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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone!
I sort of give updates on my tanks on my sale's thread, but I guessed it would be nice to archive all of my tanks' progress in an official thread.

For those who don't know me, my name is Umar, and I love planted tanks. I've been a seller on these forums for most of the summer and I love how beautiful a great aquascape can look.

I have 5 tanks on my rack at the moment (this changes all the time -___-).
2 of these are high tech, meaning active co2 diffusion, high lighting, daily fertz, and lots of pruning and maintenance :p

A new 10 gallon shrimp tank was just set up today, ready to cycle for at least 6-8 weeks. I'm going to use it to house Crystal red shrimp and maybe Taiwan bees. I'm also going to mix some of my best Painted Fire Red shrimp in to allow the best genetics to come through.

20 gallon long - Main tank
Chinese co2 regulator - paintball tank - co2 @ ~3 bps
Floramax black substrate
EI fertilizer dosing
Lights: 2x26 w GE CFLs @ 6500k, 1x19w CFL @ 5000k, Finnex Ray II

Stocking: 150+ PFRs and Supreme Reds. It's nice to have a gigantic colony in a high tech tank. I thought it couldnt be done but it's worked out amazingly so far.

Tank about 6 weeks ago:


Tank right now:





Saturated shot showing colors (the colors are very contrasting in person since the Ray II washes out photos):


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20 gallon Tall - mishmash scape + Betta sorority

Seachem Red Flourite substrate
Aquatek mini regulator + 20oz paintball tank with co2 @ ~2bps
Daily EI fertz
Lighting: 2x26 GE CFLs

Stock: 6 neons + 11 betta females + 3 oto catfish + 1 peppered cory (overstocked, I know...)

The tank about 5 weeks ago:


3 weeks ago:


Now (needs some growing in because of small algae outbreak):


Feel free to ask me any questions, fellow BFF members.
I have an incomplete plant list on my sales thread, but I will be updating a newer one soon.
*Updates on the male betta tanks + shrimp tank will be posted later
The new 10 gallon will also be displayed once I get the mountain of manzanita I bought boiled and included in the scapes of it and the 20 long. Cheers :)!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone! I can't wait until the 10 gallon is cycled and ready. I'm going to be arranging driftwood for it very soon and need people's opinions on the scapes I can create with it.
 

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Your 20 tall in the first picture (five weeks ago) is pretty much as ideal as a sorority can get. For the sake of the fish I wouldn't hesitate letting it get that overgrown again and keeping it that way, and it doesn't even look bad!

Love your tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've found that rather than keep the tank overgrown, 2 other factors are more responsible for aggression in a sorority:
1) Hungry fish
2) Too many fish trying to be "top dog"

I make sure to feed my fish well several times a week (should probably make a vid about that). More importantly, reprimand any bully betta girl by giving her solitary confinement. I usually take the culprit and float her in a cup for a couple of days and everything goes back to normal after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've found that rather than keep the tank overgrown, 2 other factors are more responsible for aggression in a sorority:
1) Hungry fish
2) Too many fish trying to be "top dog"

I make sure to feed my fish well several times a week (should probably make a vid about that). More importantly, reprimand any bully betta girl by giving her solitary confinement. I usually take the culprit and float her in a cup for a couple of days and everything goes back to normal after that.
 

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The breeder where I got one of my girls also recommended making sure they can never, ever see a male. They're highly visual, and seeing breeding prospects spurs aggression.
 

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Those are (quite arguably less significant) factors in preventing aggression, but once you've watched a sorority fall apart you'll understand why loads of cover is always suggested, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Having dense cover allows any fish that are being picked of for whatever reason (and it does happen, whether or not you see physical damage) to escape and recover, and prevents incidents of aggression like that from happening in the first place- it blocks their lines of sight.

I've watched my own once healthy sorority fall apart, and quite a few other breeders and knowledgeable keepers as well. Typically what happens is that one fish falls ill from one of many common, always present bacterias that are allowed to take hold because stress or injuries damage the immune system. One fish get sick, the rest get sick, and boom... Within weeks (days if you're dealing with something like acute columnaris), every female in there is dead.

I talked way to much here and I'm sure nobody wants to hear it, but you remind me of myself when my sorority was a month or two old and still successful... I learnt my lesson, and I'm only saying all of this because I wish I had learnt to have tons of cover (like, really dense) BEFORE all of my fish died and I had to fully break down and sterilize a 20. It's also worth noting that every sorority I've seen be successful long term was either in a very big tank or a heavily planted one. Hope you don't mind my (longer than expected) post :). Sorry for going off track... I'll let you do the journaling now! You really do do amazing work... That 20l shows it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Matt, you're on point here, but this sorority has been up for about 8 months now (I first used a 10 gallon to house about 5 girls).

If anything, I think I've lost more fish to jumping out of the tank than anything else. I had a mixture of HMPK and HM girls. 2 each of the HMPK and HM fish jumped over the months, and I traded my veils and extra HMPKs for store credit at an LFS to make room for fish from my own spawn.

Right now the plan with the 20H is to not fix what isn't broken.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haven't updated this in almost a month. Finally added the hardscape and redid the 20 long. Shrimp tank is up and running too - got about 30 of some new stock and my best PFRs + 10 mischlings and 2 Taiwan bee males (blue bolt and black panda). Shrimp tank pics will be coming soon but here are some of the 20L:






Thanks for looking! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
More pics, this time mostly of the shrimp tank:


Black panda Taiwan Bee male


Blue bolt Taiwan bee male

Mischlings, PFRs, and Front tank shots:










20L Rescape almost 2 weeks in:


 

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A. Stunning tanks, and lucky fish
B. I think that all sororities are different. It depends on your individual girls and how you do things. There are always that "way your suppose to do it" but sometimes it doesn't work. I think the main reason that sororities fall apart is because after a little bit, people stop watching so carefully and it starts to fall apart and they don't knotice until it's in pieces. I do not mean this as a disrespectful comment, just saying what I think.

But good luck with everyone
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A. Stunning tanks, and lucky fish
B. I think that all sororities are different. It depends on your individual girls and how you do things. There are always that "way your suppose to do it" but sometimes it doesn't work. I think the main reason that sororities fall apart is because after a little bit, people stop watching so carefully and it starts to fall apart and they don't knotice until it's in pieces. I do not mean this as a disrespectful comment, just saying what I think.

But good luck with everyone
Thanks for the compliments :D!
Definitely agree with your second point there. When interest in keeping fish falters, then I've noticed that people stop quarantining injured females and separating more aggressive ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow, I guess no one on these forums gives a hoot about harder-to-keep shrimp?

Well, back to the agenda:

Not many people remember this, but I had a successful HMPK spawn. The kids are 6 months old or so, and here are some pics. I'll be doing another spawn during winter break between the siblings because I got some really nice and unique fish out of it:

Esmeralda (my best female - dragonscale sparkles is the terms that comes to mind, lol)



One of her sisters:


My main male from my spawn - Hyperion (old pic):



Tank pics:


 
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