Just wanted to show a pic of the growth overnight...looking back on the thread you can see the pic from last night...I couldn't even see them...now they are captured in the shot with nine detail...well sorta..
I have been asked by a few to update on the status of my indoor planted spawning tanks....So here is whats new...
Originally I had the one large tank, 2.5' soil base with and 1.5' cap. The VT spawn has around 8-10 Fry left and are gaining considerably in size.. ----- Some are dark and a few lighter ones. The plants have been growing considerably and I have introduced wild Lilly pads and some ferns that are doing well underwater...
The Second, VT spawn I used a smaller planted tank with a Planter pot...It had a whopping 50 Fry with the new female both parents blue/Green VT.
The spawn is down to about 15-20, as I was away and feeding was sparse briefly..However, the fry now have some air flow and seem to be eating the BBS more now...The are a lot smaller.. ---
My new spawning tank is a heavily planted but small bin...I have the soil 1' and sand cap .75' and it slopes gradually from one side to other.. I also left the lowest spot in the one corner with Oak leaves over top of it for my male to create the bubble nest under..The low spot also has no soil in this area, only sand....This spawn will be VT and DT..I'm not 100% on the DT but she is very rare and unique IMO..unique blue verticle stripes on white body...
All 3 spawning tanks have had the same male VT father, who is incredible as he is diligent in egg pick up and bubble nest making...He usually allows for 2 clutches for each spawn..
The only Oak leaves I use for spawning and for hospital tanks now are "Chinquapin Oak" leaves...They are very durable, great for nest building, and release a dark tannin over night with little leaves needed...
Some of you were wanting to know more about the technical set up in the larger tank and soil specifics...I will post one general listing here so all can enjoy!
To Start..These are only my opinions..I have found this to work for me, with the space, time and financing that is available to me..there are many other ways of reaching the same results. with that said.. enjoy!
Soil..I usually have the same soil in all my tanks, a rich organic soil that has been verified with a pet store no contaminants or chemicals are introduced with it.. I only use about 2inches of soil as I dont want too much pockets of air building in the soil with bad dangerous chemicals...as I dont like to poke the soil and move it around too much after planting...
I do however use snail to do this for me...In my large tank I have 3 Golden mystery Snails...IMO they are doing wonders...they are fast and bright and clean my tank incredibly well!
The soul is put in first, then i usually plant directly into the soil before adding sand or water, to make sure they are put and have a good foundation for growth..
Sand..I use natural sand from my property as it is black (gray) and i know it will not hurt anything in the tank, also giving it a natural feel, and i find for spawning IMO it aids with the the natural feel as well!
I dry the sand out a bit first making sure nothing living still remains in the sand..then distribute it over the soil and between the plants. making sure not to go too high on the plants, having the start of the green at the top of the soil...this allows for the plant to breathe easier..
I will use 1-1.5 inches of sand, as i find it keeps the soil down better during cleaning and adding new plants without kicking up too much soil in the process! Also helps when male is looking for eggs, with a bright light the eggs glow in the dark sand, free of soil!
Plants. I don't know too much of the exact plants I use, other than Java fern and moss, bunch plants and some low growing fern..But i tend to stick with larger leaf plants, that are low growing...this way they stay below my water line (under 30cm) and tend to grow wide and thick instead of tall and lanky..The larger leaf plants also tend to capture more light, and not drop many small leaves and debris making cleaning harder..
I will separate bunch plants and all other plants and trim the roots slightly and remove any dead or decaying leaves...Sometimes I even use plants from wallmart such as ferns and palms..after testing a few out I realized they thrive underwater!! This mean you coul buy 1 wallmart plant and split the entire thing up amongst your planted tank!! (keep in mind to remove and wash chemicals and allow for proper height)
Water..nothing special with my water. Regular tap water, with water conditioner and some use of Oak Leaves..(motre below on this). I really dont do too many water changes, as IMO the water will evaporate quite rapidly and I just fill the water back up, with conditioned water...
I will use a syphen pump to clean debree once built up iun the bottom of tanks, but think its good for food too!? But I do remove this once in a while..(maybe tonight)...
Oak Leaves..Most of you know I did a rather in depth experiment over the summer comparing Oak Leaves and making note of their characteristics and water readings, tannin color..I concluded that the "Chinquapin Oak" was the best IMO..Very durable leaves, great burgundy color, and releases tannins in the water at a much faster rate and without cloudy milky discharge like almost all others, before releasing tannins!
Also, there are rare but close to my house...lol..
Lights/ Cover..Becausethis set up is indoors, i need a light and a cover. So I am using some neon lights I had large covered lights with an easy on off switch, 10 bucks at home depot. Probably not the best or optimum bulb for plants, but its bright and I have 3 and only need the 1..I then use a flexible clear sheet of Plexiglas, that i cut up to the exact tank size and use them as lids to keep in warm air, labyrinth aid (mainly for younger fry), and allows me too keep water high and rest lights on it as well. PLuss dont need to removed the lids as much as it is clear as day!
Design..I have started putting a lot more thought into the design and layout of the tank as the rest has become common knowledge to me..
I have started slanting my sand and soil, so that the one end is roughly 1-2 inches higher on one end, and tapers down to one end, being even deeper in the one corner of the deep end..Then plant very think and heavy in the shallower end gradually using smaller plants (still thick) that come down the hill.. Then in the deep area I have little to know planting, allowing for a nice area in the deep corner that is only sand on the bottom, with oak leaves (Chinqupin Oak) over top for a nest to be built under. This allows for a prime area for the nest, while allowing the dense area in the back for female to hide, and future fry to reside!
Temp..I keep the temp lower than 82 as I find the fry become hardy and are more accepting to water changes and tank moving if I have to..
Plus the heaters I use only heat to 78...however the light does add some heat with lid in the day maybe bringing them to 80...especially in smaller tanks!
Overall..Have fun but be responsible..I know a lot of you are new to spawning and that's OK..I was there at one time! But be responsible, Research and be ready for anything...I can handle the loads of fry coming my way, feeding housing warmth etc..
But it is a lot to handle, especially if the fry count is over 100 and in the 500!!!
But just remember you are creating life, and it can be very rewarding in the long run, but it is a long run...so..be responsible in our decisions, and enjoy!