60G breeder journal - the CAVE

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Fish Fanatic
May 12, 2023
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Nova Scotia (Canada)
Hi all, went back in Photos to find some pic and put together a quick journal :)

2023/05/07 - setup tank, glue hardscape, fill up tank and start filter
2023/05/12 - 100% water change (woods were from a local beach so wanted to get all water out) then plants day!
2023/05/25 - some progress, first fishes
2023/06/07 - today
Wow, looks great! What fish do you have in it?
* 5 Julii Cory and a dozen 3 weeks old Cory fry
* 10 otocinclus
* a few neocaridina. Sadly I ****ed up something and killed quite a few of the shrimps from the initial 15 I had. I did not get what I did wrong
Tank looks brilliant great growth for a month!

Tank looks brilliant great growth for a month!

It's dirted, substrate is a mix of 1/2 top soil (about 12L of it), 1/4 fine gravel (1/8 inch) and 1/4 larger gravel (1/2 inch).
It's in bags and then it's capped with the 2 different textures of sand that are visible. Was going for a look as natural as possible.
Ever 2 or 3 days i do measure traces of ammonia (0.25 ppm or less, just not complete 0) but seems like the filter is keeping up.

This top soil (local Kent had a sale with free delivery)
Dither fish added! 19 Emperor Tetras :)
There is a fish in this pic that looks like it does not have a tail fin... It does not have a tail fin, completely nipped (not rot, nipped). Buch of them had nipped fins.
Got them on sale from a local store, sadly one fish jumped out when the lady picked them from the store.. I put it back into the tank, it ended up in my bag and was dead minutes later. Should have thrown it in a different tank LOL.
Apparently the store is family owned and the owner has been sick (plague19) for a bit and the lady that works there has NO IDEA what to do with the fish, she owns the cat&dog grooming section basically..
Covid is such a curse, damn.
Attached pic of the betta section :crazy:
Few days in with the emperor tetras: still good parameters (0 ammonia 0 nitrates, despite massive population growth and heavy feedings including brine shrimps this morning), no visible losses in the tetras, although getting a headcount is not really possible.
The older Cory frys are now 1/3 the size of an adult and swim together with the adults.

The Otos appears stressed by the tetras though. These emperor look pretty aggressive!
Initially the otos were confused and started schooling with the tetras for about a day (both species have a solid black stripe, they do look sorta similar), but now they keep to the bottom and the tetras seem to harass them if they try to stay in more visible areas, like on the glass.
Some tetras also keep sort of a territory in and around the cave and various hidey holes in between rocks, shooing other tetras away.
Grew tired of the ridiculous amount of evaporation. Lights are sitting on cutouts so the plastic does not take away light.
Update: good plants growth, but also a bunch of green hair algae.
I attributed the hair algae to low co2, because I had a solenoid on a timer, and when the solenoid opens (30m after lights on) the pressure regulator oftentimes let's out nothing. Looks like it gets "sticky" when there is pressure both sides of it.
So now the solenoid is now always on for about 70 bubbles/minute.
We'll see if that fixes the problem. If not, might look into some amano shrimps. Are they safe with emperor tetras? These guys seem voracious.
I started dosing Seachem Excel and some Seachem potassium, due to holes in leafs.
Long green hair algae problem is gone, but some of the java ferns in particular are still badly pinholed. I went in aggressive and cut all of the leafs off of the java ferns that were in the wrst shape, to see if they regrow back.

Here's a pic of the otos enjoying a zucchini:

I've heard that Otocinclus are a pain where feeding is concerned? Many have lost them to starvation apparently as they're algae feeders but won't touch wafers or veggies. Being wild caught they've never come by a courgette before so this is lovely to see! Thanks for sharing 👍🏻

Did I read somewhere on here that someone has managed to tank breed them?? 🤔 or have I imagined it?

Anyway, lovely scape 😍 you have a natural eye for it!
Did I read somewhere on here that someone has managed to tank breed them?? 🤔 or have I imagined it?
I made a topic about it because I want to breed them. But had no success yet.
I find keeping them in large number (10, in my case) is better because when one decides to try some new thing the other follows, and in a larger number they are not skittish at all.
They still don't touch wafers but I found a veggie only flake that is in large flakes and if I sink it it gets all draped around plants and woods, and they eat that.
They are all quite nicely colored and chubby now.

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