Journal Ottoloen Project

Discussion in 'El Natural & Low Tech' started by AverageWhiteBloke, 25 Oct 2017.

  1. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    If you like getting into a journal from day dot then this is the place to be :) Be prepared for a very slow burner, I'm in no rush with this one so will just potter about as and when I'm in the mood. You've actually just caught me in the thinking out loud phase, just dug out whatever I have sitting around, still wants a proper clean, just looking for inspiration at the minute. It's my first intentional low energy tank so there will be more questions than answers I guess.

    Firstly the brief
    The title "Ottoloen" is for low energy Otto tank. I'm going to do this species only, the reasoning, sick of buying poor standard ottos with low survival rates so my intention is give them a tank of their own without being hassled or having to deal with co2. I'm hoping going forward I might be able to raise some and maybe even get a colony of them going. There's also a second part to the plan. I'm moving house somewhere in the next 4-6months, renting at the moment and recently had to move my high tech setup warts and all still running (Not for the faint hearted) :nailbiting: One thing I do know is I won't be doing that again, where I'm moving to will be getting some work done so I could do without working round a tank so next time the high tech is getting stripped and this tank will be functioning as a holding pen until I set that up. Nothing in my current collection of fauna that would jeopardise any young Ottos I may have at the time other than one pair of Blue Rams but I'll have to jump off that bridge if I ever get there.
    Anyone bred Ottos I'd love to hear from you, can't really find much and those with success don't seem to know why they spawned when they did regarding parameters. Also don't know which plants are best suited yet so looking for advice there. I suppose I best start what what I do know so far.

    Tank 600x350x300 about 60 ltrs after scape I guess
    Lighting Some generic LED I had kicking around with option of Blue and White LED's switched separately
    Substrate Going to be cat litter just becasue I have tons of it from previous projects, still undecided whether to dirty this or just Osmocote under the gravel initially.
    Filtration Air driven sponge although now looking at it in the tank I suspect I should get a double one instead, I put an APS surface skimmer in there before thinking it will do for more water movement, it does have a grill but if fry are the game I don't want them hoovered up so I may use initially and switch to a koralia I have kicking around although I suspect this may be too powerful. Hmmm
    CO2 No chance but I do have a setup ready as well as LC diy if needs be but that defeats the purpose.
    Fertiliser See above and maybe making up some kind of all-in-one solution
    Hardscape Some lumps of wood I also had, had more but the scape was already looking cluttered, the three bits in there had the far most interesting features. I'm also thinking it may need a stone of some kind for contrast, plenty of rivers near me so I'll have a look see what's out there.
    Plants The million dollar question, hoping to use as many cuttings from my high energy as possible to see how they fair. I have a decent MC carpet in there and S.Repens, not sure how they would fair in here.
    Water I have natuarlly soft tapwater of about 2gh and 1kh with TDS of 85 (I know southerners you hate me :D) So should be fine just using the tap

    I think that's all I have for now, the tank sits on my office desk but I'm not always there, more often on site so the Ottos should be find when Dad's away if I get some vegetable matter in. Ideally looking for the least interaction from me as possible. If the day comes when I have to move my high energy inhabitants in there I will also be using my existing canister to keep that running but for now filtration wise I will just be catering for 6 to 8 Ottos.

    Thanks for taking the time to read.....Here we go.

    101.jpg
     
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  2. gabriel.basso

    gabriel.basso Member

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    Very nice idea WhiteBloke! I'm tired to see people treating ottos just like a janitor algae eater fish and not giving them the proper attention they deserve regarding their health and comfort.

    I'll be watching you on this project!


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  3. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Appreciate that buddy :thumbup: I'll have to be honest here, if I have any success the Ottos raised probably will end up at some point being janitors in my high tech but the ones I already have are living the dream. Just annoying that I had to buy about 25 to end up with 8 healthy ones.
     
  4. gabriel.basso

    gabriel.basso Member

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    Yeah... here in Brazil most of them arrive at fish stores in a very bad shape, starving and weak.

    Some die in LFS but most part go to recently flooded tanks with lots of amonia, CO2 and unstable ph.

    I'm planning to have a group of them in my planted tank also. But I'll wait until the tank is well cycled and stable.



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  5. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Yeah they turn up in stores in the UK usually in a pretty similar state. Often kept in stock tanks with no place to hide and fish that are far too boisterous for them :(
     
  6. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    First thoughts are filter, not enough on this size tank?
     
  7. Konsa

    Konsa Member

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    Hi
    If U plan on breeding the ottos the Koralia is also not fry safe.I have 4 ottos in my 36l low tech heavily planted tank with about 20 cherry shrimp.Filter TetraTech400 with lilypipe.I keep them at 22degrees Celsius and fed rarely.Managed to trigger spawning with waterchange with colder water and increase of temperature to 24 straight away.At least thats what I only changed .TDS of the tank is in 205-230 range.Cant tell how many fry survived as too many hiding spaces but seen 4 together a week ago.Since the fry was free swimming I feed the tank every other day and keep a katapa leaf in too.There was a lot of biofilm there but lately swapped ferts and the tank is doing better even my dirty filter hoses are clearing themselves.Dont clean or trim the tank just 50-60%of water in/out.I imagine that using some shrimp food biofilm builders( GlasGarten Bacter AE or simular ) may be beneficial for the fry too.
    Now a month later the female is full but yet to see second spawning (may try the temperature swing again)
    Hope that helps
    Regards Konsa
     
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  8. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Appreciate the info Konsa, the ones I have in my hitech had some large bellied females in there most times but whether they spawned I don't think I would ever know and fry wouldn't stand a chance anyway. There is also some talk of spawning coinciding with times of low pressure just before a storm. Make of that what you will!

    Will also be adding Oak and Almond leafs and hopefully some Alder cones. I do have a spare canister filter but little time so I'm hoping to stay with sponges so it's just a case of out, wash and back in. I've also talked myself out of the "dirty tank" as well for the same reason. I like the concept of it but some people have had problems and I don't want any problems with this setup. I think I'll try osmocote under gravel and duck weed as a nutrient canary, see if I need to add ferts at some point when the osmocote runs out.

    To bring the tds up a touch I'll probably just try some combination of traces, magnesium and possibly potassium sulphate in an all in one dosed weekly unless the plants are telling me anything different.

    Some of my ottos in my main tank, they will be staying where they are though and I'll try with a fresh group when this is established. Don't think I could catch them even if I wanted to anyway haha

    [​IMG]

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  9. Konsa

    Konsa Member

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    Hi
    I have the canister filled with siporax and one coarse sponge before it.I have one Chinese Fluval edge prefilter sponge knock off on the intake which is fine sponge and pull it out weekly for a rinse.I haven't opened the filter for about 5 months now.Last time I opened it it was 6 months untouched and it was all good inside very little mulm just shaked the baskets in tank water and back in. Think I could do with another minimum 5 months easy before opening it again.Ottos are very low bioload too.I will defo go for the canister instead of adding extra circulation pumps and skimmer
    Regards Konsa
     
  10. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    I hear what you're saying mate. The sponge filter in there does actually fit on the end of filter pipework both 17 and 12mm which I didn't realise before I bought it which is handy. I do have a couple of spare externals with 12mm pipework so it in an option. I find though even with a pre-filtet the impeller gets a thin coating on it and does still slows down after a month or so.

    Having said that, one of the points of the tank is low energy in every sense of the word. I'm looking to see what can be achieved with the minimum power not just the light so if I can get this to work just off an air pump which has little consumption that's good for me. If I need to start upping things as I go along I'll play it by ear. I'm more wondering at the moment whether the surface area of the sponge will be sufficient. There's obviously not going to be a lot of water movement from it but I'm not sure if circulation in a low tech is as important in high energy?

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  11. Konsa

    Konsa Member

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    Hi
    Sounds like a good plan.
    Sponge filters are well oxygenated and worked wonders for me in past with heavily overstocked tanks.If lightly stocked it will be enough combined with the plants.As for water movement its important to have some but U dont need it as strong as in high tech tank.U need to try and as U said the plants will tell U.In mine I have loads of dead spots( and some plant melt) due to being overgrown but I consider it test tank and am pushing it to see what I can get away with not trimming and other things.
    Good luck with the project and keep us posted
    Regards Konsa
     
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  12. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    I've never managed to catch any of the Otocinclus in the larger tanks, it looks like it should be easy, but they seem to manage to secrete themselves in places that you can't reach.

    I think you are fine with just the air powered sponge filter, personally I'd just use a bigger sponge block.

    cheers Darrel
     
  13. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    There is another option of the same filter but with two sponges, only a couple of quid so I think I'll get one anyway Darrel. The sponges are interchangeable anyway so I'll run the single in my Hi tech for a while and when the double comes just put the seeded sponge on that.
     
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  14. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    first.jpg Hmmmm, think that extra bit of wood is a bit too much? Toying with the idea of putting my substrate in this weekend. I think I'm going to just place small stones around the Base of the wood.
    [​IMG]



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  15. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Apologies for anyone who was looking forward to this but some life circumstances have changed. Still going to push on with it but unfortunately the Otto's aren't getting the place to themselves :( I'm moving house possibly on the 1st of Jan, where I'm going needs some work so can't really move my ADA60H in tact like I did last time so this tank is now going to have to be a holding pen for the inhabitants of that tank so I can strip it down.

    So the fauna are going to be...
    1xpair German Blue Rams
    6 Neon Tetras
    6 Sterbai Corys
    Some Ottos (TBC when I catch them)
    Some Amano Shrimp (TBC when I catch them)

    Hopefully I can stay true to the initial plan and replace natural losses with more ottos so I eventually end up with an Otto system at some point. As this tank is in my office which I'm not at for extended periods looks like I need to purchase an automatic feeder as well. At least the Ottos could have been left to their own devices with some veg in there.

    I need to get a wiggle on with this one, so without further ado, quick update, everything is as before except I upgraded the filter to a duo sponge, probably for the best considering the new stocking levels. Stuck a 100 watt Juwel heater in I had sitting around (untested :nailbiting:)

    Washed approx 14 ltrs of cat litter I had kept from previous projects and made a start. Pushed the gravel to the edges and added a sprinkle of Osmocote

    IMG_20171212_1302589.jpg

    IMG_20171212_1303129.jpg

    No science was involved in the Osmo, just sprinkled some in and topped off with the remainder of the cat litter. I tend to find cat litter isn't the best planting medium as its too light and the Osmo beads eventually make their way to the surface which I pick out with the tweezers but only time will tell.

    IMG_20171212_1327349.jpg

    I'll have to try and keep the plant cuttings as small as possible to make them less buoyant until I get some root growth to anchor them. IME cat litter is a PITA that way. My thoughts now are can I get this tank fish safe in 19days :eek: Looks like as many plants as I can initially get in and plenty of water changes are in order. Will also run the filter in my existing tank for a while. Does anyone know if the Osmocote is going to leach a lot of Ammonia?

    So that's where I'm at, failing that I might have to rent where I'm living for another month until I can put my fish in there. Can't see that going down well with the OH :D Got my wood soaking in a bucket of water although to be fair it sank straight away with being some large lumps.
     
  16. tam

    tam Member

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    Shame the plans had to change, but that just gives you another project when the new place is ready :) I've just upped the Otos in my 70l to six - it's lovely to see them hanging out together. They are all out front and centre eating algae wafers at the moment.

    I've got them with a shoal of embers - I had a single little bonus ember appear a couple of months ago - the prefilter sponge sounds a good idea - I wonder if I add that I might end up with more and maybe some bonus Otos too. I've just got a standard intake at the moment.

    I saw tip somewhere to put a little super glue on the end of the stem and roll it in the substrate and then it's got a built in anchor until the roots grow ;)
     
  17. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    Yes it will.

    cheers Darrel
     
  18. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Hmm interesting. The sponge filter I have in there which was only a couple of quid at auction site can act as a pre-filter for both 17 and 12mm pipework, well worth it if you want to save fry.

    Yeah that was my worry Darrel, probably shot myself in the foot there by adding it. my water although soft is alkaline, around 7.2-7.3 I'm wondering, although I have no intention of running co2 on this tank whether it would be in my interests to have a little co2 trickling in 24/7 to try and keep the PH down and reduce Ammonia toxicity in between water changes?
     
  19. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    I've also let my Duck Weed grow to unhealthy amounts in my other tank so I can nigh on cover the full surface in this tank but not sure if they can keep on top of the ammonia.
     
  20. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    They both sound a good idea.

    If you can raise the sponge filter, so the top of the air lift is at surface level you will get more flow and greater levels of oxygen, but it might sink the Duckweed.

    Have you got a conductivity meter? It won't tell you how much NH3/NH4+ you have, but it will give you a good idea of how quickly the nutrients from the Osmocote have gone into solution.

    That is quite a lot of Osmocote you've added, and if it all went into solution you would get a rise of ~1000 microS (1 milliS).

    cheers Darrel
     

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