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Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade

This is a discussion on Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade within the Freshwater Journals forums, part of the Aquarium Photography category; --> Originally Posted by Chesherca John, thanks for being so sweet, though I must admit I'm STILL surprised that anyone actually READS my books ;) ...

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Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade
Old 01-11-2013, 05:28 PM   #331
 
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Originally Posted by Chesherca View Post
John, thanks for being so sweet, though I must admit I'm STILL surprised that anyone actually READS my books ;) As far as duckweed is concerned. . . meh. I was not aware that the stuff COULD be killed! I really don't care about it, and keep a Critter Keeper of it around JUST for situations where I need to be sure to keep toxins clear in a new tank - like setting up a new tank for 10 fish, lol. Duckweed is my insurance policy for ammonia and any cycling issues - even though everything I put into new setups is seeded from other tanks, and they all have plants from the first - having gone through a fish-in cycle once, I will never do it again if I can help it, so I'm really extra careful. . . I don't CARE if the stuff dies, lol - I have so much of it! But yeah - it's doing great! I just had to thin it out last water change. I've gotten the bubbler in just the right spot on the far wall of the tank so that the area just around the filter is kept *mostly* duckweed-free at the surface, and so the filter can do it's job with very little of it getting swept underwater, OR stuck in the intake. The stuff still moves around the surface of the water far more than any other floating plant would tolerate, but duckweed is magical and won't die unless it's REALLY kept from the light for a long time. With the other filter, it was REALLY bad - looked like a party in the tank at all times, so much duckweed 'confetti' was tossed around under the water, but now it's more or less under control.

Jen, they're full grown, yes. Closer to the 3 inch mark, though. THESE guys are between 1-2 inches, and very much thinner than their bigger cousins. Very different, very tiny creatures. I am also really excited to see what happens when they all go into the big tank! Can't WAIT to get comparison shots of them side-by-side so you guys can really get a better idea of just how TINY they really are. My Kuhli loaches don't really sleep together, though. They're just really OPEN, I dunno. Maybe I got weird loaches, lol! They never hide - even to sleep, they don't pile up under things like loaches are *supposed* to do. The little ones do, though. . . and it is adorable! I can't wait to get them in there! Starting the QT over from when I added the 2nd group on December 19th - we're *almost* at the 1 month mark, but considering what happened to the female ram just before her QT was up, I'm giving them a full 2 months before moving them into the bigger tank. As anxious as I am to get them in there, I REALLY don't want to take any chances, y'know?!

LoL I am just one of the many that enjoys your "books"!!

As far as killing Duckweed well ummm yeah I gues that is one plant that is pretty hardy. In fact the only way I could get rid of it was draining my entire tank and wiping off the glass and the plants to make sure to get every bit of it out. I think I have managed to get some more in my 29 gallon tank. Evey once in awhile i see the plants floating! I have no clue where it came from and it hasn't established yet soo am hoping it doesn't. Though if it does then oh well I am NOT going through the headache of trying to get rid of it and will just deal with it.

Are you kidding me the P. cuneovirgata only gets too 1.5" Holy Crap! I so wished I could have them. My water is soft enough my 10 gallon but they are WAY too active for my Scarlet Badis!!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:02 PM   #332
 
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Aw, really? Mine are out and about a lot but they always go 'home' to their leaf pile and they all sleep piled next to each other. It's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. They must really like your tank though, to always be out and about browsing. :D

You should totally try and take a video of when you put them in, that would be so cool! I hope they're just as active in the 55 with everyone else :3
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #333
 
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John, I may have written that weird. The Dwarf Loaches grow to a MAX size of 2 inches, but MINE are all 1 - 1.5 inches. I don't know how many actually reach their max size, tho. . .

Like all loaches (that *I* have had, anyway!) they go back and forth from crazy to super calm, but spend most of their time sifting the sand on the substrate, so. . . if you had somewhere else that they could live if it became a problem, they *might* work out with the Badis. Everything I've read about them says they do best in species-only, though - so I don't know. I DO know that I'd be tempted to find out!

Can't find very much info on these guys, though. . . so I'm not even sure what their minimum tank requirement is. I had the first batch in a 2.5 gallon tank for a month, and everything was fine, low nitrates, and they seemed happy enough, though I'm sure they're enjoying the extra space in the 10g.

From what I've read, these fish aren't usually seen in shops, but they often get mixed up with batches of 'normal' Kuhli loaches, and since they look similar, nobody notices until they bring them home. For the most part, loaches don't breed in tanks, though I've read several accounts of it happening, usually by accident, and usually with the black loaches. This info could be out of date, though - it's possible that they've figured out how to farm loaches - I'm really not sure. . . It would be cool if these little ones became popular in the trade, though - and maybe they already are! I can't even find Kuhli, so that tells you what I know about these things, lol! I'm assuming that these guys were wild-caught, though. . .

Duckweed. . . meh. I like keeping it around, because there's nothing better for keeping things clean. Yeah, it grows like, well, a weed - but I don't see the problem! We do water changes every week, I just siphon some off the top, drop it in my ducky bucket, and am done with it. I've never had it kill filters or anything, though. I guess I was ready for it before I ever got it from reading about it on here. I kind of feel like the stuff gets a bum rap, y'know? It's actually kind of pretty in its own way!

Jen, I'm tellin' ya - my loaches have always broken all of the rules! I really can't wait to see what these guys do in the 55. I'll take video, but my camera is so terrible that I doubt I'll be able to get anything worth looking at, sadly. They're so small and I can't zoom. But I'm sure they'll go all loopy after they go in, and I should be able to get THAT on video, lol! The little ones do flock together, though. And I agree - it IS super cute. Just a little squirm pile.

Got pics uploading right now. They aren't the best, but they're the loachlings :) I'll post 'em in a few!
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #334
 
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Hey Jes just skimmed over this post but Seriously fish has them listed as far as lenght 30-40mm soo like 1.4-1.6 inches. So that's what I was basing it off of.
The Scarlet Badis tend to stay at the bottom of the tank soo I am thinking that wouldnt be good.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:23 PM   #335
 
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Smile Photo Update Little Loachlings...

Okay, so I suck at taking pictures of these guys! The way I have to set my camera to even GET a shot makes 'em all grainy, then I have to re-size them so that you can even see anything, lol. . . well, I try



Okay, so. . . pardon my dirty finger, been painting with the baby and potting plants all afternoon, lol. For you, John - this is REALLY darn close to actual size, so you can see how big these buggers are. This one is close to 1.5 inches - one of the bigger ones. He's like a spaghetti noodle! The max size I've seen posted for them is 2 inches, but most places put it around 1.5, so this guy is likely as big as he'll get. . .



For you, Jen - not the clearest image (had to take it at an angle to see into the cave, which distorts focus a bit), but a happy pile of loaches in their biggest cave. . . looks like half the crew is in there - I think the lack of strong focus is more than made up for by cuteness - especially after looking at the *actual size* image above. Tiny squirmy wormies. *luffs* See the tubby one to the right? From what I've read, the girls tend to be stouter and slightly larger than the males, so my guess is that this one is a female. As far as I know, ALL female Pangio loaches tend to get even chubbier when filled with roe, she's the only one this thick, so it seems possible to me that she may be carrying eggs. I've not been able to track down any accounts of them breeding in captivity, but wouldn't it be neat if mine did?!



The salt-and-pepper substrate is ugly. It really detracts from the photographic aspect and makes things too busy for a nice shot. . .it drives me crazy! I can't wait to see how nice these guys look on the black sand in Becoming. . .

It doesn't really matter what it LOOKS like, though. This is the QT/hospital tank, and it was set up this way to be safe for the creatures who live there, which is way more important! I seeded this tank using a bit of black Tahitian Moon Sand from Becoming and my froggy tank, as well as with the pool filter sand from the Live-bearer tank, and a bit of play sand tossed in from random other tanks just for fun. Pool filter sand is cheaper, and I had extra, so it's more white than black. . . the mix of dark and light really bugs me, though! Maybe one day, when it's critter-free and waiting the next batch of newbies or sick babies (hopefully the former!), I'll redo it with the black sand that I love so much, or something a bit more QT/Hospital tank friendly. Maybe. But for now, I'm just glad that I didn't decide to toss a handful or two of the PURPLE sand from my daughter's Betta tank into the mix!

Anyway, the point I was going to make here was that it's SAND. TMS is a bit heavier/thicker than other types, but the pool filter and play sand is soft and fairly fine. It always blows my mind to look at these closeup shots of these tiny little fish and see each grain of sand so clearly. . .it tends to look like small gravel because of the focus, and I know I've said this before, but it always catches my attention and brings home how very small these loaches are compared to my other loachy friends in the big tank! Can't wait to see them side-by-side. . .



SnappyArcher looked into these guys for me, and found out that the bright pink coloration on the underside is indicative of a male in this species. I'm not sure what his sources were, but he has his ways, and the theory makes sense to me. What little info I've been able to dig up myself says that the way to tell a male definitively is by looking at the pectoral fin - the first ray is branched and thicker in the boys. Trouble is that they're so small and so quick, it's impossible to get a good look! I'm going to have to take comparison shots eventually between one with a brighter belly and one with a fatter belly and compare those fins to see if I can tell a difference. . .IF I can get lucky enough to catch them with their fins in just the right place to tell, AND in focus. This may never happen!

The original loach, dubbed Strawberry, that came home with the bright belly and had me worried isn't SO red anymore - so it's possible that it is both a male, and was slightly injured in the catching OR was in his breeding brights when I brought him home. There are now more than one that have this bright underbelly, and I can't pick Strawberry from the others, so I'm not worried about it anymore. Nice to not be worried about things! The majority of the fish I see fall in-between, though - they're not fat, nor do they have a bright underside. It's possible that these haven't hit maturity yet, as most of them are still closer to the 1 inch mark, and only a few have hit 1.5 inches. Gah! Tiny! But I'll be watching for changes! The difference in coloration may also be due to where they were caught, I suppose. There really isn't much information out there on these fish.



The eel-like loaches are always getting mixed up, because they look similar - especially the ones that have the orangeish coloration and bands. Common names tend to make things even more confusing, and because tank breeding is so rare, the ones bought in shops are all wild-caught (as far as I know). Many different types live in the same areas, and so end up getting mixed in with shipments and tend to be sold under the generic name of ''Kuhli loach,' or 'banded Kuhli.' They also get reclassified from time to time, which doesn't help matters any. . .

Pangio cuneovirgata are one of the easier ones to tell apart when you look at them a bit more closely. Aside from their diminutive size at full growth, they're more yellow and less orange than most of the other types (hard to tell in these photos). A dead giveaway for identifying P. cuneovirgata is that their yellow/orange color, along with their bands, or 'saddles' end abruptly halfway down their sides, where the other banded loaches' coloration and stripes go all of the way down to their underbellies. They also have longer barbels, but that's kind of relative, and tough to tell because they're so small! The always have a black spot at the base of their caudal fin - it looks like another saddle to me, but I suppose it doesn't count, because it's almost always described as a 'blotch,' and it does go past the midway point. . . I think that the people who study this stuff and come up with things like the difference between a blotch and a saddle must be at least *slightly* insane. *ahem* slightly MORE insane than I am. . . which may *actually* make them VERY insane, if also brilliant!



Let me end this massive post with my favorite shot of the evening - look at those adorable little barbels! *swoons* These fish are just so darn CUTE!

Wow. . . 2 books in 1 day! So proud of myself! . . . and judging from all the rambling I just did, I suspect that it's time for me to go to bed now! Hopefully I'll get a chance tomorrow to actually put out an update on Becoming - and the 'new' critter who has moved in since last year!
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:56 PM   #336
 
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WoW Jess that didn't help me in the slightest!!

Those were some GREAT pics!!! Those loachs of yours look soo great! Makes me want to setup another tank just for those guy/gals! Thanks for the description of them btw if I ever look into getting some I will remember what you said.
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Last edited by Boredomb; 01-12-2013 at 12:04 AM..
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:41 AM   #337
 
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Help you?! Who said anything about HELPING you?! Have you read NOTHING I've posted in this thread??!! LOACHES ARE AWESOME! Dude, if you ever come across these tiny little babies (maybe they're more common in some areas?) GET THEM!!! They're so small, I'm SURE you'll find somewhere to put a few, lol! Seriously, though - you now are the proud owner of TWO types of fish that I've been in love with since day 1 - right up there with my 'Livie babies. One day I will have a tiny tank devoted to Puffers and another for Scarlet Gems. . . and another for Gobies. . . oh MAN! It never ends, does it? I'm trying to downsize tanks!!! Maybe we can just agree to live vicariously through eachother's tanks?

You DO realize that we're all total dorks, right? I mean, no offence, but *most* people are out on Friday nights doing social things and we're sitting around talking about fish. Ummmmm. . .


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I love the fish in your 55. They all go together so well, their colors play off each other beautifully. So you'd be moving everyone into the 125, when you get it? I can totally understand that though, it'd be much easier to focus on just one large thing, instead of splitting yourself between 5 different things. I bet you'll be so relieved come the end of the school year :)
The fish in your 35 all look stunning together, too - you know Pearls are on my eventual stocking list (for a bigger tank), and I was *this* close to bringing in Rasbora when I couldn't find Jelly bean or Coffee bean Tetra. Lucky for me, the Jellies showed up the moment I gave up hope on ever finding them. Hoping one day to find the elusive Coffeebean Tetra, too :) *I* think they look like little rams with their cute spots, lol. . .

Yeah. . . I LOVE the kindy tank, I really do. It's so much fun to be given the opportunity to go into the classroom and teach the little ones about how to care for their pets, that being said. . . it DOES take a lot of time to go THERE and do water changes every week around the class schedule, and I'm always nervous about the fish that live there - not being able to really watch the tank is nerve-wracking, so yeah - I'll be glad when I've closed this chapter of my life - though I'll probably do it again in a few years when my youngest is in kindergarten. . .

As for the other tanks, I'll either keep their tanks up and running until the animals who live there have lived their lives out in as happy a home as I can provide for them, or I'll rehome them. It all depends on what happens between then and now. I hate to 'give up' creatures that I brought into my home to care for, but it's getting to be overwhelming maintaining so many tanks. I can tell you that the livebearers won't be living in Becoming, though. When it was a 29, the Mollies lived there, and though things were peaceful, trying not to over feed the voracious Mollies with the slow-eating rams was a nightmare, and their huge bioload made the tank dirty so quickly. They do better on their own. . .

Time will tell, but one thing is certain - Becoming isn't going anywhere. . .
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:35 PM   #338
 
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Originally Posted by Chesherca View Post
Help you?! Who said anything about HELPING you?! Have you read NOTHING I've posted in this thread??!! LOACHES ARE AWESOME! Dude, if you ever come across these tiny little babies (maybe they're more common in some areas?) GET THEM!!! They're so small, I'm SURE you'll find somewhere to put a few, lol! Seriously, though - you now are the proud owner of TWO types of fish that I've been in love with since day 1 - right up there with my 'Livie babies. One day I will have a tiny tank devoted to Puffers and another for Scarlet Gems. . . and another for Gobies. . . oh MAN! It never ends, does it? I'm trying to downsize tanks!!! Maybe we can just agree to live vicariously through eachother's tanks?

You DO realize that we're all total dorks, right? I mean, no offence, but *most* people are out on Friday nights doing social things and we're sitting around talking about fish. Ummmmm. . .
LoL YES I HAVE read what you have been posting Jes!
Though to be honest at first I was like they are just Loaches what's the fascination???? I don't see it.
LoL the more I have read about you description of them the more they have grown on and on top of that they are sooo small!

As for seeming them in a store yeah that's not going to happen. My LFS don't carry loachs very often and if they do its usually Petco that has them and its the Kuhi and usually always they have dead fish in the tank with them. I won't buy fish from that store. EVER! The only way I might be able to get them is having my LFS to order them and in all honesty I don't see myself doing that as I don't have anymore tanks up and running. Though I do have a empty 10 with everything I need but driftwood and plants.

So I will just live vicariously through your tank. Which is why when you go too long on updating I get withdraws and have to say something. LoL

hahaha You dork I was at work last night talking about fish. So does that make me a half dork since I was technically not home??
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:54 PM   #339
 
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To be honest. . . I'm far too much of a dork to be able to quantify the levels of dorkiness in others. I'm okay with being a dork ;) That said, I *don't* think that being at work on a Friday night whilst talking about fish really counts in your favor. Oddly enough, though your dorkness points would have gone DOWN had you been out at the club or something on Friday night, I suspect they would have gone UP EVEN MORE if you had been there talking about fish. . .social rules are so very mysterious. *nods*
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:50 PM   #340
 
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To be honest. . . I'm far too much of a dork to be able to quantify the levels of dorkiness in others. I'm okay with being a dork ;) That said, I *don't* think that being at work on a Friday night whilst talking about fish really counts in your favor. Oddly enough, though your dorkness points would have gone DOWN had you been out at the club or something on Friday night, I suspect they would have gone UP EVEN MORE if you had been there talking about fish. . .social rules are so very mysterious. *nods*

Well

Atleast I wasnt at home! LoL
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