Atya gabonensis shrimp

I keep 3 A. gabonensis shrimp for some time now and they seem to thrive well. I see them filtrating particles from the water at all times. They don't move much. Once they have found a good spot they stay there to feed. I have found that they prefer strong water flow. It is important to say that my tank temp is approx 29-31' Celsius and they seem happy with it.


Some crustaceans I keep in this tank

Atya gabonensis shrimp (3 of them)
2x Tylomelania patriarchalis (Sulawesi snail)
I got one baby T. patriarchalis :-)
2x Tylomelania sp. Golden (Sulawesi snail)
4x Clithon diadema Bicolor (very good algae eater)
I added a few more Neritina sp Zebra

I adore crustaceans :-)

Low light garden

This aquarium of mine is approx one and a half year old (set-up Feb '07).
At first it was meant to be a Low-light Hi-Tech but after a few month I felt like less water changes less plant pruning less nutrient dosing...so I cut off the CO2, took out some of fast growing stem plants and replaced them with rosette plants which I find easier to maintain (you simply cut off a few older leaves without changing the actual aqua-scape much).

This summer was very hot and the temperature in my tank was at one stage 32'Celsius. Fish and plants didn't show any stress. I did improve the surface agitation and have upgraded my filter power head from 600 l/h to 1000 l/h (huge difference).

I also got a new fish Puntius pentazona, 19 of them. A very active fish with nice patterns. I am very happy with them. I had some bad experience with dwarf Gouramies and find them very sensitive. From now on I am only going for species which are hard like most Rasboras, Tetras, Barbs and similar.


Caridina multidentata catching living fish

I was shocked when I spotted one of my female Amano Shrimps catching a living fish. This fish (Tatia priguae) was indeed very weak, but still living.
I was very surprised to see how aggresivly this Amano caught this fish.


Amano Shrimps and Easy Carbo (same as Excel)

Photo 1; I have never seen Caridina multidentata being so red before
I was dosing Easy Carbo (same as Excel) for a long time (stopped a few month ago), and my plants did indeed grow very nice thanks to it. But my Amano shrimps (10 of them) didn't do so well at all. They simply disappeared, and were gone for approx 4-5 month. I thought they were dead.
Suddenly one day, I have discovered 2 shrimps hanging on one spot not eating. I was surprised to see them alive. Since I already observed how shrimps react to Easy Carbo in my other aquarium, I stopped dosing it and started doing often large water changes. It took a few month before I started seeing shrimps, eating around the tank, and behaving normal. And just a few weeks ago I saw 8 shrimps (4 males and 4 females) foraging around the aquarium in search for food. I was very happy to see them alive. I am still dosing Tropica Aqua Care with NPK and traces, no harm reported, but did stopped dosing Easy Carbo in aquariums containing shrimps. Instead I am dosing pressurized CO2 via ceramic diffuser.


Plants are flowering + new fish

This flower belongs to my Aponogethon crispus. Aponogethon boivinianus is also flowering but didn't have a chance to make a photo of it.
The next photo shows one of my Cory. trilineatus with serious barbel erosion. When I have introduced them, I wasn't aware that this gravel of mine is very sharp even though very small max 2mm, making it unsuitable for Corys that dig all the time. Corys should ideally have small sand substrate, rounded, with a very smooth structure, max 0.5mm in size.
One of mine 2 and a half year old Otocinclus died a few weeks ago. I got 4 new medium sized Otos that seem to be adapting well to this 180 liters planted tank.
Also (coincidence maybe) my female Ram Cichlid died last week, no other fish is showing strange behaviour though. The male Ram is doing fine.



Extreme make-over upgrade to Hi-tech tank, soon

I made a decision to upgrade the lights on this Juwel 180 liters and make it HI-tech.
I will get the Glomat 2 Electronic Ballast for two 39 watt T-5s. Meaning 2x30watt T-8s (each 10000K) and 2x39watt T-5s will create 0.76 Watt per liter, making this a Hi-light set up.

I will also remove the Juwel inner filter box and instead get an external Eheim 2217 filter.
CO2 will be injected through the external filter, connected to the filter inlet.

I will use fertiliser Tropica Plant Nutrition+ with NPK (and traces) every day 8ml, followed by a weekly 50% water change.

I am still deciding on which plants I will use for this new set-up. I will stop updating this blog and will start a new one soon.


Colisa sota - Red honey Gourami

I have introduced new fish. 4 Red Honey Gouramis. They are adapting very well; showing great appetite, and always in search around the aquarium :-) The male Ram cichlid did show aggression towards them in the beginning but now everything seem to be in order.


Celestichthys margaritatus and more

I have introduced 16 Celestial Pearl Danio aka Celestichthys margaritatus, Galaxy Rasbora. These lil guys and gals sure are enjoying this (for them) huge aquarium. Lovely looking, and very active fish that grows to about 4cm.
I also added 4 Threadfin rainbowfish (Iriatherina werneri);
The Microgeophagus ramirezi par are claiming this tank for them selves. Not really aggressive but will chase other fish away. Luckily the tank has enough space for all. In this photo the male is seducing the "queen";
I didn't dose CO2 for approx 2 month now and one can already see start of BBA on the Anubias leaves. There is some GSAlgae as well, so dosing some PO4 would do good.
New plants planted: Cryptocoryne balansae, Aponogeton crispus and Aponogeton boivinianus.
Photos by Dusko Bojic.


All good ;-)

As you can see in this photo above, the Rasbora hengeli is really doing fine. I like the way they are shoaling together all the time.
The Crypto wendtii is growing very well. Leaves are changing the color from green into red/brownish, very nice.
There are still some Thread algae to be found around the tank, but will soon introduce some Caridina multidentata shrimps to take care of it.
The Borneo Suckers are eating all sorts of offered food like: Bloodworms, Blackworms, Flake, Granules.


Ram Cichlids showing off great coloration

I am feeding the fish with wide range of food, like; frozen Artemia/Bloodworms/Black worms/White worms, freeze dried Tubifex, flakes, Catfish tablets and granulated Aquatic Nature (small).
And thanks to that my fish is showing great coloration. One can compare the previous photo of the M. ramirezi cichlid with these shown above.
I have observed the Borneo Suckers taking Black worms, flakes, and granulate.
Photos by Dusko Bojic.


I added 3 Tatia perugiae females

I added 3 T. perugiae females today. I didn't have the opportunity to make a photo, but soon will do.
The next photo shows one of the male (has a pointed anal fin, gonopodium) T. perugiae swimming in search for food. As soon Blood-worms or Black Mosquito larvae are offered, they go crazy. Notice how the barbels are pointed upwards. This fish sure is a surface feeder, but will get even to the food that falls down. The second photo was taken just before this dwarf catfish ate the offered Bloodworm. Very quiet during the day time, but they will go out as soon frozen food enters the water. In the night time they swim close to the surface, they remind me of Bats.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.

Microgeophagus ramirezi spawned

The Ram Cichlids spawned today. They have chosen a flat stone. I can't really make a good photo, because it is hidden behind the plants, but I do see the eggs.
The male is guarding the spawn, while the female is swimming around chasing away any fish that comes near. It is funny to see how the female chases away one of the male Peacock Gudgeons, that has a small cave under that stone. Both of them are claiming it. The way the Gudgeon spreads its fins, one clearly tell he is not happy about this situation ;-)

I will try posting some photos.



For the record;
From now on I am using Zeolite (ammonia remover) and Active Carbon. The Zeolite will be changed three times a year. The carbon will be used 3 times a year for three weeks.


Microgeophagus ramirezi - Blue Ram Cichlid

I introduced a pair of Blue Ram Cichlids today. I will get one more pair this week. They became the true center piece fish in this tank.

Tatia perugiae catfish

Today I added 4 Tatia perugiae to this community. This magnificent fish grows to just about 6cm and is very shy and nocturnal. It does come out when fed with Blood-worms and Black worms. I am truly amazed with this marvelous little fish, and even though I can't see them all the time, I like the feeling of keeping them and knowing that they are somewhere "in there" ;-)


New fish introduced - Rasbora hengeli

I decided to change some of the fish I kept. I returned the Jordanela floridae (fin nipping fish), and the shoal of Pseudomugil furcatus. Instead I got a shoal of Rasbora hengeli (17). Next week I will add a pair of Microgeophagus ramirezi and 4-5 Red-honey Gouramis.

Photo by Dusko Bojic.


Easy Carbo - Liquid Carbon for plants

I started dosing Liquid Carbon to this tank. Extra C is welcomed by plants and it does act as an algaecide against the BBA. So far no fish/snails are harmed by it. The most important thing with this kind of product is DO NOT OVERDOSE.

Neritina eggs all over the wood...

Neritina sp Zebra started laying eggs all over this tank. It is typical for snails to breed like crazy once they sense there is lots of food/algae around. The tank is almost algae free. They are very effective in algae eating.


Definitely the best algae eater

The first photo shows how the wood looked like, the day I introduced the Neritina sp. Zebra snails, and the second photo is presenting you the result after just one week :-) These snails really are tremendous algae "cleaners"!
Of course, algae eaters aren't the solution in combating algae. Balanced fertilising regime is something one should focus on. Estimative Index fertilising method is one of the best solutions in growing lush and healthy plants = algae free aquarium.
Keeping a few algae eaters of course helps a bit, because all aquariums have algae. Some less other more ;-)


Neritina snails - best algae eaters?

This photo shows how effective this snail is in eating Green Spot algae as well as the Green Beard algae. One can see the part of the driftwood behind the snail, completely cleaned. The whole wood was covered with this carpet looking algae. I must say that they eat algae very fast. Two snails, that where for last 5 days on a huge rock, cleaned it off of this type of algae. I believe they have some sort of sharp and strong teeth, since they are able to scrape off even the hardest algae that infested the back glass.
I introduced 3 more Neritinas today.


87 days old aqua-scape

I planted some extra Cryptocoryne wendtii and Cryptocoryne parva and I am very satisfied with the scape developing. As I stated earlier, I started using the Estimative Index method for fertilising the plants. Dosing 3 times a week half tea spoon of KNO3 + Tropica Master Grow 5ml.
Every week 50% water change. CO2 through the Venturi injector, 2 bubbles per second. There are still some hairy algae present but in small amounts. I hope the last algae will disappear with the next plant trimming. Feeding the plants good + tank hygiene is the key to an algae free aquarium.

I also added 6 Neritina sp. Zebra snails to this set-up today. They sure are beautiful :-)

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Corydoras julii spp & Pseudogastromyzon punctulatus

For the record;
Today I introduced 5 Corydoras julii spp. and 3 Borneo Suckers to this community. I am not sure the sucker is actually the P. punctulatus?

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


CO2 Venturi injector

I changed my CO2 system a bit. Instead of the CO2 mixer, I connected the EHEIMs Venturi diffuser onto my Juwel pump out-take. The bubbles injected into the water column are very fine/tiny. I believe this is the best diffuser/injector one can use in a planted tank and it doesn't take much place.
More about the Venturi effect