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Anabantid choice for paludarium.
January 17, 2015
4:40 pm
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Joaoavo
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January 17, 2015
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Hello everyone,

This is my first post in this forum, so I apologize if I'm breaking any introduction rules or something. Lately SF has been my go-to site for fish intel, and I believe it has one of the best databases around.

Anyway, I've been planning my comeback to fishkeeping with a biotope-style paludarium measuring 80x40x50 cm (32x16x20 in), which I will fill with 80L (~21g), equivalent to half of its volume (~25 cm water column). I decided to go with some anabantoids, since I believe thay fit quite well in this type of setup. Also, I have some Amano shrimp that I have to keep because they are my girlfriend's, and dwarf cichlids would surely rip them apart. Based on the setup and availability in my country, I selected the following species:

Sphaerichthys osphromenoides (group of 6)

or

Trichopodus leerii (pair with a school of sympatric cyprinids)

or

Trichopsis pumila (group of 6-8 with a school of sympatric cyprinids)

The decor will be largely composed of bogwood and leaf litter. For plants I will start with Java moss and Anubia barteri (that will be replaced for SE Asian plants that grow emersed, such as Hygrophila sp.).

What do you guys think about the species I've selected? Will 6 chocolate gourami do well in a setup like this? And is it large enough for a pair or T. leerii)

Cheers

January 19, 2015
9:10 am
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george
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If it's your first time keeping anabantids, I would stay away from the chocolate gouramis. They are generally regarded as more fragile and require better water quality, better food (live if you can) and black, acidic water, along with peaceful tank mates as they are very shy. I would personally prefer the pearl gourami, but depending on how you set up your paludarium, they might feel a bit tight. A group of Trichopsis pumila would feel comfortable in a tank that size. 

January 19, 2015
9:54 am
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Joaoavo
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January 17, 2015
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Thank for the input george.

I am a somewhat experienced aquarist, so giving the chocolate gouramis the right conditions won't be much of an issue. I kept and bred B. splendens and Macropodus opercularies before, and kept T. pumila without breeding a well. And cichlid-wise I also have experience with soft and acidic water since I bred rams and other dwarf cichlids as well.

I agree that T. leerii might feel too tight, even if I filled the tank to the top, so I'll probably abandon the idea of keeping them. T. pumila are interesting by I think they're more adequate for a smaller tank, otherwise I'd rarely see them in a setup like the one I'm planning. Another anabantid I'm interested in is the Honey gourami (Trichogaster chuna), since I read it's best to keep them in groups. Is this true? If so I will opt for the chocolate or the honey gourami, depending on the availability in my area.

January 19, 2015
6:26 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Personally I would go for Trichopsis in a tank that size. Sounds like a very nice idea, and thanks for the kind words about the site!

P.S. I have moved this thread into the appropriate forum. Wink

Cake or death?
January 20, 2015
9:17 am
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Joaoavo
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Thanks Matt, I apologize for misplacing the thread.

It seems that T. pumila is on the lead then. Except that I am still more inclined towards a bigger gourami, like the T. chuna. From my past experience with T. pumila I know that they will be hiding most of the time, and if the tank turns out the way I except, it will be densely decorated with wood and plants.

January 20, 2015
10:10 am
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george
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T.Chuna would be a good choice. Do you intend on keeping them with anything else?

January 20, 2015
12:09 pm
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Joaoavo
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george said
T.Chuna would be a good choice. Do you intend on keeping them with anything else?

If I go with T. chuna I was planning on keeping a group of 4-6 with nothing else but some invertebrates. Since the beginning I intended to set this as a monospecific tank. However, if I finally decide on the T. pumila, I would consider introducing a school of small cyprinids to make the tank more lively.

I am assuming that the tank is big enough for a group of T. chuna though. Based on the information of SF a tank with a base of 60*30 cm is big enough to house a small group. Mine is 80*40, and it'll hold around 80L at half capacity. However it's important for me that the fish are confortable so I'm still unsure and need your opinions

Thanks again.

February 14, 2015
11:42 am
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KittyKat
Norwich, UK
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Trichopsis pumila is a beautiful fish which will maintain its own population in a heavily planted tank. At one point, I had a 48" long tank where they bred regularly for about 10 years or so. I highly recommend them.

Kat
February 14, 2015
9:14 pm
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HeinB
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January 27, 2014
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hi Joaoavo,

if you don't mind the water getting very acidic, you can use beech leaf litter as I do, and then choco's can do very well. i keep them in a paludarium-like (half filled) large tank for flowering crypts (black water types). Here, choco's breed with no effort. However, not sure if your size tank is sufficient, they can be quite nasty to conspecs.

BW Hein

February 23, 2015
12:28 pm
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Joaoavo
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January 17, 2015
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Hello everyone,

 

Thank you all for the suggestions. In the end, all of my initial plans were abandoned. I decided to allow my girlfriend to have a choice in the fauna and ended up with an entirely different tank. For some reason she prefers dwarf cichlids and so I filled it up to full capacity and decided to go with a trio of F1 Apistogramma taeniata from a local breeder. As dither fish I have a school of Boraras maculatus (10 now, probably 10 more later on) and 8 Pangio semicincta as bottom dwellers.

I haven't given up on the anabantids though, so I will convince her to let me setup a smaller tank in the bedroom (since I let her choose most of the fauna in the other tankCool) to house a small group of Trichopsis pumila.

February 26, 2015
1:14 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Sounds like a nice community. Now we need to see some pics.Kiss

Cake or death?
March 2, 2015
12:30 am
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Joaoavo
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January 17, 2015
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So here's a pic of the tank as it turned out. The quality sucks but it's the best I can do with this camera I have.

 

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e284/Joaoavo/874b2956-ea1e-411f-a668-7ab158762487_zpsrilwbnvj.jpgImage Enlarger

March 2, 2015
6:22 pm
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george
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Nice! I assume the reddish plants near the bottom anubias?

What kind of leaves did you use?

What type of filtration are you using?

March 2, 2015
8:20 pm
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Joaoavo
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January 17, 2015
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The plants are anubias (some barteri, coffefolia, nana), and I also have clumps of Cladophora aegagrophila to increase nutrient absorption. The filter I am using is a Eheim 2224 and those are oak leaves.

March 3, 2015
5:41 pm
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Byron Hosking
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That is lovely.  I don't know if you specifically want the apistogramma to spawn, but if yes, you might find the kuhli loaches will eat the eggs/fry.  Being nocturnal, loaches/catfish find cichlid eggs easy pickings after dark, at least in my experience.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
March 3, 2015
6:27 pm
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george
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I've read somewhere that you could add some sort of a "night light" to help them guard the eggs. But that would probably disrupt their sleep cycle. You could also place a very fine mesh over the eggs, but that would require perfect water conditions and circulation so the eggs don't go bad.

What's your pH?

March 3, 2015
7:19 pm
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Byron Hosking
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george said
I've read somewhere that you could add some sort of a "night light" to help them guard the eggs. But that would probably disrupt their sleep cycle. You could also place a very fine mesh over the eggs, but that would require perfect water conditions and circulation so the eggs don't go bad.

Yes, the light could be serious.  Fish need a period of total darkness or the circadian rhythm can be messed up, meaning stress and the consequences.  If it were me, and spawning was desired, I would remove the loaches.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
March 3, 2015
9:40 pm
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Joaoavo
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January 17, 2015
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I did not know that the kuhlis actively predated on eggs, but removing them is a no go. They were my girlfriend's choice (read demand) so my hands are tied on that subject. The ultimate goal was to breed the apistogramma so I guess the only way to achieve this is to place them in a breeding tank after conditioning. They are still young and a few months away from maturity, giving me time to setup a tank for the purpose.

The pH is around 6.5 now, but when I remove the Amano shrimps I have there, I will lower it to at least 6.0 with Alder cones. All of the fauna comes from acidic waters so I think this will please everyone.

March 4, 2015
7:16 pm
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george
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If you don't want to remove the loaches, you could remove the eggs and bring them up artificially. 

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