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Discussion Starter #121
The Hatchets are back to their normal grouping behaviour, no longer weary of the clowns. I think it may have been the black/yellow banding that spooked them at first.
Both Killifish species have coloured up since the clowns entered, the lampeyes drastically. Much more metallic blue on the sides and yellow down the back of Neo, also more orange on the top/bottom of his tail. L.O. is also showing alot more yellow on her, and is full of eggs :) The male clown has an orange spot in the middle of his body, can only see it when hes at the back of the tank, same with the female, only less noticeable.
Not sure, but I may have seen the clowns spotting areas to scatter eggs.... Alot sooner than I thought, if it is what I thought I saw.
All of the remaining shrimps in the tank look to be very healthy, shells are shiny and clear :) Still confused as to the Blue Pearls.
Male Orange Shrimp
17Mar2013-1029am.jpg
Got some pics of the Neo and the pair
17Mar2013-230pm.jpg 17Mar2013-345pm.jpg
17Mar2013-346pm.jpg 17Mar2013-347pm.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #122 (Edited)
Haven't been observing the tanks as much lately, new tank and new fish just a couple tanks away...
Still seen a lot going on though ;)

15G;
I can't call them craybabies anymore, one has now tripled in size since I released them, the smallest has doubled. Still small though.
Aside from still being underfiltered, the tank is starting to become more stable than it was. I need to figure out a large filter in a small space... maybe I just need to go external on this one, though I was going to do that on the 33G first....

Largest
19Mar2013-907am.jpg
Smallest
18Mar2013-405pm.jpg 18Mar2013-406pm.jpg

33G;
The clowns seem to have settled in, found a couple low current spots at the surface with plant cover to hang out. The hatchets went from being shy to pushy, saw one nip at the female (got pics..), quite something as it was a marble hatchet, looked huge in comparison to her. Saw her nip back, hatchet jumped out of the water, haven't seen any more nipping :)
Think I may have found a molt for the smaller vampire shrimp, they both may be the same size next time I see them. Though I did notice a rusty looking line on the edge of one of the shell plates on the blue vampire, not sure what it is, or the cause.
Seen some new behaviour out of the anchor cats recently, two in the same spot, one nestling rather deep in the fissidens....
The Blue Pearl eggs seem to be growing, a couple have turned white. I do see eyes though... The clutch is now back to tumbling, took a few days to unstick itself.
Removed some gravel for the 5G Betta tank, replaced it with new gravel. Still need to rescape the right side and add some more. I might just take the driftwood on the right side out, and replace it with something else, or plants.

18Mar2013-128pm.jpg 18Mar2013-129pm.jpg
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Discussion Starter #123 (Edited)
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Female clown getting nipped
18Mar2013-127(1)pm.jpg 18Mar2013-127(2)pm.jpg 18Mar2013-127(3)pm.jpg 18Mar2013-127(4)pm.jpg
Queenie on the run
Queenie-18Mar2013-1140am.jpg
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Discussion Starter #124
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OEBT's
19Mar2013-1016am.jpg 19Mar2013-1017am.jpg
Blue Vampire
18Mar2013-402pm.jpg 18Mar2013-403pm.jpg 18Mar2013-404pm.jpg
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Discussion Starter #125 (Edited)
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Blue Pearl eggs
18Mar2013-1131am.jpg 18Mar2013-1141am.jpg
19Mar2013-909am.jpg

-Forgot to post this one earlier-
18Mar2013-1140am.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #126 (Edited)
33G;
Tested Parameters yesterday;
pH 7.0+
No3 20+/50-mg/L
Temp 78F
That's what I get for pushing the wc back by two days... Did a 40% wc today (10G out - 6.5G pH7.0, 3.5G pH6.5- in), added 8mL Flourish.
The plants have been showing me signs of a lack of something, I am upping the frequency of dosing Flourish, 4mL every two days now. The large dose today was due to the large wc. I think it is due to the giant hygro having almost triple the leaves (between the three plants) as when I put them in.

I have shrimp fry! Well one that I've spotted at this point anyway, soon to be more. Looks like some of the Blue Pearl eggs have hatched, clutch looks to be about 75% it's former size, still more to hatch yet... I am using an uplift tube with the curved 90 for an external breeder box, that cycles tank water through it using an airline. The only difficult part about it was holding it in the tank, and adjusting the air flow to tumble the eggs, without pumping water out the top of the tube. Other than that, it has just been sit back and watch :)

The clowns were either checking out spots to spawn, or spawning today, not sure which. If they were spawning, there's a very low chance any eggs will survive, as Neo was following them around...
All the hatchets retreated to the back corner while I did the large wc, first time I've taken the water level this low since I set it up. Easy to tell between the marble and blackwing hatchets, whether viewing from the side, or above.

Photos of the tank during wc, didn't take any after, will have to tomorrow ;)
33G-22Mar2013-254pm.jpg 33G-22Mar2013-256pm.jpg
33G-22Mar2013-307pm.jpg 33G-22Mar2013-308pm.jpg
Flash ____________ No Flash

Clowns
22Mar2013-254pm.jpg
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Discussion Starter #127
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Hatchets
22Mar2013-302pm.jpg 22Mar2013-303pm.jpg 22Mar2013-304pm.jpg

Blue Pearl Fry
22Mar2013-1255pm.jpg 22Mar2013-240pm.jpg
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Discussion Starter #128
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22Mar2013-237pm.jpg 22Mar2013-238pm.jpg

Blue Vampire
22Mar2013-438pm.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter #129
Once again, forgot to post the berried female orange pics :rolleyes:
22Mar2013-434pm.jpg 22Mar2013-435pm.jpg

15G;
Just saw one of the trio molt, always a great sight to witness a successful molt, took all of 2 seconds too :). Might see a berried female soon, the're growing fast....
 

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Discussion Starter #130
33G;
Tiger was out playing around last night, even jumped out of the water at one point. Haven't seen her for a few days, not sure what she's been up to. She froze as soon as she saw me though, playtime over :( The only problem with trying to observe nocturnal fish, once they see you they hide...
Most of the eggs have hatched now, might be why Tiger was out and so happy... There are a few spots that shrimp fry can hide without tiger (or the other fishes) getting at them (though the clowns are small enough:rolleyes:), they just have to make it there through open water from the tube...
 

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Discussion Starter #131
15G;
Did a big water change this morning (7G out - 5G in), started the No Planaria treatment (when I turned the light on one hour early this morning, the front glass was covered - over 50 of the buggers:eek:).
Both female crays molted yesterday, doubled in size again :rolleyes:, the male is the one with the gold/yellow border around the iris, also has a bit of a browner shell than the females. At the rate they are growing, I may be able to breed the largest with munchkin, as long as he is still in breeding form, which should make some nice bright orange babies :) Though who knows what the genetic mix will put out...
24Mar2013-820am.jpg

33G;
Less than four eggs left to hatch now, looks like five turned white, not going to hatch. Looking forward to taking out the tube and being able to close the top again. Only a matter of 3-6 weeks before I see if any survived...
Added a couple small pieces of salvinia, once it takes off it will provide more spawning areas for the killis, and more places for shrimp fry to hide.
23Mar2013-458pm.jpg
Tested yesterday;
pH 7.0
No2 0+mg/L
No3 20+mg/L
Temp 79.5F
Temp went up with the sunshine in the afternoon/evening. Looks like I will still have temp swing issues again this year... Doing a wc this evening, hopefully it will bring nitrates down to 15mg/L or so. Added 4mL Flourish this morning, before the lights came on.

Got some new equipment today, Eheim 250W heater, and some aquascaping tools from Canadian Aquatics (Thanks again Charles ;)). Was sooo tempted by the pygmy hatchets, though I was able to stop myself from getting any :)
I will be adding the heater once I have it set at 76F, it will be nice to have the tank at the temp I want...
24Mar2013-342pm.jpg 24Mar2013-344pm.jpg 24Mar2013-345pm.jpg

Still no full tank shot :p waiting till the hatching tube is out, and I clean the exterior glass ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #132
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Remaining eggs;
Yesterday
23Mar2013-129pm.jpg 23Mar2013-500pm.jpg
Today
24Mar2013-932am.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #133 (Edited)
33G;
Tested pH 7.0+, I must've increased hardness levels with the large wc the other day.
Did a 25% wc (6G out/in pH6.5), added 4mL Flourish. Temp was up just above 80F, after wc only went down to 78F. Seems all my tanks are at 78F or higher, room is too warm....
Only two eggs left to hatch now, looks like there are six that won't.
Already gotten some good use out of the gravel leveler, way faster than using my fingers :)
Testing tomorrow evening, looking for No3 reading of 15mg +/-....
 

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Discussion Starter #134
15G;
Did a switcheroo with Munchkin and TC, both weren't looking very good where they were (Munchkin lost colour, TC was trying to climb out of the breeder net), both are now looking a little better.
Started pulling shrimps out to restart my colony, some have started to lose colour and striping, so I am keeping only a couple females that have solid colour, and a solid back stripe, and keeping only one male (as long as I can catch all the others) that has a solid back stripe (one of only four males I have seen through the generations with a backstripe)
Last day for No Planaria treatment, then I will have to gravel vac a bunch, and possibly treat again if needed (there were tons of them in the tank, and I'm also seeing if it will get rid of some other pests in the tank).
The trio are still getting bigger, eating lots.
Male
26Mar2013-253pm.jpg 26Mar2013-258pm.jpg

33G;
Tested this morning;
pH 7.0
No3 20-mg/L
TDS 280ppm
Temp 77F
I am going to hold off on adding the heater, as I forgot to measure it :rolleyes: and it's just a bit longer than my current heater (by 5"). I will probably have to change the scape a little, or, get a slightly smaller heater. Still debating with myself on what to do.

Witnessed both pairs of killies spawning at the same time, just two plants away from each other. I now know why there are so few lampeye eggs, L.O only spawns one egg at a time, and sometimes Neo will just eat it right after :( This time he didn't :) and I got a pic of the 2 minute old egg. However, five minutes later the egg is gone, and I saw Tiger out, she quickly went back into her hiding spot when she saw me.
I couldn't see any clown eggs, though they may be too small for me to see...
The lampeyes seem to spawn on the stem plants, usually near the base of a leaf, and the clowns seem to spawn in the fissidens moss and riccia rock so far.
26Mar2013-952am.jpg

Spotted a couple of snails again today, instead of removing them right away, I tried to id them instead, as they were different than any snails I have had before. They look like mini ramshorn snails, so I am leaving them for now. When/if they get to be unsightly, I will take a bunch out for crayfish/betta food :)
26Mar2013-1158am.jpg

Removed the hatching tube, all the healthy eggs have hatched. Now to see how many survive to adulthood...
 

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Discussion Starter #135
15G;
Both females crays molted yesterday, the largest doubled in size, and is now almost as big as Munchkin.
The No Planaria seems to be doing the job, I only saw three during the wc, and they did not look healthy. It also seems to have gotten rid of some other pests that were in the tank, bonus :)
Did a 30%(ish) wc today (2G out - 5.5G in pH7.5-), vacuumed gravel on right side, cleaned filters, cleaned front glass, added 6mL Flourish.
Put the largest female in the net with Munchkin, they've just been avoiding each other so far.
Almost done scooping out shrimps to restart my colony, I think I am now left with approx five females with solid colour, and one male with a backstripe (removed 18 males and 16 females). There are probably more in there that I haven't found, though I will net the ones I don't want into a floating container as I see them. At this point I am not expecting them to go back to blue, though they do look very neat with the white backstripe and tail accents, and they change colour daily :) It has been interesting seeing how they've changed through the generations over the past year, will be even more interesting seeing where they go over the next year, with some selective culling.

Largest Female Cray
28Mar2013-641pm.jpg
Blueberry Shrimps
29Mar2013-419pm.jpg

33G;
Got some wingless fruitflies for the fishes yesterday, a much cheaper and more sustainable option than pinhead crickets :)
They were very well received by all the surface fishes, first time I have seen the hatchets in a "feeding frenzy", circling their prey, even jumping out of the water in excitement :) The male clown killi coloured right up after eating one, looked like someone had splashed him with a bucket of paint :) Also the first time I have been interested enough to stand and watch until they were done eating.
Both killifish species are spawning daily now, although I think Tiger is eating all the eggs :( I am still debating whether or not to rehome her, I think she may be stressed being on her own.
Added 4.5mL Flourish this morning, I have noticed a definite improvement in the plants since changing dosing to 4mL every 2 days.
Spotted some new type of shelled creature in the tank, looks like a half shell clam type thingy (photo below), I believe they are freshwater limpets (acroloxus lacustris) (info source here) Hopefully their shells are soft enough, and the hillstream loaches keep them in control. If not, I will have an infestation on my hands, fingers crossed that won't happen though.
This tanks ecosystem is rounding itself out quite nicely, worms, limpets, snails, shrimps, fishes, plants, what next...? :)

Limpets
29Mar2013-933am.jpg 29Mar2013-932am.jpg 29Mar2013-107pm.jpg
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Discussion Starter #136
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Flower shrimps
29Mar2013-116pm.jpg 29Mar2013-511pm.jpg
Clown Killifish
29Mar2013-1135am.jpg 29Mar2013-1136am.jpg
Tank Shot
33G-29Mar2013-446pm.jpg
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Discussion Starter #137 (Edited)
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Thought I'd post a sequence of tank shots showing it's evolution from just after setup till now...

27/Dec, 31/Dec, 14/Jan, 29/Jan, 25/Feb, see above for 29/Mar :)
33G-27Dec2012-412pm.jpg 33G-31Dec2012-430pm.jpg 33G-14Jan2013-120pm.jpg 33G-29Jan2013-446pm.jpg 33G-25Feb2013-954am.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #138 (Edited)
15G;
The male cray has molted yesterday morning, he is now the same size as the smaller female, also starting to charge more when I approach the tank. His claws are a slightly different shape and size than Munchkin, and based on the size of the females, I am sure they are a very different genetic strain than the previous pair I had (from a different source). So far Munchkin and the largest don't seem very interested in each other, maybe after each of them molts one more time.... though I don't know how much longer Munchkin will live for, he is approaching 10 months old, and has been through an awful lot in his lifetime.
The half black female guppy passed on saturday (RIP), and her last surviving son (one of only 4 born - she was fry-bound for the past 2 months) has some very neat traits that I haven't seen before on him. First thing I noticed was a blue/green metallic colouring on his body, there is a metallic "x" on the top of his head (all other males have had no colour on their heads), with what looks like quotation marks on either side. His front fins are also black when viewed from the front, and metallic when viewed from behind. His yellow/orange tail also has some blue showing through when he flares, a similar trait to what one of the original males displayed.
I am very happy with this, as it means Trident's genetics have survived :) (He was one of the first males I started with almost 12 months ago) So I have picked out three females to breed with the lucky guy, each of the three has been with a different half-black male for one drop before being introduced to "his tank" (really the cpo tank :rolleyes:), each having different traits that I would like to see in the strain (large dorsal and tail fins, tail "mutations"[top-sword, tri-top sword, dual sword, etc], solid black on body, yellow tail with black spot and border, white dorsal fin with black/metallic front fins, metallic on top from head to tail). At the rate things have been going, I should be close to the result I want from the strain in about 14-18 months ;)
I have tried to get a picture of him, can't get the angle right for the metallic to show properly in the photo :(

Crays
1April2013-154pm.jpg 1April2013-101pm.jpg 2April2013-1131am.jpg

33G;
Spotted a killi egg a couple days ago, looked like it may have hatched before I saw it...., I've been keeping a sharp eye out for little fishes at the surface, though with 20+ mouths up there, and a couple more down below, slim chances of survival. Though L.O did survive in the 15G with 12 mouths to contend with, so I am still looking, and dropping in some fry food... :) I'm not sure if it's from the lampeyes or the clowns, time will tell me though ;)
Did a 25% wc yesterday (6G out/in pH7.0), added 8mL Flourish. Waiting another week before cleaning the filter foam, just to give the shrimp fry a better chance. I'm sure a few are hiding in there, and I don't want to disturb their hiding spot when they need it the most. That and the new populations of snails/limpets in the tank are most likely the cause for the increased nitrates in my most recent tests.
Trimmed two new offshoots from the giant hygro on the left side (my new wave scissors made it super easy ;)), keeping that one a single stem until after it breaks the surface. The leaf tips are now touching the surface both at night and during the day, the dual stem hygro on the right side is catching up quickly in height.
All the plants are reacting positively to the increased frequency if smaller doses of ferts each week, it's only been just over one week, and I'm already seeing improvement in all the plants :)
Decided to get a smaller heater, rather than changing the tank scape for an oversized one :p got a 150w jager from Fantasy Aquatics to replace the 200w thermal compact preset.
The piece of japanese maple I picked out over a month ago, to replace the piece of driftwood on the right side, has finally sunken (has been soaking in the 20g guppy tank), I will be adding it when I add the new heater :)
I used to have green tuft algae on the angled slate in the old tank, I was hoping it would do the same in this tank, though with the change in height (tank, water & fixture) vs the old tank, it is growing a thin layer of crimson algae. Not what I had hoped for, though I think it looks quite neat. Change is good sometimes ;)

Killi Egg
30Mar2013-847am.jpg 30Mar2013-925am.jpg
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Discussion Starter #139
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Vampire shrimp
2April2013-1108am.jpg

Heater :p
2April2013-742pm.jpg

Tank Shot
33G-1April2013-306pm.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #140 (Edited)
15G;
Pics only update :)
5April2013-858am.jpg 5April2013-307pm.jpg

33G;
All three Flower shrimps molted the other day, first time I have seen all of them molt within a 2 hour period of each other, I wonder what the cause of it was :confused:. While the flowers where hiding after molting, the vampires came out for a walkabout :) both were side by side at one point, it looked to me like they were saying something to each other (maybe something like; "It's looking at us again, what should we do? I think we should just stay still, maybe it won't see us and move on... Weird looking thing that is. . . No, it's still there. Ok lets just ignore it then...") I am spending far too much time looking at the tanks :p lol :rolleyes:
5April2013-913am.jpg 5April2013-944am.jpg
Tested Friday;
pH 7.0
No3 50-mg/L
TDS 292ppm
Temp 78F
Did a 25% wc friday morning (6.5G out/in pH6.5-), cleaned 3 foam on custom filter, added 1 almond leaf and 10mL Flourish. Did another 25% wc saturday evening, added 8mL Flourish. Will maybe another on monday aswell depending on nitrate levels tomorrow.
Everytime I've had snails in a tank, I get nitrate spikes. Arrrgh what a pain.
I removed my Riccia "ball" on friday, it started to melt away, too far away from the light I think. The riccia rock is starting to grow out in places, though the hygro leaves are casting shadows over the rock. Some trimming may be in order very soon.
I think the light may be too far above the tank, because of the low water level. I am not going to lower the light though, it just gets in the way then. I might just stick my spare t8 fixture on top just for a 3rd bulb. The plants might do a little better, and I might get short green algae again, though not sure if I want to go through that process in this tank. It took over 6 months for me to get the short green algae to grow in the 15G, without the long green algae taking off. I'm still picking bits of it out now and then.
It seems to me at this point, all that I need to do with the tank now is to keep up with regular wc's (as I increased the stock level when I told myself not to...:rolleyes:), filter cleaning and plant trimming, also snail removal is probably in order. Basically all to do from this point on to the near future, is to remove things from the tank, not add to it...
I haven't mentioned the OEBT's in awhile, two molted recently, all four seem to be doing well :) They are much more active than they were a couple weeks ago, I now catch them swimming from leaf to leaf on the hygro, and sometimes hovering against the current (quite something to see, still trying to get a photo/video, though I think it's one of those things that you just have to see in person when it happens ;))

Friday after wc;
33G-5April2013-4pm.jpg
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