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Old 11-17-2009, 05:10 AM   #31
RianS
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Originally Posted by J.B. View Post
What pH are you keeping them in, RianS?
I have no clue, it's just whatever my tap water is.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:05 PM   #32
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I think I would use the 50 gallon, taking the time to remove the rim first. It has such great dimensions, 36 x 18 x 18 that it has to be an ideal "high water" riparium. But, if the rim is still there it would look awful, in my opinion. Just handling that size tank to remove the rim would scare me away from even trying. It looks like several hours of work, plus the time to thoroughly clean away the silicone deposits. (However, I'm just getting too old to tackle that kind of project.)
Really, well that will mean that I will have to transfer the fish and everything else twice more. The 50 is the only space I have right now, so I'll have to go get the 40 that's at my brother's house, move everything into that tank, de-rim the 50, then transfer everything back again. I had thought that the 40 would be a good shape because it is wider and deeper than it is tall, and could thus emphasize the view through the water's surface. I suppose the 50 will do that too if I raise the water up high enough. Do you think it will be safe if I bring the water up to about five or six inches from the top? I have wondered about some kind of reinforcement, such as small aluminum brackets glued around each top corner.

I suppose that taking that rim off will be about like it was for my 65, which took all day long.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:55 PM   #33
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I always lean towards the bigger tank when faced with that kind of choice. Removing the rim on that size tank would certainly cause my pulse rate to go up during the first week with water in it, but, as I see it, with the water level 6 inches from the top, for example, the seams near the top wouldn't be unduly stressed, since the area above the water level would be somewhat equivalent to a Eurobrace in resisting the outward bowing of the glass. I know my de-rimmed 10 gallon tank seems perfectly safe when filled similarly.

If you had a 75E tank, I would be pumped up about using that instead of the 50. As some say, "bigger is better".
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:01 AM   #34
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I think that it should be Ok too with five or six inches of seam above the water lining holding it together. I might see about some other kind of trim reinforcement too.

I have already settled with the S. petricola--they're on their way --but on PlanetCatfish.com I ran into an interesting discussion starting with a questions about selections for a smaller tank.

http://www.planetcatfish.com/forum **catfish for 30g tank
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:41 AM   #35
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I got a few more things into the tank the night before, and a few pictures.



The floating bag contains the group of P. chica. I wonder if I will keep these fish in there long-term, but I am going to try them out and see how they look.



I want to put some effort into selecting and scaping the hardscape elements and other substrates. The picture above shows the Seachem marine gravel, comprised mainly of small broken shells, which I added in a small quantity. You can see it in the tank picture in the small Tupperware container. I will probably sprinkle just a small amount of this on top of the main base substrate, the coarse sand in the larger green plastic container.



I also added just one plant in a riparium planter, a Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' (above picture, center plant). This is a real good riparium plant, but this specimen looks a little ratty and will some trimming and re-growth.


I introduced a few rounded river stones. I have found these rocks to be easy to handle and easy to put together in a pleasing layout. I will probably use these, but I will add several more. I will put some manzanita in too to try it out.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:30 AM   #36
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Are you concerned about the constantly increasing GH the marine substrate will give you? Those shells will be adding calcium to the water constantly.

My wife made a few comments about putting another riparium in our living room today! I told her not to do that unless she is serious - I tend to charge ahead when I get even a slightly green light. If I do so, it will be in a tank shaped similar to the one you show - something about 18 inches front to back, maybe 30 inches long, and not very high, plus rimless. I will be following this one very closely for ideas.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:24 AM   #37
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Your place will become impassable if you add any more tanks. Where will the humans live?

This should be a good shape--lots of room for fish.

I will see how the shells substrate looks and behaves in the tank. I filled the tank with 1/2 RO + 1/2 tap. Our tap water is quite hard and I know that this blend still has pretty high GH. I imagine that dissolution won't be so fast and I might even change this tank to 100% tap later on. The material will be sitting right on top of the main gravel substrate, so I can also remove it later on if I don't like it.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:16 PM   #38
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The fish arrived last night. Here they are, seven happy little swimming juvenile Synodontis petricola.



What fun!
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:59 PM   #39
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Sweet! I loves me some petricolas!
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:27 PM   #40
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Congratulations on the petricola, they're one of my all time favorite catfish. I had a school that size in my old rift lake tank and they cruised around looking like little sharks. It was awesome.

Have you considered Hatchetfish? They'd be a good foil to the lower-strata inhabiting cats.

Cheers,
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:50 PM   #41
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Yeah they are really neat. I have a couple of shots too of putting them in the tank. They never stop swimming. I almost wish that I have gotten a couple more, but they should grow to 3-4", so seven individuals is probably a good number.

I should consider hatchetfish. I had the mollies in mind as a fish that would mostly occupy the upper area of the water, but hatchets would hold tighter to the water's surface. I also want to have a single centerpiece that can swim around in the middle and I have a couple of different cichlids in mind for that.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:54 AM   #42
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Here's a picture of these little devils right before I let 'em loose.

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Old 11-21-2009, 03:58 AM   #43
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Very cool fish Hydro.
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:18 AM   #44
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And here's a close-up of a fat female Poecilia chica. Another one of these started dropping fry just an hour or so after I put them in this new tank the other night.

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Old 11-21-2009, 04:35 AM   #45
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I have always believed that fish with big mouths, especially including catfish, will eat any smaller fish they can find. Is that true of petricola? (I keep thinking PepsiCola, for some reason.)

Today I found a nice tank about 90 miles away, at a great price, and my wife says, "let's sleep on it first". The tank, unfortunately has a plastic rim, but, as far as I can tell, it doesn't have a cross brace, so it may be no problem to remove the rim. It is a Craigslist tank, so some more email traffic to get a better feel for it may be necessary too. And, a visit to a couple of LFS looking for rimless tanks is in order too.
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