Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jbrofish8 09-11-2011 09:46 AM

New 29g planted log
2 Attachment(s)
Well, I thought I'd make a log of my 2nd planted tank. This is a tank I got for my (early) birthday present.

I learned a lot from my first planted tank, and I really wanted to go for a more natural looking aquascape this time around.

So far, this tank has had its MAJOR ups and down.

I had the tank set up for 2 weeks and then last friday I woke up to a massive crack in my tank and water spilling on my floor. It was NOT a fun day. Here are some before and after pictures of that. :P

Jbrofish8 09-11-2011 09:49 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I replaced the tank, thankfully, just in time for my plant shipment to arrive.

So heres where I am now.

I've added 7 lemon tetra who I THINK are exhibiting spawning behavior. There are a couple who are chasing each other around the tank. They then will *almost* lay on the substrate in the front left corner with that needle-leaf ludwigia and rub up against each other.

Is that what this is? Ive never seen it before in my other tank with my glowlights or blue tetra. Its very weird.

If they are spawning, what are the chances of any of the fry making it? All I have in the tank right now are these 7 lemons.

Jbrofish8 09-12-2011 07:52 PM

So Im worried about my tetra...

I added 7 lemon tetra on Saturday. They seemed okay that night and the next morning.

On Sunday I noticed them all swimming in the bottom right corner..they occasionally will swim to the other side of the tank but the majority of their time is spent in the corner. They swim in the middle to bottom section of the corner so I dont think its an oxygen issue.

I came home today and found one of the tetra dead in the same corner.. Ive inspected them all for ich or any signs of illness and they all look healthy. Now there are 5 of them swimming in the corner and 1 of them is kind of hovering at the top of the tank in my floated plants near the surface.

I tested my water last night and ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0 and nitrate was around 0. pH is about 7.4 and the temp is at 78. I have very soft water as well.

Tonight I tested my water and the ammonia was at about .025 ppm, nitrite was 0 and ph was still 7.4. I did a water change tonight just in case.

Im not sure what is going on. I'm wondering if the guy at the fish store might have hurt some of them. When he was catching the last 2, he sort of pinned them down against the gravel with his net...they seemed okay at the time, once he put them in the bag. Could this be a possible reason? Im really at a loss here.

This was my second planted tank, and as Byron advised, you can add fish once your tank is heavily planted. I havent lost a single fish in my first tank with this method. Was it beginners luck? :(

Jbrofish8 09-13-2011 06:16 AM

When I woke up this morning I thought for sure I'd have at least 1 dead fish.

Turns out, they all seem fine..

Im really confused. The lights are still out in the tank, but none of them are in the corner, and the one tetra who was hovering diagonally at the top under the floating plants seems to have returned to normal... I thought for sure he wouldn't make it through the night.

I'm really puzzled at this... at ideas?

Byron 09-13-2011 12:19 PM

First off, that is a very nice aquascape. Well done.:welldone:

Now to respond to your questions. What you describe in post 2 is likely spawning behaviour. Changes in water parameters such as what occurred from the store tank to your aquarium can often trigger this, because it replicates what occurs in the fish's natural habitat. Spawning with forest fish almost always occurs at the start of the rainy season when the streams are inundated with cooler water but also water with a very different pH. Difficult species can often be spawned by substantially altering the water parameters.

As for fry surviving, possible but unlikely. In very thickly-planted tanks [let those plants really grow in;-)] eggs will be scattered in vegetation [Java Moss is ideal for this] and often survive predation if the fish are few and well fed. Fry can find microscopic plankton in heavily-planted tanks and will suddenly appear. Usually just a few, unless you specifically work to raise them with infusoria, removing the other fish, etc. Some fish are more proficient at this than others. I have dozens of Emperor Tetra fry that have survived over the past several months from many spawnings. They just suddenly show up, usually 2, 3, or 4 at about 1/4 inch when I first notice them. I have had one fry appear from many species of characin over the years. Another benefit of well-planted tanks.

The fish sound fine. The one dead may well have been due to injury, it is very easy to injure fish with a net, I have done it. If the others do well, after a couple days i would see if the store will replace the one. Some stores ask for the "corpse" and a water sample, some don't. Worth a try; after all, they want your continued business.


Jbrofish8 09-13-2011 12:35 PM

Thanks Byron! Ive learned a lot through your guidance. :)

I have one more question, Should I try to get a few more Lemons? I only have 6 right now and I want to get more anyways, but should I wait for the fish to settle down or go ahead and grab a few more?

Id like to try to get at least 9.. so maybe 3 more?

Byron 09-13-2011 01:14 PM


Originally Posted by Jbrofish8 (Post 824065)
Thanks Byron! Ive learned a lot through your guidance. :)

I have one more question, Should I try to get a few more Lemons? I only have 6 right now and I want to get more anyways, but should I wait for the fish to settle down or go ahead and grab a few more?

Id like to try to get at least 9.. so maybe 3 more?

When I lose a new fish from a group I usually wait a day or two to see if there will be more. Find out if the store will replace the one, and let them know you want to buy a couple more as well. So 3 more will be fine. When I can, I always buy shoaling fish in groups of 3 or more at a time, they settle better.

Jbrofish8 09-13-2011 05:24 PM

So I went today and got some more lemon tetra. I thought I was getting 4.. Turns out they gave me 1 very pale head and tail light tetra.

Now that I see him in my tank, his black spots on his head and tail are starting to come out. What do I do? I dont really want these fish in my tank.. Will he be fine by himself with my 9 lemon tetra? I know they need a shoal, should I just try to take him back? Its too late tonight and I'm really dreading trying to catch him in my planted tank. >.<

Jbrofish8 09-13-2011 05:48 PM

I went ahead and added the little head and tail light tetra to the tank. Hes shoaling tightly with the group of lemons right now..I feel terrible that hes by himself though. I just dont know what I should do..its a pretty long drive to take back just 1 fish, especially since I got all the Lemon tetra they had so I wouldn't even be able to trade him.

Id get a shoal of head and tail lights if they weren't almost the EXACT same color as lemon tetra. Plus I want a pair of dwarf cichlids of some type and I'm not sure if 2 shoals of tetra would work.

So far my stocking ideas are:

Lemon tetra
3 otos (later on once established)
and im leaning towards a pair of apistos of some sort.

Anyone see any issues with my stock list? Would my tank allow for 2 shoals of fish along with the apistos? ( Sorry, i sort of got off topic here..)

Byron 09-13-2011 07:10 PM

I've had this experience a couple of times, getting fish in the bag I didn't want. I've never taken them back, provided they are not a problem species. Obviously they should be in a group, but...

Yes you can have two groups, but make sure you really want the Head and Tail Light before getting more. They don't remain "small," check the profile. Not a problem fish with what you are planning. Shouldn't be the same colour though, Lemon Tetra will turn lemon yellow and the H&T is more gray with the brilliant eye and caudal patch. I have a group of the much rarer Hemigrammus pulcher, very similar but more colourful, one of my favourite tetra but not seen often (around here anyway). The H&T would actually be a nice dither fish for dwarf cichlids. But only if you like and want them.

I'd think again about otos, assuming you are getting them for algae.

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