Tom’s Bucket Of Mud — Paro. sp. ‘sentang’

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7 years 11 months ago #468 by Big­Tom
Peter invited me over here from IGL where I had posted to ask for paro IDs, so hello! Just thought I would post a bit about my semi self-​sutaining Paro setup.

As a bit of back­ground, I set this up because I’m fre­quently away from home for 56 weeks at a time, and wanted an aquar­ium I could just leave on it’s own for this length of time. As such it is entirely prag­matic and prac­ti­cal in it’s design, and is not intended as a closed sys­tem, biotope ‘sim­u­la­tion’ or what­ever.

Nei­ther is this par­tic­ualary new or inno­v­a­tive, pretty much all the ideas were stolen from some­where or other. How­ever, it does all work, so might be of inter­est to any­one con­sid­er­ing a sim­i­lar setup.

3’x1’x310mm glass aquar­ium, open topped
300W heater
70W metal halide light 2 feet above water sur­face (8 hours/​day)
Small, heav­ily throt­tled pow­er­head pro­vid­ing very slow water move­ment to help pre­vent sur­face biofilm


John Innes com­post (unmin­er­alised) cut 5050 with sand, with pure sand cap
Some rocks, and locally col­lected heather twigs

Emer­gent plants:
Echin­dorus, water pick­erel
Ripar­ian plants (‘foliage’ house­plants from DIY shops):
Prayer plant, par­lour palm, peace lil­lies, uniden­ti­fied lil­lies. Planted in shower cad­dies using hydro­ton as a sub­strate.
[/​FONT]Sub­merged plants:
Swords, crypts, mosses, hydro­cotyle, Micran­the­mum micran­the­moides, water lil­lies, other low-​medium light plants, var­i­ous float­ing plants.


6 Parosphromenus sp. ‘sen­tang’, 7 Boro­ras mac­u­lata, 4 otos, cherry shrimp, assorted snails, ostra­cods and other inverts.

Main­te­nance and feed­ing:

I nor­mally just top off the water lost to evap­o­ra­tion with dechlo­ri­nated tap water and add beech/​oak/​ketapang leaves for the inverts to feed on. Roughly every cou­ple of months I’ll do a small water change, and some­times sup­ple­ment the food with the odd algae wafer.

Set up:

Once every­thing was planted I waited about a month for the plants to adapt (the ripar­ian plants required a few weeks to grow new root sys­tems) and for the ini­tial ammo­nia spike to pass then added about 50 shrimp, the otos and a few other inverts — lots had arrived already on the aquatic plants. Once the shrimp pop­u­la­tion was look­ing good (about 3 months in) I added the ras­b­o­ras, then the gouramis after another month or so when I was sure the food chain was sta­ble.

Tank is now 10 months old and doesn’t require any more main­te­nance than top­ping up the water and replac­ing the beech, oak and keta­pang leaves as they are bro­ken down. I do do a small water change every cou­ple of months and sup­ple­ment the feed­ing a bit when I hap­pen to be home, but I don’t feel it’s essen­tial.

The gouramis and ras­b­o­ras seem to find plenty to eat in the tank (ostra­cods and baby shrimp are the main food items I think), and the otos always have bel­lies that I would describe as mod­er­ately rounded.

The male paros have recently started stak­ing out ter­ri­to­ries around film can­nis­ters, and I think one is bub­blen­est­ing so maybe babies soon!


http://​vimeo​.com/​30028289 ← Paro courtship in here


Parosphromenus sp ‘sen­tang’(male) :

Parosphromenus sp ‘sen­tang’ (female):

Boro­ras mac­u­la­tus (male):

Otocin­clus affi­nis:

Neo­carid­ina het­eropoda var. “red” (female):
The fol­low­ing user(s) said Thank You: Alek­sandr

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  • Big­Tom
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7 years 11 months ago #469 by Big­Tom
A few more shots of the Paros when they were quite new, they have coloured up since then (see video in first post for courtship behav­iour).

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7 years 11 months ago 7 years 11 months ago #470 by helene
Hello Tom and very wel­come to this forum. I am so glad to see your post here, — I actu­ally just a few hours ago reg­is­tered at seri­ous­ly­fish just to be able to write a com­ment there about your setup. I am still wait­ing for the admin to approve me, so why not just com­ment here.
I think it is an awe­some project you have made there, — and I think your doc­u­men­ta­tion is so great, I just love the film. And I was really curi­ous to ask you about the tec­nic and all that regard­ing the tank, because I was just think­ing how on earth do you get lights to the plants, how do you avoid all the ‘nor­mal’ issues of algeas and dirt build­ing up, what kind of water do you use ?
The parosphromenus in the tank seem to thrive and I wouldnt won­der if you sud­denly found a few fry swim­ming around.
Thank you for post­ing this here, its really inter­est­ing.

The film also, as I said, is really fan­tas­tic, its not easy to cap­ture either paro’es nor ‘tank envi­ron­ment’ so well. I have a few videoes posted around here, and you can see for your­self the qual­ity of those :unsure:.. hmm.. leaves me rather jalous and won­der­ing what to do …
Last edit: 7 years 11 months ago by helene.

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  • Peter Finke
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7 years 11 months ago #471 by Peter Finke
Helene is fully right, wel­come Tom!
Mostly I am impressed by the best pho­tos of spec. Sen­tang — Paros I have ever seen. They are not really colour­ful vari­ants of the bintan-​group, I had them once myself in my tanks. But I have never seen them in such splen­did pho­tos that tell us: Even the spec. Sen­tang are beau­ti­ful fish! Tanks a lot, Tom. And Helene: When we are ready to sup­ple­ment our “other forms”-accounts, we must use some pic­tures of Tom’s to illus­trate the spec. Sentang!

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7 years 11 months ago #472 by Big­Tom
Hello Helene and Peter,

Peter, you are very wel­come to use my images to illus­trate the ‘sen­tang’ page, I will try to get some still images of flar­ing and courtship, show­ing the mature male coloura­tion.

Helene, I really hope that the paros man­age to breed in here. I am not tak­ing great care of my water para­maters — I know my tap water is fairly soft and prob­a­bly acidic from humics in the tank, but have never mea­sured pH or hard­ness. If there are no suc­cess­ful spawns I will think about switch­ing to RO water. I live in a city so am not too keen on using rain water.

With regard to your other com­ments, there is almost no algae in this tank, except a small amount of green spot algae (notice­able in the video) on the glass. The whole sys­tem is very ‘lean’ in nutri­ents, and the emer­gent plants seem to do a good job of keep­ing the lev­els sta­ble, hence no algae. The only time algae was a prob­lem was in the first month, while the soil was releas­ing ammo­nia and the plants were adapt­ing to hydo­cul­ture con­di­tions.

I do not bother remov­ing dead leaves or other dirt from the bot­tom of the tank, as seems to pro­vide a good home for many of the small inver­te­brates and the break­down will pro­duce CO2 for the plants. So far water qual­ity does not seem to be an issue.

I am lucky with the video mak­ing because I recently rearranged the tank a lit­tle and intro­duced some float­ing plants around the front edges. The male paros, which were very shy to begin with, are now happy to be out in the open and have estab­lished new ter­ri­to­ries right where I can see them eas­ily (before this I mainly just saw the females). My new cam­era seems to be very good for video, and has the use­ful fea­ture that you can lower the fram­er­ate below the nor­mal 25 or 50 frames per sec­ond, to let in more light; I shot this footage mainly at 10fps, which makes it a lit­tle jerky with fast mov­ing sub­jects, but fine for cap­tur­ing courtship etc.

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7 years 11 months ago #473 by helene
Some­time you may find that paroes can spawn and develop the eggs even in waters that you have not paid par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to, as long as there is a cer­tain soft­ness. In fact I had sp.Sentang as well and they were one of the species that actu­ally had sev­eral suc­ces­full spawn­ings in water which was not all that low in either ph or soft­ness. Though some of course, but when I had them I had not yet the expe­ri­ence that I have today, and I had lots of prob­lems adjust­ing water qual­i­ties. Yet I had sev­eral fry with those fish. So it could hap­pen.

One of the major dif­fer­en­cies for me — with your tank to mine :) — is the ques­tion of light I think. With very low light­ning you can­not get the good growth of plants, which again means that you do not get the ben­e­fi­cial effect on the waterqual­ity of many plants, -
The light you have is quite pow­er­full, is it not ?

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