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Discussion Starter #21
Agassizii can be a bit tricky as they can be finicky when choosing a mate. I had some Fire Red and Abacaxis have successful spawns but with no grow outs. The biggest thing is to ensure they feel comfortable.

I have ordered from Tannin twice. Both times I just bought whatever pods I liked. FYI, I love the banana stems. For leaves I just use hard wood leaves from the yard.

Later on as the tank ages the tannins will fade to the point it becomes a “clear water” biotope. I chased tannins for the longest time trying to recreate black water with a small bit of success. When that happens Robios tea is your friend.

I’ll get some pics of the Panduro babes for you later tonight.


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I suppose I'll give them some more time to settle in, and keep an eye on how thing progress. They get along just fine, but she usually looks at him a bit then swims away.

I'll likely place an order from tannin for some pods and things. Really it is for the looks vs. straight tannin adding. I also have been collecting oak leaves from the tree in my backyard to use eventually. Should probably grab a bunch more that are on the tree now before the completely winter over.

As for the rooibos tea was it as simple as making a cup of tea, cooling it, then adding to the tank after a water change? I should have a bit of time before I get to that stage, but figured I would ask what you have done in the past and have it documented here!

And can't wait to see the pictures of the little ones swimming around your tank.
 

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I just use hot water in a large glass and add it to the tank once it cools. I use 1 tea bag per 10 gallons and it works great. It gives it a great look without making it too dark.



Pictures aren’t the best. The little guys wouldn’t cooperate with me last night and stop darting around.


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Discussion Starter #23
@Nlewis Thanks for the advice on the blackwater. Later on when the tannins are not so present I'll give that a try. Also, very nice on the little apistos, it must be a blast to watch them grow and interact!

As I look around for botanicals, I have seen Tannin Aquatics. They seem to get good reviews, and praise on this forums well as others. Are there any other places people recommend? I am not looking for leaf litter, but more of pods and things of that nature to help enhance the look of the tank and the feel to the environment for the apistos.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Over the past week I ended up adding some more branches from the Japanese Maple drying in my garage. This time no boiling or anything, just plopped them in and wait a few days for them to sink. I think it is a decent look, though likely needs a little arranging. Doing that with a surface full of floating plants can be a bit tough, so maybe in a few more days I'll thin it out even more and do some arranging.

On another note I finally purchased a temp controller. Never have I ever used one, and knock on wood I have not yet had a heater issue. They are just cheaper Azoo units, the Micro Temperature Controller. My thought is to use it as a fail safe (set about 1 degree C above where I want the tank) and let the heater set the temperature. I am not sure if this is the proper use, but I have the blackwater set to 26 C right now. I also added a new sticker thermometer just to see where things were at. Really new, but so far seem decent. Would love to hear from anyone else who has experience with this unit, or temp controllers in general.

Here are a few pics on how things are looking.

Temp controller:



Random shots:















FTS:

 

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Got to love finding babies!!

As far as the temp controller, I have the controller for setting the tank temperature. I have the heaters set to about 5 degrees above (81F), in fahrenheit for my temp controller. The theory is that the actual heaters fail at the bimetallic strip device in the heater, from the opening and closing of the power across it. So if you can have it not get that arc from power on and off that should help the heater last longer. At least this was the logic I followed for using the controller to set the temp and the heaters as the failover.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Got to love finding babies!!



As far as the temp controller, I have the controller for setting the tank temperature. I have the heaters set to about 5 degrees above (81F), in fahrenheit for my temp controller. The theory is that the actual heaters fail at the bimetallic strip device in the heater, from the opening and closing of the power across it. So if you can have it not get that arc from power on and off that should help the heater last longer. At least this was the logic I followed for using the controller to set the temp and the heaters as the failover.
Thanks for the temp controller feedback. I'll need to read a bit more but that makes sense as a safety to have ot cut the power at the set temp vs. the heater doing it.

And yes, exciting to find babies unexpectedly. Let's hope some make it through the first few weeks!
 

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Discussion Starter #31
The parenting that is happening in this tank is extremely impressive right now. Mom is all over the babies, who are already quite adventurous. It is exciting to watch her change her body language and how the babies will all react and follow her around. She keeps moving them around the tank to different spots every so often, and will not let anyone (well dad is okay so far), not even the oto's, get close to her little ones. When a few get too far away she takes them in her mouth and brings them back home. She has quite the touch! Reminds me a little of the African Cichlid days!

Even dad, who I read was supposed to not care about raising the young (for agassizii at least I read) is defending the area from the pencil fish (who really are not seeming interested in eating anyone) and the oto's (the most peaceful fish ever...). He lacks a little with the careful touch when trying to move the little ones, so he better leave that to mom (hes not eating them, but in true dad style is a little rough with the kids and too young an age, ha).

I know it is only day two of having the little ones, and there is quite a while to go for this to be successful, but it is an amazing experience to watch nature like this happen in your home!
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Mom and dad continue to protect. Still have over 20 fry hanging around. These little ones seem like they will be slow growers for sure.

Really moving around the tank as a unit, exploring quite a bit.

I did add a few more leaves to stimulate some more microbe growth.

Picture with mom and dad protecting. And you can see a few fry to the left. Super difficult to focus on with a phone camera, and no macro lenses for my DSLR.
 

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Mom and dad continue to protect. Still have over 20 fry hanging around. These little ones seem like they will be slow growers for sure.

Really moving around the tank as a unit, exploring quite a bit.

I did add a few more leaves to stimulate some more microbe growth.

Picture with mom and dad protecting. And you can see a few fry to the left. Super difficult to focus on with a phone camera, and no macro lenses for my DSLR.
Damn... I guess I know my plans for tonight, move my female into the tank with the male....
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Congratulations! These two fish are so amazing!
I love this tank.
Thanks! I have been quite impressed by them. I'll be honest didn't expect any fry to make it one week in.
Those Apistos look stunning!


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Thanks! It really is crazy how beautiful those fins can get with no fighting or nipping. When I purchased them from the store the male was okay looking but didn't have nearly the tail he has now.

Hopefuly some of these fry make it, very curious to see how they raise up!
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Removed some of the floating plants, wow they grow fast. Getting plenty mor delight into the tank now.

There are about 10 or so fry left (I think) and of those some seem much larger than others. Still hoping for a few of them to pull through. Live BBS feeding is not an option, so I have been using the hikari first bites, and feed the tank with frozen cyclops as well as frozen brine shrimp.














 
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