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Should I combine tanks?

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:55 pm
by jackj921
I am in the process of reducing my tanks from 9 down to something requiring less work. I now have 4-one salt, one South American with a probable pair of Altum Angels and a few other South Americans, a 29 with a probable pair of heckle discus, and a 20 long with 2 males and 3 female zebra plecos that I have had at least 4 years. No matter what I have tried I have not gotten anyone to spawn but that is not a surprise. I am thinking of combining the heckles and zebras in a 55, artificially planted tank. I have had tropicals for over 70 years now but I still would like to get one of the three to spawn before its too late!! Any thoughts on combining the heckles and zebras. Have zebras spawned in larger tanks with big fish overhead?

Re: Should I combine tanks?

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:19 pm
by TwoTankAmin
If you do this, you can kiss any potential zebra fry goodbye, they will be on the menu for the discus. Adult zebras are fine in with discus. I parked a pair of males with a pair of discus for many years. I no longer have discus, but i still have those males in another zebra tank.

When we consider what a zebra costs, how long it can live in a tank and how often we will actually get to see it, it is probably one of the most expensive fish per view that doesn't burrow into the substrate all the time.

Where zebras are found in the wild, there are no smaller fish overhead. There are larger predatory species and birds who eat fish, but no friendly faces. The zebra is likely as small an full grown fish as can be found in the places where they live. In the wild the rocky nature of the river provides countless small hiding places where a zebra can fit and anything bigger cannot.

You have some of the harder fish to spawn. Few spawn wild discus, way fewer do Altums (I have kept some for a number of years and have no illusions on this front.) but many have succeeded with zebras. I know some very accomplished fish people who have thrown up their hands with zebras and just left them be only to have them suddenly spawn a year or two later. There are simply no guarantees. My belief is that most fish spawn when they are good and ready as long as we do not do things to prevent this. They could care less what we as keepers want.

With zebras the best we can try is a proper dry season followed buy a proper onset of the rainy season combined with good foods. The rest is really up to them.

Re: Should I combine tanks?

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:38 pm
by jackj921
Thanks for reply. I wouldn't mind seeing a few zebra fry even if they eventually "disappear". You certainly are right about cost per view, though the way I have their caves now, I do get to see 3 or 4 tails every day. Have you ever tried just blue led lights on all day to more closely simulate deep water environment? Hope all is well with you up my old way in Westchester. THANKS

Re: Should I combine tanks?

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:22 am
by Raul-7
You also have to consider requirements; L46 do best in darker aquariums, with higher current and warmer waters. Few fish share the same requirements.

Honestly, I've learned they do best in a species only aquarium with maybe shrimp/snails as cleanup.

Re: Should I combine tanks?

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:03 pm
by TwoTankAmin
I wouldn't mind seeing a few zebra fry even if they eventually "disappear".
My two cents worth:*

While I dearly love having my B&W Hypans, the least expensive ones cost me $175 per. A couple were replacement fish smaller than what they replaced, so there were a few closer to $100. Some cost me more than I will admit. Unless one is pretty wealthy, such fish are relatively not cheap at all. If one buys a group with the intention of trying to get offspring, the total cost goes up a lot.

Those fry you would not mind disappearing are worth $100 and up each. Now, I am not saying that, on the small scale such as most home breeders work, there are serious profits to be made. But I can tell you this. My group of zebras paid for itself. Then it paid me back for every cent I had put into fish keeping from day one. They have helped to cover my costs since then and made it possible for me to add 173b, two groups of L236 and two groups of L173. The latter I am still working with to break even.

More importantly, I have also been able to donate to various fish related events/sites/organizations by donating my fish to be auctioned and the proceeds donated.

Perhaps one of the most important results of my good luck has been to make some small contribution to keeping some rarer fish from becoming extinct on the planet even if they are lost in the wild.

End of my two cents.*