First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

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First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Danelle Vivier » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:06 pm

Hey there. This is my first tank log on here. This is also my first river setup. I'll show you some pictures but I need some help/advice too :)

It's a standard 3ft (100l - effective about 85l after all the scaping and sand) with a river manifold under the sand, with 2 X 1200lph powerheads. I also use a wavemaker af 3000lph for maximum surface agitation. Total of 5400lph flow, which will be just over 60X turnover. Without the wavemaker, I'll have 2400lph, which is almost 30X turnover. Should I attach the air pipe to one powerhead so that it blows fine bubbles in the water for extra oxygen?
I have 2 X 39W T5 lights (one growlux and other one white. I want to replace the growlux with a 5000K)
I dose Flourish Excel as CO2 every day. Other ferts are local made things which are really good.
I keep the tank at 23*C. The lights heat it up to that so it can't go lower.

I have 2X Gastromyzon zebrinus, 4X Homaloptera smithi, 6X Stiphodon atropurpureus. I am hoping on getting more Gastromyzon sp. and I really really want some Sewellia lineolata.

There are a few things I'd like to know:
1) Is everything in my tank OK for them? (flow, rocks etc.)
2)What types of algae do they eat? I know the G. zebrinus won't eat hair algae. Will the Gobies?
3)How do I stimulate the growth of green dust/slime algae or aufuchs instead of the dreadful hair algae?
4)What conditions should I have for them so that they will color up nicely?
5) How long does it take for them to color up? (I've only had them for like 2 weeks)
6) What else can one feed them? I've tried feeding the G. zebrinus some blanched cucumber, but only the Malaysian trumpet snails at it. I don't feed anything else at the moment. I just hope they eat enough algae.

Pictures are chronologically sorted.

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Thanks and cheers.
I hope I'll be successful with this tank.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Jim Powers » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:48 pm

Nice tank!!
I'll try to answer at least some of your questions and hopefully others can add their experiences and knowledge.
>1. Looks good to me!
>2. I have not kept the species of gobies you have so I don't know, but the gastros will eat many of the green algae types that coat the rocks, but do not expect them to get all the nutrition they need from that.
>3. Not sure what to say about that. It can be a difficult balance to do that. I tend to just let algae grow as it can and feed my gastros other foods such as algae wafers, frozen bloodworms and frozen spirulina brine shrimp. They go crazy over these foods but it may take them a bit of time to get used to eating them. The homaloptera smithi will like the worms and shrimp, too. They will not eat algae or pelleted foods.
>4. See #3
>5. They look nicely colored to me. They may add a little more color but I can't give you a time frame. I would say it will depend on how soon they adapt to the above mentioned foods. Smithi will pick of a little red on the fin edges and tail fin and the gastros may add a little red or orange cast to the body and maybe pick up a little more color in the tail. That, of course, can vary from fish to fish.
>6. See #3.
I hope this helps. Keep us posted on your progress and good luck!! Now you will be hooked!! :wink:
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby plaalye » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:12 pm

Very nice! I would definitely be feeding more variety. Especially the homaloptera. They need protein. I'd start with bloodworms & a good bottom wafer/pellet. In my experience stiphodon will nip at hair algae but don't expect them to control it by any means.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Danelle Vivier » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:15 pm

Thank you very much!

I have tried feeding blanched cucumber with no success, and some BBS, and white mosquito larvae. Should I turn off the pumps when feeding the thinks like BS and larvae?
I will try to get some algae wafers/spirulina tablets for them.

I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, here's a newer FTS:

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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Jim Powers » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:39 pm

I have one tank I turn off the flow while feeding and another I don't. The one I don't turn off has areas of low current next to the powerhead and in an area that the current is deflected by a stone and piece of driftwood. I put the bloodworms, brine shrimp and pellets in those areas. The fish learn to go to the feeding areas as soon as the lights go on. Another option are some of the gel foods that are available in some areas. You can spread them on rocks and let the fish do what comes natural.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Danelle Vivier » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:44 am

Thank you. I'll experiment a bit, and will also be on the lookout for these "gel" foods.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Danelle Vivier » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:37 am

I throw in some Brine Shrimp in the river tank for those lizard loaches, but the Gobies ate some of it. I've heard that they should only get vegetable matter in their diet. Can this cause trouble?
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby odyssey » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:42 am

Hi Danelle Vivier!

1) Is everything in my tank OK for them? (flow, rocks etc.)
The male of Stiphodon often makes a nest for breeding under the stone of a flat bottom.
I put several pieces of board-shaped stones of around 2 inches on bottom sand.

2)What types of algae do they eat? I know the G. zebrinus won't eat hair algae. Will the Gobies?
Homaloptera Smithi does not eat algae.
They are worm-eater. Possibly they may eat a small snail appearing in your pictures.
When G.zebrinus and Stiphodon atropurpreus are tame, they come to eat even a frozen blood worm.

3)How do I stimulate the growth of green dust/slime algae or aufuchs instead of the dreadful hair algae?
It is difficult to control a kind of algae growing in a water tank just as wanted.
Brown fragile algae grew thick early, and hair-shaped algae became superior afterwards, and algae of green punctation increased last.
A waterweed balances with various kinds of algas one year later.

4)What conditions should I have for them so that they will color up nicely?
It is important to them feeding with a variety of foods

5) How long does it take for them to color up? (I've only had them for like 2 weeks)
It will be up to the condition of the water tank.

6) What else can one feed them? I've tried feeding the G. zebrinus some blanched cucumber, but only the Malaysian trumpet snails at it. I don't feed anything else at the moment. I just hope they eat enough algae.
I irradiate light from the backside from right and left as well as from the upper part of the water tank.
I am not used to English. Therefore,It is likely to sometimes misunderstand it.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Danelle Vivier » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:50 am

Thank you very much for sharing your expertise here odyssey!

I will see what I can do concerning the rocks. I do have some small rocks which I can use.
As in my previous post, some of my Gobies ate the brine shrimp I put in the tank for the Homaloptera Smithi. I hope the Homaloptera Smithi will eat some of the snails.
I'll try to grow some algae in a separate tank as soon as my angelfish fry can be released.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Jim Powers » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:14 pm

The gel food I used that was quite popular with the gastromyzons was Tetra delica gel brineshrimp and daphnia versions.
They do not sell that in the US any more, but I think they still do in some other parts of the world.
Don't worry too much about the H. smithi finding food. They are stealthy hunters that can strike with lightning speed, and are good at finding bloodworms and brine shrimp even if you don't notice them doing so. I have two that are out often and I am able to see them feed, but a pair I have in another tank are seldom seen feeding but have fattened up considerably.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Danelle Vivier » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:22 pm

Thanks Jim.

Once my exams are done I will definitely make time to get some, meanwhile we should hope that the rocks in a bucket outside gathers some algae. As I've said, I have a 1ft tank with some Angel fry in it and the green dust algae grows quickly in there. I think I can try to grow some on the rock in that tank, but preferably once they are out.

I gave them frozen BS again because the first time it was just a few leftovers from my plated 4ft. So I gave them a little more. I could see the Gobies eating some of it again and also the H. smithi going for it quite stealthily. I must say they are wonderful. When one sits on the dark log, it colors up like a chameleon and when it's on the light sand it will go pale.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby mattyd » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:32 am

I originally started with 4 homaloptera smithi, but now I only have 2. I think the other 2 might have hidden from me in a piece of wood and I didn't realise until the wood had been relocated out of water for a few hours. Anyways, my remaining homaloptera have been with me for well over 12 months now. They will actually eat flake and crumbled pellets, but they took a looooon time to get used to eating that. Originally I had to ensure that I fed high quality frozen live foods to ensure they didn't starve. These days they eat baby cherry shrimp (I've got heaps of shrimp in almost every tank, so I don't care if they snack on them), defrosted frozen bloodworms, blackworms, daphnia and whatever other little critters I put in the water with them. The blackworms are brilliant, because I toss in HEAPS of live onces and then they colonise areas of the tank. The worms don't mess up the tank, and they offer feeding opportunities to all the fish, especially when the substrate gets disturbed. My sewellia will actually shuffle over the sand in areas that they know some blackworms were, and they'll 'dig' into the sand to uncover the live worms. The homaloptera will sit on a rock and dart out the moment a blackworm sticks out more than a few mm out of the sand. It is brilliant to watch.

You'll find the algae will take a long while to grow over all the rocks. You will need really strong light, or multiple lights, and with high-light comes the extra possibility that other undesirable algae will grow. If you remove all of the nutrients from the tank with excessively frequent water changes or an algae scrubber, then the undesirable algae will disappear, but your rock algae will also not grow very well.

It took ages for my sewellia loaches to enjoy blanched zucchini, so don't give up just yet. Try a slice or two, for 24-36 hrs, a couple of times a week. After a few weeks they might have tried it out and actually realise how good it is. You could also try blanched spinach.

For feeding I don't think it matters whether the pump is on or off. Maybe try turning the pumps off for 10-15mins for a few weeks to ensure that the fish are getting used to what type of food you are feeding. This will give them the best opportunity to feed without having to search too hard to find the food. Once they have proven that they are eating, then don't bother turning the pump off. They'll find the food (which will probably fall behind rocks at the filter foam end of the tank).
5ft long rocky hillstream tank - Sewellia lineolata and spotted... and lots (and lots) of spotted fry
8ft Clown loach tank: 30+ clown loaches, 10+ Yoyos.
6ft tank for 16x botia kubotai, 13x Striata, 6x Sidthimunki - I need more sids
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Danelle Vivier » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:29 am

Thanks for the reply mattyd.

The blackworm thing you do sounds very cool. I would like to try it but have no idea where to get live black/bloodworm here in SA. I'll try to find out.
The H smithi will eat BBS and mosquito larvae.

I will keep trying to feed some zucchini/cucumber to the G. zebrinus.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby starsplitter7 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:18 am

Beautiful tank and lovely, healthy fish.
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Re: First Hillstream tank (loaches and Gobies)

Postby Danelle Vivier » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:21 am

Thank you, Starsplitter.
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