Keep your surface clean with Gouramis

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Mark Evans, 2 May 2012.

  1. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    I've said a few times about how I keep my surface clear from 'surface scum'

    One of the best additions I've had is the good old Gourami. I've had a few different types, and they all do the same job.

    These ones are discreet and don't clutter up the over all look.

    I think, because they are surface breathers, their actions at the surface help keep surface scum down. I've never had it when I've had these in the aquarium.

    7136747813_5c3e1ee181_b.jpg
    keep-your-surface-clean by saintly's pics, on Flickr
     
  2. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    Keep your surface clean

    I think you also raise pipes at night to get surface agitation? Since doing that it's all a lot cleaner in my tank. My gouramis just blow bubbles.
     
  3. Park

    Park Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Denmark
    Re: Keep your surface clean

    An airpump at night also works wonder - and at the same time provides oxygen for the plants respiration... Or else there's ADAs new surface skimmer ;)
     
  4. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,949
    Re: Keep your surface clean

    Or just get a wet/dry like Amano has for his personal tanks and like all my tanks, no issues.
     
  5. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Re: Keep your surface clean

    With a busy working life that i have, its not always possible to do this sadly. :angelic:

    I was a little 50/50 weather to post about Gouramis, as i expected someone to say they didnt do the same job as they do for me. It kinda disproves my theory.

    For me, they have always done this wonderful job....which backs up my theory....any test kits on the market for this experiment? :lol:

    Yes, Sure there are other ways of ridding ourselves of scum, but the point about this was 'Gouramis'
     
  6. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    Maybe you have magic ones. Wouldn't surprise me.
     
  7. hinch

    hinch Member

    Messages:
    695
    Location:
    South Yorkshire
    Re: Keep your surface clean

    you use a modified marine style overflow do you not just instead of going to a sump you go through media and return straight to tank?
     
  8. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Re: Keep your surface clean

    Tom, are these silent operating or can you hear the "trickle effect" of them ? I ask because I have my tank in the bedroom. Also, although the wet/dry filter adds O2, does it create surface agitation, or does it keep the surface clear in some other way ?
     
  9. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Re: Keep your surface clean

    And a much prettier way of scum eradication they are too Mark :thumbup: I am seriously thinking of getting some myself. I love the little Honey Gouramies.
     
  10. Park

    Park Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Denmark
    Re: Keep your surface clean

    Missed that :rolleyes:

    I'm considering having some next time I'll replace fish, but how about shrimps - I've got RCS and CRS in the tank and I would be a pity if they disappeared. Do you have shrimps in yours?
     
  11. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Re: Keep your surface clean

    LOL. Mark has about ten million shrimp in his tank ;)
     
  12. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Yes, Plenty.

    I have about 40 or 50 Amano shrimp, about 20 ottos, and about 100 or so cherry shrimp, which have just bred. I have babies that are about 2mm big, and they never get devoured by the Gouramies.

    Here they are playing happily together.

    6975085500_1a487e0f88_b.jpg
    shrimp by saintly's pics, on Flickr

    6949950326_9ac8c67caa_b.jpg
    detail1 by saintly's pics, on Flickr
     
  13. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    every picture of this tank makes me want to come round and steal it

    how much do you think your ridiculous success is due to the size of this clean up army? And did you manage to get a job lot on those Amanos? In London that would be £125 on shrimp...
     
  14. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Mike, it has taken time to acquire the Amano shrimp. Occasionally, buying 1 or 2 here and there.

    The cherries, I bought. 12 and they have just bred and bred. When I took the 120cm apart, I must of killed hundreds. It was impossible to catch every single one. I've had my CRS breed too.

    Of course having a huge algae crew helps. It goes without saying. I'd also like to think I've got the regime nailed. I can now start up a tank without having the dreaded 'diatom' stage. I've not seen hair algae in about 5 years, and GDA is at a minimum in most of my tanks now.... No too brush sessions for me.

    Thanks for the kind words about the tank. It does mean a lot. :thumbup:

    I'm getting eager to start over with the 90cm, and with this being my first 90cm scape' I'm rather fond of the dimensions. :D

    The 120cm still has the hardscape just sat there, but after my operation on the 23rd of this month, and my recovery time is over, I'll be bang at it with a 120cm 1-2 grow! Tank and a nice 90cm Nature Aquarium. :angelic:
     
  15. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Hi Mark, how do you feel you manage to avoid the diatom stage ?
     
  16. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Lower light intensities Chris. On start up, I'll run the lights for 5 hours, and whether it be T5 or Halide, I'll suspend the light pretty high.

    Algae crew is a must. Ottos and shrimp.

    I've also used phos and silica remover, but whether the science behind these work, still remains to be seen.

    But in the last 3 or 4 tanks, I've been pretty much Diatom free. And to consider, prior to these aquariums, I was over run with the stuff. Life was a constant battle. Even after 3 months, diatoms still remained. I had to find a solution.

    Recently, I've cut back on flow. Again, whether this contributes to less algae is still a mystery. Less flow does not mean poor distribution though. I must have good distribution, as plants grow well in all 4 corners of the tank. Even in shaded areas.
     
  17. Ady34

    Ady34 Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,315
    Location:
    Co. Durham
    Hi Mark, do you use the same configuration of inlet, outlet and distribution direction on all of your tanks.... just wondering if theres a common technique which ensures good distribution, or whether you alter it depending on hardscape etc?
    Cheers,
    Ady.
     
  18. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Good question...and your pretty much correct with your thoughts.

    On the bigger tank, I'll always have opposing configurations. what will change is which side I have the outlet, depending on whether I have stems, and also, which way i would like the stems to sway.

    filter one... inlet rear corner/left- outlet front corner/left
    filter 2...... inlet front corner/right - outlet rear corner/ right.

    This way, one filter will take in the water of the second filters outlet...quicker.

    Smaller tank, I'll use spray bar, pointing 45 degrees down. left wall, with the inlet on the same side.
     
  19. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    You can see it here....

    6971931607_f15920766e_b.jpg
    last-time by saintly's pics, on Flickr
     
    Protopigeon likes this.
  20. Ady34

    Ady34 Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,315
    Location:
    Co. Durham
    Thanks Mark.
    interesting that you have different methods for different sized tanks. Do you find 2 filters necessary to get good distribution on larger tanks, and you can compensate on the smaller tanks with a more distribution efficient spraybar return BUT with a higher comparative lph turnover? I imagine you may get better/more even distribution with two smaller capacity filters on a larger tank (or a hardscape heavy tank) than with one large capacity filter as this ensures more even flow throughout irrespective of hardscape? Plus a less 'frantic' looking tank than with one huge LPH one!
    I suppose you have to really think about the flow and how youre going to use it depending on planting and hardscape, trying to maximise efficiency but keep it even throughout. This also has made me aware that simply copying a technique may not achieve the same results, as again flow/distribution is clearly tank specific and needs consideration..... :arrow: penny dropping!!
    Im presuming again :rolleyes: that this helps with co2 distribution as youll only run one inline diffuser?... so the return (with c02) is then directed at the outlet of the second filter which takes in c02 rich water and redistributes to the opposite side of the tank.
    Just trying to see how your managing the distribution thing, as you are having great success all over your tanks :thumbup:

    Back to the Gouramis, they effectively do the job of an airstone or surface agitation by 'little but often' breaking of the surface 24/7. A much more pleasant addition than my bloody airstone, and quieter!
    Cheerio,
    Ady.
     

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