Help me build the perfect loach tank

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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 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:49 pm

Image

Here ya go, i present to you 125 gallons of loachtopia!!

About to add ammononia and Dr. Tims One and Only.

The wife added the black trash bags to the back, after me being indecisive about painting the back. It looks good. Turned on both the filters (110 aquaclear) but will lower them and add foam prefilters tomorrow. Added Seachem Prime at the appropriate quantity.

Filled the tank with my python, gotta admit its awesome.

This picture does not do the tank justice! Thank you all so much for your suggestions, i trust you'll see it here :)

Loachloach
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:11 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Loachloach » Fri May 18, 2018 5:30 pm

Well done, lost of hiding places is nice.

The only thing I'd suggest is to actually have vertical coverage. You'll be surprised how much bottom feeders like going up when there's actually something to explore...

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

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Fri May 18, 2018 9:04 pm

Loachloach wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:30 pm
Well done, lost of hiding places is nice.

The only thing I'd suggest is to actually have vertical coverage. You'll be surprised how much bottom feeders like going up when there's actually something to explore...
How do I create this? I love Bas suggestions of emergent plants and intend on planting some out the back so their roots hang down into the tank. The room is poorly lit for plants, but I know some plants that will love it regardless. Aside from that I have a hard time visualizing structure near the top that doesn't clutter the bottom even more from the support.

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 » Fri May 18, 2018 9:10 pm

A branch that arcs over might work. Yes, it needs to touch the bottom, but if it is the right shape it could be stabilized by touching an upper part of the tank walls. Then it would stay in place, and give the Loaches something to investigate higher up. Anubias and Java fern will grow on a branch like this, and are generally low light aquarium plants.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

Loachloach
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:11 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Loachloach » Fri May 18, 2018 9:13 pm

Emersed plants is a great idea. I personally wouldn't do a tank without them anymore But you do need light. It is essential. You can get something on the cheap like an LED flood light. They work great.

As for vertical set up you may need different wood or more wood and you can even do some large anubias like angustifolia type or barteri var. barteri that would grow as high as the tank There are smaller anubias versions you can attach to the wood for visual aspect and also bucephalandra is quite nice planted the same way. As long as the light in the tank itself is low, which the loaches would prefer, such plants would do great and bottom feeders do like to go up exploring if there was something to explore...This would also make them feel more secure instead of having empty open space above..

Bas Pels
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Bas Pels » Sat May 19, 2018 2:41 am

loachnoob wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:04 pm
Loachloach wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:30 pm
Well done, lost of hiding places is nice.

The only thing I'd suggest is to actually have vertical coverage. You'll be surprised how much bottom feeders like going up when there's actually something to explore...
How do I create this? I love Bas suggestions of emergent plants and intend on planting some out the back so their roots hang down into the tank. The room is poorly lit for plants, but I know some plants that will love it regardless. Aside from that I have a hard time visualizing structure near the top that doesn't clutter the bottom even more from the support.
You could use wood, or stones, to reach the surface. Using stones, use either a large flat piece or large round ones, but never pile more than 3 high.

Therefore, you will need rocks being more than 1/3 of the waterheight, and always start on the bottom NOT on the sand. A large boulder will easily dig itself in

building with boulders does take practice, as a cichlid keeper, I started doig this some 20, 30 years ago, and sometimes the result is still nothing

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

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Sat May 19, 2018 8:08 pm

Still waiting for the cycle to start lol. Dosed ammonia at 2ppm when I set it up and it's still just chillin' there :lol:

Right or wrong here's what i did tonight:

Did a maintenance 50% water change on the 55, topped off the 125 with some of the dirty water from the siphon. Washed both Aquaclear 70 mechanical filter sponges out in the 125 - holy cow they were filthy! Been a long time since I've done that. No doubt I seeded some bacteria in the process. I also added some large pre-intake sponges to the 110 aquaclears filters intakes inside the 125. They're black, but ugly and HUGE. As you can see in my initial picture there wasn't any, they were just late to ship. I also lowered them down more so they're in contact with the substrate now - I didn't want the basic intakes sucking sand. I also dumped 3 or 4 ounces of an API bacterial product I had just sitting around, no idea if it was even viable.

Based off Dr. Tims "fishless startup" One and Only I should see ammonia starting to drop (started Wednesday), and tonight I was suppose to redose ammonia but the level is still too high. (2ppm) Oh well! No rush, I hope it'll start sooner than later. Admittedly I'm not impressed with the promise the product made. I hope tomorrow I'll see that ammonia start to drop based off cleaning the filters from the other tank into the 125 tomorrow.

Regarding the upper strata and adding structure, I'm definitely going to add some emergent plants, probably common philodendron since I've always found it to be tough as nails. Its root structure should get pretty large in the tank for the loaches to explore. I saw another local fish store using it a few days ago and was impressed with the root wad in the tank. Plus we can decorate the wall outside the tank with the foliage as it grows.

Most importantly, I'm still thinking about the final community. I've shopped so many stores and the selection really stinks around here. Yoyos in the fish stores always look like crap to put it bluntly. I can't even begin to explain how bad they always look. This species must be VERY poorly handled in shipping or something, and consequently the fish stores always have fish knocking on deaths door from Ich or some other disease I'm not recognizing. A lot of loaches I first killed were yoyos, and it probably wasn't my fault directly. As Diana mentioned they are bullies, and my biggest one is just that. I love him and his little brother, but he chases everyone else so I'm rethinking adding anymore. One store always has quality kubotias, which I figure I'll add another 4, bringing the total population up to 10. I won't do this until I move the 6 out of the 55 to the 125 to free up quarantine space. The 2 golden zebras (if that's what they are) need a few more friends. Petco, of all places, gets them regularly and their 1" tops when they have them. I figure I'll add 3 maybe 4 to the quarantine tank, once the 125 tank is cycled whenever that happens. I've been thinking a lot about the striata. I have seen them at a LFS but there isn't a consistent source. A few of you have spoken highly of them. I'll ask the manager if they could get me 5 or 6. When I did see them, I wasn't in a position to be able to add them to the tank so that is what is is. Lastly, the first loach I ever fell in love with was kuhlis (before I found out about botias) - the orange and black striped guys. I would like to add a few of those, maybe 4 or 5. Based off what I've seen at many LFS, I'll never see them with the sand.

So.... help me evaluate the numbers on the high end. Am I stocking to much, considering I want think tank under stocked for water quality parameters?

10 kubotia
2 yoyo
6 golden zebras
6 striata
5 kuhli
2 angel fish

I'm in no rush, and as always thank you for your responses!

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

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Sun May 20, 2018 8:18 pm

Ammonia still reading 2 ppm. Nitrates and nitrates still at 0 pmm. Bummed. Clearly Dr. Tim's didn't work. Guess I need to do a water change to drop the ammonia ppm. I'm lost!

Bas Pels
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Bas Pels » Mon May 21, 2018 2:51 am

I assume the Dr Tim was supposed to introduce bacteria. You could go an find someone with a gool working tank, and take a bid of the bottom material as a starter.

Personally, I don´t like such commercial preparations, but opinions can differ

Cardeater
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Cardeater » Mon May 21, 2018 3:04 am

If you're not happy with the selection at the LFS you can always try online. After a bad batch of clowns, I tried liveaquaria's Diver's Den. The fish there go through a bath for external parasites and then get a two week quarantine before they go on the website. They post actual pics of the fish youre buying in Divers Den.

Selection right now is just clown Loaches, single kubatai Loach (they seem to post another one up as soon as the current one sells) and 3 dwarf chain Loaches.

Divers den fish ship out of Wisconsin.

There is also the fish from the regular section of liveaquaria that ships out of California. This is like ordering from a wholesaler. They have a bigger selection of fish but you don't get to see individual fish pics. They also don't do a quaratine procedure.

Both sections offer their 14 day guarantee which is what got me try them in the first place. (I had two clowns die after 2 days from and LFS and I hated how I was just out the money, plus I hated that the fish died.) All the reviews I've read of liveaquaria say they refund or reship as promised if the fish arrive dead or die in the 14 window.

The only negatives are shipping is expensive unless you spend $99+. When I ordered I found an additional 15% off coupon code just googling for one. Others complain that the prices are high but that's how they can afford to guarantee the fish. The prices are equivalent or even better in some cases compared to LFS for me but prices are high in Chicago.

The other option I heard is good is "The Wetspot" in Oregon. I haven't personally ordered from them but the reviews I've read are good. They have a HUGE selection of fish. The shipping is $40 if you want a DOA arrival guarantee. The fish are cheaper than liveaquaria but you obviously have to factor in shipping.

Sidenote:
Is that LFS in Hammond indiana any good? It's one of the few in the area I haven't been able to check out. I've visted most of the stores in the Chicago area and I think I'd only buy from 3-4 out of the ones I've visited.

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

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Mon May 21, 2018 8:03 pm

Cardeater wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 3:04 am

Sidenote:
Is that LFS in Hammond indiana any good? It's one of the few in the area I haven't been able to check out. I've visted most of the stores in the Chicago area and I think I'd only buy from 3-4 out of the ones I've visited.
Not sure, I don't make out that way very often - it's about 2 hours from home. I'm in the NE part of the state. I respect the fact LFS in my area keep less expensive, sterotypical run of the mill fish. Skunks seem to be circulating my area right now - no interest in them. Thanks for the online recommendations. Last time I ordered fish online it was cichlids and they were amazing. This has been a long time ago. Best demasoni I've ever seen, period.
Bas Pels wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 2:51 am
I assume the Dr Tim was supposed to introduce bacteria. You could go an find someone with a gool working tank, and take a bid of the bottom material as a starter.

Personally, I don´t like such commercial preparations, but opinions can differ
Yup, that was the "plan." The irony here is just like you, I too, am a huge skeptic of viable bacteria that comes in bottles. I only had two options, either throw in dither fish (and risk some nasty disease) or try the bottled bacteria. At this point I kinda wish I just threw in some goldfish and had let them funk up the place. Dr. Tims initially was fast to respond to my questions via facebook but they have since went silent.

I picked up SeaChems Stability today. Up until this point I've loved all their products (Prime, Excel, Flourish) so I'm hoping this is the ticket.

I did a 35% water change last night with the python. OMG, what a game changer - no buckets! Tonight I'll test the tanks parameters and probably start dosing Stability. Keep in mind, I've also washed out both my tank filters mechanical pads and added one seeded biological substrate bag to one of the filters to the new 125 filters.

Bas Pels
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Bas Pels » Tue May 22, 2018 2:43 am

@ waterchanges, I have a few hoses of 10 meters. I never use buckets for waterchanging. I do use them for anything else, from siphoning dirt (rarely) to shopping

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

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Tue May 22, 2018 7:53 pm

NOW WE'RE COOKIN' :twisted:

.25 ppm ammonia
.5 ppm nitrite
10 ppm nitrate

Yesterday was 2ppm ammonia and 0 on nitrites/nitrates.

I suspect ill go to 0 ppm ammonia tomorrow at this rate. Should i add more ammonia tomorrow if thats the case???

Cardeater
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by Cardeater » Tue May 22, 2018 9:26 pm

Yeah, I can't believe I was so slow to get a Python. I hated filling up buckets (and I used 3 gallon ones in the slow sink faucet).

Now, I can just start to drain with the python. Then, ehike it's doing that I syphon water into the buckets to rinse out my sponges or media. I can even speed up draining with the other syphon but I haven't felt a need to do so.

Filling takes awhile if I do a 75-80% change in my 125g but at least either the python I can do stuff with my phone or watch TV while it fills up.

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

Re: Help me build the perfect loach tank

Post by loachnoob » Wed May 23, 2018 7:47 pm

Tonight test:

0 ammonia
0 nitrite
20 nitrate

What next??

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