Clearing out the fish room

Well it looks like hot weather is just around the corner.  I’ve got just a few more CPD’s going out and I’ll be done shipping fish until the weather cools off next fall.  While it might not be immediately apparent, there is a method to my madness!

Tank rack
Photo by Dennis Ball

Over the years when I’ve lost fish while shipping it’s always been due to the fish being exposed to the heat.  One way to combat that would be to ship everything over-night, but who wants to pay those exorbitant shipping charges!  Since I ship everything USPS Priority, my solution is to simply take a break when the weather get too hot.

This system has worked out very well for me.  I basically have two shipping seasons and two spawning seasons.  In a way, it helps to keep the hobby fun and prevents it from becoming too much like a job.

L183’s – a BAP score!

WOW! I am on a roll!  At our last club meeting I scored some fantastic L183 plecos at the BAP auction after the club meeting.  After getting the Zebras at the Swap Meet, this is just icing on the cake.

These fish prefer “Black Water” conditions to spawn, but another club member is keeping them in regular Columbus tap water with great success.  They are just babies at around 1.5 inch long, so it will be a bit before any hopes of spawning these fish.

Spawning Otocinclus catfish

Back around the first of the year Petsmart was having a sale on Otocinclus for $1 each.  Each spring for the past couple of years I’ve wanted to try spawning these fish so I picked up a couple bags for a later project.

Otos eating Repashy gel
Photo by Dennis Ball

They have been eating lots of Repashy “Soilent Green” and fattened up very nicely.

The spawning set-up is a standard 10 gallon tank with some anubias and crypts.  It has a course black substrate and the water is very soft being almost pure rain water.  I have a small heater set to keep the temperature at 78 °F.

Otocinclus fry
Photo by Dennis Ball

The fish must be happy because today while doing water changes I found the first fry!

If I can get these fry to adult hood it will be interesting to see if tank raised Otos are a bit more hardy than the store bought variety.



Here are some photos of the fry just a couple of days later…..

Otocinclus fry
Photo by Dennis Ball
Otocinclus fry
Photo by Dennis Ball



2013 C.A.F.E. Swap Meet

Last Saturday was our local club’s annual swap meet and silent auction.  To say I had a great time would be an under statement.

Zebra Pleco - L046
Photo by Dennis Ball

First off, I got to see all the local fish heads after a rather long winter.  Second, I sold tons of fish and inverts.  And last, but not least, I won some super nice L046 Zebra plecos in the silent auction!

The Zebra’s, (4 in total), were a BAP submission by club President Jeremy Basch.

This years swap was at the new location in the Marriott Courtyard Columbus West.  It’s an easy spot to get to and we had a great turn-out!

If you are not involved with your local club, you are missing out.  It seems like every event my club has is better than the last.



Tiger Limia – a BAP score!

Limia sp Tiger fry
Photo by Dennis Ball

After each of our local club meetings we have a BAP / HAP auction.  Well at the February meeting I picked up some very cool Limia sp. Tiger (Wayne Cade BAP submission).  It has been a very long time since I’ve kept any livebearers and these cool little fish make an interesting addition to the fish room.

Well, needless to say, it wasn’t any time at all and I found some new fry while doing a water change. WOW these guys are huge! After working with egg scatters for the past few years I was taken back with the size of these new born fry. Thanks again Wayne!

Originating from the island of Haiti, the males grow to around 1.25 inches with the females just slightly larger at 1.5 inches.  These fish are very easy to keep and have eaten anything I offered to them.  They especially like live foods such as mosquito larvae and baby brine shrimp, but just as eagerly eat Repashy gel and Golden Pearls prepared foods.  I have them in a 10 gallon tank with my L201 plecos, but at the rate they are reproducing they will need larger accommodations soon!

If you are a Tropical Fish Hobbyist digital subscriber, Bill Allen has a nice article about these in the April 2010 issue.

Celestial Pearl Danio History

It’s not often that you get the chance to witness the introduction of a new fish into the hobby, but in the case of the ‘Galaxy Rasbora’, I was in the right place at the right time and that was exactly what happened…..

In the wee hours of the morning of September the 6th 2006, Kamphol Udomritthiruj of AquariCORP made the following post on the Petfrd forum, (a Singapore ­based fishkeeping website). Continue reading Celestial Pearl Danio History

Poret Corner Filters

When I heard my friend Stephan was moving out of the area, I knew the clock was running for me to get all my tanks converted over to HMF filtration.  Normally with largers tanks I just use the typical HMF where the sheet of foam goes from front to back / top to bottom on one end of the tank, but with my new 40 breeders I though I’d make corner filters.

Using HMF corner filters saves on the amount of foam needed and gives you a cleaner look in your tank.  If you leave enough room behind your corner filter you can hide things like heaters, bulk heads and pumps.  It’s also nice to syphon your water out behind the foam when doing water changes on tanks with fry.

Roll up your sleves and I’ll show you how I constructed my DIY corner filters in a future post!

Petco $1 gallon sale

What a great deal offered by Petco!  Every year Petco has their $1 per Gallon sale and this year I picked up four 40 gallon breeder tanks.  That a full load for an Isuzu Rodeo!

I purchased these through the Petco located in Troy Ohio.  They were not in stock so the store manager ordered them and even though they didn’t come in until after the sale was over, I got the $1 per gallon sale price.  Thank you Jesse!

I’m going to make some Poret HMF corner filters for these tanks so stay tuned.

Spawning Danio meghalayensis

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to acquire a group of 8 Danio meghalayensis from my good friend Stephan Tanner of Swiss Tropicals. As these fish are quite rare here in the states you can imagine my delight!

After several failed attempts at spawning these fish using a breeder set-up, I decided to loaded them up with live foods and started to monitor them very closely.  Several weeks ago during an afternoon thunderstorm they spawned. Continue reading Spawning Danio meghalayensis