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South American 400l

Conort2

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Those pencilfish are just... incredible!! How many to you keep? Can finally see why they're so pricy. Really all of these fish look so beautiful, colourful and healthy.
I’ve got a total of 7 in there. They’re much more well behaved now they’re in a larger tank, they still have disputes but the damage they inflict on each other is no where near as bad as before.

They are definitely one of my favourites, they’re extremely curious and watch me as much as I watch them. The funny thing this is probably them at their worst. When they have territorial disputes they literally glow scarlet red all over.

Cheers
 

Conort2

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Some pictures of the new tucano tetras, settling in well.

Cheers
 

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Conort2

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Think it’s fair to say he likes live blackworms.
 

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Conort2

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Happy new year everyone, hope you’re all good. Just a few rubbish pictures of the catfish that live in the tank. They’re not the easiest to take pictures of before they disappear into the shadows!
 

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Conort2

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Didn’t think I’d have any eggs this soon but already had a spawn from the corydoras tukano, the eggs appear unfertilised but it’s a start. I’ve been feeding them up with live black worms as they was still pretty skinny when I got them. I didn’t think they was in good enough condition yet to spawn but clearly I was wrong. I’ll keep up the heavy feedings now and water changes with cool RO water. This spawn was after a water change so didn’t take much of a trigger. Think I may have to go lower with the tds and add some alder cones if I want to get a viable spawn though.

Cheers
 

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Conort2

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I haven't gone back over all the posts but if you want to make it super natural,you could replace the Crypts and Anubias with S.A. plants like dwarf sword or as I just learned the other day- Christmas moss is native to Brazil. Alternanthera for color,and a few South American lilies. Finding plants for them is plentiful. I tried to find plants for Rainbows of New Guinea and forget that..nothing from there is sold here.
I know you know the plants..but maybe a nudge to make it even more authentic.
It was something I thought about however this is far from a biotope. There are fish from all over South America in here. At one point it was going to be an Orinoco biotope but I already had quite a few fish from Peru.

There was a substantial amount of swords in here until recently but I took them out as they were being eaten by the ancistrus l183. One day I will do a proper biotope but I just can’t resist adding plants from different areas eventually.

Cheers
 
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Djoko Sauza

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I'm curious about your water parameters. Do you have any idea what your gh and kh levels are?
And what is your fert dosing regime?

I'm interested in lowering my tds and it looks like you've struck a good balance.
 

Conort2

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I'm curious about your water parameters. Do you have any idea what your gh and kh levels are?
And what is your fert dosing regime?
Nothing is very exact. I aim roughly for a tds of around 60/70 when remineralising my RO water with equilibrium. I dose the tank with roughly a half to a third of ei levels. But it varies, I noticed my tds had started to creep up to nearly 200 recently so I undertook water changes with almost pure RO and reduced my dosing slightly. I try to keep my tds around the 120 mark now in the tank. The fish would probably prefer it lower but it’s a happy medium where the plants grow well and some of the fish still breed. Much lower and my crypts start dropping leaves and struggle to grow.

Cheers
 

AlecF

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What level of TDS to people feel comfortable with? Mine keeps edging towards 270=300 and I'm confused what to do. I add a little bicarb of soda, and some cuttle fish, as my carbonates seem low, as well as low levels of APS ferts. But they persist in being a tad high. I do a lot of small water changes. It's possible it could be the rocks I use. Anyway, I should do a proper thread and sorry to intrude on this one, but I am always curious when I see TDS discussed. I don't want to use RO water.
 

Wookii

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What level of TDS to people feel comfortable with? Mine keeps edging towards 270=300 and I'm confused what to do. I add a little bicarb of soda, and some cuttle fish, as my carbonates seem low, as well as low levels of APS ferts. But they persist in being a tad high. I do a lot of small water changes. It's possible it could be the rocks I use.

I can offer some suggestions, but . .

Anyway, I should do a proper thread and sorry to intrude on this one, . . . .

. . . that is the best bet so as not to clog up Conor's journal.
 

KirstyF

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What level of TDS to people feel comfortable with? Mine keeps edging towards 270=300 and I'm confused what to do. I add a little bicarb of soda, and some cuttle fish, as my carbonates seem low, as well as low levels of APS ferts. But they persist in being a tad high. I do a lot of small water changes. It's possible it could be the rocks I use. Anyway, I should do a proper thread and sorry to intrude on this one, but I am always curious when I see TDS discussed. I don't want to use RO water.

I for one, would be interested in that thread. I’m currently doing lots of reading up about TDS as considering whether to buy a TDS meter but still getting my head round what TDS levels would be telling me and how to respond. 👍😊
 

Djoko Sauza

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Nothing is very exact. I aim roughly for a tds of around 60/70 when remineralising my RO water with equilibrium. I dose the tank with roughly a half to a third of ei levels. But it varies, I noticed my tds had started to creep up to nearly 200 recently so I undertook water changes with almost pure RO and reduced my dosing slightly. I try to keep my tds around the 120 mark now in the tank. The fish would probably prefer it lower but it’s a happy medium where the plants grow well and some of the fish still breed. Much lower and my crypts start dropping leaves and struggle to grow.

Cheers
Thanks. You're running with 0 kh then I assume? Or are you adding any carbonates via fert dosing?
 

Conort2

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You're running with 0 kh then I assume
It should be as I’m not adding anything that should raise my Kh. Everything seems to be growing pretty well now, I had issues in the beginning where I wasn’t supplying enough nutrients with my dosing but now I’ve switched to half EI everything seems to be good. If the TDS gets too high I just cut back on the ferts.

The fish would probably prefer the tds to be a bit lower but everyone seems to be pretty happy and I’m still getting successful spawns from my apistogramma lineata which is a black water species.

Is there any particular reason why you want a lower tds?

Cheers
 

anewbie

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Nothing is very exact. I aim roughly for a tds of around 60/70 when remineralising my RO water with equilibrium. I dose the tank with roughly a half to a third of ei levels. But it varies, I noticed my tds had started to creep up to nearly 200 recently so I undertook water changes with almost pure RO and reduced my dosing slightly. I try to keep my tds around the 120 mark now in the tank. The fish would probably prefer it lower but it’s a happy medium where the plants grow well and some of the fish still breed. Much lower and my crypts start dropping leaves and struggle to grow.

Cheers
Can you provide more details on your water condition; i know you have several species that strongly prefer soft acidic water so where I'm confused is that you can have high tds but still meet the requirements for those fishes. My tap is 120 tds gh 7 kh 3 which is too hard for some of the species you have and the steady state tds in the tanks run around 140. I suspect I could go as low as 80 without harming the plants but i also suspect i have higher gh/kh than you have which would suggest your tds is composed of plant loving nutrients... but perhaps i misunderstand what is happening.
 

anewbie

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Is there any particular reason why you want a lower tds?

Cheers
I'm not sure how one can answer this question since I would think it depends on what solids are the basis for the tds. Also I might be mistaken but tds meters themselves are a bit misleading because they are measuring conductivity and it isn't clear to me that all conductivity is created equal.
 

Conort2

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i also suspect i have higher gh/kh than you have which would suggest your tds is composed of plant loving nutrients
That’s correct, as far as I know I shouldn’t have any Kh which is what these fish wouldn’t like. They’d probably still do ok but there wouldn’t be breeding and colouration may not be as strong on say the nannostomus mortenthaleri for example.

As I use RO water everything I add is either plant fertiliser or equilibrium. Just so you’re aware I don’t undertake any water testing apart from measuring tds so I have no idea what ph my water sits at currently. As I use co2 I’m guessing it fluctuates a fair amount so I don’t see the bother in trying to work out what it is. I just use tds and the fish to ensure I am keeping conditions to what they prefer.

Cheers
 

anewbie

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That’s correct, as far as I know I shouldn’t have any Kh which is what these fish wouldn’t like. They’d probably still do ok but there wouldn’t be breeding and colouration may not be as strong on say the nannostomus mortenthaleri for example.

As I use RO water everything I add is either plant fertiliser or equilibrium. Just so you’re aware I don’t undertake any water testing apart from measuring tds so I have no idea what ph my water sits at currently. As I use co2 I’m guessing it fluctuates a fair amount so I don’t see the bother in trying to work out what it is. I just use tds and the fish to ensure I am keeping conditions to what they prefer.

Cheers
Do you know if there is a relationship between gh and tds. I.e, could you have modest gh while having 0 kh ? I realize 0 kh is required to make the tank acidic but are the apistogramma sensitive to hardness or is it sufficient to just have low ph ? Mostly i'm asking this as I intend to setup a 'low ph' tank next year and I had presume gh had to be around 1 or 2 but maybe i can have a higher gh and all will work well.
 

anewbie

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1dGH = 17.8 ppm - something doesn't look quite right on your tap water TDS reading, GH 7 + KH 3 should be a fair bit higher than 120ppm TDS.
Bad tds meter? I have 3 but all 3 seem to be in a similar range of 115-140.

Ok I just double check all my tanks are running from 141-151 tds (I have 5); and tap measured 122 tds.
 
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