View Full Version : KingFisher's Stream Tank Journal

01-04-2009, 01:49 AM
The idea for this tank came about due to a moment of weakness at the lfs a few months back. It was supposed to be just a quick trip to pick up some food and miscellaneous odds and ends. Of course, I just had to cruise by the tanks to have a look; Then, in tank 14, I saw the coolest little fish I had ever seen. They were Hillstream Loaches, Sewellia lineolata to be exact. I simply HAD to have them. After asking the fish room guy what he knew about them and what their requirements were, I decided to buy two of them for my 55 gallon community tank.
. After the loaches were carefully acclimated and introduced into the tank, my research began in earnest. Not surprisingly, I came to realize that my trusted fishroom guy was not entirely accurate about their preferred conditions. As it turned out, these fish enjoy cooler temperatures than my other fish, and also do better in tanks with a lot of flow and a high level of dissolved O2. This is when I decided that they would be better off in their own tank. I came across an interesting plan for a river tank, which mimicked the loaches' natural environment; fast flowing mountain streams. What follows is a series of pictures I took at different stages during the setup:

First, the tank, a 20 gallon long, and the PVC frame with a 170gph powerhead at one end, and a sponge filter intake on the other end:

Next, I added black tahetian moon sand as a base and to cover the PVC:

Finally, I added the rocks which I dug from a stream bed that runs through my yard, and filled the tank:

And here it is the next day once the water cleared up a bit:

I threw in a little java moss and added some fertilizers to get the algae growing.I plan on updating this journal after I add a few small plantd and make any necessary adjustments. I also will add an AC70 filter that is currently running on the 55g, so it is already cycled.

I would like to thank AlexW for giving me the kick in the but I needed to get started.

01-04-2009, 01:54 AM
sounds like an awesome project! keep us posted.

01-04-2009, 01:55 AM
Thats looks absoulutely fabulous!!!

01-04-2009, 02:10 AM
Awesome scape for sure :D I cant wait to see how this turns out over the next few months.

01-04-2009, 02:13 AM
Wow what a beautiful tank! It looks like you just cut out a little piece of a river and threw it in a tank. Those loaches are going to love it in there

01-04-2009, 02:16 AM
Okay I shall have to redo my 6 week old Hill stream tank soon.

That is one nice set up mate.
Looks great.


01-04-2009, 02:22 AM
Looks great! I love the rock work!:22:

01-04-2009, 02:32 AM
Just a thought. IMO and IME with the Hill stream Tanks I would just add some smooth rocks in the theme as well. That is if you plan to keep Hill stream Loaches.


01-04-2009, 02:53 AM
Just a thought. IMO and IME with the Hill stream Tanks I would just add some smooth rocks in the theme as well. That is if you plan to keep Hill stream Loaches.

I disagree, with sewellia they would be fine with the more flat rocks, since they are a more flat hillstream loach. I've got rounded rocks and a few flat/jagged rocks in my hillstream set up and I see them on all the rocks, they don't seem to worry about what the rock textre is.

It's looking great KF! I really should get mine up here too shouldn't I? IMO, would add a bit more height to the rockscape or some sort of taller anubias/java fern to the back.

01-04-2009, 03:51 PM
It's looking great KF! I really should get mine up here too shouldn't I? IMO, would add a bit more height to the rockscape or some sort of taller anubias/java fern to the back.
Thanks! Yes, you shuold post yours as well. I have a whole bucket full of rocks that I dug out of the stream, so I can add more, or choose different rocks to use. I'm sure I will be making constant adjustments. As far as plants go, I only want to add a few to help hide the powerhead and intake. Maybe just some Java fern.

01-04-2009, 04:49 PM
Wow. I had one a while back and loved it! I hope your love yours, great setup!

01-04-2009, 06:01 PM
Woderful idea for a tank!:19:

01-04-2009, 06:08 PM
Troy man you are backk!!

01-05-2009, 05:11 AM
Wow, I love the rocks! It looks great, im jealous :18:

01-30-2009, 03:40 AM
I added my two hillstream loaches a couple days ago, so far they are still hiding. I think there may be too many hiding places. I will add more hilstreams next week when the lfs gets them in.

01-30-2009, 06:25 AM
Here is an updated picture, I added a few more rocks since the last one, and you can see the algae growing on the rocks. You can also see all the air bubbles being shot out of the powerhead and going to the surface.


I left the lights on for 24 hours a day since I first set it up, and put a double dose of fertilizers in at the start to get the algae growing.

01-30-2009, 06:30 AM
I must say, I did a double take when I read "algae". I bet it'll look fantastic when finished.

01-30-2009, 06:34 AM
Its looking really good, I cant wait to see it full of loaches, I'm sure they will love their new environment.

02-09-2009, 01:17 AM
I added three more loaches on Saturday. Here are a few pictures:

Still in the bag

On the glass

On a rock

So far they love their new home, but hide most of the time. I may add some white cloud mountain minnows as dithers.

02-09-2009, 01:23 AM
Cool fish and setup...Congrats on doing the research and giving them a tank they'll be happy in!!!thumbs2:

02-09-2009, 01:24 AM
wow those look great, nice job on the tank, will keep this thread close..

Lady Hobbs
02-09-2009, 01:26 AM
Very nice indeed and a great job with those rocks. They were perfect for your project.

02-09-2009, 01:28 AM
Great setup and cool fish.thumbs2:

02-09-2009, 01:48 AM
Awesome tank. I've never seen those loaches before.

02-09-2009, 04:27 PM
That is an awesome looking tank. I have truly never seen those loaches before and now my brain is going for another tank.....look the scaping....more pics please...thumbs2:

02-09-2009, 05:43 PM
:18: Woowwwwwww.

I want to have a tank like that one day.

mrs fishpatrick
02-09-2009, 05:56 PM
that tank looks great, fish are lovely to:1luvu:

02-09-2009, 06:00 PM
Beautiful fish and tank bud, a real credit to you! thumbs2:

02-11-2009, 03:32 AM
Thanks everyone! All five loaches were out eating and playing today. It appears as if they like their new home.thumbs2:

02-12-2009, 10:34 PM
Here is another picture:

Lots of algae to eat....yum.

02-12-2009, 10:39 PM
Sweet setup.. looks like those loaches found a perfect home!! Props to you for seeing your project through and doing it right! thumbs2:

02-13-2009, 02:45 AM
just an awesome tank fisher. I love it! Great work and I love the natural stream look.

02-13-2009, 02:52 AM
Great setup! Hillstream loaches are very cool fish.thumbs2:

02-15-2009, 12:07 AM
Thank you.

I added some Java fern and six white cloud mountain minnows. Here is a current picture:

As you can see, I am having no trouble growing algae, which is the Hillstream's primary food source. I also put algae wafers and frozen bloodworms in occasionally.

02-15-2009, 12:10 AM
This is honestly one of the best looking tanks i've ever seen, not complicated and has a specific biome it it trying to recreate and it is doing it amazingly well so far =)


02-15-2009, 06:17 AM
Your tank is getting better and better.:18:

02-18-2009, 05:46 AM
I added an AC70 filter today, and I ran a tube from the intake to the other end of the tank with a sponge pre-filter on the end to keep the flow of water going the same way. I had to move all the rocks and re-stack them when I was done. Here is a video I made of the tank once the water cleared up.


02-18-2009, 05:34 PM
I uploaded the video to Youtube. Here it is:


02-18-2009, 06:17 PM
Nice video! I love what you've done with the tank!!! The rocks are perfect and I love how you have them set up!!

02-18-2009, 09:15 PM
great video king, you really are doing a great job with this tank, as i've said before. keep it coming :19:

06-10-2009, 05:07 PM
Just an update.

Yesterday I added two more hillstream loaches to the tank. I beleive they are a Gastromyzon species, but I'm still waiting for them to comew out of hiding for a positive ID.
I originally started with five sewellias, but one disappeared, never to be found again.
I was losing white cloud minnows for a while, but never could find the bodies. I later discovered a few shriveled up bodies behind the tank. They are jumpers, I guess. I covered the holes better and added more to bring their numbers up to 10.
I will post an updated tank picture plus a picture of the new loaches soon, hopefully.

Wild Turkey
06-10-2009, 05:26 PM
Love the vid and the tank King, you did a great job on it thumbs2: Dunno how i missed the vid before

06-10-2009, 06:17 PM
Thanks WT!

I managed to get a quick picture of one of the new guys. It's a little blurry, but I think I was able to get a positive ID from it. I think it is Gastromyzon zebrinus.

06-10-2009, 06:23 PM
Nice addition!
Your tank looks great! Love the rock set up!thumbs2:

06-10-2009, 07:54 PM
Thanks NG!

Here is a picture of one of the original inhabitants:

06-10-2009, 10:37 PM
oh wow yours are way cooler than mine haha

06-11-2009, 12:15 AM
Nice fish you have there, fisher!

06-11-2009, 12:16 AM
I like the Hill Stream Loaches! They look awsome! Great pics, Fisher!

Awsome video too!!

06-11-2009, 12:41 AM
Great shot and fish!

06-12-2009, 06:28 AM
Thanks everyone. Today they were all out and very active.Here is a better picture of one of the new guys:


06-12-2009, 06:53 AM
Nice pic!! Glad too hear that they are doing well. Keep up the good work! thumbs2: thumbs2:

12-14-2009, 05:01 AM
This journal needs a photo update! :14:

12-14-2009, 05:16 AM
I agree!!!

02-10-2010, 07:17 AM
I am curious as to how the tank is doing and would like to know what the low and high temps are. Hillstream loaches are my favorite and I have what is needed to do a small river tank, I think it would just get to warm here where I live. Really like your tank by the way.