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Creepy Hollow

Kogre

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14 Apr 2013
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Derby
I've not seen any additional fry, and chunky is still seemingly chunky.

The fry are bigger now, around 5-7mm. It's pretty nice to see how dedicated the mothers are to keeping threats away. The father comes along and tries to help but gets his face tail slapped away.

I had 6 otocinclus delivered yesterday. It's like they didn't miss a beat, they settled in the tank almost immediately after acclimation. They even try to school with the tetra. Sometimes when they inadvertently approach a mother and her brood, they'll get nipped at a bit, and they sort of dart around the same vicinity almost confused until they eventually do swim away. A really nice addition to the tank.

The double red spends most of his time in hiding. I've ordered a couple more that are adults to help spread the aggression.

I had a few hygrophila pinnatifida delivered on Tuesday. I left it to float for the most part until today (some is still floating while I figure out where best to place it). I love the texture of the leaves of this plant and think its' addition to the tank is a welcome one. I'm not committed with what I have done with it so will play around with a few ideas.

The swords seem to have found their footing, with some leaves changing texture/pattern and soaring towards the top (well... relatively soaring...).

The sag continues to explode everywhere, with runners shooting off and coming through.

I've just cleaned the pre-filter on both filters and replaced the floss. I probably shouldn't leave it so long till I do it next time. No excuse really considering how easy the pre-filters are on the Biomasters.

There are still places gagging for more narrow leaf java ferns. I will order some in a few months.

Sorry for the schoolboy error of the reflection of light from under the curtain onto the radiator... this was not long after water change, hence the bubbles. Seems more settled and clear now.

IMG_20210501_141657.jpg
 

Kogre

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I'm not sure if this is normal behaviour, and perhaps anyone who is informed can tell me if it is, but one of the females has burrowed a cave under a rock. I think she's priming to lay or may have already done so as she has been fighting with the mother that lives on the left for most of the day. Even watching them joust is interesting, they extend their jaws to make themselves look bigger and then just glance off one another.

I guess these may be related to geophagus so burrowing of sorts should be expected. I'd just never read anything about this kind of behaviour.
 

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
but one of the females has burrowed a cave under a rock.
She didn't have a suitable cave (or didn't like the look of the ones you've provided). The like caves with a very narrow entrance, too small for the male to physically enter the cave and low down near the substrate so that they can block the hole up even further.

I Like half coconuts, you can <"glue moss and ferns to them">.

cheers Darrel
 

shangman

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13 Jul 2020
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304
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London
100% what @dw1305 said!

Another very aesthetically pleasing and practical option is seedpods, particularly the cariniana pods, because they have a very small opening that the motherfish can just fit in and block any other fish. My apistos spawned in pods, my female went around and checked them all daily before choosing a cariniana pod, and my male also liked to lounge in a large buddha pod sometimes lol. I got some from <blackwateruk.com>, but I went to Crowder's Aquatics a few weeks ago and they have loads <which you can see here>, including the cariniana ones. I also found that all the types of pods get quite hairy and covered in tiny tiny creatures that the very small fry would feed on which was useful too.
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
Crowders do have an astounding selection of botanicals, not to mention hardscape, which you can see in their shop tour video here (45 seconds in):


It still boggles my mind that they don't have a website!

I may have to pop in there when we are eventually allowed to visit friends in Woking/Guildford.
 

Ian61

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26 Mar 2021
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Keswick
Hello. Just re-read this thread from the start. Very enlightening and pertinent to my own new start up. Just shows how helpful this forum is.
One query. Do you have any sort of surface skimming?
I have just installed a skim-2 skimmer from APS having deliberated over other similar models versus skimming filter intake pipes. It appears to to be working excellently and great value for a tenner, and making more appreciative of this forum as it seemed to be the consensus recommendation. Pic shows it tucked away in the back corner.
 

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Kogre

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To be honest when I put the tank together I didn't expect or consider any breeding, so making caves wasn't something I planned or designed into putting the scape together. The hollow itself is more of a lurking junction with numerous entrances and exits so that is serving its function in that respect. I'm not even sure how the other females spawned. They may also have done the same thing. If that is what they choose to do and is something they're comfortable with, I might just leave it as it is. Thank you for the insight though, it tells me I have yet another batch of fry incoming... I'm going to have to start laying traps to catch them as the tank will be over run with them otherwise.

@Wookii Wow just watching that video triggered me into wanting to buy more hardscape for another setup. I'm fighting the urge for now... >_<

Hi @Ian61 thank you for taking the time to go through this journal, I appreciate it. The skimmers I had were on stainless steel inlets that were far too short (but very aesthetically pleasing) to reach the lower depths of the aquarium so I ended up ditching them and going back to using the ones that came with the filter, only I ended up extending them to reach closer to the substrate using a spare pipe I bought. When I didn't run an airstone, I noticed biofilm accumulation so I've started to run one 24/7 (for now) while I'm dumping baby brine shrimp into the tank as I also have the hatchery connected to an air pump and running anyway. The airstone keeps the biofilm forming (at the very least, I'm not seeing it) as it breaks the surface when the bubbles pop. I also have a ton of plants floating so skimming just meant more maintenance with removing stuck plants/decaying matter from the skimmers. As yours looks to be easily removable and you don't appear to have floating plants, you won't face the same issues I did.
 
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Kogre

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I'd like to ask the community about the value of TDS meters.

I've been wondering whether it would be useful to baseline my tap and tank post water change, and monitor over the week to see whether I can see any trends to what is happening in the tank.

If there is value in this, are there any cheapish options out there that anyone can recommend or is it a case of you get what you pay for with more consistent and accurate readings from something pricier?

OR is it a waste of time and just something that will needlessly cause worry over nothing?
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
I'd like to ask the community about the value of TDS meters.

I've been wondering whether it would be useful to baseline my tap and tank post water change, and monitor over the week to see whether I can see any trends to what is happening in the tank.

If there is value in this, are there any cheapish options out there that anyone can recommend or is it a case of you get what you pay for with more consistent and accurate readings from something pricier?

OR is it a waste of time and just something that will needlessly cause worry over nothing?

I think its useful to have one, particularly when starting out or using RO water and the like. I have this one:

Amazon product
Though its gone up 50% in price since I bought it! :oops:

That said, I've not really used it for a long time, and I think if you do large weekly water changes, you don't need to test regularly.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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11,915
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I'd like to ask the community about the value of TDS meters.

I've been wondering whether it would be useful to baseline my tap and tank post water change, and monitor over the week to see whether I can see any trends to what is happening in the tank.

If there is value in this, are there any cheapish options out there that anyone can recommend or is it a case of you get what you pay for with more consistent and accurate readings from something pricier?

OR is it a waste of time and just something that will needlessly cause worry over nothing?
I think <"they are useful"> for giving a conductivity (TDS) <"datum range you can use a baseline">. The <"other advantage"> is that even a cheap low range meter (~£50) will give you an accurate reading and doesn't continually <"need re-calibrating">.

cheers Darrel
 

Kogre

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14 Apr 2013
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I saw that the first mother had "lost" her brood, with only two or three fry in the general vicinity wondering around aimlessly and trying to keep hidden. Then I saw that the second mother had in fact somehow stolen the majority of the brood! I can't tell from counting as there are far too many plants that hide them but I can tell from the size of the fry, the first mothers fry were a little larger now the second mother has a broad range of sizes, with some of them too large to be her own.

These fish have certainly not failed to amaze.
 

shangman

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13 Jul 2020
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London
You've got so much fascinating behaviour happening wow!!

I can't remember where I found it now, but somewhere online I read that new mother apistos sometimes steal/share babies, because the younger fry learn to read the signals from their mothers better from older fry (compared to on their own), so the young fry have better survival rates. You can tell us if it seems true!
 
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