep the heat in the room. Once I had the 3/4" plywood cut and painted for the bottom shelf I leveled the rack. I was then able to move the 40B to its new location. To move it, I drained another inch or so water from it and had someone help slide if off the old shelf onto the new one. It wasn't as sketchy as I was fearing, not as heavy either with a bag of eco-complete and little water. I refilled it immediately and didn't lose any fish in the process. Next since the major construction was done I added heavy vinyl curtains to act as doors. Then I placed the new tanks on the rack and got the heater running to get in dialed in. I will still run the individual heaters in the tanks until I'm confident the room will stay warm enough. I added the warning label for any visitors. I added thermometers around the room to monitor the temperature. I picked up a full 4x8 foot sheet of 1/8" thick glass from a local shop to begin making lids. I have the shop cut the sheet in half to fit it in the back of my truck. Once home I set up a work table in the garage on sawhorses, carefully slid the glass out and begin making the cuts I need. I like making the lid opening 5" wide and clipping the corners for the airline heater cord to enter. Lighting next, for that I use all 36" Finnex Stingray lights. Had a small issue mounting them under the shelf as there is metal supports in the way. I made some quick spacers out of scrap wood and used Kreg jig to make pocket screw holes for mounting them. It worked great and I could finally see easier having the lights installed. All the lights on both racks are controlled by a single Kasa wifi timer. Really the last thing left to do is layout and install the air system, connecting it to my first rack. The air system on the first rack is run off a Linear Piston Pump the same one sold by ACO. I use 3/4" pvc and #10-32 tapped plastic airline valves. I like those because they can be used for both air and water. I mocked up the loop on the front of the rack to get the measurements required. I'm using 3/4" barbs and vinyl tubing to connect this loop to the original one. Once laid out, I took everything apart to drill and tap the holes. Dean's tip of using a piece of tape to make a straight line is excellent for lining up your marks along the pipe. I like to use an automatic center punch as well to mark the holes and prevent the drill bit from wandering when starting the hole. Nice and in line. Both air loops now tied together. With the air in I was able to trim and install the mattenfilters in the new tanks. I found its really nice to cut the foam using hot foam cutting pen. While rearranging everything I did lose a lot of storage space. I was however to clean out some old junk and boxes and fit all the my supplies into bins under each rack. I did fit a small plastic shelf in between the racks for some additional storage. This morning I finally filled all the tanks and got them running. I already have some new fish in the rack, some Red & Blue Colombian Tetras. They came into my LFS and I set up one tank this week to house them. Without the mattenfilter cycled yet I added cycled sponge filter into the tank. I realize this a quick breakdown of how I expanded into a fishroom so please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I look forward to adding to this thread all future breeding projects and builds.
  24. [If you want a trip down a "NERM hole" . . . here you go!] Spawning Report: Corydoras Aeneus (Bronze Corys) We've successfully finished our 30 days with a small batch of corydoras aeneus (11 fry). Guess this will be the last BAP submission for 2020 for us. Learned a lot with this project. Took a year of growing the Corys bought from our LFS, and a solid 8 months mounting up failures to figure out how to raise them. We're raising up a larger batch of fry behind these (ca. 20-25). VIDEO JOURNALS (1) Eight months ago . . . setting up a dedicated Cory breeding tank (2) Nov. 20, Cory eggs pulled (3) Nov. 22, Cory fry free swimming (11 fry counted) (4) Nov. 30, Fry growth and updates (5) Dec. 7, Two-week Journal - Chemistry Discussion (6) Dec. 11, Update and New Batch of Fry following up behind Our BAP batch (7) Dec. 24, Cory fry BAP graduation - adding fry (11) to adult breeding tank PVAS BAP SPAWNING REPORT 24 December 2020 SPECIES Corydoras Aeneus Bronze Corys REPRODUCTION Method of Reproduction: Egg Layer Number and Gender Distribution of Parents: Eight Adults, Possibly only 1-2 Males Origin of Parents: Tank Raised (Purchased from LFS) Approximate number of fry: ca. 11 Date of Birth: Free-Swimming (11/22/2020) Number of Fry at 30 Days: 11 AQUARUM CONDITIONS Spawning Tank Size: 20 gal. long Spawning Tank Water Source: town / city water Spawning Tank Water Changes: 30-50% 1x per week / bi-weekly Spawning Tank Filtration System: Two sponge filters Spawning Tank Temperature: 78-degrees Farenheit Spawning Tank pH: 6.0 (water changes cause fluctuations up, but it always drops) Spawning Tank KH: Unreadably low (tap water is ca. 4 dKH, ca. 71.6) Spawning Tank Ammonia: 0 ppm Spawning Tank Nitrite: 0 ppm Spawning Tank Nitrate: ca. 30 ppm Note: This tank has experienced a recent pH crash due to humic acid buildup from leaf litter decomposition and alder comes. We removed most the leaf litter and cones, and have been monitiring it’s chemistry. Specimen Container: 1/2 gal. Lee’s large specimen container Specimen Container Water Source: Bottled (RO) water Specimen Container Water Change: 16-32 oz. / day until sponge filter added after 2x weeks Specimen Container Filtration: None, just air line for 2x weeks; then small sponge filter added Specimen Container Temperature: ca. 80-degrees Fahrenheit Specimen Container pH — ca 6.0 (due to use of RO bottled water) and catappa leaf litter Specimen Container GH — Hard to determine . . . very low Specimen Container Ammonia: actually Ammonium - can be very high, 0.5-0.8ppm) Specimen Container Nitrite: 0 ppm (after sponge filter added) Specimen Container Nitrate: 40-80 ppm (very high) Note: Specimen Container readings taken after period without water change DECOR & ENVIRONMENT Spawning Tank Live Plants: Pothos (roots only), Cryptocoryne Parva Spawning Tank Caves or Similar Hiding Places: Rocks from stream (boiled before adding), wood Spawning Tank Substrate: Fine white stone (looks like coarse sand) Spawning Tank Lighting Type and Timing: LED, 5,000 K, filtered through diffuser, ca. 14 hrs / day Specimen Container Live Plants: None; only catappa leaf litter and alder cones Specimen Container Caves or Similar Hiding Places: None until sponge filter added Specimen Container Substrate: None; again, only catappa leaf litter and alder cones Specimen Container Lighting Type and Timing: LED, 5,000 K, filtered through diffuser, ca. 14 hrs / day FEEDING Food Fed to Parents and How Often: 2x / day. Frozen Blood worms, Bug Bites flake food, wide variety of flake mix - Omega One, Kelp Flakes, But Bites Tropical Blend; live baby brine shrimp Food Fed to Fry and How Often: 2x / day. Live baby brine shrimp, arctic copepod powder, sera micron, New Life Spectrum fry starter powder, finely crushed flake food COMMENTS & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION We couldn’t keep track of the number of times our Corys laid eggs, we collected, and they either failed to hatch, or failed to survive. The factors were manifold. We suspect there may only be one or two fertile males in the original breeding group. Many eggs were just not fertile. We also struggled with fighting off fungus spread in the hatching container. In the end, we were successful using two pieces of catappa leaf and a few alder cones that grow wild out on the edge of some swamps where we live. These release tannins, which help to fight off fungus spread. Also, the decomposition creates lots of context of microlife to flourish for baby corys to get their earliest source of food. Before we were really successful we tried a lot of things to trigger spawning: heavy water changes; using rainwater / ground water for water changes; cold water changes; feeding a wide variety of foods; over-feeding / cleaning after; altering lighting plans; leaving lights on at night; addition of live plants (crypts); addition of a small Hydor powerhead for flow . . . and then we had the afrementioned challenges of trying to hatch eggs and keep fry alive. Documented successes from folks in our fish club helped us, as we read some of their BAP submissions. It seems that if you’ve got a decent ratio of mature males and females, feed well, and keep their water quality up, they’ll do their thing eventually. We’ve had our adults for about a year before setting up their breeding tank, so, as with other catfish, they seem to take their time maturing to a breeding age. Once we had fry, we changed out the water regularly with R. O. Bottled water. But once we were about 2-3 weeks in, our corys spawned again. So we started another batch but just used tank water instead of R. O. water. That batch is going very strong - about 20-25 fry — plus, we found 5x fry from that batch in the parent tank that must have been attached to leaves somewhere. Some chemistry things we learned / are learning: (1) Raising fry in the little specimen containers is a stress on fish fry, and on fish breeders. Constant vigilance is needed to keep parameters from danger zones. Without filtration, ammonia and nitrite build up quickly. But with a sponge filter, nitrate builds up quickly as well. (2) Using catappa leaf litter and alder cones releases humic acid, and really makes pH dive. This keeps ammonia (NH3) buidup below the 7.0 pH threshold to ammonium (NH4+) which is _slightly_ less problematic for fish . . . but really not good in any way (3) R. O. Water, and our soft tap water, lacks buffer which prevents against pH crashes. We found that the pH crashed in the adult tank when we added some tetras, and kept finding them dead. We originally added a lot of catappa leaf litter and oak leaf litter along with alder cones to the parent tank. It was just too much, and as humic acid built up over time, the pH crashed — from 7.8 tap water to 6.0 (or lower . . . our kit really doesn’t measure pH lower than that). Science aside, the jury is in: Cory fry are the cutest fish fry in the world! We all love watching them wiggle around. I think this species is one we’ll continue breeding and raising up for a while. Our fish stores are always happy to have some to sell. But we will probably not hold them in the grow out context much beyond 3 weeks so that they can be added into the larger colony and grow up in a better environment.
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