Category Archives: video posts

Spawning Tank for Egg Scatterers

I am in the process of planning the last rack build for my new fish room, which will be a rack of smaller aquarium specifically for hatching eggs and raising fry.  There will also be tanks used to collect eggs from scattering species.  I used to do this with mops or other spawning media on the bottom of a bare tank, and then net the adults out after they lay the eggs.  The challenge with some species is seeing the eggs, especially is there is a lot of spawning media in the tank.  I prefer to use a false bottom system, with a screen through which the eggs will fall, making is easier to separate the fish from the eggs.  But all the methods I have tried before have never been as easy or as effective as I want them to be.  This time I am going to build spawning tanks with screen bottoms out of 2.5-gallon tanks and set them into larger tanks to collect and hatch the eggs in.  This video will show you how I built that 2.5-gallon egg trap.


Filed under Fishroom, video posts

Breeding Project – Dawkinsia rohani – Part 2

The first attempt to raise the fry of the Rohani barb was unsuccessful, so I collected a LOT more eggs and tried again.  I tried a few different ways to incubate the eggs, but the end result was that the best method was to use a filtered incubator aquarium with subdued light.  Just like I tried the first time.  I think that the original batch of eggs were infertile.  That is not uncommon with larger egg scatterers that have not laid eggs in a long time.  Takes a while to work the old eggs out.  I have had this happen with Congo tetras too.


Filed under Fish, video posts

Breeding Project – Dawkinsia rohani


I have had a small group of four Rohani barbs for about 5 years.  They have been living in my 150-gallon display tank in my living room for quite a while.  I have always intended to try to induce them to spawn and raise some fry, and now that time has come.  There were two challenges to overcome.

  • Space requirements – These are not small barbs!  The males are over 4″, and they use the entire 150-gallon tank chasing each other and displaying for the females.  I think that they could get by spawning in a 75-gallon, but I do not have an open tank that big to move them to.  So I had to figure out a way to collect eggs from them in the 150 they are in.
  • No information – Everyone I asked about spawning this species told me that it has not been done.  I do not believe that to be true, but there is certainly no information about raising the fry.  The process to hatch the eggs and rear the fry will be trial and error until the requirements are figured out.

The first video will show the spawning, egg collection and first attempt at hatching.  Enjoy…


Filed under Fish, video posts

Tannins in the Aquarium – Part 2

Here is the second part to the video set on using botanicals to infuse tannins into an aquarium.  Tannins are an important part of a soft water, black water aquarium.  Fish from these habitat really thrive in tannin-rich water.  They are more active and their colors are vibrant.  The botanicals that I feature in this video series came from Tannin Aquatics .  I am very happy with the products Tannin Aquatics sent me.

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Filed under Basics, video posts

Tannins in the Aquarium – Part 1

I keep a lot of fish species from soft, black-water habitats.  I have visited some of these places in both Africa and South America, and have seen many videos shot by traveling aquarists.  The factor in those habitats that is the most obvious, and the least represented in most aquariums, is the amount of decaying organic matter that rests on the bottom of the habitat, be it puddle or stream.  I have waded into water netting fish and sunk to my knees in thick piles of leaves, sticks, seed pods and any other organic matter that hits the water and sinks to the bottom.  There are plenty of pretty, clear, sand-bottomed, fast running streams in the tropical world, but most of the fish we keep come from the mucky waters.

I started keeping botanicals in my aquariums several years ago.  After visiting Peru last year, I have greatly increased the amount of organic debris I put in with my dwarf cichlids, but nowhere near the amount that is in the natural habitat.  To match that I would have to fill a 10-gallon tank full from top to bottom with leaves, but I do not think that is wise in such a small volume of water.  The bottomlands we were collecting in had ponds with thousands of gallons of water over a thick layer of debris, but the water was still deeper than the layer of leaves.  If you tried it in a 75-gallon tank you would want 10-12″ of matter on the bottom with clear water over it.  Someday I will have the guts to try that!

This video begins a short series on using botanicals in the aquarium.  I will show you leaves, bark, seed pods and other things that I use.  I will also introduce you to a great source of exotic botanicals, Tannin Aquatics.  I shot this video just after getting a big box of items from Tannin Aquatics, many of which I had not tried before.  So far so good.  The first episode will show you how I prepare the heavier objects, such as bark, coconut husk and seed pods, before putting them into the tanks.


Filed under Basics, video posts

75-gallon Planted Tanks Project – Part 7: Lighting and Carbon Dioxide

Here is part 7 in the planted tank series, which will be the last episode for a few months.  At this point I am doing regular maintenance and waiting for the plants to grow.  Eventually I will add some more plants to the tanks and stock with with fish.  When that happens I will publish as update on the tanks.

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Feeding Flies to Betta sp. ‘Antuta’

Before I tell this story I want to make the point that I keep a VERY clean fish room.  All my fish foods are kept in tight containers, and most of it is kept in a fridge or freezer to preserve its freshness.  I take out the garbage at least three times each week, especially if there is something stinky in the trash can.  The rare dead fish are not tossed into the garbage, they are flushed.  I sweep the floor once a week.  I flush out the drain gutters once a week by putting a hose into each of the open ends, just in case something that can rot gets into the gutters.  I take the cleanliness of the fish room very seriously!

So I was very surprised, and somewhat concerned, this week when dozens of green bottle flies showed up in the fish room.  You have probably seen these flies before.  They are a medium size fly with an iridescent emerald green color.  Pretty for a fly, but not something that I want infesting the fish room.  The green bottle fly is a carrion fly, which means that it lays its eggs in rotting organic matter.  My immediate reaction was to find the dead carcass where the flies were breeding.  I ransacked the fish room.  Nothing.  Nothing stinks like dead flesh either.  I have no idea where the flies are coming from, but I have to assume that they are getting into the basement from within a wall where there is something dead.  I am confident that my room itself is not producing the flies.  So what to do with the flies?

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  I have been given flies, so I will use them for fish food.  They are pretty easy to catch with a dry fish net.  Just leave one light on in the fish room and all the flies go to that place.  So far there have been a out a dozen flies at a time in the fish room, so I spend a few minutes catching all I can for a few minutes and feeding them to the fish.  The life cycle of the fly is long enough that if I catch them a couple times every day I should be preventing them from laying more eggs.  Eventually the flies will disappear.  Until that thankful day the fish will get some great live food!

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Filed under Fish, video posts

75-gallon Planted Tanks Project – Part 6 – Filtration

I had intended to try to cover filtration, lighting and CO2 all in one video, but it would have been too long.  Here is an episode on filtration.  You will hear me describe a new product my Boyd Enterprises… ChemiPure Green.  That product is not on the market yet, but I really like it.  I am sure that it will be released soon.


Filed under Basics, video posts

Interesting Things to See at the California Academy of Sciences

My family and I took a long weekend trip out to San Francisco and spent a few hours visiting the California Academy of Sciences.  I have been there several times and have posted several more detailed videos.  This video is a fast-paced look at many of the cool things to see at the museum.  Enjoy.

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Filed under video posts, Zoo/Aquarium

75-gallon Planted Tanks Project – Part 5 – planting the level bottom

Here is the follow up video that shows the planting of the level-bottom aquarium in the fish room.  The plants for this tank are all Tropica 1-2-Grow! tissue culture stem plants.

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