284L low tech with dry start

alto

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Just watch the shrimp, if loads on fresh moults, I’ll wait a day on the water change
(they often moult more just after purchase and when they get eating (like fish, shrimp should not be fed for 2-3 days before shipping to maintain best travelling bag conditions), then this slows down after a couple months)

If just the odd moult, carry on with scheduled water changes, but I’ll do 40-50% and not more than that (I often do 70% water changes) - if you’ve got some test kits or 5in1 strips, I’ll check tap vs tank parameters

I almost always place new fish in a Q tank, so treating for external parasites etc there (most “Ich” remedies treat various external parasites, just Ich is the most prevalent)

Occasionally I’ll set up a planted tank for a specific fish I’ve ordered or found when walking into a shop (& immediately purchasing as they are an unlikely find) and I may then place the new fish directly into that “clean” planted (display) aquarium
If fish seem OK, I like to wait 12-24 h before adding Ich-X SW, then monitor behaviour - if they seem brighter, more active active an hour or so after dosing the Ich-X that’s a good confirmation that they were irritated before (by some external parasite)
At this stage, I generally place fish health above plant health and I’ll continue treating fish
Most chocolate gourami (I’m including a few species under this general common name) are wild caught, do better in larger numbers, but don't like crowding so my Q tank isn’t ideal ... they also have poor immunity against common trade pathogens so I don’t wait to see if their immune system is going to deal with whatever might be affecting them
(unfortunately I learned this through trial and error, now I rarely buy any Choco’s from shop tanks, if I can’t order and receive the fish still in the shipping bag, I try to just walk away)

Most tank bred fish do fine in most Q tanks

It’s a judgement call (guess!) as to which way to go

Whenever treating sick fish, daily water change is the best “medicine”, optimize oxygen levels in the water column (allowing your filter return to “splash” , ensure there’s good surface movement, reduce temperature to lowest comfortable (especially important if a suspected bacterial infection)) as many pathogens target the gill tissue as a primary infection site (before spreading systemically)
Most sick fish have primary, secondary and tertiary infections, if you can correctly guess and treat the primary pathogen, and fish are not stressed, their immune system will clear other infections
Dim lighting is important as most fish experience some degree of stress from bright lights, and (obviously) sick fish are more reactive to environmental stresses
Many medications are photosensitive, so again dim lighting is recommended
Remove any carbon/charcoal or Purigen etc before medicating (as these can remove meds from the water column)
Clean water - always perform a large (50-90% depending) water change before beginning - is better for medications as other compounds may interfere with active ingredients

Pick up a copy of the Manual of Fish Health by Andrews, Excell, Carrington as it includes all this general care information (as well as specific disease discussions, photos etc)
 

Bon MotMot

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which leads to another question; is it generally better to order fish online (from a reputable source, obviously) since they come straight from the breeder to me and bypass the additional stress of shop tanks? I have bought at least half of my plants online but I have yet to purchase livestock online.
 

alto

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It depends
:lol:

Do you know some reputable online retailers?

Some shops keep each tank on independent filters and don’t mix species upon arrival(though if nets are transferred casually between tanks this is all that’s needed to spread Ich throughout the shop) - instead moving existing fish to various (often mix) tanks when new stock arrives
Some shops may have quarantine tanks in a back room (but those I’ve seen, then mixed all the new shipment fish across a few large tanks ... not quite understanding the concept of Q or just doing what they could ... I didn’t ask)

Some shops will run a UV on their tank system and assume that provides disease protection (so much depends upon the UV lamp, the flowrate, system turnover, flow cell glass quality/shape)

This is why running your own Q tank at home provides the best protection for your fish community

Examine fish carefully in the shop - look at the fish of interest and every other fish in the tank, look about the shop at the rest of the tanks, talk to shop employees (& management ... separately ;))

As an example
Wet Spot Tropical Fish runs an online and retail shop, they have a separate quarantine facility, they tranship/import fish from Asian and SA suppliers ... looking at their fish lists, they obviously deal with “good” knowledgeable suppliers
(as you guess I’m on the wrong coast :D )
 

Bon MotMot

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On a more positive note it's cool to see some of the plants pearling after a water change
20190925_223534.jpg
 

tam

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I've used Esha exit on white spot with otos and cherry shrimp in the tank - no issues at all even the tiny baby shrimp survived it. Don't know if it's available in the states though.
 

Bon MotMot

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Day 32 since flooding.
DSM_7_20191002_flooded.jpg

Water change 40% twice a week, lights on full power about 6 hours a day; one squirt a day of Ultum Nature Systems All in One fertilizer, no CO2. There's a fish or two in there somewhere: 2 black mollies, 4 otos and one lonely survivor rummynose.
 

Bon MotMot

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2 months since flooding. Starting to need a trim.
DSM_8_20191101.JPG

Livestock:
13 Amanos including 2 gravid females that are the size of prawns
assorted Nerite snails
4 otos
4 skunk cories
one hillstream loach
2 black mollies
20 black neon tetras
5 cardinal tetras
three German blue rams (one male one female one genderfluid)
one female betta
and that last rummynose survivor. At least he can spend the day hanging with the tetras instead of trying to be a molly or a cory
 

alto

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I wonder if perhaps you should increase fertilizers o_O - that seems a fairly conservative dose - especially after water changes ...though I’ve forgotten what your tap water is like :oops:

I’d encourage gradual trimming in nonCO2 tanks, rather than cutting back everything in one go, do maybe 1/3 of the stems etc, wait for signs of regrowth, then continue on
I’d also trim and replant tops (actively growing portion of plant) - plant base maybe more/less active in putting forth new growing tips, especially if quite shaded

The photo looks dark but tank seems lovely
 

Bon MotMot

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Haven't posted a pic in a long time, or done a substantial trim for that matter. Think the tank peaked in that last photo from November. Since then the S. repens and H. tripartia have died back after flourishing for a couple months. Christmas moss and Monte Carlo is hanging in there, and the stems in the back are growing like crazy, especially the Ludwigia.
DSM_91_20200223.jpg
 

Bon MotMot

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This Blue ram was one of my favorite fish in there, even if he was a homicidal maniac.
DSC06804.JPG
I bought 3 at the same time: one dominant male, one submissive male and a female. They all got on well enough for a couple months but then the top guy went into a courting frenzy with the female, and killed the other male. I tried to add another female, but he never accepted her and chased her to death immediately. And just a few days ago, he died for no reason that I could tell. The female is now a lot brighter; she always would dim her colors when he was around (the submissive male would, too) so now I am wondering if she is a female at all, although she seemed to interact with the top male like one. Guess she's going to stay the only Blue ram in there for now since it seems difficult to add a new one because they're so territorial.
 
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If you really want to add more rams you can help the process by removing the existing ram for a while, reshaping, adding the new fish then returning her. Depends if you want to rescape a bit or not though!!
 

Gill

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They look like they have been laid in straight lines, which is what nerites will do. They will need to.be removed with a wire brush or blade. As they harden quickly as need brackish to hatch.

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

Bon MotMot

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I'm not sure if they are nerite eggs or particles of sand clinging to the hardscape. I have 2 other tanks that are covered in nerite eggs; this tank has the least. It is also the only tank with Amanos in it; do they eat nerite eggs? They eat everything else!
 

alto

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I bought 3 at the same time: one dominant male, one submissive male and a female. They all got on well enough for a couple months but then the top guy went into a courting frenzy with the female, and killed the other male. I tried to add another female, but he never accepted her and chased her to death immediately. And just a few days ago, he died for no reason that I could tell. The female is now a lot brighter; she always would dim her colors when he was around (the submissive male would, too) so now I am wondering if she is a female at all, although she seemed to interact with the top male like one. Guess she's going to stay the only Blue ram in there for now since it seems difficult to add a new one because they're so territorial.

This is a decent sized aquarium for rams - but whoever sold you that odd trio did these lovely fish no favour ... and then someone sold you a single female to add to a tank with an existing duo (again not a method for success, especially if you were given no instructions on how to introduce this new single ram)

Larger groups do better as usually no single fish gets overwhelmed by negative attention - there’s always someone else distracting the focus

Female rams can have amazing colors, and will show submissive colors if not really keen on a particular male, or not ready to breed; like males, there are more/less dominant females

I’ve kept rams that go into a decline when they become the lone fish, others seem quite pleased

How goes the plant life?
:)
 

Bon MotMot

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I am to blame for the ram decisions; I thought I was buying 2 females and one male, but the middle fish of the trio turned out to be another male (I guess). The three of them got on for a few weeks. Adding the new female was a mistake and I should've done more research before getting her. How many rams do you think the tank could comfortably hold? What sex ratio? Males are a lot easier to find than females in my area. I really liked their behavior when they weren't being homicidal maniacs.
 

Bon MotMot

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How goes the plant life?
:)

Today I finally got the nerve to do a huge trim. The one I should've done in February.

CAUTION: THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES THAT MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS
Trigger warning: overgrown stems, lifting carpet, mixed up substrate


this morning:
DSM_92_20200530.JPG


Now:
DSM_93_20200530 trim.JPG


The fish really liked the tangled Ludwidgia mess and I liked it too until about a month ago when it became just too much. There was all kinds of stuff under the moss that I had forgotten was in the tank:p

I need to switch out the sand area; I want to put natural-colored sand in that open area. I saw a video, I think from MD Fish Tanks, where he cleaned his sandy area by sucking it out, cleaning the sand in a bucket, and putting it back in the tank. The fish etc. weren't bothered. I am hoping I could replace my sand in a similar way without disrupting everything else if I rinse it really well beforehand.

I think the MC carpet is toast; I'm not very good at trimming it so it's lifting and if I pull it up and try starting over planting little clumps I don't think it will take with the low-tech setup and the corys.
 

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