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Byron

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The floating plants are only artificial maple leaves. Im using these to cover the spray bar from view and to give a bit more security for the fish.

Lotus is growing really well, ive got 4 leaves floating now :)

Believe it or not my lighting is good old T8's. Ive just replaced the blasts and starters so they should last a good while longer now.
Ah...the leaves will remain floating then (presumably). I have T8 lighting, all but one fixture has been renewed with a new "shop light" insert, but even these in T8 are getting scarce here.
 
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Russjw

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Ah...the leaves will remain floating then (presumably). I have T8 lighting, all but one fixture has been renewed with a new "shop light" insert, but even these in T8 are getting scarce here.
I so nearly ordered some LED replacements for mine when one of the blubs stopped working but i do perfer the T8's. I have LED's in my other tanks but the plants dont grow aswell IMO.

After watching a video on youtube i just replaced my ballasts myself which was straight forward really. (I did get an electrician to check my handy work tho) :)
 

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Curious, I always hear of T8’s for plants. What are LED’s equivalent to if that makes sense?
 
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Russjw

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No expert really, but it depends on what kind of unit you have, i was looking at retro-fit units which fit into my Fluval Roma light fittings. I was looking at some LED replacements from Superfish and Aquael. But theres others on the market to fit all tanks such as fluval aquasky.

Think it goes on the lights kelvin rating, Plants need both red and blue light and a lot of LEDs have only blue and white. 6500k rating is best for plants i think.

Essjay and Byron know there stuff on lights if you ever need to know more :)
 
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seangee

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Few new additions this weekend now Barbs have all settled in.
6 otocinclus dwarf catfish and some ...
Is that Otocinclus macrospilus? I believe they stay a bit smaller. Staying away from my online supplier as I have a day off planned tomorrow and thought I'd pop in to check on the local Maidenhead as their revamp should now be complete - and they were adding a soft water section. Only looking of course o_O
 

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Curious, I always hear of T8’s for plants. What are LED’s equivalent to if that makes sense?

Aquatic plants require a certain level of light intensity to drive photosynthesis (this varies with plant species, and is exactly the same with terrestrial plants, which is why we have sun and shade plants in gardens). Aquatic plants also need red and blue light in order for photosynthesis to function; adding green does improve plant response. Diana Walstad surmises that it is likely due to the increased intensity from the green light which, while not used in photosynthesis, is reflected off the leaves (which is why they appear green to us) and occurs in sunlight. So there is spectrum and intensity. Diana recomends light with either a CRI of 80-100 or with a Kelvin of 5000K to 7000K. These approximate mid-day sun. My single-tube tanks all use a Life-Glo 6500K tube, and on my two dual tube tanks I use one Life-Glo 6500K and one ZooMed Tropic Sun 5500K for a tad more warmth (red). This mix is very nice, and provides a true rendition of colours.

When I started out with fish, the only light was either ordinary incandescent bulbs or T8 (then T12) fluorescent. Over the years, I learned more about this and experimented with various spectrum tubes, until I ended up with what I have. It is low to moderate light, and is sufficient for plants requiring less light. I've tried many plants; those that manage I keep, those that don't I forget and move on. My concern has been for the fish that do not appreciate bright overhead light, so I also use floating plants. I know how much and which type of T8 to use depending upon what I require in this or that tank.

When it comes to LED, it is certainly difficult for me to find equal replacements for my T8. I have tried five units and all went back. I gave up. Most of them are too high in the blue with insufficient red to work over freshwater planted tanks. The LED that do work are very expensive. So long as I can get "shop lights" to repair the fixtures that give out (all of mine come from the 1990's and have given out over the last decade), and so long as I can buy the tubes with the right spectrum, I prefer to stay with what I know.
 
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Russjw

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Is that Otocinclus macrospilus? I believe they stay a bit smaller. Staying away from my online supplier as I have a day off planned tomorrow and thought I'd pop in to check on the local Maidenhead as their revamp should now be complete - and they were adding a soft water section. Only looking of course o_O
Yes mine are O. Macrospilus, very similar to O. Vittatus. Think thats a good idea to go see them in person. I have never ordered fish online but i wouldnt order Oto's. Need to see their active and have nice rounded bellies.

I really like them, they have great little characters however they stress me a little not knowing how much food their getting. Just need to get them through the first month.

I think they are worth it tho :)
 

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Some data on species I researched a while back that may be of interest.

Otocinclus macrospilus

The identification of the specific species of oto in the home aquarium is not always easy as there are several with very similar patterns and the names attached to them in stores are frequently inaccurate. Fortunately the care and behaviour is basically identical whichever species you may have in your aquarium. No Otocinclus species possesses an adipose fin, but this fin is present on the species in the closely-related Paratocinclus genus.

Otocinclus macrospilus is probably the species most often encountered in the hobby; this species is often mis-identified as O. affinis [see comments below]. It is strikingly similar to O. vestitus and can be distinguished by the markings on the caudal (tail) fin. O. macrospilus has a distinctive large round black blotch at the base of the caudal fin; on O. vestitus the horizontal black band extends onto the caudal fin with no significant enlargement into a blotch. O. vittatus is another near-identical species, but the upper edge of the black horizontal band along the sides of the fish is bordered by a distinct white clear band separating the black band from the mottled pattern; on O. macrospilus the white band is less distinct in places and on O. vestitus the mottled pattern adjoins the black band with no definable white band.

There are several oto species that mimic the patterning of sympatric Corydoras species. Otocinclus mimulus, O. flexilis, O. affinis and O. xakriaba are considered to be mimics of Corydoras diphyes, C. paleatus, C. nattereri and C. garbei respectively [Axenrot & Kullander, 2003]. Mimetic association means the imitation or mimicry in pattern between the two species; sympatric species are those living in the same geographical habitat.

The species was described in 1942 by C.H. Eigenmann and W.R. Allen. The genus name [erected by Cope in 1871] is derived from the Greek oto [ear] and the Latin cinclus [a latticework], referring to the holes in the head in the region of the ears.

As mentioned previously, this species is often seen under the name Otocinclus affinis. In 2001, I.J.H. Isbrucker et.al. proposed the genus Macrotocinclus for O. affinis and O. flexilis on the basis that these two species form a clade according to S.A. Schaefer's 1997 study; the latter is now regarded as remaining in Otocinclus but Macrotocinclus affinis is accepted [see Eschmeyer, the California Academy of Sciences database].

The genus Otocinclus was erected by Cope in 1871. In 1997, Scott A. Schaefer revised the genus, recognizing only 13 of the original 65 species; the others he re-assigned to various genera. Since then, three new species have been described as Otocinclus, bringing the genus total to 16 valid species. The phylogenetic biogeography of Otocinclus led Schaefer to suggest that much of the generic and species-level diversification of the Otocinclus and perhaps other loricariid catfishes occurred prior to the formation of the Amazon basin [Schaefer, 1997]. The phylogenetic relationships among the fish in the subfamily Hypoptopomatinae are currently under study, and the genus Otocinclus may eventually be relocated [Lehmann, 2006].

References:

Axenrot, Thomas E. & Sven O. Kullander (2003), "Corydoras diphyes (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) and Otocinclus mimulus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), two new species of catfishes from Paraguay, a case of mimetic association," Icthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 14(3), pp. 249-272.

Isbrucker, I.J.H., I. Seidel, J.P. Michels, E. Schraml & A. Werner (2001), "Diagnose vierzehn neuer Gattungen der Familie Loricariidae Rafinesque, 1815 (Teleosti, Ostariophysi)," DATZ, Sonderheft Harnischwelse 2, pp. 17-24.

Lehmann, Pablo A. (2006), "Otocinclus batmani, a new species of hypoptopomatine catfish (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Colombia and Peru," Neotropical ichthyology, volume 4, number 4.

Schaefer, Scott A. (1997), "The Neotropical cascudinhos: Systematics and biogeography of the Otocinclus catfishes (Siluriformes: Loricariidae)," Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 148, pp. 1-120.
 

seangee

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Right then. Interesting visit and I have asked the staff to re-instate my ban from the shop after walking away with a little group of 20 otos. These are destined for 3 tanks so will be my only fish in a group of <10 (aside from the BN).

They were labelled as O.sp and the shop guy was adamant they were O.affinis based on the pics on his phone. On his pics, as well as SF, there is a gap between the horizontal stripe and the blotch on O. macrospilus , whereas the stripe runs into the blotch on these :dunno:

They are a bit skinny but all looked healthy and were grazing away in the store. They confrmed that they had been de-wormed. Settled in fairly quickly at home and were eagerly beavering away from the outset.

20200113_162934 (2).jpg
 

Byron

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Right then. Interesting visit and I have asked the staff to re-instate my ban from the shop after walking away with a little group of 20 otos. These are destined for 3 tanks so will be my only fish in a group of <10 (aside from the BN).

They were labelled as O.sp and the shop guy was adamant they were O.affinis based on the pics on his phone. On his pics, as well as SF, there is a gap between the horizontal stripe and the blotch on O. macrospilus , whereas the stripe runs into the blotch on these :dunno:

They are a bit skinny but all looked healthy and were grazing away in the store. They confrmed that they had been de-wormed. Settled in fairly quickly at home and were eagerly beavering away from the outset.

View attachment 96438
I obviously have no idea what the fish in the store look like, but the differences detailed in my profile (post #128) agree with Seriously Fish, at least having just re-read these now they seem to.
 
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Russjw

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Right then. Interesting visit and I have asked the staff to re-instate my ban from the shop after walking away with a little group of 20 otos. These are destined for 3 tanks so will be my only fish in a group of <10 (aside from the BN).

They were labelled as O.sp and the shop guy was adamant they were O.affinis based on the pics on his phone. On his pics, as well as SF, there is a gap between the horizontal stripe and the blotch on O. macrospilus , whereas the stripe runs into the blotch on these :dunno:

They are a bit skinny but all looked healthy and were grazing away in the store. They confrmed that they had been de-wormed. Settled in fairly quickly at home and were eagerly beavering away from the outset.

View attachment 96438
Haha Nice one :good: happy Oto day :) think they will look pretty cool in your tanks.

How was the revamp?
 

seangee

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Haha Nice one :good: happy Oto day :) think they will look pretty cool in your tanks.

How was the revamp?
Looks pretty good. The entire area of the old shop now has fish in it and there is an extension where they keep tanks and accessories. I never went into the pond section. Still new so they are building up stock levels, and its great to see soft water fish in soft water.

The little guys are amazing. Still fairly stressed after the move so I guess it will be a few days before they settle in properly. They have been incredibly industrious though. In the sids' tank I had an algae problem a few weeks ago. That is now sorted but I was pretty half hearted about cleaning the anubias leaves. Well I already have some spotless leaves. I also left the driftwood with its green coating because it looked cool, and I can already see patches of brown wood showing though :). May have to turn the lights up soon to keep them in food. The guy in the shop did say that they have been fed (and eating) wafers, and he is one of the guys in there I do trust.

I'm still keeping a close eye on that one because I am concerned about the sids. The adults have completely ignored the newcomers but the juvies are quite keen on swimming with them, which means some inevitable bumping. When the adults were younger they regularly shoaled with the cories so fingers crossed...
 
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Russjw

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Thats good to know they've been eating wafers already. They soon have the tank gleaming, i was really suprised just how quick they work.

Ive turned my lights up and introduced some leaf litter. The problem i have is the barbs devour whatever you put in the tank so i have to wait till after lights out to drop wafers in.

Hope yours settle in ok :)
 

seangee

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Just back from watching the night time feed. They have coloured up nicely in the last 12 hours. They do know what the wafers are. They did not get much of a look in in the community tank with 30 ravenous cories and the bristenose desending on 4 1/2 wafers. My heart was in my mouth in the other tank when they decided to join the 12 loaches - these only get 1/2 a wafer between them. No incidents and they quickly worked out that it was much less effort sticking to the plant, wood and tank surfaces.

I'll give them a couple of days before turning the lights up - may as well take advantage of the free deep clean while its on offer :angel:
 
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Russjw

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Really like how my green lotus as grown. Got 4 pads on the surface now with 2 more on the way. Really is a show piece plant with its wide leaves and sterms growing up to the surface.
20200117_180254.jpg
20200117_185030.jpg

Ive taken the water lettuce out which was surviving but not thriving and replaced it with some water sprite (Ceratopteris cornuta) . Also put 2 new crytps (cryptocoryne wendtii) in which all seem to do well in my water and the extra bonus of my Rosy barbs dont like the taste of them :hey:
20200117_185639_001.jpg
 
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