New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

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Eika
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New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by Eika » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:23 am

Hi all,

This is my 4th attempt at a hillstream tank. I learnt about these fish roughly 1 year ago and started off with 2 sharing a 20L tank with 3 comets :oops: Everybody starts somewhere, right?

Anyway, I've fallen completely in love with them and have been constantly upgrading my tank for them. We went from a 20L, to a 54L, to a customer built 140L with a 120x40cm footprint. As a part-time minimum wage, school student, they've eaten away every spare dollar I've earned :lol: I reckon they're worth it!

The 140L was meant to be my dream tank, but sadly it didn't take long to realise that it couldn't work for me where I'm living right now, as in the summer we barely have enough water to wash with, never mind do water changes. My Dad got annoyed, and we came to the conclusion that if I wanted to keep the loaches I'd need to do it in a smaller tank. So here we are, my 54L semi-dream tank haha.

It's 60x30x30cm, with a 700lph 3 stage filter and a bubble bar for extra oxygenation. The substrate is sand, with smooth rocks and aged driftwood, and a few Amazon Sword plants at the back. I've got some lovely baby balansae plants growing in the tropical tank but prefer the swords because the loaches seem to like grazing on the broad leaves. Temperature is ambient at the moment and fluctuates between 20-22C day to night. I don't like the idea of a constant temperature because surely in nature there is some variation overnight? I've got a very good quality heater for strict temperature control when I try to breed them.

I'm particularly interested in G. ocellatus, and want to breed them. Is it right to think that this hasn't been done before? If so, I'm all for a challenge :D
At the moment I've only managed to find one G. ocellatus, but didn't want to take him home alone so got another happy, healthy looking hillstream loach to keep him company. I think she's a G. zebrinus but would love your opinions on this as soon as I can get a good pic.

Pics up as soon as possible, I'm having difficulty loading them.

Ideas/advice/comments would be appreciated as always!

Eika

plaalye
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Re: New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by plaalye » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:51 pm

Hi Eika,
To my knowledge there has been at least one successful breeding of gastromyzon sp. I can't remember which? Charles has details if he happens to see this maybe he can elaborate. I have kept several sp. for some 4 years now without any fry appearing. I've had very obviously gravid female g. ocellatus but that's as far as it went. I think the most important thing you could do other than supply clean, oxygenated water for them is to keep them in a single sp. tank. Maybe some small dithers that are not proven egg eaters. This is something that I haven't done as my tank space is limited. Who knows how many fish have bred successfully only to have another bottom dweller consume the eggs or fry? Best of luck!

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Jim Powers
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Re: New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by Jim Powers » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:11 pm

I, too have had several species of gastromyzons but never a sign of spawning. The only species I know of that has been spawned is G. lepidogaster. An account of the spawning (by Heinrich Gewinner) can be found in the American version of Amazonas Magazine Jul/Aug 2013 edition. It has probably also been in the European version of the magazine.
Image

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Eika
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Re: New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by Eika » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:53 am

Thanks for the info, I've had some ocellatus females before that seemed to be very healthy and fat, perhaps they were gravid too? It does seem to be quite a challenge to breed most loach species by the looks of things, but something that should be attempted at least! Particularly those limited in natural habitants like these guys are. I'll try to find some info on the ones that were bred, hopefully Charles will see this and have more details as you say.
For now here's a pic!

http://twitpic.com/cyivrt

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Jim Powers
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Re: New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by Jim Powers » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:39 am

That's a nice looking setup!!
Image

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Eika
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Re: New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by Eika » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:09 am

Thanks Jim :) There's usually another stream of bubbles coming from the powerhead but it ruins pics a bit! I've found another G. ocellatus and after using a quarentine tank in work have introduced him. So far they're refusing the JBl tabs my previous loaches loved, hopefully with a bit of time and hunger they'll convert onto prepared food.

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Danelle Vivier
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Re: New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by Danelle Vivier » Sat May 24, 2014 3:41 pm

Any success thus far?

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Eika
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Re: New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by Eika » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:28 am

Hi Danelle,

Sorry for the late reply, I've only just seen that comment! The tank structure worked very well, (the amazon swords THRIVED in the set up) but unfortunately I had no success with the loaches themselves. The ocellatus had patchy disease and the zebrinus refused to eat any food I offered and wouldn't even graze the algae. It got thinner and thinner and died after a couple of weeks. In the months after, I couldn't source any individuals of decent health at all. In desperation I eventually bought any ocellatus I could find, one of which seemed to have an eye issue and simply never moved (I mean seriously, it could have been an ornament) and another which was skinny from day one and sadly didn't last a week. It was all quite frustrating as just weeks before setting up the tank there had been beautiful specimens in almost every shop I visited! A downside of living in NZ is the limited availability of these fish. I scrapped the project when we moved house after around 5 months.

I haven't given up though and just today went to pick up a custom-made tank that I'm going to try the project again with. At 36 litres it's only small (64L x 20D x 28H cm) but it's all I can fit in our new house. I'm planning to set up an under-gravel pipe to allow for a more unidirectional flow, based on Martin Thoene's river tank manifold but with some slight alterations. Might make a thread of it if I find the time. They're definitely going to be a challenge to breed but it's only 'impossible' until it is done :)

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Danelle Vivier
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Re: New Hillstream tank - attempt at breeding G. ocellatus

Post by Danelle Vivier » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:40 pm

Ah I see. It's a pity that these types of fish are so hard to find and mostly in such bad condition.

I really hope you manage to breed these fish and make some history!

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