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The journey began with the purchase of an acrylic 65 Gallon Clear For Life uniquarium in February. Based on the info available in this forum, performed a fishless cycle, which took about three weeks. Stocked tank with 18 juvenile Saulosi, 8 juvenile Rusties, and 5 juvenile Perlmutts. No issues with ammonia or nitrites, and control nitrates with weekly 50% water change. One of the Saulosi's colored up to a bright blue and another partially colored. One male staked out over half the tank,leaving the other male with approximately 1/3 of the tank. As both males were harassing females non-stop I rehomed one male. I then rehomed another sub dominant male and some females. Currently, 1 male and 7 females and the dominant male is much less aggressive than he was two months ago. Things are relatively peaceful in Saulosi community.

The Rusties have a markedly different personality than Saulosi. Relaxed. Very little aggression toward each other and the other species, which is I suspect why Rusties are recommended for beginners. 7 Rusties, but Male/female ratio is unknown. Rusties enjoy sifting 1 mil sand in their mouth much more so than Saulosi.

Purchased the Saulosi and Rusties from local fish breeder and ordered the five Perlmutts from large online seller. Online seller was confident it could ascertain gender so I asked for 1 male and 4 females. The Perlmutts have each staked out a territory, but are not particularly aggressive toward other species and rarely aggressive toward each other. Perlmutts seem to prefer having a cave in which to hide, but they are not shy. One Perlmutt appears to be male in terms of coloring and one of which appears to be female (vertical bars at all times). My conclusion is predicated on the photos available on this forum. The other three do not have vertical barring, but do not have yellow dorsal fin like My male. So, 1 male, 1 female, 3 unknowns. Perlmutts like to dig sift sand in mouth, much like Rusties.

Next step is to vent the Rusties and the Perlmutts and then cull a few Saulosi females. Target is 5 of each species (1:4 ratio). Based on what I have read, venting is as much of an art as science.

Installed some Anubis and Java Fern to help with nitrates. So far the plants have survived but don't seem to have appreciable effect on nitrates.

Feeding NLS .5 mm, spirulina flakes, repashy, and occasional zucchini. Fun watching the fish pick the repashy on rocks.

Thanks to DJ, Iggy, and others for input and guidance.
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