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  • Posted on: 4/5/2014 11:18
A blank slate #1
Hi everyone,

Due to a catastrophic heater malfunction at the start of the year, I now have an empty 6'x18"x20" (425L/93gal). Current plans are for a planted tank. I would ideally like to move my current trops (4x dwarf chain loaches (approx 5cm), 6x black widow tetras (approx 6cm) and steven the mystery loach (approx 10cm), whom I think is a Botia rostrata) to the 6 footer. Substrate will be silver sand mixed with laterite, a very large centrepiece of mangrove root, and some large cobbles. I intend on planting out with low-moderate intensity light plants. No intention of running CO2, but happy to use liquid dose ferts/carbon.

Tap water is 4dKH, 5dGH, pH7. In tank, this pH tends to drop to 6.8 due to blackwater additive. Currently, keeping at 25C, but I live in Queensland, Australia, so this goes up in the summer. FIlter is a Fluval FX5, which will have all the mature media transferred over from the trops' current tank, + 5L of marine pure spheres (http://www.aquariumproducts.com.au/ca ... s.php?prodID=6472&catID=9) which are basically a cross between ceramic noodles and bio balls.

All current fish have been with me for a while, dwarf chain loaches 5/6 years, tetras 3 years. Newest fish is Steven, who's been here about 9 months. At this stage, I'm assuming everyone is fully grown, though Steven may double, depending on what species he actually is. Currently, my fish length is 66cm, and even if steven doubles, that gives a max of 76 cm.

Immediate aims are to return dwarf chain loach school to a min of 6, adding another 10cm (86 cm of fish/34.4 inches of fish).

Obviously, I've got quite a lot of stocking room to play with. Another consideration is lifespan and rehoming capability. I'm planning on moving to the UK in 2017, and my fish will not be coming with me.

I'd quite like to have a large school of dither fish, rather than a pair of centrepiece fish. My current thoughts are perhaps increase black widows to 12, and then a large school of either Ember, Neon, or Cardinal tetras, or some form of rasbora. I'd rather one really big school than several smaller schools.

What would you do? Have you kept any of these before? how hardy are they? how easy to breed?

all advice welcome :)
TFH
suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 4/5/2014 12:11
Re: A blank slate #2
I'm afraid I'm not much good on tropicals so won't attempt to offer any advice, just wanted to say sorry to hear about the heater malfunction Nice to see you around again though
It's Not Just A Fish
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  • Posted on: 4/5/2014 12:22
Re: A blank slate #3
Thanks Suey,

I've been lurking on and off, but I really should contribute more.

The heater accident was devastating. The glass cracked and electrocuted everyone. I almost put my hand in before I felt the current. The goldies had been with me for years, so it was very distressing. The worst part is, living in Queensland there's no need for a heater in summer, but I always leave it in year round. If I'd taken it out, they'd still be here.
suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 5/5/2014 10:45
Re: A blank slate #4
That's a horrible accident, lucky you realised before putting your hand in! Try not to dwell on 'if only' though, there's no way you could have predicted something like that They had a lovely life while they were with you

Might be an idea to try and get a pic of Steven so the tropical chaps can see if they can figure out what he is

PS - levels of contribution are entirely optional
It's Not Just A Fish
this.foolish.heart this.foolish.heart
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  • Posted on: 5/5/2014 11:52
Re: A blank slate #5
He's such a secretive, funny little fish. He likes to dig little ditches and lay on his side beneath driftwood/ in caves. At other times, he likes to school with the dwarf chain loaches. I got a hold on him after my LFS gave me a call to say they a had something come in with the yoyos who didn't quite look like a yoyo. His markings as a youngster were very similar to this guy from loaches.com, but unfortunately I do not have any early photos of him.
In Australia, the only loaches you can legally import are dwarf chains, clowns, yoyos and kuhlis, but Howard who owns the store knows of my interest in loaches.

Current photos are attached. He's a bit angry at me here, because I took his driftwood away to take his photo. Please also excuse the glass, I normally leave algae alone on the back and side walls, and I had to move a bookcase to get a shot of him.
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kayne kayne
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  • Posted on: 6/5/2014 13:17
Re: A blank slate #6
I'm sure those more knowledgable will confirm if I am correct but it looks to me to be a Chinese Algae Eater. They are known to be territorial and agressive.

Caresheet: Chinese Algae Eater
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 6/5/2014 16:38
Re: A blank slate #7
No, he's not a CAE and is definitely a member of the Botia genus. I think OP is correct and he's a young Botia rostrata.
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  • Posted on: 6/5/2014 23:09
Re: A blank slate #8
Thanks guys. I'm 100% certain that he is not a CAE. It's jus which species of Botia he is that's up for debate, as I've never seen a rostrata in the flesh before to compare with.
Any ideas/suggestions for other stocking?
DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 16/5/2014 12:34
Re: A blank slate #9
You live in Australia. Have you considered the native Blue eyes (Pseudomugil sp.)? P. gertrudae is probably a bit on the small side, but either of P. tenellus or P. signifer would be ideal, and they like water that's on the soft side compared to most rainbowfish and their relatives.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!
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  • Posted on: 17/5/2014 9:21
Re: A blank slate #10
I've kept P.signifier before, in fact, that was my first tank to have a heater malfunction in. They're nice little fish, but I was looking for something a little more striking. Surprisingly, blue eyes are not particularly easy to get here. No one really breeds them, so they're mostly wild caught at +$8/fish. It's also the wrong season for them, they seem to be round mostly in the spring.

I'm starting to like the look of Golden pencil fish, Nannostomas beckfordi. which sound easy-ish to breed, and seem quite attractive.
Bonus points for being reasonably priced on my online LFS, but not so cheap that I won't be able to rehome them if/when they breed.
TFH