Friday, 28 November 2008
Within a week the kribs started excavating a hole below a piece of driftwood. The female then started spending a lot of time beneath the driftwood. Cool, I thought, they are interested in mating. The second week passed, and the female spent a lot of time out of site. I didn't give it too much thought. Then at the start of week three I came home one day to notice both kribs were out on the open, keeping close to the bottom of the tank. As I looked a little closer I noticed movement beneath them and realised that they hadn't "considered" spawning, they had gone ahead and done so. Given that there were four large Macropodus in the tank with the kribs, I immediately became concerned for the safety of the fry. The kribs seemed to be attentive parents and the Macropdus had little interest in what went on at the bottom of the tank, but it still seemed only a matter of time until the krib fry turned into Macropodus snacks. It was thus quite a surprise when I realised that the kribs were quite effectively bullying fish that were 2-3 times their size. Even the (rather small) female krib was able to chase the Macropodus males off when they ventured too far down the water column.
Over the past three weeks the fry have grown remarkably quickly. Initially they foraged in a tight bunch on the bottom of the aquarium, attentively guarded by one parent (while the other parent patrolled the tank). As they got bigger they started moving away from the bottom, higher up the water column. On at least one occasion the parents seemed unsure what to do when half of the babies were on top of a piece of driftwood while the other half were foraging nearby on the bottom of the tank. Over the last week the fry have spread out and no longer forage as a group. They have also reached a size where they are no longer at much risk from the Macropodus - one of the fry ended up high enough in the water column that it attracted attention from one of the female Macropodus. She swam over to check it out, but then turned away. I'm guessing it was too big for her to consider it food.
Now what do I do with 20 kribs?
Friday, 15 August 2008
While territoriality and aggression can play into the number of fish you can keep in a tank, those are species specific considerations that overly any basic rule of thumb. Far more basic is the issue of oxygen supply. While certain fish depend on gaseous oxygen (the best known being the anabantoids), most fish depend on dissolved oxygen. Too many fish and too little surface area will lead to problems. The other issue is "bioload" - the production of waste products by the fish. These include nitrogenous compounds and organic waste. Ammonia and nitrites are harmful at relatively low concentrations; they tend to be a problem in new tanks, but can also build up in established tanks if the biofiltration crashes. Chances are though, if the biofilter crashes, even a moderately stocked tank will run into major problems. Nitrates, on the other hand, are only a problem at higher concentrations, but unlike ammonia and nitrites, they are not broken down by most biofilters. Organics are a separate issue - one that doesn't seem to get all that much attention. Some people specifically add organics ("black water extract") to their tanks. Others stress the importance of water changes to control the levels of organics. The simple truth is that there are a whole host of organic compounds, and their effects on fish are going to vary.
Bearing all this in mind, and the fact that "inches per gallon" is a very crude rule of thumb (more on that later), I sat down and assessed stocking in my main tank this morning. It was an interesting exercise - based on the "inch per gallon" rule, my tank is slightly overstocked. Of course, that involves weighing a 3.5-inch kuhli loach as placing a greater demand on the system than a 3-inch Macropodus (which probably has more than twice the body mass, but almost no dissolved oxygen demand). If I chose to follow the "two inches per gallon" rule, I could almost double the stock of fish in my tank. Right now, that seems reasonable - the upper two thirds of the tanke are currently occupied by three fish; everyone else is near the bottom of the tank (and largely hidden by the plants). Things looked different this morning just after I fed the fish - in the flurry of activity, the tank seemed to have twice as many fish as it does now.
Aside from the obvious issues of filtration and water changes, I think there are two main things to think about when it comes to stocking - the space available, and the overall ecology of the tank. The main tank tends to have higher nitrate levels than either of the small tanks. This is largely a function of the amount of plant biomass - the other tanks are choked with plants, which presumably consume any available nitrogen. The main tank, on the other hand, has far less plant biomass (though this may change). Increasing the plant biomass probably increases the overall number of fish the tank can support. The other issue is one of space. Where in the water column does a fish live? Recommendations for cory stocking seem to be expressed in terms of tank surface area - or actually, the area of the base of the tank. (Is this modified by having a more heterogeneous tank bottom?) In my main tank, the open water is only used by the Macropodus. The corys spend their time on the bottom of the tank, with occasional forays up and down the plants. The Glowlight tetras tend to swim among the plants, while the Rummynose like the open water in front of the plants - they rarely venture above the level of the taller plants. (I suspect that as the plants get taller, they will expand their usage). So in terms of fish to add, the obvious choice would be an open-water species (zebra danios are what come to mind) or a surface species (guppies or some other small live bearer?) That is, of course, if I decided to trust the two-inches-per-gallon rule of thumb...
Thursday, 14 August 2008
While the main tank was suffering a lack of plant growth (somewhat masked by the expanding Java ferns), my other tanks were experiencing the opposite problem - too much plant growth. The plant tank was covered by an emergent carpet of Ludwigia and Bacopa monnieri; the tank itself had turned into a mass of roots. The Otocinclus tank was similarly overgrown, although instead of being covered by emergents, it was covered by a think layer of floating plants.
At the end of July I shook myself out of my torpor and started moving plants from the plant tank to the main tank. I realised that I had to upgrade my lighting, but at that point in time, it just wasn't an option. I replanted a lot of Ludwigia and a little Bacopa into the main tank, and cleaned up the mass of floating vegetation (I either replanted the stuff, or got rid of it). And then I had to leave it all alone for a week and a half.
One of the main reasons I wanted to clean out the plant tank was the fact that we would be gone for a while. I don't have a timer on that tank, so I have just left the lights on when we are gone. One time I returned to find the tank a thick mass of hair algae - so thick, in fact, that the water was obviously not circulating (some areas were very warm, others were far too cold). While that is likely to be less of a problem in summer, I still wanted to clear out enough vegetation to give it some room to grow. But moving plants to the main tank created a problem - did I really want to go to all that effort, and then watch the plants turn into spindly things before slowly dying? While a lighting upgrade was in order, I had neither the time nor the money for anything of the sort.
On the way home from Michigan I finally stopped into Preuss Pets in Lansing, Michigan. A friend of mine has been saying great things about them for years, all the more now that they have moved to a larger place (more later). I ended up buying a really nice new lighting system, and I now have two 54 watt bulbs on the tank. Not too surprisingly, the change was remarkable. I have also continued to move plants from the plant tank to the main tank. It's too early to say home much of it will really take (a lot of what I transplanted was emergent in the old tank, so it will have to adapt to being submerged), but the tank looks great and the fish seem happy, poking around in the new vegetation.
* It's actually more complicated than simply "watts per gallon" - not only does the light output matter (not all 30-watt fluorescent bulbs are the same), it also matters what wavelengths the bulbs produce.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Last night I noticed something moving at the front of the tank. Before it darted back into the thicket of Hemianthis I saw something that looked like a tiny tadpole, maybe 4-5 mm long. It took me a moment to realise what I had seen - fry! Over the next couple hours I caught another glimpse of it. Very cool!
Now, I can't say for certain that it actually was a baby cory - there are also a few Otocinclus in the tank, but odds are that it was a pygmy cory. Pygmy corys are considered easy to breed, while Otos are rather less easy. Also both fish are easier to breed in groups - I had 7-10 corys in the tank, but only three Otos (and one, I suspect, is a different species from the other two).
While I have read some of the people at ScienceBlogs on a daily basis for months, I still have not plumbed the depths of what’s available in terms of good reading. I recently came across Shifting Baselines, a good ecology/conservation biology blog written by Jennifer Jacquet, a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia, Josh Donlan, a conservation scientist at Cornell and Randy Olson, the creator of A Flock of Dodos.
In January, Jacquet discussed a study which looked at replacing fishmeal (which is used to feed chickens, pigs and fish) with “bugmeal”. Working with striped bass, researchers at Mississippi State University found that the fish readily took the “bugmeal” and the final product was similar to fishmeal raised fish, but had a less “fishy” smell (which is considered a bonus by American consumers). Today she presented some response to questions she asked Lou D’Abramo, the lead scientist on the Mississippi State project.
The first question really gets to the heart of the problem of our industrial food production system: what are the insects raised on? The answer - grain, probably corn. Lovely. Fortunately, D’Abramo seems to be aware of the problem with that, and discussed the idea of raising them on fish wastes. He also talked about raising insects on waste products to alter their fatty acid profile - something that wouldn’t have have been the least bit surprising had I read that with my aquarist brain switched on…you read a lot about fatty acid profiles in the context of getting your Corydoras to breed. (I should do a less good job of compartmentalisation.)
Finding a substitute for fish meal is a good thing. Insects sound like a good substitute. But our industrial system of agriculture just makes things like this awfully complicated - needlessly complicated. Small farmers feeding fish on grubs or mealworms raised on locally generated waste sounds workable. Industrial-scale “bugmeal” production, on the other hand, raises the usual problems of energy demands, transport, and waste production. One step forward, but we’re on a conveyor belt running us backward…
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Otos are small - they range in size from 16.5 to 43.8 mm (0.6 to 1.7 inches), not counting the tail. Females are 10-20% larger than males, and have a broader body, especially when they are in breeding condition. [Read the rest of my post at HubPages.com]
Corydoras are social fish - they should not be kept in groups of less than three. They appear to be happiest in groups of six or more. With the right selection of fish and appropriate aquascaping you can enjoy almost constant activity as they swim around a community tank. [Read the rest of my post at HubPages.com]
Many aquarists seem snails in a more positive light. Snails consume algae and can keep glass and rocks clean. Snails consume dead plant parts and uneaten food that might otherwise decompose and foul the water. Trumpet snails burrow through the substrate and bring oxygen into these substrates.
Quite apart from this utilitarian view of snails, some aquarists see them as desirable pets, and may dedicate aquaria to certain species. Popular pets include Olive Nerita snails, Ramshorn snails and Apple snails (also known as Mystery snails). [Read the rest of my post at HubPages.com]
In general, in order to breed corys you need frequent water changes coupled with a "conditioning" diet. They conditioning diet is a rich diet - often with a lot of live food, and essential fatty acids - that bring the fish into breeding condition. Water changes, on the other hand, mimic the beginning of the wet season, when streams and pools get an influx of fresh water. Fresh water, often cooler (although people have said that "cooler" is not important for pygmy corys).
The tank the corys are in is open-topped. As a result of this, evapouration rates are high. Over the last several months, this has meant that I am more inclined to add water than I am to exchange water. Presumably that resulted in very hard water - not the optimum for these fish. So over the past few weeks I concentrated on getting the water closer to tap water, but doing frequent, large water changes. Over the last week I have tried to soften the water some more by adding reverse osmosis water.
The pygmy corys have responded fairly well to the water changes - they seem much more active the past few days, although they still spend most of their time hidden below the dense lawn of Hemianthus. I'm cautiously optimistic.
Sunday, 24 February 2008
Apart from adding a lot more plants, I also created a small "sand lens" in the front of the tank. And, of course, I added a population of Otocinclus and two dwarf corys. So how have things changed?
Here's the tank today; while I'm having a hard time getting the Lilaeopsis to root, the Hemianthis is really coming along nicely.
Here's the tank three weeks ago, when the die-back had just started
And here's the tank three days before that, shortly after I had cleaned it out
Monday, 11 February 2008
Friday, 8 February 2008
Thursday, 7 February 2008
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Sunday, 3 February 2008
From what I've read, one of the major concerns about pet store Otocinclus is that they are often starving - they are herbivores, and are likely not to have had enough to eat for a while. There is also the stress involved in being caught and transported home. Once I got them into their tank, they all went for the bottom or the sides of the tank and just suck there. But after a few hours they were extremely active, swimming all around the tank, presumably examining surfaces for algae. They have slowed down a little since then, but they remain much more active that any Otocinclus I have seen previously. Of course, they are also very young - I wouldn't be surprised is they slowed down a lot as they matured. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
We failed to find any more C. habrosus, but it was fun to try.
That pretty much decided the fate of the former Macropodus tank. I couldn't put the new corys into the main tank (they're a bit small to cohabitate with adult Macropodus), and I didn't want to add them to the plant tank without quarantining them first. So that left the former Macropodus tank. And since I didn't want to leave them as the sole occupants of the tank, I took the opportunity to buy a dozen Otocinclus, as Gary had recommended.
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Source: Practical Fishkeeping.
Her first word of advice is not to stock tanks too quickly - wait for them to cycle. When I first kept fish, back around 1980, I was unaware of the concept. I don't recall it being in any of my fish books. When I returned to the hobby last year, it was something I was made aware of almost immediately - quite rightly, it's one of the first things they tell you are the pet store. That said, I still messed up with the whole cycling thing - it would have saved me (and my platies) a lot of stress if I had understood the time course a little better. I had fin rot and "shimmying" fish - because the tank wasn't yet cycled. While everyone wants fish as soon as possible, fishless cycling is much less stressful on the aquarist. But who really knows that right when they start off?
Once you have a tank that has cycled, you still need to add new fish slowly. More fish means a larger input of nitrogenous compounds. Since the bacterial populations will be limited by food availability, adding too many fish too quickly, even to an established tank, can cause a spike in ammonia or nitrite levels.
Her next piece of advice seems pretty straightforward as well - don't overfeed. But overfeeding is an elusive idea. If you read a pack of fish food they will say "no more than the fish can consume in three minutes". But that really depends on the fish. Some fish will take a couple minutes to even notice the food. Others will just keep eating. If I could get flakes that would float for three minutes, I suspect that my Macropodus would consume their own body weight in food.
Youngs has some interesting advice about feeding that I hadn't come across before. "How often should I feed my fish?" is a common question. Some people say three times a day, some people say once a day or less. Why such diversity of answers? Probably because it depends on the fish you're keeping. Youngs advises feeding small fish like tetras and guppies several times through the day. Larger fish should be fed less frequently. In addition, herbivores need to eat more often than carnivores. This is all pretty obvious once you think it through, and it's probably something a lot of people know intuitively. But again, it isn't something I remember coming across before.
She has some fairly standard things to say about lighting and algae, but again, says them well. Good advice on acclimating your fish, and on suitable tank mates. She advises redundancy when it comes to heating and filtration - two filters, two small heaters. Why small heaters? Because if one sticks on the "on" position, it won't heat the tank up too quickly. Common sense. Hadn't thought of it.
The last point she makes has to do with stocking levels. If you visit discussion boards, most people talk about the 1 inch per gallon rule as the upper level when it comes to stocking, which is why I was surprised when I read that an article in the February issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist which suggested that you start a 10-gallon tank with "10 neon tetra-sized fish" (1 inch per gallon) but that you could eventually go to double that once your tank was well-established. Bending the rule a little - I'm sure most people do that. But going to double that? I was surprised. So it was nice to see Karen Youngs give similar advice
Nowadays with better filtration it is hard to give an exact figure, but PFK recommend the following:Getting that sort of advice from one source seemed iffy to me. Getting it from a second, independent source (and getting a more nuanced answer) makes me feel a little more inclined to integrate that factoid to my pool of knowledge.
Tropicals: 1” per gal/ 2.5 cm per 4.55 l initially, then up to a maximum of 2” per gal/5 cm per 4.55 l after six months.
Coldwater: 1” per gal/2.5 cm per 4.55 l.
Marines (fish and inverts):
1” per 4 gal/2.5 cm per 18 l.
Marines (fish only): 1” per
2 gal/2.5 cm per 9 l.
Ponds: 10” per 100 gal/25 cm per 455 l.
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
There are a few options. One option is to try to turn it into a proper display tank. It's the most visible tank in the house, so it might make sense to try to make it as pretty as possible. But what I really want is a breeding tank, a place to try my hand at getting corys to breed. The question is - which ones do I try?
The biggest group, the six Corydoras trilineatus, are too young and don't seem to be thinking about breeding. The pandas are good candidates, as are the Cw008s, since I appear to have a male and a female, and they seem interested in one-another. I don't know what sort of conditions Cw008 would want for breeding, but it's worth trying the standard cory setup - regular water changes with water a little cooler than the tank. It's probably more important to give them a rich diet. The biggest challenge is probably to catch them without trashing the entire tank.
There's no guarantee that I'll be able to get them to breed, and if I do, if I'll be able to raise the fry. But I don't want to make the same mistake I made with the Macropodus - that left me with over 60 fry to find homes for. Since Cw008 (assuming that I have the ID correct) is less common, I'm guessing that there's an appeal in rarity. On the other hand, there's obvious demand for pandas - things with mass appeal are likely to be easy to get rid of.
The interesting thing about this set-up is that it brings corys right up to the surface. While they will swim up and down my Cabomba plants (which reach the surface of the tank as well), they don't spend much time on any particular plant. On the other hand, if they make it up to the floating mat, they can spend a good bit of time exploring it. Since the interior is too dense for any of my fish to get into, it's likely to provide predator-free space for small inverts. Since my tank is deficient in fish that use the upper portions of the tank, it's nice to see the corys active near the surface.
Like anything of the sort, the information online is spotty and inconsistent. So short of buying a subscription to Ian Fuller's Corydoras World, it's likely to be difficult to get consistent information. They are described as both "easy" to breed and "difficult" to breed. Of course, it may be a matter of context - relative to guppies, they are hard to breed, but compared to some of the more difficult corys, breeding them may be easy. A couple people say that they produce small spawns - 5-10 eggs - but others say 100-300. Of course, spawn size could depend on a number of things, including whether you see the eggs before other fish eat them. It's also likely to be a function of the condition the fish are in, and may be related to water quality. I saw one comment about them liking a higher pH than is typical of corys (if true, that would be a bonus for me).
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Saturday, 26 January 2008
If we can get rid of the Macropodus, I'd really like to try to breed either the pandas or the Cw008s.
When their parents bred for the first time (in this tank) the tank community was very different - there were a dozen or so platies, and four angels. Now there are no fish near the size of the male, and the female is at least as big as the other fish. There's also a lot more structure to the tank - the area around the nest is well vegetated.
The female has taken to chasing the other female Macropodus between matings, not that she doesn't do that anyway. In the past, after they were done mating, the parents established a two-tiered cordon around the nest, with the male keeping the female away from the nest, and the female keeping the rest of the fish away from the male.
I'll be curious to see how this works out.
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Cleaning the sponge produces a huge crowd of these guys - and a layer of "dirt" (aka POM - particulate organic matter). I need to find some way to separate the inverts from this stuff. Right now I have them in a small cup floating in the tank. While this allows the dirt to settle out, it doesn't help much because the inverts prefer to feed in the POM. Is there some way to sink the cup but not disturb its contents to much?
Here's a shot of its body. Unlike most other spotted cory's, it's got light spots on a dark body, rather than the other way around.
And here's a picture with one of my other corys - the one on the left I believe to be Corydoras trilineatus.C
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Monday, 21 January 2008
Sunday, 20 January 2008
Saturday, 19 January 2008
Thursday, 17 January 2008
In their favour, the Glowlights tend to school, and when they move together, it's an impressive sight. That probably means that I need a lot more than six of them - the more there are, the bigger the impact. In addition, of course, they are also likely to be bolder in larger groups. Hopefully, as they get more accustomed to their new homes, the Glowlights will start using more of the water column. One can hope, anyway.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
That said, I'm pretty happy with my choice thus far. They look pretty good in my tank, and they are schooling nicely. They're quite active and add colour to the tank. Unfortunately, they appear to prefer the lower third of the tank. They are venturing into the upper parts of the tank, which is encouraging - hopefully, as they grow more comfortable they will make more use of those areas.
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Fuller finds it dubious that such different forms are the same species, especially since they are found in such far-flung locations as Trinidad, Argentina and Peru, in river systems that have been unconnected for millions of years. I suppose a good molecular study might be able to shed some light on the relationship within this group - at the very least, whether they form a monophyletic group or whether other species are nested within the group. If they are sister taxa, then the matter of whether they are the same or different comes down to the opinions of lumpers and splitters.
I had removed one of the males in the main tank over the weekend because Camallanus worms were, once again, hanging out of him. This was obviously not a re-infection - these were worms that had survived the treatment. While I need to do a second round of treatment, I think I will go with levamisole (provided that I can track some down). Still, the idea of breeding drug-resistant worms did not sit well with me. Two of the others had holes in their sides. They had them when we got home from Christmas, and they had not healed. Anyway, the end result was that I euthanised five fish. Tempting as it was, I couldn't flush them or stick them in the freezer. Long ago, Brian said that there were two ways to kill a rat - one was humane to you, the other was humane to the rat. I decided that speed was of essence, and I decapitated them. Quick, yes, but very difficult on me.
Anyway, I added two males and two females to the main tank, and returned three males (and eight females) to the Macropodus tank. So now the males in the main tank are battling for status. The old male is twice their size, despite being their littermate. The older female though is only about the size of them new males, and is much larger than the new females. She is chasing the newcomers, both male and female.
In the Macropodus tank, the males seem invisible, while the females are trying to reestablish their order of dominance. I still have too many of them, but it's a move in the right direction. With more space and (hopefully) improved water quality, these guys might do some growing.
Monday, 14 January 2008
In this environment of perpetual darkness, the eyes of [the ancestors of blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus)] were of little use and as generations passed, they disappeared entirely. They now navigate through the pitch-blackness by using their lateral lines to sense changes in water pressure.
But there is a deceptively simple way of restoring both the eyes and sight that evolution has taken, and Richard Borowsky from New York University’s Cave Biology Research Group has found it. You merely cross-bred fish from different caves.
So how does this work? Obviously the lack of eye development is the result of different mutations in different caves. In different caves, different gene mutations resulted in the loss of eyes.
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Here's one of his many videos. I really like the fact that you can get a feel for the species in its natural habitat. It would definitely be an asset to anyone setting up a South American biotope tank.
Monday, 7 January 2008
Given all the open water, I would really like a nice school of tetras or something of the sort. But two trips to the pet store have failed to turn up anything that really jumped out at me. I'm tempted to get some more angels, but I just don't want large fish - they really end up limiting your options when it comes to smaller fish. I'd much rather have a school of small fish than a handful of big ones.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
This is one of those things that fascinates me. While amateur botanists (and, for that matter, an awful lot of professional plant scientists and ecologists) tend to treat nomenclatural changes with disdain, fish keepers appear different - many seem happy to keep up with the "latest" names. Part of it may come from the fact that fish keepers are often on the leading edge of discovery of new species - newly discovered loricariid and corydorinid catfish are assigned L and C numbers while the hobbyists wait on systemtists to describe the species. But I suppose tropical fish keepers experience tropical diversity in a way that few other people in the temperature zone ever do. And it's a short step from "I want to know the name of my fish" to "I want to know the current name for my fish".
I actually went to the pet store in search of some Otocinclus - the February issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist has a good article on them by Gary A. MacDonald of TropicalResources.net. MacDonald says that not only are Otocinclus very social fish (and recommends that they never be kept in groups of less than three), but when the groups exceed 12 individuals interesting dominance hierarchies emerge. Having read that, I felt the need to expand my collection - after all, I only have two in my main tank. Unfortunately, the pet store only had two left. Since I have no way of being sure which species of Otocinclus I have, I would rather purchase a bigger group - that way I'm more likely to get several of the same species.
Friday, 4 January 2008
Once I brought them home and released them into my tank*, they brought my resident corys to life. Adding some food helped, but the addition of smaller, younger, more active fish brought the whole tribe into action.
I saw at least three of my original four corys, and the five newer ones (two panda corys, two unknowns). I also saw both of my Otocinclus, and at least two of my kuhli loaches. So while I lost the angels, the fighter, my three neon tetras and a few Macropodus (0-2 males and 1-2 females), things look better than I initially thought. On the other hand, the plant tank seems empty - there seem to be a lot less than 9 pygmy corys, though the fact that they have moved from their original congregation spot makes it difficult to figure out how many there are.
*Yes, I realise that given my recent experiences I should have instituted a strict quarantine system. But, at this stage, I find it hard to care too much.
Thursday, 3 January 2008
On the other hand, I lost a lot of fish. I came home last night to a house that stank of rotting fish. In the main tank, I lost both angels, my fighter, and all of my neons. I lost at least one Macropodus, probably more. I haven't determined what happened to the corys and the kuhli loaches - I saw one kuhli loach, all three of the panda corys, and several of the others. I see one Otocinclus, but I'm not sure about the second one. The water was horrible when I got home - I'm impressed that any fish survived such polluted water.
In the plant tank, I see a lot of shrimp, two Otocinclus and a few of the pygmy corys. I haven't seen many pygmy corys,; I'm hopeful, but concerned. The tank had very heavy algal growth - probably a consequence of having the lights on 24 hours a day for almost two weeks.
I haven't taken a good look at the Macropodus tank. There are at least a dozen fish in there, but it's very messy and overgrown. I haven't yet tried to tackle that one.