Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade - Page 47 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #461 of 828 Old 02-17-2013, 04:00 PM
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Nooo. =( I was rooting for the first spawn to have at least some survivors! I was sure they would since the parents were being so good, maybe a few are hiding out and you can suck them up. I can hope for you, right? lol
Well, it is awesome you have a bonded pair. I hear it can be hard to get them to bond sometimes, but I dunno for sure, I've never had them or done any great research like you have! lol
I hope you get some good babies next time that survive. You're going to try and put them in a new tank for it, right? Might want to do that soon so they're used to the place when they do spawn and have their routine all done up. I dunno how often they spawn or anything, but I'd assume you'd want the moving fun out of the way and new home stress gone as well, at least a few weeks before they try again. Although I'm sure they wont try again while they're not happy. lol

Awuh, that just made me sad though. But I'm glad you have high hopes for the situation! I'd be so bummed losing a whole brood. v.v; I have before, totally killed my oomph for a while. My very first brood of babies ever, all but one died(My silver lyretail molly). They were premature, some were born in the bag on the way home from the shop, I had about fifteen of them(That I saved, she ate like ten+ of them before I figured things out, I wasn't even set up for it all yet!), six died overnight...and all but the one died over the next week. I was really upset my first try to raise babies ended up like that! But after that, I never did lose any of the babies that came in next until my tank got a nasty spike when I had the flu last year. x.x That was killer on the mood, but of all the babies I've raised, that was the first lost brood in about a year and a half or so.
So aside from that nasty spike I had from my own neglect when I was bedridden(I missed a change...they like their routines as well, and with babies you need to keep up with it, they neeeed that clean water and stable parameters)...yeah, I hope yours go the same way and you lose no more after that first hiccup. =)
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Last edited by Sylverclaws; 02-17-2013 at 04:04 PM.
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post #462 of 828 Old 02-17-2013, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Awww, thanks, Sylver! It's okay, it truly is! Don't be sad!

You're so cute! No - there are no survivors - the parents wouldn't have abandoned the nest if there were still wigglers in it - and at the wiggler stage, the fry can't get away and hide - they aren't free-swimming yet.

I'm not in a hurry for baby rams, though I'm thrilled that I have a bonded pair, I won't stress them out by hurrying them into another tank. These fish are sensitive, and do best in a well established set-up, with lots of plants. . . I'd rather never see another spawn from them than to cause my favorite fish harm by acting too quickly. . . so really, it's better not to hurry!

They may try to spawn again in the community tank - maybe with better luck the next time, but for better or worse, that's nature! It's the parents I am concerned with keeping safe, because if anything happened to C.Cat I'd cry for weeks. . . it's a bummer about the babies, but. . .I didn't know them yet! They were totally unexpected, and I knew from the start that it was a long shot for them to survive in the community tank - so it's okay - it truly is! Once mom and dad DO get into a special tank and settled in, there are things that I can do to trigger them to breed again - but I'm not ready for all that just yet! I'm just happy that I got to see as much as I did, honest. . . and plans are being laid to ensure that I'll get to see the rest at some point!

As far as 'hiccups' go, it's very common for a new pair of cichlids to have a couple of mishaps before getting it right. I don't think that's what happened here, they really seemed like they were doing brilliantly at parenting, but who knows!?

*hugs* thanks for your sweet sentiments, Sylver
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post #463 of 828 Old 02-17-2013, 07:14 PM
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So sorry about the babies :( It's really a shame, the parents were so attentive! I can't wait until you have a breeding tank set up just for them...that's going to be really fun :)

You should set up your camera while you catch the dwarfs so we can see your skills as a loach wrangler! ;)
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post #464 of 828 Old 02-17-2013, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Girl, what are you talking about? Didn't you know it? I'm the squirm master *nods* Those babies have been wiggling all over the 55g since early this afternoon. . . Good damn thing Becoming isn't ticklish. . .*giggle* I've just been having too much fun watching the wiggly action to post an update. . . Tank lights go off in just a little bit. . . I'll be back with details! GAH, they're the cutest things. . .Plummy's game of 'Spot the Loach' just got waaaaaaaaaaaay cuter!
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Last edited by Chesh; 02-17-2013 at 09:01 PM.
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post #465 of 828 Old 02-17-2013, 09:41 PM
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MY loaches never got used to hand feedings, so I always had trouble catching them. lol But with Chesh, instead of giving us a funny video, she'd probably give us a quick "I got 'em all in ten seconds" video. LOL Well, it'd be worth watching for some tips though!
I miss my loaches. x.x
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post #466 of 828 Old 02-17-2013, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY! Whats that supposedta mean!? I feel like I've been insulted, but I can't quite figure out why, exactly! I always think my videos were WAY too long - I push that 6 minute mark, even into 7 or 8 at times! 10 second video?! NEVER!!! It took longer than 10 seconds, but wasn't video worthy, lol! Prolly about 5 minutes. . . I'm working on an update for you guys, but my daughter is having her friend sleep over - and by sleep I mean the exact opposite. So I'm gonna go sit on a 4 and year old until they pass out - their NORMAL bedtime is 7:30, lol. They're so GIGGLY! THEN. I promise. I'll give you all the loachy details!
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post #467 of 828 Old 02-17-2013, 10:52 PM
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lol We'll be waiting impatiently. I know the feeling...try having two ADHD girls over(I think only one has ADHD, the other just copies her), bouncing off the walls after a lot of sugar and caffeine. Ages six and eight, notoriously loud...I am willing to bet you know what I mean anyways. xD

And yes, it's hard not to take really long videos, I usually go until my batteries die or I run out of memory...which could be anywhere from a minute and a half if I'm unlucky, to over ten minutes and I say oops. lol
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post #468 of 828 Old 02-18-2013, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Squirm!

I've been waiting for so long to finally get these tiny loaches into their new home, but dreadingcatching them. The ability of loaches to switch directions mid-swim and zoom off in the blink of an eye, paired with their small size, and the fact that they can squeeze into the tiniest of hiding spots - or even burrow beneath the substrate - has given the eel-like loaches the reputation of being the most difficult fish in a tank to capture - and that's the 'normal sized' Kuhli! The P. cuneovirgata are dwarfs - only one inch long at their largest - and they make the Kuhli seem fat and slow in comparison. . .

A couple of weeks ago, I accidentally siphoned TWO of these babies into my bucket during a water-change, in spite of all I was doing to prevent that from happening. They're so slender, that they fit easily through my 1/2" siphon with plenty of wiggle room, and they didn't seem to have been stressed out by it at all. . . which got me thinking that it *might* be less stressful for all involved if I just siphoned them out of the tank when I went to move them. . .

I have a larger, 3/4 inch diameter siphon that I decided to use - just to be on the safer side. I first filled my 5 gallon bucket halfway with tank water, and cushioned the bottom of the bucket with the Indian almond leaves that had been in the tank. I got the siphon going with a nicely controlled slow flow, making sure to keep the bucket end under the water and turned sideways (so they wouldn't bump the bottom of the bucket if they came out too fast) and waited. . .

Sure enough, it didn't take the curious little guys long to start poking their noses into what I was doing, and one by one they peeked into the siphon and *WHOOOOOOSH* into the bucket they went! It's a kind of nerve-wracking way to catch a fish, but to be honest. . . WAY easier (and seemingly less stressful) than trying to chase these tiny guys down with a pair of nets. They really didn't seem to mind much, either. They didn't hide under the leaves when they got there, just started swimming around in the bucket, seemingly trying to figure out what was going on. . .

Only one gave me a hard time - the last little guy was too smart to put his nose in a siphon, and as his buddies vanished one by one, and the water level dropped, he started getting a bit stressed out and took to the rock caves in hiding.

But. . . they've been living in a QT tank that was set up just for them, and since they weren't going to be living there anymore, I had no reservations about taking it apart rock by rock, and even had an extra bucket on stand-by to put the rocks and attached plants into. . . I had expected, based on previous loach-wrangling experiences, to have to dismantle the tank to get them out, anyway. Surprisingly, if it weren't for that one sneaky lil' dude, I wouldn't have had to! In the end I got him, bringing me to a total of nine little loaches.

Nine. . . and no sign of the lonely little Java loach. I originally had 10 Pangio cuneovirgata - it was supposed to have been twelve, but one was squashed when the Evil Fish Shop Lady stabbed it with a net, and one was a Java/black loach (P. oblonga) that had gotten mixed into the first batch. I've only been able to count 9 fish for a while, and have seen no signs of the lone Java for at least a month now, so I'm not surprised to find myself two fish short. . . he and one of the dwarfs must have died in the tank, though I never saw any signs of their bodies, or had a spike to indicate their passing. With them being so small, it isn't a big surprise, but still sad. . . One of the babies has a little bit of a kink in his spine, toward the end of his body just before his tail - he's been like this since I brought him home, and I blame that awful woman for this, too. But it seems not to bother him, and otherwise, they all look perfect, are vibrant and bright, and seemingly the picture of health. They've matured over the last few months in my care, and they now do have distinctions that mark them as individuals. Some are more lightly colored, some darker, and some have a pronounced strawberry color on their 'chest' (these are males from what I've been told). Although I can tell my five P.Kuhli apart, and they each have names and distinct personalities, I doubt I'll ever be able to identify these dwarfs one from the other, and now that they've gone into the big tank, I doubt I'll really be sure of how many I actually have ever again!

Back to the update. . .once I got my last little loachbutt out of the QT tank, I took the leaves out of the bucket and snapped a quick picture for you guys before heading downstairs for the next step!

I've been very careful to keep the water parameters in both tanks identical - especially nitrAte and temperature, and I've been doing extra water changes in the QT tank for the last weeks using old water from Becoming. I also have been adding the Indian Almond leaves to the 10g over the last few days as in the 55, to keep things the same between tanks, so I wasn't worried about the acclimatisation process at all. I've even been careful to keep them on the same lighting routine, and have been keeping the baby monitors by the tank to get them used to the noise level in the rest of the house (if not the 'pitter patter' of stomping feet, lol!) I siphoned out as much 'extra' water as I could from the bucket, and carefully dumped them into their new home. . . where they promptly vanished. . .

But not for long! These fish are WAY too curious to stay in hiding, and they couldn't resist peeking out to see what was going on. After about 20 minutes or so, I started seeing little noses peeking out from beneath rocks and leaves all over the tank. . . by the time they had been in there for an hour, they were starting to come out - though still being twitchy and quick to retreat.

By the time the tank lights were du to turn on, they had been in there for three hours, and were very obviously settling in fast. They were already behaving exactly like I've come to expect from watching them in their QT tank - rooting around for snacks, swimming in their loop-de-loops, and exploring their new home! They seemed so comfortable that I put the lights on at the usual time - they didn't seem like they needed the extra calm time in the darkness - the babies were home, and they seemed to sense that they were in a safe place!

I'm glad that I gave them the extra time in QT to settle in fully and lose their shyness. It's been a lesson learned. . . I think waiting until the fish's behavior showed that they were totally comfortable, rather than giving them an arbitrary amount of time (like 1 month) simply to prove themselves disease-free, really helped them to handle the move with ease!

After all of these months of waiting, I'm so excited to FINALLY get to see my little P.cuneovirgata shoaling side-by-side with the bigger P.Kuhli! It's funny how the little ones make their bigger cousins seem so BIG and fat and slow, and it's really difficult NOT to think of them as 'parents' to the smaller species. . . In the shots both above and below, you see Nod pictured with one of the dwarfs - Nod is actually my SMALLEST Kuhli, lol! He's HUGE in comparison!

I swear the big ones keep shooting me looks that seem to be saying 'Why are you doing this to me?!' Look at the faces on Winkin' and Blinkin' below . . . am I imagining things? That's a look I associate with those times when I'm surrounded by toddlers who all need something at the same moment!

All joking aside, the introduction went better than I could have hoped for, and by feeding time last night, the dwarf loaches were behaving as if they had already forgotten that they had undergone a dramatic capture and transplantation into a whole new world only hours before. . . ALL of the loaches, big and small, look to be having the time of their lives. They seem very, very happy together. I hope I'm right about that :)

And? It turns out that I was right - these tiny guys are WAY easier to capture images of against the dark sand in the bigger tank, yayl! This last shot I took especially for Plummy - see how many loaches your little one can spot in this picture, lol, - it isn't as if they're hiding *giggle*!

I'll try to get some video of the squirmy cuteness later when the tank lights go on - it's so funny to see them when they get all piled up together - the tank floor was literally writhing in some spots at feeding time last night! They're so stinkin' CUTE! I couldn't be happier to finally have them home
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post #469 of 828 Old 02-18-2013, 01:26 PM
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Very good.
Always nice to see things turn out well.
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post #470 of 828 Old 02-18-2013, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Ogre!

Speaking of turning out well. . .

There was a lot of funny business going on in my tank this evening. . . my little 'Livies are dancing again!

THIS time, C.Cat is going WAY overboard with it - it's very obvious, I'm almost embarrassed for him ;)
He's put his brights back on and is very obviously back to wooing his lady fair. . . I was so into watching that I forgot to get out the video camera, but if he's still courting tomorrow, I'll see if I can capture some of it - it's a pretty cool thing to see.

He flares his top-fin and his throat/gills and. . . kind of. . .tilts and swoops around her in a circle - it *almost* looks like he's flashing against her, but he doesn't usually actually touch her (is this what they call 'body curling?'. He's making SURE she's paying attention to him - that much is certain. . . and once he has her looking at him, he's cleaning sand off of every rock he can find - and some of the leaves, too . . . digging pits here and there to show how good he is at it. She doesn't seem to be doing anything special, except that she's been VERY intent on shooing off all the other FEMALE Rams in the tank - leaving the other male alone when he comes near. C.Cat doesn't seem to mind having the other gals around, but he shoos the other male off when he gets too close. I only have one other male, he's the only newcomer to the shoal since I got the original four so long ago - little Jab came out of QT only a few months ago (the female purchased at the same time didn't make it). . . Jab is looking very fine, too - prettier and brighter than I've ever seen him. Love is in the air, no doubt about it! I suspect Cupid has been busy in my tanks this week, lol!

C.Cat and Liz have gone everywhere together since they spawned, it's really cute. They swim together, forage together - and they've even re-arranged territories in the tank so that now they're literally sleeping together. Looks like my lil' boy can't get enough of the lovin' action (I swear, males are all the same, lol). They didn't actually spawn yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if they'll be giving parenting another go pretty soon.

I'm a little bit confused about this though. . .from what I've read it should take 2-3 weeks for the female to be ready to try again. . . so maybe he'll be acting like a fool until Liz is ready to spawn again - or maybe they're not as bonded as I think, and C.Cat will turn out to be a player and switch to one of the other females in the tank. Hattie is really looking into him, she's a beauty and a strong little lady - can't wait to see how the drama plays out this time - IF it plays out again!

All is well with the little loaches, too - if I didn't know that they just went in yesterday, I'd never think it from the way they've settled in. Water parameters tested up spotless this morning, too. No spikes from the addition of 10 fish (well, they ARE super tiny!), and so far the leaves don't seem to have affected the water hardness at all.

My tank is just so exciting right now! I can't wait to turn on the lights tomorrow, lol!
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Last edited by Chesh; 02-18-2013 at 11:39 PM.
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