About dry/rainy season (tips please)

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Jaz
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About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

I've the current setup of my plecos for few months now. I posted my tank setup to tank setup section, but in short, I have l-46, l-134 and l-201 divided in the same tank.

Now, about the seasons. I have read about the seasons and I'm now trying it with a month long system (I know it's not as long as in the wild but doing it still). So I raise the temperature and decrease flow and incread the light 3 weeks without any major water change. After 3 weeks I make a 70% waterchange on first day, temp drops from 31 to 26 celsius during a day and I shut down all lights and stop feeding. Then I change around 30% for 3-4 next days. Then wait for few more days and do it again.

I haven't had any luck so far. Does anyone have some new tips what to try? Should I keep changing water after that first big one or just leave them alone for a week? Should I keep feeding during that rainy week or not? Any tips are welcome since I really hope for some babies soon. All of the 3 plecogroups should have mature males and females so something should happen if I don't fail anything. :)
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Two things come to mind- First how are you measuring your TDS to know the difference between the dry and rainy seasons? Second, are you timing the onset of the rainy season to the arrival of a storm aka barometric pressure drop?

I would also suggest separating the plecos into their own tanks for spawning. These three fish do not live in the same rivers or conditions.
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

Thanks Amin.

I haven't played with TDS yet. The water in here is extremely soft. So I should harden it during the dry season? Is there some good way of doing it instead of chemicals? Coral or something like that? How hard should the water be before rainy season?

I tried to look for the weather, but it's kinda frusterating when it rains for 28 days and then shines 2 day. :) This will be easier in the summer.

There is no room for any more aquariums except one baby aquarium I'm installing this week. It will come above the current tank and will be in the same water circulation. It's 140cm*20cm*20cm. Maybe I could transfer those l-201's there with l-333 babies? The l-46's and l-134's are divided within the tank, they cannot interact. :)

One more question. How much I can drop the water temp when I have 2-3 month old babies in the tank? So I don't drop it from 30 to 25 and then I lose them all.
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Well bear in mind that babies are born when water is colder- rainy season- and it warms up from there. I have never been a huge believer in the temp change part. I think TDS, barometric pressure and food are the key factors and temp is an incidental needed only for the most stubborn of cases.

How best to approach things depends on your tap parameters. I have seen studies that measured Xingu params near Altamira in both rainy and dry seasons. These came from apisto researchers and were take in different years. They indicate low TDS at about 15 ppm and high at about 85. The point being a change of 70 ppm triggers them. This does not mean we should shoot for those numbers in our tanks but what absolute change seems to trigger them.

It is cheaper to raise TDS with chemicals if one must. A mix of calcium carbonate (I used crushed coral), Magnesium (Epsom Salt) and a pinch of Baking Soda did the trick for me. I was trying to avoid needing an RO unit. But then came altum angels and the need to have an ro unit and I ended up with one. So now I can go either way.

In years gone by I was able to use just my tap and let it dirty up to be dry season and then revert to tap and regular water changes once a storm rolled in. But our well water params changed. The pH dropped from about 7.4 to almost neutral and the TDS dropped to anything from 58 to 85 ppm from somewhere between 106 and 120ppm (based on GH test). I became unable to dirty up enough.

So, depending on your tap params (esp TDS), you could be able to choose from any one of 3 different options or may only have one.

Finally, the hardest part of getting zebra fry is getting the adults to spawn the first time. Once they have started, they will continue for some time. So you should not have to do any temp drops with small fry in the tank. They will also tend to spawn for 7-8 months and then pause for 5 +/- before starting back up. Finally, they can spawn for an extended period of on and off and then suddenly stop for an extended period.
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Jaz
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

Thanks again Amin.

I will figure out something with the TDS and try to look the weather abit. And I'll transfer those l-201's to the babytank also.

You said that the food is one of the 3 main keys. How do you change the feeding during dry / rainy. It's rather hard to figure out whats the right thing to do since I have read really different comments. I've seen comments like "feed always", "feed at dry, stop at rainy" "feed some at dry, feed alot at rainy" :D
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by lzebra »

zebs are notoriously difficult to activate, not matter what you do. Sometimes they can be activated to spawn by things that we do, but mostly they just spawn when they want to *shrug*. But once they're activated, you dont really need to do the dry/rainy season thing cos they'll have spawns every month.
I suggest during your summer season in your country, do the dry season cycle: less water changes and let the water become dirty and acidic and high temp and feed less (once a week, a little amount). do this for 2-3 months. When your summer turns into autumn and it starts to storm and rain more, do the rainy season: do a massive water change, 50% WC and then 10% everyday for a 1-2 weeks, turn on your powerheads and airstones and feed small amounts 2-3 times daily, preferrable with live food. If this doesnt activate them, then... ??? ... well, just wait, be patient, wait... wait....
good luck
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by TwoTankAmin »

In the wild food is more plentiful in the rainy season. But its more than just a question of changing the availability of food during the seasons. There is also the issue of what to feed. When you switchover the seasons from dry to rainy to induce spawning, maxing out the protein and/or the use of live foods becomes more critical.

I tend to up the use of my frozen foods like Blood and Tubifex worms and Mysis and Brine shrimps. During down times I will use more flakes, wafers and sticks. Live foods are even better, but I do not do them due to lack of space and the need not to add one more chore to the fishkeeping list.
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

I got the following message from my local aquarium shop. Hope my translations wont suck much. :)

So from practical reason TDS is to most aquarists same as total hardness since it's been adjusted with the same products. They don't quite get the use of baking soda since it increases alcalinity. Well it gives natrium and bicarbonate, but they don't know if it matters that much. Thinking about conductivity, they would replace calsium carbonate with calsium chloride since it's much easier to use. Then there might not even be need for baking soda. Most aquarists who do this, just go the easy way and use gypsum(?) (calsiumsulfate-dihydrate), GOD DAMN what a word :)

They say that the tapwater here should be around 0,48 mmol/l (= aprox. 2,7 dGH = aprox. 50 ppm)

Gonna go over today and see what I come up with. :)
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Calcium carbonate does not dissolve well in water. I would start with my tap at about 85ppm TDS reading. I would run a H.O.T Magnum loaded with crushed coral on a 20 gal can of water over night and it would test at about 110 ppm the next day. I would then add Epsom Salt (magnesium) (about a tablespoon) and retest at about 150+ and then add a minimal pinch of baking soda and get it to about 165. I kept the baking soda at a very minimal level as it will drive the pH toward an equilibrium value of 8.2.

My goal was to create a gap between the treated and and my tap water of about 70ppm on my TDS meter. This meant I could get a drop back down to tap levels to simulate the rainy season. I based my goal on readings from the Xingu which indicate there the rainy season was about 15ppm and the dry about 85ppm. I was not quite exact but these numbers served as my guidelines.

This might help some:
Hardening Your Water (Raising GH and/or KH)
The following measurements are approximate; use a test kit to verify you've achieved the intended results. Note that if your water is extremely soft to begin with (1 degree KH or less), you may get a drastic change in pH as the buffer is added.

To raise both GH and KH simultaneously, add calcium carbonate (CaCO3). 1/2 teaspoon per 100 liters of water will increase both the KH and GH by about 1-2 dH. Alternatively, add some sea shells, coral, limestone, marble chips, etc. to your filter.

To raise the KH without raising the GH, add sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), commonly known as baking soda. 1/2 teaspoon per 100 Liters raises the KH by about 1 dH. Sodium bicarbonate drives the pH towards an equilibrium value of 8.2.
From http://fins.actwin.com/aquariafaq.html Go to the section on Altering Your Tank's Water Chemistry in the section for "Your First Aquarium"
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

So much information. :)

Thanks for help guys, this should be enough info to get things working. Bought loads of stuff, also some organanic things like almond leaves. Lets see what I come up with. :) Will report back asap if I get some success. God damn fishes, you have to be a biologist, chemist, meteorologist and a geologist. Why o why I just didn't settle to cats. :)
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

Only 1 more question. If I get 50 ppm from tapwater, can I take the water in the tank to 120 ppm or is it too much for the fishes? If there are l333 babies in the tank also?
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Hypans thrive on change. Taking the water up to 120, especially if you do it in 2 or 3 steps will not be an issue. However, zebras are not and tannin stained acid water fish, There is no need for the catappa leaves.
The Amazon and some of its tributaries, called "whitewater" rivers, bear rich sediments and hydrobiological elements. The blackwater and clearwater rivers, such as the Negro, Tapajós, and Xingu have clear or dark water with few nutrients and little sediment. The Xingu is crystal clear and carries little in the way of sediment.
From http://www.zebrapleco.com/core/zebra_pleco_habitat.php
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

Was just about to mix with the water a bit and I saw 3x l-201 babies. :) I think I'm gonna give them few weeks without making any major changes. :) Gonna let the water go dirty by not changing water and see how it goes.
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

Yeah, I think I got 5x l-201 babies in the tank. But I'm so ready for rainy season. :)

- Havent given much food for few weeks.
- The lights have been on for 14 hours a day (gonna shut them down completely at rainy)
- The water surface is 25% lower than usual, since I have let the water vaporize
- The flow is lower than usually
- Water temp around 30 degrees celsisus (gonna lower to 26 at rainy)
- TDS around 130-140 (I get 50 from tap)
- Got shrimp and bloodworms in the fridge
- Current air pressure 1045 hPa

And now I'm only waiting for low pressure and the rainy season begins. :) Then 60% waterchange, start feeding fridge stuff 2 times a day and continue waterchanges for 2 weeks. Water temp lowers, flow increases, tds drops, water surface goes higher and the lights go off.

Now listening: Roxette - Waiting for the rain :)
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Re: About dry/rainy season (tips please)

Post by Jaz »

It's now 1050 hPa here and it looks like the low pressure is coming in sloooooowly. At what hPa you have made the first waterchange?
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