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33 gallon long - Dicrossus filamentosus and friends

Discussion in 'South American Biotope Aquariums' started by doinkmobb, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    I have a thread on my 75 gallon blackwater here, but I moved recently and it's been reset up as a clearwater environment with Biotodoma cupido as the main attraction. I moved my checkerboards into a 33 long, they looked lost in the 75. The long low footprint suits them better, while still giving them good sq footage.

    The 33 gallon long was set up to be tannin stained and murky and dirty. I have 40-50 magnolia leaves in the tank, I plan to add 20-30 more. There is some hair algae growing in the pennywort, which isn't a bad thing, but I don't want it to get out of hand. And the wood and leaves have weird fuzzy fungus growing on them already, the tank looks really "lived in" already, I'm surprised. I'm going for a grungy natural look for this tank, no siphoning out any detritus, no Purigen, keep it funky.

    Temp -83 F
    Filtration - Eheim 2215
    Lighting - Sunblaster 48" T5 (toned down with pet proof screening covering 60% of the light)
    Substrate - thin layer of play sand, 1/2" -1" deep
    Plants - Brazilian pennywort, duckweed (hitchhiker, but I may leave it in)
    TDS - 45ppm
    GH/KH - 2/2
    pH - 6.4

    Fish
    8x Dicrossus filamentosus (5F/3M)
    18x cardinal tetras

    Future?
    2-4x German blue rams - maybe in two months when the tank matures
    some type of smaller loricariid

    My tap water is about 27ppm, I should be able to drop the tank into the 30's without too much trouble, but any lower and I'm looking at RODI. That might be feasible though, I'd probably only need 5 gallons a week for water changes, another 1-2 for top-offs. A pH lower than 6 would be nice too. It should drop in time, like my old 75 gallon.

    I really like the way this tank turned out, I feel like I'm peering into a blackwater creek...8 feet from my desk. I'm almost hesitant to add blue rams, because the cardinals and checkerboards look so good together. Plus, this doesn't quite seem like the "correct" environment for rams...water parameters, yes, but habitat-wise, maybe not. Eh, I might change my mind, who knows.

    Any recommendations on a smaller loricariid that prefers warmer water?

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    Bonus shots of my 75 gallon (clearwater? Not yet, it still needs a million more water changes)

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  2. ButtNekkid

    ButtNekkid Active Member

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    Beatiful tank! Why do the Cardinals look so pale?
  3. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    Thanks! It could be the lighting, the camera settings, the fact that I've only had them for three days or a combination of all those factors. Looking at them in the tank right now, most of them are bright. I'm sure they'll color up nicely in a week or so.
    ButtNekkid and Mbkemp like this.
  4. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    I'm thinking the Dicrossus are getting into spawning mode, there's been a lot of the dominant male chasing everybody and the females have been defending leaf territories from each other.
    ButtNekkid and TCMontium like this.
  5. TCMontium

    TCMontium Member

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    Do you have any idea why? Maybe a big water change, ph drop, conductivity drop or increase of live food? I have a pair and the male is always following the female, flaring to her. But she just doesn't seem interested. I need to know how to make her feel playful! :p
    Jeremy Anderson likes this.
  6. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    Not sure, I have been doing water changes to drop the TDS, which is dropping the pH - TDS is down below 45ppm and pH is about 6.0. I'm feeding a mix of New Life Spectrum flakes, frozen brine shrimp and Tetra Min tropical granules. They're just...happy I guess?
    Mbkemp and TCMontium like this.
  7. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson New Member

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    That's a lovely tank! I have a 33 Long cycling now, was thinking I might keep a breeding group of Apistos in there someday, but undecided which direction to go with it. If I go with a biotope yours will serve as inspiration, I love it.
  8. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    I had a major disaster last month, all 18 of my cardinal tetras died from some extremely intense and heat resistant ich. The checkerboards got a few spots, but they cleared up and I didn't lose a single one. Sickly batch of cardinals? Maybe. I was not happy. I switched to some slightly cheaper and more readily available neons. I've got 8 so far, I hope they encounter no problems. The checkerboards seem to be indestructible - they were shipped from Portland OR to Greenville SC without a death. Moved from their 75 to a temp tank to the 33 gallon without a death. They survived two temp drops into the low 70s without a death.

    In other news, a female is guarding about 70-80 eggs on the far right side of the tank. I took some pics with my ancient Canon Rebel XT, we'll see how they came out. The dominant male is relentlessly chasing the two subordinate males, but nobody looks too beat up yet. I might set up my temp tank in case the eggs successfully hatch and I need to move the fry.

    I added some more leaves and branches recently, and dropped the temp to 81.5-82. Did that trigger spawning activity? Not really sure. I'll post up some new pics soon.
  9. ButtNekkid

    ButtNekkid Active Member

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    This happened to me also a few months back.
    Ich wiped out all the Cardinals in my quarantine and at my local LFS.
  10. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    The eggs are gone, the female probably ate them. Hopefully she'll lay again.
    I added my two remaining marbled hatchets to the this tank, transferred from the 75. It's funny, I didn't realize this before but they really match the look of the mottled wood in the tank. They are very hard to pick out when they are stationary. I'm hoping to get 6-8 more.

    I do have some new shots of the tank, but my god they are bad. A 12 year old 8MP camera does not stand the test of time very well.
  11. Bart Hazes

    Bart Hazes Member

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    My first filamentosus spawn was also eaten the first night after laying the eggs. A second female guarded them for 48 hours before starting to gobble them up. I saw it happening and cut off the leaf with eggs to incubate in a breeding box. Many developed fungus but a few hatches with the hardiest wriggler surviving two days after hatching. Hopefully they try again and learn to become better parents. My Apistogramma sp. Melgar needed 4 or 5 tries before successfully raising a spawn (the male being the problem initially) whereas others are model parents right from the bat.
  12. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    I spoke too soon, I had a female die last night. No sign of illness, eating normally, no odd behavior. I wonder if it was the one that laid eggs?
    Shane Puthuparambil likes this.
  13. Shane Puthuparambil

    Shane Puthuparambil Member

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    That sucks! I remember seeing this tank on TPT (75g).

    Could be aggression that caused the death.

    I have a very good source for some rams.
    (coralbandit from aquabid)
    Mbkemp likes this.
  14. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci New Member

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    Love the tank, and I'm finally fulfilling my dream of getting a 33 long in a few months, hopefully. Finally found one that's affordable!

    Do you mind sharing a few pictures of the stand with the room light on? If it was bought, don't worry about it, but if you made it yourself, I'd love to see how it was built roughly, especially the canopy. Canopies add so much and none of my tanks have one at the moment.
  15. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    The 33 long is a good size in that it gives you a 4 sq feet of floor space without being a massive tank.

    I can try to get some shots of the stand and canopy. I built both of them hastily because I was rushing to get the tank set up. The stand is actually not bad, but the canopy is...bad. The lid is warping, I somehow built it so skewed that it wouldn't properly fit around the top rim of the tank, it's a little too short, making the light very close to the water. Definitely not my finest work. But it keeps the fish in, the cats out and it holds a light - mission accomplished (poorly).
  16. Astrix

    Astrix New Member

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    where did you find the discrossus?!?!? i have been looking everywhere!!!!
  17. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    Are you in the US? I got the D. filamentosus from Wet Spot in Portland, OR. Price is reasonable, $5 each or 6 for $27.
  18. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci New Member

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    This is me, in a nutshell. I built a stand for my 55 back in high school and it turned out fine, but the lack of a canopy means any pictures I take of it have lighting problems. I could very well just copy that tank design, but I'm interested to see other peoples' successes.
  19. Astrix

    Astrix New Member

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    i'm actually in canada :( however.. i have a friend who generally uses wet spot for ordering in some of the apistogramma's we do. I will be checking that list and speaking to him ASAP.
    Thank you very very much.
    Mbkemp likes this.
  20. doinkmobb

    doinkmobb Member

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    The marbled hatchets are the newest residents.

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    Full tank shot, I had to use my phone instead of my ancient DSLR.

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    Mbkemp likes this.

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