Albino Bushinose Pleco

About 8 months ago my father (Dick McEniry) Bought 3 pairs of Albino Bushienose Plecos (Ancistrus Sp.) After listening to other breeders and hearing their succeses with the Pleco, I realized the fish is not just a Herbivore. Yes one of their foods they relish is algae, but they also like to eat frozen blood worms, Adult frozen brine shrimp, And even baby brine shrimp (freshly hatched) I’ve also learned that some need “Elephant wood” in their diet, But that is for more rare and delicate species. Albino plecos have to hide in caves and under rocks. It is very easy to sex them. Males will have wider abdomine and they will have a growth on their nose, that looks like a bush. Females have a much narrower abdomine and not as big of a bush on their nose.

Breeding the Albino Bushienose Pleco is not that difficult, just give the plecos many dark caves and hiding spots. Some catfish do not like bright light. Be sure to give the plecos a constant supply of algae or par boiled vegatables., like Zucchini. Also vary their diet up with frozen foods and newly hatched baby brine, Even though Adult plecos may look to big for brine they will love it as a treat once in a while. I keep all my adult plecos in one 30 gallon tank with 2 box filters. I keep the Temp around 77-80 degrees Fahrenheit. They will normally breed once a month. The firs time mine bred, they were in a cave 3″x3″x3″ the female layed about 30 eggs. After the eggs hatched I took the fry and put them in a 10 gallon tank with baby Guppies. Once the Ancistrus consumed their egg sacks they take algae wafers and baby brine shrimp. When the fry hatch they are 3/4 of an inch. For Adult plecos I keep them in their own tank by themselves just for breeding. The most eggs I got with one breeding was 60. The male is 7 1/2 inches long and the female was 6 inches. This pair has only bred once though. It takes the fry about one year to grow up for them to get to beeding size. These fish are very unique and I plan on breeding this pleco for a long time

Low Light Planted Tank

Low light low tech planted tanks are ideally suited for beginners or those hobbyists who would rather not spend lots of time maintaining their tanks. Growth is slow and for the most part when the tank is “balanced” the aquascape remains static for long periods of time, unlike the High light high tech tank that changes from week to week with lots of nutrient additions and pruning of rapid growth.

Low tech tanks are generally meant as tanks with low light and no CO2 injection. To create a successful low tech tank there are some items that from my experiences have been critical for success.

Begin with 1 to 2 watts per gallon of linear normal output fluorescent lighting. This usually equates to two lamps (Bulbs). You don’t need to purchase expensive aquaria specific bulbs, just choose bulbs with a color rating between 5000K and 10000K, my preference is to mix 6500K and 9325K bulbs when ever possible.
vNext, choose a “rich” substrate. Plain gravel is a poor choice in my experience. You can use plain gravel but mix in a few handfuls of ground peat and some laterite. Laterite is an iron rich clay substrate that can be purchased from your local fish store or online. Other combinations of substrate materials can be used also but always add the peat in addition to the sand, Flourite, or other material. Ideally if you have an already established tank adding some mulm from that tanks substrate really helps a new tank. Substrate depth should be 3-5 inches deep. Make sure you locate the peat and laterite in the bottom 1/3 of the substrate. Use any style filter even bio-wheel filters are fine since we aren’t trying to inject CO2. Bio-wheel’s on’t cause a loss of CO2 in a non injected tank. Don’t use undergravel filters though.

Plant very heavily right from the start making 75% of the plants fast growing stem plants. Adding some floating hornwort or similar is also very beneficial at the start, just limit the surface coverage to 20%. tock with small fish and a low number for the first 3-4 months, but always try to keep a low fish load in a low tech planted tank. It’s a good idea to have an algae cleanup crew consisting of any one or a combination of the following; Siamese Algae Eater (SAE), Amano or Cherry Shrimp, Otocinclus (Otos catfish), American Flag or Florida Flag Fish, and Rosey Barbs.

Here’s the part that makes most people cringe. Leave it alone. No water changes, no fertilizer. Only add tap water weekly or as needed to top off the tank due to evaporation. If your plants show signs of nutrient deficiencies such as yellow leaves or holes in the leaves you can add a Comprehensive fertilizer such as Flourish or Tropica Master Grow once a week until improvement is noticed then only add it once a month thereafter. Limit water changes to times immediately after you’ve uprooted plants or done a major pruning. Personally I change water in my low tech tanks about once every 3-4 month at pruning/replanting time. If you can leave the tank alone it will not disappoint you. The more you dabble with this type tank the more likely you’ll upset the balance and algal problems will appear. If this approach seems too tame and you desire more involvement then you should consider the high light CO2 injected tank.

Source: Reprinted from TropicalResources.Com

Julidochromis Marlieri

Julidochromis marlieri is a fun, torpedo-shaped rock-dwelling cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. Members of this genus are affectionately known as “Julies.” Julies make a great addition to almost any rift lake setup. They are fairly tolerant of most water conditions and play well with others, with the exception of conspecifics. J. marlieri has a truly endearing personality. They are like little remote-control subs. They swim sideways, hang upside down, and move in such deliberate motions. The way they move up and down through the rocks is reminiscent of a little hummingbird.

In the wild, J. marlieri inhabits the rocky shores of Lake Tanganyika where there are steep to medium dropoffs of 5-30 meters. They spend most of their time in the caves and crevices of these rocks hunting for food or seeking protection. It is also within these rocky crevices that they spawn and lay their eggs. In captivity, Julies are somewhat shy, sticking to the rocks in the back of the tank and only dash out for food if they feel safe doing so. Needless to say, they require lots of rockwork.

Even though J. marlieri is relatively shy, they can be aggressive towards their tank mates while guarding their territory. One thing that sets Julies apart from most other Cichlids is that as they begin to mature, they will pair off. Julies are not polygamous; instead these pairing relationships remain intact for their entire lifetimes.

Once a pair has formed, it is strongly advised not to change the arrangement of the rocks because these mark the boundaries of the territories of both the male and the female. It is also rumored that any change in decor stresses them out and the stronger of the two will kill the other.

When selecting your first set of Julies, it is best to purchase somewhere between six and ten juveniles. All should be from the same locale (Magara, Halembe, Kala, Katili, Samazi, Kambwimba, Isanga, Cape Tembwe, or Katoto) and from as many different sources as possible in an effort to avoid hybridization. Eventually, a pair from these will form, at which time all others should be either moved to another tank (where more pairs may develop) or sold off. Once a pair is formed, males will aggressively chase off any other females, and the female will chase off other rival females and all other males. Therefore, to minimize aggression, it is best to remove any remaining fish from this same species.

Spawning will begin after pair formation. The dominant male will become more aggressive as he starts claiming territories and defending them. The male will pick a dark cave in a secluded part of the tank. After enticing the female to enter, she will lay her eggs on the ceiling of the cave and the male will pass over them, depositing his milt. The eggs tend to be scattered and not grouped as might be expected. They are much smaller than the eggs of mouthbrooding cichlids, being about 1.2 mm in diameter and are bluish-green in color. Typical spawns number between 50 and 100 eggs. J. marlieri will continue to spawn every five to seven weeks.

Julies are excellent parents, and will guard their young from any intruders or potential threats. When it comes time to eat, one of the two parents will always stay back to guard them. While Julies take excellent care of their young, you might find that only about 10% will survive the first couple of months. If they are removed and given special care (such as baby brine shrimp), you can expect a survival rate closer to 100%.

These cichlids grow rather slowly. After two months, fry will measure about 2 cm long. Unlike the Mbuna and many other cichlids from Lake Malawi, females of this genus are typically longer and more robust than males. Females usually grow to 14cm in length, while males only grow to 12cm. Males also possess shorter, more pointed genital papillae, angled caudally. Females’ genital papillae are longer and more flat on the end than males’, probably for attaching eggs to the surface.

In the wild, J. marlieri is primarily predatory, preying on mostly small snails, although they do need some vegetable matter in their diet. In the aquarium environment, live or frozen Cyclops and Daphnia are recommended. For larger individuals, the European Shrimp Mix, Mysis, and Brine Shrimp are the best foods. Mysis should be fed sparingly, however, because of its high fat content (30%).

The minimum tank size should be a 15-gallon aquarium for a single pair, but if more than one pair are kept in the same aquarium, 75 gallons is the smallest recommended size. As mentioned previously, these fish require lots of rockwork to create plenty of hiding places. If kept without sufficient shelter, it is unlikely that they will develop their best color and will not spawn as frequently as they otherwise would. A fine gravel or sand should be used for substrate. Fry of this species have been known to get trapped in gravel that is too large.

Endlers Livebearer Profile

Scientific Name : Poecilia wingei
Other Common Names : Endler Livebearer
Care Level : Easy to moderate Size : 1.5 inches (4cm)
pH : 7 – 7.5
Temperature : 75 – 85&dge;F (24 – 29°C)
Water Hardness : Soft to moderately hard water

Origin / Habitat : Laguna de Los Patos, Venezuela
Lifespan : 3 – 5 years
Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful, great for established community tanks
Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : Livebearers and not hard to breed. Very similar to guppies, read the breeding guppies article.
Tank Size : 10 gallon or larger.
Compatible Tank Mates : Many, as long as they aren’t being housed with fish that will nip the fins or eat the fish, like tiger barbs, some tetras, various other barbs, etc.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease – Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment
Diet / Fish Food : Flake food, frozen food, and live food. Vary the diet for excellent health, and color.
Tank Region : Middle to top
Gender : The males are a fluorescent color, while the females are a silver color.
Similar Species : Guppies and other Livebearers

Brochis multiradiatus

We again welcome back to ScotCat, author and catfish expert Chris Ralph and a look at one of his favourite members of the Callichthyidae family, the Hog-nosed Brochis.

Brochis multiradiatus is one of the largest of the Brochis group of catfish and is very popular amongst a number of catfish enthusiasts myself included. Unfortunately Brochis multiradiatus is not commonly available to the hobbyist.. When observing these catfish the aquarist is taken in by the ability of this catfish to almost “wink” at you (Brochis multiradiatus along with its close cousins the “Cory’s” can roll their eyes).

Brochis multiradiatus belongs to the family Callichthyidae from Ecuador; namely the eastern tributary of the Rio Lagartococha near the town of Garza- Cocha, in the Upper Napo river system; Peru; namely the Amazon basin Rio Samiria drainage: Quebrada Santa and Rio Yavari drainage: Benjamin Constant. Brochis multiradiatus is also documented as being found in South America namely the western Amazon River basin (which covers Ecuador and Peru) and Bolivia.

Brochis multiradiatus prefer to be kept in water which has a pH in the range of 6.0-7.2, and hardness in the range up to 15.0 dGH. This catfish is ideally suited to temperatures in the range of 21-24°C. I would suggest a tank of the minimum size of 30″ x 15″ X 12″ for a shoal of these fascinating catfish. The preferred substrate for keeping these catfish should be good quality aquarium sand such as BD Aquarium Sand, or very smooth rounded gravel in order to prevent their barbels from being damaged. The aquarium should provide some shelter in the form of rocks, bogwood and aquatic plants. As with all other species of fish, water quality and general husbandry is very important, and I would recommend that a minimum of 25% water is changed on a fortnightly basis.

The body shape of Brochis multiradiatus is triangular which is typical of most of the “Corydoras spp” within the family Callichthyidae. The body of this fish is deep, with adults having a noticeably longer snout. The dorsal fin has 15-18 soft rays; although Brochis multiradiatus usually has17 soft rays.

The base colour of the body and head varies from a dull brownish/grey to bluish or greenish metallic coloured. The lower half of the ventrolateral body scutes can be light yellow to light pink in colour. A good specimen will have a true emerald green colouration to the flanks and dorsal area, with a pinkish tinge to the ventral region. There can be a presence of colour in the fins of juveniles, but this disappears as the fish matures leaving perfectly clear fins in an adult. The pectoral fin spines are coloured.

Wherever possible I would recommend that the aquarist keep these catfish in groups of six, but as the absolute minimum I would suggest three specimens. In their natural habitat Brochis multiradiatus would be found in very large shoals. Brochis multiradiatus are quite at home with other members of the family Callichthyidae. These catfish are ideally suited to being kept in a community aquarium environment with other species of fish such as Cardinal tetras, other small catfish such as Corydoras and Dwarf cichlids such as any of the Apistogramma spp.

As far as I am aware there are no documented records of Brochis multiradiatus having been spawned in aquaria to date.

Sexual differences
The males tend to be more slender than the females. The dorsal and pectoral fins of the males tend to be more pointed than those of the females.

As with all the other Brochis that I have had the pleasure to keep over the years, Brochis multiradiatus readily accepts a mixed and varied diet. I personally feed all of my Brochis on sinking catfish pellets, good quality flake foods, granular foods, cultured whiteworm and frozen foods such as bloodworm to name but a few.