Thursday, 13 September 2007

The plant tank

About a week ago I moved the breeding pair of Macropodus out of the plant tank into the main tank. Above all else, I wanted them to just stop breeding, but I also was afraid that they were harassing the Otocinclus too much. But then, last weekend, on a whim we bought a couple of fighters. The male was the kind of colourless/golden fish you see from time to time these days, while the female was either the same of what we used to call "pearl". I figured the plant tank would make a good quarantine tank for them, although I was rather unhappy with the fact that this would mean that the Macropodus fry would become fish food. (Remarkably, several of them survived a week with the fighters).

Once I got them home I realised how small the female was. Still, given the size of the Macropodus female which had just bred in that tank, I wasn't going to rule out the possibility that she was ready to breed. Since the male built such an extensive nest, I let her out, but she was obviously uninterested. After a few hours I separated them again. Although I tried several times, I was unsuccessful. After a week of isolation I put them into the main tank. Maybe once she gets bigger I will give it another shot.

One big problem in the plant tank has been algal growth - a brownish, filamentous alga has gradually overgrown everything. Although I have removed a lot of it, the tank is still overrun with it. The two Otocinclus are either uninterested in this type of algae, or are simply overwhelmed, so I decided to buy a few more (I had wanted more than two when I bought these, but they only had two). And, since I've always wanted more corys, I bought a few of them as well - a new species, bringing my cory diversity to 4 species. I figured that since they root around on the bottom a lot more, they are likely to increase habitat heterogeneity. I'm hoping that this will have some effect on the algal overgrowth.

No comments: