Question, before you added the fish, we're you feeding the Amanos and Otos at all or were they self sustainable on the algae? I think I have made my Amanos lazy, they wait for feeding time and each take a micro pellet to chew on... I have to feed my betta though. Any thoughts?
I never feed the Amano's or Otos (unless they're in a non-planted holding tank). The reason is they become spoiled on these foods and lose the instinct to perpetually look for algae to eat for survival.
Think of it like a Dog. You give your Dog normal Dog food, but when you have meat available, they will always defer to the meat and if you continually give them meat, they will leave the dog food in the container to rot, regardless of health priorities or anything else.
I would say to feed your betta less - maybe a small amount once a day or every other day, only enough for the betta to eat in one sitting. You can always add more food, so start with less and slowly build up.
Consequently, Amano's and ocats will only thrive to the extent to which available algae is present. So if there is a dramatic decline in algae growth, they will begin to starve and some may die. Again, it's about balance.
I recommend starting with more initially to beat back algae, then slowly remove a few. Some will naturally die off as they go, and that's okay, though it's best to try to avoid it. Having a back up tank with plants in it is always good for "spill-over" Amanos.
The aquarium will always attempt to balance itself out, whether that's through extreme algae growth, algae eater die off, or etc. This happens on both a macro (fish, plant, algae) and micro (bacteria) scale.
Haha I know I was just being funny since you said to come to your house. I would like to go to ADG sometime though. Is it just like a supplier warehouse or an actual store?
I keep editing this. Do you trim your riccia or pull the rocks up and tie the riccia back on when it gets to big?
Hey if you'd like to come by my apartment to see the aquarium in person that's totally alright. But you'll have to schedule with me ahead of time! Roommates and such.
I trim my Riccia. Adding rocks of riccia on top of them tends to be a bit inelegant and creates sloppy riccia. Alternatively having to pull up the stone with the Riccia to retie massively disrupts the aquascape and should only be deployed when absolutely necessary. A favorite technique of mine is to use some of the trimmings to add smaller accent stones of Riccia when applicable.
You're not worried about jumpers? I had 6 CPD's in my cube until they all committed suicide one by one over a week...now I have 1 left. I want to get it some buddies, but don't want to pick up dried up fish every morning.
I'm not worried about jumpers at all, for two reasons:
1.) A fish will only jump if there is something wrong with the tank. If the aquarium is balanced, they have no reason to attempt to leave the water.
This means balance of co2, oxygen, water parameters / quality, plant growth etc.
2.) The only other time a fish will jump is when startled and when they are timid. Choosing a species only tank where they are comfortable (large school) makes them less skittish, more at home and less likely to get startled. Also place your aquarium in a quiet place and train the fish to be excited at your presence (aided by feeding small amounts when you do certain gestures, all fish will learn to recognize you or your motions).
An easy way to avoid accidental fish jumping due to being startled is to not fill your tank completely to the brim, this way if they accidentally get caught up in flow or are scared of something and bolt, they don't have the extra momentum of the water being filled to the top (making it very very easy to jump), when the aquarium level is even 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch below the rim it significantly blocks jumping.
The fish are beautiful and really complement the tank. Great choice!
Thank you! I think a lot of people vastly underestimate the value of fish to finish the scape's look. It's the last element to be added, and in many cases, the most important.
Zen is the best way to describe it, without sounding corny.