Johnson 18's Tank Rack! Several Species! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Johnson 18's Tank Rack! Several Species!

This journal will document the building and the keeping of my killifish tanks. While I hope to successfully breed these colorful little fish, I don't want tanks that are set up strictly for breeding. Many people keep Killifish in tiny tanks for breeding, like 2.5 gallons or less(think the little boxes sold for hermit crabs and such), often stuffed full of sphagnum moss or peat, along with no substrate and lights.

While I want these low lech, I don't want them quite that low lech! I will go through and list my thoughts about how I'm planning to set these up. I'm starting with two tanks and may expand from there.

I've never kept killifish, so if you have, PLEASE let me know if I'm messing up!! I'm absolutely alright with more experienced people offering me advice or saying "hey, you're doing this wrong, idiot!!"

EDIT: I've had a lot of questions about Killifish, which I think is absolutely fantastic! I love that this seems to have sparked interest in many people. Unfortunately, I am definitely still learning about these little fish. I will try to answer any and all questions of course! I have also found that the Killifish people are super organized! I would recommend that anyone wanting to learn more about Killifish should check out the American Killifish Association's website. They've got a ton of information, including killifish basics, beginner info, along with good beginner fish recommendations! I'm seriously impressed with these folks, hell, I might even join eventually! hahaha.
END EDIT.

The Killifish: I'm starting with two species of killifish, both are considered to be "easy" killis. I bought both of these species at an auction last weekend where there were at least a hundred of different types of killifish. The two I'm starting with are both non-annual Killifish. I believe both species are plant spawners, so I can leave eggs in the tank versus drying the out and aging before being able to hatch.

The first species is a trio, 1 male and 2 females, of Aphyosemion australe Cap Estrias BSWG 97-24. This is a small species from Gabon, and one of the few Killifish with a common name, the Lyretail Killifish. It's a gorgeous little fish, overall orange with a number of different colors mixed into its patterns! I'm planning to get at least one more trio, if I can, from the same person who donates them to the auction. This trio has proved quite hard to take a picture of as they never stop moving!

I stole this first image off Flickr, it's a lovely little pair.


The second species I have is two pairs of Aphyosemion cinnamomeum Kurume APL 13-35. This species is from Cameroon & gets a bit larger, like 6cm. (Haha!) This is mostly a purple color, with a bright yellow crescent shape in the tail. These fish are currently in my 55 gallon shrimp tank & they need to be moved out asap! While I haven't seen them eating the shrimp, I'm sure the shrimp are at least getting picked on as they're hiding constantly!

This first image is from the interwebs, the rest are in my 55. These fish have been getting more color every day!



The males just a day or two after getting them. They're colors have gotten better but you can start to see the yellow on the fins.



Females:





Tanks: I'm debating back and forth between a pair of 5 gallon tanks or 10 gallons. The 5's are almost certainly large enough, but a 10 gallon tank gives me more wiggle room as far as the water conditions go. I can grow more plants in a 10 gallon tank. As far as dimensions, I've got room for either one & there's no real advantage(room wise) to going smaller(I don't think...) I don't currently have 5s, but I've only got one derimmed 10, so I'm gonna have to buy tanks either way. If you can't tell, I'm leaning towards using 10 gallon tanks.

Filtration: air driven sponge filters! I've already got some of the dual sponge filters. Just picked up an air pump yesterday, it's the same one I use to power the same filters in my 20L Apisto tank. I've got two in that tank & will just be putting one in each of these tanks.

Heaters: idk. The kinds that warm up cold water. Hahaha.

Lights: I've got a variety of lights I could use probably including the clip-on cfl domes for Home Depot, as well as a couple 18" BML Dutch(12in board) with the adjustment knobs to turn them up and down.

Substrate: As I'm mostly just wanting to go low tech, crammed with lots of Crypts, other easy root feeders, & moss, I believe I may go with MGOPM mixed with something to increase the CEC and capped with Black Diamond Blasting Sand. If I get any species that are substrate spawners this will change so that the substrate and eggs can be removed, dried & aged before being rewetted when it is time for the eggs to hatch.

Plants: The plan is to put in lots of heavy root feeders: lots of Cryptocorynes, maybe some of the smaller swords, and probably not any sort of actual carpet plants. It's possible I might give MM a try as a carpet in one. Idk, though. I've got a wide variety of plants so we'll see what ends up in these tanks! I'm going to try and pack them fairly full.


I know this is long AF! If you've made it this far, THANK YOU!! Please let me know what you think of my plan! I'm open to ideas or suggestions! The tanks will hopefully be started today! If not, well, it might be sometime this week.



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Last edited by johnson18; 09-14-2017 at 05:04 AM. Reason: more words
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post #2 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 03:58 PM
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I don't know a think about these guys other than their beauty. Following along to learn. Having said that I think your concepts sound good!!


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post #3 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 04:07 PM
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If you want to breed them, I would suggest getting 5 gallon tanks for your pairs/trios and 20 gallon tanks as grown-outs for fry. If you have space and money for 10 gallon tanks and 20 gallon for fry, than go for it obviously! Great to see somebody getting into killis. I have so many fish tank plans now, that I can only keep blue gularis (they can live with my ropes), but maybe someday I would built a rack just for killis. Subscribing, I'll try to learn from your mistakes before I'll make mine :>


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post #4 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:44 PM
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Congrats on the new additions! Hope they do well for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson18 View Post
often stuffed full of sphagnum moss or peat, along with no substrate and lights.
Wouldn't that make the Sphagnum moss or peat the substrate?
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post #5 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Congrats on the new additions! Hope they do well for you.







Wouldn't that make the Sphagnum moss or peat the substrate?


Thanks! I suppose the peat would, yes. Not in the way we use our substrates though where we could plant things in it..
The sphagnum is stuffed into the tank such as you would do with leaf litter or a breeder tank just stuffed full of moss.

For the substrate spawners, peat is often stuck into a container which is then placed onto the bare tank bottom. The fish will then spawn in it by either running across the top of it or burrowing down into the peat a few inches & spawning there. At that point you can remove the container, drain the water from the peat & store the mostly dry peat in a ziplock bag until the eggs are ready to hatch, which varies by species, at which point you can wet the peat & the fish hatch usually within a couple hours!


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post #6 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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I just bought four 10 gallon tanks at petco. They've got the $1 per gallon sale going but only for 10,20 & 29. 50% off the 55 & 75... I was going to get 5gallon tanks but for 14.99 ea, I passed.


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post #7 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:07 PM
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Just a couple of thoughts .....
Until you get the hang of working with killies , I'd avoid dirting the substrate . Cinnamomeum have been known to gravel spawn . Getting eggs out of gravel that's got a dirt underlayment could very well lead to more mess than you need . As regards planting , give some thought to java fern , bolbitis , and anubias . Low light stuff you can superglue to stones and pull out of the tank in the event you need to in order to net out any fry that appear in the tank . If you're going to use ferts. , go light . I do low light E.I. dosing every other week or so . Usually I'll use a bare 5 for breeding and load it up with a couple of mops , but just hanging a mop or 2 in the maintenance tank will work out fine , most of the time .

A crap pic of one of my maintenance tanks :

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post #8 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:39 PM
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Lovely tank and killies! Is it true they need to be in schools are are they ok on there own or just with a few? Im interested in some clown killies for my 20 gallon as a top dwelling fish, but according to AqAdvisor they recommend schools of them?

Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta
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Thanks for that information @someoldguy! I appreciate it! I had kinda decided against a capped dirt substrate, in favor of an inert substrate where having to move things around doesn't create any issues. You've just help confirm this for me!
I'd seen A. cinnamomeum listed as a plant spawned some places and substrate spawners in others, I wasn't sure, so this is good to know.

I've got a bunch of Anubias, Java Fern, and moss. I will definitely make use of it. I also have an emersed 55 that is absolutely packed full of Hydrocotyle sp. 'Japan' which I plan to use as a floater. I don't plan on dosing fertz but I may put in a couple root tabs where needed. I guess I'll keep an eye out for cheap 5 gallon tanks for breeders if needed.


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post #10 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 09:34 PM
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killifish

In my experience whether this will work depends on what other species you are mixing them with. Killi fry tend to be slow movers, I finally gave up trying to raise them in my community tank and don't introduce them there until they are about one inch.
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In my experience whether this will work depends on what other species you are mixing them with. Killi fry tend to be slow movers, I finally gave up trying to raise them in my community tank and don't introduce them there until they are about one inch.


These will be separated into 10 gallon species only tanks. I thought about leaving the A. Australe in my 20L Apisto tank. Then I picked up 13 Nannostomus marginatus & I figured the chances of survival would be slim to none!

The first killi tank is filling right now. I probably put too many Crypts into the tank, but oh well. Although this tank may initial house the two pairs of A. cinnamomeum, to get them the hell outta my shrimp tank asap, once the second tank is up and running I might switch them around. I pulled one of the sponge filters from my 20L for this tank and swapped it for a new one. I figured that seeding the tank with a sponge filter that already has loads of beneficial bacteria would help it cycle quicker. I also tossed in the sponge filter that will be used on the second killi tank in to cycle too!

This first tank has the smaller Seachem Flourite substrate. I still have about half a bag, I may or may not use it in the second tank.

The second tank won't be getting set up today. Probably gonna be some time this week for next weekend. I will be heading to a local club meeting next weekend & I'm hoping to pick up a second trio of the A. australe! I will be getting a daphnia culture for sure.

I pretty much can't start any other tanks until I finish my shelving units! I just need to sand and paint them. Shouldn't be too bad.


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post #12 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Tank #1 has been running for the last day now. I haven't done any sort of tests or anything to start a cycle such as adding ammonia. As I mentioned yesterday, I did place one of the sponges from my 20L into this tank.

I tossed a bunch of random plants in this tank. I hacked a ton of Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Japan' out of my 55g emersed tank that is covered in several inches worth, along with about a random dozen stems. From my 55g shrimp tank I grabbed a bunch of wisteria, a small bunch of narrow leaf Java Fern, a couple Anubias nana & nana petite, and a bunch of peacock moss. I tied the peacock moss on some wood that I already had. While I was at Petsmart, I grabbed two good looking packages of Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica', one of Cryptocoryne undulata 'red' & two echinodorus parviflorus. At this point I'm sure there's way too much [censored][censored][censored][censored] planted in here, but I'll thin it out post cycle. Once it's cycled I'll probably switch some of the plants for things that will work better for Killifish breeding and specifically for the fish I've got.

The wood had not been soaking so of course it immediately began floating. I had a decent little scape going, but with the wood not being buried in the substrate so it could be removed easily when needed. Right now it's got a bunch of stones holding it down. In the long run I am not super worried about the scape. I did want some wood in the tank to help put the fish at ease.

I'm trying to set up this particular tank as more of a long term tank for plant spawners versus just a spawning tank with only a mop or moss. Once my shelving is finished, I will start looking into setting up smaller breeding specific tanks, as well as a couple tanks for raising fry. From what I've seen, I think there will be needed a couple sizes of fry tanks.

Ok. Pics....these are just dumped in no particular order. I will try to come back through and make comments on each pic.

















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post #13 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 02:35 AM
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looks dank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmeraldAlkaline View Post
Lovely tank and killies! Is it true they need to be in schools are are they ok on there own or just with a few? Im interested in some clown killies for my 20 gallon as a top dwelling fish, but according to AqAdvisor they recommend schools of them?
I'm planning on keeping them in pairs or trios. Although for some I am planning on getting a couple trios of the same type to keep in a little bit larger tank. One of the species I already have I have two pairs of them, which I am planning on housing together in a 10 gallon tank. Most killies have specific collection points and it is highly recommended not to interbreed them between locations, even with the same species. The majority don't even have common names, but are known by their scientific along with collection data. This can be seen with the ones I've got too, such as the two pairs of Aphyosemion cinnamomeum Kurume APL 13-35. There are several other locations where these have been collected & they should not be mixed. Most species will readily interbreed, though some may produce sterile offspring. For this reason it is also advisable that no more than one species of Killifish be kept in the same tank. If you're interested in knowing more the American Killifish Association has a comprehensive website. I've found it quite useful myself, as I knew next to nothing about Killifish until a couple weeks ago.. I posted a link in the post above this one.

As far as schooling is concerned. I honestly don't know how well they school. My A. australe male has been actively schooling(or perhaps shoaling) with the 13 Dwarf Pencilfish that they are currently begin housed with. The females have been schooling with the Pencilfish, but to a much lesser extent.


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post #15 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 02:19 PM
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Tank #1 has been running for the last day now. I haven't done any sort of tests or anything to start a cycle such as adding ammonia. As I mentioned yesterday, I did place one of the sponges from my 20L into this tank.

I tossed a bunch of random plants in this tank. I hacked a ton of Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Japan' out of my 55g emersed tank that is covered in several inches worth, along with about a random dozen stems. From my 55g shrimp tank I grabbed a bunch of wisteria, a small bunch of narrow leaf Java Fern, a couple Anubias nana & nana petite, and a bunch of peacock moss. I tied the peacock moss on some wood that I already had. While I was at Petsmart, I grabbed two good looking packages of Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica', one of Cryptocoryne undulata 'red' & two echinodorus parviflorus. At this point I'm sure there's way too much [censored][censored][censored][censored] planted in here, but I'll thin it out post cycle. Once it's cycled I'll probably switch some of the plants for things that will work better for Killifish breeding and specifically for the fish I've got.

The wood had not been soaking so of course it immediately began floating. I had a decent little scape going, but with the wood not being buried in the substrate so it could be removed easily when needed. Right now it's got a bunch of stones holding it down. In the long run I am not super worried about the scape. I did want some wood in the tank to help put the fish at ease.

I'm trying to set up this particular tank as more of a long term tank for plant spawners versus just a spawning tank with only a mop or moss. Once my shelving is finished, I will start looking into setting up smaller breeding specific tanks, as well as a couple tanks for raising fry. From what I've seen, I think there will be needed a couple sizes of fry tanks.

Ok. Pics....these are just dumped in no particular order. I will try to come back through and make comments on each pic.

















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Looks like it'll be a pretty good maintenance tank . I'm guessing for the cinnamomeum ? Anyway , once you have the fish in there , and settled for a few weeks , start checking the floaters for fry . You never know and might get lucky .
Might want to get a micro worm culture going before you start any kind of organized breeding .
As I guess you know by now , there's hundreds of species of killies . Don't try to 'collect the whole set' .....
things will get out of hand real fast and you'll burn out . Just play around with 1 or 2 or 3 species .
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