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Supercooled fish
February 14, 2015
10:24 pm
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george
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I have an old 20 liter aquarium cycling in my bedroom. It's set up as a (very) loose south-east Asian biotope, but there's just one problem, a bad heater. It's preset to 26, but heats literally up to 29-30. When it's turned off, the water cools down to about 21-22. I prefer having it off. I'm a bit short on money right now so I'd rather not buy a new one. I was initially planning on housing either a pair/trio of parosphromenus or a pair/trio of betta or a small shoal of boraras. But this heating problem is making me a bit nervous. Any advice? 

The tank is heavily planted, with light and shade, pH is 6 and hardness is low.

February 15, 2015
3:46 pm
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KittyKat
Norwich, UK
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When I was researching my Asian themed tank, I found that a fair few of the species came from habitats that varied in temperature throughout the year with 40+°C in the summer an 10-15°C in winter (depending on location). For the species that I kept at the time, setting the heater to 18°C for winter and letting the hot summer air warm up the tank to 30°C in the summer was the most suitable as they benefited from the variations. In other words, depending on the species that you have, either option could be fine.

Kat
February 15, 2015
4:59 pm
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george
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Would the boraras be a good choice? 

February 15, 2015
5:04 pm
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oaken
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21-22 isn't too bad. I think that Parosphromenus would do fine in that temperature as would Boraras. Sub 20 temperatures would be more of an issue, I think.

February 15, 2015
5:43 pm
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george
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It's either one or the other right? Both would be too much for an aquarium that size I'd say.

February 16, 2015
6:29 pm
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oaken
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I think you could keep a pair of Parosphromenus and 5-6 Boraras without any problems. Especially if it's a planted tank.

February 16, 2015
7:56 pm
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george
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Wouldn't 5-6 boraras feel lonely? I was planning on keeping at least 10 and trying to breed them, the surplus going to my 2nd, larger, tank. 

February 17, 2015
10:05 am
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george
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Would paros accept frozen or dried live food or does it have to be alive for them to accept it?

February 17, 2015
10:41 am
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oaken
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I don't think they would mind. But that's just my opinion. I've seen people get their Parosphromenus to eat frozen food so it's certainly possible, but I think you need to at least have some sort of live food available. I don't think they will eat dry food.

April 5, 2015
10:44 pm
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george
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Spring is back, so temperature isn't a problem anymore. However, my pH has gone up to 7-7.5. I've added eheim peat pellets to the filter in hope of lowering it, but it isn't going to go lower than 6.8. The substrate I chose for the tank, colombo flora base, has a buffer to keep it there.

I haven't yet given up on the boraras, as I have just found a store willing to import them for me, but I am starting to question my choice. Are there any fish you can think of for these conditions? I was thinking of betta simplex (but the tank isn't covered, so no humid air for them to gulp on), dario dario, norman lamp eyes, some kind of killifish, kuhlis, dwarf rainbow fish maybe?

Any suggestions?

April 7, 2015
10:08 pm
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PJ
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March 25, 2014
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With 20-22 degrees and a pH just below 7, your options are only limited to the size of your tank. You are right to forget about Bettas, no cover on your tank and you are likely to lose them to jumping out than catching a cold. For the latter reason you should forget all labyrinths.

Anout your first heater post,... was that solved? It sounds like a heater with a power too high for the size of your tank.

April 8, 2015
1:52 pm
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george
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I ended up removing the heater. The temperature is around 25. I think I'm going to go for the boraras.

April 12, 2015
2:55 am
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Barb Man
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Yeah which species? I have 8 B. Brigittae with one B. merah 

Oh no not this guy again
April 12, 2015
10:29 am
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george
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The shop will have brigittae and maculatus. Their profiles on Seriouslyfish indicate that brigittae has wider pH and hardness tolerances. The aquarium is quite small and its my first time keeping boraras, so I'll go for the brigittae. 

Have you bred them?

April 12, 2015
10:18 pm
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Barb Man
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No I just got mine two weeks ago. I'll be moving them to a ten gallon soon and hope to get them to breed in there. If anyone has had success I'm sure George would want to know as much as I do.

I don't know if five is enough to breed them. Mine are all cramed into a 2.5 planted and highly filtered. I'm thinking that when they get moved into the ten gallon. About a 40 liter that they will do good with the addition of some leaves. I use alder leaves which makes the water quite dark and acidic. I hope that the new setup will yield fry because I've been wanting to get some of these but 8 isn't enough for me. 

Oh no not this guy again
April 15, 2015
10:58 pm
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george
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The water parameters won't be a problem anymore for the boraras. I managed to get pH to 5.3, GH and DH are around 1-2. I did an 85% water change with pure RO water and added dried leaves as well as alder cones.

Not sure if these conditions are very stable, but I'll just have to wait and see.

By the way, I saw sparkling gouramis at my LFS. Those things are tiny! If I manage to cover my tank (fat chance because of the emerging echinodorus), I think I might get them with the boraras. 

April 19, 2015
9:07 pm
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george
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I found some old pictures of my aquarium. It has changed a lot since then, but I can't seem to manage to snap a decent picture of it now.

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 The echinodorus (palaefolius if you were wondering) has grown a lot. The cyperus alternifolius was rotting so I removed it and replaced it with cryptocoryne.

The moss has exploded but the hygrophila pinnatifida had to be moved out as it wasn't getting enough light.

Other than that it still looks similar but with much darker water.

All the dried leaves I've added have accumulated and decomposed to form some kind of a sediment-rich leaf litter I think the fish would like.

April 21, 2015
2:45 am
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Barb Man
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Looking great I think that will give you great results. My tank is bigger I think (30 liters) is the correct conversion from ten gallons. I don't have as many plants as you because I don't have a good plant substrate in right now but I hope to be adding my new ADA Amazonia aquasoil that I got and using just that. I've added alder cones to mine and I have a gallon bucket half water and half cones so I can keep the color right when I do water changes. I'm thinking of adding dwarf hairgrass after the Amazonia is in and seeing if that will be enough cover for the eggs and fry. There will be a separate area for leaf litter so that the fruy have a food source.

Oh no not this guy again
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