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 Gundogs 29 Gallon Community

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thegundog
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PostSubject: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:27 pm

Boards been kinda quiet lately...

I'm terrible with images and video, but lately I've found my fish seem to really come to life in the early evening so I snapped up a little unedited video of my tank.

The star of the show is the first fish you see, an Apistogramma Blue Steel Dwarf Cichlid.

This is the best image/video I've ever taken of the Blue Steel, he comes out and I see him all the time but he is a bit elusive.....

The Blue Steel is a pretty interesting species, if you are not familiar with this fish click here:

http://www.dwarfcichlid.com/Apistogramma_sp_Steel_blue.php

This tank is right next to a pair of Cac's and they can see each other - when he see's the Cac's he turns a magnificent Blue AND get's all excited!

He lives in a very cool Java Moss covered coconut shell and it IS his area... Smile

Besides the Blue Steel, I have some Rummy Nose Tetras, Espei Rasbora, Cardinals and Oto's.

Plant wise, the tank has water sprite, anubias, anacharis and I just added the Val's and Amazon about a month ago.

Not a huge tank, not a lot of extravagant fish, no perfect bio type, just your basic common easy to grow plants and not a ton of dough in this tank but it is still one of my favorites - it's in my home office which is where I work so I spend a lot of time looking at this simple little 29 gallon.......


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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:08 am

Very nice tank. He's a beautiful fish, like the Rummy Nose too. Thanks for sharing

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:01 am

nice tank! Enjoyed seeing your healthy water sprite. I can't get the stems you gave me to take off, my rams are eating it like it's a salad just for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:51 am

Beautiful tank, Tracey! Very Happy That's a very cool java moss covered shell - I think that's it in the left corner. Everything looks good and I can see why you enjoy this tank so much.
The Blue Steel is definitely the star of the show. Are these apistos easy to care for? There seems to be some question as to its origin. Do you know much about that?

The board HAS been quiet lately but that's normal for the season!

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PostSubject: Water Sprite   Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:59 am

I've always had trouble with watersprite too, and have given up on it as bottom-rooted plant for aquascaping. In my tanks, within a few months after planting, all its growth energy goes into making baby plants on the old leaves, and the rooted mother plant quits making new leaves and soon looks like crap. Is there a "trick" for getting the rooted plants to stay healthy longer instead of making babies, or is that just the nature of watersprite to be short-lived and fecund?

@RylandVT wrote:
nice tank! Enjoyed seeing your healthy water sprite. I can't get the stems you gave me to take off, my rams are eating it like it's a salad just for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:29 pm

I am online everyday and check the board....I have left a few comments, but mostly I am of the philosophy to only speak up if I have something to say.

I didnt know that the dwarf cichlids were good community fish. I thought they would tear up the tetras. I also didnt know they would do well as an individual fish without others. I could use some more education on these fish.

Very nice tank, very clear and calm....thanks for sharing.

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:50 pm

Beautiful "Blue Steel". I have a M/F pair A. cacatuoides "Double Red" in my 29. Plan to move them to a 20 long. I think the male is too distracted by running off tankmates from his clay pot to breed.

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:08 pm

Breeding pairs of Apistogrammas, Rams, Kribensis, and other dwarf cichlids will of course defend their eggs and fry aggressively. Otherwise when not breeding they usually get along fine with tetras, barbs, danios, rainbows, livebearers, most other mid-water community fish. Anything that competes for cave territories, like gobies or Badis, they may fight with. If you dont want breeding (and breeding-related aggression) then get all one sex. With Apisto "steel-blue" the ones sold are almost always males anyway. And yes a single dwarf cichlid in a community with unrelated fish does fine -- they are not schooling fish.


@ddavis1979 wrote:
I didnt know that the dwarf cichlids were good community fish. I thought they would tear up the tetras. I also didnt know they would do well as an individual fish without others. I could use some more education on these fish..
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:52 pm

@RylandVT wrote:
I can't get the stems you gave me to take off, my rams are eating it like it's a salad just for them.

Well at least it's not wilting away!!!! your Rams are enjoying it and garnering some benefit...

I like Rams, but have never really kept them - are they known as plant eaters?

Is he/she trying to tell you something?

I've heard of people floating water sprite and it growing quite well, but mine only grows from the substrate.




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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:41 pm

[quote="Deb"]Are these apistos easy to care for? There seems to be some question as to its origin. Do you know much about that? quote]

Yes they are easy to care for - nothing special required - no RO or altered water - temperature needs compatiable to other community fish - diet needs similiar to most community fish as well (New Life Spectrum Thera A) - AND of course like most other cichlids they need their very own space (or very own coconut cave!)......

Concerning the origin: it seems to be much debated, but accepted that the fish is a Hybrid species derived from the species A. Caetei. From information I've studied there are no known collections of the fish in the wild. It is difficult to find females in this species - kinda weird and supports the Hybrid species theory - " I made the fish and I'm only releasing males to preserve my interest" kinda thing.... a little spooooky.

I came about the fish from a lady up North who told me it was an A. Borelli "Opal".

When I arrived I knew it wasn't an A. Borelli Opal, but I drove an hour and a half each way and I liked the fish anyway!..

From what I have read, the female Steel Blues look very, very similiar to the males (which is very unusual for cichlids in general).

I've also read that Steel Blue males are nasty aggressive to other Steel Blue males.

She told me the fish had killed it's mate, I suspect she was trying to breed the fish and maybe had two males (thinking one was a female) and thus one male killed the other?

It definetly freaked her out that this fish killed it's tank partner.

I would love to find a couple of mates and try to breed the fish...

Thanks for the kind comments!


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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:50 pm

@gerald wrote:
is that just the nature of watersprite to be short-lived and fecund?

Yes, this is what I see in my Water Sprite as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:00 pm

[quote="gerald"]Breeding pairs of Apistogrammas, Rams, Kribensis, and other dwarf cichlids will of course defend their eggs and fry aggressively. Otherwise when not breeding they usually get along fine with tetras, barbs, danios, rainbows, livebearers, most other mid-water community fish. Anything that competes for cave territories, like gobies or Badis, they may fight with. If you dont want breeding (and breeding-related aggression) then get all one sex. With Apisto "steel-blue" the ones sold are almost always males anyway. And yes a single dwarf cichlid in a community with unrelated fish does fine -- they are not schooling fish. [quote]

+1


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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:05 am

That would be my guess too. Young and subordinate males will "try" to look like females (less blue, more yellow) as long as they can get away with it to avoid getting attacked. The farms that produce steel blues may use hormone treatments or temperature manipulation to produce almost all males, like they do with the fancy strains of dwarf gouramis. My LFS in Wake Forest gets steel blues sometimes and I have never seen a for-sure female, but I will keep watch for them.

@thegundog wrote:
From what I have read, the female Steel Blues look very, very similiar to the males (which is very unusual for cichlids in general). I've also read that Steel Blue males are nasty aggressive to other Steel Blue males. She told me the fish had killed it's mate, I suspect she was trying to breed the fish and maybe had two males (thinking one was a female) and thus one male killed the other?
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:37 am

Very nice tank- how long has it been set up? And, if it's been running for a while, how do you keep the algae out? None of the plants or rocks in there seem to have any algae on them.
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:59 pm

Hey dog, how hard is your water? The Steel Blue is a beautiful fish but my water is anything but soft. That's why I have A. cacatuoides who seem to do well in reasonable water parameters.

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:44 pm

@DL Lawrence wrote:
Very nice tank- how long has it been set up? And, if it's been running for a while, how do you keep the algae out? None of the plants or rocks in there seem to have any algae on them.

Thanks DL!

That tank's been running for about 1 1/2 years....

I do have some algae - but I try to be careful with the amount of time the light is on. Recently I've been leaving the light on in the morning, turning it off for the afternoon and then turning it back on for a couple of hours in the evening.

I also try to be careful with the amount of liquid ferts I dose, if you add too much you can run into problems.

I'm down to only one lone Oto but he's a big ol'e boy... (or girl!?) I want to get a few more, I love oto's and think they provide a lot of beneficial value to the aqaurium.

Maybe all of these things help?........

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:57 pm

@Donald wrote:
Hey dog, how hard is your water? The Steel Blue is a beautiful fish but my water is anything but soft. That's why I have A. cacatuoides who seem to do well in reasonable water parameters.

Donald -

I'm on a well and my water is hard.

My ph is 7.6 out of the tap and that's where it stays.

It's been a couple of years since I last had the water hardness checked, so I can't remeber the exact numbers. I took a water sample to Chuck at Azalea and he asked me "is anything living in this water?"....

When I told him hell yea, he just looked at me and shook his head.... Very Happy

So whatever it was, it wasn't good...

I really would like to know my numbers and was just looking at purchasing a kit last week....

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:47 am

Apistos in general are soft-water fish, but there are several species that seem to do just fine in hard water too, especially cacatuoides, macmasteri (often sold as "viejita"), and steel blue (caetei hybrid) being the most readily available. A. agassizi and rams may do OK in hard water too, especially the domesticated strains. Vallisneria should grow nicely in that water.
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:35 pm

I read an article in the January issue of TFH that stated A. trifasciata and hongsloi do well in hard water. I can post a link if anyone is interested.

I picked up 4 otos at Azalea today. I'm going to test the bag water in light of Chuck's comment about gundog's water parameters. Always have been curious about that.

If you want to get Chuck wound up, ask him if they have or can get Bolivian Rams. He doesn't like them and is not afraid to tell you. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:44 pm

Can I ask how many total hours a day your lights are on? And, are they dual tube T5HO's?

Also, I found your comment on the ferts interesting. I may have been over dosing. I'll cut back a bit on the Flourish Excel I've been putting in there.
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:32 pm

@Donald wrote:
I read an article in the January issue of TFH that stated A. trifasciata and hongsloi do well in hard water. I can post a link if anyone is interested.

I picked up 4 otos at Azalea today. I'm going to test the bag water in light of Chuck's comment about gundog's water parameters. Always have been curious about that.

If you want to get Chuck wound up, ask him if they have or can get Bolivian Rams. He doesn't like them and is not afraid to tell you. Smile

I would definetly be interested in the Apisto article if you don't mind feeding it into a reply....

Are your new Oto's pretty good size? I've been wanting to get a few more, but the ones in my local chains shops are spindly little under feed creatures and I don't think they could make it home... maybe I'll go see Chuck and Keith.

I know Chuck was dead on correct with my water, I had it checked in a shop up North and they said the same thing - they were just not quite as honest as Chuck... Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:02 pm

@DL Lawrence wrote:
Can I ask how many total hours a day your lights are on? And, are they dual tube T5HO's?

Also, I found your comment on the ferts interesting. I may have been over dosing. I'll cut back a bit on the Flourish Excel I've been putting in there.

The past two months I've been working out of my home almost exclusively, so I've made a conserted effort to manage and monitor my lights.

I turn it on in the morning from 8:00am to 12:30pm - about 4 hours.

The I turn it back on from 6:00pm to 9:30ish - about 4 more hours.

So a total of about 8 hours with a 3-4 hour break in between.

I use a Single Tube T8 - 6500K - Zoo Med - Ultra Sun - Full Spectrum Daylight Bulb. Nothing fancy but I like the overall tone created by the light.

I use Flourish Comprehensive, but not Excel.

If you are having algae issues, try cutting back on your lights and lower your ferts dosing - hopefully that will help.

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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:51 am

Great, thanks for the info!
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:52 pm

@thegundog wrote:
@Donald wrote:
I read an article in the January issue of TFH that stated A. trifasciata and hongsloi do well in hard water. I can post a link if anyone is interested.

I picked up 4 otos at Azalea today. I'm going to test the bag water in light of Chuck's comment about gundog's water parameters. Always have been curious about that.

If you want to get Chuck wound up, ask him if they have or can get Bolivian Rams. He doesn't like them and is not afraid to tell you. Smile

I would definetly be interested in the Apisto article if you don't mind feeding it into a reply....

Are your new Oto's pretty good size? I've been wanting to get a few more, but the ones in my local chains shops are spindly little under feed creatures and I don't think they could make it home... maybe I'll go see Chuck and Keith.

I know Chuck was dead on correct with my water, I had it checked in a shop up North and they said the same thing - they were just not quite as honest as Chuck... Smile


Here is a link to the article Trouble-Free Dwarf Cichlids

The Otos are a little under an inch I would say. They are full bodied. I got the last ones. Hopefully they will get some more in soon from the same supplier.

Chuck is a straight shooter.
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PostSubject: Re: Gundogs 29 Gallon Community   Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:48 pm

This tank looks nice. It's very elegant with the way everything is set up. You don't have to have fancy fish or a fancy tank to have a good looking set up.
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