Rene is Here to Stay?

Just a quickie to tell you that Rene the bristlenose catfish is doing well and I hope is here to stay. He has one blister on his side that I can see and overall seems a lot smoother and back to his normal handsome self. He also seems to have eaten an algae wafer a day for two days; previously I was fishing out the uneaten wafers. He also seems to be behaving more normally, moving around more often and being his usual shy self when he is startled.

He is still in his small hospital tank and I’ve been changing 2/3 of the water every day and adding ‘cycle’ drops to the water. I’m so pleased not to have lost him and hope he is 100% soon.

In the community, Big Boi is building his THIRD nest. I’m afraid I destroyed the beginnings of the last one when I gave the tank a thorough cleaning when I first noticed fish illness. He has now forgiven me and trusts me enough not to mess with this one…

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Help! My Dwarf Gourami is nesting!

Big Boi the male Dwarf Gourami has started building a bubble nest! Just when I thought fish couldn’t get any more exciting! He has been carrying small pieces of plant matter to the nest, going to the surface frequently then swimming underneath the nest to release bubbles. He has been chasing any other fish who get too close for his liking.

The next stage, usually starting in an afternoon or evening, is the male showing off to the female by swimming around her flapping his fins, generally saying, “hey babe, come and look at my cosy nest!”

I’m sure Betty will go for it as Big Boi is very handsome and lets face it he is the ONLY male of her species in the tank. If she accepts him after his display, they should swim in circles underneath the nest. When she is ready for spawning, she would touch him with her mouth on his back, then he helps her to get those tens of eggs into the nest which he fertilises immediately. It will then be up to the male to blow more bubbles over the eggs to help keep them part of the nest. After 12-24 hours, the eggs will hatch. After about three days the young ones should be able to swim on their own so will escape the nest.

This is the part where I need HELP. Assuming all of this will happen successfully, advice I have read about using a breeding tank is that the female is removed straight away and the male removed after a few days of caretaking the nest. If the parents are not removed, the young are eaten. Bearing in mind that this is happening by chance in my 200Litre community tank, not a shallow water breeding tank, is it enough for me to see if any tiddlers survive on their own or could I remove the eggs and nest and keep them in a small tank? I would have to get another heater of course…

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

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Platy Fry-Up!

Minnie, Lemony Snicket (pictured with dark fry shadow on her transparent belly, oh and the start of a fishpoop) and Netty are fit to burst! They are all spending a bit of time nestling in plants or hovering (yeah, fish hover) in one place for a while. I don’t think their bellies can stretch any more…. I’ve ordered a floating plant so that will complete my efforts to provide hiding places for any that survive greedy mouths….. Come on girls!

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New Fish Alert!

Hi there, the tank community is slowly growing. Today I added a male and female Golden Dwarf Cichlid, three who-knows-what-sex Sterba’s Corydoras and one big female Bristlenose Catfish. Thanks to my super sister-in-law, I had Maidenhead Aquatics vouchers for my birthday and spent many on my new fish. I added a piece of bogwood from Nancy* the Bristlenose’s tank and three little terracotta flower pots from a garden centre.

All fish seem happy and alert and the Platy ladies still look full-bellied and pregnant so I’m glad not to have missed any action. Randy has been trying to get some action but hasn’t had any joy this evening. The Scissors are shoaling nicely and George and Speckled Jim are as elusive as usual.

The picture shows the mighty mouth of Nancy, a couple of Corys and the male Cichlid.

*Final fish thought: does everyone name their fish, even if they don’t mention this on fish forums or websites?

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