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Bushynose Pleco January 4th, 2009: I haven't been good at keeping this page updated, but I figure I'd get a quick update out to give you tank fans an idea of what's been happening in the water. On the left you can see an amazingly rare "good" picture of one of my two Bushynose Plecos (they usually opt for bigfoot shots since they like hiding under the logs in the tank). There are a few new tank residents too. I wasn't going to add any more fish, but we lost a couple of other ones, so I figured I had some more room. We added six "Roseline Sharks" (also known as Denison Barbs, or Puntius denisonii). They're the most colorful fish we have, and to capture them, I had to shoot them in a movie of all the fish in the tank.
Praecox 070708

Silver Dollar

Silver Dollar 070708

July 7th, 2008:Figured I hadn't done an update in a while, so here it is. There haven't been any new and exciting additions to the tank. The silver dollars continue to grow, and the biggest one is easily bigger than the male Gourami. As you can see by the picture at the side, they remain elusive to photography.

Surprisingly, the fish that's touted as one of the more sturdy fish in my tank have had a problem staying alive. I've now lost 3 male Rosy Barbs, although two were explained easily. One had physical damage, and the other one that was a replacement, was stressed immediately after joining the tank and never recovered. The tally now stands at 9 Rosy Barbs, and they're all doing great.

The official stock list:
  • 4 Silver Dollars
  • 6 Pearl Gouramis
  • 10 Praecox (neon) Rainbows
  • 10 Sterbae Corydoras
  • 9 Rosy Barbs
  • 2 Bushynose Plecos
  • 1 Rainbow Shark
I'm thinking about adding some Zebra Otocinclus to the tank for glass cleaning duty. The Plecos like the wood too much and are shirking their duties keeping the glass clean.
Tank 032008

March 21st, 2008:Quick new tank pic.
Silver Dollar

Fish Hospital
March 9th, 2008:The Silver Dollars finally came home yesterday. They're pretty small yet, about a 1/2" shorter than the current size of the male Praecox Rainbows, but the stuff I've read about them is that they grow pretty fast. They dart around pretty good, so getting a decent picture of them is pretty tough. The one on the left is the best one out of about 60 I tried to get. Maybe once they settle in they'll slow down a little bit.

In other news, one of the female Gouramis developed a mouth fungus that was not getting better on its' own, so Teresa at Terre Quatics recommended treating it with Melafix. Of course treating in a 125 gallon tank really isn't practical, so she set me up with a used 10 gallon setup. Tank, cover, heater, filter, and medication, all for under $30. And it'll be handy to have around for future use. This tank will be torn down when the Gourami is healed, and we'll keep it in storage for fish emergencies.

I have been eyeing up a 25 gallon tank that would make a great companion to the main tank, but we'll wait a while before setting up another aquarium.
Blue Lobster Feb 24th, 2008:Not a whole lot new right now. I converted our old digital camera to take pictures from the side of the tank. A cheap way to do a webcam! You can watch the fish here! I was also in Duluth this weekend visiting my fish buddy from the north. He bought a cool new Blue Lobster for his river bottom fish tank. Pretty neat! I'm still waiting to get my Silver Dollars. I should have them in the next couple weeks. Watch here for updates.
Corydoras Sterbai Feb 2nd, 2008: After a long wait, today was the long anticipated arrival of our Corydoras Sterbai or Sterbai Corys for short. We got 10 of the little guys. The Cory family is a bottom feeder, but not an algae eater like the plecos. They eat regular flake food that they find by sense of smell and sense of feel.

The rest of the clan is also doing well, and all the water problems I had have gone away. The last remaining fish to get are the centerpiece Silver Dollars, I'll probably wait another month or so before getting them. Stay tuned!
Moonlight Jan 25th, 2008: Our new moonlight lighting finally came in this week. I have them on a timer so that the fish still get a few hours of absolute darkness, then the moonlight comes on 1/2 hour before the main lights, and go off a couple hours after the main lights at night. It's a pretty neat effect.
Praecox Rainbows

Rainbow Shark
Jan 19th, 2008: A quick update for the aquarium watchers. I'm still screwing around with various web cam configurations to figure out what will work. Unfortunately my IP Kamera 9000 didn't really work out. A $50 IP camera sounded too good to be true, and it was. I hope to have something up and running soon.

On the actual aquarium side, my bacterial bloom has completely dissipated. The cloudiness went away last week, and even a water change this morning didn't bring about any new cloudiness. I think the tank is finally settling in. The BN Plecos are doing a good job on all the algae, and the brown stuff is getting sucked into the filter. I'm glad I added the second canister, it was definitely needed.

The sun hits the tank just right for about 20 minutes a day, and I took the opportunity this morning to snap a couple shots of the new rainbow shark who's been growing like a weed, and the shoal of Rainbow Praecox, who continue to amaze me with brilliant neon blues and reds. Click on the pictures for larger images and enjoy!

"Bigfoot" picture of pleco: Bushynose Pleco

VIDEO of Rosy Barbs
chasing around tank: Morning Chase
Jan 10th, 2008: All the fish are doing great. I have a couple of new and exciting "new tank phenomenon" plaguing my tank. First, it appears that I have a medium intensity baterial bloom that's manifesting itself as cloudy water. The last time I changed water, the water got cloudy (which it usually does) but it didn't clear. It appears to be dissipating on it's own though, and the water is clearing up.

The second issue is the brown "algae" or diatoms that commonly appear in new tanks. I have reduced feeding significantly just in case that was the problem, and will monitor the situation.

More exciting are the two new Bushynose Plecos (L144) that are now calling the tank home. They're kind of hard to see during the light hours, as they like to hide under the driftwood. Hopefully they'll help with the diatom outbreak.

I am also adding some moonlight LEDs so we can watch the fish after "lights out". Finally, I'm adding a second canister filter, the Marineland Magnum 350 for water polishing duties. I've also added some ceramic rings to the Rena canister filter to aid in growing some more bacteria to prevent future bacterial blooms.
Praecox Rainbowfish December 28th, 2007: We added some new members to the tank today! 11 Dwarf Neon Rainbows (Melanotaenia Praecox) are calling our tank their new home. I've been debating over getting these little guys for over a month, and today I took them home. While our Rosy barbs pretty much hang out near the bottom of the tank, these guys definitely prefer the mid level, and they school together in a tight group! They're a colorful addition to the tank. A quick movie of all the fish in the tank.
New Driftwood Dec 19th, 2007: The new driftwood arrived from Texas. After scaring the fish, they seem to like it. More hidey places! The picture is a little cloudy. It'll take a day for the water to clean itself again.

Dec 17th, 2007: A sad day today. Our first tank casualty. The Rainbow Shark is no longer with us. I hadn't seen him today, so tonight I looked under all the stuff, and found the carcass under the root where he hung out. He'll be missed.

Dec 9th, 2007: The Gouramis like having plants and subdued lighting and the "old" tank setup provided neither, so we made a return trip back to the fish store yesterday to pick up some more fake plants. (Some of our future fish plans include fish that are not very plant friendly). The biggest addition is the floating plant. We played with 4 other places in the tank for this guy, and it just didn't look right, so it wound up in front of the intake, which I think looks pretty nice. The Gouramis like it there and 4 of the 6 spent the night sleeping in it. We added a couple other smaller plants to round things out. I bought one more piece of driftwood for the tank. It's getting shipped here from Texas. Stay tuned for that one, because it will "make a statement".

Dec 8th, 2007: Another milestone for our aquarium. After checking the water and seeing that both the ammonia and nitrites are 0, we decided to get some new fish. Greta and I went to the fish store, I had in mind which fish to choose from, and Greta ultimately chose. We came home with six Pearl Gouramis and a Rainbow Shark. So far the Gouramis are hanging out in a tight group, slowly exploring the tank. The Red Rainbow Shark has attached himself to the bottom of one of the root pieces, and is exploring all the good hidey holes in the tank. The Rosy Barbs checked everyone out, and seem to be OK with their new tank co-inhabitants. They're schooling a bit more now than when they had the run of the place, which makes them more interesting to watch. It is fun to see how differently the Barbs and Gouramis move around the tank.
Rainbow Shark
Pearl Gourami
New Plants

Rosy Barbs!
Dec 7th, 2007: The tank is JUST ABOUT cycled. Ammonia has been at 0 for a while, and after a nitrite spike, that level just barely registers on my test kit. I did the first water change, and that python is cool! No fuss, no mess, just suck it out and refill. There are a couple more types of fish that will probably make an appearance in the tank someday. I really like the look of Spotted Corydoras, a member of the catfish family, and the Neon Rainbows or Praecox Rainbows are neat too. I also got a new piece of driftwood. Check it out in the pics to the left!

Nov 24th, 2007: Just a quick update. The nitrogen cycle is starting to establish. The ammonia level is staying right around 2 mg/L (PPM) where it has been since I added the Rosy Barbs. The nitrite level is just starting to show up and is right around 0.3 ml/L. Hopefully in the next few days the ammonia level will start to drop as the bacteria that convert to nitrites colonize. We've also been doing a little fish shopping. The Silver Dollars are still high on the list, and we'll probably add some Gouramis and a Rainbow Shark. I found a neat site with lots of tank ideas at Elmer's Aquarium.

Nov 17th, 2007: Upon the recommendation of Teresa, the gal at the fish store, we put some Rosy Barbs in the tank as our starter fish. Known as hardy fish, they will help start the bacteria that will cycle the tank. They are very lively, and friendly in a community tank. After the tank cycles, we will be adding a Clown Pleco to do cleanup work, and some Silver Dollars as our next schooling fish. Who knows where we'll go from there! Keep an eye on this page for further developments.
Whole Tank
Older entries

Here are all the pictures of stand construction and the first days of our tank.

The Aquarium Setup:
Some of the forums I visit:
Minnesota Fish Keepers Forum
Aquarium Fish and Coral Reef Forum

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Last updated: Sun, Jan 4th, 2009.
Copyright © Mike vanMeeteren, 2009.