Arrival of new SAE

The black brush algae in our Guppy Tank is growing profusely and with no one eating them, it will just be in a matter of time that they will overtake the tank:

That was why we decided to buy a SAE (Siamese Algae Eater) on 2nd May 08 for the Guppy Tank, as the one in our main Planted Tank has proven to be very effective in cleaning up the black algae.

The new SAE in his first few moments after entering the Guppy Tank:

By the next day, the SAE was already diligently combing out the black algae on the plants and ornaments:

By a week later, the tank was almost rid of its black algae:

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Dwarf Chain Loaches Spawning Behaviour?

We are supposed to have a total of 7 Dwarf Chain Loaches (Y. sidthimunki) since I bought another 5 (see Arrival of the new Loaches) on top of the existing 2 we had. However, the highest count we could do at one time was only 4, so we couldn’t help but wondering if the missing ones are still alive.

Anyway, we were looking at our Main Planted Tank to try counting the loaches, when we noticed two of them were behaving strangely near the front centre of the tank, circling each other non-stop for a period of around 15 minutes. We have often seen loaches chasing each other but not in such a manner, so we were attracted to their behaviour and filmed a portion of their activity down:

This behaviour continued despite interruptions by the other fishes (especially the SAE) so it could be seen how engrossed they were in the activity.

According to Loaches Online, not much is yet known about the natural spawning of these loaches, and although some other hobbyists have also witnessed similar behaviour, no one can really confirm if it’s a spawning behaviour.

For now, let us just wait to see if any new loaches may pop up someday.

5… 6… 7… 8… what? 8…?

Main Tank Updates

New fishes and plants have been added recently, with slight adjustments in the setup too.

We have just bought two Garra Flavatra at S$2.50 each (a drop in price from $5.00 a year back) as Cat loved Garra a lot. Though we are unable to revive the Garra we both liked, this is as much as we can do.

These two Garra were very active upon entering the Main Tank, swimming around to explore the area. Unfortunately, they appeared to be rather aggressive and seemed to be disturbing some of our existing inhabitants, such as the SAE and the Leopard Corydoras. Hopefully this won’t be too consistent and cause stressed to the fish.

The two competitive Garra Flavatra:

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One Chain Loach died recently, after noticing that it had grown extremely thin. We were not sure what went wrong, as the other two were still living happily. Hopefully these two will continue to stay healthy and help control our snails population (they have been doing a great job on this).

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Our guppies have also been getting along well with one another, and are often seen together as a group.

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Our eldest guppy, Pretty, is still appearing healthy despite her age, but she had started to hunchback a while back. Guess this is just part of growing old.

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On the other hand, our largest inhabitant, the SAE, seems to be relaxing and having a good life. This peacefulness of his may start to be shaken with the introduction of the two Garra though…

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As for the plants, most are doing quite well, though there are occassional ‘melting’ leaves and growth of algae. We will just observe and let the plants grow on their own for the moment.

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Pregnant Mum & Daughter

Since a few weeks back, we have placed one of Pretty’s daughters into the main planted tank. She was hand-picked from the many other female guppies in the Guppy Tank, as she was the fastest growing fish there. Her pleasant appearance of course added to her chance of being chosen too.

Until recently, I’ve noticed the dark gravid spot at her abdomen region, and it is to be a sign of pregancy. With several nice looking male guppies in the planted tank too, I wonder who will be the unborn fries’ dad?

Meanwhile, Pretty appears to be pregnant too, so it’s kinda interesting that both mum and daughter might be giving birth at around the same time.

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Unlike in the past, we will not explicitly net them out into hospital tanks for delivery, as this might stress the fish. Also, we already have an abundant amount of young guppies so we will let nature decides who will be the fittest who will get to be transferred to the Guppy Tank.

With rather thick vegetation in our planted tank, the newborns should stand quite a good chance surviving in the tank unaided anyway. Furthermore with our fishes well-fed, their survival chances are upped too.

Dwarf Loach – Botia Sidthimunki

Went down to Qian Hu this afternoon in search for Zebra Loach (Botia Striata) to help keep the snail population in check, but unfortunately they did not have any stock of them.

Fortunately, we found an alternative — Dwarf Loach, also known as Botia Sidthimunki. It is the smallest loach in the Botiine loach group and is very peaceful in nature. A minimum of 3 must be kept as they love company of their own species, thus we have bought three of them, worried that getting too many of them will exceed our tank’s bio load.

Here’s a comparison of how small each of these Dwarf Loaches are, when swimming alongside with a Corydoras and SAE:

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Though new to the tank, they seemed to have assimilated pretty quickly into our community tank, most of the time seen at the foreground and swimming casually together. They even enjoyed a game or two of ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’:

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Fishes and Plants Updates

Since his arrival, our Siamese Algae Eater (SAE) has been doing fine, busying himself swimming around swiftly and munching on the algae he can find.

Although he does frequent those fragile plants such as the HC, I seldomg see him uproot anything. He is large in size, but delicate at the same time. That is how we came out with the name ‘Big Friendly Giant’ (BFG in short) for him. 🙂

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The other fishes are living peacefully (except for occassionally chasing between the Guppy males) and seem to be enjoying their lives in the tank. Here’s a clip of them rushing for the sinking pellet:

Regarding the plants, most of them appear to be doing well now, with the increase of CO2 input and dosing of liquid fertilisers. Despite a recent outbreak of Green Hair and Spot Algae, I have continued with the 12-hour 4 x 39 Watt T5H0 daily. I believed in eradicating the source of the algae problem, instead of reducing the lights etc.

By introducing more nutrients and CO2 for the plants, now the plants are healthier while countering the growth of the algae. Also with the help of our BFG, the 4 Otos and our 6 Corys, the algae problem appears to be contained for most parts. I will still have to perform regular cleanup of the walls using a scraper (and my fingernails) though.

The Riccia are pearling nicely every night, and growth has been encouraging. I understand that I need to trim the Riccia regularly to ensure the leaves below continue to get adequate light to prevent them from rotting and thus causing the entire plant to float to the surface. So far, they appear to be doing fine so no pruning has been performed on them yet.

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The HC is starting to look good too, with more and more new green leaves growing above the withering leaves. I can’t say for sure that everything will be smooth sailing from here on though, as a proper fertilising regime still needs to be followed and monitored.

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I will be performing a water change tonight, to clear off the excess nutrients and harmful substances, before dosing liquid fertilisers into the tank.

New Leopard Cory Friend

After one of our Leopard Cory died (see R.I.P. Leopard Cory), we have bought a companion for the other surviving Cory, together with the new plants we bought.

The new Cory was larger in size but was as active too. In no time, the two of them started interacting and became friends: