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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Um. I did a thing.....Most of it doesn't effect these tanks at the moment, but it will add to the rack in the future. By future, I kinda mean that I'll be setting up a couple more small tanks tomorrow.....

I made some changes to the stocking of my 55. This means that tomorrow I will be setting up a tank, probably a 10g for all to the Aphyosemion cinnamonuim killies that are currently in my 55. I'll post the actual changes to the 55 in that journal!!

The second tank I will be setting up, which I haven't decided if I should go 5.5 or 10, is for some fish that I added into the existing 10g this evening. I will probably go with a 10g though! So I picked up two pairs of Dwarf Blue Panda guppies!! They are absolutely gorgeous little fish!! I've never been a huge fan of guppies but I've got a friend who picked up a pair of a different variety of fairly rare dwarf guppies about two months ago & has continued to show me pics of these stunning little fish. This got me to thinking about guppies. So when I mentioned it to my LFS owner(who also hooked up my buddy), he pulled these from a tank hidden in his back room & I just had to take them home! Looking around online it seems like a lot of these fish are mostly black but these are almost all blue. I didn't get a good pick, just snapped a pic with my flash right after I got them into the tank.

Internet picture of a male


My [censored][censored][censored][censored]ty pic snapped with a flash as soon as the fish hit the tank.


I'll definitely get some more pictures over the weekend. I can't wait to get these beautiful little fish into their own tanks!

Since I haven't kept guppies in a long time I'm definitely open to suggestions on tank set up for these little beauties. I plan on using a sponge filter, and loading the tank up with Anubias, Hydrocotyle and some peacock moss. No doubt there will be a Crypt or two in there because, well, would you expect anything else from me?! I'll probably light the tank using a couple of the Deep Blue Professional Solar Flare 3w 6700k LED lamps. I don't currently have any substrate other than the bags of ADA Amazonia that are set aside for my 60p, so I'll probably run grab either some pool filter sand or black diamond blasting sand. I'll probably go with whatever is easier to locate close to my house since they are both cheap af. I don't have any spare wood but I do have a bunch of Seiryu stone. I might use a few small pieces of that.

I'll try to get pictures of the whole process as I work through things tomorrow!


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Discussion Starter · #43 · (Edited)
Working on setting up a couple more tanks tonight.



I got a 5.5 gallon up and running using an already seeded sponge filter. I caught 5 of the Aphyosemion cinnamomeum Kurume ADL 13-35 from my 55 and put them in already. There are probably 4 or 5 more left in the 55 that I will try to catch tomorrow. The tank is bare bottomed. I covered the surface with Salvinia minima so that there were no open patches of water. Inside the tank I tossed a couple nice size rhizomes of needle leaf Java fern that have leaves which are a little over a foot long! Plus a couple big balls of peacock moss that I pulled apart a bit so they fill up a large portion of the tank space. I'll be adding some more plants, of course, probably some sort of Anubias, more peacock moss and maybe some Hydrocotyle tripartita sp. 'Japan.' The majority of the water in the tank can directly from the 55, with less than a gallon being new water.

----- I'll put a picture here (later) in the morning once the lights are on & after I fall asleep & wake up! It's 5:30am & I've been awake all night...-----

I'm planning to sell some of these killies at the upcoming Desert Aquarist Society meeting, or maybe Arizona Rivulin Keepers meeting in Phoenix if I can make it up there.

I would like to eventually use this tank to house the Aphyosemion Australe Cap Estérias BSWG 97/24 trio that are currently in the 20G long with my Apisto erythrura & Dwarf Pencilfish. The hope is to add a either a second trio or maybe one male & three of four females. Although, I might put a basic substrate in for that, pool filter sand or black diamond. I may also need to swap it for a 10g if I end up going with the larger breeding group.

I seriously double up on sponge filters in the majority of the tanks that I've got them running in, just for this reason. When I need a new or extra filter, I pull a sponge filter out of a tank with two, replace it with a new one into the tank & use the seeded filter to start a new tank with basically no cycle. (Most of the time!) The tank tonight, for example, the filter has been running in the 10g Killi/Apisto tank for a while. The 10g I'm currently working on for the guppies will get one of the two dual sponge filters that have been running in my 20L Apisto/Dwarf Pencilfish tank for at least a year.

I purchased a bag of pool filter sand today. The plan is to use this sand for the 10g tank for the two Blue Panda Dwarf Guppy pairs I got Friday. I've never used this as a substrate in any of my planted tanks, or aquariums in general I guess! This will be my first time aquascaping with any light colored sand. I'm currently planning to use only Seiryu Stone in the tank, but I do have some manzanita I could possibly use if needed.

Here are a few shots of the layout I threw together tonight. Well, after I explain the following!

Since the short side of the tank is facing the front it's a bit different than scaping for the normal tank setup. For now though the long side is visible and facing my bed, where I often read, study or chill during the short amount of time I'm not in the library on campus. So I have tried to make it scaped to look good from both sides.

I do plan to find some egg crate to raise up the stones a bit higher. Probably raise up the stones specifically at the back and on the left side(when facing the front(short) side...

I also tried to make sure that most of the angles were similar. Along with trying to align the veins running through the stones as well as the textures of the rock



Suggestions are definitely welcome!

Long side






















Kinda the angle I would see a lot...







Well, like I said, I would love to hear your thoughts. I've never done an all stone aquascape. There will be a lot of moss, Bucephalandra, Anubias nana & A. nana petite. Perhaps some of the more rare Anubias species.


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First off may I ask if this is going to be high tech?

IMO i think you should make the rows of rock closer to take up less room, it will also make to have a bigger foreground area for a carpet (more for high tech) and then if you were planning on stem plants you would have plenty of room there too.


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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
First off may I ask if this is going to be high tech?

IMO i think you should make the rows of rock closer to take up less room, it will also make to have a bigger foreground area for a carpet (more for high tech) and then if you were planning on stem plants you would have plenty of room there too.


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I don't plan on this being high tech. It will have either a 24" dual T5HO w/Giesemann bulbs or a dimmable 18" BML 6300k Dutch. Both options will be raised above the tank so the light levels are in the medium to medium low range, which I will test using a friend's PAR meter.

I'll definitely try moving the rocks closer together.

What I tried to do was have the highest point be on the 2/3 mark at the back & put another peak on the 1/3 point but have it be a bit lower than the highest. Maybe I can keep that while still making them tighter together.



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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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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
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.

Disclaimer: This is a long post but I threw in some fish pictures at the bottom!

Definitely won't be using any plants with large leaves. Anubias barteri var. nana might be about the largest. Any Crypts will be small leafed like C. parva, C. x willisii 'lucens', and perhaps one of the taller varieties such as C. spiralis. I appreciate the suggestion to transition from large to small leaves. I'm definitely going to see how that looks.

I still haven't fully decided on the plant layout or what I'm planning on using for the foreground. I've thought about a combo of Hydrocotyle tripartita with a few Hydrocotyle verticillata around the edges, or maybe some of the nice, short Sagittaria subulata. Although, I am checking out several other options that have been suggested to me by a couple friends in the hobby.

As another friend reminded me, "don't stress about the rocks too much, you're going to completely cover them in plants!"

The flow is certainly a concern. I'll only be using two dual sponge filters so there won't be a huge amount of flow. I think with the way the rocks are currently set up I will be able to direct the flow from the two filters to create a circular flow through the tank. I know that the rocks look like they are going to make deep gaps on each side between the glass and rock but I think once a couple inches of sand is added this won't really be too much of an issue. If it is I can always bump up the filtration to a small canister filter.

I am still considering getting some egg crate to stake up underneath some of the stones in the back and against the back half of the left side. If I do this, I will be filling in that space with Hydroton to keep the area from going anaerobic with super deep sand.

Now for some fish pictures that I took this morning, mostly in the 5.5g currently housing the Gertrude's Rainbowfish & 3 Golden Pencilfish from my 55. To get the water nice and soft for the bows, I've been tossing IAL into the tank fairly often which has basically turned the tank into a little blackwater home.














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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Johnson 18's New Rack! Several Species! New Aquascape-Help!!

I picked up two pairs of Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish, Elassoma okefenokee, over the weekend at the local club meetings. These are wild collected fish. I picked up a pair last night at a club meeting in Phoenix and one today here in Tucson. A club member went collecting in Florida among June or July and brought a variety of fish back. I currently have them with the rainbows but I know this is not a long term solution. I'm pretty stoked to have these badass little fish. I've yet to get any pictures of them. Hell, today I couldn't hardly find the pair I got last night.

Here's a shot of a male from the web.


Along with these I grabbed another pair of the Apistogramma urteagai. I'm hoping to eventually use these in the blackwater 40b I've been stock piling goods to build.


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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
Getting the 10g built today. It is sand and Seiryu stone. I decided to put some Amazonia under the sand in areas that I'd like the plants to do well in. There are a couple cups worth total.



Already starting to plant it. Here's the plant list: Crypt. parva, Marsilia minuta, Echinodorus quadricostatus, true Sagittaria subulata, hydrocotyle leucocephala & verticillata, & little leopard Val in the very back.


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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
That is going to look killer... get some pics up of the apistogramma!! Are you going to keep the sunfish with the Apistogramma?


Thanks dude! The Okefenokee's and the Apistos will probably never be kept together. They both have semi bossy attitudes & the Apistos are not an inch long yet & already larger than the Sunfish will ever get.

Here a couple pics of A. urteagai. It's tough to capture these guys in all their beauty. They look fairly dull & then the light catches them just right & their whole body is covered in iridescent blues and greens!









There are also some decent looking shrimp in that 10 too! I'm sure some of the baby shrimp are becoming Apisto food too though.







I've yet to get a good pic, but there is one male Okefenokee that is already looking just as good as the pic I got from the web!

I'm not sure what will go in the 10g I just finished setting up. It depends on where the water parameters settle out at. Here is the finished product, only minutes after I dropped in a well used sponge filter. Either the guppies, Okefenokee's, or two trios of Aphyosemion australe from my 20L.








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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
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?


The 10g with the rock was the plant list I posted earlier today. It is fully planted already. I'll be throwing some stems in to float too for the first couple weeks. It will not be high tech. Currently has a dual T5HO w/Giesemann bulbs-a midday & an aquaflora.

The cherry shrimp are in with the two pairs of A. urteagai & a trio of Aphyosemion sp. 'COFE'. The Apistos are less than an inch. There are easily 75-100 cherries in there.


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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
The 10g with the rock scape that I planted last week has started growing!! I added a more dwarf sag and a bunch of micro sword that I got at the Arizona Aquatic Plants Enthusiasts meeting yesterday.

My haul from the club


First round of adding plants last night




After adding the rest today.




I hope the sag doesn't out compete the E. quadricostatus. I'll be thinning the taller sag. out as needed if that begins to happen. The original true Sagittaria subulata is pretty much the only things that melted in the tank. A random piece of MM here & there but not much.

I've currently got a bunch of Ludwigia stems floating in this tank & I've added some Salvinia minima too.

Haven't tested any parameters. The combination of the well used sponge filter and the Amazonia have the cycling going. I'm not in a rush, I wanted to get the plants going.


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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I finally checked the water parameters on the 10g rock scape tank. It was set up 9/16/17 & today is 9/29.
pH: 7.4
Ammonia: ~0.5ppm
Nitrite: ~1.0-2.0ppm
Nitrate: ~10ppm
TDS: 189

I didn't bother to check anything else even though I've got tests for KH, GH, Phosphate, etc. Once the tank is cycled I'll spend the time to look at everything else.

Looks like there might be a tiny bit of green dust algae starting on the glass. I'm running a way long photoperiod than I need. I guess I really should take my own advice & drop it down a couple hours.

I'm planning on rearranging a few tanks, maybe this weekend. This will include removing the 55 & 20L emersed tanks, combining those plants into another tank, either a 10g or 20H. The goal is to make space for my blackwater 40b. I'm not ready to start that tank build yet but I'm ordering the last of the supplies this weekend. This will also make room for a couple more 10gal & 5gal tanks, & maybe a 20g. I'm hoping to use them for breeding projects for fish I've already got, the 3 species of killies, the Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish & maybe Apisto grow out tanks if I'm lucky!

Since this was a lot of words and no pictures, I hope you read this far. If so, here is a pic of one of my Apisto. urteagai & a cherry shrimp.




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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
New 10 gallon!

Picked up a couple pieces of Malaysian driftwood today that will go in one of the new 10 gallon tanks. This tank will be set up as a blackwater tank with seed pods & leaf litter, although it will definitely have some plants.

Here are the pieces, the pic of the two together is in no way representative of the scape. I'm gonna need a couple more pieces to provide plenty of hiding spots and line of sight breaks.











The current plan for plants is for some swords, like E. parviflorus, E. quadricostatus, or some other small swords. Since I'm using Malaysian driftwood which has such nice crevices, I will almost certainly us some small rhizome plants like Anubias nana petite, & bucephalandra. I will definitely be using some moss too, probably peacock, or maybe I'll use some Süßwassertang, two species that I've already got a ton available. It is highly likely that I'll use some Crypts too, or maybe Vals. If I use stems it might be something fairly simple like water sprite (honestly, kind of doubtful) or star grass.

I would like to use plants I don't have in a bunch of other tanks already. Especially when it comes to swords, stems, and perhaps Crypts/Vals. At the same time, I'm not trying to spend a ton of money on new plants. So it might depend on what's available at October's upcoming club meetings.

The big question is, of course, how will this tank be stocked?!?! I honestly don't know. There are several possibilities, which include: the two pairs of Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish, a pair of Apistogramma urteagai, or a pair of another small Apistogramma species like A. borellii, or ??? There are a number of other species I'd be interested in keeping that would work well in the type of setup!!

Anyone have any thoughts or ideas on this talk set up?!



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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Sorry there aren't many pics in this post. It's definitely a planning post. I will include some Apisto pics I got this morning though!

The $1/gallon sale couldn't come at a better(worse?) time as I'm trying to figure out exactly how I want to set up this the tanks on my rack.

I think the 5 gallon tanks are going to get moved to a different shelving unit on the other side of the room. I've got two currently running and one more unused in the garage. This shelving unit will also hold any shoeboxes & such for killifish. It currently holds many of my supplies, so as I set up more tanks space will open up.

This leaves me with a total of four 10 gallon tanks(two are still unused in the garage) as well as one 20H. I'm going to pick up at least two more 20H tanks, possibly three. I'm thinking about going with more the 20 gallon tanks than previously thought so that I have to room to keep pairs of Apistogramma. This allows me to expand my current collection of Apistogramma species.

The left side will have the blackwater 40 breeder and either a 10 or 20 on the top. The bottom of the left side is the area I have the most indecision about. I think it is just going to have three tanks & the canister filter for the 40. I think my choice is two 20s & a 10 or three 10s. The tanks on the bottom will all be lit by a single 48" dual lamp T5HO that I will hang above the tanks far enough that they are low light. I'll use a PAR meter to figure out where to hang the light. If I decide I need more light I've also got a 30" T5HO that will be unused after I break down the 20L emersed tank to make room for these tanks.

The right side will have the emersed 40 breeder on the bottom and at least once canister filter from the 60p. The top will have either three or four tanks. It really depends on which direction I decide to have my 60p facing. I'm considering placing the short side facing the front of the rack, which puts the long side facing my bed. That's where I spend the majority of my time when I'm in the room anyways. This would allow me to put four tanks on the top.

Many of these tanks will be planted, some heavily others not so much. A few will be blackwater but with some plants like swords, hydrocotyle, and floaters. Many will use only sponge filters, the ones with sponge filters will all contain at least two dual sponge filters. I've got a bag of pool filter sand & will also be scooping up a bag of black diamond blasting sand. I've got the miracle grow soil to go dirted if I want on a couple tanks.

I'm picking up an ro unit this weekend. More on this later

If anyone has ideas on making this rack function easier or ideas on set up or anything, please feel free to comment & help me out. I've never tried to run so many tanks at once. Well, I've currently got 9 tanks running. Overall this will only add a couple to the total number I'm running, bumping the total to like 12 or 13 depending on how many 5s I keep running.

If you've actually read all of this, THANK YOU! Let me know what you think!

Now for a few pictures! The Apistogramma urteagai are looking good!







Plus an Okefenokee



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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I took my 750 lumen LED bike light to the 10g that's got all the different species in it currently. All my fish hate me now.

I saw some adult Apistogramma urteagai a couple weekends ago in a local guy's fishroom. I was pleased to see the the fin size to body size ratio stays about the same. These guys fins are almost as large as their body, which I absolutely love!







Male blue panda dwarf guppy







Adult female Aphyosemion sp. "COFE"







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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I know, I know, so many posts... well, even better than bike lights, freshly hatched baby brine shrimp! My fish in every single tank went nuts, absolutely nuts! This is the first time I have hatched them. It was super easy & I've already started another small batch. My main reason for starting my own live food was the wild caught Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish. I've struggled to feed these little guys. Having tried a number of foods, dried and frozen, with quite little success. I purchased a small daphnia culture a couple weeks ago, unfortunately, I fed too many of them before the culture was really able to get going. Then I put in WAY too much yeast & fermented the rest. I've currently got a bucket going that has a bunch of random micro organisms living in it. Will be picking up another large daphnia culture next week & adding it to this. I've also got some daphnia pulex cysts I will be attempting to hatch. I'm going to attempt to get a starter culture of Grendel worms too.

Now onto the fun part!! After feeding the 10g tank with the A. urteagai I was lucky enough to witness two fish, I think of the same sex, posturing for control of this little cave area on the side of the tank less viewed. I think it's the females from the few pictures & descriptions I can find, but I could be totally wrong. These same two were posturing in a photo a couple days back too. The smaller fish stood its ground and kept its cave. These fish need a larger tank soon, though the two pairs will probably continue to stay in the same tank, and may get a third pair added, if they go into the 40B.
Just FYI, since there a bit of a glare on that side, the larger fish enters from the right...







This is the first pic the larger fish is visible in.






















There are way more pictures in the series but I figured these showed a good representation of what happened. These also show the best color I've ever gotten on camera! Thoughts? Comments?




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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Found what I think was the smaller male Apisto dead this morning. No signs of illness. With the standoffs I've been seeing with the females lately, it wouldn't surprise me if it was bullying. They have obviously reached that age where it is possible. And as you can see in the pictures of the females, there is certainly a size difference.

I'm skipping my first class to do a water change. I'll leave some aside to test this evening. I tested it the same day I checked the new 10g & everything was fine. I did feed some newly hatched bbs two days ago, but tried not to feed in excess where they'd be dying & decomposing in the tank. This could have happened though as it was the first batch of brine shrimp I have hatched.

Definitely a little bummed. I hate to see livestock die in my care but it happens to us all. Fortunately, I know where to get another pair when it is time to stock the 40B. Like I said when I posted the pictures of the females, the blackwater 40B tank needs to get started as soon as possible. I may try to do that on Saturday. I'll be moving the canister from my 55, which currently has two & way too much flow, so I would think the cycle would only take a week or so. You never know with that though!

I'm not sure if I should add the blackwater tank to this journal, or start its own journal. What do y'all think?


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