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DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 24/11/2010 21:17
Flagfish in a cube. Probably a bad idea. #491
I have a 40cm cube (60L) and two American Flagfish, one male, one female. The male is probably about 40-50% larger than the female and bullies her, its especially noticeable at feeding time. When there isn't fishfood about she stays at the back in the water sprite.

They were in a tank with some barbs and were definitely coming off worst at the shop (the attendant seems shocked that that was the case, hopefully they've been moved. She thought they'd be happy in a 60L all to themselves though.)

She basically hides at the back, and comes out to get food and be intimidated. They're not a "matched pair" in that respect.

They're the only fish in the tank, and I'm going to leave it as a species tank though I've got lots of baby cherry shrimp for them to "make friends with".

I definitely think the cube shape isn't doing anyone any favours in this respect. There's not enough space for each to pick an end and keep out of each others way.

Water Parameters-

Ammonia 0
NitrIte 0
Nitrate 30 (about to do a water change.)
pH 7.5 (the Oliver Knott substrate has lowered it a bit)

As I see it I have four options. And I can see problems with most of them.

Put her in another tank (I do have a spare 30cm cube, and a mature filter to spare, but it'll be a bit sparse, and a little on the small size). Would feeding her up to a larger size and then reintroducing her be a good idea? I have a nasty feeling I'll see the same thing again- possibly the other way round.

Put her in the 240L with the white clouds, bitterling and loaches. (Its not overstocked yet, but I don't want to push it. Also they're clearly not community fish).

Get a second (similar sized?) female to spread out the aggression among them. (Are they like barbs in that more is better, or will one end up bullied to death?)

Add more plants, leave things as they are and hope. (I think I've made it clear this seems like a bad idea).

Um, help? I don't have a shot of the tank yet, but I can get one if it'll help.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 5/11/2010 12:59
Re: Snail #492
You'll probably find that you'll end up with snails when you get plants- usually the little "bladder snails". They'll breed reasonably well if there's left-over food, as well as eating plants (which the goldies will do too, so I wouldn't worry), and maybe a bit of algae if you're lucky.

Apple Snails get big, and messy, have to be fed, and tend to get attacked by other fish from what I hear.

Nerites, while being amazing algae eaters need tropical temperatures (22 degrees C+), and won't go for left-over fish food, and have a reputation as escape artists. On the plus side they won't breed in freshwater tanks.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails are, I think, especially useful if you have a sand or planted substrate, so you aren't digging around regularly with the gravel vac. You might not see them very often though. I've seen one, once in the month or so since I added four or five. Hopefully they're breeding nicely out of sight and getting the job done.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 31/10/2010 13:20
Re: Non-Fish And Other Curios? #493
If that's the European Bitterling (Rhodeus amarus) then its not a UK native, and is illegal to import and sell. The ones that are legal are not "frost-hardy" and need to be kept at about room temperature.

What was the species name given? There's several bitterlings in at least two genera that are legal to sell, though only a few are regularly seen, and they vary in size from 6 - 27cm. Knowing which species you have will tell us how overstocked you are.

Bitterlings are also shoaling fish, and you'll need swan mussels (a nightmare to keep alive) if you want them to breed, at which point one of the males will become very territorial towards the others.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 17/10/2010 12:12
Re: Giant Swan Mussel Yes/No ? #494
Absolutely. I'm probably going to have another go with them, purely because I'd like to get the bitterlings to breed. But I wouldn't bother otherwise. Daphnia are probably better at getting rid of green water- easier to keep, and you can feed your fish on them too.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 16/10/2010 16:52
Re: Giant Swan Mussel Yes/No ? #495
Unfortunately it died- I moved it into another tank in the hope that it would be easier to feed, and I might have more success using a dedicated breeding tank (the bitterlings tried breeding, but didn't seem that successful at spawning with other males around to distract them), but unfortunately it died. I suspect it slowly starved to death. Most do. Even if you try feeding them.

I fed it with the marine filter-feeder but its very tricky. I don't think I'd recommend them unless you're trying to breed bitterlings (they lay their eggs in them).

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwinverts.htm WetWebMedia have a good article on them. I'm inclined to agree when they say "don't bother".
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 18/9/2010 23:24
Re: Coldwater fish other than goldfish #496
I have several Rosy Bitterlings (Rhodeus ocellatus), the males of which are very brightly coloured. They're not native (they're from China and Japan), and the European Bitterling (Rhodeus amarus) is banned as a potential invasive, as it is fully hardy. They need Swan Mussels in order to breed, and I've seen mine regularly courting (and driving off the other males who are trying to sneak up on them).

They're fairly small (5-6cm depending on sex, males are larger) but are shoaling fish, so I'm not sure you'd have space for them with your current stock- native minnows get to 10cm+ when fully grown.

I'll admit to not being as successful as I'd like with them however. I've lost four females in relatively quick succession, and I don't know why.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2010 22:47
Re: Sudden Bitterling Death #497
Lost another female today, and I have a third that looks like she might be on the way out.

I fed them with freeze dried tubifex yesterday, placing it in the water and breaking the cube apart to allow them to disperse. Could that have affected them? If its freeze-dried there shouldn't be any parasites passed on, but what do they use to hold everything together in the cubes? Could they have eaten that?

I usually feed them with regular Nutrafin Max Tropical Flake. Could that be the problem?

Ammonia 0
NitrIte 0
NitrAte 20

Other parameters as before.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 16/8/2010 22:12
Sudden Bitterling Death #498
Lost my first fish today, a female Rosy Bitterling (Rhodeus ocellatus), introduced 20 days ago. I do not have a quarantine tank, but have been observing them all carefully for ich and similar. I've not seen anything.

I found her drifting about with a swollen belly, bare checking after death this was soft rather than hard, and she died about an hour later. No obvious signs of injury or infection, though her ovipositor had some dark matter and some blood. I don't know if the ovipositor is connected to the gut in these fish so could it have been gastric?

Fluval Roma 240 (55 gallon), 305 filter, large quantites of biomedia & polishing pads.

pH 7.8-8
GH 15
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10
I don't have a phosphate kit.

Last water change about 15% on the 13th
I had a brief nitrite spike of 0.25, (and probably an ammonia one- caused- I think- by lots of brine shrimp swimming into the filter from a spawning net) on Sunday (7th) which I treated with Sera Toxivec as advised by the LFS and daily 20% water changes. The next day (8th) my ammonia was up to 0.25, so I did another water change, and levels returned to zero on the (9th) (I did another water change anyway just to be on the safe side).

I have five other Bitterlings, 3 Weather Loaches 5 cherry shrimp (2 babies), a Swan Mussel, and various snails.

Aquarium is planted with various UK natives, and decorated with bogwood, slate and a terracotta pot. I'm feeding flake, Tetra Variety sinking wafers (primarily for the loaches, the bitterlings pick at them but don't seem to eat them), and occasionally peas and freeze-dried tubifex.

All other individuals seem fine, the two male bitterlings are very brightly coloured & one has established a territory around the mussel, I've seen one spawning attempt.

Weather Loaches are healthy and active- especially at feeding time I've had them about 1 month now.

Any and all advice gratefully received. Have I done anything obviously wrong?

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Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 27/6/2010 15:31
Re: pH & GH in London- how do people cope? #499
I don't have the space/ability to use my own RO system, or filter through peat (its a rented shared house). Living in London I'm not sure I trust the rainwater either- and given recent summers I'm not sure its reliable enough.

Would adding CO2 have any effect? It'll lower the pH as it dissolves, but is the hardness going to buffer this so effectively that the effect will be negligible? And it'll have no effect on the hardness in any case.

As for the fish I may have to reconsider, (the snail-shell brooders sound fun) but I liked the idea of a European version of the specific geographical community tanks people set up- its not hard to get the plants for them in garden centres, both Hornworts and Water Soldiers seem to like hard water. Pity about the fish though...
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 26/6/2010 21:59
pH & GH in London- how do people cope? #500
So I bit the bullet and bought a Fluval Roma 240, and its cycling nicely, ammonia reached zero for the first time today (10 days after starting), and the plants are starting to grow nicely.

But my pH is 8, and the GH is 16. Is there anything I can do to bring this down, other than buying RO water?

I was hoping to have a Native European (or as close as I could get to one given that some species are banned) tank with either minnows or sticklebacks and Weather Loaches. However it doesn't look like the water is going to be suitable for these species, nor for the second tank I've got planned (a cave set up for Blind Tetras).

How does everyone else manage?



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