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overloaded plant tanks and fish breeding
Three months ago, once I had the CO2 running well in my large tank, I began
giving the clippings to my cousin. He has a 40 gallon tank that is now
chockful of watersprite, hygrophila polysperma, ambulia and cabomba. He is
adding PMDD and the plants are healthy and growing.
The fish in this tank are 7 'green fire' tetras, 5 white cloud mountain
minnows, 6 Cardinal tetras, and 6 pygmy corys.
The pH has settled at 6.4, the GH has gone down to 2degrees hardness because
of all the plants. 10+ACU- water changes are done twice weekly. Nitrate,
phosphate etc. are barely detectable.
Last week-end I was looking at the tank and saw some small fish. Since the
Green fire tetras (Rathbun's tetras) spawn every morning if the sun shines
on the tank, I assumed that these fish were their offspring.
Two days ago I sat down in front of the tank and spent some time looking
more closely at the youngsters. They are not Rathbun's tetras or White
cloud minnows. +AHw-We've bred white clouds before and these are not minnows.
The bottom half of their caudal region is red, with the red extending into
the tail. The belly is still silver. Their other fins are all clear. They
have the adipose fins of tetras, so are not minnows. Rathbun's tetras have
red in their dorsals, anals, and tail fins. So, they are, in fact, Cardinal
Tetras. We have at least 3 of them. At this time, they are approximately
1/3 to 1/2 the size of their parents. All the original cardinals have been
It's weird, but true. Their tank would never qualify as a 'dutch planted
tank' or even an aesthetic planted tank. It's just all green plants
everywhere. But it seems that this is what the fry needed to survive -
predation wise and food wise. The tank was set up for the fish first and
the viewer second.