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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; --> Loaches indeed! Quick update on those lil' brats. . . I haven't seen the black loach for several days now. Odd because he's the ...

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Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade
Old 01-24-2013, 09:07 PM   #391
 
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Random update on fish and plants...

Loaches indeed! Quick update on those lil' brats. . . I haven't seen the black loach for several days now. Odd because he's the ONLY one that I can positively identify in the group, so I always look for him. Even in a 10g tank, I have no idea how many are in there - there *should* be 11, but I can only ever actually count up to 8 or 9 at a time. He could very well be hiding away, and only coming out after lights-out, or I suppose I may have had a death or two - I'm very careful about monitoring the water, especially in a QT tank, and I haven't picked up anything odd - no spikes whatsoever. I also clean the heck out of that tank, but if they DO burrow. . . *shrugs* well, I suppose I'll find out eventually! Their time in QT is *almost* over. Can't wait to add 'em to the bigger tank (and lose them for sure!)

In other 55g news... Frecks is still doing super well in the 55, and he gets nippy with the rams when they bother 'his' food. In a way this is a good thing, glad that a tiny, toothless frog can hold his own against the previously undisputed 'bosses' of the tank. But I think the rams are actually. . . kind of. . .afraid of him. ^__^ They don't seem to understand him, or what he IS, exactly, and it's *slightly* stressing them out. But they're rams. And they get fussy about new things. I'm sure they'll all figure things out sooner or later, and if not, Frecks can always go back into the 10g. The larger loaches in the 55, as well as the tiny Tetra, are all behaving as usual, and seem happy.

As for the plantlife. . .
*My crypts are still doing amazingly well, and my beautiful (favorite) wendtii has sent out a runner which now has three baby leaves *GRINS* The spirallis continues to send runners out all over the place, and some of the tendrils are *almost* at the top of the tank. I got a random Cryptocoryne Lutea a few days ago, it was on clearance (probably due to the fact that it was melting), so I nabbed it. It's in plant QT right now, and I'm feeling pretty hopeful that it will rebound and be happy in the 55 eventually.
*The silly Lotus plant that was doing so well started losing leaves when the floaters parked back in the center of the tank (blocking it's light) and in an attempt to fix the situation, I knocked off it's bulb again. This is the FIFTH time it's infantile growth has been thwarted over the last year. One last leaf with a single tiny root (this big: -----) has managed to hang on for over a week now, so we'll see what becomes of it, and the bulb has been moved into my plant-only tank, where it *hopefully* will give me another (and more successful) attempt. . .
* My beautiful Kleiner Bar Swords that melted away soon after the tank was set up seem to have decided to begin growing a bit more quickly, for some unknown reason. The two that remain in this tank have each gotten 2 new leaves over the course of the last week! Not sure what's going on there, but baby leaves make me happy! Hope it keeps this up! (wondering if it could possibly be due to moving the lotus bulb out - they're notorious nutrient hogs, to the point of killing other plants because of their greediness for iron and other nummies)
*I have 3 Anubias Nanas in the plant/QT tank waiting to be put in after about a month or so. I'm hoping that they'll do well, and thinking about putting them on the rockwork to the right of the tank - in front of the 'mountain' over there. Don't figure they'll object to my low light :) The Anubias (not sure which type) in the loach tank also seems happy enough. I'm looking forward to finally seeing what this plant will do under my care - been wanting Anubias for ages - these are my first.
* The Fanwort isn't doing so great, and not a big surprise there. There isn't enough light for it in this tank, a fact that I was aware of before moving it in. Figured I'd give it a go anyway, because all of that is descended from a single bunch that I got for the 29 almost a year ago. I have enough of it spread through various tanks that it isn't a huge deal. . . I popped the back panels off one side of the hood the other night and put a 10g tank light that I had laying around on. Not sure if this is really going to help them any, but I figured it's worth a try. If not, I'll just move them to my plant tank until I'm ready for them. I've decided to just put any money into the eventual tank upgrade and leave the lighting as it is for now, since everything else is still somehow managing to stay alive and algae-free. . .
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:26 PM   #392
 
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Oh dear! I hope you can find that one little lonely brown kuhli. They are finicky little buggers, and there were times when I wouldn't see mine for weeks. Don't give up on the little guy!!

I think the crypt spiralis was the one I was talking about a little while ago. I like that tall, upright growth! If my dwarf sag and pygmy chain swords crap out on me I'll certainly be looking for some of that. I love crypts because they love my low-light!!!

We're in the crypt and loach club!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:31 PM   #393
 
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I'm tellin' ya! Crypts and Loaches are the BEST!!! Well, if my crypt spiralis keep going like they are, by the time your sag and swords give up the proverbial ghost, I should have some to spare. That said - there IS still D.Sag and PCS in this tank - it isn't DOING much, but it's in there, lol! Growth overall is slow. And I expected that with the too-low lighting I have. I'm just really happy that stuff IS growing!

I won't give up on him until I've torn the tank apart - and that won't happen until the day they move from QT into becoming! Eases my mind to know that you've 'lost' yours in the past, too. . . I really hope he's okay! I. . . don't know how I'll EVER keep track of them once they hit the big tank. I'm really hoping that they're more social - Becoming is really a bit of a loachy paradise compared to the QT (not that the QT is terrible, but still!) The lonely brown. . .should be growing, too! Eventually he should be the same size as my 'normal' loaches - the Kuhli. So if he's still around, eventually, he shouldn't be *so* hard to find :)
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:21 PM   #394
 
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I'm glad to know your sag and PCS are still alive. It gives me hope that mine will bounce back. If not I'd love to try some of your C spiralis!! It's got that look that I was going for, and it's a crypt! What's not to love?

Ya. I think the longest I went without seeing any loaches was like a week or so. They're pretty good at hiding. Actually the browns only get about 3" long so they won't be as large as the stripy ones, but they'll still be very visible.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:35 PM   #395
 
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My Kuhli are around 3" and seem to be done growing. I think for the most part the two species are very close in size. They've always been so out and open, can't imagine those guys hiding away - so it really makes me feel better to hear your experience with the brown/blacks. I hope he's okay in there!

In my 29g, my PCS did REALLY well until the 6 day powerout ended with a huge algae disaster - so you really might do okay with those! Either way, at some point in time I'm SURE to have some spiralis to send over! I love the look of it, too, just put a few 'extra's into the Kindy tank, but I'm sure there will be more soon enough!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:12 AM   #396
 
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Chesh what!!! That tanks looks friggen amazing! Plants have taken over and the jellies are just so happy they don't know what to do with themselves (from what I saw in the video). I'm limited on time so I only got to see the video. Hard catching up on stuff :(

Sadly I'm supposed to be working right now but I wanted a break lol.

I love whats going on in your 55...i swear that tank looks bigger than a 55 lol.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:22 AM   #397
 
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Thank you so much, Termie! Very high compliment, and sweet of you to say - I'm glad you like it. I'm head-over-heels for this tank, I'm telling you - obsessed! And very much in awe of how well the plants are doing even though I really have such very dim lighting. I am so excited to get those Anubias in there. . . :)

I'm uploading a video right now of feeding time, and will be posting that along with another update in a bit. . . got a busy day ahead, but at some point today, be looking for it!
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:49 AM   #398
 
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Arrow An odd update...

Update time!!!

First the little dwarf loaches. . .

Over the couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a very obvious decrease in shyness on their part. Though they’re still a bit more reclusive and obviously nocturnal than my Kuhli, they’re no longer nervy when the kids or I am around the tank, and it has become very rare for me to not see at least 3-5 of them out and about when I pass at any time of day. There is no doubt in my mind that these babies were wild-caught, and I think that they’ve really finally adjusted to my water, good regular meals, and tank life on the whole. Because of the obvious increase in their comfort level, I think now is a good time to start thinking about moving them into the 55, as they seem to have fully de-stressed from their initial transport, and forgotten all about that awful fish shop.

The first batch was brought home right around Thanksgiving, and I added the rest a week before Christmas, so they've all had over a month to acclimate, though as far as any illnesses are concerned, I'm really not so sure. I try every day, and I can never seem to get the same head count! Sometimes I only get to five for a week straight, other times, I get up to eight or nine before my eyes get all dizzy and I have to start fresh. I honestly have NO idea how many are in there - to me, they all look the same - they move so QUICKLY, and tend to pile on top of each-other. They’re so small, and so fast - I have no idea! But they all eat well, and the ones that I see appear to be healthy enough. If the tank is 10 gallons or 55, I don't think I'll EVER really know how many there are (except when I catch them all for the move), and there is still the question of the missing black loach. I sincerely hope he’s still in there! I’ve moved all of the rocks several times, and seen not a trace of the little guy. Hopefully he proves to be the only one of my loaches to ever burrow under the sand, and I’ll find him when the time comes for the move.

This last water change really brought home how comfortable they’ve become. They absolutely refuse to hide away now when my hands are in there for maintenance, and they seem so at ease with the routine at this point that they take to zinging all about the tank like maniacs while I’m doing my water changes. I’m so very aware of them, and so very careful. . . but in spite of all that, TWO of them managed to sneak past my finger guard and took a ride down the water slide siphon and into the bucket! Little punks were none the worse for wear, and didn’t show the slightest sign of stress when returned to their home - just went right back to what they were doing as if nothing had happened! They’re so slender, that my inch siphon hose has plenty of wiggle room for them - this may prove an easy way to catch the little brats for transfer, lol!

In other, not quite as good news, the 55 gallon tank has had me all eyes this week.Though everything seems to be getting back to normal now. . . something went screwy somewhere during last week's cleaning. . .

As usual, I did my weekly water change, but I was due to clean the filter (I rinse it monthly). I changed out the white filter pad this week for the first time since it's been running. Before I switched over to the foam in my HOB filters, I'd always let new media run side-by-side with the old for a week before removing it, but the pad in my canister filter pretty much fell apart on me, so that wasn't possible in this case . . . I also pruned a few of the leaves off my Sword plants - there are still a few emersed leaves hanging on, so I've been removing them little by little as they start to look funky. . .

A few hours after my water change, I noticed that the rams were being weird - hiding in the back corner, all greys and showing their stress stripes. Tested the water - everything was normal. . .everyone ELSE looked fine, so I kept an eye on them and let it be.

Though they usually aren't SO dramatic about it, they do get fussy sometimes when I prune. To a fish that small, I suppose a single large leaf or three can be a very important piece of their territory, so it isn't unusual for them to be a little bit off after a pruning. It's not usually that obvious, generally just a slight dimming of color, and a hint of the spotty stress stripes showing through - nothing that a 'normal' person would notice. (Their coloration can shift dramatically throughout the day, they use it directly as a form of communication, I think) But I've seen them pull the huddling in the corner bit a few times before - usually related to something in the outside world - out of town visitors keeping activity levels up later into the night than usual, birthday parties with lots of strange people and noise - that kind of thing. Their scales and fins all looked okay, breathing was normal, tank temps normal - and they came out to eat at feeding time, so I put them to bed a little bit early and called it a night.

The next day, they were STILL all huddled in the corner, and now the loaches were . . . just kind of hanging out and being lazy. They looked fine, but they weren't being their usual wiggly selves. Very odd behavior for them - but I've seen them do this before on the few occasions when I've missed a water change. I tested the water again, thinking that mucking with the filter may have caused some cycle wiggles - all came back normal. But these fish are sensitive, so I thought that maybe the wobble was slight enough for my tests not to catch it. Did another water change to clear out anything that might be bothering them. . . a few hours later, my TETRA were all clustered together, instead of spread out and happily shoaling around the tank. . . That NEVER happens! I haven't seen those babies stress over anything since the week they came home!

Really nervous now, I tested my TAP water. The weather has been really cold for us, and pipes have been bursting all over town. The water looked, smelled, and tasted fine to me - and we haven't had any issues on my street that I've seen, but just in case. Ammonia, nitrite, both at 0. NitrAte was up at 10ppm. My tanks usually run between 5-7.5, and the tank was still testing dead-on, so that wasn't it. But I've only seen nitrate in my tap water a few times, it usually happens in the spring when there is a ton of rain, and runoff from people using ferts on their gardens, etc. Worried that there might be some traces of organic nastiness in there putting everyone off, I put a spare HOB filter (rated to 45 gallons) on the tank with a double-dose of carbon in the hopes that it would help to clear out any contaminates (I didn't have a replacement carbon pad for my canister, there's a box on the way now, though) Within a few hours the Tetra were more or less back to normal, as were the loaches. The rams played hard-to-get for the rest of that day, but the next morning they came right out to greet me. . .

Since then, things have been more or less as they should be. Two of my rams are still randomly hiding, though - they're the lowest two in the ranking, the weakest of the bunch - and they've been bouncing back and forth from normal behavior, to corner-dwelling. Both are still eating well, and when they decide to come out - which is most of the time - they seem fine from what I can see, and don't appear to be being bullied by the others. . .

I'm due for a water change later today - Sunday - and I'm not sure if I should do it or not. Kind of confused as to what's going on - I'll test the tap water before I do anything, for sure, but if there IS something in the water, I don't know why none of the other tanks seem to be bothered by it - I'd at least think I'd see some odd behavior in my dwarf loaches - but they're happy as can be. I DID change the water in the rest of my tanks the day before I did this one, so I guess it's possible that something changed overnight in the tap water, and there's also still the possibility that it could be related to the filter fiddling. . . *scratches head* I've never broken my tank before! I don't know what I did, but I'm afraid to accidentally do it again! And of course, no Dwarf loachlings will be going anywhere until I get the 55 sorted out 100% again.

Any suggestions?!

Whooooooo BOOK! I'll end this post on a happier note - a video of me hand-feeding the tank. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any really good loachy footage. Sometimes they’re all over my hands and between my fingers - I really wanted to share that behavior with my fellow loachaphiles out there, but other times they completely ignore me! They're in the video a little bit, though - at around teh 2.5 & 4 minute mark (I know, too loooong!) Maybe I’ll catch some good wiggly action at another future filming. The Jelly Beans, though they aren’t disturbed by my hands in their tank don’t *quite* eat from my fingers yet. They kind of swarm around me hoping for bits of floating foods to reach them, but they’re surface feeders. They’re starting to come around, but have only just started picking food out of my fingertips at the surface of the water, so no footage of that yet, either - you SHOULD see them eat, tho - it becomes very obvious that they're related to piranha. . . crazy little things! :) The first half of the video is really devoted to my beloved rams, if you pay attention, you can see them 'being snarky' toward each other during meal time - their little topfins are flaring like crazy and the dominant ones try to convince the others that my hand is their territory - it never really works out for them, thankfully! And they're always . . . nice about it. All talk, those silly babies.

For the record - I don't feed them this much at once! This was taken over the course of a few different nights ;)


Last edited by Chesh; 02-03-2013 at 01:07 AM..
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #399
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I had something similar happen this week with my Boraras naevus. I did a water change last Sunday and for a few days after that some of them were pale and glass surfing. I checked the parameters in the tank a couple times and couldn't find anything. They eventually stopped and looked and behaved fine. None of the fish in my other tanks acted weird. It was just my 10 gallon where the fish were like that and my crypts started melting (no idea if it's related). I was debating doing a water change today, but eventually did one so I'm hoping that there isn't a repeat. Hoping you don't have one either.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:35 PM   #400
 
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My loaches would do this during weather wiggles. They would be rather bouncy before a storm or big weather change, but then they would mostly just chill out in one corner or under the cave and rarely pop out to say hello. If I put some brine shrimp in, one or two of the brave ones might kinda slide out, grab a bite, and then go right back to where it was. ESPECIALLY during the cold weather changes, or BIG cold to warm changes. I didn't see them for a week after a huge blizzard one year. I had to push food under the cave to them.

In other words, if your water and everything is fine, if you haven't had any sicklings in there...most likely it's the weather, and possibly from the change since they are indeed sensitive to it(usually they like the clean water changes, but sometimes it hits them in just the wrong way). But you already know to watch anyways just to be safe. Make sure they're still eating, but try putting the food closer to their nesting area so they don't get stressed coming out in a situation they don't like to eat.
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