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I need some help and advise about space for breeding fish

IndianaSam

CCA Members
Hi all,

As the title suggests, I need a little help. I currently have a 135g community display tank, 2-40g breeder planted tanks, 2-20g high, 1-10g and 1-5.5g. I'm really enjoying the tanks, but I'm feeling a little restless. I guess that the best way to describe the tanks is as display tanks in which breeding accidentally occur. Like I said, it's fun and I enjoy the tanks, but I feel like I want more direction. I want to have more purpose. I'm mostly interested in dwarf cichlids, catfish, shrimp and maybe tetras (not all at the same time, obviously).

So, how would you configure the tanks in order to facilitate working with one, maybe two, species at a time? The 135g is going to remain as a display community tank. I think I want it that way for continuity. Other than that, I'm completely open to reconfiguring the rest.

So, what would you do with those options? 40s bare bottom for growout, 20s to keep the fish, 10g and 5.5g for spawning?

Thanks in advance!

Sam
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
I wouldn't use anything smaller than a 10 gallon for spawning unless you're working with something like a pygmy sunfish. Even then, it's less than ideal.

To some extent, it's a matter of personal preference.

I've had better luck with cories in "low" tanks (30B, 20 long) where surface area is prioritized over depth. With apistos, at least for many, a 10 gallon is sufficient for spawning, but getting them to grow out quickly will require something larger. Overall, I prefer to use at least 20 gallons to grow fish out but for large spawns a 30 or 40 breeder is probably better. When I'm dealing with tetras I mostly use 10 gallons but will use a 20 standard for something big like Congos. Bare bottom is probably best if you want to be sure an egg scatterer has spawned, but it doesn't necessarily put cichlids and catfish in the mood. Bare bottom can be best for growouts if you're the type who feeds heavy and water changes daily, but keep in mind that substrate, plants, leaves, etc. provide grazing surface and a growth medium for infusoria and other creepy crawlies that especially tiny fry enjoy. There's no short answer and there's probably not a right one either. I started my small fish room to take on specific projects and, as Christine pointed out in her recent talk, many of those tanks just become permanent residences.
 

IndianaSam

CCA Members
So, you saying there’s no magic formula. Well, that’s disappointing! ;-)

I guess I need to pick a direction and stick with it.
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
So, you saying there’s no magic formula. Well, that’s disappointing! ;-)

I guess I need to pick a direction and stick with it.

You're welcome to visit my itty-bitty fish room if you'd like an example of making things somewhat productive in a small space. Most of my cichlids spawn in larger community tanks (except for when I'm working with apistos) and I move fry to a grow out if it doesn't look like the parents can protect them. Cories can go 2 ways - you can scrape the eggs off the tank and put them in a well-aerated breather box, or move the adults out of the tank and let the eggs hatch. Some prefer to scatter eggs in plants, which makes them a little easier to move.

I never really picked a direction, honestly. The other thing I can suggest is that you can make tanks "flexible" by using 2" thick reticulated foam as a divider in larger tanks (30 breeder, 40 breeder), effectively turning 1 tank into 3. This is a nice way to let fish like cories and apistos "share hormones," given that some folks swear that water from a spawning pair or group will inspire similar fish to spawn.
 

IndianaSam

CCA Members
You're welcome to visit my itty-bitty fish room if you'd like an example of making things somewhat productive in a small space. Most of my cichlids spawn in larger community tanks (except for when I'm working with apistos) and I move fry to a grow out if it doesn't look like the parents can protect them. Cories can go 2 ways - you can scrape the eggs off the tank and put them in a well-aerated breather box, or move the adults out of the tank and let the eggs hatch. Some prefer to scatter eggs in plants, which makes them a little easier to move.

I never really picked a direction, honestly. The other thing I can suggest is that you can make tanks "flexible" by using 2" thick reticulated foam as a divider in larger tanks (30 breeder, 40 breeder), effectively turning 1 tank into 3. This is a nice way to let fish like cories and apistos "share hormones," given that some folks swear that water from a spawning pair or group will inspire similar fish to spawn.
I was definitely thinking of using mattenfilters in the 40 breeders to make them more flexible in terms of usage.
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
I was definitely thinking of using mattenfilters in the 40 breeders to make them more flexible in terms of usage.
I've done a few with one on each end to get cross-current for swift-water fish. One of them has two uplift tubes on each end so it's kind of a little whirlpool. Mattenfilters are really versatile and very useful.
 

IndianaSam

CCA Members
I've done a few with one on each end to get cross-current for swift-water fish. One of them has two uplift tubes on each end so it's kind of a little whirlpool. Mattenfilters are really versatile and very useful.
Well, hopefully the club will do a group buy from SwissTropicals at some point. He’s not coming to the BFD, is he?
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
Well, hopefully the club will do a group buy from SwissTropicals at some point. He’s not coming to the BFD, is he?
No. I remember that Andrewtfw Andrewtfw (I think) had a link to some he bought on e-bay. I've bought foam from them. I make my own uplifts/jetlifters. I like that you can get really coarse stuff from Swiss Tropicals but, honestly, it's not that much different than other reticulated foam out there if you're going for a medium or fine foam.
 

Andrewtfw

Global Moderators
Staff member
I've actually only bought foam from Swiss Tropicals.
On eBay, the foam you'd want is called "bio sponge filter media." I believe it is only available up to two inches in thickness. Flip Aquatics and Angels Plus also carry foam for mattenfilters.
 
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