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Thread: The Congo tank

  1. #11

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post
    Nice pics.

    The EN fish is nocturnal, so you may not see him much during the day, or when the tank lights are on

    This is a nocturnal fish, so dim lighting is required to make it feel secure. Plenty of cover should also be provided, particularly if youíre keeping a few together. Smooth rocks, driftwood and plants that can survive under low lighting, such as Anubias sp., java fern and Vallisneria can all be used. A sand substrate is absolutely critical to the well-being of this species, as it burrows into it with itís proboscis-like lower lip. Sharp-edged or coarse substrates can damage the mouthparts of the fish and prevent it from feeding naturally.

    Source: http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species...emus-petersii/
    Oh yeah I know :) I researched quite heavily prior to beginning this adventure, several months of research choosing fish, plants substrates etc. I'm still undecided on lighting for the 55 and still kind of tossing around a tinted tank idea though I won't be going full black water as my water here is too hard (pH 8-8.2, kH 10, gH 15). Elephant is actually much more active during the day than I'd anticipated and now that he's recovered from his previous home he's much much easier to feed too! Which is exciting as I was committed to 10-20 minutes once or twice a day and now he's getting a full belly feeding with everyone, all I do is watch to be sure. They are so narrow to begin with I see how without knowing about the fish it would be easy not to notice them getting thin right off. And with his initial feeding issues he would have easily starved. I'm glad whomever brought him into the lfs did so as they obviously cared for their fish enough to rehome him soon enough to be saved. He's not a beggar like the ctenopomas but he's very attentive from his caves when I'm in the room. And as soon as I lift the lid he's ready!

    As for substrate I've currently capped flourite black sand with Caribsea Sahara sand which is 1-2mm sand. Allows the synos to do their thing without making big holes (yet), and the EN can easily sift through. I'm still trying to find a more "mud or sand" colored substrate that will be in the same size range to use in the 55, and doesn't affect water parameters which is proving difficult still. If necessary I'll stay with the same I have though I'd like to get away from the black/white as it wasn't really my ideal look though in all honesty I don't mind it as much as I'd thought I would, it's alright. I think it works as everyone in the tank is basically b&w anyway.

    Most of tank is low to moderate light fish and plants. Plenty of cover (hard with slow growth plants lol hence the sword and I just grabbed another plant that should grow thinner than a sword but still tallish for this tank (no idea yet what it is, unlabeled and being eaten by the crawfish at my lfs) and although I plant my tanks I'm far from a plant ID expert lol, I grabbed a full one I could split up based on appearance of the others that were thinner growth but taller in the tank. Maybe someone knows?

  2. #12

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    2 Not allowed!
    Looks like pygmy chain sword. The more arrow shaped leaves are emersed form, will have more of a grass look submerged.

  3. #13

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by dwarfguy View Post
    Looks like pygmy chain sword. The more arrow shaped leaves are emersed form, will have more of a grass look submerged.
    Hahaha! I am glad to know that... I actually looked quite a while for the chain sword a while back for an idea (went with something else) but I didn't realize that emersed growth HD that different of an appearance. If that's what it is it'll probably work out alright in this tank, I'm going to pull some for another tank that gets more light though in case I do kill it in here as I may be able to accommodate it a bit later through some plant swapping to get back to my original idea in the other tank. Thank you dwarfguy!

  4. #14

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    2 Not allowed!
    Your tank is really coming along wonderfully. I did see you mention congo barbs vs congo tetras. Just my 2cents but I love the tetras over the barbs. You just can't beat the flowing fins and the surreal effect of the halo edging. Good luck with what ever you end up choosing.
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  5. #15

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    0 Not allowed!
    I'm not sure what exactly will work with your other fish, but the jae barb, butterfly barb, african banded barb, and coppernose barb I believe are all native to the Congo.

  6. #16

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Silbar View Post
    Your tank is really coming along wonderfully. I did see you mention congo barbs vs congo tetras. Just my 2cents but I love the tetras over the barbs. You just can't beat the flowing fins and the surreal effect of the halo edging. Good luck with what ever you end up choosing.
    Thanks Silbar! I was fairly set on the tetras, but I like (in general) the feisty attitudes of the barbs, they to me are a more interesting fish which I think this tank will need as everyone else sticks lower in the tank and the butterflies would add movement to the top but themselves are also fairly shy. I do think that the Congo tetras would be beautiful in the tank though! Barbs would probably make the butterflies a poor choice but they are quite flashy and busy. I've been keeping a few danios in the 20 to keep up BB and they truly keep the tank interesting and just busy enough not to drive the rest of the inhabitants crazy... Plus the ctenopomas sincerely enjoy eating mouthfuls of eggs when they have big spawn days! I like the activity level of barbs also and miss having them, I've not gotten far in that research just yet but I'm still not set either way! Decisions decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by dwarfguy View Post
    I'm not sure what exactly will work with your other fish, but the jae barb, butterfly barb, african banded barb, and coppernose barb I believe are all native to the Congo.
    Haha! Again thank you dwarfguy I'll add them to the list to look at for barbs. Was actually thinking since I'll probably finish my novel tonight at work I'd probably be looking into the barbs a bit more again. It's always nice to have some names tossed out, helps the search!

  7. #17

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    1 Not allowed!
    Hey, it's all about what appeals to you. Whatever you stock it with they should be exactly what you like. That's what make each and every tanks so special. It sounds like you are putting a lot of thought into this and that is awesome
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  8. #18

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Silbar View Post
    Hey, it's all about what appeals to you. Whatever you stock it with they should be exactly what you like. That's what make each and every tanks so special. It sounds like you are putting a lot of thought into this and that is awesome
    Tons and tons of it lol basically been mulling the idea over quite a while and since I bought this house a couple years ago I started getting pretty serious about it. Started putting together a couple little tanks as the parameters here are HUGELY different than where I used to live. Never had to deal with such a high pH or such hard water. Been poking around some random standard easy fish, watching and learning my new parameters for several months. It's very different, I've never had diatoms ever before so that was a new and fairly unpleasant experience, but green algae doesn't seem nearly as prolific lol hair algae seems to be easily started though icky stuff. I've actually been more easily able to keep a wider variety of fish and ventured in my first shrimp tank and my sons platy tank (I avoided live bearers but he decided he was ready for a tank so we got him his choice of fish). I have found that it's much easier to keep a stable pH with the hardness and even picky fish have adapted well.

    I want this tank to go for the long haul lol I have a tiny house really and it will basically get an entire wall in my living room. I definitely want it to be appealing and interesting and of course different than what everyone sees in most aquariums. I've wanted a blackwater tank since I started seeing them pop up a few years ago but didn't want to commit to anything big and long term as I knew I was heading here eventually so I waited. Still unsure if I want to commit to blackwater, for me and my parameters it'd be a tinted water, as I'd never maintain a pH below 7 without a much larger investment than I'm willing to make. But the blackwater idea is what started me down the Oddball fish path.

    So yeah, I've probably over thought this tank. And I'm worried that somehow I'm going to shoot myself in the foot with it. It's basically a minimal 10 year commitment and I'm very very excited to finally be putting it in motion.

  9. #19

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    0 Not allowed!
    I would hate to maintain a tank with an acidic pH. I as well had to deal with fluctuating pH, especially when plants are added at one time. Do you think blackwater would really lower your pH that much of it's as hard as you say? I hardly notice a difference in my tanks with IALs, and my pH is already pretty low and soft water. Depending on what your kh is, I wouldn't think it would lower that much.
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  10. #20

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by angelcraze2 View Post
    I would hate to maintain a tank with an acidic pH. I as well had to deal with fluctuating pH, especially when plants are added at one time. Do you think blackwater would really lower your pH that much of it's as hard as you say? I hardly notice a difference in my tanks with IALs, and my pH is already pretty low and soft water. Depending on what your kh is, I wouldn't think it would lower that much.
    Im really not sure, the way that the humic acids lower pH I imagine I'll still see some effects from tinting, how dramatic though I really can't even venture a guess. I've never done nor known anyone whose done a blackwater tank. I can find some pretty good info on it but not a lot when it comes to running one with the type of water I have, they just immediately go to the RO water and bringing it back to blackwater levels... Lol not a dice I'm going to roll in that regard. I'm planning to experiment a bit with alder cones and common litter objects with a bucket of treated water and see what changes I see. If I can get it tinted without changing the parameters drastically I may very well give it a go.

    IAL and capatta leaves I've added haven't even put a blip in my pH but I've never done it heavily. I don't particularly want mopani wood for this tank but have been keeping my eyes out for a small piece. It generally leaches heavily in my experiences but I've always boiled it to release the majority of tannins prior to adding it to a tank.

    My concern is mostly that of ending up with water to far off from mine that it'll require a masterful juggling act to perform a wc lol. Beautiful as it may be, I know my life is a little too unpredictable to accommodate that all the time. If I can get a good tint with only a negligible pH dip I'll probably give it a go!

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