A quick scribble
This tank is a 60gallon standard. It’s overstocked happily with:
Common Name Quantity
Clown Loach 7
Neon Tetra 14
Otocinclus Catfish 5
Angelicus Botia Loach 1
Red Platy 1
Clown Peckoltia 1
Black Neon Tetra 1
Angel Ram 1
Opaline Gourami 1
Bamboo Shrimp 1
Purple Pasion Danio 1
I want to describe my interactions with each species of my fish and explain a little about why I chose them for my tank, and the personalities they displayed. I apologize for the leangth of this, I will likely go into deep detail on certain meaningless things that I feel are very important in providing your little rectangle of water the most accurate replica of it’s inhabitants’ natural environment while maintaining a diverse ecosystem with a variety of species in compatibility ranges of temperature, pH, Hardness, and other various water parameters.
Filration… Is this sytem not the most important asset to our freshwater kingdom?? OH to the enthusiast who don’t see the simple bacteria is all you need… To the Hang on Back (HOB) filter companies who create filter slots for pre-packaged media… As most of us know, if we actually removed the entire removeable media and simply replaced it with another we’d be seriously harming our fish by not providing them sufficient beneficial bacterial, BB, in their bacterial colony, BC. The companies do not even instruct their customers to cut off sections of the previous media to provide BB to rebuild the BC in the new filter foam. In a well planted tank, after weeks we would simply cut out the carbon from those pre-packaged medias and stuff it with more mechanical surfaces ….
Anyway.. back to my Aquarium.. In the 60gallon tank I use 2 canister filters. The first canister with a pump of 250 gph is stuffed on 3 layers with matrix, bio balls, ceramic rings, and foam inserts. The second, bigger canister, is operated by a 500 GPH pump with 5 layers of the same media in addition to Purigan, Carbon, and a UV Sterilizer 24hr. Both of these systems spray bars are on the side of my tank pointed down the horizontal direction of the tank towards both intakes that are wrapped with giant 7layer pre-sponge filters (I love me some mechanic filtration surface area…). In addition to these canisters, I have thrown in giant 10layer sponge filters, duel sponge filers, and other air-based filtration systems. While these are very effective methods of filtration, they are not aesthetically pleasing. To all of you reading… if your tank is not well-established and semi-heavy planted then you should consider air-driven sponges as supplemental filtration… These are great great filters if used properly. Whenever you do a water change, ring them out in the tank water! Clean up those pores so more BB can grow. If you are thinking about buying a corner filter that sticks up against the glass please make sure you really get it suctioned against the glass so fish do not get stuck in the filter and die (IT’s happened to me and fiends… It’s very sad. Heed my words.) Once your tank is starting to look like a Default Screensaver and you canisters or sumps contain a giant BC you can begin to remove your sponge(s). Sponges are also great methods of providing your tank with additional surface agitation to oxygenate your water.
In Summer months where your tank’s temperatures increase due to surrounding temperatures, or your light fixture increases the temperature the o2 in your water is not as readily available and needs to be provided via surface agitation. It is not the bubbles from “air stones” that create oxygen but the effect on the surface that oxygenates your tank. IF you have a planted aquarium then you should know surface agitation will absolutely remove Co2 from your water via outgassing. The only way this is in your water is through the co2 your plants exhale at night when lights are off, and your fishies gills. I will go into much more detail later on this subject, I just wanted to touch on it now…
Back to filtration… If you do end up buying a canister filter or making your own it is important to know the amount of surface area you provide bacteria to grow on is going to determine how clean your water is for your fish. All your filter units combine into one giant colony baby. If use properly your filtration system can also supplement your tank in other ways such as oxygenation like I was saying. I angle a few of my Sunsun Canisters I found on Amazon for $50 and $100 at the surface to provide that agitation I find so very very important to the fish.
I open my canisters every 2 weeks and replace the water and change one foam pad each time.. I find this to be a very sufficient cleaning. In addition to that I replace evaporation from my tank daily (It is about 2 gallons aday because I angle a fan at water to keep my tanks temperature down.. Im to poor to buy a chiller yet.. Im waiting to buy a ¼ HP one so it is on less often, and gives me the ability to upgrade my system later when my clowns out grow it… I have 7 of course I know they will… But I have a unique tank layout that will keep them and the other fish happy for a long time. Keep reading to find out.. When replacing evaporation from your Aquarium you must be very sure to remember sometimes to also do a water change. IF you do not remove some water during evaporation replacing your general hardness, or GH is going to increase. Get a TDS Meter to determine when to do a water change.. I do about 3 a week in addition to my canister replacement water. I only remove about 5 or 7 gallon a time.. I am lazy now but I am going to establish a system later.. I would recommend less often bigger water changes to well established aquariums to remove more dissolved waste and efficiently controlling your TDS. I feel that that when you bring a fish home from store, if you measure the bag’s TDS vs your tanks that is a very good sign of how to acclimate the fish.. If they are very far apart you gotta go very slow and add some of your tanks water semi-often to acclimate them over 1-2hours. Some people also use the pH for their acclimation procedures. I feel as though the TDS has better indications than simply the pH. However, when you break down the science pH and TDS have many many connections. I also a drip acclimation for all my aquariums with a gang valve after 2 weeks of QT. For my QT system I have a established system that I add ammonia to daily if there is no fish in it. IT is a very very big colony. I keep it stable. Certain fish like my Otos I added in algae covered rocks from my display tank, DT daily to give it enough oxygen.
The Oto catfish is absolutely amazing… If your system has enough turn over, algae generation, and no predators you should seriously consider getting this little catfish. They are also 24hr algae eaters. Mine never stopped and made all my swords with algae leaves begin to look beautiful. I only have 2 but plan to get maybe 5 more.. They’re very good but you need to go very slow with them when you bring them home. They do not have high success rates when young. I did 2hour drip acclimation protocol from both fish store to QT and QT to DT. I even put a heater, algae rocks, and other toys in the bucket for the otos during the 2 hour process because I was worried they’d die of starvation. Okay.. yes this was probably a little to much, but my otos did not die and I am very happy
In addition to the otos I have my Peckoltia. This cute little thing doesn’t get big at all and loves to hide and eat my driftwood all night long haha. This fish hides in all 3 of my big pieces of driftwood during the day in very very dark shadows and only comes out during night. She does an alright job of Algae cleaning, but when you compare her to the team of Oto robots it’s nothing. My buddy bought an algae covered plant from the local fish store, LFS and we dropped it in my tank over night so it’d be show ready in his tank. Surely within 5 seconds of dropping the plant in there were already two Otos on it.. Believe it or not this was a Pet Smart purchase..
I am also able to keep a Bamboo Shrimp in my aquarium… He has so many places to hide between the plants, rock caves, and foliage. I have only fed the tank small pellets since all the fish were babies. I got the clowns all at once when they were about ¾ inch big. They have never been aggressive to my Neon Tetras… Those little fuckers can hold their weight.. They have Pirhanna blood you know.. Sometimes during feeding time, which is 3 times a day, the clowns will chase the tetra to show dominance but they never attempt to bite. While my Opaline gourami was young he was a very very quick eater especially because I used those floating pellets that took a second to float. When he was young I have less surface flow so he got a lot of food and is very very big now. I remember seeing the most giant poo trails of floating ammonia… Now a days my Gourami just kicks it in the back and navigates himself through the plants and rock. He knows the tank so well with those giant feelers.. I made sure to never buy a fish that would bite them and take those precious feelers away from my beautiful gourami. On occasion I do notice hostilities from my beautiful Angle Ram (Yes this is a very very peaceful CHICLID) Basically floating like a helicopter between plants she hangs out in the front and the back and basically is a total chiller. Watching the ram eat food is hilarious. I have seen Chilids eat before of course, but never as cute as a ram. This fish requires the utmost of clean water. I feel this would be my first fish to go if the tank failed…. A sad thought.. For peace of mind I keep hanging Seachem Ammonia Alert and pH Monitor on the glass. It’s not that I don’t trust my canisters (I only have two so incase one fails I have back up. I mean that’s why I have two heaters too right? Why have 1 200watt heater when you can have 2 100 watt heaters and know your tank wont freeze.)
I inject CO2 from a 5lbs cylinder at 3bubbles a second. This is why I have the Seachem pH Monitor. If that color really ever changes I want to figure out what the **** is going on quick. I use a pH probe daily to feel more secure than the silly color thing. Its just a peace of mind thing… I could go on for awhile about the dangers of injecting CO2 but I wont. The growth I see from my many many plants is absolutely worth it. I literally watch my plants grow daily.. Its incredible. IF you have the money buy the CO2 system, just read about the pH conerns and other worries. If the cylinder is too much for you, you can use a 2liter soda bottle (Oh hey these are meant to hold carbonation) and do it yourself, DIY system. These can be very effective sugar yeast water systems. The yeast effectively eats the sugar in the water creating CO2 pressure that can be diffused into your tank many ways. (Have fun. Seriously google the concerns though)
I wish I had a soil bottom but I do not. Because I have 3 circulation pumps (Hydor 240 GPH, 240 GPH, and a 480 GPH) that roate between a 240 & 480 together and then the lone 240 each 3 hour. These are all pointed down the tank 4 feet at the canister intakes of course. This create a very nice river effect the loaches, and ALL fish love.. Even the adult gourami can navigate the nearly 17GPH turnover at times. With enough plants, wood, rock, and elevation changes in a 60gallon aquarium you can create many many many paths and different things for your fish to learn. By having current changes each 3 hour my fish feel like it’s a bigger word.
Lighting for my plants is so important. IF you inject CO2 you better god damn sure make sure you have enough light… You can go into many arguments and say the plants will still benefit from the increases amounts of carbon in the water but it’s too much for this. Make sure you have lots of light and co2 haha…
I have 4 T5 (2 day 6500kwt, 1 purple, and a blue) I also have a LED strip that turns on 2hours before the T5 fixture. The strip simulates a sunrise and sunset over the 2hours using the diming feature and blue bulbs. I also use my fixture to create a LED storm whenever I do a water change and mix shit up. I feel this makes it feel more real.. I don’t know call me crazy.. LED light fixtures can be fucking crazy and really make the whole aquarium system flow nicely. Remember we want to provide our fish with the most real ecosystem possible.. Sunrise, sunset, weather changes, full moons, new moons, and all that can be simulated via LEDs. I’m not quite doing all those things I just mentioned myself but it’s in the plans and will be budgeted it in right with the APEX system. We all have goals right?? I just love these fucking fish haha.
I bought my Red Platy preggers from Petco and had her in a 10gallon set up for so long.. She had fry the size of the periods ….. they were so small!! Anyway.. I kept the mom around and she is thriving in my 60. She’s a little brat though and eats some of my plants.. Good thing I have enough green I hardly notice.. The Seachem substrate, in addition to river rocks, pebble stones, lava rock, and larger smooth rock I have elevation changes with hills all throughout the tank. The loahces love to just kick back and lay on a nice elvated hill with rocks.
The clowns have always come out for me when I feed them and they are social when I don’t. But I wanted more. I got 3 Danios from the LFS in QT for 2 weeks and put them in and right away all my fish became so much more active. HYPER ACTIVE EVEN (Only at first). The danios never stop swimming and basically go 23 hours combined a day towards the top. They love the circulation pumps and can absolutely handle the current flow, in addition the the tetra and platy. There isn’t one fish against the glass who doesn’t like the current.
Gosh… I feel like there is so much I could talk about fish, but I am getting tired! Let’s create a discussion and see what happens everyone! I’d love to hear criticism, all remarks, and please please suggestions for my current tank. I love to hear everyones opinions as it helps me gauge my own and the fish thrive because of it.
BTW, I just realized how long this is am going to apologize for all my misspelling and quick writes. I am sure there are many. But in the spirit of DIY lets make it work
here is a pic of my tank from cell phone
I found some fish :)
Last edited by James`; 08-21-2014 at 04:15 AM.
Last edited by James`; 08-23-2014 at 08:02 PM.
James I hope you have a bigger tank in mind for your Clown loach's, somebody may have already mentioned that, because they get huge and will soon outgrow your current tank, I apologize if this has already been discuused.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. -Vince Lombardi
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ― John Wooden
Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep
[QUOTE=steeler58;1262078]James I hope you have a bigger tank in mind for your Clown loach's, somebody may have already mentioned that, because they get huge and will soon outgrow your current tank, I apologize if this has already been discuused.
Yeah there wa a paragraph in there somewhere. They get to be almost 16inches and sometimes larger. They're extremely slow growers, especially after they hit 5iches. They're not all even 5 inches now .
But yeah these clowns will remain in this system until I move into my new house in the begging of next year. They will continue to be more then happy for next 4 months in their current conditions. Which mind you is very similar to their natural habitats.
They will be transitioning into a higher turnover river tank once they're bulky enough.
There's no reason to buy the big tank for my current living conditions when i would have to tear it down in 4moths