3: my aquaria

by Paul Veenvliet
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3: my aquaria

Post by illustrator » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:03 am

It's there. Wow. New aquarium. So time for an update of this blog. First the aquariums:

I don't have a fishroom, don't have many aquariums either (but it is a life-long addiction - I haven't been without aquariums at any one time during the last 30 years or so...). There are just two (now three, but in the future again two). These are the curent aquariums:
60.jpg
60 cm aquarium with the future inhabitants of the new aquarium: a female convict with about 20 frey. This aquarium will soon be stored somewhere, as backup in case I need a temporary-small-thing.
80.jpg
80 cm aquarium with guppies (japan-blue hybrid males and some petshop-females - they didn't import females with the blue guys) , some [i]Danio rerio[/i] and [i]Corydoras paleatus[/i], very dense plants: some of these plants will go to the new aquarium (I know, wrong continent). I post the picture to give an impression about the sources of "ingredients" for the new aquarium.
120.jpg
120 cm, the new one! This is a standard-factory-made aquarium, with a factory-made drawer. I don't trust myself with gluing an aquarium of this size. The first part of decoration is also visible: some plates of slate, placed on 1 cm styropor. This is the support for bigger, more heavy stones. I got this idea from Willem's blog :D The size is a compromise between "as large as possible" and available place and finances. Large enough for some convicts, I hope.

sava.jpg
Now for the more serious work: this is river Sava, near Ljubljana (Slovenia). Actually this river is rather polluted and there are definately no cichlids (mainly cyprinids in stread). I went to this river to collect authentic river-stones and sand as decoration material. More about this later (don't have more photographs yet).
Last edited by illustrator on Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Lisachromis
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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by Lisachromis » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:40 am

How do you plan on cleaning the material you collected from the river? I would be hesitant to use items from highly polluted rivers personally.

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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:37 am

It's not as bad as I made it look. One thing is that the pollution is mainly eutrophication (nutrients), which causes an awfull lot of algae growth. In the river, all stones are covered with a layer of algae in summer and fall (better after winter!). But I actually took stones from the shore, where I can see the colour of stones and select nice ones. These stones are almost clean already, just in nature. So I just scrub them with a brush and some water, that's all. The sand is going to give more trouble because there's a lot of fine dust in between. Meaning that it needs a lot of flushing with water. I don't believe that cooking of stones/sand makes any difference whatshowever, so I don't do that.

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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:17 am

stones.jpg
With stones.

The backgroud will come later, on the outside of the aquarium.
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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:36 am

Not much news, no new photographs. Last wednesday I filled the aquarium with water and since the manufactorer stated that there's a bactery-startup in the filter material, I added the first fish already. These are some Danio rerio (because their behaviour would indicate nitrate problems directly: they become lethargic and somewhat desoriented in this case - but they would not die very quickly, which gives me time to remove them without harming them permanently " in case") and the adult female con because the 60 cm aquarium is really to small for her. The juveniles are still in the 60 cm aquarium. The Danio's might wel stay, as "dithers", even though they are from an entirely different part of the world as the cons.
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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:47 am

It now looks like this:
aqua.jpg
The background turned out to be quite poor, have to think of something else.

Current inhabitants:
convicts: 1 adult female, 1 young male and about 20 small ones
Ancistrus "sp3": 1 adult male, 4 adult females, 1 young one
zebra barbs (Danio rerio): 2 adult females, 6 adult males

Plants: 3 species of Cryptocoryne; Ceratphyllum demersum.

And a few small snails ...
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deaths

Post by illustrator » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:01 am

Found two dead fish yesterday, causes probably unrelated:

A male zebrafish (Danio rerio) probably got stuck between stones in early-morning mating-exitement.

The only male Ancistrus "sp3": didn't recover after caring for eggs and juveniles. My previous male Ancistrus also died (bloating)- that was still in the 80 cm aquarium. In the meantime females are doing just fine. I find the adult males hard to care for because of their secretive habits. It will probably take a while before I try again, have to figure out a good way to feed nocturnal, shy catfish in the company of opportunistic cons.
cat2.jpg
BTW: aquarium manufactorers: please consider gluing filters straight to the bottom of an aquarium: if you leave a little space Ancistrus males can dig a shelter underneath the filter and when they die there, you have a hard time removing the dead fish. Next time I will plug such a hole before filling the aquarium.
Last edited by illustrator on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by Marko Lenac » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:02 am

illustrator wrote:It now looks like this:

Image
wonderful!
Image

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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by Bas Pels » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:56 pm

@ background, as the tank is already filled, I'd suggest jusyt simple, plain black paper or plastich. Brouwn would also be acceptable.

nearly all my tanks are just painted black on the back. among the exceptions is one with a blak piece of plywood - I forgot to paint it, and the plywood fitted betweeen tank and wall

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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:22 am

My smaller aquariums all had a simple background of coloured cardboard (either dark brown, black, dark green or dark blue), which functioned well. My first try here is painted styropor, but the light in the aquarium shows the structure of the styropor too well. Right now I have a simple poster-from-the-lfs behind the aquarium, which is already better (rock-motive, not something with plastic plants - yuk!).

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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:54 am

added 4 zebrafish (total number now 11)
danio.jpg
A more "artistic" image since everyone already knows how zebrafish look ...
Bas Pels wrote:@ background, as the tank is already filled, I'd suggest jusyt simple, plain black paper or plastich. Brouwn would also be acceptable.
I find that paper backgrounds reflect the lashlight of the camera a lot. For "normal viewing" they are OK, but not for aquarium-photography. Still thinking about something better ...
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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:52 am

In the first post I showed my 80 cm aquarium. This is how it looks now:
80b.jpg
80b.jpg (169.44 KiB) Viewed 5314 times
Most of the plants went to the cichlid aquarium and the sandy beach (for Corydoras) is increased in surface. Inhabitants now:
some guppies (hybrid)
Corydoras paleatus
Xiphophorus maclatus (pair, from the Austrian stream)
Ancistrus "sp3" (juveniles; ofspring of Austrian female and a petshop male)
various snails

While it isn't a cichlid aquarium, both aquaria are connected because of exchange of plants and fish.
Last edited by illustrator on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:07 pm

Aquariums are never finished, always evolving. This is how it looks now:
aq_2009.jpg
Note the development (and new introductions) of plants: who said that you cant grow plants in a cichlid aquarium?

The background is fake: just a comerceally available poster.

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Re: 3: new aquarium arrrived

Post by illustrator » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:00 am

aq.jpg
the 80 cm non-cichlid aquarium
an update about the ever-developing aquariums: first the small one. Inhabitants still platies, guppies, Corydoras paleatus and juvenile Ancistrus. The floating object in the left-above corner is a small cage with young Corydoras.

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Re: 3: my aquaria

Post by illustrator » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:01 am

Since my last post, things went the wrong way in the large aquarium. The main trouble is bacterial finrot. I brought this in myself, because I bought a male Ancistrus with slight damages in the tail fin. At first only Ancistrus were affected: especialy their tail fins became more and more damaged and shorter. Later also the convict cichlids caught the infection: curiously enough only their pelvic fins were affected, and of these only the branched rays. It took me some time to recognise the problem because affected convicts swam with their pelvic fins held tight to their body. Untill now, zebrafish (Danio) remain unaffected.

First I tried with a "medicine from the petshop", but this had no effect at all. I suspect that this particular strain of finrot is resistant to some of the general medicines.

Since bacterial finrot especially breaks out when water conditions are poor and fish are stressed by overpopulation, my next step was to reduce the number of fish to a bare minimum: only the 2 "wild caught" convicts remain, together with 10 zebrafish. Then I started changing water more frequently, about once each 5 days over half of the water. And finally I increased the amount of live food: several times per week I feed water lice and small earthworms. For now it looks like the female convict cichlid is not affected, but the male has slightly afected pelvic fins. I am not sure if the disease is stopped and f the fins are recovering, if so, it goes very slowly ....

Of course this "receipe" is also exactly what gets convict cichlids in breeding condition, and the side-effect was predictable: eggs. I'll continue this in the topic about "my cichlids".
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Re: 3: my aquaria

Post by illustrator » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:17 am

The "reduce-fish-load-strategy" payed of: fins are regrown and there is no further sign of fin-rot.

Algae are an increasing problem now: there are very few snails left (5 smalle nerites) and no real algae-eating fish (convicts take an occasional bite of algae). Cerathophyllum reverted to the wintering-stage (short, bittle clumps which hardly grow and evenually fall apart because "winter-temperatures" never come) and none of the other plants grow very fast. This leaves an excess of nutrients in the water, which causes the algae growth. I put in a huge clump of Lagarosiphon major - plants. I hope these will compete with the algae. I grew these plants in the 80 cm aquarium from a few small cuttings, originally taken from the Austrian stream. All together the aquarium looks less nice, but at least the fish are healthy!

9 Danio rerio remain, at least 4 of these are visibly aging. In my aquariums they live for about 1.5 year, which gives a life-expectency of 2 years, assuming that they are half a year old when I buy them

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