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Johnson 18's Tank Rack! Several Species!

17878 Views 105 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  FischAutoTechGarten
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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I'm certainly no scaping expert, but I think it looks awesome. My only concern would be getting it to flow with such a small amount of open space. I would start with the larger anubias nana on one side then transition to the anubias nana petit and then to the smaller Buces... but there may be other ways to do it to make it look natural. Like I said I'm a beginner.
 

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That rock scape looks awesome. What are you planning to plant? High tech? After a few weeks of C02 I will never go back to low tech. I'm struggling to keep C02 out of my shrimp tank. Is that your main colony in the tank with the Apisto's or do you have a shrimp only tank set up?
 

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I agree with different journals. Its easier to keep things organized. What else would you put in the 40b? I don't know enough about Apisto's to offer any advice. I would definately add both groups at the same time. Either way that will be cool. I'm going to try to add another pair to both tanks at some point.
 

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Will the dominant male tolerate a subordinate in a 3' tank? I very much understand the hybrid concern. My ultimate issue is the Gold Caucatoides. If it were me with what little experience I have I would only do a single male unless you have a solid option to move him.
Will those Plecos not rasp plants? Every type I've ever had (not those) damage plants. I would likely do some combination of Corys, Oto's, and Amano shrimp, or Nerites.
 

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Does the subwassertang grow like moss?? Like attach to wood and stuff?? I want to see some in person. Is it moss-like? It looks kind of like thick wavy noodles, but if it's super small that's ok. Like could someone mistake it for moss-like?
The moss in my tanks is a mess of java moss, Christmas moss, flame moss, and maybe some other stuff. It gets lots of green hair algae and doesn't look that good.
I counted 4 or 5 little fry when I left. I expected more to hatch... got home and I can only find 1 larger one..
I hope it's a male. I will call him Highlander... since there can be only one
 

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I'm excited to see them!! Could you take a pic of the Gertude tank? I'd like to do something with mine so I'm planning out plant purchases. Do you think a maybe like 5" x 5" section of subwassertang on the substrate would be adequate for eggs and then some driftwood branches covered in maybe Christmas moss reaching to the surface would work?? You are already feeding your Gertrudes BBS right? I'm excited to see your results. I'd love to have some better aesthetics in the tanks and if I'm changing it I might as well make it how I want right?
 

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I had a 46 gallon bowfront that I covered into a paludarium with azureus dart frogs (blue and black ones). It was a journey. Like starting off with your first java fern in your 10 gallon Betta tank. If you can swing it, do a mist king system from the start. It was tough.. some plants died and came back.. others just died.. some worked in one area, but no where else for some inexplicable reason. My only suggestion is don't reinvent the wheel upon start up. Start with plants that have a high likelihood of success by what you have seen others do... not by what you think should happen. Java moss is great for ground type areas (But the PDF's don't like walking on it) where as Christmas moss is great some vertical areas that stay damp. DEFINATELY post a detailed journal. I'm getting into terrariums/paludariums again. Ive got a little bowl that I'm trying to grow some terrestrial mosses (That I collected in NC) in and make something for the dining room table. Not having much luck so I may go to java moss.
Those pencilfish come in? You haven't posted pics yet. Maybe you could include some shots of your emersed grow outs? I'm having a hell of a time since I take them outside for light, but then the mid day heat cooks them...
 

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Do you have those outside getting sunlight or indoors? I have heard over and over again about people growing plants emersed for faster growth and propagation... I sure haven't seen that. While my emersed stuff seems to be healthy and growing.. they certainly aren't growing like they are in my high tech tanks!
What species are you growing out for the viv? Will it be high humidity where you might be able to grow some anubias and buce?? I'm very interested in growing out large portions of bucephelandra for my display tanks and I think those rhizome plants would look killer in a viv.
 

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The ferns you are growing out for the vivarium.... are they all high humidity species?? Would they always need to be covered? Do you know species names or common names? I hadn't thought of dividing plants into individual pots inside the Tupperware. Keep plants to their own areas.
Where you buces emersed grown? If not, are they losing their submerged grown leaves? Do new leaves look similar to older leaves?
 
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