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My garage "fish lab"

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A while back when a certain store has their tank sale I bought four tanks, did some cleaning out in the garage, and set up a mini rack.

There is always something else going on outside of the tanks themselves too. It's all powered by a dual channel air pump and a gang valve.


Here's what I have going on from top to bottom, left to right:

- in the window there are a few infusoria, seed shrimp, and daphnia backup cultures

- on the top reach I have the most recent batch of Nothobranchius Guentheri fry that are only about a week old and two Fundulopanchax Gresensi fry that are about a month old now

- on bottom the first 10 gallon has Japan blue gold guppies (initially from @Patrick_G), in the second 10 gallon tank there are Nothobranchius Guentheri from my other journal, in the first 5 gallon there are young Nothobranchius Eggers, in the 5 gallon there are juvenile Nothobranchius Guentheri who will soon go in with the older ones

- on the side there is my son's Venus flytrap, a few jars with random stuff for infusoria/snails/random inverts, and a brine shrimp hatchery

- not pictured the two buckets on the floor one for dirty water and another with clown water for small changes. Also my workbench with live cultures of grindal worms, vinegar eels, and micro worms

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  • 3 weeks later...

Restarted some cultures because the garage was getting stinky...


I got a new light for my birthday recently abd it's much bluer than those grow lights but it has a timer built in which is nice. Plus it feels less likely to fall apart.


Turns out a coworker of mine keeps fish too. He gave me a grocery bag full of guppy grass. I'm using half of it to give the female nothobranchius Guentheri more hiding places.


Here's a close up on the tank on the left. It's actually put together to look nice


But it's a bit overgrown. A close up of a suspicious gathering...PXL_20230819_160152353.jpg.5663e8e67d87b8a85cf268ca6f3756ef.jpg

One of the nothobranchius Eggersi males watching over his spawning site


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  • 2 weeks later...

Added some gravel and played a bit of musical tanks.


It may be a bit light colored for the killis who like things dimmer.

I didn't realize just how much moss was in my tanks but that should be handy once my Fundulopanchax Gresensi start actually spawning (they just replaced the lone N Guentheri male in the 10g).

Here's some pics of feeding grindal worms:

Nothobranchius Guentheri 


Nothobranchius Eggersi 


Fundulopanchax Gresensi Takwai


Plus I have some botanicals (mainly coconut mulch) cycling for a future project...


And my extra plant holding bins (mostly the extra guppy grass from my coworker):


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Introducing my new "Lid'l Tank"


It's still curing so I won't know for sure that it worked until tomorrow night. It's roughly 2 gallons.

I was watching SerpeDesign videos to get ideas for the biotope I'm trying to do. On a bunch of his videos he'll just throw together an aquarium. I decided to give it a try with some old lids someone gave me. They were gross, the hinges were broken, and they didn't fit any of my aquariums.


First the hinges needed to be removed


Then they were cleaned with barkeeper's friend and two end pieces were cut


Then making tape was added


then silicone was added and it was assembledPXL_20230914_045908632.jpg.a6cf985d12db7701a89dab92cabc8773.jpg

I'm planning on using this for a fry grow out tank

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The new tank is all filled up. Honestly, I think it looks way cooler than should. Now just to see how it holds up




On another note, there were baby Japan blue gold guppies born today


Basically just little eyeballs on a wiggly stick 

My wife just pointed out the irony that the tank is made out of lids but doesn't have a lid itself

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Sad day. Something went wrong... all of the fry in the new tank are dead...

I'm going to totally tear it down, rinse thoroughly, rebuild it with a different type of silicone, let it cure for multiple days, and then test it with a snail before adding anything else.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lid-le tank 2.0 is ready to go. This time is with the same silicone serpadesign uses on YouTube and I let it cure for 3 days. Plus I gave it a thorough rinse before filling it.

Now, at the suggestion of my wife, I will test it with a few ramshorns to be extra sure that it's safe. Once I'm fairly confident it's not toxic and fully water tight, I'll start a new batch of Nothobranchius Guentheri in it.


In other news, the tank I was using as an outside tub pond has come apart at the seams. Luckily all the fish have already been removed so all that's left in there are some cherry shrimp culls.

I half expected this to happen which is why it was outside. I'm pretty sure it's actually a reptile enclosure so it's probably not designed to hold that much water... or raccoons.


But now I have large pieces of thick glass and the tools/materials to build a tank. We'll see how the other tank fares before getting too carried away. I'm also definitely going to go with something smaller than what it is currently. That sounds like a recipe to end up with 40 gallons of water in the garage...

Any ideas? I'm thinking something that isn't just standard dimensions. This tank has standard 40 breeder dimensions 48"Lx18"Wx17"H

Edited by Schuyler
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/4/2023 at 9:58 AM, Schuyler said:

Now, at the suggestion of my wife, I will test it with a few ramshorns to be extra sure that it's safe. Once I'm fairly confident it's not toxic and fully water tight, I'll start a new batch of Nothobranchius Guentheri in it.


They survived so I'm pretty confident that it's safe to use now but I'm a little too busy with work to do a batch of fry right now...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just got back from a vacation to Hawaii. We ended up having lots of aquarium adjacent experiences.

We went to the aquarium and the puffer came up to say hi to my daughter:


Another day we actually found a puffer on the beach.


It was still gasping occasionally so I picked it up between a board and a coconut husk, swished it back and forth in the water to run water over its gills, and eventually it swam off:


There were also lots of outdoor ponds that you would expect to see koi in but there would be cichlids:



There was also a botanical gardens that had lots of pots with guppies or rice fish:


There were even endlers at the Twin Falls:


I also collected some cool botanicals that I'll hopefully get a chance to use soon:


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The Cameroon Biotope tank is basically finished now and I'm starting to put fish in:


I got this guy at an auction last week:


He's an Aphyosemion Ocellatum. I fed them the first white worms I've been able to collect. They devoured them! I'm going to get them conditioned for breeding. They're a trickier killifish to breed 

Edited by Schuyler
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I asked about breeding Aphyosemion Ocellatum in a killifish group and someone told me:

"My set up is: black soil (as substrate) +peat moss+Java moss+ sphagnum moss on the bottom. Java fern + Water sprites in the middle. Floating plants + mops. They do like cool water, which is around 68F-70F, no more than 72F while they can handle the heat. pH around 6.5-6.7. This works for most of the aphyosemion and other non-annual I have, including Diapteron."

They're already in cool soft water but I'll need to add some more botanicals to lower the pH

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On 11/27/2023 at 4:18 AM, TheSwissAquarist said:

Have you seen the spawning ‘ring’ that @Lowells Fish Lab uses for his Aphosemions? 

I binged his videos back when he came out with the fry tray. The name of this journal was partly inspired by his channel and because all the bubbling jars/containers reminded me of some kind of chemistry lab.

That sounded vaguely familiar but I had to go back and find it. There is a bunch of leftover egg crate from the riverbank. I'll have to give this a shot.

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Quick updates

The Fundulopanchax Gresensi seen to live their biotope! They're color really pops in all the shadows


The Japan blue gold guppies population continues to grow rapidly:


The Nothobranchius Eggersi are so going strong. I've added a spawning cup to collect more eggs before they're fully part breeding age:


The Aphyosemion Ocellatum female seems to be fattening up. I think the white worms are helping.


The Nothobranchius Guentheri have been reunited in a new tank. I tried putting him in a community setting again and it didn't work out (lots of nipped fins).


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Here's another plug for joining your local club.

At an auction last year someone brought in a Chromaphyosemion Volcanum. A few weeks ago I asked if anyone had any more (expecting to buy some off of them). It turned out there was someone in the same town as me who keeps them. He gave me a mop with eggs for free and I got the chance to see his fish room setup with lots of rare/uncommon killifish.


There are at least two eggs in there. It will be at least two weeks before any fry hatch.

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On 12/7/2023 at 10:53 PM, TheSwissAquarist said:

Let me know if you manage to breed them, I might want some eggs

Haha we'll see... So far I've only really had success with annuals. The tricky thing about non annuals is that their incubating time is only like two weeks. You may be more lucky finding some from closer sources.

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