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Ratvan

Ratvans RSM 130D Shell Dwelling Cichlids (Freshwater)

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Ratvan

Greetings, 

 

So thanks for anyone that actually stuck through the first 6 months of my Reefing journey with this tank. The decision to go with Freshwater was a hard one but ultimately i think for the best as I will still get enjoyment from this tank while I think and plan about how I will get my "largish" reef. 

 

Tank Details

Tank:          Red Sea MAX 130D

Heater:      100W Adjustable Submersible

Flow:          Ehiem Compact 1000 (250GPH) Return 

Light:         168w Chinese Black Box, white channel only (Warm White, Cool White, Red and Green LEDS) 

Filtration    Intank Media Basket, Filter Floss > Carbon > Bio Spheres

 

Substrate:  Mix of types and sizes

Aragonite           0.5 - 1.0mm

Crushed Coral    1.0 - 4.0mm 

Black Gravel        1.0 - 2.0mm 

River Sand          0.5 - 2.0mm 

 

Livestock: Shell Dwelling Cichlids

6 Multies - Neolamprologus Multifasciatus

download.jpg.4a9a9e69ffcf57c666ebe74b7f3e3014.jpg

 

2 "Masked" Julies - Julidochromis Transcriptus

Masked_Julie_Julidochromis_transcriptus_.thumb.jpg.30f292bcc4920905a5204841b27b580a.jpg

 

Livestock: Clean up Crew

6 Zebra Nerite Snails

***Siamese Algae Eater*** - unsure if i want to add a SAE or Pleco, or leave entirely and just have the Tanganyika Cichlids.

 

Aquascape Inspiration - Lake Tanganyika

vallisneria-aethiopica-kel-a1.jpg.d182febbe0df458edf621a776e9a03f7.jpg101220182136031.thumb.jpg.0ecf1de435509674c4bd6743ea443c71.jpg101220182137091.jpg.e902585365b7e5a8a487e2240ef1107a.jpg

 

Aquascape Plan - Biotope (ish)

1133566964_Aquascape2.jpeg.17102acb4f43dc28d926f626ef52373f.jpeg

 

I intend to create a tank similar in appearance to the above with some minor changes due to the livestock that I have picked. I'm not going to have as densely planted "carpet" as the fish are Shell Dwellers they will excavate and aquascape the tank how they see fit. I decided on the above as the Juliochromis (Julies hereafter) are typically rock dwellers and the Multifasciatus (Multies hereafter) dwell in shells in large colonies. I decided that the rocks off to one side (rear corner) would give me a greater amount of substrate area for the shell dwellers. I do have several slate pieces that I can add to break up line of sight and aggression if needed. Also I didn't want a bare sand and shells scape, I will be planting to give cover as well as movement to the tank at all level of the water column

 

This is not going to be a true Biotope as a lot of the plants that grow in Lake Tanganyika are not available in the hobby, so I plan on adding plants that are as close as possible in place. Hence Biotope-ish. 😄

 

Aquatic Plants

Anubias - various varieties

Java Fern - various varieties

Vallisneria - Various varieties

 

Air Plants

Considering having an emergent branch from the tank to which i can affix air plants.....

 

Current Tank Shots

Aquascape 2.jpeg

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Ratvan

Alternative Stocking

So I have been thinking about what to do with this tank if i cannot get the fish that I am currently wanting. I have a couple of different options. 

 

Malawi - Labidochromis Tank (Yellow Labs and Blue Cobolts)

4 (3F/1M) Yellow Labs

1663741667_ElectricYellowLab.jpg.9576fcf2d2c7e1e8515934a9b4de7451.jpg

 

4 (3F/1M) Blue Zebra's

1381197133_BlueZebra.jpg.4cff3c1fb4626f3061bcce632c6c9a46.jpg

 

Malawi - Dogtooth

5-8 Afra Cichlids

2037597844_AfraDogtooth.jpg.80fbbc323f77eb3be44f07201afb2a8d.jpg

Chubby Pleco

 

Here be Dragons Tank - Senegalese Birchirs

Birchir Pair - will get Albino's and a lot more plants. 

1195760363_AlbinoSenegalBirchir.jpg.c346ad5f67120ca8b034b530901771b0.jpg

 

Community Tanks

Option 1.

German Blue Ram Pair

24432550_BLueRamPair.jpg.069fda653b587dcfab8cfb1169b41de8.jpg

12 Ember Tetra

761848032_EmberTetra.jpg.033c90415c652b2092cd2bf0356b8ee8.jpg

Chubby Pleco

125276384_ChubbyPleco.jpg.b18541d55ad2819bd4b723bf741086ce.jpg

 

Option 2. 

8 Hatchet Fish

1964425915_HatchetFish.thumb.jpg.53f529f3a2678bfe02c0da207b1aa0ea.jpg

Chubby Pleco

125276384_ChubbyPleco.jpg.b18541d55ad2819bd4b723bf741086ce.jpg

 

Option 3. 

2 Keyhole Cichlids

Keyhole-Cichlid.jpg.201e865f3b8a96de85a49a119e5fa710.jpg

12 Ember Tetra

761848032_EmberTetra.jpg.033c90415c652b2092cd2bf0356b8ee8.jpg

Chubby Pleco

125276384_ChubbyPleco.jpg.b18541d55ad2819bd4b723bf741086ce.jpg

Senegal Birchir.jpg

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Ratvan

reserved

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DSFIRSTSLTWATER

This thing should look awesome when you're done! :happydance:

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EfrainChicagoDeepdish

How exciting. Do you have experience in freshwater and planted tanks?  I look forward to this tanks journey.  

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Gourami Swami

Cool to see a reefer do a freshwater setup in a RSR! Freshwater people don't normally do nearly as in-depth of a tank journal or anything like that, so will be interesting to see. Nice fish choice as well, tanganyikans are wonderful. On the algae eater, personally I'd leave it out, will throw the fish stock theme and the snails and Julies should do a decent job on the algae. 

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Ratvan
1 hour ago, DSFIRSTSLTWATER said:

This thing should look awesome when you're done! :happydance:

Thank you, I hope so. Have been calling around LFS's (that are still open) and none carry Shell Dwellers..... lots of Lake Malawi but nothing from Tanganyika. Going to give a couple of wholesalers a ring and see if i can get my grubby mitts on any. If not I have found some Odd Balls that I am considering

21 minutes ago, EfrainChicagoDeepdish said:

How exciting. Do you have experience in freshwater and planted tanks?  I look forward to this tanks journey.  

About 15 years experience with fresh water. 10 years of that with low tech planted tanks (no CO2 etc) 

19 minutes ago, Gourami Swami said:

Cool to see a reefer do a freshwater setup in a RSR! Freshwater people don't normally do nearly as in-depth of a tank journal or anything like that, so will be interesting to see. Nice fish choice as well, tanganyikans are wonderful. On the algae eater, personally I'd leave it out, will throw the fish stock theme and the snails and Julies should do a decent job on the algae. 

Thanks, it will definitely be interesting. The long term aims for the tank is to get the Cichlids (if i go that route) to breed

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billygoat

Awesome build, very well-planned so far. I hope you are able to find the livestock you are after, and I can't wait to see it once it all comes together! I'll be following along of course. 👍

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Ratvan

Morning all, so decided to pop into the office early and get this thing started so that I can begin the cycle. Was aiming for a 3" sandbed/substrate for the Shell Dwellers I know that they will re arrange and dig and burrow and rescape the open area, very messy from adding the pre rinsed sand and rocks

IMG_20200319_083120_resized_20200319_111637177.thumb.jpg.1bcd690f1fbbcab0386b249cca6e8c5c.jpg

 

Not the final placement, I was using the position of the rocks to work out if I have enough floor space with a corner planting for different shell dweller territories

IMG_20200319_083130_resized_20200319_111637468.thumb.jpg.14111b4a0dc3558759b3eb55c945e45e.jpg

I think I might have to use all of the rocks into one corner and plant off of that singlular island

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kimberbee

So... the office is back open?

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Ratvan
Just now, kimberbee said:

So... the office is back open?

Yes I am keeping it open, I can have at most 25 people in the office at once and maintain all COVID19 regulations from the UK Government, So I have arranged for a lot of people to work from home (those who can) and the rest will be working from site, or early shifts, late shifts, weekends whatever. As long as the work is done and we're not over the allowable limit I dont really care.

 

Have 200 staff, majority are subcontractors so I need to keep them earning money as long as possible 

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Amphrites

Summa those fish will get too big, odd that local stores can't seem to find shellies, but there's probably someone within driving distance who can sell you enough to get started, they populate quickly so 4-6 are enough to get things rolling.

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Ratvan
6 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

Summa those fish will get too big, odd that local stores can't seem to find shellies, but there's probably someone within driving distance who can sell you enough to get started, they populate quickly so 4-6 are enough to get things rolling.

I found a couple of wholesalers within reasonable distance, basically I need to get my tank up and cycled then can start dropping in on people and seeing stock. When this Corona shit has blown over

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Amphrites
58 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

I found a couple of wholesalers within reasonable distance, basically I need to get my tank up and cycled then can start dropping in on people and seeing stock. When this Corona shit has blown over

Aye, that might be a while unfortunately, reactionaries are the flavor of the day.

 

Glad you found a source though that's awesome.

 

I can't shake the feeling that, had places just shut down a few weeks when this nonsense was first imported, we'd all likely be done with it and only two-weeks pay for the worse instead of it dragging on and killing people...

 

But that would require a level of proactivity, foresight, attention to experts, and willingness to put people ahead of profit which we somehow seem to be incapable of in modernity...

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Ratvan

So got a larger tank into the RSM today to work as an ATO reservoir, it now has nearly 10 gallons in its ATO. 

 

I still have to be in the office at least twice a week, I am however planning for the day when i will not be able to get into the office for a couple of weeks. That 10G should be suitable for at least 2 weeks based on current evaporation. Also entering the Uglies at the moment, diatoms all over the tank

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Ratvan

IMG_20200331_085316.thumb.jpg.58b81cc2acb62a9624419e17d58fcad5.jpg

 

Diatoms everywhere

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debbeach13

Good luck with your new set up, following.

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Ratvan
8 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Good luck with your new set up, following.

Well it will be at least a month until i see the tank again. I have officially been placed under Furlough and am not allowed to enter the office

Good news is that the ATO that I filled up over a week ago has barely had any evaporation or use and is nearly full so i am relatively happy that the water will last the month

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debbeach13

Sorry to hear that. Is furlough until notice?

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Ratvan
1 minute ago, debbeach13 said:

Sorry to hear that. Is furlough until notice?

For myself Furlough is in effect from 01.04.2020 to 30.04.2020, it will be reviewed nearer to the end of the month

I can get into the office once a week if I want to, but for the time being i will leave that for now. Maybe once a fortnight to top up the ATO

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Ratvan

IMG-20200430-WA0008.thumb.jpg.c5a59f4e0400271e2f2230919750eb66.jpg

 

So that's looking sexy

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debbeach13

Did you sneak into the office? Do not give any fish tank coffee no matter how much it asks for it.

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Ratvan
3 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Did you sneak into the office? Do not give any fish tank coffee no matter how much it asks for it.

One of my staff. 

Screenshot_20200430_115902_com.whatsapp.thumb.jpg.834769c5445c78a45553fca050c7f0f8.jpg

Screenshot_20200430_115856_com.whatsapp.jpg

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debbeach13

You are going to be busy in more ways than one when you go back.

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Ratvan
1 hour ago, debbeach13 said:

You are going to be busy in more ways than one when you go back.

Yeah I know, in the back of my mind i am aware that lockdown phase 2 can come at anytime so i'm not 100% sure how i will proceed with this.

I've been stopped twice by Police today which is different, usually dont see the buggers. I reckon, a week, maybe 2 weeks tops before we're all back on lockdown again

 

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