Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bolivian Ram fry!

We got this pair of Bolivian Rams a year ago from an individual. They are really nice specimens and we assumed they were a pair. After our successful Discus breeding, we moved them into the breeding tank hoping for similar success. But what we saw was fighting, and when researching how to sex them we found it is nearly impossible to reliably determine it from appearance alone. We did also discover that it's not uncommon for a pair to fight, even after they have free swimming fry to protect!



To increase the odds of having a female we bought two more at a local store after spending a significant amount of time trying to find ones in the tank that looked different from the rest. Since temperature and breeding conditions can affect the percentage of male and females in a brood, it's possible a fish store could have all males. But we gave it a try and kept this pair in a quarantine tank for a while before adding them to the big tank. It turns out that apparently we ended up with a pair as several weeks later we have fry!

Bolivian Ram fry

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rescaping the 72g and 150g tanks

The 150g tank is my oldest tank. It has gone through periods of looking pretty good and other times where it was not so good. It was time for a change and I had recently discovered a source of the sand blasting substrate Black Beauty which is really nice looking and dirt cheap. I have used it in some smaller tanks with success so decided it was time to try it in bigger tanks. Over the last weekend, I scooped out all the old substrate and replaced it with 200lbs of #3 (medium) Black Beauty for about $30.
Rescape of 150g tank

The 72g tank has always been an afterthought. It was going to be wht the 240g became, but partway through the build I determined it was too small to do what I wanted. I was then going to make it a cichlid tank but it's kind of small for African ciclids and I never really got it to a point I liked for South American cichlids. So with inspiration from some Amano articles in recent issues of Tropical Fish Keeping magazine, I replaced the gravel with 100lbs of Black Beauty #4 (fine) for $15 and redid the hardscape.
Rescape of 72g tank

For both of these tanks, I treated all the wood and rocks with hydrogen peroxide or bleach to kill off a growing infestation of black beard algae (bba). Hopefully with good fertilization and high CO2 I can keep it at bay. For my other tanks, I'm trying to get rid of it without wholesale change in the tank. The 60g I'm just using high CO2 and the 240g I treated with Flourish Excel and following with high CO2.

How it's Made

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally begun to document in detail the planning and work that went into the construction of these tanks. I started with the 240g tank since that's the most interesting and complicated. I will expand it in time to cover all the things that I learned and developed as part of this hobby.

Check it out: How it's Made.