20 Gallon Tiger Teddy Species Tank

Jay0173

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Hello everyone!
 
It's time to start an aquarium build ... again!
 
A local breeder has recently introduced me to a new livebearer that he recently acquired. They're called Tiger Teddies (Neoheterandria elegans) and they have to be the smallest livebearer species I have ever seen! These active little fish, seldom seen in hobbyist aquariums today, can only be found in the Rio Truando, in Columbia, usually in shallow water that is full of aquatic plants. But even there they are quite rare. Both males and females are a deep olive brown with six to nine vertical bands of varying widths. The band under the dorsal fin widens into a wedge-shaped to round spot, which is bordered by an elegant metallic gold to amber ring, hence the name. It is a very shy species, easily spook and so it does best in an aquarium only with others of its own kind and with lots of plants in which they can hide.
 

 
The Tiger Teddy also tires easily in fast moving waters, so in an aquarium the best type of filter for these fish would be a sponge filter driven by an air pump. A corner filter can also be used but its recommended that the lid remain off to prevent any of these fish from getting trapped in the filter.
 
I decided the best aquarium for these fish would be a 20 gallon long aquarium (30" x 12" x 12") with lots of plants and hardscape. I chose to heat it with 2 Marineland 50W heaters to keep the temperature of the water constant (it's important for these fish that the temperature remain quite warm, between 25 degrees Celsius and 27 degrees Celsius). For lighting I chose the Aqueon Modular LED fixture. This fixture is unique in that it allows for any combinations of up to 3 LED light strips. It comes with a single white daylight strip. I will be getting one more strip for the fixture as the single strip won't be sufficient for my plants.
 
There a few weeks left to go before I get these fish. It has to get warm enough to safely have them shipped to me. So now was the perfect time for me to begin gathering the equipment necessary. At the time of this post, I had already purchased the aquarium, filter, air pump and hose, light fixture, heaters and the glass canopy. I had also already purchased the necessary substrate and hardscape.
 
The substrate is a fine gravel from Carib Sea called Peace River (1mm-2mm granule size) and I purchased 50 pounds worth. The hardscape is lava rock. I chose this rock because it would contrast nicely with the green leaves of the plants and help to make the fish stand out better.
 
I didn't have a plan in mind as far as the arrangement of the hardscape was concerned. I don't usually like planning it out in advance. Instead I like being spontaneous in my arrangements. Mother Nature, after all, doesn't plan where the rocks go. So after rinsing the substrate and pouring it into the tank (and spreading it out), I put the rocks in.
 
Next I put in the filter and heaters then filled the aquarium with water. I had already tested the tank before hand to make sure there were no leaks. Marineland aquariums are some of the best available and I've never had any problems with one leaking. But it is always better to be safe than sorry.
 
To cycle the tank and prepare it for its future inhabitants, I used some filter media from my 55 gallon aquarium, which I attached to the sponge filter using a rubber band. It took a few days, but the cycle completed as expected. Every day I fed the tank as though I had fish in it, just to give the bacteria something to work with.
 
It was then time to start planting the tank. As I mentioned Tiger Teddies require a heavily planted tank so it was important for me to begin growing the plants as soon as possible. I chose three types of plants for this aquarium. First is Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis acicularis). This plant comes in a pot and because I wanted to create a nice carpet for my fish to swim in, I had to carefully separate them and plant them individually in the tank. An arduous job indeed! The other plants I chose are Crypts. Specifically Cryptocoryne wendtii sp (Green) and Cryptocoryne balansae. Because this is such a shallow tank, I didn't need to purchase any tall plants. The Crypts were ordered through a Canadian aquatic plants supplier called The Plant Guy (www.theplantguy.org) and should arrive sometime late next week or early the week following.
 
Here's a picture of what the tank looks like right now:
 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wxg7g93p3rym3id/IMG_0356.JPG
 
(Since the insert image function crashes, I can only offer the link. Can't even use copy or paste so had to type it in manually! Mods?)
 
 

AquaPit

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Awesome Journal!

Interesting fish these Tiger Teddies!

Definitely following! :)
 

attibones

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This sound really interesting! Are you going to keep us updated? I'd love to see how this progresses.
 

hobby5

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Ty for sharing! A friend of mine was keeping those little beauties and I loved them! Did u link to the right pic? The tank was not planted yet?
 
Imho opinion java moos is a must with them and also some floating plants would be highly appreciated. The plants you chose imho don't form a dense enough jungle.
 
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Jay0173

Jay0173

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attibones said:
This sound really interesting! Are you going to keep us updated? I'd love to see how this progresses.
 
I most certainly plan on keeping everyone updated on the tank's progress.
 
hobby5 said:
Ty for sharing! A friend of mine was keeping those little beauties and I loved them! Did u link to the right pic? The tank was not planted yet?
 
Imho opinion java moos is a must with them and also some floating plants would be highly appreciated. The plants you chose imho don't form a dense enough jungle.
 
Thanks for the input. The tank was planted. You have to look real carefully to see the hairgrass though, since I didn't plant it in large clumps but rather a few strands about a centimetre apart.
 
Considering the crypts growing in my 55 gallon tank (which are similar except for colour) they will prove more than adequate.  There will be quite a few of these plants in the tank by the time I'm all done planting it. I might give Javamoss a go if the hairgrass carpet doesn't grow in like I would like.
 
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