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33 gallon long - Dicrossus filamentosus and friends

doinkmobb

Member
Neat. I got 20 N. beckfordi on Tuesday night and by this morning, I have 2 left, looking like they are about to die. They are all in the quarantine tank that I used for my checkerboards and hatchets when I tore down the 33 gallon. I know the water quality is good.
The water is this tank is very soft and acidic though, which I'm sure was a drastic change from the fish store water. Just about all the pencilfish looked slightly bloated with pop eyes when they died - when a fish goes from hard water to soft water, do they lose salts and take on water?
 

rasmusW

Active Member
Sorry to hear about all this fish death.. you seem to be in a bad flow (-in lack of a better word).
Sorry i can’t help on your question. Could it be that they should have had a longer adaptation process from bag to tank?
-that would be my rookie answere.

-r
 

gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Yes, especially if they were already stressed from transport and starvation, then ion-poor (low conductivity) water could have been the "last straw" leading to osmoregulation failure, even for fish that otherwise thrive in those conditions. Bloating suggests ion loss and excess water retention. That's why salt is often used during fish transport and acclimation.
 

doinkmobb

Member
Yes, especially if they were already stressed from transport and starvation, then ion-poor (low conductivity) water could have been the "last straw" leading to osmoregulation failure, even for fish that otherwise thrive in those conditions. Bloating suggests ion loss and excess water retention. That's why salt is often used during fish transport and acclimation.
Then my hunch was correct. Argh. I think what I will do is get a sample of the fish store's water and then adjust the parameters of my quarantine tank to match as best I can. And then I guess over the course of several weeks, I'll do water changes until I bring the TDS down to match the main tank.
 

gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
I dont think you need match the pet store's conductivity. Just add some salt to whatever tank you're putting them in initially, to ease their osmotic workload for the first few days or week. 1 gram per liter (approx 1 teaspoon per gallon) is enough; conductivity will be roughly 2000 uS (microSiemens). An abrupt rise in conductivity isn't harmful. Short-term saltwater dip treatments are often done on freshwater fish, with no serious harm.
 

doinkmobb

Member
I returned the fish corpses today, got a refund and got a sample of their water. For the sake of thoroughness and because I really don't want to murder anymore fish, I'll do my best to match the parameters. Probably overkill, but I'd feel like a better fish owner knowing I'm taking more extreme precautions to make sure they live. Live damn you, LIVE!

FYI for anybody that uses ppm, 2000 microsiemens = approx 1282 ppm. From various fish that I've bought over the past two years, their bag water has tested at 800-1300 ppm. Contrast that with tank water of 50-70 ppm. I have done long acclimations (60 min) but have still lost 50% of the fish, other times I have done the 3 minute equal parts bag water/tank water acclimation and lost zero fish.
 

doinkmobb

Member
I've been extra annoyed with this tank lately. I ordered another batch of pencilfish a few weeks after 100% of the first batch died. Guess what? These new ones died too, in record time. All of them. All. So I said "screw it" and didn't even bother stocking anything else.

I wasn't planning on getting more fish for this tank, but I was in a Petco on Saturday and saw some pristella tetras. Hmmm, I had these guys a looooong time ago and I remembered seeing a video on youtube showing pristellas and dwarf cichlids inhabiting the same environment. OK, let's give it a shot. I got 8 and made sure the parameters in the quarantine tank were good, dropped them in and...they've been lively and eating for DAYS. Not one has died. The TDS initially measured at about 370 ppm, I did a water change last night which brought it down to 300 ppm. I plan on doing this until I reach 100 ppm, then I'll throw them in the main tank.

If all eight survive and look good, I'll go back and get 8-10 more.
 

gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
I got 10 marginatus pencils (wild from Peru) and 10 red phantom tetras from Wet Spot several months ago. All looked good for a couple weeks (20 gal long with lots of plants, soft water), then the pencils started dying one by one until all were gone, while the phantoms remained healthy. I suspect it was some internal disease the pencils carried when I got them, or maybe some pathogen left in the tank from previous inhabitants that pencils were especially sensitive to? Was certainly not an ammonia or other-N related issue.
 

doinkmobb

Member
I've had 100% success ratios when adding fish and 0% success and everything in between. I can't find any correlation in what I'm doing either: I alternate between float and drop, 30-90 min acclimation then transfer to full on quarantine tank. I've actually had the worst luck with the quarantine tank. I don't know...but these tetras look healthy, so I think they'll be fine.
 

doinkmobb

Member
I got the quarantine tank down to 175ppm, the main tank was at 55ppm - I figured that was close enough. I plopped the tetras in yesterday and everybody looks good. Eight is not enough to fill out the tank, I'll be getting more of these guys.
 

doinkmobb

Member
I've got 18 pristella tetras in this tank now, all are doing great. The local saltwater store has finally put in some freshwater tanks, I'm going to see if they are going to carry any apistos. I can't remember if I mentioned this, I have a 14 gallon plastic barrel for aging water next to the aquarium, in which I have a pillow case with peat moss and broken up sweet gum and poplar sticks in it. The water is a deep amber color and looks perfect for the environment I'm trying to recreate. TDS is a little higher than what I was shooting for, it's 65-70 ppm coming out of the barrel. If I ever get an RODI unit, I can bring that down again. I haven't tested the PH, but I would guess somewhere below 6.

What I need now is a decent DSLR. My cell phone camera just doesn't capture the tank properly.
 

doinkmobb

Member
I finally FINALLY got a pair of apistos, after researching and planning for 3 years or so. I got a pair of panduros yesterday and put them in my quarantine tank. The female looks right at home, bright colors, swimming around like it's her tank. The male has been pale, breathing heavily and sitting on the bottom for 24 hours. They came from the same tank at the fish store and went through the same acclimation process. I know the water quality is good. I dropped an air stone in the tank to see if that perks him up.
 

doinkmobb

Member
Do you like crappy pictures? Here's some crappy pictures.





Ignore the fact that the male is half purple, my phone's camera is garbage. I just did a 30% water change and the male still looks stressed. I'll be surprised if he's alive tomorrow.
 

gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Did you notice any heavy breathing at the store (I'm talking about the FISH) before they were netted and bagged? I usually watch fishes' behavior carefully for 5 min or so before I buy them in stores.
 

doinkmobb

Member
Did you notice any heavy breathing at the store (I'm talking about the FISH) before they were netted and bagged? I usually watch fishes' behavior carefully for 5 min or so before I buy them in stores.
I didn't watch him for very long, but didn't notice anything unusual. The pair was at the store for about 10 days before I grabbed them. Damaged gill(s) while being netted? That's the only thing I can think of. He looks catatonic in the quarantine tank, I can pick him up with my hand and he barely moves. Poor guy.
 

Drayden Farci

Active Member
My male A. sp. Totoya went a few days of fast breathing, clamped fins, and laying almost sideways on the bottom after a moderate (10-15%) water top-off once, while the female was happy as a clam. A few days later they are back together swimming happily. If he is alright, it could just be he was not handling the change as well as she did.
 
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