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Organic Soil 40 Breeder Riparium


Isaac M
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Hi everyone, quick update on the 40 breeder. So there is bad news and their is good news. The bad news is my first 2 original crypt flowers ended up melting away after they collapsed. The good news is I now have 3 different crypt plants flowering now. Hopefully one of these can make it to the surface and open up. Also, sorry the pictures are not as clear, I have not cleaned the front glass in 3 weeks or so. 

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The other good news I have is I think the freeze dried tubifix worms worked for my sterbai corys. By the way, if anyone has not watched the video on the aquarium co-op channel of Eric Bodrock teaching how to breed corydoras, I highly recommend it, lots of great information on corys and on fishkeeping in general. That video is where I took the tubifex worms idea from.

Anyways, I think the sterbai corys are starting to spawn. It looks like one of the corydoras is holding an egg, she laid it somewhere but it is so difficult to see where given how many plants and rocks and wood are in this aquarium. They are showing a lot of breeding behavior as well. They are chasing each other around a lot and the female seems to be swimming upside down under big crypt leaves a lot. I will keep an eye out to see if I can find some and put them in a breeder box to raise the fry, wish me luck! 

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I really really hope so @xXInkedPhoenixX. At this point, I will not be doing any water changes to minimize any possible changes that the flowers may not like. With the first 2 flowers, I did a water change where the top of the flowers came out of the water and I am not sure if that caused the problem. I am going to let nature do what it does this time. 

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On 4/13/2021 at 6:58 PM, Isaac M said:

I hope that is helpful, thank you for your comment and taking the time to read my thread! 

This is fantastic, thank you! I have been looking for a tutorial to make something exactly like this!  My first iteration was one of those green plastic berry baskets with a large paper clip!  😄 Needless to say it was hideous.  These are much more aesthetically pleasing and functional.  Welcome to the forum and grateful for all the information you've shared already! 

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Hi @SWilson, no problem! Yeah, I was all over the internet figuring out how the best way is to make some riparium planters. It took me a long time, they are not perfect but they get the job done. I decided to post them here exactly for this reason, to help someone that was in the same position I was. Your first iteration is awesome in my opinion, I love seeing creative solutions haha 

Also, please do not be afraid to leave a comment here or send me a personal message if you need any help! 

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Quick update on the Sterbai corydoras, I have been noticing a lot of breeding activity and today I was able to find 8 eggs on the glass! She has been laying eggs all over the tank as I watch her swimming under crypt leaves and rocks. I saved the ones on the glass and put them in a breeder box as those are a lot easier for me to get. The driftwood, plants and rocks make it very difficult for me to gather the rest of the eggs. I am very happy that I will be able to grow my school of sterbai corydoras. Any tips on raising the fry is greatly appreciated.

I added indian almond leaves to the breeder box and have hikari first bites and repashy to feed the fry. 

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Update on the Sterbai Cory fry, I have counted at least 6 that hatched but they hide under the catappa leaves so it is difficult to count them all. I managed to find 16 total eggs with 2 of them being unfertilized so it is possible there are more hiding that I have yet to see. My adult corydoras are still very active  so I imagine they will continue spawning. 

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Update: 9 more sterbai cory eggs were found today. Also, I was able to confirm 9 sterbai cory babies are in the breeder box. Started to feed the adults frozen bloodworms and they loved them along with their freeze dried tubifex worms. Seems to be a winning recipe. That is now 25 eggs found in the past 10 days. Not bad given how densely planted this aquarium is, I can only imagine how many eggs there are that I am not finding. 

Also, no water change has been performed in over a month. Only been topping off weekly. Pothos has really taken off and has reduced my nitrates from about 40-50ppm to about 10ppm in the past 2 weeks even though I am feeding somewhat heavily. 

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So cool!! Congratulations!  Send me some sterbai bbs?  (jk! 😋)  I have got the supplies to make the hanging plant baskets for pothos etc but haven't actually sat down to put them together yet.  hope to get to do that soon - we're going into another drought where I live so I'll need to be conservative with my water changes going forward. 

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@SWilson thanks! And right? Haha I want to get a school of 15-20 sterbais going in the 40 breeder, I think that with a school of harlequin rasboras will look great! 

Awesome! Please let me know if you have any questions. Do not be afraid to send me a personal message if you need any help in the process. 

Pothos will definitely help with that. I have gone quite awhile now without a water change (easily a month and likely longer, I forget but I will begin a aquarium log to help me remember haha). And I have been feeding heavily every day, yet my nitrates have actually gone down haha 

I just took some pictures of the aquarium right now. As you can see, the roots have been growing and each pothos has grown at least 2 leaves each.
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Another great plant to try is Peace lilly, mine is currently flowering (2 years in a row now) with no overhead lighting. This one is in a 55 gallon. I have actually needed to add fertilizer to this aquarium because my nitrates were zero (my water has 10ppm nitrates out of the tap right now). Duckweed, stem plants and riparian plants just eat up all the nitrogen haha
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Beautiful!  I think those with a group of harlequin rasboras would look amazing! 

Maybe I will try a peace lily in my 40 gallon breeder - that's really beautiful.  My LFS showed me a pond/riparian plant with a gorgeous purple flower the other day but it for some reason didn't occur to me to get it!  

I have a school of about 12 habrosus cories in there and I hope that they will breed someday but they're still a bit young and I don't know that I'll even have a chance to rescue the eggs with the number of snails and endlers in there.  I also am not sure the cories are getting enough food to stimulate breeding (again, endlers).  I need to do some reshuffling and add the riparian plants so that I can feed the 40 with reckless abandon lol.

I am thinking about a smaller group (~6) of sterbais in my 20 gallon long, but I don't know if that's big enough for them when full grown.  Maybe pandas or another smaller-but-not-pygmy cory would be better.     

Anyway - love following the journal and thank you for the updates! I hope all the cory fry grow up fat and healthy!  What are you feeding them btw? Are you hatching live brine shrimp? 

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@SWilson Oh wow, you have to let me know what plant that is with the purple flower! 😂 

For the habrosus corys, I would try tubifix worms stuck to the glass at the bottom while you feed the endlers something else at the top. My sterbais also love frozen bloodworms and fluval bug bites. 

All the inhabitants in this 40 breeder actually came from a 20 gallon long aquarium haha I kept the 3 adult sterbai corydoras in here with red cherry shrimp and amanos. The sterbai corys actually spawned many times in this aquarium and I never did anything about it. Eventually I noticed 2 baby corys in there and they are now over a year old and having a great time in the 40 breeder. I will attach pictures of this tank below. I think 6 corydoras would do great in a 20 gallon long. They have for me at least. 

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As for my current fry, unfortunately they are not doing too great. I had a few develop almost like a bubble in there stomach and pass away. I am not sure what it is exactly. I have maybe 4 left that have been getting bigger along with a few new eggs in there. I am feeding them hikari first bites and live baby brine shrimp. I also have frozen baby brine shrimp just in case they have trouble eating the live baby brine. I will keep on spawning them however until I have my school and I become great at raising the fry! Haha 

I am happy that you enjoy my journal. It honestly makes me very happy that you were able to get something out of it with the hanging planters. Like I said, if you need any help, let me know, I would be very happy to help haha 

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@Patrick_G Sterbai corydoras are my favorite fish! Haha and thank you. 

I assume you are referring to the 20 gallon long, that moss would actually be a marimo moss ball haha I believe it is an algae though, not a moss. Marimo moss balls can actually be grown on most surfaces, it does not need to remain a ball shape. It looks really good on rocks and gives that “algaescape” look people sometimes go for. 

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59 minutes ago, Isaac M said:

@Patrick_G Sterbai corydoras are my favorite fish! Haha and thank you. 

I assume you are referring to the 20 gallon long, that moss would actually be a marimo moss ball haha I believe it is an algae though, not a moss. Marimo moss balls can actually be grown on most surfaces, it does not need to remain a ball shape. It looks really good on rocks and gives that “algaescape” look people sometimes go for. 

Ok that makes sense. I use them that way too. My wife loves them and keeps putting them in my tanks. I’m not complaining. 😀

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