• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

MTV-Kribs

ScareCrow

Member
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
I've been meaning to create a journal for a while but haven't got around to it, so now I need to do a bit of a catchup.

The tank was setup at the start end of November 2020.

Substrate is beech and oak leaf mould mixed approximately 50:50 with cat litter. I've also added some Miracle-gro slow release fertiliser to increase longevity. I've topped this with more cat litter.
Hardscape is stone that I've dug up from my garden. Pro's, it's sandstone, inert and free. Con's I've dug up about 2 tonnes of the stuff. I've collected beech branches that had fallen and soaked until they wouldn't float or pretty close. I left the bark on as I've removed back several times in the past and it's a horrible job. I've never noticed any difference between leaving it on or taking it off.

Tank is a AquaOne Aqua Nano 40 (55 Litres)
Equipment is mostly contained in the back section but I've added an eheim ecco 130 as the back section works well as a surface skimmer but is useless at removing detritus and so the mosses were getting covered in detritus.
Lighting is a Chihiros rgb

Immersed plants are:
Pogostemon Helferi
hydrocotyle tripartita
Hygrophila Polysperma
(I ordered rosanervig but got green, so I'll probably add to this).
A few Buces that the Royal Mail kindly took care off for a few weeks, so not looking the happiest but they've all started regrowing
Aegagropila linnaei (Moss ball)
Microsorum pteropus 'Needle Leaf'
Fissidens fontanus
Distichophyllum sp.
Limnobium laevigatum


Riparian plants are:
Philodendron 'Marble Queen' (doesn't show much variegation as it doesn't get much light).
Philodendron 'white butterfly'
tradescantia zebrina
Lysimachia nummularia

Fish: One pair of Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Nigeria red'

I started by making a bag to contain the leaf mould cat litter mix as previous experience with cat litter has taught me that it is very light and probably useless at capping anything below it. I then created the rock structure, on top of some pond egg crate and then placed the structure on top of some stones to provide the kribs a place to hide and hopefully spawn. I glued some plastic to the underside of the egg crate to give them a flat surface to spawn on (this may have been a mistake, more on this below). This is what the tank looked like on the 28th of November 2020.
28th_November.JPG

After this I did very little to the tank other than dose EI at 50%, liquid carbon at 1ml and do weekly 50% water changes. This is the tank on the 10th of Jan.
10th_January.JPG

17th of Jan I added the fissidens and added some more branches to get the height I wanted.
17th_January.JPG

How the tank looks today. I flattened the moss balls and stuck them on to the stone to try and get a more natural moss covered rock look with a sense of scale for this size of tank but I think it looks a bit telly tubby house now. So I'm considering scrapping this and going with coconut hides, essentially just a pile of whole and halved coconuts to look like a natural pile with some structural leaf litter to add to the natural look, reuse the branches in my current setup and then densely plant something along the lines of what @shangman has done as I think it looks fantastic (link here). I think I want to use sand as the cat litter is very lightweight and plants often break free for a few weeks before they establish decent roots. I'd also like the kribs to be able to filter the substrate like they would do naturally. The reason I say sticking the plastic under the egg crate is possible mistake as I'm really struggling to get these kribs to spawn successfully. I don't know if the plastic is too slippery and so the eggs can't adhere to the roof of the cave or whether they just aren't happy with the cave provided. I've tried making the entrances smaller so they had to dig them, they've definitely spawned since being added to the tank and have spawned in a previous setup but only managed to keep 7 (of 9) fry for a few days. They were quite young at that point so I wasn't too concerned. I've kept this krib variant before and they're not as easy to breed as the conventional krib. Last time I didn't manage to get them to spawn at all (that time I didn't have them long before I had to rehome them and breakdown the tank), so if anyone has any advice I'd be grateful as it took me a long time to find them and I'd really like to keep them going this time. My thinking is that if I switch to the coconut hides I can provide more breeding site options and the eggs will definitely be able to stick to the inside of the coconut. I also have some ideas to improve the filtration so I can remove the canister filter but I've bored you enough for now. Thanks for reading.
22nd_February2.jpg

22nd_February1.jpg
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
1,009
Location
London
Oh wow thank you what a big compliment!! I'm so pleased you like it. I was planning on doing a little writeup about how I plant my tank in that thread, I will do it this week in case it's helpful. :)

I think changing to sand is always a good thing in a breeding tank with sand-sifting fish, I love watching them sift. Also it is definitely easier to plant into sand. It's really cute when the babies start to do it but have to spit it out too.

For botanicals I use oaks leaves and a variety of medium and large seedpods from <Blackwater UK> which looks really natural in a nice tropical way, and can give you variety so it's not just coconuts. The seedpods are a really easy way to make beautiful caves, seeing my apistos explore them and my female come out with babies from one was so cool. Also of course they provide more biofilm and microfauna for the babies to eat. If you keep any otos or shrimp they find them delicious as well. Plus they soften the water that tiny bit extra which can help with breeding.

Agree with everyone, the journal name is A+!
 

ScareCrow

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
Thanks @shangman. I was planning to use sand but got worried about compaction as I added too much soil substrate and would need about 10mm cap making total substrate depth of about 40mm maybe a bit more. Subsequent research has lessened my concern so after talking myself out of using the sand I bought 6 years ago with the intention of using it in a tank, I think I'll give it ago. When I dismantle this setup I'll reduce the amount of soil substrate before adding the sand cap though.
My original plan was to use oak leaves that I collected back last year and have dried out but the P.helferi were so small when I got them I thought the leaves might block light getting to them. I'll add the leaves along with some acorn caps I found while collecting the leaves and I add alder cones every week with my water change but normally put them in the back section, so I might drop them in the tank to add some extra interest. They should all help add tannins too which is good as my water is hard (although I'm moving back to using rainwater) and the fish show better colour when there are some tannins in the water. The tank is mostly about the fish with the plants there to make the fish more comfortable with the added benefit that they look nice.
My plan is to do the following but if there are any opinions or advice please share:
1) Remove the back section as it is essentially a sediment trap. I do culture black worms in one of the sections but it hasn't been going as well as I'd like (it's hard to access, which makes 'propagating' the worms tricky). I also culture grindal worms, hatch brineshrimp, feed 5 different types of frozen food and 5 different types of dry food (the fish eat better than I do) so I don't think they're missing out if I can't find an alternative location to culture the black worms.
2) Make a smaller boxed in area to hide the filter and heater, but this will have the intake at the bottom, so more detritus will be collected in the filter, opposed to be the moss. Hopefully this will allow me to remove the eheim (possibly making space for the black worm culture in the cabinet).
3) Reduce substrate depth, add sand cap and replant.
4) Come up with some aesthetically pleasing way to hold the riparium plants. I'm contemplating adding a moss wall, so it might be possible to incorporate something and hide it from view.
5) Add CO2 but at a low rate. This should allow me to stop dosing liquid carbon.

Fish pic for putting up with my rambling, thanks all.

1614074494795.jpg
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
1,009
Location
London
That's a gorgeous fish! Your plan sounds really good, I'm sure your fish will really love it :)

For your emergents/back wall ... In my other tank I have a moss/java fern back wall with a mesh back (which maybe you could shape around the filter/heater or something), and then across the top of it there's a piece of wood, at a slight angle to create a pocket behind it (the wood has 2 suckers superglued to it so it sticks to the glass in place). In that pocket we have some plants, which we put there planning to set up better and more naturally with net and soil but was delayed and now the roots have gone through the pots and into the wall, whoops. I would change it but it's technically my dad's tank so leave it alone for now. There's moss growing on the wood so that bit looks quite nice, and even though it's shady under the wood/pocket the java fern doesn't mind and grew out to the light. It was inspired by @zozo's journal which has some wood with emergents on it that's super nice, <link here>

PXL_20210223_173702157.jpg
 

ScareCrow

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
Thanks for the idea @shangman. I'm thinking I might have a sponge the whole height of the tank in one corner and plant into that, sort of like a matten filter and then have moss back and side walls so it blends in.
I've cut the back section out and have removed some of the leaf mould substrate, ready to be capped over with sand, which is where I'm struggling a bit. I want the substrate to be dark to get the best out of the fish colour, so I ordered some black sand. Problem is it looks really fake to me. I've been trying to tell myself that it could be a river on a volcanic island but I'm still not selling it to myself. The first bag of black sand wasn't enough and stupidly I ordered a second bag before I thought about mixing it with some other sand I have. The pic below is a 3:1 mix of light and black sand. My sales pitch to myself is that it looks like the bed of a very slow moving tributary where lots of organic matter has built up amongst the sand. Is anyone else convinced 😂? I'm going to put loads of leaves on top of it in the end and hopefully have very dense planting so the substrate might not be very visible anyway.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210305_170854.jpg
    IMG_20210305_170854.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 85

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
1,009
Location
London
Thanks for the idea @shangman. I'm thinking I might have a sponge the whole height of the tank in one corner and plant into that, sort of like a matten filter and then have moss back and side walls so it blends in.
I've cut the back section out and have removed some of the leaf mould substrate, ready to be capped over with sand, which is where I'm struggling a bit. I want the substrate to be dark to get the best out of the fish colour, so I ordered some black sand. Problem is it looks really fake to me. I've been trying to tell myself that it could be a river on a volcanic island but I'm still not selling it to myself. The first bag of black sand wasn't enough and stupidly I ordered a second bag before I thought about mixing it with some other sand I have. The pic below is a 3:1 mix of light and black sand. My sales pitch to myself is that it looks like the bed of a very slow moving tributary where lots of organic matter has built up amongst the sand. Is anyone else convinced 😂? I'm going to put loads of leaves on top of it in the end and hopefully have very dense planting so the substrate might not be very visible anyway.
It's hard to tell without a tank shot, but it does look a bit strange... a lot of leaves will do the trick though!
 

ScareCrow

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
So I left it a while without an update and then the longer I left it the more daunting writing up all the changes became.
This will be a step towards getting up to date. I think creating one massive post will terrible to read, so I'll space it out with a few pictures.
Back in March I removed everything from the tank and cut out the rear 'sump' section to give the fish a little more space. I added some of the leaf mould I had in my previous setup but this time with more cat litter added and a lot less substrate in total. This is placed in a mesh bag to help contain it. I capped it over with black sand. I wasn't keen on the sand at the time but it has really brought out the colouration in the fish and I don't think I'll ever use a different substrate again. Hardscape is currently 5 coconuts (buying 5 coconuts and nothing else got some slightly odd looks at the supermarket) and some branches I've tried to arrange to look like a fallen tree. I covered everything in a mixture of mosses and bucephalandras.
This is what it looked like after the rescape.
IMG_20210306_154506.jpg

It was a long day and the coconuts were tired. This what I imagine a yawning coconut would look like.
IMG_20210306_113613.jpg
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
1,009
Location
London
Omg that coconut 💀😂 it's a bit Munch's The Scream!!

Looking forward to seeing your updates and how it is doing now 🙂
 

ScareCrow

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
I made a basket that is filled with mix of various biological media I had spare, to use as a riparium planter. The basket is made of a gardening mesh, suspended in the water by two acrylic rods. I'd like to grow something (I'm thinking mini / trident / needle leaf java fern and mosses or I have some Bacopa monnieri that didn't like growing immersed) over the mesh eventually to help hide it when looking in the tank but at the moment the roots of the limnobium block the view of just about everything anyway.

Pictures of the planter.
IMG_20210408_073553.jpg
IMG_20210408_073539_1.jpg
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210604_072523.jpg
    IMG_20210604_072523.jpg
    839.5 KB · Views: 74

ScareCrow

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
At this point not a lot changed. I gradually switched to using just rainwater and did 50% weekly water changes. I stopped dosing easycarbo. I noticed that even with dosing macro and micro fertiliser at the full dose recommended by aquarium plant food UK, I was still getting holes in the leaves of the Hygrophila polysperma. I also had a single Hygrophila pinatifida turn up with some other plants. I've wanted to try H.pinatifida for a long time but all the mixed reports of other peoples success or lack of, put me off. It did really well for a few weeks but then I forgot to dose for a couple of days. In almost no time it developed more holes than leaves and it didn't recover. I've now upped the macro dose to 15ml on the assumption that there was starting to be a potassium deficiency. I check the TDS before and after water changes. After a water change the tank is at 140-160ppm by the end of the week that creeps up to 200ppm. So I think all of the riparium and floating plants are removing a lot of nutrients.
Annoyingly I didn't take any full tank shots around this time but if you imagine the hardscape above with some scruffy looking moss tied on, some poorly scaped additions of Hygrophila polysperma, needle leaf java fern and Pogostemon helferi along with a piece of Hydrocotyle tripartita that I was some how killing in my previous setup, you'll be pretty close.
Pictures of the fishy inhabitants showing better colouration on a darker substrate.
Polish_20210408_171254283.jpg
IMG_20210407_204654.jpg
Polish_20210408_172100226.jpg
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
1,009
Location
London
Those kribs are STUNNING!!! Will have to keep some one day, what magnificent fish 😍 The kribs look great in their jungley tank

The riparium back is amazing! And great that those plants keep the water so clean, I have read that when you keep plants like that you have to add insane amounts of ferts to feed the aquatic plants 😂
 

ScareCrow

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
Thanks @Courtneybst. I meant to say it was your journal that helped me to decide to use black sand, so thanks.
Interesting you've found the same with APF. I'm not sure if I'll increase the concentration of potassium in the next batch I mix. I'm seeing how big I can grow Limnobium laevigatum after I noticed they're getting quite big. So I think the extra nutrients will help fuel that.

IMG_20210601_214233.jpg
IMG_20210601_214059.jpg

 

ScareCrow

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
Those kribs are STUNNING!!! Will have to keep some one day, what magnificent fish 😍 The kribs look great in their jungley tank

The riparium back is amazing! And great that those plants keep the water so clean, I have read that when you keep plants like that you have to add insane amounts of ferts to feed the aquatic plants 😂
Thanks shangman.
I really want to extend the riparium section so that the tall foliage transitions into shorter foliage toward the front. I'd like some carnivorous plants but not sure if the salts in the ferts will damage them so need to do some research. I know Mr Teapot had a couple in his Green Pekeo pond. Something has happened in the tank that has delayed plans for now though.
I'll leave that little cliff hanger to build suspense for the next update😂
 

Courtneybst

Member
Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
1,002
Location
London
Thanks @Courtneybst. I meant to say it was your journal that helped me to decide to use black sand, so thanks.
Interesting you've found the same with APF. I'm not sure if I'll increase the concentration of potassium in the next batch I mix. I'm seeing how big I can grow Limnobium laevigatum after I noticed they're getting quite big. So I think the extra nutrients will help fuel that.

View attachment 170307View attachment 170308

Awesome! Glad I could help :)

Those Limnobium look ripe and ready!
 

ScareCrow

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
456
Location
South west
So not long after the rescape the kribs settled in and started doing their usual display dance.
Polish_20210607_113003826.jpg

After about 7 days from laying eggs I normally see fry but after that they disappear. This time the male got really aggressive towards the female so I decided to separate him.
I thought this must be the reason the fry aren't surviving. I excitedly started counting down the days but after 7 days I could see the female but no fry😞. I thought I'll leave it another couple of days just in case. That afternoon I was greeted by this (apologies about the glare the tank gets sun in the afternoon).
IMG_20210520_141018.jpg

Approximate headcount is 85 so as Shangman did, they will be free to ukaps members. @shangman, you said you wanted to keep kribs so I'm reading that as you'll be taking a pair or maybe more 😂.
I'll post in the for sale section when they're ready but if you're interested you can PM and I'll remember to contact you.
I'm really happy that they've now spawned successfully. I know kribs (P. pulcher) are easy to breed. Like most people I've had accidental spawns with them but this P. taeniatus 'Nigerian red' artificial colour variant seems to be more tricky.
 
Top