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Setting Up A River Tank - Littlefish

Author Topic: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish  (Read 15685 times)

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #100 on: August 27, 2017, 10:10:42 AM »
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Well, all fish are now in the tank, and the hood is on.
I'd previously put a lot more rocks into the tank, and have added a few more, plus a few random bits of wood which will mainly be used for the repashy food and/or swapping with rocks in the algae tank. The plants are echinodorus martii major, green and purple leaf buchephalandras, and something at the bottom that I've completely forgotten the name of.
The current inhabitants of the tank are as follows:
10 x sewellia lineolate
3 x bulldog plecs
7 x panda garra
24 x rainbow shiners
10 x cobalt blue gobies
8 x annieae gobies
9 x assassin snails
10 x amano shrimp
I had some concerns about the size of the annieae gobies, whether they would get into the filter, and whether they would struggle with some of the larger fish. I've used a small amount of coarse filter media in the filter intake to avoid that problem. As can be seen from the second picture, the small annieae gobies have no problems sharing a rock with the bulldog plecs, and aren't having any problems holding their own with the other gobies, although I will be keeping a close eye on them.
There are plenty of small spaces and hidey holes, and some of the gobies have built burrows under some of the rocks. The hillstream loaches tent to move towards the wood at the back of the tank during the night, and come out during the day. Perhaps I'll be able to get some pics when I feed them later today.
So far it's turning out to be a very active tank. I was slightly concerned that it would look a bit empty with so many bottom feeders, but so many of them feed up the sides of the tank, and occasionally swim mid-water, that the tank looks full.  :)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #101 on: August 27, 2017, 10:15:38 AM »
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 :)

Online Sue

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #102 on: August 27, 2017, 10:24:08 AM »
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Wow, what a tank  :cheers:

I love all those different stones. Yes, stiphodons do like to bury themselves and tunnel under things as i have discovered.


Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #103 on: August 27, 2017, 11:30:55 AM »
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Thanks @Sue
There was a very funny moment earlier. The biggest cobalt blue goby has made his burrow under the largest stone at the front of the tank, closest to the flow of the manifold. He was out and about, and one of the annieae gobies went in. There was a minor chase when he got back to his burrow, but no contact, and things settled down quickly.
Some of the other annieaes found another burrow further along the tank, and took that over. It was so cute to see 3 little faces peeking out in a row. Since then they seem to have found their feet/fins, and considering they are the smallest fish, and were the last ones in, they have settled very quickly.  ;D

Offline Matt

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #104 on: August 27, 2017, 01:26:52 PM »
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Great tank  :))

I have a massive case of Goby jealousy  ::)

Offline SinghRathorTari

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #105 on: August 28, 2017, 01:41:12 PM »
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Wow; great tank and great fish.

Offline MarquisMirage

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #106 on: September 03, 2017, 01:10:47 AM »
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Another fantastic tank!  I wish I could see these live as I bet they're a joy to behold.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #107 on: September 03, 2017, 07:57:09 AM »
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Thanks all.  :)
I'm very pleased with this tank, possibly because I've been planning it for so long and now it's finally up and running.
It is a very active tank, and has the largest number of different species (the joys of a larger tank), so it's very interesting to watch. I've pretty much made a permanent home in the arm chair next to this tank.  ;D

At some point I will try to get a video of feeding time.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #108 on: October 23, 2017, 12:15:33 PM »
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The past 48 hours have been a bit stressful. Obviously I've made a mistake somewhere and I'm hoping that you guys can help me to work out what I've done wrong. Apologies in advance for the long/rambling message, but I'm hoping that the more information I provide, the easier it will be for you to help.

The river tank has been ok, but the more I've watch the way the fish use the environment the more I realised that a few changes needed to be made. I set up the tank with a Fluval FX4, a Superfish airflow 4, and a Jecod DCP 4000 on the river manifold.
To help with the flow direction I decided that all airstones should be moved to the end of the tank with the outflow, and that a larger filter would help create even more flow. The guys at the store asked why I wanted a larger filter, so I told them I wanted it to "blow their bl**dy fins off", without attempting any sort of impression of Micheal Caine, but imagining the fish driving around the tank in little Minis and humming the appropriate theme tune. All staff way too young to understand the phrase used, but I purchased an FX6 thinking it would be an easy replacement.
I did my routine tank maintenence and 10% water change on Sunday morning, and changed the filter. All pipework remained in place, the media & baskets from the FX4 were rinsed in tank water and placed into the FX6. New sponge media and rinsed Alphagrog media were used in the 3rd basket & put into the FX6. Everything was put together with the pipework still in the tank/cabinet, and it was all systems go.
I thought my tank cleaning was fairly decent, but when the FX6 was switched on it seemed to kick up a lot of rubbish into the water, which I guessed was stuff I hadn't been able to reach with the syphon, and which wasn't shifted by the flow of the FX4. Surely that's a good thing, I thought, as at least it is now being filtered. However, I was concerned by the amount of rubbish, so also tried to help by using my other syphon in the tank, which sucks up rubbish but returns the water to the tank rather than removing it (as I'd done a water change less than an hour earlier).
I also cleaned the large sponges on the manifold intakes, hoping that they would also help capture some of the rubbish, even though it is not a particularly fine sponge. At that point I realised that there was no flow on the manifold, so traced back the cables to find that one had come out, so it was off. I connected it and switched it back on again, only to be faced with another plume of crud entering the tank water.
At this point I was very concerned. I chased the largest pieces of crud with the syphon, then decided to do another 10% water change, and put sone fine filter floss on on part of the filter outflow. After doing this I waited an hour or so to see if things started to clear up, but could see that the fish were distressed. Most of them (especially the gobies) were at/near the surface. I did a quick water test, and the results did not indicate an obvious issue (0, 0, <40 as usual), so I guessed it was the amount of rubbish in the water, but was also concerned about oxygen levels because some of the fish were huddled in the flow fron the airstones. I did a 30% water change, and switched the lights off.
Most of the fish seemed to be starting to settle over the hour following the large water change, so I then went to bed. I woke at around 4am, and couldn't get back to sleep, so went to have a look at the tank. I didn;t switch lights on, just used my phone, and could see the outline of several fish in their usual places on the glass, not near the surface, so I went back to bed.
When I got up this morning I checked the tank. Although the water was clearer than yesterday, it still seemed a bit cloudy, the gobies were still near the surface, and I had lost 1 rainbow shiner and 1 assassin snail.
I have done another 30% water change with my usual mix of dechlorinated tap water/RO. The fish still seem a little unsettled, with one of the bulldog plecs, a couple of hillsteam loaches and a couple of gobies still near the flow from the airstones. The rest of the fish and amano shrimp are amonst the wood & stones, with only the most dominant plec, 2 panda garras and the rainbow shiners out in the open.
I'm going to put some fine filter floss on one of the filter outputs to help with fine particles. I'm also going to put some carbon in the tank as well. I haven't used any plant fertiliser or carbon in the tank for 3 days, and the dechlorinator I'm using is the Aquacare tap water conditioner. Water temperture is 20C, and I'm keeping the lighting relatively low (only 1 set of lights on, rather than all 3).

Apart from continuing with daily water changes, what else can I do?
Is there anything else that I can/should be testing for at this point?
I'm guessing that all the problems have been due to the particles in the water, rather than chemicals/toxins, but any suggestions and/or advice are very welcome.

Online Sue

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #109 on: October 23, 2017, 01:58:55 PM »
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It is difficult to know what to suggest.
How clean is the inside of all the tubing involved, do you clean them all regularly? I know that people with externals mention clouds of debris when they turn the filter off and then on again, and the usual response is that the tubes need cleaning because when the filter is turned back on the sudden new rush of water dislodges things stuck to the insides of the pipes. With you just creating a faster flow down the tubing, could it have dislodged anything?

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #110 on: October 23, 2017, 02:04:57 PM »
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@Littlefish It doesn't fix any underling issues but you could all a floculator (API have one that is called ACCU Clear) this will help the particles clump and fall out of the water column or get caught by the filter. The long term fix would probably to find a permanent home for some filter floss that is more accessible to change than the FX6

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #111 on: October 23, 2017, 02:23:02 PM »
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@Sue it could have been particles dislodged from the pipework, but the quantity of crap floating around was more than would be expected just from that, which is why I thought the FX6 might have kicked up muck that I hadn't been able to reach with the syphon or the flow of the FX4.
Some of the pipework (the straight stuff) gets cleaned, and some (the ridged stuff) doesn't as it would involve completely removing it from down the back of the tank & cabinet.
The river manifold stopping didn't help either, and that just added to the muck floating around the water.
Am I correct in thinking that it was mainly the particles in the water that caused the demise of the fish & snail? All the larger particles have now been filtered and/or water changed out, and I am currently using carbon to deal with anything I can't test for, and filter floss to deal with the small particles. These are currently in a sperate internal filter that I've put into the tank.
I have switched off all light, apart from the blue light, and the fish are slowly settling down.

@Andy The Minion I was considering trying to fit in the extra set of pipework to run the FX4 as well as the FX6 in the tank - not only because more flow in the river tank might not be a bad thing, but also for the mechanical filtration it could provide. Otherwise I could just use some of the spare internal filters that I have for filter floss, which may be slightly easier to change.

Online Sue

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #112 on: October 23, 2017, 02:29:13 PM »
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I think it is one of those things that we'll never know for sure. As you say, the muck could have contained something we can't test for that could affect fish. The only thing I can suggest is water changes, and lots of filter floss to try to trap the fine bits, which you are already doing.
Be careful with anti floccullents as they can harm the fish.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #113 on: October 23, 2017, 02:53:53 PM »
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I don't have any anti flocculent here, so will be sticking with the floss for the fine particles for now.
I have a few spare internal filters in the cupboard that I can use for more floss, so I'll get those up and running.
Even if the particles didn't contain anything nasty, I think it's possible that even having the particles in the water with fish that need completely clear water could have caused a problem.
Currently there are no fish at the surface, which I'm taking as a good sign, and I'll go back to slightly smaller daily water changes (50L instead of 100L) because I think the big water changes may have stressed the fish out, even though they were necessarry.
I'm a bit cross with myself for what has happened, I should have cleaned the pipework etc, before installing the FX6, but I'm also relieved that I had enough RO, carbon and floss to deal with the worst of it.
Sheesh, my heart rate is still recovering from the panic.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #114 on: October 24, 2017, 09:38:00 PM »
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On checking the tank this morning I found that I had lost another rainbow shiner and an annieae goby.
I then performed a water change.
I had a few problems with the filter, as I tried to stuff too much carbon into it, so it didn't close properly and ran noisily. I had to faff around for quite a while to get things back to normal with the filter.
The fish seemed ok during the day, but were not interested in any food this evening.
Having just checked the tank I have now lost another 3 gobies and 3 rainbow shiners.
The rest are not looking good, and the other fish are hiding at the back of the tank.
I'm devastated.

Online Sue

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #115 on: October 24, 2017, 09:40:49 PM »
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Oh no. I just don't know what to say .....  :'(

Offline fcmf

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #116 on: October 24, 2017, 11:08:43 PM »
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Apologies for not being able to reply before now. I've read through the posts carefully and it seems such an incredibly undeserving case of terrible misfortune. I don't think there's anything more that I can add to your own thoughts and others', and you're doing your utmost and everything I would advise. I can only keep everything incredibly tightly crossed that this settles ASAP.

Afterthought: presumably none of the other tanks would be suitable (temp/tankmate compatibility, etc) to temporarily house any of the remaining fish..?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #117 on: October 25, 2017, 08:58:07 AM »
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Unfortunately there have been more deaths overnight. 2 more rainbow shiners have perished.
I'm going to head to the fish store to get more RO. I have an empty Fluval Roma 200 in the hallway, so I'm going to set that up with the FX4 pump, and transfer the fish to that. It's much smaller than they are used to, but probably better than leaving them where they are. That will then give me the opportunity to completely strip down the Aqua Oak and start again. I also have another tank available in the spare bedroom downstairs, but that is currently full of wood that is soaking prior to use, so a bit more difficult to set that one up for them, but it is there if I need it.
It means transfering the fish from a mature tank to a new set up, but at least I know that the fish will eat things like courgette, and the Repashy foods, so they (hopefully) wont miss the biofilm & algae in the tank.
I'm concerned that moving them will stress them further, but I'm not sure what else I can do to recover the situation.
 :(

Online Sue

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #118 on: October 25, 2017, 10:02:56 AM »
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I think that moving them is the lesser of two evils. Something nasty has happened to their tank so a new tank and uncontaminated water is the better option even if it is not perfect.

I do not know what could have happened to this tank. Debris from the filter/pipes should not kill fish. I hope you can find out what happened.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #119 on: October 25, 2017, 11:31:14 AM »
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Moving the fish is the lesser of two evils, and it will also give me the opportunity to investigate the tank whilst stripping it down.
Whatever has happened is not something I can test for. The water is giving results of 0, 0, <40 (tap is 40) every time.
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed now that those of us in the household that are still alive & functioning make it thrugh the rest of the day.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #120 on: October 25, 2017, 09:32:26 PM »
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It's been a busy day.
Rather than move the fish to the 200L tanks, I moved the wood that was soaking in the 4ft Aqua Oak tank in the spare bedroom, cleaned the tank & used that.
I've have spent many hours rinsing new sand & rocks from my stash of tank stuff, and draining the river tank to a point that I could actually try to catch fish. I didn't want to disturb the substrate any more than necessary, but I had to remove the plants.
The following have been transferred to the other tank:-
3 bull dog plecs
7 panda garras
8 rainbow shiners
9 hillsteam loaches
8 gobies
6 amano shrimp
2 assassin snails

I knew I'd lost a lot of rainbow shiners, and now only have 8 from the original 24.
As for the gobies, originally I had 10 cobalt blue and 8 annieae. At this point the 8 that have been transferred to the other tank are so pale that they are difficult to identify.
I still have all of my bull dog plecs and panda garras, and have lost only 1 hillstream loach.
There is still some movement in the main tank (I've already had to stop typing once to catch more fish), and I've always been particularly rubbish at finding/catching shrimp, so I'm stopping for a break before I remove more water from the tank and have another go at locating any remaining signs of life in the tank.

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #121 on: October 25, 2017, 09:42:50 PM »
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The fact that you still have shrimps is a good sign. They are usually less tolerant of chemical 'pollution' than fish - and that includes everything from ammonia to metal contamination.
At any time since this happened, have you seen any shrimps trying to climb out of the tank, usually up cables, filter tubing etc? This is often the first sign that a tank's water has become a bit iffy and if you didn't see them climbing, it eliminates some causes.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #122 on: October 25, 2017, 10:44:52 PM »
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You're doing everything that you possibly can in what is such a sad situation.

In an effort to help get to the root cause, aside from some sort of chemical pollution, is there any possibility that the FX6 might have been too strong and potentially a cause or contributor? A couple of years ago, when I transferred my 3 remaining ailing pygmy cories into the QT, their demise was dramatic/sudden and swift albeit they were weak to begin with; it struck me too late that the filter I was using in the QT was far too strong, even on its gentlest setting, and they were getting buffeted around and thereby unable to rectify their swimming position while one sought refuge on the filter bracket - I tried switching the filter off for a while but by then it was too late. At the time, I did find an article which indicated that fish could 'drown' albeit rarely / gas bubble disease could form. Others (esp Sue) may know more and have a view on this? It might be worth getting her/others' views on this, just to be certain whether resuming the FX6's use in due course would be fine or potentially best avoided.

I really hope the situation settles and the remaining inhabitants show signs of improvement in their new tank.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #123 on: October 25, 2017, 11:10:18 PM »
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@Sue I hadn't noticed any of the shrimp trying to climb out of the tank over the past few days. The tank is next to the armchair that I normally use in the evenings, and I've been watching the tank closely, so I hope that I would have noticed.

Just had to briefly stop typing to transfer another goby to the other tank.

@fcmf that is something that I had wondered about. Although they are all river fish, and generally require quite a bit of water movement, most of the fish were hiding in low flow areas. The fish that had the most problems were the rainbow shiners, which are the only fish in the tank that actually swim mid water, and the gobies, which are all tiny in comparrison to the other fish. The gobies also congregated near the surface, which I hadn't seen them do before. Does that indicate anything in particular with regards to the flow being too strong? I guess another option with the FX6 in the future is to use a wider nozzle or a spray bar on the output, to spread the flow. Or just get rid of that filter.

Just going to have another look at the tank for more signs of life before heading to bed.

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #124 on: October 26, 2017, 04:46:03 AM »
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@Littlefish my first thought would be that this is unlikely, unless you chose completely unsuited fish (and I completely don't believe that) the flowsrates that are possible in a tank will never reach river flows. At best rou might be able to achieve these only as the water leaves the manifold and the average will be relatly small with areas of little flow mid tank somewhere in the water column. If that were the problem I'm sure the fish would find them and settle there. You could look at the flow rates using an airline attached to a stick and watch for the bubble flow pattern across the tank in various places down the tank to put your mind at rest?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #125 on: October 26, 2017, 09:11:39 AM »
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So far 1 goby has not survived the transfer to the other tank. I haven't been able to have a thorough look at that tank because it doesn't have any lights on it, but just using the daylight in that room I'd say that the fish that I can see are doing ok.
There is still at least 1 shrimp in the river tank. I tried to catch it last night but it hid under the overhang of a rock and was being quite elusive. I'm going to start removing the rocks & pebbles in that tank today, which should make it easier to get to the shrimp, and see if anything else is still in the tank.
Any suggestions, ideas, comments and questions which may help me to get to the bottom of the problems and ensure that I rebuild a more suitable environment for the remaining fish will be very welcome.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #126 on: October 27, 2017, 10:21:11 AM »
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No dead fish in the new tank this morning. The rainbow shiners are quite active, but most other fish are still hiding. I think that this is possibly due to the lack of shiners mid-water, and I'm hoping that getting some plants for the surface/bunches of elodea attached to suckers on the sides of the tank will create more cover and encourage the fish out of hiding, if only for long enough for them to eat.

Offline Matt

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #127 on: October 27, 2017, 06:40:33 PM »
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Hope all is still well since your update Littlefish.  Do you have a plan regarding the old tank yet? I'm assuming a full strip down is in order!?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #128 on: October 27, 2017, 11:01:15 PM »
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I've put some plants into the temporary tank and some of the fish have started to explore.
I plan to completely strip down the river tank, clean everything (including the hoses & pipes), and set it up again. I'll probably make some minor alterations to make things easier to clean as well.

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #129 on: October 28, 2017, 09:27:43 AM »
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The exploring is a good sign that they are recovering and starting to settle into their temporary home. A total clean out is a good idea. It should give a clue as to what happened.

Fingers crossed the fish continue to make progress.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #130 on: October 28, 2017, 11:53:03 AM »
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I've lost another annieae goby overnight, but the rest of the fish seem ok, and the water parameters are fine.
I've been to the local MA to see if they had any further ideas on what could have gone wrong. They said the same as has been discussed here, and the manager talked me through their systems to give me some ideas on how to change the river manifold to include an extra hose & tap to be able to flush the system to waste and ensure that it is cleaned on a regular basis.
Stripping down the tank, making the changes to the manifold, and setting the tank up again is going to take a while. It's quite a complex system and althought I took a long time researching the set up originally, considering I've only been keeping fish for around 2 years, I still think I may have over-stretched myself with that particular tank. I'm kicking myself that the fish have suffered for my lack of experience, and am determined to ensure that the new set up provides the fish with a better environment.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #131 on: October 28, 2017, 09:25:09 PM »
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Just a quick update on the temporary tank - the fish are finding their feet (fins) in the tank.
The remaining shiners were very keen on thier flake today, which was a relief.
Yesterday the other fish didn't go wild for their courgette, so today I tried cucumber, which had been more favoured in the past. I have seen several panda garras and a couple of plecs feeding, and a number of hillstream loaches have fed. I've just had another check on the tank and seen one of the plecs resting in the open on a large stone, a few pandas and gobies near some of the rocks & logs, loaches on the glass and cucmber, and the shrimp are quite active.
After so much bad news in the past week, I thought I'd post some more positive news now that the fish seem to be settling down and colouring up again.

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #132 on: October 28, 2017, 09:32:30 PM »
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That must be such a relief for you  :) It is so hard to watch fish die and feel helpless to do anything to stop it.

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #133 on: October 29, 2017, 09:23:27 AM »
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A great relief to see the remaining fish looking perky.  :)

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #134 on: October 29, 2017, 10:09:55 AM »
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Great to read this better news.  :cheers:

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #135 on: November 01, 2017, 09:57:05 PM »
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How are things doing @Littlefish ?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #136 on: November 02, 2017, 01:08:32 PM »
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The fish are still in their temporary tank. I've tested the water and the results are 0, 0, <40, same as always, but they don't seem to be feeding as well as they used to. Perhaps they still need more plants & cover to make up for the depleted number of mid-water swimmers, even though they have a lot more cover in this tank that the other one.
It's been a week since I had to relocate them, and although I've had no further deaths, the fish just don't seem to be themselves. I'm a little concerned. The temperature is 19C, there is plenty of oxygen (4 port air pump & airstones), and the original fx4 is running with the new hoses from the fx6 box. Most of the fish are out and resting on stones or attached to the glass, and the remaining rainbow shiners have some lovely blue colouring at the moment, but the algae eaters mainly ignored their courgette on Tuesday evening, and have been the same with Repashy coated wood & rocks yesterday and today. They used to go nuts for the Repashy food, but not now.  :-\

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #137 on: November 02, 2017, 06:04:18 PM »
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Sorry to read about this. It sounds as though they had quite a shock / high level of stress and it will probably take some time for any level of normality to resume; the considerable depletion of numbers is no doubt contributing to this.

I mentioned recently about how garlic-infused food helped restore the appetite of my ill fish and how food which was previously unpopular became popular simply through garlic being in it - this might be worth a try in your case?

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #138 on: November 02, 2017, 08:29:56 PM »
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Agree that the shiners will benefit from more numbers and the other fish will appreciate them too.  Not sure if the other fish need company as such?

Mosy likely you will want to have the main tank set up again first though... maybe a slow reintroduction of fish species by species may be required to be on the safe side?

I'm struggling to offer any more advice or thoughts im afraid...

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #139 on: November 02, 2017, 09:18:10 PM »
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The shiners have had some frozen brine shrimp with garlic, and that seemed to be appreciated.
As for the algae eaters, I'm going to have another go with cucmber tomorrow and see what happens.
I've gone with with more decor & plants in the temporary tank, to make up for the lack of shiners. I won't be increasing numbers of anything for quite a while.
Perhaps I should just be grateful that all fish have survived in the temporary tank, but it would be lovely to see them all crowding onto the repashy logs together again.

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #140 on: January 11, 2018, 08:02:23 PM »
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Long time no update here, so I thought I'd let you know what is happening at the moment.
All the fish in the temporary tank are doing well, are settled, and feeding well.
Over the past couple of days I've removed the rest of the sand from the main tank, and removed the river manifold. The manifold was hurled into the back garden in disgust, and the removal of the associated tubing & pump nearly made me sick. I've cleaned the tubing, and pump. It was all quite grim, and I found a dead assassin snail in the pump  :sick:
Although I had filter sponge on the intake, somehow the snail had got in, and probably explains the smell when I took everything apart. I don't know if this would have had any impact on the river tank disaster last year.
@Andy The Minion has been kind enough to provide some diagrams of a different set up for the pump/manifold, and now that the tank is empty I'm going to spend some time trying a simplified set up, based on a combination of the information AtM provided, and some ideas on how I can have it set up so I can remove the pump hoses/intake/etc. for cleaning on a regular basis. This means I won't be rebuilding the manifold I previously had, which sat under the sand, but it may take me a while to work out exactly what I can do. The ideas are floating around in my head, I just need to have a few practice sessions in the tank while it's empty. I plan to use the pump to create flow near the bottom of the tank, then 2 external filters for the middle and surface flow.
In the past few months I've been purchasing more of the yangste rock from Aquarium gardens. I saw it while the main tank was still set up, bought a couple of pieces and put them in. Unfortunately this made the other stones I had look quite dull and unnatural, so as part of my always steep learning curve I'm using the disaster last year as an opportunity to try to make the river tank better.
Without a manifold under the substrate I should also be able to get away with a lower level of sand, which should help to avoid any build up of anaerobic bacteria, which always concerned me.
I still have the bucephalandra attached to wood, and I'll probably just use root tabs of the echinodorus martii major when that goes back in.
Time for a glass of wine while I contemplate the pump/simplified manifold set up.  :)

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #141 on: January 21, 2018, 09:22:20 PM »
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The reworking of the river tank has started.
The tank is empty & clean (the house has stopped smelling of white vinegar & lemon juice).
I got some pipe from MA, who kindly sold me some off cuts from their new coral display tank for a very reasonable price. The pipe is a larger diameter than the pipe used for the previous under-sand manifold, and the pipe is grey (rather than white) which should be less obvious.
I've picked up some connectors at another LFS today, and got some hose clamps online (I was always worried about the loaches & plecs cutting themselves on the standard metal clamps).
This river manifold is going to be above the substrate, much simpler than the previous one, but still have the pump in the cabinet rather than in the tank.
I need to get hold of some end caps for the pieces of pipe I cut this evening, as they are going to be the in and out flow (with the addition of some drilled holes). I've already checked the multiple LFS, and no joy, so it looks as if I'll have to take a drive to one slightly further afield - what a massive shame having to take a trip to another shop  ;)

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #142 on: January 21, 2018, 10:17:24 PM »
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It sounds like quite a project! I'm sure it will be super rewarding once you have it all up and running  :))

I'm trying to rack my brains for what could be used instead of an end cap... though the best I've come up with so far is to look through plumbing supplies shops or catalogues.

Keep those photos coming!!

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #143 on: February 09, 2018, 03:38:53 PM »
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A quick update on this.
I've been very busy with this tank over the past few weeks.
One of my happiest moments was finding the most awesome things that I could use as end caps for the pipes being used for intake and outflow. They were inspection caps that I found in the plumbing section of B&Q (other DIY stores are available), and they have screw caps! Imagine my joy when I realised that I could unscrew the ends of the pipes to clean the whole thing thoroughly  ;D The pipes have suckers to attach them to the ends of the tanks, so everything can be taken out to be cleaned easily, and the screw caps were perfect.
It's taken me a long time to get things sorted, including leaks.  :-[
The sand substrate is in the tank, and this week I filled the tank with water to check the manifold, and so I could dump the hardscaping into the tank to make some more space in the other tank I've been using to soak wood.
I am currently sitting down, chuckling to myself, realising that I'm a complete muppet that shouldn't be allowed to have tank/pumps/anything really.
One large piece of wood that I had in the previous version of this tank is taking a while to sink, so is weighed down by some of the new stone I bought. I turned the pump on to check the flow of the manifold before I have a think about draining the tank to work on the hardscaping. The wood/rock was partially in the way of the outflow, which caused the high flow rate to blow all the other pieces of wood along the tank, disturb the substrate, and cover everything in sand.  :-[   :rotfl:
Sheesh, will I ever learn.  ::)

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #144 on: March 20, 2018, 07:54:47 PM »
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It was a big day in the Littlefish household today - after several weeks rearranging decor, the fish have finally been transferred back to their main tank.
It took approximately 4 hours, and I was way more stressed than the fish, who all seem to have settled very quickly into their re-worked set up.
It will take a couple of months for the echnidorus martii major to grow in, so I've thrown some elodea into the tank for cover, and I may put some more bucephalandra in.
I still have a batch of rainbow shiners in a quarantine tank, as I only picked them up from Kesgrave Tropicals a few weeks ago, but they are doing well and should be ready to go into the main tank towards the end of the week.
Hopefully I should be able to post some pics tomorrow.  :)

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #145 on: March 20, 2018, 08:12:31 PM »
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Oooh - thanks for the update. This sounds great and glad that the fish are now back (and, even better, quickly settled) in their main tank.  Glad also that the rainbow shiners are doing well. :fishy1:

Looking forward to seeing the pics tomorrow / later in the week.  ;D


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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #146 on: March 21, 2018, 12:41:37 PM »
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When I set up the river tank for the first time last year I got a shoal of rainbow shiners, which I was happy with. At the time I described them as being like rather snazzy black neon tetras, as they were basically silver with a darker line, but showed lovely, shimmering colours when they moved and caught the light, which was very difficult to capture a picture of.
Well, I was wrong about them. After the disaster with the tank last year, the remaining shiners have matured to show the most amazing colours. They are still very active swimmers, hence the very blurred pictured attached, which I managed to get after moving them yesterday. As you can (kind of) see, they have turned into what can only be described as disco fish.
The new batch that I collected a couple of weeks ago, which are still in the quarantine tank, still look like black neons, so I'm expecting them to mature into technicoloured disco fish later this year.   :)

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #147 on: March 21, 2018, 06:54:41 PM »
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Wow, they are gorgeous now  :)

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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #148 on: March 21, 2018, 10:43:34 PM »
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Re: Setting up a river tank - Littlefish
« Reply #149 on: April 06, 2018, 08:02:59 PM »
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I have just moved the 14 juvenile rainbow shiners from the quarantine tank to the main river tank. Although they are still quite small they seem to be fine and are shoaling with the mature shiners.
Tomorrow I hope to collect the annieae gobies from the LFS, to increase the numbers of those fish as well.  :)

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