They look pretty nice, but if you change the gravel to something darker, their red comes out a lot more and it's beautiful to see that striking red. That first pic looks like another fish beating up on it.
It is a 75g (48x18x19). Current stocking is 9 Giant Danios and 6 Firemouths. Hoping to get 1 or 2 pairs. I have some rocks coming to and the plan is to make a couple of different places where the fish can call home.
As fars as "Ragged Fin" goes, I was thinking that the other fish may be picking on him but he/she is the 2nd largest fish in the tank and bullies pretty much everyone except the biggest one. I've been keeping an eye on him and his fins aren't getting any worse. He's eating well and vigorously chases away pretty much everyone. I have noticed, however, that his colors aren't as bright as everyone else's so something may be stressing him out.
My fish are relatively small so I think it may be while before they start to color up. I was thinking that a change to a darker substrate may help bring out their colors more. We'll see when they get a bit older.
Could it be possible that I have Thorichthys affinis as opposed to Meeki? Could that be why my fish aren't coloring up as dark as I would expect? I realize they are still juveniles (bigggest one is hitting maybe 3-3.5 inches) so I'm assuming I just need to be patient and and let them grow a bit before I can tell for sure.
You have an awesome set-up. The plants look great. I also really like the substrate, and have admired it since the first pic you posted. I definitely would not change it.
I doubt the substrate is contributing much to the color of your fish. It seems plenty dark, especially with the black background and green plants. IME, fish color up nice when they are happy, regardless of the substrate I have them over. My fm is in a tank with much lighter substrate and has striking color.
I think your set-up is fine.
The fish's fins will heal rapidly and the fish will grow much faster if you do 90% weekly water changes and clean the filters every week. This not only increases water quality but reduces concentrations of growth inhibiting pheromones.(Very important when they are young)
I just did a WC in the fish room Friday and it was 750g! The same will happen tomorrow! Takes about 2.5 hrs. LOL
I do not think that your FM's are Affinis. Those are usually nuch more orange in person than red.
I just think you have juvenille FM's.
Massive water changes will reward you with these fish! It has worked for years for me.
Hmm...massive water changes don't really fit into my planted tank regime. I'm dosing fertilizers real lean and counting on waste build up to provide phosphates and nitrates. Currently both are maintained at zero so feeding/waste might not be providing enough at the moment. I can only imagine what massive water changes might do. But then, I don't want to stunt the growth of any fish just to save my plants.
I guess it's always a balancing act but that pheremone thing really has me concerned.
Mr. Fishmouth or anyone else, do you think it would be ok if I did smaller water changes every day, lets say 5 gallons? I have 2 Marineland C220 canisters running on this tank and I clean one of them every week alternating between the two. I could add some purigen to one or both of the filters (right now both are purely mechanical/bio).
I plan to do some rock work this weekend. I'll post pics. Using a brownish lava rock that someone sourced for me. I think the "earthy" nature of the color will suit the tank very well.
So I spent a little time throwing in some rock in my 75 gallon. I think it ended up coming out ok. The lava rock really helps fill out the tank. There are two black 3" PVC elbows hidden on opposite sides of the tank to serve as potential nesting places. I might scatter a couple more towards the middle just to provide more options.
Currently I am doing minimal water changes. Topping off every day and using some Flourish Excel to get rid of some of the algae that is appearing here and there. Weekly dosing for plants consists of small doses of KNO3 and KH2PO4 along with Seachem Flourish.
The firemouths are starting to color up and are very active in the tank. I think I *may* have one pair but am still unsure. Two of them kinda hang out together but aren't really side by side or defending an area.
75 gallon rimless
48" TekLight w/ 2 Giesemann 6700K Midday Sun bulbs (2x54w)
Marineland C220 canister filter x2 w/ surface skimmer attachment on one
Stealth 250w heater
river gravel substrate
driftwood & lava rock
The PVC pipe on the right side of the tank is where the dominant pair has decided to make home. They have cleared out the gravel in front (making a huge mound in the process) and you can see eggs on the sides of the cave. Hopefully I'll be seeing fry soon.
I like your setup. Even though you have 75g you have to watch out for aggression the pair may bring. You do have a very good setup both asthetically pleasing and good for breaking up lines of sight to limit aggression.
Great job looking forward to hearing about the spawn :thumb:
The eggs are gone so I assume they either hatched or were eaten.
The male is now patrolling the area in front of the cave. There is a big pit that one of the pair dug in front but it seems to be empty. The female hides behind most of the plant mass near the bottom of the tank and only occasionally darts out for food during feeding time. I have read that firemouths will move their fry to a more secure are after they are born so hopefully the female is watching them somewhere back in the areas of the tank I can't see.
There seems to be no untoward aggression by either of the pair towards the other fish so I am unsure if this last batch of eggs was successful or not. I guess time will tell.
The mom and dad moved the fry to the nursery next to the spawning cave today. Everyone seems to be doing well. Parents are patrolling the area scooping up any errant fry and terrorizing the remaining fish.
My kids are fascinated by the whole thing and I'm pretty excited myself. The questions is, what am I gonna do with all the remaining fry that end up growing up? I know some cichlids will stop breeding once the tank gets too full. Will firemouths do that as well>
They really color up nicely when they get comfortable. Mine when I bought them were really pale and it took a month before I started seeing hints of red on them. Of course, mine were also juveniles so that might be another reason why the red and grey/blue aren't as pronounced.
But mine have really surprised me with their color.
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