The Cookie Crew

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Offline TopCookie

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The Cookie Crew
« on: April 12, 2018, 01:45:28 PM »
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Tank log for "The Cookie Crew"... 

Will add any news and some up to date pics imminently...  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 04:39:22 PM »
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I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures.  ;) Every time I tried looking for your photos I meant to suggest that you put a thread here.
 :cheers:

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 05:57:39 PM »
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Finally planted the Echinodorus Red Diamond today, after a short spell in quarantine...  But with the other new plants recently introduced, I'm seeing a lot more of the pesky little ramshorn shape micro snails and picking them out manually...   :vcross:

Went in the tank today for a little light trimming & tidy up, having done the same yesterday, and blow me - what starts out as 15 minutes of tinkering soon becomes the entire afternoon, eh...??!!??   ::)

Will get some new pics up asap Helen...  Tank is a tad murky at the mo because of tinkering with the plants...  I couldn't, literally, get the Red Diamond to settle in the chosen spot I had for it, so ended up uprooting one of the nuisance H.Costata and then planting Old Red in that space, so the tank will look a fair bit (read: a little bit, lol) different once I get it nice and clear & photo worthy again...  :)

The H.Costata came out reasonably well and without too much disruption (unlike the Elodea I uprooted recently...!!!), so that has encouraged me with the idea of removing them all, over time, and replacing them with better choices...  :)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2018, 07:15:22 PM »
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Went in the tank today for a little light trimming & tidy up, having done the same yesterday, and blow me - what starts out as 15 minutes of tinkering soon becomes the entire afternoon, eh...??!!??   ::)


It's far too easy to lose an entire afternoon to pottering/faffing/maintenance.  ;D

Offline fcmf

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 07:19:20 PM »
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Went in the tank today for a little light trimming & tidy up, having done the same yesterday, and blow me - what starts out as 15 minutes of tinkering soon becomes the entire afternoon, eh...??!!??   ::)
Did you have a swim while you were in there too?  ;)

Fish Community Creator Tanks
X-ray Tetra (5) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Cardinal Tetra (3) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cherry Barb (3) - Blue Tetra (1) - Ember Tetra (1) - Golden Pencilfish (2) - Glowlight Tetra (1) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Galaxy Rasbora (1) - Lampeye Panchax (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2018, 11:02:23 PM »
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You gotta love it though, all the same...  lolol...  It really was only intended as a brief "potter" in the tank, after having an afternoon of it yesterday too...  But I have now discovered that there's no such thing as a gentle plant trimming...!!!  Oh no, it's more like if you get those scissors out, may as well get the BIG bucket out coz that's how much space you're gonna need by the time you finally manage to persuade yourself that it's time to finally put the scissors down while you still have some actual plants left...!!!!!    :yikes:

Lolol on the swimming thing...  my t-shirt certainly thinks I went swimming...!!!   ;D

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2018, 11:18:52 AM »
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The most recent pic I can find, although this is a few days old and prior to a few changes... 


Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2018, 03:33:47 PM »
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Looking good.  :cheers:

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline fcmf

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2018, 06:17:39 PM »
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Very envious of how great it looks.  8)

Fish Community Creator Tanks
X-ray Tetra (5) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Cardinal Tetra (3) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cherry Barb (3) - Blue Tetra (1) - Ember Tetra (1) - Golden Pencilfish (2) - Glowlight Tetra (1) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Galaxy Rasbora (1) - Lampeye Panchax (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Littlefish

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2018, 06:44:43 PM »
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Great tank & lovely plants.  8)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2018, 10:13:27 AM »
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After noticing some kind of filamentous algae growing on a few of the taller Sword leaves and the upper H.Costata leaves, some serious trimming has been underway, so the tank is definitely looking less lush and jungle like at the moment...  Also inclined to leave the skimmer filter on all the time at the mo too, to see if I can't combat the algae a little...  Finally, just as @Matt has suggested, I shall be reducing the lighting period a little too... 

In the meantime, the Seachem Pristine is working well and keeping the tank nice and clear & bright looking, and the Seachem Phosguard is also doing its thing well, having approximately halved the phosphate levels in the tank...  Only problem here is that my tap water level is high, so I may have to consider setting up a better solution by putting a layer of Phosguard in the main filter...

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2018, 10:28:59 AM »
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Aside from the running news there, I'm now considering some additional community fish...  After talking about stocking levels elsewhere, it would seem that I could in fact add a small shoal of another species to the Cookie Crew... 

There's no need to add to the Cardinals (11) or Pristellas (12) in the tank, and I just plain don't want to boost the Red Phantom numbers (6) on the grounds that they bicker too much (although to be fair, they have been a bit better lately)...

So, I'm after recommendations for a peaceful community fish that doesn't get too big and would sit nicely with a bunch of Tetras...  I'd almost prefer something that would be happy with 2 or 3 in numbers and would prefer a species that are not Tetras, having three varieties already... 

Gotta say though, @daveyng pics of his Diamond Tetras is an eye opener, for sure...  Beautiful fish indeed...!!!

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2018, 04:14:35 PM »
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A possibly controversial suggestion: you might find that increasing the number of red phantoms reduces the bickering!  :o

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline daveyng

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2018, 05:10:40 PM »
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Would Galaxy Rasboras fit in with the Tetras. I have kept them with neons in a tank that we installed at work.
They were fine with them.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2018, 06:11:03 PM »
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Two good recommendations to kick off with...  My concern with the Galaxy Rasboras would be them being so small, but then having said that, maybe that could mean a shoal of 8 to 10 fish and not much additional bio-load...  Definitely not ruled out and definitely a beautiful little fish...  Bottom line; added to the new wish list...!!! 

Adding more RPTs I would say is not at all controversial Helen and I suspect that would probably work well in terms of reduced bickering...  The problem I have there is that I really don't especially like them now, and adding more kinda goes against the grain a little...  I so wish I had got Harlequins instead now, but no use to think like that too much...  Maybe Harlequins are not a bad idea anyway, then simply replace each RPT with another Harlequin as their numbers come up, over time...? 

The two main contenders on my wish list (prior to Dave's suggestion above) are Cherry Barbs and Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish...  I have no experience of either species so far, but they both look nice to me and sound like potential candidates...  Would love a pair of Gourami of some sort, possibly Honeys, but this is another species that I need to research more... 

Still wide open to suggestions though...  :)

Offline fcmf

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2018, 06:16:48 PM »
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A possibly controversial suggestion: you might find that increasing the number of red phantoms reduces the bickering!  :o
I wholeheartedly agree - and perhaps try to ensure that you get more females so that there are plenty for the males to choose from.

These fish http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/fish/harlequin-rasbora.html, although from a different part of the world than tetras, might "fit the bill" well; I love mine.

Ha - tried to post and it turns out you'd posted as I was typing this, with the very suggestion I put above; great minds... Ignore my first comment as you've effectively eliminated that option. Re cherry barbs which you mention, from recollection of others' experiences, they are good as they are generally peaceful and cover the entire tank (including feeding on leftovers).

Fish Community Creator Tanks
X-ray Tetra (5) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Cardinal Tetra (3) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cherry Barb (3) - Blue Tetra (1) - Ember Tetra (1) - Golden Pencilfish (2) - Glowlight Tetra (1) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Galaxy Rasbora (1) - Lampeye Panchax (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2018, 06:32:21 PM »
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They are lovely fish, the Harlequins...  and not ruled out really...   :fishy1:

Just been reading about the Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora einthovenii) which could be an option, although they are a bit larger than ideal... 

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 07:43:54 PM »
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I have previous had cherry barbs and currently have neon dwarf rainbows. The former was several years ago and I don't really remember what they were like (the males coloured up nicely, but I don't remember their behaviour. But I also didn't know as much about fish then). The dwarf rainbows are in line to become one of my favourites. They are surprisingly slow growing - I've had them 3 months and I'd say they are 3-4cm. But they have still got some lovely colour to them. I'm quite excited for when they are full-grown.

I also have harlequin rasboras which I definitely have a soft spot for. They are interesting fish to watch.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Matt

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2018, 09:46:03 PM »
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To give you something a bit different to think about... Bolivian ram - great characters. Will show some really different behaviours to your other fish. One how about something for the surface. I've seen hockeystick pencilfish in a few of my local MA stores recently and have been giving them some serious thought...

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cardinal Tetra (6) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Panda Cory (5) - Chain Loach (4) - Honey Gourami (2) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Sparkling Gourami (6) - Coolie Loach (2) - Otocinclus (2) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2018, 10:43:10 PM »
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At the moment, it is the Neon Dwarf Rainbows hitting the top spot... 

Rams are a fave of mine but I think they like softer water than I have...?  I've looked at them a few times, as potential candidates for the tank, but have always ended up ruling them out for some reason or other, don't remember why tbh though...  Brilliant looking fish though and I totally understand anybody having Rams as their faves...  :) 

One fish that I have considered, as a lone specimen though, is the Platy...  Does anyone know if they are "happy" as a lone fish in a community...?

Saw this pic of a Platy and love it: 


Offline daveyng

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2018, 11:11:56 PM »
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I have Cherry Barbs in my tank. They pretty much keep to themselves and the males really colour up once settled in their environment.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2018, 11:47:57 PM »
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@daveyng  which sorta level in the tank do they spend most time Dave...?

@Helen  same question for Helen, about the Neon Dwarf Rainbows...?

Offline Matt

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2018, 07:25:18 AM »
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I have recently spoken about how we don't truly know if we are make our fish happy but that we should obviously be trying to do so. I don't know that platy show any health effects of being kept alone but would they be happy? In nature I believe they are found in groups but they are not like traditional schoaling fish. I has a lone endler for a while when its mates had long passed it seemed go break all rules and live for twice as long and never "seemed unhappy".  Of course with platy you need to be careful that you get males else you will likely be inundated with fry! They are quite active fish compared to your current stocking so be aware of this as it might change the dynamic of the tank.

Going back to rams...bloom up specifically Bolivian rams as opposed to German Blue rams which you are right need soft water.  Bolivians are slightky larger, much more adaptable, though slightly less colourful.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cardinal Tetra (6) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Panda Cory (5) - Chain Loach (4) - Honey Gourami (2) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Sparkling Gourami (6) - Coolie Loach (2) - Otocinclus (2) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2018, 11:16:24 AM »
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Yeah, I see the BRs are more flexible than the GBRs...  How are these bad boys with shrimps Matt...?


Edit:  Just looked on CC to find this warning...



 :(

Offline daveyng

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2018, 11:39:10 AM »
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@TopCookie The Cherry’s spend most of the time in the bottom third of the tank.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2018, 11:48:36 AM »
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Thanks @daveyng 

That kinda knocks them off the wish-list, as that part of the tank is already teeming...  With looking at the CC and Bolivian Rams, this leaves me three potential options (so far):

1/ Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish x 6

2/ A lone Platy

3/ Additional 2 or 3 female Red Phantom Tetras (grudgingly on the list though)

Offline daveyng

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2018, 01:08:33 PM »
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Neon Dwarfs stay mainly in the top third of the tank.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2018, 02:46:31 PM »
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That platy has great colours. I have 2 v. platy in my temperate tank, daughters of the very first fish I bought. The 2 of them seem fine and get on with the danios, wcmm, peppered cories & amanos in that tank.
Additional red phantom tetras may help with any bad behaviour.
I'd probably end up going for the neon dwarf rainbowfish.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2018, 10:07:24 PM »
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That particular Platy in the picture is a beauty, eh...  All the colours you might find in a Cichlid but without the shrimp worries...  I'd love to find one for sale that looked at least a little like that...  :)

Just off to investigate YouTube now...  May have my first upload shortly...   :D

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2018, 10:17:38 PM »
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<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGQkBUxOXcE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGQkBUxOXcE</a>

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2018, 10:51:44 PM »
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 :cheers: looking great.

Interesting that tour cardinals stay so low down. Im sure i remember them being more mid water fish in my tank.

By the way I'm loving the soundtrack to the video!  :rotfl:

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2018, 10:57:43 PM »
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lolol, had the Man United game on the tv there...   ;D   I have substitued an audio track, but YT says it takes a little time to set up...???

Edit:  Audio track sorted...   :)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2018, 10:47:15 AM »
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You guys that have now or have had Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, how are they for bickering & squabbling amongst themselves...?

Following somebody else's thread on another forum where one of the guy's NDRs has physical damage, suspected as being from fighting, and talk is of how the males in particular can be aggressive - especially if that crucial balance of males to females is off etc... 

After my ongoing frustration with constantly bickering Red Phantoms, about the last thing I want to embark on is introducing more quarrelsome little blighters... 

Offline daveyng

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2018, 11:43:05 AM »
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Never had problems with fighting. I have a couple of males and 4 females. The males obviously chase the females around when displaying, but I have never noticed anything untowards.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2018, 01:17:31 PM »
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I can't help wondering if a shoal of 4F and 1M might be a good way forward with a view to keeping that bickering/chasing down...?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2018, 03:52:12 PM »
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Your tank looks great.  8)

Offline fcmf

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2018, 07:03:18 PM »
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I can't help wondering if a shoal of 4F and 1M might be a good way forward with a view to keeping that bickering/chasing down...?
Having more females than males ought to help for the very reasons you say, without doubt. Take a read of the 'Hierarchies' 4th paragraph in this article http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/article/why-fish-shoal-or-group-in-a-fish-tank and also take a look at this article http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/article/conflicts-when-mixing-community-aquarium-fish.

Loved your video, by the way - in fact, showed it to Mr FCMF who commented not only on the fish but on how healthy the plants looked (and told me that I had a long way to go if I was to get mine looking that good  :-[).

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Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2018, 09:13:52 PM »
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I have 5f and 4m. No obvious bickering that I've noticed. Less than the harlies. (But mine are still juveniles, so it's possible that they're not yet breeding age)  As long as there is 1 more female than males, I understand you should be ok.

Also he aware that the females don't have the same red fins. I think they're equally beautiful with their yellow fins and they are also blue, just not quite as blue.

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Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2018, 11:29:55 PM »
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Thanks you guys...  :)

After the Red Phantom Tetras, I'm super sensitive about potentially adding more fish that just might spend their days "facing off" and bickering etc... 

With that said, I just haven't come across any other alternatives...  There is one fish that I fell in love with right at the start though, but dismissed in favour of slightly more esoteric choices, and that is the magnificent looking (imho) Leopard Danios...  Not colourful & pretty like the NDRs, but definitely love that "micro-trout" look that they have...  They'd actually be a serious contender, although I do think the NDRs are far prettier...  :)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2018, 08:27:20 AM »
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I have leopard danios in my temperate tank, and I think the colour and markings are quite attractive.
They are also active fish, quite hardy, and good within a community.  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2018, 09:06:10 AM »
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I think danios do better in a slightly cooler tank than I think you have. As Littlefish said, they're in her temperate tank.

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Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2018, 10:28:19 PM »
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Everything keeps coming back to the NDRs...  Planning a trip to Wharf on Tuesday, so watch this space...   ;D

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2018, 10:32:58 PM »
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Excited about tomorrow (Tuesday), but in the meantime, I've hit a major snag...!!!

The problems I've had with the H.Costata plants looking malnourished have now spread to the recently planted Ludwigia repens Rubin, but they already seem quite overwhelmed by the leaf yellowing and poor health... 

I have done water tests today and all three main parameters on zero ppm...  But this includes the nitrates...!!!  So, I'm thinking that excess phosphates combined with a lack of nitrates could be behind a couple of issues in the tank, including what appears to be a nitrogen deficiency in some of the plants and may or may not be connected to the filamentous algae that has started to make it's presence known... 

All in all, while my aquarium creatures all seem super happy, the planted side of things is distinctly unhappy at the mo...   :(

I have seen that there are nitrogen rich fertilisers available, such as "Seachem Flourish Nitrogen" and will probably snag a bottle of that whilst at Wharf in the morning...  Fingers crossed, a boost in nitrogen will reverse the poor health of those plants looking so miserable & poorly...

Offline Matt

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2018, 10:43:36 PM »
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Do you think your anti phosphorus stuff could be stripping the nitrates too?

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Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2018, 10:50:28 PM »
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I'm really not sure to be honest Matt...  I do have some super healthy and fast growing floating Amazon Frogbit in the tank and believe that to be a nitrate muncher extraordinaire - so it clouds the problem a little and could well be that they are depleting the nitrates...  A factor here is no water changes for a couple of weeks and this is because of experimentation with the Phosguard while knowing that my tap water has high phosphate levels...  Needed to try and gauge how effective the Phosguard is...  This could mean that the Frogbit has had more time with the same water to consume the nitrates but could also mean that your idea is true and the Phosguard is stripping out nitrates as well as phosphates...  Gonna have to approach this with a diagnostic mentality and attempt to identify what is reducing the nitrates... 

Will be doing a water change tomorrow, for sure though...  so that may throw a curved ball into the equation... 

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #45 on: April 24, 2018, 11:20:39 PM »
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Well, what a day...!!!  Visit to Wharf Aquatics and now have three more juvenile Rabbit snails and one new 'centre piece' fish, for want of a better expression...  Did look at the Neon Dwarf Rainbows, as planned, but somehow they failed to woo me enough to take the plunge...  To my eyes, the stock they had looked a little washed out of colour, just enough to put that little seed of doubt in my mind, so Operation NDR is on hold for the time being...  BUT...  the new fish, which I am super excited about (something that will likely make you all chortle at least a little, lol) is a lovely looking (imho) humble Platy: 





Anyways, had the chance to speak with the planted tank guru at Wharf, a smashing lad called Adam, and told him about the various issues that I currently have...  Firstly, the excess phosphates, secondly the zero nitrates and then the arrival of the filamentous algae and the green algae where the sand meets the glass...  Adam's considered explanation, or theory, is this: 

He was of the opinion that what's happening is that all these issues are in fact likely to be directly connected and probably centre around the plants "stalling" in growth because of the lack of nitrates...  Combined with the excess phosphates, this has paved the way for the recent growth in the two algae varieties that I'm now seeing and that they will be sucking up any residual nitrates and enjoying the phosphates etc, while the plants are failing to compete with them due to the insufficient and unbalanced nutrients... 

I did fill him in on the tank set up details etc with info on plant numbers and types, water parameters, tank size, livestock etc...  Also told him about currently using TNC Lite, on the grounds that I didn't want to add extra phosphates...  His advice is to switch back to TNC Complete because of the extra NPK and explained that if the plants can get growing properly again, then there will be no need to worry about the phosphates so much as the plants will start to consume them more...  He also advised to cut back on the amount of Amazon Frogbit I allow in the tank, on the grounds that it does consume nitrates so readily but also suggested that I can keep using the Seachem Phosguard for the time being...  So far as dosage for the TNC Complete, his recommendation is to use two thirds recommended weekly dose, but twice per week - to help avoid that feast & famine type deal of once weekly dosing...  Stick to this for a few weeks and see how things progress...  He was of the view that getting the plants back on track will have the effect of making them out compete the algae and that it should therefore recede quite naturally etc... 

Bizarre in a way, insomuch as I assumed that I had to deal with the excess phosphates as one issue and the algae as an entirely separate issue...  After Adam's explanation, it does all make sense and the timing probably does fit what's been happening too... 

So, I estimate 150 litres of water in my 170 litre tank and the TNC recommended dose is 1ml per 10 litres, or 15ml total, per week...  I have today dosed with two thirds of that; 10ml and will do the same in a few days time...  I had been dosing 5ml TNC Lite once a week, so the change in regime is a big one and hopefully things should get back onto something like an even keel as soon as possible, leastways I certainly hope so...  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2018, 12:00:22 AM »
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What Adam said certainly makes sense to me.

A comment I read a couple weeks ago (in an old post on another forum) is that a planted tank will always have zero nitrates unless it is over stocked with fish, because the plants will always use up any available nitrates (after they've used up the fish produced nitrogen). Therefore nitrates = too many fish. I am of the opinion that there can be exceptions to this where another nutrient is lacking and therefore stunting growth and limiting the plants' uptake of nitrates.

But I think the gist of the other conversation is that in a properly stocked, heavily planted tank, it is always necessary to supplement NPK in some way.

The cheapest way to buy fertilisers is to get dry ones (transporting water is expensive!). I have got mine from here in the past and am still using up the last order I made.
http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
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Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2018, 12:21:28 AM »
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I think that there is a deficiency of both potassium and nitrogen evident, based on this diagram (and many other similar ones on t'interwb)



With the excessive phosphates, that adds up to a quite severely out of balance nutrition and I agree Helen, Adam's advice sounds bang on the money...

At 10ml Complete every few days, my bottle won't last that long so your suggestion of "going dry" may well be the answer for the long term...   :)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2018, 08:01:33 AM »
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That's a nice looking platy.  :)

As for the NDRs, the ones in the shop will look washed out, possibly because they are juveniles and are yet to fully develop their colours. Once they are settled in a tank, and given some time, they will look great.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2018, 09:34:19 AM »
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Thanks Donna...  :) 

Yeah, funny with the NDRs...  It was a bit of intuition really, or as the young 'uns might say, I just wasn't "feeling it" when I looked at the NDRs...  They didn't look anything remotely like bad in any way, but my gut feeling was to hold off for now...  Probably at the back of my mind was a degree of worry over getting the various other issues under control first...

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