Saturday, 26 May 2007

must be something in the water...

last night, i had time to sit down and look at the main fish tank fo a while. i could hardly believe my eyes! the female celebes halfbeak had given birth!! i could see a total of 3 halfbeak fry (fry seems the wrong word to use for these guys, they are 2cm long at birth!). from my research i understand that this species will give birth to up to 12ish young at a time and that the adults will eat their own if they are given half a chance. maybe there were more and they have already been eaten or maybe, like a guppy, the halfbeak will give birth in several sessions. i don't know.

this morning, after this video was taken, i moved the fry into the smaller tank to try and ensure their survival. there are two possible preditors in the 180 for these guys, their parents and the pictus catfish. while i touch on this topic, briefly i will mention that both these fish seem completely dis-interested in the new threadfin rainbow fish - i will post later the story of their rather traumatic, but ultimately successful intoduction into the tank. for now, check out the video of the halfbeaks. =)

gold nugget

its been a little while now since the gold nugget was introduced to the tank and he seems to be doing just fine. here is a very short video of him at feeding time. ammusingly he sems to go into a feding frenzy whenever i feed the other fish around 6.30pm. around morning feeding time, he doesn't seem to care less, i guess because he has been stuffing his face all night. he is a dude! =)

Saturday, 12 May 2007

d.i.y. co2 injection

so, i have a fair few plants in the aquarium now and after reading other peoples aquarium blogs, it seems a cheap way of getting plants to flourish is to get more carbon dioxide into the water. thus reducing the amount of energy and effort the plants need to expend in order to assimilate the co2.

you can spend a fortune on co2 cannisters, injection systems, reactors and diffusers if you choose, or you can do what i have just done and make your own. basically as follows. one empty 2 litre coke bottle, tube into another smaller bottle, then tube out of that into the power head where the water is returned into the tank. plus arildite. then, filled the 2 litre bottle just less than half full of warm water(so i can lie it on a shelf hidden away). added to this 1+1/2 cups of sugar and mix lots. then add mixture of acivated yeast - 1/2 tsp mixed vigorously in a little warm water. re-assemble, et voila! it took about 2 hours for co2 to start being produced. i tested it with an airstone initially to see if any gas was being emitted, which is was so job done!

a word of warning for anyone who wants to do this. i have added safety features to the d.i.y. kit including a valve which will blow off if the pressure is too much, rather this than a room coated in smelly brown yeast mixture! and finally, co2 is produced faster during the day when it is warmer - which is fine as this is when plants do their photosynthesis and use up the co2. in the evening co2 is still produced but at a slower rate. i need to monitor the effect this is going to have on the pH, co2 + water = carboic acid, not sure if this reaction will take place i need to research but i have read plenty which tells me the pH will be effected and that it will also flucuate between night and day. i don't think i need to worry so much as it is only a small amount of co2 going into the tank but it will be interesting to note nonetheless. don't worry about the fish, they like it a bit acidic - until i started this experiment my pH hovered around the 6.4 mark.

Monday, 7 May 2007

which gold nugget are you?

still not having managed to get a decent photo of the new little gold nugget pleco, i have been doing some research on planetcatfish and have come across this article concerning the identification of the species.

there are, it seems three distinct species of gold nugget, all originating from different points along river iriri in rio (L085 being the adult form of L018). after reading the article and the descriptions of each type i am fairly confident that i have bought species L081, not L177 as was stated in the shop. i knew L177 would not grow larger than 20cm which is why i wanted it, aside from the fish being really pretty to look at. however, if it is L081 then this is fine also as this species shouldn't exceed more than 18cm. i hope it is not the other remaining species, L018/L085 as this one could grow up to 35cm! and that is too big! i will certainly be informing the shop keeper of his error, especially since he was a bit of a smart-arse. i imagine the price for each fish is the same (i paid £25 for a 5cm specimen!) as they all come from the same place, but thats not the point.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

in with the new

as i mentioned in my last post, i took the large pleco and the tawny-dragon catfish to salford and exchanged them for the following. 1 golden nugget pleco who is beautiful, black with tiny whitespots and an orange/yellow band along the edge of its dorsal and tail fins. i've not managed to get a picture of him yet. however, i did manage to get a nice picture of one of the 2 red whiptail catfish i also recieved. they are tiny, probably about 2.5cm long each.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

drop-in / drop-out

if you visist this site regularly and pay any attention then you may have noticed that the silver-tip population has decreased quite severly in the past few weeks( 9--> 1). the reason being?, you might ask.... and i would answer, one tawny-dragon catfish. adopted (and published in the local rag) from knutsford, this fish has almost doubled in size since i took him(her?) into my care. this fish is getting far too big for his boots. last night, about half an hour after all the other fish had fisnished clearing up their tea, he decides to do a fishtank recon and god help any fish that is in his way! clown loaches? nudge, nip, chase out of the way. red-tailed sand loach (quite a feisty geezer himself), went "no thanks!" and legged it. and this one god-smacked me... one 25+ cm pleco.... barged into and chased out of the way. he wasn't having any of it either.

so, he is going to oasis aquatics in salford for his crimes. i think i may as well take the opportunity to take mr pleco as well. 25cm is a large fish for the largest aquarium even if it is 180 litres. he is just too clumsy and is going to keep on growing for a while yet (i've seen some identical specimens of around the 35cm mark), so, reluctantly i will take him as well.

the good thing about oasis aquatics is that the claim to give you 2/3 the price of what they will sell your fish for, so i am hoping i can do a straight swap for two other sucker mouth catfish which will not exceed approx 20cm each in length. maybe a whiptail catfish and something else, not sure yet. rest assured i will post an update as soon as the exchange is made.