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Ropefish (Room) and discussion

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9 hours ago, RickHunter said:

The ropefish are doing really well now. Active on and off throughout the day. They bolt out of hiding within seconds of any tubifex hitting the water now and come right up to the surface to feed. They've also came up to use the funnel for blood worms.


Now on the other hand everyone compliments me on the way the tank looks but recently this weekend I realized I'm bad at my job because we remembered that we hadn't rinsed the filter media since we installed it back in September. So that got done this weekend. This was clear tank water after squeezing one of 8 sponges that are in the filter.


We swear the water turned so dark and brooding that it looked back up at us and said "I'm Batman!"


Also it looks like I have some algae starting. I'm thinking its staghorn algae. Likely it took root after we had to remove the Amano shrimp from the tank.



PS: I dont understand why when I upload images to the forums every now and then it flips them upside down. Oh well.

I think I just saw Hobbit post something in another thread about this problem.  She said to do a small bit of editing on the picture (like change its size slightly) and then try to repost it.  See if that helps?

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  • 2 months later...

Currently moving to a new house and trying to setup a fish room for all the tanks except my 75 and looking for some input.

Going to be making a 8 ft 2x4 rack that's topped with 1/2 inch plywood (the area marked in blue tape) going to be using that simple way of making the stand with butt joints and guides. Planning to do 4 2x4s bearing the load on each end and 2 in the center as well as add a 2x4 beam every foot of the frame beneath the plywood since that stand will be 2ft in depth and the two 40s and 55s wont be sitting exactly on the frame edges but rather ontop of the plywood which should distribute the weight to the frame and butt joints.


The table shown is a old home build hardwood table the top is a half inch board and the legs look to be 3x3. The table itself is just the right dimensions to hold 5 20 gallon longs (along with 1 extra 10 gallon on the end, the tanks still have their cardboard on so they aren't setup flush but I have staged 4 of them for the photos.) I'm thinking that the table would be better if I cut and slide 2 sets of 2x4s cut to the table height into the center for stability so looking for anyone's thoughts on that as well.






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Picked up some mildew resistant vinyl that I'll be using to cover the tops of the table and stand the fish tanks will be on. Should hopefully be starting to build the stand next week once the electrician comes to put some GFCI outlets in where the tanks are going.


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Started getting things ready today. Put extra supports on the hardwood table and put some of the vinyl ontop. Also started the framing for the large rack but ran out of decking screws so that's on hold till I can make it to the hardware store.




Also decided there's no good way to move the 75 gallon to the new location keeping the substrate inside so it will be getting a rescape it seems. Since I'm going to take everything out I think I'm going to try something that has been on my mind for awhile. I want to try to make a land area about 12in long on one side of the tank for the ropefish to come out of the water onto. Want to make it like a platform that makes it look like a open cave area underneath just haven't figured out a good way to do it with actual stone so might go a spray foam route with PVC supports done to look like rock pillars. Still unsure on it but open to input, I'll post up a diagram of what I'm thinking when I get more time.


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Well I wasn't going to reply to this so quickly but...small update on something that happened right after I posted last. Wife was on her way over to the new house with power strips and the python to setup some of the tanks when she saw a 10 gallon on the side of the road. She stopped to see if there was anything wrong with it and saw there was a guppy in about an inch of water in direct sunlight. She grabbed up the tank with the guppy and rushed it over to me where we put in on the newly setup table and started to add cooler water to acclimate the guppy. The water was in the high 80s farenheit when it got here. We moved some of the decorations and pumps out of the tank while adding little bits of water at a time and found what looks like a small bristlenose that was also in that one inch if water. They both seem to be doing alright for now.20210725_182129.jpg.f1893983d44e503494c0fe70de0ff5b2.jpg




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Wow!! Good save on your wife’s part! Poor fish. They lucked out that a good nerm family found them.

I think your plan for the table and rack sound good! I’m not sure if the table will need more added support. Something to be aware of (maybe you already are): lumber is not usually straight. It might be helpful to have some sort of base framing to keep everything in line. It’s not as pretty as having freestanding legs but it will definitely be more stable. I don’t know that the frame is really necessary—I’m definitely an over builder when it comes to these things—but it’s something I would probably do. You could probably achieve a similar stability by using two 2x4s for each leg, placed against each other in a T.

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Wife insisted that the Male guppy (now named Lucky) needed a harem so there are now 3 new female guppies with him.


The tank stand is coming together. Should hopefully be one more session to get it finished. Its currently upside down as I add the weight bearing 2x4s to the guides


As for the 75. Here is a very rough drawing (it's a pretty bad overlay sketch using my phone...) along with a turtle platform for reference of what I'm thinking. I'm thinking the PVC frame and making a tray on top that will hold some dirt for some plants and pill bugs. Then I will hide the PVC by attaching rocks. I want to try to use a piece of slate to make a natural looking overhang rock. Just need to figure out how I'm going to attach rocks to the PVC and make it look more natural and allow me to see into the cave area beneath.



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Update: I finished building the rack for the two 55s and two 40s. Its level, had to use some shims and it does wobble a bit when you actually try to wobble it (which nobody should be trying to wobble it so I think it should be fine). Tops of the shelves are covered with mildew resistant vinyl I got from Joann Fabrics. There were also a few spots on the stand where a small gap formed after it sat for a but and I've filled those by wedging in shims and breaking them off so there isn't any flex.


Almost ready to get those tanks up and running in this room. Just need to find some LED shop lights that I can use for plant growth to go over the line of 20 longs and the 40s. Going to get the ones that connect together and put them all on the same timer to make things easy.


Lastly please enjoy this photo of the ropefish taken in the 75 that has still yet to be moved.


Photo title: "Let me sing you the song of my people"


Edited by RickHunter
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@RickHunter I would be very, very careful about how high your platform goes.  Rope fish are pretty notorious for slipping out of the tank (I’m sure you know this since you have one still in water. 😆).  If he does decide to go over land (I’m not sure he would unless circumstances are dire, but, well, ropefish), then it could be easier for him to gain leverage and slip out.

As long as you make the top even more escape proof than usual, you should be OK.  Neat idea, for sure.  Can’t wait to see how you do it!

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So...where to begin...I know some people do not like pictures of dead fish so I will not be including them in this post out of respect for them.

We decided we were going to start moving some of the fish from our 75 gallon over to some holding tanks at the new house so we could start to prepare tearing down the 75 to move later this week. We decided to start with our mid swimmers the 8 Congo Tetra school we had.

About a week and a half ago I setup 4 20 longs as holding tanks (later to become breeding tanks) to hold the fish from the 75 gallon so we could move it easier. The tanks were seeded with Brazilian Pennywort and Baby Tears from the 75 that were overgrown and blocking out the light. They had snail hitchhikers who came to the new tanks and got the cycle going and kept it going properly with what was living on the plants.



Now then. On Sunday we went to move the Congos, everything went pretty standard. Netted them out of the 75 into a bucket, transported the bucket to the new house, slowly added tank water to acclimate to the new tank. It was late by the time we got to the house and got the Congos acclimated and I had to work in the morning so we left after it looked like the Congos were in the tank and settled a little. Fast forward 16 hours, I have been at work all day and haven't had the chance to go check on the fish. When I got there and went to check on them I found them all dead...I arrived just as the last remaining female was taking her last breaths 😞

Upon this I started to try to find out what happened. I planned this out, I did everything correctly, its a fresh tank. Where did I go wrong. I had used vinegar to clear the tanks before filling but I rinsed and wiped the small amount used out of the tank a week and a half ago before I set them up. I put plant cover from an established tank to provide hiding spots and bring over bacteria colonies. The snails on the plants prevented the colonies from crashing from lack of ammonia....So where did I go wrong? Thus I began going through every test in the kit I had. Then I got the results from the long Nitrate test....This is what I am thinking was the cause...Nitrate shock. I was so tired when I moved the fish my brain never considered changing the water that had been in the tank for the past week with the snails. Not only that but I never imagined that a tank only a week old could end up with Nitrates so sky high....I did a change of the water and tested the nitrates again to make sure it wasn't just a one off or I ended up adding an extra drop or two but sure enough it looked like the high Nitrates were the cause.

Left Tube: Nitrate in the 20 long after 50% water change. Right Tube: Nitrate in the 20 long before 50% water change

I pretty unhappy about the whole ordeal since these were the first fish we got for our 75 and they were all fully grown...

I will eventually have to go out in search of a new school of them but I know they have gotten very expensive at some of the stores when I was browsing the past few months. That and I will need to grow them out to go back into the 75 with the other fish since the stores that have them they are always so small.

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@Hobbit yeah it's weird. I never expected nitrates to be so high..but its given me pause on moving anything else. Trying to keep myself in good spirits so I can complete the move but it's difficult and I'm now going to be overly paranoid trying to get these holding tanks dialed in to hold the inhabitants of the 75 gallon until its tore down and set back up.


I setup a 5 shelf rack front Sam's club to hold the few 10 gallon tanks we have (there Is a shrimp 10 gallon that has yet to be moved)



I found the perfect slate for the top of the rock platform I was going to make. And the proceeded to accidentally break it when reaching for a paper towel above it...debating trying to glue it back together to use but I'm not sure if that's a safe option even if it will only be holding a small bit of dirt ontop and have other rocks glued around its edge holding things together to create a pit for the dirt to sit in.20210812_232109.jpg.d151980b2466252ce74fdd4c95b5c2ef.jpg



LFS also got the mountain stone I asked for the pillars of the platform in. However someone else got there before me and liked how it looked and cherry picked 35 pounds of the best of it before I got there. I just took what was left with the intention to make it work but if it doesnt work out well I'll take back what's not working and grab more from their shipment next Friday to hopefully have the platform done. If I use everything I picked up it ends up being around 70 pounds of rock. My brain is also thinking that's alot of weight to be putting in the tank on one side...but not sure...my brain is a wreck lately.



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Ugh sorry about the rocks. If the projects are stressing you, it sounds like you need a break. 🤍 You’ve got a solid plan, and no need to rush (if I remember correctly). Brains need rest just like muscles. Feel free to take some time to just enjoy your fish. You’ll know your brain is rested when the projects start sounding fun again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, I took some time to step away from the project as much as I was able. Had a few family deaths here the last few weeks so I've been dealing with a fair bit.


Spent some time getting the 4 20 long holding tanks dialed in. I've got some zebra danios in each of them as a sort of canary in the coal mine after the incident with the Congo's. I think I've also narrowed that down to another cause beyond the nitrate levels. It would seem the pet supplies plus brand heaters I got developed a thick white fluffy film after being in the tank for a short while (this is even after rinsing). After consulting with some friends who do alot of molding work I'm sure that I've got the culprit. The rubber ends on the heaters have silicone mold release agent still on them that doesnt come off after a simple washing. It will come off after it soaks for a awhile but that's what this while slimy film is caused by from what I've deduced. I'm fairly certain at this point because I cleaned and put a 2nd heater into one of the tanks with a danio a week after the congo incident. The water parameters were all in line but after a few days the dani suddenly became lethargic and suddenly passed away with nothing else I could point to.



I've also got some hair algae blooms that are making the rounds on a few tanks. I'm letting it go for now, but once the 75 is back up and running I'll be shifting some amano shrimp around those tanks so they can have a buffet clearing it up.



On the rock front, I've got most of the base of the rock structure glued together using a cotton, sand, and superglue mixture. I did want a more natural look but I've just come to the point where I just want it to work as getting it that way would take more money and more time. If this was a fresh tank and not a moving reacape I probably would have had the patience but now I just want to make progress.


I staged the slate onto to get a bit of an idea how I want it. Still not sure which side i want to face the front of the tank but I'm leaning toward the side with a large opening.



I still need to add a few small rocks to lever out where the slate will sit. I then need to glue small stone chips as a retaining wall for the soil that will sit ontop of the slate and then glue another small piece of slate that will act as a ramp out of the water onto the soil area. Once it's all together I was going to attach some anubias nana petite and riccia to the rocks in moderation.


Definitely looking for thoughts or ideas on this before I go back to working on it in a day or two here since I'm hoping I can finish the formation by the weekend and set a day to teardown and move the 75 gallon to get it rescaped and done in a day.

Edited by RickHunter
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I don’t know if this will help you or not.  We just moved and I moved the fish into a bigger tank.  I kept the “dirty” sponges from the filters in the five gallon buckets of water with the rocks and driftwood and plants to keep as much of the bacteria alive.  And I transferred all this and the dirty substrate into the new tank too—putting it on top of the additional new substrate because the tank is bigger.  It was foggy for a couple of days but is all cleared up now.  So far the water has stayed healthy for them and nobody has died.  Lost some Denison barbs in transit though.  Didn’t realize how sensitive they are to oxygen levels.  Happened real fast too.  So I feel your pain about the Congos.  We are always learning in this hobby.  I am grateful for this community to learn with too.

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I’ve seen a white film like that develop on the top of my aquatop heaters. I’ve never lost fish to it, but mine might have a different chemical makeup. Good to be aware of that!

I’m very sorry to hear about the losses in your family. ❤️ 

The platform looks great! Can’t wait to see it in place!

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Thank you for the support everyone. We moved most of the fish from the 75 into the 20 long holding tanks and will move the 75 hopefully sometime this weekend. Took out a bunch of the vallisneria that took over the 75 when fishing everyone out and its sitting in two of the other 20 gallon tanks for now. Everyone seems to be doing okay so far. Fingers crossed that nothing bad happens.







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Sooooooooooooon. I've finished hiding the seams where the rocks meet with the visible cotton by crushing slate into small chunks with a mortar and pestle. I attached the ramp to the top slate piece and just need to glue slate onto it to create a border to hold a small amount if soil. I was initially going to glue the top slate to the bottom pillar but now I'm leaning towards just having it sit ontop since there will be 4 points of contact and the top slate will be decently heavy once it had the border and soil in it and leaving it unglued with make maintenance easier since the whole formation is easily at or over 50lbs. Haven't weighed it since assembly.


Also decided to use this side for the front of the formation since there is a little cave to the center that the rope fish will likely poke their heads out of.



We also went to the meeting for our local fish club and somehow walked out with more money than we came with and a bag of longing albino bristlenose. Wasn't planning on it but cant beat a few bucks for some long fins 🙂


plan is to move more of the 75 gallon today and get one of the 40s setup on the rack so like I said. Sooooooooon.

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Whew....I never want to move an established tank over 20 gallons ever again...

Got the 75 moved and rescaped. Getting that rock formation in was....an activity...but it's in....and i hope to never have to remove it...was also pretty late and forgot to add water conditioner until mid afternoon today after it was setup last night so hopefully the bacteria colonies on the moved scaping materials and filter weren't wiped out.



I also setup a 40 with some of the spare plants and hardscape.


One of the danios in the holding tanks had some kind of fungus. A section of the spine on its tail got a white cotton like fungus. So that tank is undergoing a treatment.


The albino longfin bristlenose impulse buys are also doing well.


The rack with the 10 gallons is doing well. Setup the 3 gallon snail jail over there for a bit too. It's mainly to grow feeder/tank seasoning snails.


Lastly I need to figure out what I'm doing for a substrate on the top platform. Welcome to suggestions on that(actually, I'm 100% looking for input on that). Hoping to do something that's dark and mud like but wont affect the water since the platform is not water tight.


Edited by RickHunter
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