Only one fry has survived from my Kribs' first batch of babies. The sole survivor is very healthy, constantly active by foraging for food in the algae growing over rocks and the glass, and I love watching the parents protect him. The Kribensis certainly are fierce in guarding their young from other fish.
I added some new bulbs to the Oceania tank. I tossed in a few aponogeton bulbs, an onion bulb, and a water lily bulb that came in a Top Fin "Betta Bulb" pack from Petsmart for about $3.00. Here the onion bulb (wedged between some driftwood to discourage it from floating) seems to have extended it's sprout a little bit. I also added fertilizer for the first time yesterday, one cap-full of Seachem Flourish, and increased the lighting by turning on another 15 Watt CFL.
The blue Moon Platy is checking out his new home. Banana Plant and Parrotsfeather are attached to the wooden stump. Sago is growing in the bottom right corner and background, and Duckweed, Hornwort, and another Parrotsfeather are floating in the top right creating a "mossy forest" sort of feeling. I like that.
A wild guppy forages for bits of flake food. This is also a fairly good look at Parrotsfeather growing upright from the substrate at right. All of this Parrotsfeather is beginning to grow new offshoots and little white roots.
I began by collecting the materials I wanted in my tank. Rock, wood, twigs, laterite, sand, and gravel. I used these to "sketch" out a rough design and for brainstorming an overall look and functional layout within the tank.
With the design in front of me I cut a piece of mat board to fit the back of the aquarium and applied a warm, yellowish brown gradient of acrylic paint that closely matched some of the colors in the gravel, rock and wood. This will be the backdrop for the tank and was inspired by photos I looked at while researching the Rio Negro. I am considering making this a "black water" tank by using gardening peat in the filter to stain the water a brownish color.
Next I emptied the tank and placed it on the stand before checking for level.
I then used masking tape to mark where I wanted the major features of the tank to go.
After attaching the background I went to work on the substrate by mixing laterite and sand together while being sure to keep it's highest point towards the back corner of the tank below the bottom layer of masking tape.
Next I stacked my rocks to create something akin to a riverbank setting.
Next came the wood and twigs that I was hoping would simulate roots. This wood has not been saturated with water and has a tendency to float so I used the twigs to wedge it into place.
I then removed the tape and sprinkled a layer of river gravel across the rocks and laterite to give a natural and slightly more uniform appearance to the entire tank.
I was lucky enough to have my adolescent Kribensis pair spawn a small brood of fry. There were initially five and now there is only one left but that is typical for young fish parents. Here are the babies from day 1 to day 12 (I skipped many days in between)
The fry have been fed a mixture of crushed flake and frozen baby brine shrimp. Thanks for the tips Mike! I think I'll name this one after you.
One night, while sitting in front of my 75 gallon tank, watching my Kribensis and Australian Rainbows and Black Skirt Tetras, I began to realize that I was collecting fish from around the globe. The Tetras originate from South America, the Kribensis from Africa and the Australian Rainbows....well Australia of course.
I found myself fascinated with the idea of making an aquarium that represents all the Continents of the world with fish. As I watched them swim I began to calculate how to go about achieving varied colors in my tank while including male and female pairs of peaceful fish from every continent.
Recent reading had led me to become interested in Boesemani Rainbows and I learned that they were native to New Guinea. Depending on your definition of continent and geo-political interpretations, Boesemani Rainbows could be from Asia or Australia. Cool. Lets buy some.