Thursday, March 13, 2014

Things I've Discovered

First off, I've realized that bringing new fish into the fishroom is like what the white man did to the Native Americans.  I have no idea where these poor fish pick up all these super resistant diseases but not quarantining these days is a recipe for tank wipe out.
We innocently brought home some Khuli Loaches that my son received for helping someone out.  They appeared healthy, happy and active.  Having just moved our existing fish into the new fishroom we had no quarantine tank set up, plus hey, these guys looked great.  Three weeks later all I can say is the tank is a barren wasteland of death!  About a week after adding the loaches I noticed one appeared to be a lighter color.  Meh! Not a biggie, he must have stress color from being such a freak.  (The loaches freaked out from day one, never settling in.)  Zipping around, banging into stuff, just panicked in general. Next day I noticed the loach had a slime hanging off him.  NO!  The slime made its rounds and soon covered all three loaches.  Everyone else in the tank looked great.  The next few days my sub-adult black Corys had cloudy eyes and fins.  NO!  So.............after 2 weeks of tank treatments all three loaches are dead, two black Corys are dead, the plants are torched, every snail is on its side in the sand, bodies hanging out of shells. I've dipped the remaining black Cory and 3 Similis Corys in Methylene Blue and done a 90% water change.  I removed my young black Cory to her own tub to keep an eye on her (as she's a hybrid experiment of mine) and this morning she appears to be looking better and actually swimming around again.  Looks like today I'll be netting out the mass snail casualties out of the 30 gallon................The entire time the plague was ravaging, I had a few female guppies in the tank and they went about business as usual, having babies, eating, it never did effect them.  It sure laid waste to everyone else.

Second thing I learned this month, chickens are a handy thing to have around a fishroom.   Who knew?  I use snails in my grow out tanks to control the extra food rather then me do constant siphoning.  Well I get overrun with snails, its insane how they can reproduce.  I had about 200 of them I'd pulled from tanks not sure what to do with them when I see my chickens standing outside by the food bowl.  Hmmm, why not?  Boy do chickens love eating snails!  I also discovered that as long as there is chickens around you won't have duckweed growing in your pond, must be to yummy.  I use amazon frogbit and duckweed in my tanks to help with water quality.  The frog bit is easy and people love to buy it, the duckweed not so much.  I've found offering up a mix of snails and duckweed to the chickens kills to birds with one stone.  Pun intended............

On a different note, we finally found some Corydoras hastatus for the fishroom.  Paid way to much, but wow the little dudes are hard to find!  Guess my patience isn't so good, I was done waiting to find some at the right price.  They are swimming happily in the 30G plant tank that houses the cherry shrimp colony and poso snails.

Rainbow Endler male on the left a couple C. hastatus on the right

We also set up a Fluval Spec 5 gallon tank on the breakfast bar.  I put some young male guppies in to cycle the tank before the addition of shrimp.  We aren't sure if we are just going to add our Crystal Red Shrimp or acquire a new type to study while we eat breakfast.

Arriving at the fishroom today is two different orders of Corydoras "nanus" from the eastern part of the country.  I say "nanus" as these Corys usually aren't actually the true "nanus" but a  similar fish, as there are quite a few with the same color pattern.  Here are the two photos I was given.  Each photo is a different order of fish.  I'll post my finding and new photos of the fishies soon.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fishroom Happenin's

We transitioned into our new fishroom over the last month.  So far so good, tanks cycling out and only a few mishaps and overflows ;)  New Micathermic heater working well.  HMF filters take a while to build up to good bacteria and become high functioning, we used our K1 filter media out of a canister filter to provide some good bugs for the tanks.  Our 30 gallon plant tank has been up and running for about a week now and all looks well.  We are taking photos and videoing its progress for sharing later.  Meanwhile the P82 Killies, misc. Corydoras, Bushy Nose Plecos and some fancy Guppies have been reproducing.  We also had our fist successful German Blue Ram reproduction.  I took it out of their "fins" this time and hand raised the babies.  They are growing and thriving in with a group of Corydoras similis and S. barbatus fry of the same age, along with some pond snails and a group of Cherry Shrimp.  The German Blue Ram fry are getting big enough to eat fry food and micro-worms, previously they have been eating Golden Pearl Powder and insuforia and we really had to strain our eyes to even see the fry!  On the Guppy front, we are finally getting some young guppies big enough for some males to begin coloring up and plan on taking a nice groups of youngsters and trios to Finatics Tropical Fish next month :)

On an interesting note, I walked into the fish room about 5 days ago to check on fry and see a Cherry Shrimp chewing on a German Blue Ram baby, it still had its yolk sack at this point.  I was stunned as I watched it rotate it, put its head in its mouth, rotate it and put its tail in its mouth!  I thought to myself "They lied! They all say Cherry Shrimp are harmless and this stupid thing is eating my babies", I was stunned.  I kept watching thinking I needed to pull all the shrimp from this fry tank.  Then I thought, no, I bet it was a dead fry and its just snacking.  All of this went through my head in a matter of seconds..............I was really bummed :(  Then I watch the shrimp toss the baby out and it drifted in the current for about an inch then swam off and joined its brothers and sisters on the sand, swimming and bouncing happily.  Whew!  Guess it needed to be cleaned off.........who knew.......what a relief not to have to remove the "killer" shrimps ;)