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-   -   Love that New Tank Feeling: The Loach Motel (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-journals/love-new-tank-feeling-loach-motel-1368/)

tophat665 11-14-2006 08:21 PM

Love that New Tank Feeling: The Loach Motel
 
Th'other week, I bought a 20 gallon set up with 7 assorted Loaches in it. 2 Weather Loaches, 1 Pallid Sand Loach, an Angelicus, a Yoyo, and 3 Striatas. I did the math and realized that the tank was overstocked from the get go, and that I was going to need more Yoyos and Angelicus to keep them happy, and that was going to take a lot of real estate. After Looking for a couple of weeks, I found a fellow unloading a 50 gallon breeder with the works for a reasonable price, so I brought it home, set it up, and started landscaping.

Here it is:
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y24...chMotel001.jpg
Pardon my crappy foto-skillz and sub-par camera.

It's got 10" Bubble wands buried under the pebbles to the left and across the back right (you can see the check valve). I'll be filling in the plants with cuttings from my other tanks over the course of this month. Right now, there are six feeder guppies in there cycling the tank.

Here are some closer shots:
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y24...LeftPlants.jpg
The plantings to the left. I'm going to add a bunch more wisteria in the back left, and Cabomba and Hygro across the back, and a couple more of those nice crypts in front of that. You cant see from this angle, but theres a little beach in front of the crypt for staging bloodworms and such. Hoping that the java moss I have going on that red shale will turn into a nice little lawn.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y24...RightCaves.jpg
Half flowerpots buried in the substrate. Again, you cant see the beach from the angle, but it's fine sand mostly in front of the pots. Going to try and encourage saggitaria to grow around that big rock, and transplant some Swords from other tanks in front of the filter intake.

crazie.eddie 11-15-2006 01:36 AM

Cool. Nice tank. Can't wait to see how the loaches look when they find their new home.

Nick 11-15-2006 01:40 AM

Wow you just got everything planned out now dontcha!!! Thats a good thing though. Cant wait to see it all set up and all the loaches happy in there home! It already is looking good

fish_4_all 11-15-2006 03:40 PM

Goona look really nice when it is all going. I didn't see any caves for the loaches though :shock: . They might need them to establish some of their own little territories.

One other thing is the plants look like a lot of good choices but loaches love to tear them up when dashing around a tank, I know my botia did it all the time. Might want a little deeper substrate to help keep the plants down a little better.

I will have to keep yours in mind if I ever decide to go with an eel tank. I know loaches aren't eels, but I love flame eels and they have so much personality from what a friend has told me.

One Question, do you plan to raise pond snails or any other live fod for them all?

tophat665 11-15-2006 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish_4_all
Goona look really nice when it is all going. I didn't see any caves for the loaches though :shock: . They might need them to establish some of their own little territories.

Third picture down, four half flowerpots buried in the substrate. Also, the largest piece of the Java Moss lawn is propped up. I've noticed that the Dojo's make their home in a patch of Wisteria in their current tank. Finally, there are smaller rocks in their current tank that make three good caves. Those will move when they move. If I need more space, I have more rocks, too. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish_4_all
One other thing is the plants look like a lot of good choices but loaches love to tear them up when dashing around a tank, I know my botia did it all the time. Might want a little deeper substrate to help keep the plants down a little better.

Substrate is nearly 7" deep in the back, 3" in the front. These plants are rooted as solidly as time and growth will allow.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish_4_all
I will have to keep yours in mind if I ever decide to go with an eel tank. I know loaches aren't eels, but I love flame eels and they have so much personality from what a friend has told me.

One Question, do you plan to raise pond snails or any other live fod for them all?

You'll want to make much more of the sand open at the surface for eels. They love to dig into it. That's part of the reason I have left some open sand, so that the loaches will have an easier place to root around than the planted areas.

I don't raise pond snails so much as am afflicted by them. I could easily give them 2 dozen a day. As is, I have started dumping snails into the new tank to get a critical mass for a moving day escargot feast. I also keep frozen and freeze dried blood worms, frozen brine shrimp, and freeze dried tubifex on hand. I chuck in the occasional algae wafer as well, as the sand loach and dojos seem to really enjoy them.

dprUsh83 11-15-2006 07:31 PM

Great looking gravel, I like the way you put the pots in their too...

fish_4_all 11-15-2006 09:27 PM

I guess my eyes didn't catch all the little details. It looks really cool with the way the pots are hidden. From the pictures I thought that it was chips of pots and not actual caves. It also made it look like the gravel was fairly shallow.

I will have to watch the progress well so I can plan one if I ever get a big enough tank set up. My thought was to have mostly sand so they can play and bury themselves anytime they want to.

Can't wait to see the plant growth and how it takes form.

Is there another type of gravel underneath?

tophat665 11-15-2006 11:27 PM

Thanks to all, Nick and dprUsh83 and fish_4_all and crazie.eddie, for the kind words.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish_4_all
Is there another type of gravel underneath?

Yeah, it's layered:
First is 1/2 to 3" of sand as a base and to get the flowerpots covered and smoothed. Then there's some leftover white spectrastone raising the back some more. Down the left side and across the back right are 10" bubble wands, buried in river pebbles. I've used the pebbles too to outline where the planting base goes: That's 1 to 2" of Fluorite topped with tan spectra-stone small grade gravel, another 1 to 2" deep. I've also got some flourish root tabs to put in around any swords (and I really ought to tuck one into the dwarf lily in the extreme front right corner.) I may yet put some more sand in the areas I left bare.

And yes, I am going to get some MTS in there in the next week or so - about 10 to start. (My LFS sells them 10 for a buck).

rev 11-16-2006 07:26 PM

I WANNA SEE THE LOACHES TOO !!

tophat665 11-17-2006 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rev
I WANNA SEE THE LOACHES TOO !!

Patience, grasshopper. Tank not yet ready. All pictures in little tank very crappy.
:mrgreen:


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