By the time 2022 started, the tank was close to the configuration that it would keep. In January I did give up on the first moss wall that I had tried to get going, which had become more of an algae wall.
I consulted with a local expert on plants here in Calgary, and he got me set up with a metal mesh that attached with suction cups and a small amount of moss to get started. I didn’t think it would be enough to get a good wall going but decided to give it a shot. The moss is glued to the mesh with super glue.
One issue that I had to deal with was Penguin Tetras. I had accidentally acquired one when I was buying Black Neon Tetras. The pet store had them in the same tank and they scooped one up by mistake. I did a little reading, everything seemed to indicate that they were good community fish, so I bought five more. Eventually each one seemed to stake out their own area of the tank and started chasing all the other fish that came within six inches of them away, except for the Cories and the Guppies. A little more reading suggested that this behaviour would go away if there was a bigger school. I bought eight more. The original six chased them into a corner and kept them there. After a couple of weeks of this I decided to remove them from the tank. I found someone that already had some, along with Emperor Tetras and other larger fish. It took Michelle and I about eight hours to catch them all, spilt over two days. It’s really hard to catch fast fish in a well planted, deep large tank!
They had a short vacation in my little 3 gallon tank, then were off to their new home, which they adapted to very nicely.
Here is a picture of the Penguin Tetras in their new home
For comparison, here are the Black Neons, you can see how it would be easy to mix them up.
In a first for me, my Albino Cories had spawned, and I had moved the eggs to my small shrimp tank, and they successfully hatched! They weren’t even as big as the shrimp. I eventually moved five of them into the big tank and gave away the others.
In February, I had to give away a couple more fish. Two small Endlers were being jerks and nipping at fish that were easily twice their size. They also had a short stay in the small tank, with a couple plants and a decoration this time, then were off to their new home.
Here is a video that shows many of the fish that are in the tank in early 2022, you can see a couple of the young Albino Cories at the beginning, and most of the other types of Cories , as well as my Panda Garre, Hillstream Loach, and many of the other fish.
I also discovered that several of my fish, especially the Plecos, Panda Garre’s and the Cory Catfish really like green beans.
Near the end of April I had another plaque run through the tank. Again, I don’t know what caused it, similar to the previous one the fish would like fine one day and be dead the next. I lost at least forty fish. It was a very stressful couple of weeks. I had acquired some medicated flakes during the first plaque and started feeding them to the fish fairly quickly, and I’m sure that is why I didn’t lose even more.
Somewhere in the midst of the chaos, my Bristlenose Plecos spawned. We didn’t even know it until one morning when Michelle said to me “Is that a baby fish?” A closer look showed that, yes, it was a tiny pleco. We eventually spotted about a dozen of them. Over time most of them disappeared, but at least three of them have survived. I thought it was pretty amazing to have any fish breed successfully in the big tank without moving the eggs or fry to a seperate tank.
A couple of the tiny Plecos on a leaf.
By the middle of the year, the Moss wall had really filled in and all the plants and fish in the tank were looking good.
The tank has been very stable and is at the point where I just do my weekly maintenance on it and occasionally add some new fish. Of course I also have had a few fish die, but no major incidents and I’m very happy with how things are going. So, here’s a few more shots of some of the fish in the tank, Starting with my Albino Cories taking it easy in a squadron formation.