Is my set-up OK?

Pretty much explains itself really. If you have questions about tank set-ups, tank furniture, (caves etc) chuck them in here!

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Lucy
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Is my set-up OK?

Post by Lucy »

I wasn't expecting to be able to get any Zebras for years, so to find myself in the position of having them arrive within a week has put me in a slight panic!!

My quaranteen tank is only a 26litre & I really don't want to shift the Zebs arround too much. The only other cycled tank which I could use is my 2'x1'x1' which is my cory breeding tank.
Is this big enough for 3 zebs - 2 of them are about 14mths & the other 18mths old.

Also how many caves & hidy holes do you recommend?

I'll post some pics when I can take them.

I'm heating it with one 100W & one 50W heater (in case one fails), a sponge filter(which is what the corys had & is cycled), a Fluval 2 plus filter which I added 3 days ago when I bought the Zebs & so is not full of good bacteria just yet but makes the water flow! and a pump with 2 x 6" airstones.

Black pea gravel + black & white finer grain gravel substrate.

I've not managed to cut the slate for caves yet but I've got some plastic tree root cave ornaments, teracotta plant pot halfs, pieces of slate & rock & a resin terapin(unused!) cave to start off with.

Have I missed anything? Any advice on if I should add/remove anything or should I just sit down & stop panicing?

Oh yes, can I add apple snails to help with the algae & do Zebras eat baby snails?

I think I'm finished for now - please reply - even if only to let me know you understand!! :?

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andrewcoxon
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Post by andrewcoxon »

hi lucy!

first of all..... TAKE A BREATH! lol ok now..... relax.

ok the tank, as you say 26 litres is too small, if nothing else it makes keeping the water in good condition hard so i would definatley use your cory tank. 2' x 1' x 1' is more than enough space for 3 young zebbies. i got my tank custom built as it needed to fit a specific space in the room but i made it deep and wide so i could get as much water in as possible to make it easier to keep all the paremeters stable.

get the water temp to 82-86 (mines at 84, it used to be lower but i found that they eat more when its hotter and thus grow fat and healthy), they like good fast water flow and pleanty oxygen so you'v got that covered with your added fluval and air stones.

as for slate caves, i wouldnt worry about them for now as only mature adult males use them. the jouvies will go in from time to time but they never stay in there for any length of time, id just put pleanty of bog wood and pieces of rocks and slate in there for them for now. just a note on the plastic root, i had one of those and a fish swam inside it and got stuck! not sure if its the same one but id be careful with that if i was you.

keep the ph stable somewhere in the middle (6-7ph)

i think thats all i can say.

i know the feeling, i remember when i was setting up my tank for my first zebs, its like christmas!! haha

anyway good luck & post some piccies of the tank and fish when you have some.


p.s one last thing, id think about buying an external filter as you can never have too much filtration. my tank runs a fluval 4 and a eheim external and iv had no problems at all with them and you can get a cheap brand new eheim on ebay for £40
My Pleco's:
4 x L46
5 x L174
5 x L134
5 x L287
5 x L257
2 x L236

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Lucy
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Post by Lucy »

Andrew Hi!
Thanks for your reply...I've started breathing again!!

I'll check ebay for an external filter - they are so much easier! I've got an eheim 2026 on my 69gal & it's brilliant.

Do you use real plants in your zeb tanks or plastic decor? I've always planted my tanks but most of the photos seem to show bare bottom tanks with just caves - a bit boring if the fish are hiding too - or is this just the best set up for breeding?

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andrewcoxon
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Post by andrewcoxon »

hi lucy,

i use real plants and sand in my zebbie tank but its down to personal preference. i was told by some people that sand can hurt zebras but mine love to dig and play in it and iv never have any problems, as for plants i use hardy plants like anubius, java moss, and java fern.

all the best,

andrew

p.s if you already have an eheim i would buy another and use half the filter media from it so its seeded right away.
My Pleco's:
4 x L46
5 x L174
5 x L134
5 x L287
5 x L257
2 x L236

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madmoroccan
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Post by madmoroccan »

Hi Lucy,

I would also agree that the 2 foot tank would make a better home. My findings are that the simpler you keep the setup the easier it will be to keep it clean.

As for filtration, you do seem to have enough for now... So the immediate rush for an external filter isn't necessary. But if you do still get one, make sure you run it alongside the ones you already have for a few weeks as well as using some filter media from your existing eheim.

I'd rather not comment on plants as every time I've introduced any plant into the tank it has either died from the temprature/high oxygen content/ or contained snails... But on that note I will be trying those mentioned by andrew, also; many aquarium plant sellers sell plants suitable for discus tanks.

The most important thing with these beautiful fish is water quality... 25% weekly is recommended.

Welcome to the obsession! :roll:
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Lucy
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Post by Lucy »

Ok - not great quality pics but here's the tank
Image


Image

It's a coconut cave in the front left hand corner

Image


Image

So any comments/suggestions?

Lucy <><

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John
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Post by John »

Looks nice, but that bottom will get you trouble.
It's gonna be hard for the zebs to feed on a bottom like that, so your leftovers will fill all of the holes and start to rot over there and give a nasty environment on the bottom of your tank.
The zebs prefer black slate or other dark rock so the white rocks are not ideal for them.
Greetings,
John
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Lucy
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Post by Lucy »

John wrote:Looks nice, but that bottom will get you trouble.
It's gonna be hard for the zebs to feed on a bottom like that, so your leftovers will fill all of the holes and start to rot over there and give a nasty environment on the bottom of your tank.
The zebs prefer black slate or other dark rock so the white rocks are not ideal for them.
John thanks for your advice. I've got some finer gravel that I could add over the top which would drop through & fill the gaps - or should I remove it all & start again? (I'd prefer the 1st option if it's viable!!) :?

The large white rock is essential as it buffers the ph - the gh & kh are so low in my water that I cant measure them. But I can easily change the others to dark ones or bog wood.

This is the great thing about this forum - the wealth of experience that is available to help us newbies to avoid disasterous mistakes with our precious fish!! :)

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eklikewhoa
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Post by eklikewhoa »

i have seen others use gravel with no problems but i think you should stay on top of you water changes and siphon the gravel too.

personally i prefer sand over the gravel or bare bottom. is the rock in there limestone or something? i dont think those rocks are gonna help much cause you would need a lot of them to really see much difference unless they dissolve easily.

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John
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Post by John »

I prefer a bare bottom with a high current and overfiltration, but a thin later (1/2") of (river)sand would be ok.
With the high current and overfiltration no leftovers are to be found in the tank the next day.
This way i don't need to siphon :wink:
I think siphoning every day in your tank also stresses your fish.
Personally i have never heard of a rock in your tank that increases your GH and KH and this way would buffer your PH, this does not sound reliable to me and i wouldn't rely on a piece of rock if it comes to my zebs.
If your levels are that low use some additives to prepare your water, this way your watervalues are within your control.
Greetings,
John
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Lucy
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Post by Lucy »

eklikewhoa wrote:i have seen others use gravel with no problems but i think you should stay on top of you water changes and siphon the gravel too.

is the rock in there limestone or something? i dont think those rocks are gonna help much cause you would need a lot of them to really see much difference unless they dissolve easily.
I don't really like bb tanks, other than for the very early stages of fry rearing, & several of the threads i've read on this site seem to indicate sand can be a problem (though it's an advantage with corys!), so I'm gonna take out the current gravel & replace with a finer grade. Siphoning it is what I'd normally do anyway as my usual cleaning routine.

This isn't a breeding tank (yet) as the fish are too young & I'd rather let them do their growing in peace than disturb them constantly with daily cleaning - I'd read that a weekly 30% wc & gravel siphon would be OK for this stage - am I misguided in this too? :?

I'm hoping to just enjoy them for the beautiful creation that they are for a while & give them as near to natural home as I can. I know how stressful it is trying to get your special fish to breed & the young to survive - they're as worrying from the moment of conception as our own children!! I want to enjoy them for a while before that stage!! :wink:

The rock is Aragonite which I've used in my other tanks - it just stops the ph crashing (it's gone below my test kit range 5 before now) & puts it back on the measurable hardness scale.

Thanks for all the advice - it's a steep learning curve :shock: - I'm glad you're all there to walk me through it!

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Lucy
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Post by Lucy »

OK Zebra tank take two!!

Image

Image

Image

Comments please? :?:

The Zebs arrive tomorrow!! :D :D :D :D :D :D

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madmoroccan
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Post by madmoroccan »

Hi Lucy,

The water change thing depends on what your weekly Nitrate test reading is... mine comes back at 10ppm. So I have found that 20-25% water change is more than adequate, heck I might not even need to do a weekly change if I didn't overfeed!

As for BB tanks, mine is BB and it is the cleanest setup I have ever had. The fish will find their food easier, definately more efficient in the water quality sense. And if that doesn't impress you why not try slate bottom tank? Just make sure you don't leave any gaps that a zeb can get trapped in.

With the water hardness, I have used tap water for a long time now, and I must say that this is far and away the easiest way to keep these fish... They are more hardy than most people give them credit for. So long as you keep things stable there is very little chance of any problems.

I hope this clears up a few things for you. I too have juveniles, and I have had mine since June... ooh, 6 months? I have had an easy six months because these adorable fish look after themselves as long as you provide them with food, clean water and hiding places.
[img]http://www.geocities.com/madmoroccan/zebcam.jpg[/img]

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