The otto project updates

Current tank water tests:

GH =89.5 @ 5 drops
KH= 53.7 @3 drops

GH is lower….KH is higher. The water softner pillow did lower the GH, not the KH tho, from what I can tell.

tds = 468
temp = 75.3

Temp is the same. The tds has increased. After doing some reading that seems to be the case. I tried the peat granuals and all they did was raise the tds to way over 500. So, I am down to buying reverse osmosis water from a big box store. I may do some more testing with peat at a later time, but not the stuff you buy at the pet stores.

Values for replacement water:

GH = turned color on the first drop
KH = turned final color on the first drop
TDS = 31

So basically no hardness to this water at all. I will be mixing it with my water to keep the GH and KH at a reasonable level so I don’t end up with a PH crash in this tank. I’m trying to keep the TDS around 100.

This the thread I’ve been reading to try to copy his results. His water values are higher then mine are but I am also trying to breed crystal red shrimp and pygmy cories.

The TDS of the tank was 355 after the water change so there’s no reason to check the other values. I will be doing weekly water changes to get that value down slowly.

The cories were super active after the water change, they are young yet tho, so probably won’t see a spawn from them until this spring at the earliest.

– Fin


The Otto Project

The tank:

The supplies:

The subjects:

The Project:

These guys are Otocinclus vestitus, or at least that’s the most commonly imported one and the one I am assuming that I have. They are one of my favorite fish and I’ve been wanting to try to breed them for awhile now. I’ve kind of played at it for the last year but I’m getting serious now. They are one of the least bred fish in the hobby, and one of the harder ones to get and keep alive.

Easy to acquire, hard to keep alive due to the fact that they are not fed right in store tanks. I’ve read that they have a bacteria in their stomach that helps them with their digestion. If they are not fed pretty much constantly that bacteria in their stomach dies off and they soon follow. It’s very common to loose these fish between two weeks and a month after you get them home for this very reason. If they stay alive that for the initial month then they seem to be extremely hardy.

Todays test results:

Tds: 389
Temp: 75.3
Kh: 35.8 @ 2 drops solution
Gh: 179 @ 10 drops solution
Ph: 6.6
Ammonia: .5ppm weird
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

I’m going to be recording my test results on this tank here on this blog. The ammonia reading from today is either a fluke or from the fertilizer tabs I put in yesterday. I will test again tomorrow to make sure. This is a long established tank so I’m not worried about it, there is plenty of established nitrifying bacteria present.

The total disolved solids (tds) are extremely high, as is the general hardness (gh)…we basically have liquid rock for water around here. I’m using a water softener pillow in an attempt to get those values down. According to the directions it should take 48 hours to do its work. I will test values tomorrow to see where we are on that. I bought it on clearence so hopefully it does work!

In the future for water changes on this tank I will be preparing the water ahead of time in an effort to keep the values the same. I may turn up the heater a bit, I haven’t decided yet.

This is a good time to be preparing for this as catfish usually breed in the spring. I have some pygmy cories on the same tank I would like to see breed as well. I accidently bred them once back when I first got them (no clue how that happened) but not since, and none of the babies survived as far as I can tell.

The other thing I would like to see in this tank that I’ve tried and failed at twice now is crystal red shrimp. I think they are awesome looking but with the liquid rock around here they just can’t handle it. They need much softer acidic water to even stay alive.

I’ve been following a thread on one of the forums that I frequent from someone that has bred these guys repeatedly, and am hoping to have as good of results here!

– Fin