125 gallon South American community progress

mcordelia

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
635
Location
michigan
There is no one right answer to fishkeeping. You have to work within the constraints that you have, but you have pretty wide constraints at the moment so not bad!! You can also try posting on FB marketplace or r/aquaswap to get rid of the current fish.

It's interesting that the smaller LFS's won't take the fish at all. My local LFS will take fish as a donation and attempt to resell them, but will not give the person donating the fish any perks for bringing them in. They explained to me that the effort of keeping tanks to take in fish basically balances out with how much they can resell the fish for, so that's why they don't give the person giving away the fish anything in return.

It also sounds like you have a couple of weeks to think before you make any decisions, and frankly, even after you make a decision, you can always change it up down the road. It's not like you're buying a car or selling a house here, sure they are sort of big decisions since live animals are involved,but at the end of the day in the scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal of you end up changing your mind :)
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
In the process of waiting for my new account at Loaches Online Forum to be approved. Once there I will ascertain once and for all if keeping the clown loaches in the 125 will be a feasible permanent proposition. If it turns out not to be (and based on my current research that may well be the case...), then just about the entire trajectory of where I'm going with this setup will change.

The cichlids will be gone, the loaches will be gone, and quite possibly some of the others could go too depending on my vision for this tank's future (some like the one rainbow with the swim bladder issues might just have to be humanly euthanized, from what I've read there's no cure and I can't imagine it has a great QoL having to perpetually swim like that but I'd like to hear other's thoughts on what to do).

At bare minimum, without the loaches I'm going fully into a base vision of an all natural planted tank. An underwater forest with tangles of driftwood and intricate caves of stone made out of silicone-glued rocks with a sweeping substrate of black diamond sand (with a more nutrient-rich type underneath for the plants of course).

Even further for a specific plan is a potential continental theme around South America. Teaming schools of black and neon/cardinal tetras, bustling corys, a group of Bolivian rams and the two bristlenose plecos I currently have to give an example. That's just one idea though, everything's very much still out in the open.
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
Came back to report that the rainbowfish with the swimming issues passed away. Literally watched as the loaches and rainbow shark starting hounding it as it started to give up swimming altogether. Had to euthanize it myself to save it from a crueler fate of being eaten alive.

Also it's been over a week and no verification at the loach forum. But at this point I think the best decision is to rehome the loaches by default. At any rate though, my plans will be delayed further due to my sister having her baby within the week which means I must watch over her puppy while she's at the hospital. But after that I should be in the clear to proceed with the process of getting fish rehomed for the restructuring of the tank.
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
Much has changed. The cichlids have all been rehomed, the albino bristlenose has moved into the 55 and the 125 is deep in the process of being completely revamped. The coarse white gravel has been replaced with black diamond sand, the fake decor has been removed, I'm slowly starting to add real material with 3 dragon stones (they look kinda small for the size but I'll try to find other "regular" ones) and two sizable pieces of driftwood are soaking in a bucket.

Also got liquid fertilizer, root tabs, and in a day or so new full spectrum LED lights come in so I'll also be ready for plants soon. Right now though I'm just letting the system run again as the canister filters have been off for over 48 hours on top of being thoroughly cleaned out (not by chlorinated water as the house is on a well but everything was so full of gunk that I ran it through a faucet regardless as using tank water wasn't going to really clean much). I did put some of the media baskets in the 55 during that time though so hopefully the bacterial colonies haven't been too terribly damaged, though in the end it's not too big a deal given I won't put fish in until plants have been placed and allowed to propagate for a couple weeks, more than enough time for things to restabilize.
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
awesome!! that's so exciting! Put up pictures when you have some!
The new lights came in so I could get a pic that actually looked decent (only left them on for said picture though, no point in leaving them on when there's no plants yet and allow algae to run rampant).
IMG_20210113_170930645.jpg


Obviously very bare bones atm but more rocks and driftwood will be added soon, then I'll go shopping around for plants. Was thinking of an Amazon sword for the middle centerpiece, vallis for the rest of the background, bacopa as the midground, and micro swords as a more foreground cover along with Java fern and anubias on rocks and driftwood. Maybe a floater like frogbit too but not sure if that'd be necessary if the vallis gets tall enough to drape over the surface.
 

mcordelia

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
635
Location
michigan
I like what you have going on with the dragon stone. Maybe offset it to the side to go for more of a "rule of thirds" thing, but looks like a nice start!!
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
I like what you have going on with the dragon stone. Maybe offset it to the side to go for more of a "rule of thirds" thing, but looks like a nice start!!
They'll definitely be moved around as more things are added yeah. Kinda just put them in there for now so there's at least something other than sand and a random piece of driftwood to look at.
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
I had a long talk with my mother yesterday (she's getting very impatient about how long it's taking as she wants the 55 dismantled and sold ASAP to make room for furniture that was moved by the addition of the 125) and she lamented about how "I have responsibility" regarding the fish I already have.

As a reminder, there's currently 4 clown loaches, 2 upside-down catfish, 1 Australian rainbowfish, 1 giant danio, 1 albino rainbow shark, and two bristlenose plecos.

The loaches are for sure getting rehomed as I've learned even a 125 won't be big enough for them in the long run and there's a more than decent chance they'll be too disruptive and dig out any plants I try to grow. And as mentioned before they've learned they can eat anything small tetra-sized. Ironically getting the 125 was originally with them in mind but the research I did after the fact showed it clearly wasn't meant to be, hence my new change in direction with what I want to do with it.

But the rest are what my mom's chastising about. The rainbowfish and danio are remnants of a mixed school and in their twilight years so I think they can stay and live out the rest of their days with me. They don't "fit the theme" but oh well (yes I am aware they need to be in schools but they're both so old that there wouldn't be much point).

The UDCs probably could be rehomed, but they've had a major finrot problem in the past and never fully recovered (one effectively looks like a swimming slug) so idk if anyone would want to take fish in such sorry shape.

The rainbow shark I'm, iffy on. It's perfectly healthy but I'm concerned about its territoriality. It's been fine for most of the time, but there was one instance where I added an extra log hide so the fish could have more choices. Well, the clown loaches all crowded into the new one, which led to the shark going mad with power and completely taking over half the tank. Quickly removed the extra log so the loaches would go back to the old one and restore the social balance, but with that in mind it leaves me worried about what will happen if the shark moves into the new tank without the loaches to keep it in check, that it will become a tyrant and attack anything new I add to the tank.

The bristlenoses are for sure staying. One is much younger, about half grown and I believe female (next to no bristles) while the other is a adult albino male that came with the 125 and is currently bunking in the 55 as the bigger tank has been undergoing a complete revamping.
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
Decided to keep the danio and rainbowfish along with the plecos, they can live out their twilight years in luxury. Still in the process of finding a home for the rest though.

As for the tank, the latest update as of today:
IMG_20210119_181726433.jpg
IMG_20210119_181732669.jpg
IMG_20210119_181737708.jpg
IMG_20210119_181802629.jpg
The cave on the right is glued together (100% silicone with no additives so it's aquarium safe). Tried to get more vertical with the bigger driftwood pieces in the middle but they weren't staying in place well. Guess I'll leave that to the plants, of which I will be shopping for tomorrow.
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
Flora.
IMG_20210120_204046686.jpg
IMG_20210120_204052514.jpg
IMG_20210120_204059583.jpg
IMG_20210120_204103574.jpg
Anubias congensis, narrow leaf Java fern, bacopa and an Amazon sword. I apparently got super lucky with the Javas on accident, the biggest one has babies on its tips and the other was actually two separate plants. Couldn't find any Vallisneria unfortunately. Went to three separate stores and it was too late in the night to go several towns over to a specialty LFS to try that one.

I've dug a root tab next to/underneath each substrate plant and added a tiny amount of liquid fertilizer in the meantime. Tomorrow I shall go searching some more.

On another note I'm down to the plecos, danio and rainbowfish. So once I'm satisfied with my plantings and give things a couple days they shall be moved in.
 
OP
Snagrio

Snagrio

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
72
Location
United States
So in short, decided to order online for the rest of the plants I was searching for, and they came in today. The four fish have also moved in about a week prior.

New species are vallisneria gigantea, super red ludwigia, micro swords and salvinia.
IMG_20210125_201324058.jpg
The two bristlenose plecos.
IMG_20210125_201516082.jpg
(Blurry) pic of the rainbowfish and danio.
IMG_20210125_201339697.jpg
IMG_20210125_201346459.jpg
Some of the salvinia. Impossible to see unless you're looking from below or raise the lids.
IMG_20210125_201421786.jpg

Gave everything a root tab and it's now a matter of waiting a couple weeks or so. Once I'm satisfied with their growth and am sure enough about bacterial integrity the fish populating step can begin.
 

Retired Viking

Fish Connoisseur
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
6,202
Reaction score
6,683
Location
north woods
I have salvinia in my 55 gallon tetra tank and leave the water level about 2-inches low so light can better reach the salvinia. Just something to consider.
 

Attachments

  • GEDC1538.JPG
    GEDC1538.JPG
    364.2 KB · Views: 6
Top