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Byron Hosking

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Viewing 15 posts - 106 through 120 (of 150 total)
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  • in reply to: Emperor Tetra – Fin Rips? Likely Culprits? #353416

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    I cannot see the white patch issue from these photos as the lighting is bright and the fish are thus not clearly defined.  I’ll just comment on your fin nipping possibilities.

    This is very unlikely to be the Congo Tetra.  It is more likely the Emperor themselves, but the glowlights are not entirely ruled out.  Tetra are shoaling fish by nature, which means they have an inherent need to be kept in groups.  A scientific study a year or so back showed that below six caused shoaling fish to feel insecure and aggression was often heightened, even within otherwise peaceful species.  Tank size (and the environment) also plays into this, and you haven’t mentioned the tank size here.  With six glowlights, and given the traits of this species, I would suspect the Emperors first if nipping is involved.  I would certainly add more of them, up to 7-9 if tank space permits.

    One cannot rule out a bacterial issue, which might involve the white patch and fin damage, but without clearer photos it may be impossible to say.  And I am not the one to help with disease, but other members undoubtedly can.

    Byron.

    in reply to: cray fish with pleco and jewel cichlid #353332

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    I would not recommend a crayfish (or similar crustacean) in with fish.  As for the cichlid in a 20g, I just posted in that thread and this too is not a good idea.  Better choices for a 20g would be a group of a shoaling species, one of the smaller characins for instance.

    Byron.

    in reply to: 20 gallon stocking #353331

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    I would not put a Jewel cichlid (species is Hemichromis bimaculatus) in a 20g tank; this fish can attain 8 inches in the wild, though 6 inches in aquaria is normal.  But it needs space, and a 20g does not provide that.  A 4-foot tank is considered by most as minimum.  You can read more in the profile on this site, here is the link:

    https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/hemichromis-bimaculatus/

    Byron.

    in reply to: Stocking suggestions for a 10 gallon #353329

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    My questions are:

    What are my options for collecting substrate?

    Is mixing local microbes with store-bought tropical fish a recipe for disaster, and will I have to disinfect everything I collect before I put it in the aquarium?

    Will cabomba and elodea be OK in a low light setting without ferts?

    What are some suggestions for stocking that cheap?

    Collecting anything from nature is always risky.  You can introduce native pathogens that cannot be handled by tropical fish, just as the reverse is true which is why fish and plants must never be released into the local ecosystem.  Substrate could be disinfected I suppose, but plants (and other live creatures) cannot; anything strong enough to kill pathogens will almost certainly harm the plants.

    It is safer to go with a substrate like play sand which is very inexpensive and will be pathogen-free.  However, the tan gravel you obtained with the tank may be suitable, if it is “fine” (small) in grain size.

    Cabomba requires bright light, and this means nutrient fertilizing to balance.  Elodea should survive in moderate light.  A liquid fertilizer may or may not be necessary; nutrients come from the water (via water changes) and fish food (the organic waste that results) and depending upon the plants and fish load, these can be sufficient for low to moderate light plants.  The less light a plant requires, the less nutrients.

    As for fish stocking, stay with the “dwarf” species.  A 10 gallon is very little space, and having these types of fish will allow you more, which will be more interesting.  Depending upon your water parameters (many of these species will be wild caught and have more specific requirements), the species in Boraras (dwarf rasboras) come to mind; the celestial gallaxy rasbora, ember tetra, pygmy or dwarf corydoras are others.  Some of the pencilfish will work.

    Byron.

     

    in reply to: German Blue Rams (EDIT: What Cichlid is this?) #353287

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    @Graham Ramsay said:
    Well it looks like M. ramirezi to me.

    You may well be correct.  This may be a very young fish.

    in reply to: German Blue Rams (EDIT: What Cichlid is this?) #353279

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    It is common for the patterning on dwarf cichlids to darken and lighten according to the fish’s mood, environmental conditions, etc.  With the benefit of the additional photos I would tend to think this may be a species like Apistogramma regani, but I am not certain at all.  It most definitely is not Mikrogeophagus ramirezi or M. altispinosa (the two rams) not only by the colour/pattern but the body shape is too elongated as both rams are a tad more “chunky” than linear.  Did the store where you acquired it have any name attached to it?

    Byron.

    in reply to: German Blue Rams (EDIT: What Cichlid is this?) #353275

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    From that photo, the fish is neither a Blue or Bolivian Ram.  I would suggest it is likely a female Apistogramma, though which I can’t tell.  Females of several apisto species are very similar with yellow ground colour and black vertical stripes.  With a clearer photo I’m sure one of the more knowledgeable cichlid members will know.

    Byron.

    in reply to: GH/KH – #353274

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    You have correctly identified the species.  The Glofish/Black Widow (aka Black Skirt) is much feistier than some other tetra such as the Black Phantom.  Fin nipping is common so this fish (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi ) should not be combined with sedate fish (gourami, angels, etc).  And, the larger the group, the better [this applies to any shoaling fish of course] but fewer than six may cause them to increase their aggression, as appears to be evident here. 

    There was a scientific study a year or so back that determined aggression increases with most shoaling species when numbers are below six, and those species that show aggressive traits to begin with can get much nastier.  The other thing is that once this occurs, it usually will not reverse even if numbers increase later.  It seems to be a stress-related issue, and as we all know acute stress does cause significant detriment to many fish, weakening the immune system, increasing aggression, etc, and once done it remains.

    The Black Phantom [Hyphessobrycon megalopterus, although some ichthyologists insist on retaining the former genus Megalamphodus so it may appear under either name] also needs at least six, and here again though a peaceful species it can become nippy when numbers are less.  I’ve always found this species to be better with 8+ for no reason other than it just seems more content.  Females are rather attractive with their red adipose and ventral fins, so a mix of 4/4 male female is nice.  My present group happens to be three males and seven females as I bought all they had and this is what I got, but they have settled nicely; they shoal largely with the Rosy Tetra (H. rosaceus) which is not surprising if Weitzman’s view that they are the same clade is correct [this is where some differ, hence their retention of the former genus name].

    Byron.

    in reply to: GH/KH – #353264

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    @plaamoo said:
    “since it will raise pH but not affect GH and KH”

     

    How is that possible?

    Thanks for mentioning this.  I think I should have been more precise in my use of words, and said that it will drive the pH high very fast, but have very minimal impact on GH and KH.  I know that in my case, when I added about half a cup of crushed coral to the filter (in one of those mesh filter bags to contain it) the pH rose within just hours from around 6 to 7.6, but the GH and KH remained zero using the API tests.

    Byron.

    in reply to: GH/KH – #353260

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    First off, let me say that I am the author of the article you linked.  I wrote it about three years ago, when I was active on that forum (no longer am).  I’m glad it has provided some benefit.

    From your posted information, I am going to suggest that the pH is lowering due to the breakdown of organics, primarily in the substrate.  Water changes have not been regular or substantial, allowing the organics to accumulate.  It is true that one lone fish is not going to add much to the organics, but they occur elsewhere too.  The acidification like this is normal, but regular weekly water changes including some vacuuming of the substrate will serve to keep the acidification minimal, or should.

    Crushed coral is not a good “buffer,” since it will raise pH but not affect GH and KH, and the latter is the “buffering” agent.  Better choices would be dolomite, aragonite, or a mix of either with crushed coral.  Back in the mid to late 1990’s, with very soft source water (basically zero GH and KH with pH below 6) the pH in the tanks would be below 5, but just half a cup of dolomite in the filter maintained a pH in the low 6’s with weekly 50% water changes.  When I tried crushed coral on its own a few years ago, it drove the pH into the high 7’s while doing nothing to the GH or KH.  I experimented with aragonite as well.

    I maintain soft water fish (many are wild caught) so given my ideal very soft source water, I decided to let nature go its own way, and now after about three years my periodic tests have shown that the tanks have stabilized at different levels, likely due to the fish load, plants and wood that is specific to each.  A couple are below 6, likely around 5 or lower; the others tend to remain in the low to mid 6’s.  The source water is around pH 7 now (soda ash is added to raise the pH) and this may have some impact through my weekly 50% water changes.  I also add Equilibrium in the three larger tanks, solely to provide sufficient hard minerals to the plants, and the GH remains around 5-6 dGH.  It stays near zero in the others.

    To answer your question of what GH/KH to aim for, I would certainly base this upon intended fish.  If you stay with soft water species, you could dilute the water to get the GH lower.  The GH actually impacts fish much more than pH.  The soft water fish have difficulty dealing with the “hard” minerals such as calcium, which can build up (the kidneys remove these salts) and actually block the tubes, weakening the fish and in many cases leading to early demise.  Tank-raised fish will have more tolerance than wild caught species.

    Byron.


    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    In my opinion, the tank is well past full now, with ten livebearers in 40 litres/10 gallons.  The female molly can attain five inches, with some sources mentioning six inches.  I would consider re-homing both mollies soon; they should be in a 3-foot tank, or a 30-inch at minimum.

    And I agree that you should not combine livebearers with the Boraras.  Aside from the Boraras likely becoming food for mature livebearers, they have opposing water parameter requirements.  Boraras need soft to very soft water, up to perhaps moderately hard which is still too soft for mollies that should have harder water or they can develop health issues.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Beckfordi-Is it courtship or male dominance? #353256

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    First, this behaviour actually has nothing to do with females.  It is display/dominance between males, and will occur whether female fish are in the tank or not.  I have had this species several times over 20 years, and my current group of ten were purchased when they were very small and male/female was not noticeable in the store tank (fish are not only small, but generally less than happy with the bare tank and washed out in colour).  As luck would have it, I ended up with all males.  I’ve had them for almost a year now, and haven’t been able to find them since to add more.  Anyway, the males carry on like this continually.  Most often in pairs, but I have several times seen three in a line.  To the fish is it perhaps more serious than “play,” but damage to each other is very rare; I have read it can occur, but in my experience I have never seen actual physical damage result.

     

    To your group, I would add a few more; seven is a nice number, but another 3-5 would be even better.  If you can, try to get a mix of male/female as the males can drive females rather hard.

     

    Also, floating plants should always be included.  This species, like most pencilfish (which are currently all in the genus Nannostomus following Weitzman’s classification), remain in the upper third of the water column and like to spend time among floating vegetation with dangling roots.  They browse the leaves and roots for microscopic bits of food.  They also spawn among the floating plants.  Some fry might survive with a thick enough cover of floating plants, depending upon other fish in the aquarium; I have had this a couple times in the past.

     

    There is one downside to this species.  It is the only one of all the pencils, in my experience to date, that can be a bit nippy with other fish, especially those near the surface.  Hatchetfish for example.  The male beckfordi seem to have “territories” and will defend them.  I suspect this is not territory in the sense of cichlids and spawning, but just what they see as “their space” for feeding.  It is variable, so whatever space suits the male at the moment, becomes “his.”  Another fish that can get picked on a bit is the Otocinclus; when one of mine lands on a leaf in one of these “spaces,” it is usually driven off fast.  My beckfordi and otos are in a 5-foot 115g tank, so this has caused no problems as the otos simply move off to another leaf.

     

    Byron.

    in reply to: Best tankmates for tiger barbs? #353239

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    As this is only 20g, the group of Tiger Barbs should be on their own, definitely, with no other fish; you have the length so a group of 8-10 should be OK.  Kuhli’s I would not recommend here due to the soil; they are frequent burrowers and I can imagine this being a real mess.  I’m not sure I would mix them with Tigers anyway, they are not the most robust of loaches.

    And definitely never place gourami in with Tiger Barb; this is too tempting, like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  Sedate fish like all gourami, angels, discus, etc are unsuitable with nippy fish.  Also the activity of barbs and danios is not suited to sedate fish, even the more peaceful barbs.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Best tankmates for tiger barbs? #353216

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    What is the tank volume?  I am in the camp that recommends a 30g minimum tank for a group of 12 or so Tiger Barb with no other upper fish.  Substrate fish in a 3-foot are possible though, perhaps one of the smaller loach species.  Botia striata, maybe even B. kubotai, either in a group of 5-6.  With sufficient Tigers the loaches should be OK.  If the volume is perhaps around 50g another upper fish might work too, and I would look to the barbs and danios, as these are more active and better suited to Tigers.

     

    I’m not aware of any surface fish that would not be easy targets for Tigers.  Some floating plants could add upper interest.

     

    Byron.

    in reply to: What is wrong with my Blue Ram #352914

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    If it is not resolved by the above, and if this is the only affected fish, I would suggest Seachem’s KannaPlex.

    http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/KanaPlex.html

    I used this successfully.  Best in a hospital tank with just this fish in it.  Follow instructions on the label; if memory serves me, it is a three-dose treatment on days 1, 3 and 5 or similar.

     

    Be careful with salt, as soft water fish are sensitive to this and it can add more stress.  If it does the job, fine; do another water change to get rid of most of it.

     

    Byron.

Viewing 15 posts - 106 through 120 (of 150 total)

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