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Starting an Endler's 15g


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#1 bettacrazi

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:53 PM

I'm taking the plunge...going for a tank that isn't betta... I let my son choose the fish and he has chosen ELB. We set up the 15g long tonight...rocks, driftwood, java moss, java fern, anubias nana...tossed in a bunch of flake food to start the cycling...and...we wait. Lol. I did go to the lfs today and they had some (I think they are considered class k) tiger ELB...two of them...and another that is not a wild type but I haven't been able to find a pic similar to it online yet. Since he only has the three males, and doesn't know when he'll get more, he is holding them for me until the tank is ready...yeah! How many females should I get so that the males aren't harrassing them constantly? They looked like they were teenage boys on spring break the way they followed the females around the tank. Any special advice for an ELB newbie from some of you more experienced folks?

#2 Strick

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:46 AM

The "spring break" behavior is more or less constant. In my experience, even the juvies and the already-pregnant females were continually followed and displayed to. They learn to ignore it - much like human females...

#3 bettacrazi

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:34 AM

lol...good to know...thanks Strick

#4 Maryanne

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:08 PM

2 females per every male is what worked for me. Endlers are such fun fish :)

#5 bettacrazi

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:41 PM

Maryanne...since they are so prolific...would it be reasonable to get three m/f pairs to start then keep extra females from the fry to make the m/f ratio? I didn't want to put too many in the tank when I start since I am sure that since it is a new tank and will only be newly cycled...there might be a minicycle if I add to many fish...or once it is cycled will it be stable enough for the 2/1 ratio? I am starting with the three males that are being held for me so that would mean 6 females and I don't want to kill a newly established cycle (it will be my first...lol).

I know...lots of questions...but I want to get it right.

#6 Maryanne

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:43 PM

Yeah that should be fine.

#7 bettacrazi

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:55 PM

Here is another question for you ELB experts...if I keep female and male fry, will I have a problem with health or deformities from inbreeding? There is someone who is willing to trade me plants and other things for ELB so I don't know if I would be better giving him all the fry and getting new stock...and would that be the case with any livebearer?

Oh...tankmates...I saw some adorable wild green neons...they told me they grow to about an inch, are not nippy, are peaceful and like the same water parameters...anyone had experience with them?

#8 bettacrazi

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:13 AM

Okay...here it is...no fishies to show you yet, just the tank. It is in front of a mirror with no background yet...thought it would be easier to look through at the water cloudiness levels while it is cycling. I may move the vals to the back as they get bigger but for now they will stay in the front corner. The java moss is lightly weaved through the litte rock cave, some of it was already attached while it was in the betta tanks. Java fern is tied to the driftwood in hopes it will attach, it not, at least it won't float away. I have done some serious tweaking to the filter outflow because it was so strong that it had the vals almost completely bent over and I thought that would really knock around tiny endler males. The temporary solution involves many parts...a few extra itty bitty sponges (new) from my old duetto mini submersible filter (considering putting that in the tank instead of the Tetra Whisper PF10 the tank came with...not sure though) are crammed into the carbon compartment then on the actual outflow I have a never seen soap water bottle that has been cut to fit around the opening. That was still too much so I actualy ended up taking two more sponges and putting them inside the cut bottle. Mostly it seems to be redirecting the flow around the top of the tank with far less movement at the bottom. I think endler's prefer mid to top of the tank don't they? so should I figure out a way to direct more flow to the bottom and leave the top more still?

15g Endler tank in progress...

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#9 bettacrazi

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:12 PM

And...we're into the fishless cycle...ammonia was finally .25ppm (I think the plants made it take longer). No NitrItes or nitrAtes yet. Better to do a 3 gallon water change or just let it go on it's own?

So excited...can't wait to add a little school of ELB. The LFS guy told me that if I just add Seachem Stability I can put the fish in immediately and just at it for 7 days and I won't have any problems with a cycle...why is that big light going off in my head that says "yeah...baloney!"

#10 Stars

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:05 PM

And...we're into the fishless cycle...ammonia was finally .25ppm (I think the plants made it take longer). No NitrItes or nitrAtes yet. Better to do a 3 gallon water change or just let it go on it's own?

So excited...can't wait to add a little school of ELB. The LFS guy told me that if I just add Seachem Stability I can put the fish in immediately and just at it for 7 days and I won't have any problems with a cycle...why is that big light going off in my head that says "yeah...baloney!"


If you are entering the fish-less cycle, you do not want to do any water changes to remove the ammonia, you want the ammonia to convert to nitrite. Just keep adding a decent amount of ammonia/ammonia source, you will get a nitrite spike and eventually, when your nitrate spikes, you can do a water change. :)

#11 amethyst

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:57 PM

Looking good so far. I'd agree that a 2:1 ratio should work, 3:1 might be better in the long run. Endlers are very much like guppies - in fact the males look A LOT like the male guppies of my childhood, and the females look pretty much like the female guppies from then and now, but less colorful.

If you are planning to breed, I'd suggest getting new stock periodically, at least of one gender or the other. With my guppies I usually don't keep males and females from the same drops, nor do I keep males with their mothers or females with their fathers as a general rule. Sometimes there are a few close relatives in the tank together, but not usually in the next generation. If you are not planning to breed but expect general reproduction, it might not matter as much, since defective fry are less likely to live to adulthood. By the way, the only way to really know who's fry are who's is to remove the mother before she gives birth and keep the fry separate. Even then, you won't know who fathered the drop, unless you put a virgin female with a specific male until she gets pregnant, then keep her separate from the other males until she drops. They can have several drops from the same sperm without mating again, but if you have males and females in the tank together they will usually opt for fresh sperm rather than saving some from a previous insemination. That wording makes it sound as if they are making a conscious choice, which is highly unlikely, of course. I think it is just a matter of fresh sperm winning out if both are present. And you can assume that all of your females are pregnant, unless they've given birth within the past few hours, as long as both genders are in the tank. Also, if you're not deliberately breeding, leaving the fry in the tank will result in many being eaten before they reach adulthood, especially if you feed lightly when you see lots of fry. More will survive with more places to hide, like your big wad of moss. If you want to ensure survival, separate them from the adults as soon as possible - easiest is to separate the mom before she gives birth, then put her back in the adult tank and keep the babies somewhere else.

I can definitely relate to the extra sponges and stuff to slow your current! I've stuck extra floss into all my filters and pieces of sponge under the extra piece of the filter that sits right at the outflow of aqueon/top fin type filters.

You can also try using plants (live or not) as a baffle below the output. I built one for neon tetra tank by sewing a bunch of silk flowers and leaves to a small piece of plastic mesh (about 1.5x3") with nylon thread (fishing line type stuff). I bent the stems out toward the top so that they tops of the flowers and leaves would be directly under the "waterfall" and held them in place with more nylon thread, then attached suction cups to the mesh and attached the suction cups to the back wall under the filter. The tops of the flowers are out of the water most of the time, so the extra pieces of line holding the flowers at a bent angle is out of the way of the fish. The water flows directly into the flowers, and by the time it gets to the water it is much dispersed.

You will also need to cover your intake with some small mesh or something before you have fry, or they'll get sucked up into the filter. I've had this happen with AquaClear, Aqueon, and Top Fin brands, and I assume it could also happen with the Whisper i. I usually wrap a piece of nylon netting around the intake and hold it in place with a rubber band - the size the fish stores use on the fish bags are great for the narrow tube intakes. The whisper will need a bigger rubber band. I also have wrapped java moss around the intake, which also works, but can get dislodged more easily.

edit: I just looked at your post and picture again, and saw that your whisper has the long tube for the intake like aqueon, top fin, and aquaclear, so the little rubber bands from the fish store will be perfect to hold a piece of netting in place. My whisper is is the "i" type, which hangs inside the tank, and the intake is different.

Edited by amethyst, 28 March 2012 - 11:05 PM.


#12 bettacrazi

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 09:32 AM

Thanks Stars. I just keep wondering if I am going to see anything with all my plants. Both tanks that I am cycling are doing the same thing...and I started one a week after the other. The ammonia went as high as .5ppm ammonia, no nitrates (still) but the ammonia is dropping to .25 for both tanks and it appears there is the faintest increase in the color of the nitrAte tests...and I definitely beat the heck out of that bottle to make sure it is shaken well...plus I got a kit that has an expiration date of 2016.

Wow Amethyst...thanks for all the detail!.

The tank has actually changed a bit since the photo. I have already started cycling a second tank for mamas and sectioned off a part for the fry with a divider. Both tanks have the driftwood, java moss, java fern, anubias and vals...but I have since added red foxtail to the one that gets more light and bothe tanks have gotten anacharis and riccia.

We've also decided to put some pygmy corys in the male tank...I already used aqadvisor to check out stocking options. We will go with either hasbrosus or pygmaeus...we weren't as crazy about the hastatus corys.

Lol...I was reluctant to get tanks for anything other than my three betta boys but now my son and I are trying to figure out "where can we put another tank?" Oh boy...

Off to the fridge to get all my boys some live brine shrimp that I picked up yesterday...nothing like having to chase your food first...lol.

Edited by bettacrazi, 31 March 2012 - 09:37 AM.





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