The Impossible Dream

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Wills

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Not sure what you mean?

All Melanotaenia rainbowfish can be kept together and you can have a couple of this and a couple of that. They will all hang out together. The main thing is to try and keep similar sized species.
eg: have a couple of prs of M. boesemani and a couple of prs of Kamaka, or more if you like. The male boesemani will be able to dsiplay to each other and the male kamakas will display to each other. They will probably display to the boesemani too.

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I prefer limestone for Synodontis from Lake Tanganyika. Anything that is sharp or rough could be an injury waiting to happen.
Thats interesting, I've always seen shops selling Rainbows in pairs and thought it was odd. Are they not true schooling fish?

What I meant by the colours are female nicaraguans look like this with blue heads and yellow bodies (male bottom, female top in this pic)
1652515553458.png


And Bosemani look the same with blue heads and yellow bodies
1652515579160.png


Then Turquoise Rainbows are all blue but males get the yellow stripe on their head line this.
1652515675641.png


I thought it would be cool to echo the similar patterns of these fish in the same tank :)

Good note on the Lava Rock it is quite commonly used but will have a look, I just quite like the fact Lake Nicaragua is a volcanic crater lake and this would be a nod back to that. I'd love to do a biotope but you just dont get non-cichlid or livebearer fish that are suitable for most tanks and they dont get imported.

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Rainbowfish do live in groups of between 10 & 100+ in the wild and should be kept in groups of at least 8 and preferably 10 or more in aquariums. If there are several species in the same river, lake or aquarium, they will sometimes hang out together, and other times the different species will swim off on their own. They can all produce fertile hybrid offspring so if you have more than one species per tank, they can and do readily breed with other species of rainbowfish. Any hybrid offspring should be disposed of and not used for breeding purposes.

I don't know why the shops sell them in pairs, it might be to get rid of the females, because they don't colour up as well as males. It could also be the price, rainbows aren't the cheapest fish so they sell them in prs to keep each other company.

Male M. lacustris (from Lake Kutubu) only have the yellow dorsal blaze (stripe running down the nose) when displaying or breeding. It goes away when they aren't displaying or breeding and becomes the same colour as the rest of the body. All male rainbowfish produce a dorsal blaze when displaying or breeding and it can vary in colour from yellow, white or pink, depending on the species.
 
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Rainbowfish do live in groups of between 10 & 100+ in the wild and should be kept in groups of at least 8 and preferably 10 or more in aquariums. If there are several species in the same river, lake or aquarium, they will sometimes hang out together, and other times the different species will swim off on their own.
Thanks Colin thats really interesting. Its going to be one of those working out size vs numbers. A school of Kamaka for example would allow the most fish but I really like the Bosemani... but a school of 10 would be about half the stock of the tank and they take so long to grow.

Had a bit of a wobble on the tank and cant decide which one to get.
The choices are:
  • AquaOne AquaSys 300
  • D&D Aquascaper 1200
  • Aquariums4Life Aqua V Scape 1200
Cost plays a bit of a role in the choice but not 100%, the AquaSys is the cheapest with the D&D not far off, the V Scape is about £150-£200 more. But it is the biggest at 90 gallons vs 75 for the other two. The D&D and V Scape have adjustable feet which is an advantage for me as the floor is a bit wonky. I have seen there are some issues with air bubbles in the silicone for the AquaSys too.

I think the tanks all have wooden stands rather than metal frames (the D&D can come with metal stand but out of budget). They all come in the right kind of stand colour for me too.

Which would you choose?

Wills
 

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What Colin said. Wish we were a year in the past, Wills. I had a whole school of grown-up bosemanis to give away. Hope the new setup goes well.
 

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Get the biggest tank you can afford :)

You could get 4 x M. boesemani, 4 x Glossolepis pseudoincisus, 8 x M. kamaka rainbows. Or swap the M. kamaka for 4 x M. lacustris.
And if you want yellow, 4 x M. herbertaxelrodi.

If you want rainbowfish to grow quickly, put them in a big tank or pond that is 2 feet or more deep. We had fish in a 10 foot diameter pond that was 3 feet deep. The male fish would hit 4 inches in 6 months and be about 2 inches high.
 

itiwhetu

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Shops sell fish like rainbows in pairs to get rid of the females, the females of some fish species are just boring. In NZ you often see pairs of Dwarf Gourami's for example.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I love this project! You're putting so much thought and planning into it, and I can already tell it's going to be stunning! I personally love the lava rock recreation/biotope idea, so I suppose it's a toss up between going with that, or having the synos. Hate it when you wind up having to settle for something else when you have your heart set on something! But it's great that you're a hobbyist who makes these plans and seeks advice before just buying all the things and adding them, only to regret it. Smart planning!
I'm no use to you with stocking or advice I'm afraid. Just want to follow the journal and see the progress and final result, and soak up the info others are sharing since I have no experience with these fish. Whatever you go with, I know it's going to be stunning. I'm planning to do a wood piece above my tank too, and plants like my pothos, peace lily, maybe air plants out of the water, but framing the tank. We will see!

I love the look of the tank in the photo you shared, and personally if you do go for the black lava rock, I'd go with a lighter sand. But I'm sure either would be striking! Can't wait to see it :)
 
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What Colin said. Wish we were a year in the past, Wills. I had a whole school of grown-up bosemanis to give away. Hope the new setup goes well.
The Atlantic Ocean might have been a bit of an issue to cross too haha! But thank you I remember them they were amazing! I don't see adults that often but I have seen a few and they are amazing, I've been touring a few shops this weekend and saw some incredible ones small, but even the females had a good amount of orange on them. Fingers crossed I can find the right ones in a few months.
Get the biggest tank you can afford :)

You could get 4 x M. boesemani, 4 x Glossolepis pseudoincisus, 8 x M. kamaka rainbows. Or swap the M. kamaka for 4 x M. lacustris.
And if you want yellow, 4 x M. herbertaxelrodi.

If you want rainbowfish to grow quickly, put them in a big tank or pond that is 2 feet or more deep. We had fish in a 10 foot diameter pond that was 3 feet deep. The male fish would hit 4 inches in 6 months and be about 2 inches high.
Thats an interesting point with the 2 foot depth, I think the tanks I'm looking at range between 20 inches and 2 foot so interesting factor to consider.

I like the idea of the mix and the kind of numbers you mentioned, I think I'd go for 6 Bosemani and 8 Kamaka but I do also like Picta so could see 4,4,8 still. I also like Parkinsons but not sure they are fully bright enough for what I want to achieve. The funny thing with this tank is how its really a Rainbowfish with a Cichlid in it now haha!

If I go for the 75 I would need to revise those numbers down though.

I love this project! You're putting so much thought and planning into it, and I can already tell it's going to be stunning! I personally love the lava rock recreation/biotope idea, so I suppose it's a toss up between going with that, or having the synos. Hate it when you wind up having to settle for something else when you have your heart set on something! But it's great that you're a hobbyist who makes these plans and seeks advice before just buying all the things and adding them, only to regret it. Smart planning!
I'm no use to you with stocking or advice I'm afraid. Just want to follow the journal and see the progress and final result, and soak up the info others are sharing since I have no experience with these fish. Whatever you go with, I know it's going to be stunning. I'm planning to do a wood piece above my tank too, and plants like my pothos, peace lily, maybe air plants out of the water, but framing the tank. We will see!

I love the look of the tank in the photo you shared, and personally if you do go for the black lava rock, I'd go with a lighter sand. But I'm sure either would be striking! Can't wait to see it :)
Its a fun project for sure :) all kinds of challenges too. Working out the cost is quite interesting at this point, I went to look at some hardscape today at Horizon Aquatics to get an idea and to start with I was really disheartened when I realised how expensive it was going to get but I think there could be some ways to help it and I came away with some ideas I previously didnt expect.

These big redmoore roots took my eye and their height was awesome we weighed the big bit and it was just over £100 but it is huge and beautiful, the smaller piece I'd guess would be between £50 and £70.

IMG_2298.jpeg

IMG_2299.jpeg


I've also seen someone locally on facebook selling redmoore posts to stand vertically which is more of a discus tank thing but in combination with these roots could look cool. I have a couple of branches of redmoore that are a good size, if I'm ever in an LFS and I see a particularly good bit for not much money I try and grab it.

They also had these big bits of river driftwood which were £50 each I could really see a George Farmer style V shape aquascape from these.

IMG_2301.jpeg

IMG_2300.jpeg

I've not given up on the lava rock just yet tbh, I saw some today and its not unreasonably rough, its not a smooth river stone but driftwood could be as rough, or even just sand or gravel texture. I didn't get photos of the Lava Rock but got a good idea of how much you get for your money. For reference they had a football (soccer ball for our American Friends) sized piece that was 5.9kg and it was £5 per kilo so £29.50 for that one some other good sized pieces were coming in at 3KG. I had a play in their dojo and if I stacked 3 pieces up I could get it to about 40cm tall and a structure that felt like it wouldnt be lost in the tank. I imagine I would need about 25kg though so probably £100-£150 in rock.

I know its crazy but I'll likely be spending £250-£300 on hardscape :)

The other thing I'm thinking is some kind of landscaping business might be better for Lava Rock as bigger bits will be cheaper than for aquariums but its the same stuff isnt it? My searches just havent found anything in the UK yet which is frustrating. Any pointers would be appreciated :)

Wills :)
 
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After seeing those bits of wood today (the redmoore) its made me think of this tank from Green Aqua


I've been thinking about it a bit tonight and I think it could look cool in a low tech biotope style also inspired by this video.

.

Ambitious yes, doable I think so...
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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The Atlantic Ocean might have been a bit of an issue to cross too haha! But thank you I remember them they were amazing! I don't see adults that often but I have seen a few and they are amazing, I've been touring a few shops this weekend and saw some incredible ones small, but even the females had a good amount of orange on them. Fingers crossed I can find the right ones in a few months.

Thats an interesting point with the 2 foot depth, I think the tanks I'm looking at range between 20 inches and 2 foot so interesting factor to consider.

I like the idea of the mix and the kind of numbers you mentioned, I think I'd go for 6 Bosemani and 8 Kamaka but I do also like Picta so could see 4,4,8 still. I also like Parkinsons but not sure they are fully bright enough for what I want to achieve. The funny thing with this tank is how its really a Rainbowfish with a Cichlid in it now haha!

If I go for the 75 I would need to revise those numbers down though.


Its a fun project for sure :) all kinds of challenges too. Working out the cost is quite interesting at this point, I went to look at some hardscape today at Horizon Aquatics to get an idea and to start with I was really disheartened when I realised how expensive it was going to get but I think there could be some ways to help it and I came away with some ideas I previously didnt expect.

These big redmoore roots took my eye and their height was awesome we weighed the big bit and it was just over £100 but it is huge and beautiful, the smaller piece I'd guess would be between £50 and £70.

View attachment 159499
View attachment 159496

I've also seen someone locally on facebook selling redmoore posts to stand vertically which is more of a discus tank thing but in combination with these roots could look cool. I have a couple of branches of redmoore that are a good size, if I'm ever in an LFS and I see a particularly good bit for not much money I try and grab it.

They also had these big bits of river driftwood which were £50 each I could really see a George Farmer style V shape aquascape from these.

View attachment 159497
View attachment 159498
I've not given up on the lava rock just yet tbh, I saw some today and its not unreasonably rough, its not a smooth river stone but driftwood could be as rough, or even just sand or gravel texture. I didn't get photos of the Lava Rock but got a good idea of how much you get for your money. For reference they had a football (soccer ball for our American Friends) sized piece that was 5.9kg and it was £5 per kilo so £29.50 for that one some other good sized pieces were coming in at 3KG. I had a play in their dojo and if I stacked 3 pieces up I could get it to about 40cm tall and a structure that felt like it wouldnt be lost in the tank. I imagine I would need about 25kg though so probably £100-£150 in rock.

I know its crazy but I'll likely be spending £250-£300 on hardscape :)

The other thing I'm thinking is some kind of landscaping business might be better for Lava Rock as bigger bits will be cheaper than for aquariums but its the same stuff isnt it? My searches just havent found anything in the UK yet which is frustrating. Any pointers would be appreciated :)

Wills :)

LOL, I'm exactly the same with picking up random bits of cool looking hardscape when I spot one I really like that isn't too expensive! I have a tub outside full of odd wood pieces that I know I want to work into one of my tanks, but haven't set them up yet! I'm not as good with the planning as you are, I'm a "stick it in, move it around and hope it looks good when I'm done" kinda aquascaper :lol: I need to watch more Green Aqua, MTS, George Farmer etc.

My budget is tighter, I wince when I see a beautiful huge piece like the ones in your photos that would look fantastic, but out of my price range :( However! I've found some amazing bargains in FB groups and on Gumtree, and snagged a really piece of driftwood (that makes like a cave underneath, that the plecos are gonna love) for a tenner when my LFS closed down. Check daily for people closing their tanks down! Of course, then you have to be careful about whether they've ever medicated their tank with copper, any disease etc, and means you have to wait and might not get lucky.
If you have the budget to spring for the wood and rock, I say go for it! It's your hobby, and the initial set up is always expensive. Plus when you create the tank of your dreams, you'll get joy from it for years to come. Gotta be worth it! Better to spend now and do it right, than be disastisficed and end up tearing it down in a year or two (like I am now). Then it ends up more expensive to re-scape it again.

I've wobbled on the sand colour. I thought about it, and dark sand with the black lava rock might help make the fish colours pop, and look really dramatic and striking, even more so than the lighter sand for contrast. I don't have a proper aquascapers eye yet, so I don't know! My first instinct was light sand for contrast, so the lava rock is more visible. But yeah, now I'm trying to visualise it with dark sand, and I'm leaning that way now. I'm hopeless at helping :lol:
 
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Wills

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LOL, I'm exactly the same with picking up random bits of cool looking hardscape when I spot one I really like that isn't too expensive! I have a tub outside full of odd wood pieces that I know I want to work into one of my tanks, but haven't set them up yet! I'm not as good with the planning as you are, I'm a "stick it in, move it around and hope it looks good when I'm done" kinda aquascaper :lol: I need to watch more Green Aqua, MTS, George Farmer etc.

My budget is tighter, I wince when I see a beautiful huge piece like the ones in your photos that would look fantastic, but out of my price range :( However! I've found some amazing bargains in FB groups and on Gumtree, and snagged a really piece of driftwood (that makes like a cave underneath, that the plecos are gonna love) for a tenner when my LFS closed down. Check daily for people closing their tanks down! Of course, then you have to be careful about whether they've ever medicated their tank with copper, any disease etc, and means you have to wait and might not get lucky.
If you have the budget to spring for the wood and rock, I say go for it! It's your hobby, and the initial set up is always expensive. Plus when you create the tank of your dreams, you'll get joy from it for years to come. Gotta be worth it! Better to spend now and do it right, than be disastisficed and end up tearing it down in a year or two (like I am now). Then it ends up more expensive to re-scape it again.

I've wobbled on the sand colour. I thought about it, and dark sand with the black lava rock might help make the fish colours pop, and look really dramatic and striking, even more so than the lighter sand for contrast. I don't have a proper aquascapers eye yet, so I don't know! My first instinct was light sand for contrast, so the lava rock is more visible. But yeah, now I'm trying to visualise it with dark sand, and I'm leaning that way now. I'm hopeless at helping :lol:

So I'm trying to get the equipment and possibly the tank second hand so that I can spend more on the hardscape haha! Need to decide on the tank size but I can get FX4s and 6s for about £100-£120. I'd like 2 on there but I'll start with one to save cost. Also going for MD's LED lights from Amazon which will only be about £24-36 over all.

I know the rest of the cost is a lot though.

I've found this brand called Wio, doesn't seem to be much around in the UK but it does have really nice stuff. They do this rock called Black Venom which looks great but its a type of limestone so effects the water which is something I dont want. But I do wonder how much harder my water can get haha! But the black stone looks great against this sand which they call Heaven. I really like this but if I'm trying to recreate a volcanic crater lake it should probably be black sand? But I do like this sand.

1652645472463.png
 

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So I'm trying to get the equipment and possibly the tank second hand so that I can spend more on the hardscape haha! Need to decide on the tank size but I can get FX4s and 6s for about £100-£120. I'd like 2 on there but I'll start with one to save cost. Also going for MD's LED lights from Amazon which will only be about £24-36 over all.

I know the rest of the cost is a lot though.

I've found this brand called Wio, doesn't seem to be much around in the UK but it does have really nice stuff. They do this rock called Black Venom which looks great but its a type of limestone so effects the water which is something I dont want. But I do wonder how much harder my water can get haha! But the black stone looks great against this sand which they call Heaven. I really like this but if I'm trying to recreate a volcanic crater lake it should probably be black sand? But I do like this sand.

View attachment 159512
It would probably be a mix of tan and black sand in a volcanic lake? I dont know for sure but that is just my guess
 
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Wills

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It would probably be a mix of tan and black sand in a volcanic lake? I dont know for sure but that is just my guess
I think you are probably right :) I do like this grey sand above though.
M. parkinsoni are boring and have virtually no colour. Don't waste your time with them.
Noted thanks Colin :)
 

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