Monday, December 9, 2013

Video of Hasmani Whiptail Cat Tending His Eggs

As I said previously in a post, my Hasmani Whiptails recently spawned and this is a video of just what it takes to keep the eggs healthy.  Poor guy! He works day and night.  They look pretty close to hatching soon, so hope the next video is some fat wrigglers :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December Update - Visit To Finatics Tropical Fish

I've fallen a bit behind with my postings over the fall months.  As some of you may already know, we stepped in and removed Mike's grandchildren from their drug addicted mother in May 2013.  Having two extra children + 2 current court cases has certainly taken its toll on the amount of free time I've had lately.  Thankfully the kids have a dad/step dad and he would like to raise them :) Lucky kids! So it looks like by January I'll be devoting more time to my fish breeding hobby, which makes me very happy!

This fall an old friend of mine, Don Petty, opened an exclusive Aquarium store in the  Tri-Cities area in Washington State, Finatics Tropical Fish.  Don is known for his specialized breeding or Corydoras catfish for almost 20 years in the Aquarium Hobby.  Mike and I just spent last weekend in Kennewick, WA taking photos, video and delivering about 200 green Cory's, around 50 BN Plecos, and some Northern Red Oak leaves to Don.  I'll be making another trip down this month to deliver some plants I've harvested:  Rotala Vietnam, Water Primrose, Sunset Hygro, Water Wisteria, and some tall Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia, I may be able to spare some Java Moss.  I'll also deliver some HMF filters from Swiss Tropicals.  If you've never seen one of these foam filters in action stay tuned as Don will be outfitting one of his 55G tanks as an example of what you can do.

The list of what I brought home from Finatics:  8
Red Spot Rasboras (Mike's pick), 5 Celestial Pearl Danios, 3 Siamese Algae Eaters, 2 pair of German Blue Rams and a school of African Glass Cats (Mike's pick)

My Hasmani Whiptails spawned a few days ago with the male in a cave guarding a bunch of green eggs.  I've moved him, his cave and his woman to a 20L with a HMF filter. The tank currently houses a small Corydoras Similis spawn (their first, happened about 2 weeks ago).

 I lost one of my large fat healthy Corydoras Seussi last week.  When I pulled it out of the tank it had evidence of parasites.............. I treated them and the Eques multiple times after receiving them, as I do with all new Cory's.  The tank has been healthy with no issues for months and this fish showed no signs of being sick.  I've since netted all the Cory's from the 36 bowfront and quarantined most in a 20L for parasite treatment leaving the 36 for a colony of L204 plecos.  I placed the adorable Corydoras Caudimaculatus in my 20L planted shrimp tank in the hopes of them spawning soon.  I also placed the Celestial Pearl Danios, 3 Siamese Algae Eaters and all the of my Ototcinclus in the shrimp tank.  The shrimp tank had previously been home to about 100 or more of the C. Aeneus  juveniles and when I removed all plants and decor there had to be 1000 cherry shrimp!  It was crazy.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Update On Rescued Cichlid

Well it seems the mystery cichlid is some type of Flowerhorn and definitely male instead of female!  Can't wait to see the next shot Zach!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bushy Nose Plecos Take Over A 20H

Well, in a past post I called my male bushy nose the worst father ever........this is certainly not the case. He and the female have produced two large spawns back to back and filled my old 20h with a wriggling, eating, pooping mass youngsters. At any given time there is at least one or two hanging off their parents, which doesn't appear to bother them much. In this video they are about a month and the small guys 2 weeks old now. Half of each spawn are long finned, not sure what color variation they will be but their 3 month old sister looks like a calico long fin and is really an attractive pleco. I'll be taking some of the older ones and some really nice green corys to the Finatics Tropical Fish store in Kennewick, WA at the end of this month.

I'm also taking some more Amazon Frogbit down to Finatics.  If you've never used or grown this aquatic plant I recommend it highly in your freshwater shrimp, community and fry tanks.  It propagates rapidly in my fry tubs with minimal care, helps them feel secure along with helping with the waste cycle.  The freshwater shrimp enjoy hanging from it and I'll also place food in the floating plants for them to consume without interference from the Cory fry at the bottom.  It is not an invasive plant like Duckweed and is easily removed.  FYI ramshorn snails will eat this plant.  I've found that Bladder snails will not though.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Alder cone collection and green corys ready for sale

Been trying to find time to go on an alder cone collecting walk, just never seems to be enough time in the day.
Yesterday, as I was driving down my parents driveway, I realized it was lined by alder bushes/trees! I collected a grocery bag full in 10 minutes.
On another note, my Aeneus corys are ready to sell. I am truly impressed by their color. They have yellow pectoral and caudal fins, a rosy tinged dorsal, tan head and a gorgeous green sheen to their bodies. They have thrived on live micro worms and Daphnia, prepared Repashy of all flavors, Ken's earthworm sticks, Tetra tabs and plant detrius. They were spawned in the first part of August, so they are about 3 months old now.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Corydoras Haraldschultzei A Month After Purchase

I recently rearranged and added a new HMF style filter to the 20Long that houses my C. HaraldSchultzei.  They were very spooky in the previous set up so figured I couldn't go wrong by rearranging. 

They are already acting more confident about feeding and being in out of the plants.  They seem to enjoy hanging out near the HMF foam toward the front.  In the video I had just placed the filter in and they were investigating the back glass.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mosquito larvae, week old otocinclus fry and colored up Cory fry

Both the C. trilineatus spawn from 7/14 and the C. aeneus spawn from 8/02 are in adult coloration now and right about the same size.  Amazing how quickly the aeneus fry caught up with the 2 week older trilineatus.  The trilineatus were slower to hatch AND slower to grow.  Its like aeneus is the "super" cory.  I think I have right around 150 fry (kinda hard to count.....) and should be ready for them to find new homes in another couple weeks or so.

I've been harvesting mosquito larvae from the "toxic" swamp (aka green water growing receptacle, aka stolen kiddy pool) to feed my breeding pair of Killifish.  She has a voracious appetite for anything that squiggles and moves!  I also ordered a huge bag of Java Moss for the breeding tank which basically covers the entire floor.  My home made fluidized filter is working like a charm, very pleased with how quickly the 10 gallon tank cycled.  I will let the Killi's spawn for a few more days then removed the adults and see who hatches :)

The one week old Otocinclus fry has been out and about ever since I threw some Daphnia in his shoe tub with him/her.  I keep adding green water for the Daphnia and some Repashy soilent green for the misc. snails.  There are also some mature floating plants and a sponge filter.  Anywhoooo the little guy is grown and now very active.  I did a 50% water change on the tub last week and remove water to add green water each day, so far all looks good.  Interested to see how fast the little guy grows.  Meanwhile in the parents tank some eggs obviously hatched around the same time he did as there was a whole lot of activity in there from the corys.  Real doubtful there was survivors!  I will eventually move the otos in with the cherry shrimps where they can all reproduce to their hearts content ;)

Keep your eyes open for the grand opening of Finatics Tropical Fish in Kennewick, WA!!!  The countdown starts!

Friday, September 6, 2013


Daphnia arrived yesterday, two big bags of nice red ones of all sizes along with a few scuds that must be in the ponds of the grower. 

Pretty excited that I finally get to use the green water I've been culturing in the "toxic swamp".  You can see I'm floating the daphnia in some green water.  I made sure to keep the bags separate and make two different cultures in case one crashes.

This is the second culture in a plastic tub.  I ran a airline to both cultures and added some fresh water to the green water  to bring the water level up.  You could see quite a few scuds swimming in the bottom of the plastic tub culture.  I saw no real dead daphnia, the live rate after shipping was excellent.

Then today I harvested some more green water from the swamp to add to the newly put in free pond that the boys and I dug into our dirt pile last night, also planting some gooseberry, currant bushes and some mint.  Next we need to add rock to the hill and some more plants.

Hoping the culture takes off when it warms back up a bit, meanwhile I kept the other culture inside as a back up and I'll possibly start another culture in a different container.

Friday, August 30, 2013

10 Gallon Killifish Set Up

Forgive my hasty cruddy cell phone photos of the set up :)
As the caption says, I found this tank on a back deck of the house where we rescued the cichlid (see previous posts on rescued tank).  The people had moved out and left giant huge piles of trash, hmmm I'll post those photos also, on the deck of the house and I spied this beauty up against an upright for the roof.  Didn't even have to seal it!  I washed it with salt and let it sit empty in the sun for almost a month before using it, lest there be a disease lurking...........

My new old 10 gallon tank I found in a pile of trash
You can see the tank by the post

Like wow and wow

More holy yucky wow

10 gallon set up as a Killifish spawning tank with my home made filter

I left the bottom bare to make retrieving the eggs easier with some Java Moss and Hornwort anchored at the bottom with a river rock.  Some pieces of Java Fern in there also and a whole bunch of floating plants like Amazon Frogbit, and hygrophilia trimmings.

I ran the filter in an established tank for 2 days to pick of some beneficial bacteria and also put some used filter floss in the tank next to the filter to speed things up.

I need to buy a glass 10 gallon lid, using rubbermaid tops right now, as killifish like to jump!

Tank is sitting on the breakfast bar, the Killi's are very friendly and outgoing

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My First DIY Fluidized Filter, Otocinclus Hatch and Horrible Quality Video of 55 Grow Out Tank

My first attempt at a fluidized bed for filtration.  Kinda fun.  Took the K1 a little while to start rotating in the bottle, not sure why.  I'm going to use this filter in my 10 gallon Killifish set up that I'll hopefully put together today.

I managed to rescue 2 oto eggs.  I think only one hatched though.  I set up the tub with a small sponge filter and some plants from a mature tank with algae on the leaves and a portable light.  Guess we'll see if the little guy makes it :)

Terrible video of my 55 grow out tank in the morning sun. Still need a light and glass top for this tank but the fry are thriving and growing quite nicely.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Otocinclus Spawn, C. Aeneus & Lone Ancistrus Fry Turn 20 days and 20H After Treatment

Terrible video of my otos spawning, but all I could manage, they are way to fast and there is too much plant cover to follow them.

The Aeneus fry are starting to color up and are growing VERY fast

My one lone little Ancistrus fry is happy and healthy

 The fish seem to be recovering from the treatment and the tank now has blue sand, rocks and driftwood, very attractive.  The albino Ancistrus female thinks she's a leaf.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


New owner sent a phone photos of the mystery rescued cichlid, he apologizes for the blurry phone pic, but it sure gives us an idea of how stressed and starved she was in that nasty tank we rescued her from.  Truly amazing transformation.

The cichlid with its goldfish tankmates the day of rescue

Thursday, August 22, 2013

7th day of treatment, Killifish spawn, Log diving and Parasites

So I'm on my 7th day of treating my two tanks, the symptoms come and go.  Yesterday the fish looked awesome.  Today I get up and there are blood spots at the base of the pelvic fins of a C. Similis, thats new........, I can see some of the columnaris spots again on the C. blacks, male Killi shows a spot on his head and the Killi pair still spawned yesterday with the Corys quickly eating any eggs............They are all in the 20H.


I have incredible filtration on all my tanks, do 50% water changes every other day then treat again, the symptoms go away for a day then show back up. I plan on treating for at least 10 days and may switch to a sulfa drug and treat longer (if I can find anything in this area) as the strains of disease nowadays are especially resistant to our drugs.  No fish actually acts sick in the 20H but having seen how quickly it took that one C. black I'm not taking any chances. 

Now in the 36G the C. Eques are scratching and one has a white lump again by its pectoral fins............iiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! I treated them 4 separate times for the same parasite, it seems to be just the one fish but now a second one is scratching.  Oh man I'm starting to go nuts I swear.  While I was going nuts I managed to shoot the L204 diving under the driftwood.

Now I'm stressed about whether I should be adding PraziPro with Furan meds LOL  Can you see me running my finger over my lips like bbblllbblbllbbbbbbbbbb!!!  Meanwhile the Amazon Frogbit plant is protesting to the meds and is developing holes and dying, so I pulled all of it out of my tanks.  Playing the death song for my other plants...............

Meanwhile back at the ranch, my giant C. Aeneus spawn officially outgrew the 20L yesterday, no matter what I did the water was cloudy, again that was driving me nuts (there's a theme)..... So I moved about 70 of them to the 55 gallon with the C. Trilineatus fry.  Still boatloads of Aeneus in the 20L, its crazy! I'm thinking there is close to 100 left in the tank. The water started to clear up this morning, which is good. I've been running a massive sponge filter with a power head and an external HOB with a pre-sponge, its just crazy how water could ever get cloudy in there........the usual 50% every other day water change, making sure no food left. 

So far I haven't gone over the edge of sanity but it was close this morning when there was no milk for my coffee............

Monday, August 19, 2013

Corydoras Aeneus 8/2/13 Spawn Update

The C. aeneus spawn is thriving in the Cherry Shrimp tank.  Not sure how long I'll be able to keep them all in the 20L.  I'm not moving any fish until the columnaris is cleared up, not taking any chances.  Just gonna have to perform many water changes and careful feeding in this tank until I can split them up or move them to the 55 gallon.  The one Ancistrus fry of approximately the same age is also thriving and looking good.  Its just been grazing on the algae in the tank.

Under Siege.......

Somehow, somewhere Columnaris has been introduced to my two main tanks, the 36 bowfront and the 20H.  Both are heavily planted and have my treasured Corys housed within their glass walls.  Needless to say, I'm more stressed then the Corys at this point!  I am not sure whether the bacteria hitched a ride on a plant or if fish arrived already infected.  I'm leaning towards the kid's fancy guppies at this point as there is only ONE left out of five purchased......... 
I believe I transferred it to the 20H with the siphon when doing water changes.  I have lost a black Cory from that tank.  I saw it on him and within 3 hours he was toast.  I then saw saddle type spots on about 4 other black Corys but no one else in that tank, one had the first part of its dorsal eaten away about the size of a pinhead.  I treated with methylene blue and Furazone meds along with big water changes, as I'm a firm believer that clean water makes healthy fish and meds have a way of messing up the tank bacteria.  Hate to have them suffer from an ammonia spike also.....

Today I can only find two spots on two black Corys in the 20H and the fuzzed out dorsal spot on the one is completely gone.  Believe the Ancistrus spawned during all this............I swear with the reduced light from all the meds, the Ancistrus thought it was night for 3 days now!  The female has been out eating off the glass 24 hours a day.  I'm making sure I have enough food in there for her.
In the 36 gallon we've lost our first Danio...........I am especially stressed about this tank as its where my Corydoras Seussi, Eques, Caudimaculatus and L204 reside.  I am trying my best to sit tight, medicate and watch without stressing any of them for any reason.  So far so good.  Gave them a water change and new meds today, sit and wait..........try to breathe and not hover.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Old Tanks, New Wild Caught Corys and Pesky Chickens.......Always Chickens....

Wild Caught Haraldschultzi a day after arriving from the Wet Spot
Chickens helping me test the 55 gallon for leaks
Found to be leak free, sitting on its stand ready for sand and water
Filling the tank today after adding sand and river rock

Still debating what fish to set up in the tank. I'd like to use it like a grow out tank for some the larger fry but would also like it to look nice since its front and center in the living room.  So I'll get it all up and running then decide who's going to be permanent residents.  I think the L204 would enjoy this tank once I get the driftwood and plants where I want them.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

LOVE the new killifish that came in from the Wet Spot

The Killifish's natural habitat.  Thought it was a great video to show what their natural habitat is like.

My male wooing his female
Zooming, what he does best!
I keep trying to take nice shots of my Killifish but they zoom around so fast its hard to get a shot that isn't blurry.  My female is nice and full of eggs, the male is displaying to her often, hoping for a spawn soon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Spawns, egg collecting, worm ranching and goodbyes to common Corys

In this last week, the Ancistrus, C. aeneus and C. trilineatus all spawned.  I had added peat moss to my new outside canister filter and I think it was a hit ;)  I wasn't going to collect the aeneus eggs but watching the male BN Ancistrus mow through them was more then I could take.  Soooo, I scraped them into a net and placed them in the shrimp tank.  There is baby aeneus darting everywhere in there now :)

The few Ancistrus eggs that hadn't succumbed to fungus I also placed in the shrimp tank with the hopes of a few hatching.  I only had 2 eggs left this morning as you can see in the video up above.  I had NO idea that the ramshorn snails eat eggs.  I thought they only ate the eggs with fungus but I soon found out I was wrong.  They actually ate the yolk sack on the fry in the video up above!  It bled out and died.  I managed to save the one that hadn't hatched yet and removed him into a rubbermaid container until he's free swimming.  Meanwhile I am smashing and destroying ramshorns right and left!  The Corys think its a snail smorgasbord......

The trilineatus spawned mid day and I collected 19 eggs for their new owner Zach. Of course they were placed one by one all over the tank, only two were easy on the neck still hurts LOL

Zach has purchased my 6 C. trilineatus and 4 C. aeneus breeders.  He's also graciously offered to take the rescued cichlid and nurse it back to health :)  Zach and I also are awaiting a new order of fish from the Wet Spot in Portland.  Zach ordered some Jack Dempseys and I'm getting in 6 Corydoras HaroldSchultzei, 4 more Corydoras Seussi and 4 Corydoras Similis.  I also went out on a limb and purchased a pair of Killifish.  Should prove interesting!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the micro worm ranch, the worms are exploding and fish are chowing down!  All of my fish love to seek and destroy these little guys, plus the fry are growing well having at least one meal of micro worms a day.  The Zebra Danio fry have great color and the now month old C. trilineatus are looking large and healthy :)  photo below

C. trilineatus at 4 weeks

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Weekend, Fish Rescues and Bad Fathers

This last Friday afternoon we enacted FPA

Fish Protection Agency

We thought about making some outfits, a bit superheroish, film ourselves in slow motion to show how badass we are while trying not to shatter tanks and drop fish

My 16 year old son Lane, his good friend James and I all went over to a house where the people had recently moved and the power had been shut off for 2 days, leaving a 30 gallon fish tank with what we were told was a female Red Devil in it.  Someone else had just recently came and rescued the hedgehog that was also left in the home in a little cage.  As you can see from the videos we eventually discovered there was no Red Devil but 2 large Goldfish, a 10 inch Pleco and mystery cichlid. 

Spent the rest of the weekend saving the cichlid from starvation and ammonia stress.  The slime coat on the Pleco and cichlid was extreme, thank God they had a means of protection that I'm sure was built up over time.  The little guy is meaner then hell!  Now that he's not in a brown swamp he can now seek and shred Goldfish tails!  I think he's feeling better. Not exactly the weekend I had planned........

You can see sand stuck to his extreme slime coat

Their 30 gallon tank, cleaned and set up on my counter

Now, Sunday morning, I'm headed into town to take the 2 goldfish and 10 inch Pleco to their new digs, a nice pond in Spokane, WA.  Folks have been great, really reaching out to help re-home and rehabilitate these fish.  The goldfish, of course, act like they just had a walk in the park, AMAZES me always what type of water conditions they can survive and even thrive in.

So, out of all this I gained a 30 gallon and 10 gallon tank to add to my collection.  Worth it? Saving those poor fish was worth it, I'll NEVER forget that smell draining that tank.  There had to be dead fish in there.....

Bad Fish Fathers.......

My Ancistrus male has proven to not be the greatest of Dads.  The poor guy was so freaked out over the absolute circus that happens in the 20 gallon every time the Corydoras Aeneus aka Weeble Wobble spawns with her 3 males.  They rip and tear through the tank like little freight trains and would race past his cave, smashing into his tail causing him to zoom out and threaten.  Well each time he would do this he would drag eggs out with him.  Eventually I ended up with all 31 eggs in a container and him sucked up to the driftwood, completely abandoning his cave.  So now I'm trying to "fan" his eggs like he would to keep them from getting fungus, looks like I might get about 20 to hatch, fingers crossed.

I think he needs a quieter setting next time, once his frazzled nerves settle that is.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Busy fish in 20H

The hugely fat female C. Aeneus aka weeble wobble, laid about 200 eggs this morning with 4 males chasing her frantically through the tank.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spawned all day, finally some eggs

Must have been a trial run last night because today the ancistrus spent all day in and out of the cave. She's finally done and there's a large amount of eggs. Four had fallen out off the cave so I retrieved them. Now I'll be able to track how the eggs look visually as they develop. The male is in his cave fanning and guarding  :-) Female looks deflated and her beautiful fins look like tattered sails.

Otocinclus Alarm Clock

There is NEVER a quiet moment at our house, really there's not.  As I'm sure you've heard, cartoons, video games, dishes slamming, and talking are a normal occurrence as background noises for my fish videos.  However, the chickens had not shown up until today.  The weather is cool and there are a few raindrops so the house windows are open and its chickenpalooza all day........
I'm hoping to catch an otocinclus spawn and have a close eye on this very fat female.  They go crazy after I feed with microworms and spend a lot of time checking the plants and glass for strays.

Ken's Earthworm Sticks, Gunfire And Mysterious Missing Gobys

The video kind of speaks for itself. What totally cracks me up is how the "elusive" new goby flits cross the screen during the first few seconds of filming LOL yet I can't find them.......
I still cannot believe what a mess those earthworm sticks make!  Or how loud my son Lane likes his video games..........He says "What?" and "Who the hell are you talking to?" towards the end of this dramatic film.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ken's Shipment Arrived

The package with my earthworm pellets showed up by UPS July 30th.  Also inside was my Tom's small hang on the back canister filter.  I LOVE that thing! It set up super easy and the flow is perfect in the 20H.  Has a handy little spray arm is compact and fit behind the tank great.  I added this filter to aid the Fluval 2 already in the tank.  I recently added 10 Corydoras sp. Black babies and a male ancistrus to the tank and felt it needed some extra "oomph".
Another fun item was the WAY to big cave........not sure if I've forgotten the size of an inch or..............but it takes up the entire back corner of the 20H.  It will have to be utilized in another tank, one that could use a bohemith  sized cave.
I've already posted about my new favorite net, the telescoping shrimp net, sure to be my favorite until I try to pull in a 5 inch fish thinking "eh I can do it" and rip the bottom out.......Yep, I do things like that.
FINALLY I got in some sponge filters and promptly placed one in each tank, never know when you'll need one, want that beneficial bacteria to be numerous when you plop it in a new tank.
The Ken's earthworm sticks have to be some of the messiest food I've ever fed.  I have a video that shows the cloud, I'll upload that for a later post.  Its like they ran through snow......They like it but its a real mess.

LOVE These Little Black Corys!

Another couple phone videos so excuse the quality.  These little guys are always on the move and you can see how full their little bellies are.  I swear they've doubled in size in a week!  Watching them eat  black worms twice their body length just cracks me up.  They're ferocious!  LOL
In case you're just tuning in, these are some Corydoras sp. Black purchased from Finatics Tropical Fish Store in Tri-Cities, WA about a week ago.  The left video is when they first arrived.  The right video is about a week later.

Ancistrus Spawned Tonight

Forgive, its a phone video but all I had at the moment of wooing

Microworm Culture AKA Room Clearing Device

I started a Microworm culture last week with a seed culture purchased on Ebay.  

This stuff is not for the faint of heart! Wow.....but the fish fry, Danios and Corys love it.