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Old 07-29-2012, 11:26 PM   #221 
Aus
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Hi LBF!

I've got the worms in a large Moccona jar, with an airstone and daily water changes.

And yes! The strohi are doing well, and are due for their first water change today. I thought it best to give them a few days to settle in before I started fiddling with the tank etc, as I also need to plant a few things and clean out a pile of mopani-goop (can't wait for those Darwin Algae Shrimp..) and so on. I'm a bit worried they'll get sucked up the tubing, they're such a pack of Curious Georges.

The canister's getting set up today, also, and with a bit of luck I won't manage to assemble it upside-down or anything...

Sucks about the tank! But ahaha, I'm imagining these two catfish squished in together, "Get your tail out of my mouth, dude!" Hopefully it's not too long before the tank's free.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:10 AM   #222 
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I just saw your post about the strohi pairing. I did wonder if the dominant two were a male/female pair as one has lighter colouring than the other and if I remember correctly aren't its gill plates brown rather than red like the big male? Once they get near adult size it will be easier to sex them. It's hard to tell, especially when some of the fry always show submissive colouring.

Good luck with the canister. Just remember to use your taps when filling and priming haha. I think that's where I went wrong.

My brother bought the bigger tank over today so now I have this 75cm tank sitting on our rumpus floor. Of course I don't know when he is actually coming to pick it back up. I am assuming in ten years lol
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:56 AM   #223 
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Yup, that one has paler gill plating.. and Blue, the imaginatively named dominant male, was herding her/him/it up and down the tank all day - they staked out a new territory once I moved a few plants around and the two have been in there quite a bit, at the opposite end of the tank from the other three..

I hope I don't have baby fish any time soon..

BBS hatchery? I can't hatch a plot to make coffee in the morning.. At least they're still juveniles, so there's plenty of time to prepare for that eventuality.

The strohi coped very well with the water change, in fact some were dancing about in the refill flow, "whee, it's raining!" now and then. Then a dinner of worms - they love those things, don't they? and early lights out, as they seemed a bit stressed after I moved the plants around, hiding a lot.

Haven't got the canister working yet, got distracted with planting, then the plumber, then Daughter, then...etc. I'll need at least a couple of hours to get my head around it, so that's a job for after sleep. But I did get the new heater in. It looks like a giant alien probe in their tiny bit of fake jungle... surely there's got to be some aesthetically less eyesore-ish heaters out there. I love my Dymax ones for the smaller tanks, they're really inconspicuous.

Oh hey, I planted that clump of .. plants you gave me, LBF.. but what was it called again? I think I'm rather fond of it, wouldn't mind getting some more.

And I want a rumpus room! /sulk

We're actually hoping to move one of these days and have all agreed there must be a rum*****-type space for storing sewing gear, medieval armours, fish barracks and video game/bean bag combos.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #224 
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Another poem, this one by Max Eastman (about whom I shamefully know absolutely nothing).


At the Aquarium


Serene the silver fishes glide,
Stern-lipped, and pale, and wonder-eyed!
As through the aged deeps of ocean,
They glide with wan and wavy motion.
They have no pathway where they go,
They flow like water to and fro,
They watch with never-winking eyes,
They watch with staring, cold surprise,
The level people in the air,
The people peering, peering there:
Who wander also to and fro,
And know not why or where they go,
Yet have a wonder in their eyes,
Sometimes a pale and cold surprise.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:00 PM   #225 
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Haha my strohi are used to me just pouring whole bucket loads of water in. All I did was go hmm this feels about the same temperature and then dump it in.

The plant is hydrilla. Liverpoolcreekaquarium sells it as does Dave. I just asked him one time if he had some and he sold me three generous bunches of it.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:30 PM   #226 
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Those pictures are awesome, I was thinking how much the pair looked like they were flirting, or she was saying "Hello there big boy!".

Love what you've done with plants, love.
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:41 PM   #227 
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Thanks, Silverfang! And yeah, they did the most amazing 'dance' today, both head-shaking and flaring like mad, circling each other. And all the other little strohi were hanging out, watching (and getting nipped for trying to join in, haha) - a couple were vertical striping, as well, so I'm wondering if the majority are females.. the one in question was fully barred and coloured up, just beautiful, and the male was incredibly dark with this brilliant, iridescent green outline on his tail. They're really something, I am so loving having them to observe from day to day.

I'm actually going to start making little observational posts on them each day here, as a kind of record and to help me keep track of what they do and when.

Little Peeka lived up to her name today - she found a secret hollow in the bottom of the new driftwood that I didn't know was there, swam up into it and vanished for ages, leaving me wondering if she was stuck, haha. Then I saw this tiny face peeking out of the dark.. like 'hello? is there a problem?' - so darned cute.

The other two are extremely curious.. one that Daughter has called 'Queenie' (I hope it's a girl, haha) loves to hang at the front of the tank and stare at us: The other is a bit more secretive when not being nosy, and has taken up residence in the reeds like a little lion in a den. We must find names for the secretive one and Blue's girlfriend..

LBF, still no canister! Between chores and drop-in visitors and old online pals catching up (including a very cute African-American guy I sorely wish to import for a couple of weeks.. we've been flirting for six years now! Sigh...), I just have had no time at all.. I really must do this tomorrow. The water's testing at 0 ammonia, however, following the water change, they must not be putting out a lot of waste, or the plants (which are all booming with new growth now) are eating it up. I haven't tested ph yet, don't know how this slipped my mind.. another chore for tomorrow.

Aquagreen Dave rocks. I love his conservational outlook, and my snails are arriving (by SNAIL-MAIL :B ) in the next day or two. I have a small tank set up for the Darwin shrimps, dropping a few in at a time to see how they do.. sadly, they are very unlikely to breed in this set up. If they all get eaten I may use the tank for cherry shrimp. While they tend to be short-lived with the betta, nothing likes to munch through mopani-gunk like shrimp.. I could kick myself for not remembering to order that native hairgrass with this lot, I really want some! Oh well, next order.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:49 PM   #228 
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Well, it was high drama (of the comedy kind, mostly) in the betta tanks today with the arrival of the expected snails and shrimp - but more on that tomorrow. For now, just a few pics:
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #229 
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Well. I had JUST finished typing out this rather long and amusing post regarding bettas and unexpectedly large amounts of snails-by-mail, and the damnable net cut out, and I lost it.

I can't be arsed to type the whole thing aqgain right now, but shall tomorrow (because parts of it are really funny) - suffice to say for now:

AUSSIE MEMBERS! Look! FREE TO GOOD HOME (plus postage):

- 3 unexpected, lotus-munching, very pretty gold and dapply, faster than a speeding tortoise, highly effective moss-cleaning blond snails

- 2 unexpected, very large and bumbly, oddly sweet, hoover-like, blue-skinned Waterhouse snails


I just do not have room for all these guys, and I really don't want to set up yet another tank right now.

I'll detail all the snaily/betta exploits tomorrow, when not so tired/irritated at my net connection...
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:53 AM   #230 
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Surprise! And ... holy carp, surprise!

Well, it's all been happening in the strohi tank this past few days.

Dave from Aquagreen, being the generous soul he is, sent me a few extra Darwin Algae Shrimp -- and not three but SIX blond snails and two large Waterhouse snails extra, making FOUR. I would say blond snails = adult nerites, and Waterhouse = half grown apple snail.

That's a LOT of snail right there, and way more than I wanted in the 3ft. So where was I going to put the excess snails? The NPT! I could store a few in there temporarily - right?

Except - it turns out that Cole has a pathological hatred for snails. Okay, he hates -everyone- pretty much equally but it seems snails are his current arch nemesis. Unaware of this, I stuck a Waterhouse and a blond snail in the NPT. Cole attacked the poor WH snail so viciously it wouldn't come out of its shell. He also attacked the blond snail, which promptly ignored him, causing hours of flaring and sulking. Upshot? 1 WH snail for the strohi tank, 1 blond snail for Cole to glare at all day.

That left two extra blond snails, and two extra Waterhouse snails.

Into Daughter's tank with Aang the Very Pretty went another WH - only to find it in great distress half an hour later, requiring his prompt removal (and after the death of a shrimp and a small ramshorn, we've established that there's something really not good for inverts going on in that tank, while the betta is thriving... we think it's the substrate). Into the strohi tank went the poor snail, who recovered a couple of hours later and is currently just fine.

I still have two extra WH snails and three extra blond snails ---- who like to EAT MY LOTUSES. Yes, the blond snails apparently love nothing more than a gourmet snack of lovely red lotus.. which are now all eaten down to rather less attractive stubs.

I really want to rehome these blond snails. Not all of them, though - they also have a great talent for stripping algae off java and other mosses, and are also very pretty. But five of them equal a lotus demolition squad, and I'm not playing lunch lady.

But Aus, you may ask, Why oh why did you not simply pop these surprise snails in a spare tank? Well...

After a feed the other night, during which one of the smaller females attacked the bamboo skewer (blunt end..) I was using to drop blackworms in, I noticed she later had a sore on her lower lip. Duly freaking out, I prepared the hospital tank in case she needed it. The lip looks to be healing okay - but the tank was in use.. and of course, next morning all these ferbuggity snails arrived.

Meanwhile, all the little strohi are staring at the snails, five times this:

And then were off, hunting the shrimp all around the tank. Those Darwin shrimp are pretty tough though, and all have survived the onslaught. The strohi are pretty bored with them now, and a little wary too - I think there were a few pinched noses in the process of the DAS encouraging the juvie horde to play nice.

So I have an abundance of snails. Until I can rehome a few, of course I shall have to increase water changes to account for all the extras.

And I would do just that. Except.... the strohi are breeding!

Yep - the two biggest fish are not friends of Dorothy at all, but a mated pair for sure. They have spent pretty much the entire day wrapping and being smoochy in the java moss. And I don't want to disturb them. ><

And here was I in a panic that the male wasn't eating last night. Oh no, I thought, it's because of the snails, I am a BAD PERSON. But it was clearly part of what was going on today.

I know nothing about strohi mating habits, but from what I can see the courtship is very long and complicated. I'll detail what I've observed more thoroughly after dinner this evening.

But it seems I had better get a BBS hatchery in short order... and find a solution to the overpopulation issue.. and keep an eye on that one female and her lip...

Oh, and during all this, there was a kitten stuck in our ceiling.

Whew, so much excitement!
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