Rope fish doing great!

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jaylach

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LOL! Just to have the audacity to go back on topic my Rope Fish disappeared again. That makes twice. First time I found him in the pump chamber for the built in sponge filter. This time I found him in the ceramic chamber of the same system. :dunno:

I can't figure out how he is doing this. The only thing I can figure is that he is jumping into these chambers when I have the hood open but I pay attention. The only other thing I can think of is a gap between the hood and the built in filter chambers. I don't think that the gap is large enough but I'll be removing a fair amount of water from the tank Thursday to add some driftwood, strap my heater to my air risers as the suction cups won't hold and to move some plants. While doing all this the water will be low enough that I can see exactly how large the gap happens to be. If it turns out that the gap is large enough for him to get through I will use some 35 micron nylon material I have that is sterile and use aquatic silicone to block the gap.

Like I said in a post before ropes are a trip. They make Houdini look like an armature as to an escape artist! Actually their escape ability is part of their charm. ;)
 

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Other than the danged thing getting into the pump chamber a little bit ago the beastie is doing great! :) One problem with 'mail order' fish is you don't know what they are used to eating. For a rope, and some cichlids, I rely on meal worms for the main protein source... I'd rather feed something live over pellets. At first the Rope Fish (Clyde) ignored meal worms. Now I toss in four in the evenong and he is right away out of the cave system chowing on a couple. After the tank lights are off he finds the others. I have yet to see a meal worm come morning.

I have started an experiment with the meal worms. I'm trying to propagate the things. I took a Tupperware type container and punched holes in the cover for air. Added a little bit of moisture to the saw dust looking stuff they came with and will add some rolled oats. If I start getting too many worms I will toss the container in my fridge which will cause the worms, while still alive, to stop breeding.
I used to raise mealworms. The food I was using came in a 50 pound bag from the feed store and was wheat bran I think - whatever it was, before you put it in the mealworms you either heat it thoroughly, til at least 275 degrees Fahrenheit, or freeze for an extended period, or it comes with bugs that will cause problems and kill your mealworms. But 50 pounds was about $10 - back when I was doing this, in about 2012. I stored in a trash can in garage, and used it basically for mealworm bedding and food, before I changed it out, I put in a pyrex bowl in microwave and heated up good and hot, then let it cool. I also added paper egg carton and maybe newspaper for them to hide in, they like it. And a piece of potato or apple for humidity. They would breed, and go thru different stages. I kept for several years, I think I gave them away in 2016 to a young friend who had baby chicks to feed
 
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jaylach

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I used to raise mealworms. The food I was using came in a 50 pound bag from the feed store and was wheat bran I think - whatever it was, before you put it in the mealworms you either heat it thoroughly, til at least 275 degrees Fahrenheit, or freeze for an extended period, or it comes with bugs that will cause problems and kill your mealworms. But 50 pounds was about $10 - back when I was doing this, in about 2012. I stored in a trash can in garage, and used it basically for mealworm bedding and food, before I changed it out, I put in a pyrex bowl in microwave and heated up good and hot, then let it cool. I also added paper egg carton and maybe newspaper for them to hide in, they like it. And a piece of potato or apple for humidity. They would breed, and go thru different stages. I kept for several years, I think I gave them away in 2016 to a young friend who had baby chicks to feed
I don't know how well I'll do on the meal worms as I can't really use a large container being in a third floor apartment. I'm going to try using a large Tupperware type container with the saw dust looking stuff they come in and adding some oat meal. Even if I don't get enough to totally remove buying I should get some.

I MAY even just get a large container of Quaker Oats and dump some meal worms in the stuff. I remember many years ago when such oat meal would get infected with meal worms if kept long.
 

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I don't know how well I'll do on the meal worms as I can't really use a large container being in a third floor apartment. I'm going to try using a large Tupperware type container with the saw dust looking stuff they come in and adding some oat meal. Even if I don't get enough to totally remove buying I should get some.

I MAY even just get a large container of Quaker Oats and dump some meal worms in the stuff. I remember many years ago when such oat meal would get infected with meal worms if kept long.
You don't need a huge container, especially since you're only trying to get enough to feed one fish - and you'll have an earthworm farm soon as well! ;) I managed to keep some mealworms going in a small container in my shed when I was a kid, so it really isn't that hard. I can't even remember what I was feeding with them (we had a lot of animals over the years) possibly the slow worm I kept for a few months because it had an injury when I found it. It's not that complicated, so don't overthink it too much. :)
 
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LOL! You know me too well as to 'over thinking'. :)

I've got my meal worms going but not for long enough to know if their propagation will keep up with the feeding need especially if I ever find my dwarf cichlids which will also like the critters. I just got another batch of meal worms even though I didn't currently need. I put a layer of rolled oats on top of the old and dumped in the new batch of worms. At a rough guess I'd say I ended up with an 80/20 mix of sawdust and oats. Meal worms DO like oats! I'll use a spray bottle to add a bit of moisture once in a while but the beasties really need very little moisture.

As to the earth worms I have a small batch going in just dirt. I liked your idea of just adding some dead leaves but think I will try clippings from the plants in my aquarium instead. I think this would add stuff for the worms and moisture at the same time. Also this would sort of make a closed system as the moisture and worm food would all come from my tank removing the possibility, for the most part, of contaminates. Is this a good idea or am I over thinking? ;)
 

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Put in a bit of apple with the mealworms! They will like to eat that, and it makes them more nutritious for the fish.

You can also use other shavings and leftovers of fruit and veg, although I would avoid tomatoes, onion, garlic, and any citrus.

Technically I'm not speaking from experience, but I did lots of research on mealworms (I wanted them as pets) and I know loads about them!
 
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Interesting thing tonight... With going so heavy with my live plants I have been intentionally over feeding to add plant food to the substrate. I mean I have been heavily over feeding.

I just did about a 30% water change using a siphon to get to as much of the substrate as I could between plants. What was interesting is that the water I removed was just VERY slightly brownish, almost clear. It seems that the plants are sucking up as much over feeding as I can give.

I will admit that this is my first fully planted tank but it seems that the plants make a BIG difference. When I say heavily planted I mean just that. It is a 20 gallon cube with the following...
2X Broad leaf chain swords
2X SagittariaDwarfs in 'bunches'.
1X driftwood with an Anubias mounted.
1X Spider wood driftwood.
1X Myrio Green.
1X Golden Melon Sword.
1X Sag dwarf.
1X Limno Hippo.
1X Red Tiger Lotus.
2X Radican Variegated Sword.2X Hornwort Bunches.
2X Amazon Sword.
5-10 other plants that I really have no clue.

LOL! I would think that qualifies as heavily planted and they are all thriving. The fact that they are thriving REALLY surprises me as I have a very black thumb. :)

With my rope fish being also called a reed fish the heavy planting is perfect. He is usually totally satisfied just slowly weaving in and out and around the plants. Several plants I have are native to their wild habitat and he seems quite happy with the setup.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that a lot of live plants seems to take care of a lot of over feeding as they seem to suck up the extra garbage. It was like 3 weeks since the last water change yet even doing the substrate the removed water was just slightly brownish. I probably would not even have noticed the color if I had not been looking for it.

My conclusion is that live plants are a wonderful thing. :)

As this thread was meant for my rope fish I should include that he seemed quite interested in my moving a few things. Didn't run away and just sort of sat back and watched.

Panda Garras were fine through all this and remain as active as ever. I swear these things are aquatic hummingbirds, they just don't stop. I didn't initially intend to get Panda Garras but I am SO glad that I did! I really like plecos and corys but my gravel substrate is not the best for either. Since the Pandas seem to not bother a lot with the substrate yet devour algae they seem to be a good compromise. :)

If you have followed the problems I have had with this small tank you must know that I got rather frustrated. Since I have found decent sources for plants and fish I am now, once again, totally thrilled. :)

Sigh, now if I could only find a source for the dwarf Cichlids I want I would be a totally happy camper. :)

I will say that I love wetplants.com for what I've gotten as to plants and wood but there have been a few critters hitching rides. From some plants I have some bladder snails but they have not been an issue. I think My rope fish may be eating some. With my latest addition from wetplants.com a worm seems to have hitched a ride. I've only seen one and I think it is a type that begins with a 'D' but I'm not to search the actual name. It was a little 1/4-3/8 inch white critter wiggling vertically while floating through the tank's current. I saw it then my rope fish saw it. LOL! I haven't seen one since. While a rope is quite mellow as to hunting when there is a good food supply they can be REALLY fast when hitting something they decide they want. They are true lung fish, not a snake or eel, but, when there is something they want, they can strike like a rattle snake. Fortunately for my Panda Garras a rope won't bother with anything that won't easily fit in their mouth.

I'm sorry for all the rambling in this post but I'm just totally thrilled with how things are going with my tank after forgetting about all the new stuff and just going with what I know from old times. Ya, I AM using the tank's built in sponge filtration but the main system is under gravel.

Actually I think that my main filtration as to fish waste and over feeding is probably the plants. I love the plants and, for once, I haven't killed green things. ;) I actually managed to kill a luck bamboo...
 
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Just did a water test on my tank and I would figure that I need to cut down on the feeding or, possibly, the plant nutrients. I'm just not sure which.

Actually this is the first time testing has shown a full cycling. If you have seen my other threads about this tank you will know that it has been the tank from hell.

Anyway, test results:
PH -- 6.8
Ammonia -- 0.0
Nitrites -- 0.0
Nitrates -- 40

My concern is that the nitrates are pretty high. Should I cut back on fish feeding or cut back on plant nutrients? My guess is to cut back on plant nutrients but this is my first heavily planted tank so I would appreciate input. The only fish involved are 4 Panda Garra and a Rope Fish. As it is I'm only adding food pellets for the Pandas every 2-3 days. The rest of the time they chow down on algae. The Rope Fish I have to feed daily with mayhaps a day off once a week.

I figure to do ~30% water changes twice over the next three days and see what happens.
 

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One of my rope fish tends to get into the overflow tank in my sump system from time to time. I have blocked it off with filter sponge and that seems to be working so far. They are escape artists.
 
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One of my rope fish tends to get into the overflow tank in my sump system from time to time. I have blocked it off with filter sponge and that seems to be working so far. They are escape artists.
Yes, they ARE escape artists! Years ago I had one swim down an air riser for my under gravel filtration. I thought that it got out of the tank and my dog got the beastie. It had to be at least a week the thing was missing. Looked at the tank and here is the danged thing coming back up a riser and back in the main tank. That is when I started using slotted caps on my air risers. ;) The thing was living under the filter plates.
 
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I'm ashamed to say that I didn't get to the water changes I intended due to some things going on with a friend. Yet the tank MAY be taking care of itself.

I DID test the water again tonight and ammonia and nitrites are still zero. Also it looks like the nitrates have dropped from 40PPM to ~30PPM. When I first tested and found the tank was pretty much cycled it was just not quite done. When cycling one can expect a spike in nitrites when ammonia is gone. I would assume that the same could be true when nitrites are gone as to a spike in nitrates.

I still want to do a couple of 20-30% water changes but really think all is probably actually fine.
 
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Put in a bit of apple with the mealworms! They will like to eat that, and it makes them more nutritious for the fish.

You can also use other shavings and leftovers of fruit and veg, although I would avoid tomatoes, onion, garlic, and any citrus.

Technically I'm not speaking from experience, but I did lots of research on mealworms (I wanted them as pets) and I know loads about them!
Haven't added apple yet but the meal worms have gone nuts over the oatmeal addition. I have more of the worms than I did a week ago. I just don't often keep apples and haven't been to the grocery store in over a week. I wounder if the beasties would like raisins... and or melons or berries. :dunno: I'm probably hitting the grocery store tomorrow. As to apples is there a preference as to type. If I were doing a pie I'd do Granny Smith but, if just eating I'd do Golden Delicious.

As is I'm about to put the meal worm container in my fridge to make them dormant. Already I have bunches of the beasties.
 
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To add on to my last post I just got out some meal worms to feed my rope fish and found a few beetles. I have no idea as to where they came from but wonder if I should keep as food or pull out. Anyone happen to know what this beastie happens to be?

<edit>
Did some on-line searches and the beetle seems to be the adult version of a meal worm. Just like a maggot ends up being a fly. Still wonder if they would make good cichlid food if I can ever find my cichlids... I will assume the appearance of the beetles is an indication that my meal worm farm is doing OK.

IMG_2509.JPG
 
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