Help me build the perfect loach tank

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NancyD
Posts: 1495
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by NancyD » Thu May 10, 2018 12:19 am

Well, I have to say Diana had started cycling filter media for me before I even moved to CA or soon after...so that was never an issue for me here when I was offered hillstream loaches & stiphodon gobies soon after. Nary a hiccup for the fish, TY again Diana!! Nothing like loachy & now plant-y, carpool-y friends.

loachnoob, I didn't realize you were having ich issues, how did I miss that? What treatment are you doing? I would act like your 55g is now a quarantine tank & go 4 weeks AFTER all ich signs are gone. Ich is very treatable if caught early & TX'd thoroughly. Lots of water changes & vacuuming & redosing as needed.

Go slow & be careful of your new big tank's health.
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Bas Pels
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Bas Pels » Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

Here I have to disagree with Diana.

Firstly, the ich problem is solved, but more importantly, anything you put into the big tank will be facing a period of more than a week without any fishes in the tank. No ich spore could survioe that

loachnoob
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Thu May 10, 2018 5:50 pm

NancyD wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 12:19 am
Well, I have to say Diana had started cycling filter media for me before I even moved to CA or soon after...so that was never an issue for me here when I was offered hillstream loaches & stiphodon gobies soon after. Nary a hiccup for the fish, TY again Diana!! Nothing like loachy & now plant-y, carpool-y friends.

loachnoob, I didn't realize you were having ich issues, how did I miss that? What treatment are you doing? I would act like your 55g is now a quarantine tank & go 4 weeks AFTER all ich signs are gone. Ich is very treatable if caught early & TX'd thoroughly. Lots of water changes & vacuuming & redosing as needed.

Go slow & be careful of your new big tank's health.

Heres the whooooole long out drawn out battle:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=42197


Any recommendations on a dark background

Diana
Posts: 4675
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Diana » Thu May 10, 2018 7:35 pm

I agree- a week or more at warm temperatures would wipe out most Ich varieties due to lack of host. But the idea of taking media (or anything) from the established tank is to speed up the fishless cycle. This means fish may be added sooner, perhaps before all the Ich has died.

Black background:
Bath towel- the texture makes it non-reflective. (see fabric for how to attach)
Purchased sheet of plastic from pet store as aquarium background. - Not all of them have pictures, there are pure colors. I used electrical tape to hold it on. About 12" -24" apart is OK, so corners, mid-tank, and in between.
Fabric. Attach to tank with sticky velcro. The sticky side of the velcro does not stick to fabric very well (so I sewed), but it stuck fine to the tank.
Paint- You can try anything from high gloss to flat. I would recommend flat. Spray paint goes on well as long as you apply it in several thin coats. Do not apply enough in any one pass that it starts to run. Or you can brush on paint. If you spray, then mask really well.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

loachnoob
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Thu May 10, 2018 8:27 pm

I don't want to move the fish over sooner, just try and help seed the tank with bacteria -last thing I want to do it seed it with parasites though! As you all mentioned, if the water is warm and I do inadvertently move an ich parasite over it should die from lack of a host. I really think I'm at the biggest risk of moving over a nasty over is when I move the fish. At this point and time, I'm still treating the 55 but everyone is acting fine. Haven't seen scratching for a few days.

I'm going to go slow, stinks I didn't get the whole set up to get started yesterday but as I said before I'm okay with it :)

Thanks again all, I'll do some more thought about the background. I really like the idea of a black fabric as opposed to painting.

NancyD
Posts: 1495
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by NancyD » Thu May 10, 2018 9:54 pm

Oh, I mistyped when saying how long after all signs of ich are gone I continue treatment. I meant 10-14 days. But now you've added new fish to the 55 right?...well, I quarantine for 4 weeks of health (that's what I meant, I think)...so, to me the QT timer starts over from when you added new loaches.

Almost 6 weeks! of ich treatment of almost any kind (except high heat alone, I don't trust this method) is way more than enough (so long ago I forgot)...but new fish...it starts over! It'll be worth it IF you need to treat for ANY issue, your new tank is more than twice the volume...& twice+ the cost to medicate. I usually treat botias with a wormer like flubendazole in QT. Flashing can be from any irritation, not just ich.

If I were starting a big new tank after all your ich troubles, I'd cycle it completely separate from the 55g & it's new fish. Call me overly cautious or paranoid if you like. Or add the filter media AFTER you're sure the new fish are healthy & 125g is "not quite" cycled. Why risk it for a few weeks of impatience?

I've used black trash bags, fabric & purchased black backgrounds. I just can't commit to paint somehow, though many do. I think I always want the option of turning the tank around if the front glass should get scratched. I can almost always tell which side is the "front" on old tanks. & with new tanks, I look at tanks' sealing to choose the "better" 1 to be the front (even, not too thick, wide or smeared silicone). Nowadays I have so many plants I can barely see the wall color behind tanks or equipment & don't use any backgrounds at all.
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Bas Pels
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Bas Pels » Fri May 11, 2018 2:32 am

With regard to painting a tak, almost all my tanks have the back and side windows pained. The only exception are 2 tanks where I somehow forgot to paint the back.

The difference between high gloss and low gloss is het coaseness of the filler - low glos has a slightly more coarse one, making the surface of the paint more uneven, which effects the gloss. However, as you look through the glass in order to see the paint (NEVER paint the inside, paint can be toxic, or eaten by plecos) the paint will be exactly as smooth as the glass is.

The resulting theoretical gloss has never bothered me, perhaps because is is directed to the sand, not to my eyes.

Once I tried to make a pattern painting thinly or thickly. Again, the result was the same - one could not say which part was painted thickly or not.

There is, hoever, one thing about painting on glass. The paint does not stick very well, therefore one should, ideally, paint only horizontal layers. filpping the tank over a few times

loachnoob
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Fri May 11, 2018 9:25 pm

So, all my ordering is done (I think lol!!)

Thanks to Diana reassuring me about the Aquaclears I went ahead and got 2 Aquaclear 110's. I really wanted the FX6, but at the price compared to the Aquaclears there was no argument to be had. Plus, my better half enjoyed I was spending OVER 50% less thanks to Amazon Prime. It'll cost me 4" in the back to accommodate the hang on back systems, but as you said yourself, they are soooooo easy to clean. Besides I've never had a canister and those horror story's about seal failures resulting in untold monetary damages scare the heck out of me!

I ordered 1 Aquatop Titanium 400. Probably my weakest link. Wanted to get 2 300 watt units, but would have almost doubled my cost of 1 400watt unit. Maybe I made a mistake here?

Picked up 3.5 cubic feet of dark brown paver silca sand today. Pool filter sand was lighter (basically white) and much finer. Cost me 25 bucks or so - SOOOO cheap compared to what I had envisioned! After browsing several stores in my area the coarseness and color was hands down the best, got this as Home Depot of all places :) If my math is right, this should give me 2 inches or less of substrate. It still needs washed, I'll obviously lose some volume in the process, but that will be a fun a project for me and my son next week. If need be I can pick up another few bags.

Ordered Dr. Tims One and Only bacteria kit for a 120 gallon tank, plus his ammonia (it was like 3 dollars) and an API Test kit. I've been using strips up until this point on the 55 - figured might as well get technical. Besides I'm a science nerd.

Ordered a 50' python siphon system so hopefully that'll fix my issue with filling the 55 with 5 gallon buckets. A seemingly trustworthy clerk at a LFS assured me it was fine to just pump in tap water and dose accordingly with Prime. Thoughts? I think Prime will interfere with my fish-less cycle, but I'm speaking from a long term prospective.

Orded some SeaChem Purigen in a a large quanity and some bags to place it in. Not going to use that initially, but I would like to implement it later. Figure it'll work against me in the fish less cycle. One everything is up and running in 2 weeks or so, I'll add it.

Afterwork today I went out morel mushroom hunting (only found 8 if you care to know :D.) But the point is the property I forage at is all glacially deposited. Really beautiful if you're into geology. Carried out a 40 pound bag or so of really cool glacial looking smooth rocks composed of granite and the like. "Unnatural" pinks and reds, plus a lot black/white/brown stones. Probably gonna haul out some more next weekend since our morel season is just starting.

I also purchased two pieces of Malaysian driftwood from a LFS. They looked beautiful and should provide the loaches great spots to get under to get comfortable. Was this a mistake? I intend on making a few cave complexes out of rock too. The dimensions of one piece is likely going to be too tight for my 125's dimensions but I'm prepared to trim it down with the sawzall. I asked the clerk, who I mentioned before, how long I would have to deal with tannin's and he said "probably forever" :lol: But in all seriousness, he then told me probably a few years. How do I deal with this? Activated carbon or normal water changes? I sprayed them off with the hose tonight and filled up my kids stereotypical blue kiddie pool and they are in their soaking already. Surprisingly they don't float, and have enough mass to be completely submerged on their own. He suggesting boiling them (which I laughed at) to quicken the process but the one piece alone is out of the question - I would need a HUGE pot to do it. Are the tannin's going to be an issue or will the loaches love it?

Thanks again all! Amazon will have all the extras I ordered here by Tuesday, just hoping my LFS gets the stand and light in Wednesday as told!

NancyD
Posts: 1495
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by NancyD » Fri May 11, 2018 10:03 pm

Where abouts are you located? I remember people in Mich. morel hunting "up north" but I never did. I have original rocks from Lake MI, the whitish ones are limestone & not the best in aquaria although we still have some, nor are Petosky (?) stones. They both break down (slowly) & add to the inland MI hard water issue. Maybe that's not a problem for you...it was a bit for us way, way back in the day.

My suggestion with ACs (& all filters) is to have prefilter sponges over the intakes. They clog faster but are much easier to rinse every week or 2 than even AC filter cleaning.
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loachnoob
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Fri May 11, 2018 10:36 pm

NancyD wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:03 pm
Where abouts are you located? I remember people in Mich. morel hunting "up north" but I never did. I have original rocks from Lake MI, the whitish ones are limestone & not the best in aquaria although we still have some, nor are Petosky (?) stones. They both break down (slowly) & add to the inland MI hard water issue. Maybe that's not a problem for you...it was a bit for us way, way back in the day.

My suggestion with ACs (& all filters) is to have prefilter sponges over the intakes. They clog faster but are much easier to rinse every week or 2 than even AC filter cleaning.
Nothern Indiana, on the fringe of the glacial pushes end. Our water is some of the hardest in the country.

Any recommenations for filter preintakes Nancy?

loachnoob
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Fri May 11, 2018 10:40 pm

I should add, none of the rocks i kept - to the best of my knowledge are limestone. Limestone, even when polished retains its gritty feel. Most of what i have is some color variant of granite

NancyD
Posts: 1495
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by NancyD » Fri May 11, 2018 11:06 pm

I use 1's like this https://www.amazon.com/Filter-Max-III-P ... B000255OZ4 The coarse sponge is much easier to clean & doesn't clog as fast a the fine 1. I think I bought them from kensfish, some of his foods are good too, but read the labels. He used to be close enough for me to drive to outside of Boston when I lived near there a while back.

I also have Great Lakes "granite" I believe, rounded dark gray stones ...they're "Superior" in many ways, lol.
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Loachloach
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Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Loachloach » Sat May 12, 2018 12:38 am

Any recommenations for filter preintakes Nancy?
I buy black coarse sponge sold in rectangular blocks. I just cut a hole in the middle and insert it on the intake....It fits all intakes and easier to insert/remove..

Diana
Posts: 4675
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Diana » Sat May 12, 2018 3:23 am

Tannins are not a problem for Loaches, just do enough water changes to keep the water as clear as you want. Some woods produce more tannins than others, but as long as you can see into the tank a little tint is not a problem. I have had some wood that stained the water the deep red color of wine. Could not see into the tank. Eventually it went away. WAY too much for activated carbon to deal with. Plenty of water changes.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

loachnoob
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Mon May 14, 2018 6:50 pm

Drained the kitty pool tonight, looked like diluted tea! Refilled and gonna let this driftwood keep soaking. From what it looks like, the tannin look is going to probably be a part of the tank between water changes :lol:

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