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

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7 years 11 months ago 7 years 11 months ago #474 by Big­Tom
Yes, bal­anc­ing the light needs of the plants with mak­ing sure the Paros still feel secure is poten­tially tricky. Metal halide lights are quite pow­er­ful, but import­natly are also bet­ter able to pen­e­trate the water than nor­mal T5/​T8 lights. Hav­ing the light 2 feet above the tank allows enough light for the less demand­ing plants to grow, with­out being so bright to scare the gouramis (I tried some more demand­ing plants (glosso etc) but they did not do well).

Hav­ing the light angled from the back of the tank also means I can keep float­ing plants around the front edges with­out block­ing the light from reach­ing the other plants, which keeps the paros happy :).

This tank really is all about com­pro­mise and bal­ance… it is not the per­fect paro tank, nor the per­fect plant tank, but taken as a whole it seems to work — which makes me happy, as the whole thing was a bit of an exper­i­ment and could have gone hor­ri­bly wrong!
Last edit: 7 years 11 months ago by Big­Tom.

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7 years 11 months ago #475 by helene
I am not always con­vinced that Paro’es do not like light :) .. I mean, they do like — or some pre­fer — dark tanks with dim light, — but some paroes seem to not pay too much atten­tion to it and swim around hap­pily. A good thing is prob­a­bly the amount of com­pan­ions, be it boraras or shrimps, it may help the paroes to feel less shy also.
But I under­stand your inten­tion of bal­ance, and this being an exper­i­ment, — I think it is a good exper­i­ment, gone well so far. And though we do often aim to keep paros so that the spawn­ing is opti­mal, and you can have the fish breed, — some­times it is good to exper­i­ment with how to keep paros in a dif­fer­ent set­ting.
I have a kind of ‘retire­ment tank’ at the moment for my oldies, — and a few odd sin­gles that can go together. My last p.sumatranus male f.inst. is shar­ing tank now with a sin­gle p.harveyi male and 2 female quin­decim. Of course not opti­mal, how­ever I am quite sure they will not mix — and in this tank, its really not about breed­ing but about giv­ing those fish a good retire­ment :) ..
So some­times an (extra)ordinary com­mu­nity tank setup is needed, I think, — and its nice to see dif­fer­ent ways this can be done.

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  • Peter Finke
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7 years 11 months ago 7 years 11 months ago #476 by Peter Finke
The water: Since long I think that the fears and alarms on the del­i­ca­cies and dif­fi­cul­ties of Parosphromenus-​fish are exag­ger­ated. There are many cases that suc­cess­ful­breed­ing has taken place with pH between 6 and 7, but always below 7. A low pH of the nat­ural habi­tats is mostly an insur­ance of the absence of too many nocious germs, and this is mainly the func­tion in the aquar­ium, too. If it is pos­si­ble to keep the milieu rather free of a germ-​concentration too high, then it will work with a higher pH, too. But the “soft­ness” of the water is eesen­tial, not for the adult fish but for the eggs and the very young.
The light: The prob­lem is that light may induce too much chem­i­cal plant activ­ity and induce insta­bil­ity of the water-​parameters. Again, this is mostly no prob­men for adult Paros, but young must be lucky to get a milieu as sta­ble as pos­si­ble. So, a good plant activ­ity is doubtlessly very good for a fish-​friendly milieu in gen­eral, but the fish from black­wa­ters are spe­cial­ists that need their require­ments. Myself, I am often work­ing with many thriv­ing plants, too, but it is always dif­fi­cult to decide whether it’s good for the very young fish or not. The nor­mal planted aquar­ium using fer­til­iz­ers and much fast grow­ing leaf­work below the water-​surface may pro­duce con­flicts. Many Parosphromenus can­not fully dis­pose of their pecu­liar­i­ties of a long adap­ta­tion to black­wa­ter con­di­tions.
But nev­er­the­less: Even they (not their eggs ot very young lar­vae) are adap­tive to a cer­tain extent. One should make some exper­i­ments to find out one’s own best method. All our expe­ri­ences show that five good Paro-​breeders have devel­oped five dif­fer­ent methods.
Last edit: 7 years 11 months ago by Peter Finke.

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7 years 11 months ago #493 by Peter Finke
Tom, only now I had time to see your mar­vel­lous film. With this tank you suc­ceeded to real­ize one thing that many peope try but fail: to cre­ate a some­how nat­ural milieu with wood, plants, shrimps and dif­fer­ent fish that har­mo­nize with each other: it’s a fine com­mu­nity, very sub­tle elected, not (as usual) dom­i­nated by many or large fish, but remain­ing a big secret, a secret win­dow in an alien world. Con­grat­u­la­tions, this is aquar­is­tics at it’s best!
Nor­mally, a friend of the licorice gouramis will keep them in smaller tanks, often with­out many plants, for the aim is to breed them. But if one was suc­cess­full in that, often there are quite a lot of young, and only a part of them can be given away. Then you have enough fish to think of such a dec­o­ra­tive and con­tantly sur­pris­ing mas­ter­piece of an aquar­ium, and you can view the licorice gouramis from quite dif­fer­ent an angle: just as the secret viewer of their life in nature (or at least some­thing rather near to that).
We would be very glad to see more of your fine work!

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7 years 11 months ago #495 by Big­Tom
Peter, thank you very much for your kind words. I am just happy that the tank was turned out close to what I had hoped for (it was an idea that had sat at the back of my mind for over a year before I was able to start the project).

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7 years 11 months ago #496 by Big­Tom
As win­ter draws ever nearer (in Scot­land any­way!), I thought I should take a few shot sof the rather nice light that dif­fuses into the tank in the morn­ings…







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