The Loach Tank is up and cycling. The tank started cycling with 3 zebra danios and 3 longfin blue danios. We have added 5 golden white clouds, 2 corydoras julii, and 3 ringed loaches. We are hoping to add a snail soon. Unfortunately, the little longfin blue danio was not able to handle the current, or just got manhandled in being transferred. I moved all of the longfins to the school tank that is currently being housed in the breezeway, but the little one died. Once the Endler guppy fry have grown enough, we will move them out there to keep the danios company. Here is the progress of

The Loach Tank:

Loach Tank dry design

Loach Tank dry design

IMAG0408 We started to fill the bottom tank AFTER I put all the rocks in. We are going for river/stream bed here, so we put down regular coffee colored gravel, then the red/brown substrate, then small pebbles and then, finally, the larger rock features and smooth stones.

Phil started siphoning in the water (to the right) while I ran to get plants and the new residents.

I put in the plants after there were about 6 inches of water, which was MUCH easier than planting them once all of the water was in the tank, but still a bit of a pain. It stirs up quite a bit of silt from the substrate, which makes it hard to see what you are doing.

IMAG0420 Here is the Loach Tank all put together. You will notice that the little cave over the power heads had to go. It kept falling off, and then once I had it secured, it was rattling something fierce. I decided to go with a rock on the side to obscure the power heads from view, and I will look for a smaller piece of driftwood to cover them with. The large piece I purchased out of a bin at A World of Fish in Richfield, MN.

The current residents:

Ringed loaches:

These are schistura beavani, which come from Bangladesh, India and Nepal. They also live in creeks/brooks and therefore, love a tank with a strong current. These little buggers will breed in captivity too…maybe.

Ringed loaches!

Ringed loaches!

Ringed loaches in the agate pool

Ringed loaches in the agate pool

Julii Corys:

One of many in the Coryadora family, Corydora Julii are the current comic relief in this tank. They scuttle all over the place, and try to school with the other fish.

The Corys!

The Corys!

This is especially entertaining when they are attempting to keep up with the Zebra Danios. They are chubby and cute and, much like the black kulis in the main tank, they bump into EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!

Originally, these were planned for Phil’s tank, but they may not make it up there. They would show up better in his tank, but there isn’t anyone for them to interact with up top yet, so we’ll just have to see. I will keep a look out for a different type of cory to add.

Golden White Clouds (Tanichthys albonubes):

Golden White Clouds zooming around

Golden White Clouds zooming around

The Golden White Clouds are a type of mountain minnow that enjoys fast moving current and cool temperatures. They originate from the White Cloud mountains in China. I know you are going to find this hard to believe, but photographing these little guys is a bit tricky. Turns out, they don’t like to stay still very long!

I have not been very impressed with them in this tank due to their tendency to hang out at the top of the water. They have just started to explore the rest of their habitat. I am not so secretly hoping that Phil will relocate them to his new tank.

Zebra Danios (danio rerio):

Zebra Danio in the Loach Tank

Zebra Danio in the Loach Tank

These are the general ding-a-lings of both the loach tank and our main tank. They zip around, playing tag and in general making sure everyone is on their toes. They aren’t really bullies, just reckless, sort of the James Dean of minnows.

The Dark Tank:

After seeing how striking the black gravel/substrate mix was in the shrimp tank, Phil decided that he wanted that look for the 30 gal high tank. We found a fantastic piece of driftwood in a tank in A World of Fish, and asked to purchase it from them. Normally, it is great to get driftwood from an already established tank because it brings all of the helpful algae, etc. with it. Unfortunately, we purchased this months before we actually got the tank set up, so any organisms living on it are long dead.

Dry tank initial design

Dry tank initial design

Fill-er-up!

Fill-er-up!

Phil's tank set up and cycling

Dark tank set up and cycling

We got all super smart about filling this tank! I planted just the two large swords in the corners before we added the water. Since we were impressed with siphoning the water into the tank (a LOT less silt floating around), Phil came up with the brilliant idea of filling the tank by siphoning into the undergravel filter tube. GENIOUS! It still took 2 days to settle out to be as clear at the Loach Tank. I’m guessing it is from having more substrate, and more of it exposed. After it had finished filling, I added the chain swords and vals.

java fern fixed to the log

java fern fixed to the log

I changed the rock formation right before we added the water. I built up more of a ledge around the back of the tank with the driftwood center sticking out farther than the rest.

I also attached java fern to the driftwood using green thread. This keeps the fern in the designated spot until the roots take hold. I decided that rubber bands would look bad, and I don’t like to play with wire in the tanks. I tucked a few little chain swords under the driftwood as well. Eventually, we would like to have a St.Elmo’s Fire growing up behind as an addition to the centerpiece.

There are no current residents.

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