Technically my third tank, I guess

dw1305

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Hi all,
And as I sat there last weekend reading a paper on the use of peppers in Salmon diet as a supplement to enhance their red colour, I realised that I had met my first aquarium Yak.
Because this forum is the gift that keeps on giving we actually have some carotenoid posts that <"mention Salmon"> and (Flamingos).

cheers Darrel
 

Karmicnull

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Plant update.

The Bolivian Chain Sword needs to make its mind up. First it melted 90% of its foliage, then it grew one new leaf, then it stopped. Since then it has resolutely done absolutely nothing. According to the notes I culled from AquaticPlantCentral.com it is highly invasive and "Plants up to eight inches tall can literally appear overnight." I have shared these notes with my clearly dispirited example in an attempt to encourage it.

9th October- Helanthuium Bolivanium_IMGP6711.jpg

My Anubias Nana, on the other hand, is exhibiting passive resistance, with some justification. Initially I planted it in the gravel (rhizome on the surface) very carefully behind the big pink reef rock exactly where I couldn't see it. When I did my first big replant, it was tied on to the reef rock with cotton. Or more accurately, anchored about six inches away from the reef rock. Tying things to rocks with cotton is a lot easier on Youtube than in real life. When I did my next big replant, I had superglue. I superglued the Anubias to the rock. That held for about a week. The Anubias freed itself and drifted back its mid-tank anchor point. Last week, after swearing a bit, I superglued it back down again. It retaliated by deliberately melting the one new leaf it had grown. I'm fully expecting it to wrestle free again over the coming weeks, at which point I will accept that it clearly prefers floating in the middle of the tank at the end of its cotton anchor rope, and hope that the cotton is made of stern stuff and won't rot in the forseeable future.

The Hygrophila Pinnatifida and the Hottonia Palustris are both looking slightly the worse for wear but may have some new growth at the top. Fingers crossed. It's weird how photos flatten everything and make stuff look better than it really is.

9th October - Hygrophyla pinnatifida_IMGP6701.jpg
9th October - Hottonia Palustris_IMGP6691.jpg


I bought three plants that were 'medium' rather than easy. The Hygrophila Costata is inching upwards, the dwarf hair grass is bunching out slowly but steadily and - once I'd replanted it somewhere that actually got some light - The Alternanthera Roseafolia is one of the few plants that is visibly growing. It's a little on the leggy side but I view that as an advantage. My partner is a gardener and it gives me the opportunity to look her in the eye and say 'underplanting' with a straight face. Finally, a level playing field.

9th October - Alternanthera Rosaefolia_IMGP6700.jpg
16th October - Viewing the viewer_IMGP6732.jpg


The water lettuce continues to thrive (and the shrimp love it). I'm having to remove a handful every week when I change the water. I can only imagine that if I were running a high tech tank, all my plants would be growing at that rate. I have been instructed by my partner under no circumstances to waste dirty tank water down the drain, and have won brownie points for working out its ferts ratio(apparently good for leaf growth). I have however more than lost those brownie points due to the presence of splinter colonies of Pistia in pretty much every water containing vessel in the house. The Pogostomon Helferi is also very happy, but I'm not convinced it wants to be an epiphyte (thanks Darrel). It seems to be making no attempt to bond with the rocks it's attached to, whereas I can see some of the mosses definitely starting to cling on.
16th October Cherry Shrimp in the Pistia_IMGP6726.jpg
9th October - Pogostemon Helferi_IMGP6704.jpg


Sadly the Crypt Crispatula is no more, the last leaf having finally melted away a few days ago. On the one hand I'm gutted as it was very beautiful. On the other hand I've read a ton of melting crypt blogs, and my wendtii is all pretty happy. I think I'll look on the bright side. So that leads to the mini-dilemma: Do I try again with the crispatula? (a) Yes - it's still an awesome plant. (b) no - don't throw good money after bad. (c) You've got plenty of stuff in the tank already - you don't actually need any more. (d) why not seize the opportunity to try something else?

16th October - Zebra Nerite_IMGP6728.jpg


16th October Full Tank Shot_IMGP6722.jpg
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Plant health looks really good, so I would expect all the, more tardy, plants to perk up and grow.
I have shared these notes with my clearly dispirited example in an attempt to encourage it.
It is not only me who does that then?
It retaliated by deliberately melting the one new leaf it had grown. I'm fully expecting it to wrestle free again over the coming weeks, at which point I will accept that it clearly prefers floating in the middle of the tank at the end of its cotton anchor rope, and hope that the cotton is made of stern stuff and won't rot in the forseeable future.
I wouldn't worry about the plant, none of my epiphytes have been connected to anything for a long time, and they still grow OK
Do I try again with the crispatula? (a) Yes - it's still an awesome plant.
Probably that one. It likes hard water so is ideal in many ways.

Try the forum? It is a strong grower, so I'm sure that some-one will have, already submersed, plants you can have.

cheers Darrel
 

Karmicnull

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I was going to do a different update all about plants and lighting and filters and what have you, but following Boris' announcement, that can wait.
I still have no fish. I was planning to get the first fish in a couple of weeks time, to give plenty of time to make sure my CRS are happy (the most tenured of them have now been with me for five weeks, the newest just two), but with the new lockdown imminent that plan must move forward or I will be without fish until December. So on Wednesday I am going to head out fishwards.

I have been looking for fish that would be reasonably unlikely to eat shrimp, compatible with one another and like hard water. And that are pretty good at being alive.

I've gradually narrowed it down to a few top contenders that from what I've read should get on ok together. All mainstream and, I hope, robust.
- For the bottom: some form of Cory (Panda?), I'd also love a small plec (poss Bulldog or Bristlenose) although I think my tank doesn't have enough flow for the bulldog, and there seem to be intermittent anecdotes on the web about Bristlenoses disrupting plants.
- For the middle: Cherry Barbs.
- For the top: Gourami. Pearl or Blue Dwarf maybe. Or even Banded.

So the burning question is: Which to get first?

Also:
none of my epiphytes have been connected to anything for a long time, and they still grow OK
Thank you for the reassurance!

One of the shrimp contemplating a life in which they are not sole inhabitants of the tank.
30th October -Leaf Perching_IMGP6783.jpg
 

Karmicnull

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Blimey this is an emotional rollercoaster. I woke up this morning and decided that this is the day - I have too much work on in the week, so today is Fish Day. And it's going to be Cherry Barbs. Then I brewed myself a morning cuppa and sat down to watch shrimp whilst I drank it. And saw my first berried shrimp! OMG. Maybe now is not the time to introduce a pile of fish.

Berried Shrimp losing eggs_IMGP6797.jpg


The egg to shrimp ratio seemed huge, and she was clearly struggling. Whilst I watched, she got the eggs stuck on moss, couldn't get them unstuck, and abandoned them. That's not supposed to happen! I took a really bad video of it. The dangling yellow eggs are a wavy blurry spot roughly in the middle of the screen. The mum went and hid under some Hottonia Palustris, so you can only see her tail. I can't blame her.


I started frantically googling to find out what was going on. Sue peered over my shoulder and I showed her the video. "Typical first time mum," she said. "She'll be fine next time." Heartless, I call it. Anyhow it turns out the internet agreed with her (it usually does). So I think I'm going ahead with my plan, albeit feeling somewhat emotionally battered. Off to the not quite as local as the various garden-centre corner ones, but most excellent FS in Peterborough.
 

Hufsa

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If you have an egg tumbler or an airstone and a bit of ingenuity it is possible to save the eggs even though the mother is absent. There should be some tutorials on it online, I think its most common to do when the mother dies or molts prematurely with the eggs still attached
 

Karmicnull

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Lots to write about. I may break it into a couple of posts.

I have fish! But in cheesy box-set episode style I'm going to keep you hanging for detail. Before we get on to them a few other things. First off, I have remedied my filter-in-a-washbowl decor disaster. Here's the original Tetratec EX1200. And the washbowl.
29th October - Aesthetic Challenge_IMGP6775.jpg

It has now been replaced by an Aquael Ultramax 1000. In the cabinet, where it's supposed to be. I moved all the internal filter media over, and filled the ultramax with the pretty vile brown sedimentary water from the Teratrec. Inevitably I found a lone shrimp at the bottom of the Tetratec. I have given him marks for persistence, as he managed to get past a sponge pre-filter and a densely woven initial filter pad.
31st October -A much better place for a filter_IMGP6796.jpg

Despite all the reviews, I've not found it to be as quiet as the Teratec, but then I wasn't buying it for its lack of decibels, so that doesn't bother me in the slightest. I have now had to commandeer a couple of drawers in a chest for all my aquatic kit that was previously in the cabinet. No one told me Aquaria needed quite as much kit as this.

I was looking at the tank and realised that everything on the right hand side was doing really well (including the algae on the glass), and everything on the left hand side (under the water lettuce) was a bit woeful. The difference in light is really quite obvious.
16th October Full Tank Shot_IMGP6722.jpg

You can see very happy Pogostomon throwing roots everywhere
31st October -Rooty Pogostemon_IMGP6791.jpg
31st October -Happy Pogostemon_IMGP6794.jpg

Whereas the Hygrophila Costata is very leggy.

31st October -Leggy Hygrophila_IMGP6789.jpg


So in my weekly water change I took out about twice as much water lettuce as usual. That seems to have made a difference. The Water lettuce is still pretty much 100% covering the LHS of the tank, but it's a lot less thick, and the Hygrophila Costata and Hottonia have both perked up slightly.
29th October - Spare Water Lettuce_IMGP6773.jpg


I mentioned before that the water lettuce is colonising the rest of the house. A couple of weeks ago Sue brought in the Strelizia (Bird of Paradise) and Canna to overwinter in the Orangery. Clearly perfect locations for Pistia Stratiotes!

7th November - Water Lettuce Colony_IMGP6853.jpg
7th November - Water Lettuce Colony_IMGP6854.jpg
7th November - Water Lettuce Colony_IMGP6855.jpg
7th November - Water Lettuce Colony_IMGP6858.jpg


I also picked up a second snail - a Lava snail. Otherwise known slightly alarmingly as a Black Devil snail. The internet says ""Lava snails are omnivores and skilled scavengers. They will feed on any algae in the substrate and on decorations, but they are too heavy to climb on the aquarium glass." No one has told mine that.

30th October -Lava Snail_IMGP6787.jpg

Also I have reasonable evidence that Lava Snails are not gifted with penetrating intellect. I was wondering why I kept seeing small bits of water lettuce tangled up with my Wendtii Crypts at the bottom of the tank. The answer came as I watched the Lava snail patiently ascend up the glass to the waterline, and then transfer its grip to the nearest water lettuce. Physics reared its ugly head and the Lava snail plummeted to the bottom of the pool, clinging onto the water lettuce for dear life, hoping - I assume - that it would act at least slightly like a parachute (it didn't). The snail thumped loudly into the Crypts, reluctantly let go of the water lettuce, and slunk off. Leaving the water lettuce tangled in the Crypts. Mystery solved.
 

Karmicnull

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Oh yes. The fish. 8 Cherry Barbs arrived on November 1st. Three males and five females. After a few days of nervous skulking next to the filter intake pipe, they've gradually made the tank their own.
7th November - Cherry Barbs_IMGP6825.jpg


They are amazing!!! Who needs action movies when you have Cherry Barbs? I was sat on my fish-watching stool having my morning cup of tea, and I tell you, the Mad Max movies are going into the loft. As I watched, one of the girls erupted out of the Christmas Moss like an X-Wing bursting through the fireball left from the TIE fighter it had just destroyed. Close behind her and totally unphased was a keen boy. She swerved over the reef rock, banked up the side of the glimmer Rock and then with a flick of her tail vanished between the Pogostomons with the boy in hot pursuit.
7th November - Cherry Barbs_IMGP6831.jpg

Her turning circle is better than my lawnmower's! And it's not only action movies. If I'd subscribed to the Winter Sports channel, I'd be cancelling that subscription now. Who needs high velocity contact sports when you have competing testosterone-fuelled adolescents? (Or whatever the barb equivalent of testosterone is). Two of the boys got into what was clearly a 'my gills are redder than yours' argument of some sort which ended up with a high octane chase around the tank that fused together the best elements of skiing, parkour and ice hockey.
I was starting to think that I might prune those leggy Hygrophila, but I clearly can't, as the boys need the leafless stems for their slaloms. And that moment when the lead barb sprinted towards the side of the tank, and at the last minute twisted, hit the glass with a side-on body slam and vanished under the intake pre-filter. Whoa. I'm convinced the whole tank shook with the impact.
7th November - Cherry Barbs_IMGP6833.jpg

7th November - Cherry Barbs_IMGP6829.jpg


7th November - Cherry Barbs_IMGP6843.jpg
 

Karmicnull

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I was lamenting the loss of my Cryptocoryne Crispatula and Darrel said:
Try the forum? It is a strong grower, so I'm sure that some-one will have, already submersed, plants you can have.
This seemed like an excellent idea and I picked up one from @akwarybka last Wednesday (my final pre-lockdown action!). It's in the holding tank, going in later this week. Somehow I seem to have picked up her bristlenose at the same time. He is stunning. Having looked at a picture of the tank Akwarybka said he would make the driftwood his home, and she was right.

4th November Bristlenose Catfish.jpeg

Shortly after that picture was taken he found a cave that I didn't know existed between the wood and the rocks, and took up residence. In fact, very much in the spirit of the lockdown, he never actually leaves it. Or at least not when I'm there. Someone is eating the algae wafers, though so I think he's sneaking out for socially distanced rambles when no one is around. Either that or I'm going to have some very fat shrimp.

This is him in his cave.
6th November Bristlenose_IMGP6811.jpg


Ok that might not have been super clear. Here's a close-up.
6th November Bristlenose_IMGP6814.jpg


Still not sure? hopefully this one will help...
6th November Bristlenose_IMGP6816.jpg

Not the most compelling Ancistrus snap you may have seen I grant you, but I have to take what I can get.

In the interests of fish welfare I've been checking Ammonia and Nitrite every other day. Satisfyingly they have both remained a resounding zero despite the increased bioload. Go plants!

Also Hufsa said
it is possible to save the eggs even though the mother is absent. There should be some tutorials on it online
Thanks! I have looked the tutorials up, bought the requisite kit and will be ready should this ever happen again.

To close out out, a couple of full tank shots. Lots of other journals have these great panoramic shots of amazing aquascapes in the context of the rooms they are in. I've attempted the same. Mine features my Aquarium-watching stool. And the lens cap, which I left on it.
7th November - Context_IMGP6851.jpg


7th November - FTS_IMGP6850.jpg


Cheers,

Simon
 

Karmicnull

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Plant Update. The final leaf on my Anubias Nana had an argument with the bristlenose and lost, leaving a lonely Rhizome. I fished it out and took a look at it. About half of it was rotten, so I cut it back to the healthy tissue, and have put it into my holding tank to see what happens. In case you were wondering, the family gave me a Marina 360 about half a dozen christmases ago. It was a spirited attempt to jump-start my once and future aquarium which I'd been annoying them by talking about for the last decade. It's 10L, so too small for fish (despite the promise of the pictures on the packaging), so I put it in a pile and wondered what to do with it. Then Prime day came around and I picked up a small internal filter for a fiver, bought a couple of plants from AG and a light on Ebay for another fiver and created a "holding tank" to store all the cuttings etc. that I don't know what to do with. At least that's what I told myself. Given it's already pretty full, this plan isn't really looking that compelling as a long term solution for where to put plant stuff. Anyhow, here it is with the Anubias Rhizome in the foreground.
15th November Marina with Anubias_IMGP6956.jpg
15th November Marina with Anubias_IMGP6955.jpg



Meanwhile back at the real tank, having read a ton on UKAPS about emersed plants having to adapt to totally submersed living, and the different strategies that different plants adopt, I realised that this was super-visible in my Hygrophyla Costata. You can see on the picture below the remaining leaves from when I bought it, all big and broad, and then the new growth higher up, where the leaves are long and thin. The difference is so marked it's almost like a completely different plant. There's an interloping leaf from the Crypt Crispatula, which has been slotted in where the Anubias was. That's the wrinkly crennelated one.
15th November New growth on the Hygrophyla Costata_IMGP6939.jpg


One of the old (pre submersion) leaves has now got a rather attractive case of Green Spot Algae. I spent a pleasant afternoon yesterday watching the rugby and spending the time when they faff around sorting out scrums surfing and trying to work out what I should do about it. The prevalent UKAPS theory appears to be that it is caused by too much rotting organic matter in the tank, which makes sense as in my case it has been triggered by the addition of fish, and therefore of course excess food. And as the last time I fed a fish was over 30 years ago, I'm still trying to work out the right amount to feed them. Especially the Bristlenose. He's relaxed a bit and does occasionally move out of his cave to hug his tree. You can feed him with a pleco wafer held in some tweezers, and he'll grab it and then skulk back off into his cave to eat it. But for some incomprehensible reason he doesn't appear to have evolved to snatch food out of tweezers, so half the time it drops on to the aquarium floor and it is then ignored. I think he's some sort of pleco aristocrat who will accept nothing less than food hand-delivered by tweezer. I've even (accidentally, admittedly) dropped a wafer on his head, and he just stared at me balefully and gnawed at his tree. It's definitely his tree, incidentally. He's got rid of most of the epiphytes stuck to it and I've had to rehome them. Nothing is allowed to come between him and the tree!
Anyhow, here's the green spot. If you could design plants with these markings people would pay through the nose for them. My current plan for dealing with it is to nurture some more matching leaves and call it a feature.
15th November Green Spot_IMGP6943.jpg


Cheers,

Simon
 
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Hufsa

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I thought I had already written this, but apparently not. I just have to say that this is by far the best to read journal on Ukaps (in my opinion) and it always makes my day when I see there is a new update 😁 Basically, love the style, and the posts, please keep it up! :thumbup::thumbup:
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The final leaf on my Anubias Nana had an argument with the bristlenose and lost.................Especially the Bristlenose. He's relaxed a bit and does occasionally move out of his cave to hug his tree. You can feed him with a pleco wafer held in some tweezers, and he'll grab it and then skulk back off into his cave to eat it.
Put some <"vegetables in for him">. Cucumber, Courgette, Pepper, Green Bean, Sweet Potato, Carrot etc. There is a list on <"PlanetCatfish">.

cheers Darrel
 

Karmicnull

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Put some <"vegetables in for him">. Cucumber, Courgette, Pepper, Green Bean, Sweet Potato, Carrot etc. There is a list on <"PlanetCatfish">.

Thanks for the link - duly bookmarked. In particular I like the idea of clipping the food to the side of the tank, given his regal disregard for the bottom. I do tend to have a vegetable on-the-go most days. I mentioned marrow and broccoli a few posts back. I've also tried cucumber and a bean, all strategically dropped outside his cave, but no luck to-date. A couple of weekends ago I was wandering around the garden and saw these:
7th November - Shrimp Food_IMGP6931.jpg

My attitude has clearly shifted as I didn't yell 'Aaargh - weeds' but instead went "oooh: food!", got my gloves out and harvested the tips. These were blanched and then frozen.
7th November - Shrimp Food_IMGP6936.jpg
7th November - Shrimp Food_IMGP6937.jpg

My son came in whilst I was blanching them. "What are you cooking," he said. "Is it lasagne?" Then he peered over my shoulder. "Oh. Weird nettle soup. Will it have chicken in it?" He pondered a little more before the penny dropped. "That's not my tea; that's for the fish. It's going to be baked bean wraps again tonight, isn't it. "
Sorry son. Priorities.
Anyhow I bundled some up and wedged them under a rock near the Bristlenose's cave. He was unimpressed. The shrimp were unimpressed. The snails feasted.
Undaunted, I shall soldier on. Tonight I put out some more marrow for him to ignore. I'm working on a twofold premise. Firstly, the cherry barbs pointedly turned their backs on the tubifex I tried as their dinner a couple of weeks back, but went completely bananas over them earlier this evening, so there's still hope the Bristlenose will change his mind. Secondly I have about a year's supply of frozen nettles and marrows so he is just going to have to suck it up.
 
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Hufsa

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The unbeaten champion of the vegetables here is sweet potato. Nothing can compare to it according to my gang otocinclus. It has beaten cucumber, broccoli, aubergine/eggplant, green squash and even a very expensive and delicious looking butternut squash, by a landslide. Definitely recommend. It might take his royal highness a little time to discover it though, especially if his highness needs to descend all the way down to the slum to find it :hilarious:
I boil slices a little less than a cm thick for about 20 minutes, but it probably depends on your stove. This makes them the right consistency for eating right away. Otherwise it may take a few days to soften enough, and that might affect water quality

[Super late edit] Frozen slices into cold water. Otherwise 20 minutes may net you some porridge. My bad
 
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akwarybka

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Hahaha, love this journal! I've been looking forward to new posts everyday as a post work treat, it never dissapoints!

@Karmicnull you asked what the pleco's name was. It looks like "His Royal Highness" is the perfect fit. I'm glad he's doing well and he hasn't changed his habits! Good luck with getting him to eat veggies, I've tried in the past, but same as for you he was super unimpressed with my offers of courgette... Maybe he will yet like something else than tablets!

How is that Crypt balansae doing for you, any melting?
 

Karmicnull

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Akwarybka said:
Good luck with getting him to eat veggies,
and Hufsa said:
The unbeaten champion of the vegetables here is sweet potato.

So I now have sweet potato added to tomorrow's grocery delivery. I also thought some competition might motivate, so I have explained to him that there's no guarantee he will actually get it as Sue is a sweet potato fiend, and if she unpacks before I get there he won't get a look in. Actually, when I think about it, if he does have to go without for a couple of weeks it might make him value that sweet potato more if/when it does actually arrive. A bit like toilet roll and flour back in March; maybe I can get him to panic-eat.

Akwarybka also said:
How is that Crypt balansae doing for you, any melting?
I'll try and get a couple of photos at the weekend. Some of the leaves are looking a bit pale, but others look very happy. I've been stalking all mentions of Crypt balanasae online and several people report it melting back whilst it sorted out its roots, and then growing prolifically, so I'm cautiously optimistic. That said I've come to the conclusion that for all I've read through and understood the theory of the ammonia cycle, emersed growth, CO2 and O2 absorbtion and everything that goes with it all, when it comes to practice, this issue of XKCD is dead on:

And that nicely sums up my lived experience with my tank. When I started doing 50% EI dosing, my Nitrates were at 40. I shoved a few more plants in, added some shrimp and fish, and now my nitrates are consistently at 10. The fish all poop loads (especially his majesty), and yet my tank is never full of poop. And when I've had to open the filter, just like Hufsa says about their tank here:
I checked the filter today and it smells nice again!
Ive always loved the smell of the filter but I have never been as happy to smell that earthy smell as I am today :woot:
I stood for a while, just sniffing sponges in the kitchen, and im sure I looked quite insane.
But yeah, very very happy.
Now I've occasionally had to unblock drains in the house and as you well know, they do not smell of earth and pond! And the filter is effectively a drain that empties back into the tank again!! I'm sorry, but notwithstanding all the amazing science, this is clearly magic.

Cheers,

Simon
 

Karmicnull

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You're going to have to bear with me and run with this one.
So. Imagine you're an eight year old schoolkid playing football in the yard. Your arms are strapped to your sides. Oh - and the ball is invisible. And as a reminder for those of you who are a long way from eight - at that age football involves a lot of running around chasing the ball, rather than anything more nuanced like, for example, strategy. Ok so far? So here's the twist. You're a hugger. You like hugging your mates. So all the time you're running around chasing that invisible ball, you are also constantly trying to hug everyone. Except you have that problem with the lack of conveniently available arms. Got that picture in your head nice and clear? If you have then it will be no surprise to you that I am deeply disappointed with UKAPS.
Why in all the many thousands of posts that cover in great detail the science and art of aquaria, covering everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, is there nothing warning me that Panda Corys are COMPLETELY BONKERS???
I arrived back home with six of them them last weekend, and they huddled in a corner of the bag as i acclimated them, with the Cherry Barbs nosing around curiously. I'd read in several places that when you introduce new fish you should feed the existing ones to distract them, so after an hour or so of acclimatising I fed the Barbs and let the Pandas out. The Barbs completely ignored their food. I'm not sure they were even aware it was there. The Pandas scuttled out of the bag to the nearest plant leaf, where they froze, presumably attempting to blend in with the leaf. I wasn't fooled. It seemed to work for the Barbs, though, who were all thoroughly baffled as to where the Pandas had gone. After a while they cruised off, shaking their heads in bemusement, and the Pandas took the opportunity to dart to the bottom of the tank, where they made themselves at home.
There was a point when it simultaneously occurred to both Barbs and Corys that there was a significant size disparity. The Barbs are the Ferraris of my small underwater world, with style, speed agility and elegance. The Corys on the other hand charge around the tank with graceless enthusiasm and endless energy. Thay are, well, more like RVs. And if there's a collision between a Ferrari and an RV, you know which is going to have the bigger repair bill. The Barbs decided to leave well alone.
The Pandas meanwhile discovered all the food that the Barbs hadn't eaten earlier, gobbled it up, and started on their game of invisible football. Which, with occasional gaps for a rest or a bite to eat, they have been playing ever since. They've decided to make their base the back of the tank. My visibility of the back of the tank is pretty limited, so I'll fix my gaze on the one gap between the rocks, and wait. Eventually the football will get thumped from one end of the tank to the other, and all the Pandas will charge after it, in a giant mobile multi-finned hug, and I get to see them as they cross my sight line. For some reason I will happily spend ages waiting for those brief glimpses. I tell you my life is supercharged with excitement.
Anyhow, at one point the football game made it to the front of the tank, and I took a couple of shots. Here they are.

22nd November - Panda Cory_IMGP7096.jpg
22nd November - Panda Cory_IMGP7092.jpg


22nd November - Panda Cory_IMGP7076.jpg
22nd November - Panda Cory_IMGP7063.jpg


I'm wondering if I should revisit my stocking plans. I had planned to get a final set of occupants, 3 pearl Gouramis (2 female, 1 male). Whilst that works according to bioload as far as I can see, I'm thinking my tank may already be full when it comes to personality. Hmm.
 

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