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Banjo Catfish?

This is a discussion on Banjo Catfish? within the Catfish forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> That red whiptail is amazing. :D How many of each rainbowfish would you recommend? Those are my two favourite species of small rainbowfish, it'd ...

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Old 04-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #21
 
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That red whiptail is amazing. :D
How many of each rainbowfish would you recommend? Those are my two favourite species of small rainbowfish, it'd be delightful to have both. My fish store even sells both of these.
Considering the threadfin is sensitive to nitrate, and the whiptail to change would it be better to do two 20% water changes a week instead of a 40% every week? I'm not sure how much my plants will affect nitrate, I plan on starting with a few clippings and building up a collection over time.
Also, after the tank is cycled, I'm assuming I should start with furcatus, as it is the least sensitive of all these species? I read some of your posts on tank maturation and I'm terrified of having these fish now, not going to lie.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:02 PM   #22
 
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That red whiptail is amazing. :D
How many of each rainbowfish would you recommend? Those are my two favourite species of small rainbowfish, it'd be delightful to have both. My fish store even sells both of these.
Considering the threadfin is sensitive to nitrate, and the whiptail to change would it be better to do two 20% water changes a week instead of a 40% every week? I'm not sure how much my plants will affect nitrate, I plan on starting with a few clippings and building up a collection over time.
Also, after the tank is cycled, I'm assuming I should start with furcatus, as it is the least sensitive of all these species? I read some of your posts on tank maturation and I'm terrified of having these fish now, not going to lie.
Off the top of my head, I would probably have 7 or 9 of each rainbow. [I like odd numbers, for no special reason other than visual to me, though there are cases where this is significant.] Plus a trio of the red whiptails.

First, plant the tank fully from day one. Once the tank is planted, in go the fish. And yes, plants will ensure nitrates are near-zero [unless you have nitrates in the source (tap) water]. Both species are sensitive to nitrates so the good planting will solve this from the start.

I've always done 50% water changes once a week, and if your tank and tap water remain close, this works fine. Larger water changes actually maintain better stability in this situation, as they remove more of the unseen pollutants--the stuff we cannot measure in any way, but it is there. Next article on water changes is in the works.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #23
 
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Alright, so full blown NPT right off the bat. I can do that!
I'm using an organic (manure free) soil for the tank, is there any chance of it altering the pH? A lot of people have had success with it with fish such as betta and angelfish, but I don't want to subject these guys to it. If so, would the change be permanent or would it wear off? Should I just buy a product such as fluorite instead?
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:02 AM   #24
 
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Alright, so full blown NPT right off the bat. I can do that!
I'm using an organic (manure free) soil for the tank, is there any chance of it altering the pH? A lot of people have had success with it with fish such as betta and angelfish, but I don't want to subject these guys to it. If so, would the change be permanent or would it wear off? Should I just buy a product such as fluorite instead?
OK, now you're in a new area of issues with soil. How long has this tank with the soil (I assume a layer of gravel over top?) been set up? The first 6 months are critical as ammonia and nitrates can jump around a lot. Some soil-use authors mention fish dying during this initial settling period, and many recommend no fish until the biology settles (usually 6 months).

Soil should work to maintain an acidic pH due to the high(er) organics. Of course, this happens in any tank once the substrate ages, so there is no benefit with soil except that it does this immediately, due to the high organics initially. I have never used soil, about the only substrate I haven't, simply because my research said to me that there was little, perhaps no, real benefit but more problems than with either sand or gravel. This doesn't mean it won't work, obviously it does; but one has to be cognizant of the issues. And this gets to your comment about these sensitive fish.

As for Flourite, I have this in one tank but am very disappointed with it. First, I had to remove the corys as the sharpness of the Flourite was bothering them. Second, I have not noticed significant better response from the plants (and I have the same species in other tanks with fine gravel or sand, and under identical light). And I am having some problems in this tank that I am not having in the others with plant growth.

For the fish being planned, i would go with play sand, but we can discuss further if you like.

Byron.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:23 AM   #25
 
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I was planning a layer of soil, 2 inches, with half an inch playsand.
A user on the betta site (OldFishLady) has tons of tanks like this, and says she never fertilizes... She has photos in her album and they are stunning.
Usually in soil based tanks ammonia is high for about a week before plants take care of it, from what I hear.
So would just sand with fertilizers work? I have a ton of playsand left behind, it's whitish, would the fish not prefer a darker substrate?
Also, I have not filled the tank with anything yet, so I wouldn't be tearing anything down.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:38 AM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
I was planning a layer of soil, 2 inches, with half an inch playsand.
A user on the betta site (OldFishLady) has tons of tanks like this, and says she never fertilizes... She has photos in her album and they are stunning.
Usually in soil based tanks ammonia is high for about a week before plants take care of it, from what I hear.
So would just sand with fertilizers work? I have a ton of playsand left behind, it's whitish, would the fish not prefer a darker substrate?
Also, I have not filled the tank with anything yet, so I wouldn't be tearing anything down.
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My research has been very different. Diana Walstad is the sort-of guru in this realm of soil substrates, and she says it takes six months for things to settle, and during those six months ammonia, nitrates and algae can be bad, quite bad. A colleague of hers, on her website I think it was, advocates the dry start method and not adding any fish for six months to avoid killing them.

As for the depth, Diana says no more than one inch of soil, then one inch of fine gravel. Sand will more easily mix into the soil, so most soil advocates use fine gravel.

The ammonia is due to the high organics in the soil. Diana herself in her book admits that after a few months, the actions in any good substrate of sand or fine gravel will be the same as with soil. That's why I never bothered, as one is faced with the risks initially when there is no long-term benefit. As for nutrients,this is somewhat misunderstood by many. There are relatively few nutrients in soil, or what there is will fairly quickly be exhausted. Nutrients occur in the water, and it is the pulling of the water down through the substrate that brings them to the plant's roots. Aquatic plants just as terrestrial plants cannot assimilate any nutrients via the roots from soil, it has to be water. So putting the nutrients into the water column works well--if you need them. There are lots of nutrients naturally occurring, from water changes--depending upon the hardness, this is the prime source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, zinc, etc., and some micro-nutrient perhaps--and from fish food that gets turned into waste that is then deposited in the substrate as organics and broken down and so forth. Depending upon the fish load, water parameters and feeding, it is perfectly possible to have a planted tank with no added nutrients. I can't do this because my water is next to zero hardness (about 11ppm which is about .5 of 1 degree) so I must add nutrients.

If the playsand is Quikrete, that is a mix of gray/tan/black/white particles and it is fine. It looks darker dry than wet in the tank, but I now have it in 4 of my 7 tanks, the oldest about 2 years, and i like it very much--and so do my fish. It darkens naturally a bit, plus i have a lot of wood and plants, and minimum light with floating plants. Interestingly, this playsand is near-identical to the sand in the Rio Negro and many other Amazonian streams, so corys are really in their element.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 04-19-2012 at 11:46 AM..
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:59 AM   #27
 
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Alright well I'm going to stick to sand then.. The betta forum would be in shock if they heard all this, a ton of people are doing soil based tanks.
Hopefully I'll be able to start this by mid may, have to wait until renos are done, but I'm going to start collection plants!
Thank you so much for all your help! :D
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:14 PM   #28
 
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Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
Alright well I'm going to stick to sand then.. The betta forum would be in shock if they heard all this, a ton of people are doing soil based tanks.
Hopefully I'll be able to start this by mid may, have to wait until renos are done, but I'm going to start collection plants!
Thank you so much for all your help! :D
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There are many ways...I prefer the safest.

Here's my 29g with playsand. Something along the lines of what you're intending? This would suit the rainbows and whiptails, though it is a work in progress, just set it up a couple weeks back, and still collecting wood to fininsh it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 29g Apr 6-12.jpg (76.5 KB, 10 views)
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:08 PM   #29
 
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Yes that tank is amazing, similar to what I want.. I just want a larger piece of hardscape as a focal point, like an oddly shaped driftwood. I can't seem to find any around the lake though..
That's good to know. The plants should appreciate the medium hard water then.
Hopefully I will find those red lizards, if not I'll settle for the more natural coloured R. parva.

Might as well ask you this, since you are from Canada I see... do you know of any good sources to buy aquarium plants online? I recentely purchased from Aquatic Magic, they never shipped my bamboo shelter or gold anubias, and the rest of the plants took almost a month to get here.. Not a big deal, they're good about refunding. But (of course) after ordering them I found out they illegally ship their plants into the country! So I was paranoid for a month that customs would inspect the package and find the plants there.... Thankfully that never happened but I don't want to order from them again.
I just can't find any good Canadian suppliers online. My stores have next to no variety, and there's no aquarium clubs anywhere near by I could join either...
AquaFlora - Nurseries & Micropropagation
I found this nursery yesterday, it's in BC somewhere- but they have no prices. I'm probably going to mail them about it, have you heard about them?
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:47 PM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
Yes that tank is amazing, similar to what I want.. I just want a larger piece of hardscape as a focal point, like an oddly shaped driftwood. I can't seem to find any around the lake though..
That's good to know. The plants should appreciate the medium hard water then.
Hopefully I will find those red lizards, if not I'll settle for the more natural coloured R. parva.

Might as well ask you this, since you are from Canada I see... do you know of any good sources to buy aquarium plants online? I recentely purchased from Aquatic Magic, they never shipped my bamboo shelter or gold anubias, and the rest of the plants took almost a month to get here.. Not a big deal, they're good about refunding. But (of course) after ordering them I found out they illegally ship their plants into the country! So I was paranoid for a month that customs would inspect the package and find the plants there.... Thankfully that never happened but I don't want to order from them again.
I just can't find any good Canadian suppliers online. My stores have next to no variety, and there's no aquarium clubs anywhere near by I could join either...
AquaFlora - Nurseries & Micropropagation
I found this nursery yesterday, it's in BC somewhere- but they have no prices. I'm probably going to mail them about it, have you heard about them?
Abbotsford where AquaFlora resides is not far from me, about 25 minutes drive, though I've never been there. I'm not sure they do retail, might just be wholesale. I'm sure I've seen their plants at a couple stores.

As for mail, I know Canadian Aquatics (I think they have or had AF plants) do mail order fish, perhaps plants too. They have testimonials online from Ontario and New Brunswick customers. You can trust them, I know Charles Lam and he has received high praise from all who have ordered fish by mail. Here's their website:
CANADIAN AQUATICS
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