31 January 2018

baby catfish update

At what point do you call a young fish 'juvenile' instead of 'fry'? My little Lucky is really growing. It seems especially eager to eat the gold pearls; I'm trying to feed those- but a smaller pinch due to having to cull snails (I took over 50 MTS out of the tank last week) once a day. Other feedings alternate between shrimp pellets, hikari loach wafers, betta flake, tropical fish flake, NLS pellet, algae wafers once a week. I'm feeding twice a day regularly (used to often just offer once a day) and sometimes three times a day, if the portions are smaller. So far the fry appears ok with this- as far as I can tell. I'm not crushing the food up- it still seems to feed a lot off leaf surfaces, poking among the windelov fern-
and all the foods except perhaps NLS pellets, soon soften with the adults breaking it up and scattering little bits around.

I haven't managed to keep up with daily photos, but here's a few in sequence from the past few days. Sun 01/28:
Mon 01/29:
Tue 01/30. I notice the gold ring of its eyes more, now.
I still often try to get a clear photo of Lucky next to an adult, to see how its size progresses. It's not as shy of their company, anymore. When an adult swims up to it- seeming oblivious to its presence- the fry sits still until the last moment and then pops up and glides ahead- a little skip motion. Sometimes I don't even see it on the substrate until it skips up ahead of the moving adult, it is so well camouflaged against the background. In fact, all the peppered cories blend in so well you'd look at this tank and often think it's just plants, until something moves. It's like my tank holds a secret.

Lucky near the leaf litter:
Adult moving through behind it:
Another moment the fry tucked itself under crypt parva leaves.
Fry with Momma nearby-

green jewels and white

One of my favorite individual plants in here is a round-leaved buce front and center.
Sometimes I rest on the bed looking at the tank from a lower angle, and I like how the light glows in its leaves.
Here just to the right of it and below, a little white pearl- the cories have been busy again. Stuck this to the glass just yesterday. We'll see how long it lasts...
Cories are funny fish to me, with their short bodies the heads look overly large. If I get more, I'll probably give them names like 'Noggin', 'Blockhead', 'Pate', 'Bullet' haha.
Somewhat unrelated pic- more of my anubias are sprouting new leaves! I like how they emerge rolled up tight. Reminds me of hosta in the spring.

30 January 2018

some living room plants

got a bit more attention this week, they needed it. Boston fern just got a cleanup. Browned fronds and stems trimmed off. Found several more (still unexplained) cactus seedlings in there.
'Ice plant' has sent out some tall, leggy stems. I think the winter light is too dim for it. I cut and replanted them in a smaller pot.
My 'elephant bush' got two pieces accidentally broken off when I was trimming withered flower stalks. I recall a friend silently admiring this plant last week during a visit, so I stuck the two bits in a small pot to see if it will take root.
Still have a handful of small kalanchoe babies, in pots of larger jade. Hopeful.
Moving the sweet potato cuttings to a brighter spot -other side of the house- helped. Half the stems died, but those that still had decent-sized leaves have grown new roots quickly.

24 January 2018

daily fry pics 8

Lucky near the glass by rotala stems
Adult catfish under the windelov ferns
In the same frame

23 January 2018

daily fry pics 7

Felix (left) and Momma under windelov edge. I look very closely comparing to a photo from three days ago and yes, I do think his barbels are grown slightly longer.

some things I noticed about plants-

In the tenner, something kinda nuts. The larger anubias on driftwood, whose rhizome I snipped in half last time? I can see the roots of that now-freestanding piece, between the skull and the windelov. There's a root that goes straight down, and where it hits the wood below, it splays out into smaller rootlets like a hand gripping the wood. Crazy looking.
Row of blue round buces, quite a few new leaves unfurling.
Buce 'isabelle' also has a new leaf- to left of center.
Another buce 'isabelle' -or 'blue bell' perhaps- in the back is also showing new leaf.
I swear all these new leaves have popped up since I made that slight change to the ferts, and improvement to the filter flow.

In my main tank, the rhizomes of taller bolbitis are definitely filling up with young fronds. Small trumpet snails are starting to gather on the older foliage, which is getting black algae. I'm going to cut more of those out this upcoming maintenance day.

22 January 2018

daily fry pics

Catfish fry Lucky.
Here in the same spot, with Momma nosing the substrate alongside.
This pic really shows Lucky's size. Momma is about to run over the fry. It's the little gray blob right in front of her nose- fry is facing forward.
I fed the cories gold pearls, but concerned the fry wasn't getting much. It kept searching back and forth against the tank wall, whereas the food was getting pulled slightly further into the tank by the filter current. Adults rooting around so avidly after the food I worried they would find all of it before Lucky got enough. However, a close look a little later showed me Lucky had a tummy full with the color of the food.
I had a bit more of a worry with the filter, my own mistake again. After rinsing it out the day before yesterday, I'd replaced the fine poly media (its just a little strip) in a different position- just under the sponge but outside the ballast housing. I thought this would reduce the bubbles getting caught under the poly and making a blub-blub noise. It did, but I think it also diverted flow from actually going through the main sponge- it was probably going readily thru the gap between layers instead. Because next day I noticed there was a lot more fine debris in the water column moving around in stronger current, the fry held its tail pinched and sat around listlessly, and the oto was in one spot breathing hard. I took the filter out and put the poly back inside the chamber. Tried to work the air out, but didn't get it all. There's a blub-blub again. Flow is normalized, stuff is obviously getting trapped on the sponge again, and the fishes feel better. Oto perked up immediately, and the fry recovered soon after.

I think it's better for the others, too- since I did the more thorough cleaning and bigger water change. Felix still has rounded ends to his barbels, but I think I see them growing out already. I was trying to get a photo to compare but he shies away from the camera like usual. Momma stared at it a fraction of a second longer before darting under the shelter of windelov driftwood after him. Oto is just visible on the top of skull, there.

shrimp, and plants on the side

This morning I caught a photo of an amano shrimp walking across a leaf, in ambient light before tank strip came on. You can see she's berried. I think all my adult amanos are female.
My bit of pennywort in a pot is much happier to be constantly damp. I had it sitting more or less all the time in a tupperware dish of a few inches of water. But took it out, because the soil is growing mold and I don't like that. Probably I should have not used potting soil. I am going to let it dry out a bit and then sit in a saucer instead.
Hornwort vase is still nicely green, if not as dense. This past water change day I trimmed the stems that had hit surface, wiped glass below the rim and topped off with tank water. That's all. It's housing three large trumpet snails right now, until I pick a few more out of the tank enough to feed fishes.
I once again have a tiny jar of moss bits. I took all the leftover moss from the plants I received last week to fish club and gave away. Came home and there were still plenty of little fragments in the QT bin. Decided to toss them in a jar to grow out.

21 January 2018

some plants

that I felt like taking pictures of. My wandering j plant is in a new spot. The cuttings I replanted a while ago are doing better now- I think on the far side of the mantlepiece just wasn't getting enough light before.
Down in the basement window, here's my pink coleus that was cut back in fall. Its leaves are much smaller and slower growing than those I keep upstairs. Not sure if it is lack of light or the chill.
Its neighbor, the ginger plant has finally gone completely dormant. Lemon verbena doing the opposite, putting out more new leaves.

fish notes

A little concerned because this morning I saw the cory fry, but its tail fin clamped. The adults look fine. I wonder if the ferts I dosed yesterday are irritating it? All the weeks prior I'd been doing smaller water changes and reduced ferts . . . . maybe yesterday was a bit too much. Keeping a close eye.

Perry got a treat. In my daughter's room to give her gerbils water, I saw a familiar herky-jerky movement in her snail bowl. Which right now just has a few pond snails and some green hornwort floating. I looked closer. Two mosquito larvae. I got them out with a straw and fed to the paradise fish.

Days are balmy this week (for winter), and nights in the forties, although it's supposed to get colder again in a few days. I don't expect any mosquitoes outside, although I know the eggs can survive colder temps than adults. I have a basin with a few inches of old tank water and leaf litter set out under the deck, just in case some days are warm enough to begin a new host of larvae.

20 January 2018

Lucky catfish fry

The big thing today was that for the first time I saw the fry swimming out in the open. And up to the surface for air once, like the adults.
Hanging out on higher points of plants, instead of sheltered in the windelov thicket most of the time. On the tallest crypt leaf!
Perched on anubias. See the adult male (Leo) in the first pic?
I like this photo in spite of the java fern thread going across it, because I can see the baby fish's spine.
Lucky in the 'blue bell' buces:
Not the best focus, but here's Lucky on a buce 'selena', with Momma underneath a nearby one.
Lucky is about the size of a smaller trumpet snail now. I feel like the fry is growing really fast!
That photo from a few days ago, of Lucky under a leaf? Showing it again with a comparison pic- Felix in front of the same leaf.