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South America Project Update

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Offline marquismirage

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South America Project Update
« on: April 16, 2017, 02:11:51 PM »
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Some good progress happening now.  :D

Offline Sue

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2017, 02:18:35 PM »
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Love the wood. My tank is full of it  :)


But we want more details:
Size of tank
Proposed fish

 ;D

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2017, 06:30:43 PM »
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Oh, this is the project I was talking about before so it's a 4 x 2 x 2 foot aquarium.  The main viewing tank holds 395 l and the sump adds approx. 100 l to the system when operational (approx. 30 l filter section, 60 l refugium, and 10 l return).  Plumbing and flood tests have been extensively done and it's all greased up and ready.  You can see my DIY rainbar to the top right on the tank pic.

Deciding on the fish took a while but I'm going with:
17 lemon tetra
17 green fire tetra
17 super blue emperor tetra
9 apistogramma agassizii
1 l397 pleco (if I can get hold of one)
1 l204 flash pleco

AqAdvisor puts that at 88% stock and here puts it at 34%.  I'll wait to see how it looks when the fish are in there.  If I can add more I'll increase the shoals.

Hopefully my plants will arrive on time by Wednesday at the latest.  Regularly spraying to keep things wet at the moment.  The plants will be:
Bacopa Australis (10 - 30cm middle stem plant)
Heteranthera zosterifolia (30 - 50 cm background stem plant)
Alternanthera reineckii Mini  (5 - 10 cm foreground  stem plant)
Littorella uniflora (3 - 5 cm carpet stolon plant)
Echinodorus quadricostatus (15 - 20 cm middle rosulate plant)
Vesicularia ferriei (3-5 cm long moss for wood)
Potamogeton gayi (10 -30 cm background stem plant)
Echinodorus fancy twist (30 - 50 cm background rosulate)
Echinodorus grisebachii (5 - 10 cm foreground rosulate)

Under 2 - 3 mm black sand I've got tetra complete substrate.  Normally I'd go tropica but it'd cost too much for this size aquarium.  Hopefully the tetra will turn out well.  The plants will be under a 4ft Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0 light which has great PAR ratings.  I'll be using a pressurised CO2 system which is next on my to do list to setup.   For additional fertilisers I'll be mixing my own micro and macro solutions.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2017, 07:26:14 PM »
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OMG that's going to look amazing.  :afro
Beautiful plecos and nice big shoals of the others.
I'm looking forward to seeing lots of pictures of the set up and best of luck with getting all of your fish.
 8)

Offline Sue

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2017, 07:32:21 PM »
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I had to google green fire tetra. Lovely looking fish.
The emperors - do you mean Inpaichthys kerri?


I agree, it is going to look amazing  :)

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2017, 08:44:21 PM »
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Thank you for the encouragement.  :)

The emperors - do you mean Inpaichthys kerri?

It is the inpaichthys kerri but it's a variation bred for the blue.  Here's a site with some pics:
https://www.ruinemans.com/en-GB/489/inpaichthys-kerri-super-blue-m.html

Offline Sue

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2017, 09:12:32 PM »
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They are gorgeous. I've only ever seen the standard kerri emperors in the flesh but those super blues look stunning.

Offline fcmf

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2017, 08:42:50 PM »
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Your plans sound fantastic.  :cheers:  Looking forward to more pictures in due course.

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 07:32:13 PM »
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Plants all arrived today.  Happily planted them all where I wanted them.  Manually filled the display some so as not to disturb the substrate.  Filled the sump to fill the tank.  All going great with the display tank half full and then a ninja iceberg struck. 

The polystyrene I was using to keep the mound shape in the corner decided that it wanted to go travelling.  Tipped over the hardscape, knocked over the rock, gave me the petro-chemical equivalent of the V's and off it went.  Cue me wildly trying to send the polystyrene back but I may as well have been herding cats.  Threw it out. 

Looked around for quick fix alternatives and came across a large lava rock so put it in the corner and furiously tried to make a hill around it with the black sand.  So much for undisturbed substrate.  And to add to the mayhem the previously planted vegetation decided to celebrate the freedom of the polystyrene by holding an impromptu pool party. 

Repositioning the wood was like playing Jenga after downing a bottle of vodka in deep fog.  Some how I overcame the problem of needing to grow a third arm and hand to hold down the wood, and to pick up and position the large piece of dragon stone.  Then it was blind replanting.

Finished filling the tank, walked away and came back an hour later.  The *%$"%% hardscape on the left was better placed than when I planned it.   http://www.hodderscape.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/chaos-theory.gif

Here's some photo's of the mess:

Offline Littlefish

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2017, 07:40:09 PM »
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I couldn't help laughing at your descriptions. Very accurate.
I've been in that position several times myself, and it is so frustrating that all you can do is laugh.
The tank is looking good though.  8)

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 08:44:15 PM »
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Love your wood... errr... that sounds terrible. I'm a big admirer of your driftwood!

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 05:49:39 PM »
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Love your wood...

Thank you, here are some close up pics I took on my phone.  Enjoy! ;)

Today's crisis is with the CO2 system.  Got it all setup.  Turned up the volume on the adapter and ...  nothing.  In contact with the suppliers but I think I've either got a duff adapter or duff regulator.  Could end up as an expensive paperweight and can't afford to replace right now.

Offline Andy the minion

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2017, 11:17:08 AM »
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@marquismirage Oh, been there, done that and glad it's not just me. Also I love the descriptions :)
Have you checked, can the CO2 reg be fitted in reverse? It would almost certainly not allow flow if it were. If it is dead and you can't get it replaced have a go at a DIY yeast in the interim, you will probably find you have all the bits you need already. It isn't as good as pressurised but it can be controlled if you need and with multiple fermentation bottles can produce a good flow of CO2. The sump will fight against you getting the CO2 levels up as they can tend to produce a lot of aeration, however I saw a lot of submerged media in your earlier pictures but it didn't look like any wet/dry so you may get away with it.
Best of luck and keep up with the entertaining posts :)

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2017, 06:38:01 PM »
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I'm going to send the regulator and adapter back to the supplier and they will test it.  On purchase of the new CO2 canister the adapter worked but there seems to be a large leak from the regulator.  This means moving on without it for now.  Which sadly means not being able to regulate the pH levels through CO2.  Need to get it sorted before adding fish.

I've started cycling the tank now even though it is still very cloudy.  The wood I used had been treated and cured so isn't the problem.  It's the Tetra substrate I used being mainly peat based.  Because of the hardscape disaster it got kicked up so there's peat om the water.  On the plus side it's a Amazon based SA project so it'll be fine for the fishes.

On the plus side I've not only found l 397 plecos but have ordered four of the 2 cm long fellas.  I'll no longer be getting the flash pleco.  My mum (whose tank I helped setup) wanted a couple of bristlenose but I convinced her to take two of these.  Having a quarantine tank ready is such a boon.  Now I have to scratch my head as I saw some blue apistogramma agassizii advertised.  Ideally I want two double red, two fire red, and two blue with the blue being the hardest to get,

Offline Littlefish

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2017, 06:48:33 PM »
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Very exciting.  ;D
I'm looking forward to seeing lots of pictures when you get the fish.

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2017, 07:16:40 PM »
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Got the plecos today.  They're so tiny and cute at 2 cm long.  :)  Spent last night moving tank inhabitants around and setting up the quarantine tank to be a grow out tank.  The frogs I kept in there have gone into the volcano tank, the shrimp into the PNG tank, and Darkness has gone into the 30 l tank that was always designed to be his permanent home.  The forktails that were growing in the 30 l are now in the grow out tank.

Fake plants in the grow out tank and a thin layer of gravel on the bottom.  Want to keep the water quality as high as possible and have a good view of the fish to spot any problems.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2017, 07:18:58 PM »
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They are beautiful fish with lovely markings.  :cheers:

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2017, 12:51:06 AM »
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Time for an update.  Of the four L397's one died within two days.  Getting a bit paranoid I stepped up water change amounts and quantity.  The remaining three are looking great on a diet of Rapashy Morning Wood, spirulina and spinach tabs, and cucumber.  The one that died looked a bit weaker than the others so I just have to chalk it up to one of those things.

The tank completed its cycle today so I've been ordering some fish.  Hunted around and found some apistogramma agassizii tefe, pics below (from the retailer).  The tefe come from the Tefe region of the Amazonas in Brazil and have the distinctive tail pattern as seen in the dominant male here.  I immediately ordered all three pairs he had and will get them on Wednesday.

Pics of the aquarium will follow tomorrow.

Offline Matt

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 07:09:00 AM »
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Those agassizii tefe are absolutely beautiful. I'm a big dwarf cichlid fan, I currently keep rams as I have a 64 litre but that will change when I eventually get round to upgrading my tank.

Ill be interested to find out how the multiple pairs get on in your tank.

Looking forward to your tank pics  :wave:

Offline Sue

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 10:56:53 AM »
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I too like those apistos  :)

After the import spot wipeout I decided to choose Asian fish this time but had I gone with S American fish, aggies would have been high on my list.

Watch out for the males sparring/fighting. Yesterday I caught my two male gudgeons sizing up to each other.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 05:13:06 PM »
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Great pics of lovely fish.  ;D

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 07:33:53 PM »
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Thanks for the comments. :)

@Matt There should be plenty of hiding spots in the tank as is but even more once the plants grow a bit more.  I'm hoping to get some fry out of them and if I do I'll hook you up.

@Sue I hope to create many breaks for line of sight and spawning caves have been placed with plenty of space between.  In my PNG tank the gudgeons spar all the time.  I have five males and one female.  :/

I waited until today to add pics because I have my not so good pics of the tank but my wife got her camera out and got some fish close ups.  Also added to the tank are the 'Super Blue' Emperor Tetra and Green Fire Bloodfin Tetra.  They all need to colour up a bit.

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2017, 07:37:03 PM »
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More pics

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2017, 07:42:30 PM »
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And more pics.

Offline Matt

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2017, 10:34:48 PM »
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@Matt There should be plenty of hiding spots in the tank as is but even more once the plants grow a bit more.  I'm hoping to get some fry out of them and if I do I'll hook you up.

Well in that case... I hope it goes very well indeed ;D

Nice pics, I can see how as the plants will continue to grow yout scape will look even better too.

I hope everyone settles in ok over the next few days.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2017, 07:35:18 AM »
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Great tank.  8)

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2017, 01:46:39 PM »
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Been very busy with the fishkeeping (cyano bacteria in the PNG tank, swim bladder issue with one of the white clouds) and school half term so haven't been as active as usual.  Here's an update for this project.

First the bad news.  One of the 'Super Blue' Emperor Tetras showed symptoms of what looked like neon tetra disease (Erractic swimming and s-shaped body) so I removed it straight away.  Ran a course of eSha 2000 on the tank.  Nothing cures neon tetra disease but eSha 2000 claims to stop transmission between fish.  I've been keeping an eye on all the fish and currently have a 'Super Blue' with a small white lump on his flank and one with a single eye popped out but no one showing symptoms for neon tetra disease.  I'll be starting a course of Melafix/Pimafix on the tank today.  On the whole I'm not overly enamoured with these fish.  They are super blue but only when they catch the light in specific ways which is not often enough.

One of my female apistos turned out to be a sleeper male and as he was so small compared to the other males was hounded until he had popeye in both eyes and was not in a good way.  I decided euthanasia was the best course for this poor guy.  The remaining three males are looking good but definitely in territorial mode, especially the alpha male.

At the moment I'm holding off from running a dewormer on the tank as it will kill my snails and shrimp.  If problems persist I'll have to go that way.  The shrimp are still clearing the algae from the woods so I need more of them anyway.  So that's quite a bit of bad news.

The good news is that the Green Fire Bloodfin Tetra are doing great and haven't shown any issues yet.  They do nibble the Bacopa in the tank but it's OK as it's growing fast enough.  They're growing nicely and their greens and reds are looking good.  I wasn't expecting the tips of their fins to be such a pure white though but it only helps to make them look better.  Really liking this fish.

On the subject of pleasant surprises.  I had no previous experience with Apistos so when one of the females turned a bright golden colour and its lateral line turned into a dot it was all very exciting.  Some pictures below but they don't do justice to how beautiful the fish is or the shiny iridescence around the head.  Looks like something out of Tron.  The dot is also turning back into a line.  I've looked this up and it's a good sign that she is with eggs or has laid them already. :D  I'll lose this first batch as I have no breeding tank setup.  That will change soon as the Forktails are 2 cm long and ready to go in the PNG tank and after the Amazon tank treatments the L397's can be moved out of the grow out tank and into the main one.  Anyhoo, it looks like it will be easy to breed the Apistos.  If, like Matt, you want some of these let me know.  These are 20 a pair fish for which you'll be charged shipping only.  Of course it will be a while as I'll have to grow them out to a size where they can be sexed.

Offline Sue

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2017, 02:50:26 PM »
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You'll know if the female apisto has laid eggs if she suddenly starts chasing all the fish away from a spot where she goes into hiding. None of mine ever harmed the other fish, just chased them away.

Lovely photos of her  :)



When you say you are holding off running a dewormer, do you mean you think the fish have worms or just a precaution? If the fish do have camallanus worms, look at eSHa-ndx as that contains the active ingredient recommended for camallanus.

Offline marquismirage

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2017, 05:12:51 PM »
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She's been trying to defend her area.  It's in the tunnel section beneath the tree branches.  :)  I don't think the fish have worms so just a precautionary dosage.  Thankfully no signs of camallanus worms as that would be an even bigger disaster.

Offline Matt

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2017, 07:14:32 PM »
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Is there any treatment for Popeye? One of my sparkling gourami has it in one eye but i cant find any reliable info on a cure.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2017, 07:15:05 PM »
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You have had quite a busy time. Sorry to hear that you've had some issues.
I hope that your female apisto is doing well, the pictures of her are great and she looks amazing. Please keep us updated on progress of any eggs/little ones.

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2017, 07:21:02 PM »
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Is there any treatment for Popeye? One of my sparkling gourami has it in one eye but i cant find any reliable info on a cure.

Popeye in one eye is usually physical damage; popeye in both eyes is swelling inside the fish. The latter is harder to cure.

For physical damage, the best thing is lots of clean water - that is lots of water changes - and it should heal by itself, though watch for infections getting into the damaged area.

Offline Matt

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2017, 07:33:22 PM »
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That's Sue that was the conclusion I came too, but its very reassuring indeed to know that I'm on the right tracks in the 'just clean water treatment'. I'd hate for there to be something more I should be doing if you see what I mean...

Offline Andy the minion

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2017, 11:00:22 PM »
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@Matt As you have the correct answer already could I just add - Did you think of trying Olive Oil?  ;D

Offline Matt

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Re: South America Project Update
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2017, 05:54:09 AM »
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I might try spinach Andy!   ;D

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