1,376 14

This is a blog from start to finish of my new 75g tank. I am going to post as I go so check back for updates. It will take me several weeks to get it all together and stocked so stay tuned!!

The tank is a Deep Blue and the stand is made by R & J.

A little bit about what I am planning: As the title says, it’s going to have several Weather/Dojo Loaches and 2 Blood Red Parrots. I am hoping to get the WL’s to spawn and get some fry from them!!

The background (on the outside) will be a bamboo window shade cut to fit and velcro’d to the trim. Thank you Laryl, for the idea!!

I plan on a lot of plants (yes, both types of fish are known diggers but it’s okay). I plan to have some Swords, Madagascar Lace, Java Fern, Penny & Moneywort, Hornwort and some Flame moss. There are several other plants I’m looking at but not sure about them yet.

The substrate will be a mix of small and large river stones (gravel size, not the really large rocks). I am going to be using 2 Hydro V sponge filters and a Rena XP 3 for the filtration. The light will be a Marineland LED Plant light. It will also have a 25W UV sterilizer that will be inline with the XP 3. A heater, circulation pump and powerhead will also be used.

Since the BRP’s like caves, I am going to attempt to make my own with slate and an undergravel filter. I am going to use aquarium silicone to attach the filter to the slate pieces. The slits in the filter will have Java Ferns in half and some moss in the other half. It will take a while to fill in but hopefully will look nice. It will serve 2 purposes, a cave for the BRP’s and a place for the Loaches to rest. I might put some other “floating” plants in the slits too but will have to wait and see how it looks as I go.

I have ordered most of my supplies from Dr’s Foster & Smith and they are supposed to be here on Thursday so can do a more over the long weekend. The only thing I have left to buy is the bamboo.

The 2 sponge filters and some bio media are cycling now. I figured if I start cycling the media now, it will cut out some time on waiting to get the fish. I took a container of water, added a heater and the media. I hooked the sponge filter up to the air pump so they are running like normal. I added Dr. Tim’s One & Only Beneficial Bacteria and about 1/2 capful of ACE Hardware ammonia. Since I have cycled 2 tanks before, I haven’t checked any levels, just going to let it all go for a few days then see where the ammonia is at so I know when to add more to keep the cycle going.

New Tank



Ok, sorry about the crazy posts but I think I have figured out how to edit this!!

9/7/13...I’m going to post the following on this blog since these WL’s will be living in the 75g eventually.

Got 3 new Weather Loaches yesterday. They were all that was left at the LFS. The owner is on the hunt for some with brown spots for me. He is staying on his current supplier for some and is going to check with another supplier too so hopefully some piebald’s will come up somewhere soon. Since the piebald gene is recessive I will need a male and female that carries it to spawn and have me some baby piebald’s :)


9/10/13...Nitrites were 0 in the bucket with the sponge filters so added another 1/2 capful of ammonia. I’ll check it again tomorrow to see how fast it’s processing.


9/13/13...Ammonia is so high it’s a dark teal blue in the tube. I added another 1/2 bottle of One & Only bacteria because I didn’t want the high ammonia level to possibly kill off any of the beneficial bacteria that has already established.


9/14/13...Ammonia 0. Sure didn’t expect this reading. Used the API liquid test so I know it’s accurate. It was just as yellow as could be :) Nitrites are off the chart but that’s okay too. I added 2ml ammonia this time instead of using the cap to measure. Since it’s processing pretty fast, I think it will be safe to order the plants this coming Friday.

Also received some purple slate from Amazon today. It was sooooo much easier to break into smaller pieces than I expected. I was able to make the thick pieces into about 3 thinner pieces then I broke those on down into smaller pieces. A hammer and screwdriver was all I used. I am going to use this to build the caves for the Red Blood Parrot’s that will be in the tank. I’m sure the Loaches will also enjoy them, they love caves too.


9/18/13...Sponge filters are cycled!! Yay!!

I came across some substrate for plants called Eco Complete. I read that some people have had issues with it raising the pH quite a bit. I don’t know if I’m going to try it in this tank or not. The pH issue, when it exists, seems to be short term but I don’t know if I want to fool with it or not. If I choose to use it, I will order online and that will put me off on ordering my plants this week.

The Weather Loaches are still doing great and growing.

I had some family come over this past Sunday and they helped me get the tank moved into the position I want it. Now the only thing really left is finding a bamboo background. Going looking for that this weekend. I have found some nice ones online but concerned about the computer not showing the colors accurately.



Well, in the typical female fashion, I have changed my mind at the last minute. I have all the river rock substrate I need and have now decided to use Eco Complete in Red as the substrate. Since it will be a planted tank, I would like to try a plant specific substrate. I emailed CaribSea and they told me the color is more of a Rust and I like that. I ordered some from Dr’s Foster & Smith yesterday. Got 9 bags coming. I would like approx 3″ in depth and want to have some left over to use around the plants in my other tanks.

The media is cycled so I’m just feeding it daily with ammonia.

I found a bamboo background so it’s been ordered.

I found some “root” decorations at PetSmart and got them home and set them up in the tank. They have a “cave” type area and I think the Blood Parrots will be fine using them (I can only hope).

I am doing a dry run on where I want to put things like the heater, powerhead, and blower. I found out the extra 300w heater is too tall so also ordered a shorter heater. Everything else seems fine. I got the power strip velcro’d onto the inside of the cabinet.

Things are coming along well. Once the background, Eco Complete, and heater are here I can finally get it set up. I’m hoping to add the EC and while it “settles” be cleaning the plants. Some of the rooted plants come with cotton stuff that I like to remove thoroughly and that takes a while. I can then add the plants, decor, then water and turn on the heater and get the temp situated. Before I add the sponge filters and turn on the Rena XP 3 I want to verify the pH, KH, and temp so will let it sit overnight before testing.

Once it’s up and running and testing like it should, the first inhabitants will be 6 young Gold Weather Loaches and 2 brown WL’s (Honey & Nut). The brown pair are a male and female and were doing the spawn swim Saturday night so hopefully once they have more room they will give me some babies. Once these guys and gals are in the tank, I can get some more WL’s to quarantine!!

The plants I have decided on (well, I still might change my mind) are: Java Ferns, Melon Swords, Hygrophila, Hygrophilia Kompact, Micro Sword, Radican Sword, Ludwigia Peruensis, and 3 different kinds of Anubias. These will be my starting plants and would eventually like to add some Flame and Christmas Moss. I’m hoping the plant substrate and LED plant light will really help them to grow well. I have read that some BRP’s will dig up plants so I have some larger river rock to place around/near the roots of at least the larger plants. I don’t expect the Micro Sword to really survive the WL’s and BRP’s but I won’t know unless I try!!



Woooo Hoooooo, All the EC substrate arrived from Dr’s F & S. I’m surprised how well packaged it was. I really like it. It’s a nice rust color with some black pieces blended in. The UPS man didn’t seem too happy about having 5 super heavy boxes to unload though.

The bamboo blind came yesterday and it’s been cut to size and the strings tied off. It’s ready to be hung on the back but I need someone to help me. I’m using large industrial strength velcro so want it to be applied correctly!!

Plants will be here tomorrow. Will most likely spend most of tomorrow night setting everything up.



Received the rest of my supplies on Friday. After I got home from dinner out I got to work on setting up the tank. Got the background velcro’d on the back.

Added 7 bags of Eco Complete and I absolutely love the red!! It’s the color of lava rock with some black mixed in. I was thinking it would be really messy and cloudy but it wasn’t. It’s a good 3″ depth so hopefully that’s enough for the plants. The plants also arrived Friday so got them washed and the cotton cleaned off of the roots and got them planted. I did this with no water added and it was super easy!!

Once the decorations and plants were in place I filled it with the Aqueon water changer and dechlor was added during the fill. Also added some Reef Builder that I typically use for KH.

By the time I got everything done it was about 1AM and I was tired so didn’t set up any filtration. The next day I added the 2 “cycled” sponge filters and the Rena XP 3. I added some bio media that was in the cycling bucket with the sponges. The UV sterilizer is inline on the output of the Rena.

After a few hours of everything running I tested the pH and ammonia. The ph was 8.2 and the Ammonia was 0.50 on the API Master Kit.

Today: Did a 25% pwc this morning to bring down the pH. Also added 1/2 bottle of Dr. Tim’s One & Only and a small bottle of Tetra SafeStart to hopefully kick the cycle back in. The sponges were eating through the ammonia in the tub they were in so not sure what happened but it will all work out soon.

Here is the tank while it was being filled.


Here is the final product after adding some larger River rocks. Thinking about adding a few more.







The ammonia levels were 0 this morning so added 2ml of pure ammonia. I want to know the filters are good and cycled before adding fish. It had gotten the white cloudiness on Sunday before adding the bottled bacteria but that was much better this morning. I had read the EC would do that but typically clears in a day or two. It wasn’t dust or anything, more like a bacterial bloom. The pH was holding at 7.4 and that was nice to see because I was afraid the substrate would raise it back up to 8.2.

Silly me added the bottled bacteria Sunday and forgot to turn off the UV!! DUH!!!! Oh well, I’m sure some of it made it into the sponges. The Rena has a nice size pre- filter sponge so hopefully some bacteria got stuck in the tank/sponges and not all of it got UV’d. What’s really bad is I was thinking to turn off the UV as I was getting the bacteria out of the ‘fridge and forgot, all in a matter of 30 seconds. :P If things seem to have stalled I’ll get another bottle this weekend.

During this afternoon’s pwc on the QT/fry tank I removed the sponge filter and squished it out in the removed water. Then I took some of the “dirty” water and poured some into the new tank. I wanted to “feed” the plants a little bit!! I don’t want them dying before I can get the WL’s in there to start pooping and making plant food. Hopefully that will be enough for now. Also added a tiny Java Fern plantlet from the QT tank. It had attached itself to the filter so it got tossed into the 75. It will be one less to order on Friday. I’m sure hoping LiveAquaria has the Ruffle plants in stock. It would be nice to have the tank completely planted when moving time comes for the loaches.

I really need to figure out how to get some EC into my 120g. I’ll probably just take a cup and add it to the areas around the plants. The only thing growing extremely well in the 120 is some Moneywort & Java Fern. The Amazon Sword is pitiful so really want to get some added around it.



I added a capful of ammonia about 7:45 this morning and it’s 0-trace now (7:15pm). The nitrites are ~5 so hopefully will be 0 in the morning. Nitrates were 10 when tested yesterday so hopefully the tank will be cycled soon. I’m probably cycling higher amounts of ammonia than the 6 small and 2 large WL’s will produce but I’d rather err on the safe side.

One of the Melon Swords is producing a new leaf!! So is one of the Anubias. This is the same Anubias that has all of the current leaves turning yellow. I’m not sure if the direct light was causing that so I scooted the light back some, just in case. I guess it could be the addition of ammonia or maybe just transplant shock. The other 3 Anubias seem to be doing okay though. The one with yellow leaves is closest to the light so not sure what’s going on. It will be interesting to see what this new leaf will do. The Hygrophilia is getting some brown tips on it’s leaves. The other plants seem to be doing extremely well so far. Keeping my fingers crossed everything will flourish once the fish start “feeding” them.

Here is a list of the plants added so far:

Balansae Plant - Bare Root Qty:6

Hygrophila, Temple Narrow Leaf - Bunch Plant Qty:3

Melon Sword - Potted Qty:3

Radican Sword - Potted, Qty:1

Anubias Congensis - Bare Root Qty:5

Hygrophila, ‘Kompakt’ - Potted Plant Qty:3

Dwarf Hairgrass - Tissue Cultured, Qty:2

ChainSword, Narrow Leaf - Potted, Qty:2

I want to add some Anubias Coffeefolia, several Java Ferns, a couple of Ruffle Plants, and some Flame Moss. That will be all unless some of the above don’t survive and have to be replaced with plants that do survive!!



Tank has finally completed it’s mini cycle and a pwc was done to bring nitrates down. Then the fun of catching the 6 WL’s began!! :) It actually went good, I just had to be patient so they didn’t get too stressed. They really seem to love their new home!!



Got 8 Nerite Snails and added them to the 75g today.

Bought 3 new WL’s to replace the 6 from the QT tank. This was all they had in stock. Sad to say I think they have ich. Boooooooooooooo. At least they are in qt. I’m treating them but don’t know if it will work. I did look at them in the store but have gotten to the age that I can’t see tiny stuff even with glasses. I have to lift my glasses to read small print. While drip acclimating I checked them with the flashlight and saw it so now I’m stuck. This will definitely put a damper on getting any more any time soon. If these 3 make it I will then feel the need to completely break down the qt tank and start over with it. I don’t know where I will put these 3 because it definitely won’t be in the 120g or 75g. Ich is one thing I don’t trust to ever be completely gone and don’t want my main tanks cootied up if I can help it.



I moved Nut & Honey (the 2 brown WL’s) from the 45 into their permanent home. It took a good while to catch these two. There were lot’s of hiding places and plants to get around. They seemed really happy today, though. Honey kept darting away when I would walk by the tank but by this afternoon she had forgiven me and was swimming at the top to get hand fed. She even gave me some Loachy kisses :)

I added several Java Ferns and 6 more Balansae Plants.



All the WL’s in the 75g are doing great!! Plants seem to be doing well also :)

The 3 newest Ich infested WL’s are still alive. I have upped the temp to ~82F and am hesitant to go any higher since they are more of a cooler water fish. I have added about 2 tbsp aquarium salt (20g tank). I started Seachem ParaGuard yesterday. They seem calmer today and definitely have fewer spots on their body. The one that has the redness in the tail has no spots whatsoever. I’m really surprised because I thought they ich would definitely attack it since it seems to be compromised in health. I am calling them Small, Medium, and Large based on their sizes. Small is the one with the redness in the tail and no visible ich. Medium and Large have been extremely uncomfortable and have been swimming erratically. They are much “better” today so that’s good to see. Just upsets me to no end to see them suffering like this. I am treating the food with Kanaplex and Metro, mainly for Small but figure the Metro can’t hurt with the ich either. Small is still breathing extremely fast. Either from ich in the gills or being septic or both, I’m assuming. They got an approx. 50% pwc with vac this morning to hopefully remove some of the ich swimming around in the water. The tank is bare bottom so got it vac’d well. I called the LFS and told the owner that the fish have ich. He seemed pretty upset. Doesn’t help me any but at least he wasn’t flippant about it. I still haven’t decided what I’ll do with these 3 if they pull through. I have a few month’s to decide because that’s how long they will be in QT.



The ich’d WL’s are looking and acting much better today. No spots on the bodies that I can see and only a few on the fins. Treatment will continue for 3 weeks or longer, depending on how they handle it. I may have to decrease the temp, salt or something but will try to keep things as they are for as long as possible. Still using the ParaGuard at half dose. Ordered a 2L container and will dose full strength when it arrives this week. I just don’t want to run out since I have a small bottle now. Small still had redness in the tail so will just have to see how things go with that. They are getting NLS food with garlic so hopefully that is helping a little bit also. I’m so disappointed in the LFS. I just wish there was a place to buy healthy fish. It’s not a crime to sell healthy animals but these places sure act like it is. They will have to do some serious convincing for me to get fish from there again. Mainly because I don’t know if it’s the supplier or the shop itself. I’m leaning towards the supplier but can’t ever know for sure. The owner was telling me he’s been thinking about changing suppliers and I vote that’s a good idea!!



Well, the Loaches ich is visibly gone and they are acting much more content. Their dorsal fins are raised and they are swimming normal. Treatment goes on though!! The Small one still has a lot of redness in the tail fins and it didn’t respond to Kanamycin so I’m soaking the food in Triple Sulfa. No rotting or anything, it’s just red. All are eating well so that’s a good thing.

Everyone in the 75g is doing fine and really seem to enjoy their new home. They seem to really enjoy swimming through all the plants :)



The WL’s in the 75g are doing great. They are filling out and growing. It’s hard to believe my little babies are growing up so fast!! They seem to love all of the plants they have. We have some strong - possibly severe weather coming through tonight so it will be interesting to see how they are acting in the morning as the Low pressure system moves on through.

I have almost decided not to add any Blood Parrots to this tank. I am concerned they might get aggressive and harm my WL’s. Also, I am leery to get them from my LFS and really want to be able to pick them out if I do get them. I am going to talk with them tomorrow and see how the ich tank was handled and decide if I can trust their fish or not. The owner did tell me he was going to change suppliers so I hope he has and gets more healthy fish.

The 3 that had ich are doing sooooo much better. Haven’t seen any more cysts in a good while. Of course I’m paranoid that it’s still in the tank though. Even with water changes and ParaGuard I’m still not convinced it will ever be gone. They are still being treated. I started the meds on 10/11 so tomorrow will be 3 weeks. They have handled it really well but I’ve been dosing at half dose. My concern is that half dose only kills half the ich!! Uggghhhh. I may continue meds for another week. Yeah, I definitely will. I wish I had a microscope and could see if any ich is still in the water. The one with the blood in the tail still has some but it’s slowly resolving. I can’t believe that tail hasn’t rotted off but it’s still perfectly intact. They eat very heartily, like typical WL’s do so I’m glad to see that. They seem to be filling out some and growing longer so that’s a good sign. I consider them “rescued” and might have to buy another tank just for rescues that have been “diseased.” Good grief, did I really just make an excuse for another tank???? :)



I ordered some Red Cherry Shrimp to go in the 75g. I have never kept shrimp before so hopefully it will work out. If these do well, I’m thinking about ordering some other types.

The WL’s in this tank are doing wonderful and so are the ich ones!! They are all growing nicely :)



Received the RCS’s this morning from LiveAquaria. Only 4 of the 8 had made it through the journey. I don’t know how common loss is with shrimp since this is my first endeavor with them. I have seem 3 of them out and about and so far the WL’s haven’t seemed to notice them. Hopefully that will continue. I found a site called Elite Inverts that has some other shrimp I am interested in. They have some called Blue Jelly that I like alot. I am going to see if I can find any reviews on that company and if they seem to check out then I will get a couple more varieties/colors of shrimp.


+ 11/12/13

I received my order from Elite Inverts today and all the shrimp were alive and very active, much more so than the Red Cherry’s from LiveAquaria.

I got 10 Super Tiger shrimp, 6 Blue Jelly shrimp + 1 free, 4 Red Lip Nerite Snails, and a nice sized batch of Willow Moss. The moss is in a separate container with some tank water to see if any snails come out.

Most of the shrimp went into the holes of the decorations after being added so hopefully that’s where the RCS’s are!! I’m liable to look in the tank one day and have a bazillion shrimp :)

The Rena XP 3 got cleaned today. I had rinsed out the sponge filters over the weekend.

I think I have decided to add some Cardinal Tetra’s instead of the Red Blood Parrots. Just don’t want to take a chance on the RBP’s harming my Loaches. I hope to eventually have maybe 30 or so of the Cardinal’s. Definitely won’t be getting them from the LFS. Will probably have to use LiveAquaria. At least I’ve not gotten ich from them yet!!



Well, 3 of my Gold Weathers are missing. They have either burrowed themselves in the gravel or are in an ornament. I hope they are not dead :(

I received some more plants from LiveAqauaria and got them planted while looking for the 3 MIA’s. I added some grassy looking plants to the front of the tank since the WL’s like to stay in the back in the plants!!



Woo Hoooo, 1 of the missing Weathers was out this morning. I counted 4 of them for sure. So now only 2 are MIA. I am hoping that if one found it’s way from where ever they are, then maybe the other 2 will also. I just did a 28g pwc so maybe that will bring the other 2 around



Well, still missing 2 WL’s. I have to wonder if they are rotating coming out. I can only recognize one of them because of it’s markings. The other 5 look alike. The tank still doesn’t smell like dead fish so I’m hoping they are okay.

Last night I placed an order for 15 Cardinal Tetras and 5 Panda Loaches (adult coloration). Ordered from so hopefully they will be healthy since my LFS sold me ich fish. I just can’t get past that!! The Panda Loaches stay very small, around 2″ so they will be a nice addition to my planted tank. If you get a chance, check them out on YouTube, they are adorable.

I am also going to get 6-8 Peppermint Loaches (Traccatichthys taeniatus) for this tank and my 120g and 8 Banded Dwarf Loaches (Micronemacheilus cruciatus) for this tank. The Peppermints get about 5″ and the Banded Dwarfs get almost 2″. These I will order from The Wet Spot Tropical Fish and hopefully they will be healthy also. You can be assured if any of the 2 orders are obviously unhealthy I will let you know. I know some diseases just can’t be seen but some of them can. I am going to treat both of these orders with Paraguard and Metronidazole in the food whether they need it or not!!

This tank has been and continues to be a very fun project.

One thing I want to add here in case anyone reads down this far is about the Seachem Paraguard. I used it with snails and live plants in the QT tank. Nerites, Pond Snails and some Moss, Anubias Coffeefolia, and Java Fern. It didn’t appear to harm the snails any or the plants. It definitely won’t kill pond snails, that’s for sure!! In the beginning the dosing was half dose twice a day for about 10 days. It didn’t seem to bother the loaches either, once they were free of visible cysts. They were pretty agitated until the cysts were gone though.



I got 4 adult Panda Loaches yesterday and 18 Cardinal Tetras from They were packed nicely. The loaches were 1/bag and the Cardinals were in 3 separate bags. Got 3 free Cardinals so that was a nice surprise!! They all appeared healthy and were all very active and were drip acclimated for 2 1/2 hours. They colored up nicely after a short while and are eating well (NLS small pellets). They were all alive and well today so that is good. I started Seachem Paraguard at half dose today and will do that probably for 7 - 10 days. Doing this prophylactically.

I had planned on using 2 10g tanks to QT each type of fish. Went out Sunday and bought a 2nd tank. The one I had was used a couple months back for the Rainbow fry. Well, I set up the new tank on Monday and the stupid thing was spewing water from a leak. I rushed it into the bathtub and refilled it and guess what, it wouldn’t leak. I thought “Well, okay, I got a backup.” So, Tuesday rolls around and I set up the used tank. Well, I’ll be darned if it didn’t start leaking too. No, I didn’t accidentally use the 1st one because I had put it out to be taken back to the store for a refund. I couldn’t believe it, 2 tanks leaked, 2 days in a row. And, to top it all off, the 2nd one didn’t leak in the bathtub either. They were both placed on level wood and supported on all areas of the bottom rim so I have no idea why either leaked.

This left me having to move the 3 WL’s that had ich into the 45g to make room for all the newcomers in the 20g long QT tank. I checked ammonia this morning but it was zero. I am vac’ing the bottom twice daily to keep poo out of there since I added quite a few more fish than the tank is used to. I kinda figure that maybe lot’s of tiny fish will closely equal the bio load of the 3 WL’s.

The Panda’s are only an inch or so in adult size so I will definitely need to get several more to have a nice shoal. Will also be getting about 15 more Cardinals after all of these go through QT and into the big tank.










I received the new loaches yesterday. 10 of the Yunnanilus cruciatus (Hovering Zebra Loach) and 12 of the Traccatichthys taeniatus (Peppermint Loach). I will get some pics up as soon as I can get some that show detail. The Peppermint’s are EXTREMELY shy right now and freak out and hide if there is anyone walking around in the room, much less near the tank. The other’s aren’t quite as shy. Being shy hasn’t stopped any of them from eating though, hee heee. I started Seachem ParaGuard treatment on them this morning, just in case. I feel sorry for them when I have to use the gravel vac, it will scare them to death. At least it will be a quick vac since the QT tank is bare bottom!! Poor little things...

The Cardinal Tetras and Panda Loaches seem to be doing great. I think one of the Cardinal’s is carrying eggs.



Everyone appears to be doing fine today. The Peppermints are out more today but still race to shelter when any movement is going on outside their tank. I am still having problems getting any decent pics of them. Even with my zoom lens, the photo’s are just not coming out very nice.



I was at Petco today looking for a particular ornament they sell that I knew my loaches would like. I decided to go ahead and get a light for the newest QT tank. It’s an Aqueon T8 and boy is it ugly lighting. I like my LED’s sooooo much better. I will probably wind up taking this back and exchanging for an LED. It’s just not as bluish/white light as what I’m used to.

I have been able to get a few shots of the new Loaches. They are less shy when I walk over, or, maybe just paralyzed with fear!!

The Hovering Zebra’s seem to spend more time swimming in the mid level like a typical fish rather than staying on the bottom. But I did catch one resting in a plant.


I really like their color and patterns


Here is a Peppermint Loach. This is the most colorful of all of the other Peppermints. Not sure if it’s just older, a male, or what but I think they are all supposed to be similar...We’ll see!!


I knew they would like their new ornament. It’s the stacked pipes!!


This little brave fella let me get a close up!! :)




Ok, that florescent light was driving me CRAZY!! I just about couldn’t stand to look at the tank. So, I remembered I have a small LED light that I had used for my 10g when it was set up. I put in on the QT tank. It’s small but the “color” of the water looks so much better. The tank is clean and water is clear but that other light just gave it a yellow/greenish hue that was driving me up the wall. The loaches are so much more active today :) They seem to be handling the Paraguard treatment well. I’m doing half dose but they seem fine with it. The Cardinal Tetras and Panda Loaches are also doing fine with their half dose treatments too!!



I decided to go ahead and move the Peppermint and Zebra Loaches into their permanent home today. Did a water change on the 75g and got the others out of QT and got everyone moved. They took to it right away. Only hid about 30 seconds then were out and about. The established Weather Loaches were looking like “who are you and where did you come from?”.

A little while later I noticed one of the Peppermints tearing into some algae on one of the plants. I mean it was eating it like it had never eaten before. Guess they missed their veggies!! I know they are considered omnivores but I think they really like their algae too.



Got the Cardinal Tetras and 4 Panda Loaches moved into the 75g today!! The Panda’s seemed to have cared less and went right to eating off the plants. The Cardinal’s were not quite as happy. They didn’t lose color but they did stay huddled together for a while.

Lights have been out for a couple of hours now so I went to check on them with a small LED flashlight. Took me a minute to find them. They are mixed in the Hygrophilia and seem to be nibbling off the plants too.

The Peppermint’s seem to actually retire for the evening. There are 2 in the pipe ornament and the others are not out either. I noticed this when they were in QT also. It’s kind of neat how they “go to bed” like humans do :) I wonder what time they get up? Bet it’s earlier than I do!!



New fish have arrived!! 6 Panda and 12 Rosy Loaches. They are in QT and seem to be doing good. They got here yesterday and of course UPS left them at the front door again. They were packed well and still warm but UPS could at least knock. Will get some pictures up as soon as I can get some good pics of them!!

My LFS is having a 10% off sale until Christmas Eve so I broke down and got a 10g setup for shrimp. It came with a filter, heater, hood, tank, and stand. I will probably put some of the tiny Loaches in this tank too.



Since the last post, I have only lost 1 Panda Loach and that was within about 12 hours. Even with a very slow drip acclimation (right at 2.5 hours) this happened :( I have also gotten 25 plus 3 free Cardinal Tetras. Everyone did well (except the 1 Panda) through QT and prophylactic ParaGuard treatment. They all got moved into the 75g today and seem happy.

If anyone is interested in Rosy Loaches, be sure they have a long tank. They are small and stay small but when I put them in QT (a 20g long) they used the entire length for swimming. Now in the 75g, they are using the entire length & width and swim at all levels but mainly mid and upper levels.

The Panda Loaches are flitty. They just flit from one place (a leaf or ornament) to another and don’t “swim” like regular fish. These and the Rosy’s have “big” attitudes for such little creatures and do not seem to be afraid or “jumpy.” The Panda’s are super easy to catch, I just set the net near them and they go inside to investigate!! Can’t beat that!!

The Peppermint’s, like the Weathers, are bottom dwelling but do swim mid level at times.

I have found what I think is 1 Neon Tetra among the Cardinals. It only has the half red stripe that Neon’s have. While in QT I noticed it off from the group down near the bottom so scooped it up and put it in a clear cup because I thought it was dying (even though it looked healthy). Upon really close inspection, it’s missing it’s left eye!! It seems to either have been born this way or it happened long ago. They socket area is filled in and the blue coloration is covering the area and you can barely tell the eye is missing. Poor little fellow. I named him Jack (”One Eyed Jack”). Now, I know Neon’s like to be in groups of their own kind so I’m contemplating adding a small group of them so he will be happier. I don’t really want any more Tetra’s but want Jack to be happy. Oh, and what it was doing off by itself that day was eating on a wafer that was in there for the Loaches!! I later saw that the wafer had broken up some and he was just munching away!!

I have ordered 10 Weather’s from LiveAquaria that will be here on Tuesday. I’ve had good luck with them in the past so hopefully this group will be healthy and active. The 3 that had ick are now in the 45g and hide and stay buried in the gravel all the time so I’m hoping by adding 3 more they will be happier. I will put 3 in the 45g, 3 in the 75g and 4 in the 120g.

The Shrimp tank is set up and seems to be doing fine. It’s got 1 Ghost shrimp (a hitchhiker with the most recent Cardinal order), 12 Tiger shrimp and 12 Snowball shrimp. Have ordered some Red Sakura and Orange Sakura shrimp that should arrive Tuesday. That will finish the stocking of shrimp but I still might put a few Panda Loaches in there one of these days.

Will post some pictures soon.



Everyone in the 75g is doing well and I think I am now seeing the 2 “missing” loaches out at times. I still only see 3 or 4 of the Gold’s out at one time but as long as everyone is okay, I’m happy.

I was doing a pwc last week and saw one of the Blue Jelly shrimp zooming around the tank. I haven’t seen the shrimp in so long I thought they had all been a meal. The Blue Jelly was out for a little while then I saw it go back inside an ornament so I guess that’s home for them. I hope it’s not the only one living in there!!

Well, 6 of the 10 new WL’s died within 2 days. That horrible internal hemorrhaging got them. The other 4 seem to be doing fine and are eating well. One of them is completely missing it’s caudal fin but is getting around just fine so I’m not going to worry too much about it. I named this one Noodles. Just seems fitting!!

I have lost several shrimp in the 10g shrimp tank :( This is my first time ever keeping shrimp and can’t seem to figure out why. The best I can figure is possible overfeeding. The sponge filter has some algae growth and they are eating that nicely. I was giving them a tiny piece of NLS wafer daily but I stopped to avoid overfeeding.

I’m seriously thinking about getting a 60g or 80g frag tank to replace my 45g cube tank. I like the spec’s of the frag tanks. The lack of height really appeals to me. 48×24x12 for the 60g and 48×24x16 for the 80g. I think some Loaches and Cory Cat’s will be happy in one of these. I will put the Praecox Rainbow’s from the 45g in the new one and move the other Rainbows to the 120g.



I lost one Cardinal Tetra in the 75g and removed one of the WL’s, Snoot, to the 45g. He seemed really reclusive in there and I couldn’t pinpoint any particular reason. Maybe the Peppermint Loaches were too rowdy for him. He seems to be doing better in the 45 so will let him be for now. I wound up losing a total of 7 out of 10 of the new LiveAquaria WL’s :(. The remaining 3 are doing excellent so hopefully they are “out of the woods.” They have really made a difference in the 3 shy WL’s that are in the 45g with them. :)

We had a spell of cold weather, 4F, so with the heat on the temp in the tank increased from ~74F to 80F. It’s come back down now but wonder if that had something to do with the Cardinal Tetra that died.

I added some media called ChemiPure Elite to the Rena XP. I read quite a few great reviews on the stuff so decided to add it to all of my DT’s. I have a love/hate relationship with those filters. I had a heck of a time getting it to prime. Sometimes it no problem, the other times it’s a big hassle.

I was watching one of the Peppermints a little while ago and saw it pick up a piece of wafer (I break then into 1/4th’s) and carry it off. I guess they hoard their food!!



It’s been a good while since I’ve posted anything about this tank. Been extremely busy!! Everything is going fine. I have come to believe the 2 MIA Weather Loaches will never be seen again or found. I only ever see 3 of the gold ones (2 females and 1 male) and of course Nut & Honey are still in the tank.

The only new type of fish that has been added is some Oto’s. There are 6 and they seem to be doing fine.

Everyone is growing. One of the Peppermints looks a little thick around the middle so I’m hoping it’s a female. Maybe even a gravid female :)

Here is a picture of the one I hope is a gravid female. It’s the one on the left.


Here it is again...front and center!!


This is one of the male Rosy Loaches. They are the colorful ones


And, this is a female Rosy Loach!!


One of the 3 remaining gold WL’s


This is one of the Hovering Zebra Loaches


Cardinal Tetras







Woo hooooo, my Rosy Loaches were spawning today. I thought their behavior looked suspicious so did an online search. I found a description of their spawning behavior on the Loaches Online Forum. It was the exact same behavior!! I doubt any fry will come of it with all of the Loaches in that tank but if they can find somewhere to hid and grow, they might just make it.

I also have 3 new plants/root systems that have somehow managed to grow right up against the front glass. They appear to be Balansae so that makes me very happy, as those are pretty much my favorites. It’s been 5 months so it’s taken them that long to start sprouting new plants!!



Well, I got tears in my eyes. You will never believe what I just found in this (75g) tank. One of the missing Weather Loaches. Yes, one of the 2 that have been missing since Nov!! I accidentally moved an ornament while using the tongs and looked down and there were 4 Gold WL’s. I can’t believe it. It’s awfully skinny but has grown in length some. I went ahead and fed the tank and it was eating. Now, to find the 1 remaining missing one and hope this one doesn’t go back into hiding. Best I can tell this one is a female. I can only hope she’s been holed up with a male and they mated :) I hope it’s friend isn’t too scared being alone, wherever it is. I might get brave and pull those ornaments and see if I can find it but that will be a BIG ordeal.

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment or give me a


  • Shannon: I think I did the blog wrong and can’t figure out haw to add to it other than adding a comment. Sorry about that!!
    I have received all of the goodies from Foster & Smith. I have gotten all of the cords labeled. I like to use different colors of electrical tape and write on it what it goes to. I put a piece of the same color tape on each end so it’s really easy to know what is what when I need to unplug something.
    I’m not going to add gravel until I get the plants which will be ordered this coming Friday (payday). I’ll probably get Saturday delivery so I can work on it over the weekend.
    The cycling of the media is going good. I did a dipstick test (trying to use them up) yesterday and Nitrites were off the chart and Nitrates were about 20. I started it on 8/29/13 with the bottled bacteria so it’s good to see some conversion going on.
    Will post some pics in a few minutes of the new Weather Loaches I got yesterday. They will be living in the 75g after they go through QT.
  • Shannon: Not sure where I posted the pics but here is a link...
  • johnarthur: Good luck, and please keep us updated on your aquarium project.
  • Wanny: Only way I could figure out how to tell you I have responded to your Fluval G3 question you posted seven months ago. Good Luck to you.
  • Shannon: Thanks to both of you!! I will keep everyone updated. There is not much going on right now.
    Going to hopefully order plants in the next couple of weeks so things will move along more quickly when I can get those in there. I want to order them tomorrow but have some things going on health-wise with my mom so not sure if I’ll have time to set it all up. Plus, I think I want to move it over some so don’t want to add anything before that.
    The media is cycling fine. Nitrites were off the chart on the strip test but have come down to a color actually on the bottle now so that’s going fine. Not doing any official tests with the API kit because it’s going to be a while anyways so no need to waste the reagents.
    The 3 new Weather Loaches that will be making there home in this tank are doing great in QT. They got a NLS wafer for the first time today and since there is no gravel it was hard for them to eat it. They finally got it wedged under a log and was able to munch on it. It was funny watching them chase that thing around the tank. They have been eating their NLS small Thera A pellets very well since I’ve had them so that’s good to see.
  • astaire: The loaches are so cute!
  • Bonnietaylor: I love the tank, It’s lovely.
  • fish_lover_10: awesome tank!!!:)
  • Newfishmom: Love your tank! Love those little loach faces! I LOVE PARROT FISH! ?...... nice blog to follow shannon!
  • Laryl: nice looking tank for sure!
  • Shannon: Thank you everybody :)
  • ethan: well done
  • Shannon: Thank you Ethan!! I wasn’t sure if anyone has been reading it but I’ve enjoyed keeping the blog going, just in case :)
  • TropicalAquarist: Just saw this blog, looks good!!
    What fish are currently in there? Did you ever get the blood parrots?

Add Your Own Comment:

By clicking 'Submit' you agree to the Site Terms
By entering this site you declare you read and agreed to its Terms, Rules & Privacy and you understand that your use of the site's content is made at your own risk and responsibility.
Copyright © 2006 - 2015 My Aquarium Club