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james1542 11-18-2012 03:52 AM

james1542's 20L-Apistograms and flood lights
The latest tank is really taking off so it's time to start a journal.
Tank: Glass 20L Top derimmed
Light: 30W LED flood light ~5000k
CO2: DIY 2 Juice jug setup(~1 gallon each)-Drop checker is lime green :)
Substrate: MGOPM capped with wild brown sand.
Present Fauna: Nothing until after T-givings (planning one or two pairs of dwarf cichlids, at least one of them will be of the genus Apistogramma!, A small school of rasboras, leaning towards Axelrod's var blue, and/or Boraras briggate, perhaps a trio of Corydoras sp.).
Present Flora: Erio cinerum, E. tenellus, Limnophilia hippruoides, Crypts(becketti, lutea, parva, ect). A wee bit of mixed moss.
Emersed Flora: Basil, U.G., U.?. U.gibba, Tradescantia fluminensis, mixed moss
Age: ~2.5 weeks

Enjoy the photos!
The tank, stand, light, everything ready to go, all custom

2.5 weeks:

The emersed grow box:

Utricularia graminifolia: Trying to ramp these up emersed. *note the flower:

And finally a mystery Utricularia. Not the much loathed gibba.. All sources tell me this will grow submerged, but for now it's doing pretty well emerged, I've only had them about 2 weeks but new leaves are appearing:

longbeach 11-18-2012 12:30 PM

Very nice tank!!

It maybe a little stressful for Apistos. They tend to like a bit more shaded areas and will color up nice.

You are on the right track and a nice job.

james1542 11-18-2012 09:19 PM

Thank's for the kind words

I'm definitely going to get more plants, and this is not the final aquascape! Basically I threw some extra plants I had in there, and I have way too much driftwood that I'm still trying to get water logged. The apistos will get some nice caves to hang out in, and there will be some dense stands of vegetation for them to hide in too. Plus with Apisto's I've found it's mostly about having active dither fish that makes them come out. They instinctively cue into their presence as a sign there are no predators around. I'll consider adding some floaters too, but the light doesn't seem like it's too over the top.

james1542 12-02-2012 01:33 AM

Well the first inhabitants went in today. They included:
5 Boras maculata
3 Sundario axelrodi Blue form
3 Microdevario kubotai
1 pair Taeniacara candidi

Plants now include: Chain swords Limnophilia aromatica, Cryptocoryne sp's, erio cinereum, marsilea quadrifolia, Misc moss, half a stalk of red cambomba, frogbit, red bottom giant duckweed, rotala rotundifolia, Aponogeton sp's

Everyone seems happy, They are feasting on a large population of copepods that has developed. I'll have to see if I can get some decent pictures...

ReluctantHippy 12-02-2012 02:35 AM

Looks great; can't wait to see a picture with inhabitants. 20 long is a great choice of a tank as well. Subbed for the ride.

james1542 12-04-2012 02:58 AM

+3 Corydoras hasbrosus on 12/2/2012

The tank has come to life, with 11 rasboras/danios flying around and 3 corys it is madness! and I'm still pretty understocked. The T. candidi have been very interesting. The first day they were adjusting, kind of checking out the surroundings, eating some copepods. 12/2 the male was getting territorial and chasing the female when he found her, both feasted on frozen bloodworms-female was fat when I got her, now even fatter. Now comes 12/3 and the female is in the cave, the male goes in to visit her, She hasn't really come out all the way so I can't see if she's lost some weight. Appears to be busy in there... Lets just say I'm glad to have dwarf cichlids again. Oh yea did I mention moar pics!!


B. maculata: of the 3 rasbora/danios I got these are probably the least exciting, but they do look really cool and were very inexpensive. They spend the most time foraging.. kind of reminds me of a guppy, but they have a really cool torpedo shape to them- especially love the powerful caudal region.

C. hasbrosus, these guys were the hardest to photograph, they don't stop!

james1542 12-04-2012 03:06 AM

T. candidi male, I've already said enough about him!:

Him again, but check out the S. axelrodi blue in the shot. These are my favorite of the 3 rasboras, for one the blue + red + black is stunning, and they spend the most time mindlessly swimming the mid tank.

M. kubotai: Second fav of the rasboras, They spend a lot of time mindlessly swimming, probably the nippiest of them all, compared to the pygmie rasboras and the neon blue's these guys look like great whites, and they are about 2/3" long! The green is hard to photograph..but they look pretty sweet.

Another S. axelrodi blue shot..The blue is iridescent and doesn't show up from all angles.

T. candidi male's tail sticking out of the cave, the female is in there with him

Emersed basil, harvested some leaves for pasta sauce the other night!

Utricularia graminifolia, continues to progress, flowers on some pots.

A diffrent Utricularia, note the rounded leaf tips, this ones staying a bit smaller than UG, and tends to lie more flat

ReluctantHippy 12-05-2012 07:46 PM

Looking good. Quite the variation of rasboras.

MiniFishRoom 12-06-2012 01:28 AM

Nice setup. Sweet find too on the T. Candidi's.

james1542 12-06-2012 05:33 AM

Thanks for the kind words. I wish I had tried these micro rasboras sooner. It's like they are on drugs, constantly shooting through the water biting at things I can't even see. I'm impressed with how voracious they are for their size.

I am loving the T. candidi's. I was a bit worried as I've read they can be super difficult. My worries went away when they spawned within 48 hours of coming home. The male is really bold too, when I put a pipette in the tank he is pretty much mouthing the end waiting for food! They have a lot of similarities to some of the rarest of the Apistograms.

james1542 12-09-2012 06:50 AM

So the first batch of T. candidi eggs did not appear to hatch, as the female gave up about 3 days in. I'm guessing the pH isn't low enough, so I've removed my purigen and added alder cones.. for next round.

A few new plants: Staurogyne repens, Bacopa monnieri, Bacopa australis, Saggitaria subulata, Sent a small patch of both Utricularia species submerged to see how they do.

Also added some new fish, which required a rescape, and an additional light: 10W led to the garden section of the tank...
1Pr. Apistogramma borelli <-- might move these guys to my office tank once that is set up.. we'll see
1Pr. Apistogramma bitaeniata peru
1 large amano shrimp
Oh I know, 3 pairs of dwarfs in a 20 L.. I'm aware, I'll keep an eye on things so don't worry (as an aside, Don't try this at home unless you have lots of experience with these fish, or spare tanks set up to move fish to!).

The Bit's alongwith the male borelli, he's a yellow face/blue body form, hard to photograph his true beauty but what a funny fish, he's taking on everything in the tank, but still is shaped like a jelly bean. The bitaeniatas look good, when the male goes on display, he has a royal blue face, red back, orange and turquiose and yellow fins! The female looks to be prepping to spawn.
Female borelli, this species can be hard to sex.
Good shot of the T. candidi pair.
Male borelli, he has some nice black edging on his dorsal and anal fin
Amano and Bit male
Utricularia species in a sweet planter

DvanK 12-09-2012 01:45 PM

You dont have any issues with ammanos and apistos in the same tank?

james1542 12-09-2012 04:08 PM


Originally Posted by DvanK (Post 2104181)
You dont have any issues with ammanos and apistos in the same tank?

So far they don't even realize it's there. The apistos are over stimulated already with all the other cichlids, rasboras and cories flying around. I bought the largest one I could, so that should help too. The main risk would be a large apisto fitting it in the mouth. I saw a full grown amano yesterday at the LFS, they get bigger than most of those wood shirimp you see for sale!

james1542 01-05-2013 10:44 PM

Well the T. candidi spawned for a 3rd time. After 2 failures I'm not taking any chances. This time, I've decided to try my hand at raising them. I should be able to get at least some to hatch if they are viable, unless my params are not up to snuff. The eggs look to be viable, I don't have a microscope here to verify for sure, but all signs are good. I took the flower pot out last night, but I know the female was busy in there on Thursday night already. So I'm thinking the eggs are at least 48 hours old right now. Should be another day or 2 until hatch. I've heard it's a good 9-10 days total to the free swimming stage. Anyone want to count them for me?

For reference, that is a standard airline tube in the picture. I built a makeshift breeder out of a Nissin Spicy shrimp chow-mein pan (thoroughly washed) And the flow is provided via that airline tube, which is shoved up the output from my C160 canister filter.

Close up:

The Borellii and the Bitaeniata haven't spawned yet, the female Borelli has been in breeding garb since coming home, and the bitaeniata female, though plump, might need to get a bit bigger. For those wondering how the Amano is faring, he/she learned to jump..... it's been replaced by a big fat Otto!

ApplestoApples 01-07-2013 02:19 PM

Any update?

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