L46 Zebra potential setup

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Katas
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L46 Zebra potential setup

Post by Katas » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:11 pm

Looking to start a breeding colony of Zebra Plecos. First time setting up for a catfish breeding system so all criticism welcomed no matter how harsh it might be.

Here is my potential setup:

2x Aqueon 40G Breeders
2x Versa tank tops
1x Stack Rack
2x Eheim Pro 4 250 Canister or 4x large sponge filters rated at 40 gallons each
2x Finnex FungeRay Planted+
2x Eheim Jagers 125Watt
2x Hydor Aqamai KPS Wavemaker
1x Aqueon Quiet Flow 100 Air Pump
2x Penn Plax Bubble Wall
10-20x Plecocaves
2x Magnet Cleaners
6-12x Marimo Moss Balls
1x Marina Hang-On Breeding Box
50x Indian Almond Leaves

I was also thinking of partitioning the grow out tank with a thick foam insert. I also could add a eheim 250 classic to either tank if added filtration is needed. Reasoning behind splitting the tank would be to separate potential fry sizes to alleviate any aggressiveness to the small fry from larger.

Adult tank will be bare-bottom to make cleanup easy. Grow out tanks can be bare-bottom or with inert sand. Both tanks will have drift wood in them as well for grazing.

Please let me know if I am falling short or going over kill. Open to all advice! Thank you in advance!!

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TwoTankAmin
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Re: L46 Zebra potential setup

Post by TwoTankAmin » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:03 pm

Bear in mind that there is no one single best or right way to set op a well functioning zebra breeding tank. Over the years I have changed my approach. I still have my original breeder tank running in pretty much the same way now since 2006. The fish still spawn.

I would make a couple of observations. Zebras do not come from stained waters, they come from clear (white) river waters. Zebras can be found at a variety of depths and flow rates. But for the most part there are no aquatic plants. So for sure I would forget about the catappas.

I do both bare bottom and sand bottom setups. Where I have more flow I tend to have minimal or no sand. I also do not have strong currents in any of my Hypancistrus tanks. I do have good flow and for sure good oxygenation which is essential. But I know people who do more flow than I and others who use only air driven filtration with great success. My feeling is that zebras are adapted to a high flow environment but that they do not have to have it to thrive.

When I first set up my breeder tank it was planted. Now all 13 of my Hypancistrus breeding and growout tanks have no plants at all. My reasons were wimple. When I need to work in the tanks, plants are usually in the way. Plus they need some level of care which means more work. They need lighting, which means another variable affecting things and more cost as well as more heat generation. However, there is no reason one cannot keep zebras in a planted tank in terms of its affecting their well being. One note, because I do no plants, I do not have lights running over the tanks and I never have to clean algae off of anything in those 13 tanks.

If you want to run sponges, consider using Poret cubes from Swiss Tropicals. If you opt for air driven filtration, you don't need air stones/bubble walls.

One last observation. My experience with heats over the years is that all brands from cheap to over-priced can fail and likely will over time. There are two dangers in this respect, over heating and boiling the fish or failing , and having the die from it being too cold. There fore I suggest two things. In general, use more than one heater. If you use a canister consider using a Hydor Inline heater. This will help mitigate failure of a heater from causing a fast temperature drop and will help more evenly heat a tank. Next, to guard against overheating, consider adding a temperature controller. I am a cheapskate sometimes, so I have been using an Azoo Micro controller which handles up to 800 watts of heaters. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... atid=23735

I have had a couple of tanks "boil" from heater failure. Now I try to protect against that in certain tanks.

My rule of thumb for caves is at least one per adult zebra (regardless of the sexing). Caves can be used for sheltering/hiding as well as spawning. They do not have to be claimed to contribute to the well being of the group. I use an assortment of shapes/materials. I also have lots of wood, rocks and slate. I always remember that saying that "a happy zebra is a hiding zebra," so I want tons of cover in their tanks.

Finally, I think you are going overkill on circulation/aeration. You would be fine without the wave maker and the bubble walls. If you want some extra water movement, power heads or small pumps work well.

Sorry for being so long winded. I would restate that the above are mostly my opinions and just that. In the end you will find what works for you. Hopefully, other folks will chime in and you can then combine the ideas that appeal to you.
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Katas
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Location 2: Manchester

Re: L46 Zebra potential setup

Post by Katas » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:51 pm

@TwoTankAmin

Thank you very much for your so called "Long winded" response. I find it extremely insightful from a veteran breeder. I will be putting the Swiss Tropicals filters and heater recommendations filters to use and drop the power to use.
I will also be dropping the powerheads/bubble stones/leaves. I may add powerheads if I find a large enough dead zone/area within the tank just for added precaution. The added precautions with dual heaters and controllers is something I will also be putting in place.

I was looking into a veggie & shrimp DIY food or Rapashy Morning Wood. Any insight into either or advice on what you use?

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pleco_breeder
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Re: L46 Zebra potential setup

Post by pleco_breeder » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:37 pm

I'm not real current on the Repashy foods, but have the understanding that Morning Wood is designed for fish which rasp on wood (Panaque and related). If I'm correct on that, Hypancistrus will not really get much benefit to it. You'll want to find something with a bit more meat. Last I used Repashy, I was using either Meat Pie or Spawn and Grow for Hypancistrus.

Larry Vires
Impossible only means that somebody hasn't done it correctly yet.

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TwoTankAmin
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Re: L46 Zebra potential setup

Post by TwoTankAmin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:07 am

I was using the Meat Pie which has been discontinued. However, there is a good replacement for it, Bottom Scratcher. I recently exchanged a few emails with Allen Repashy about this. The two foods share most of the ingredients that are used, although not necessarily in the exact same proportions. However, there are some other differences. Some things in one not in the other. On balance I am willing to use the Bottom Scratcher in lieu of the Meat Pie. The main difference is the "meat" components. The Scratcher uses Insect Meal and Mussel Meal while Meat Pie used Fish Meal.

Larry is correct, Morning Wood is not great for zebras. Some people add it to their Repashy "mix" because it makes the food a bit more "solid." (I doubt adding 5 to 10% would harm them, but I don't do it.) However, some veggies are good for them. I believe that zebra fry need more veggies in their diet for the first few months than they do as adults. Because I tend to leave offspring in the breeding tanks to grow, I find mixing Soylent Green with the Bottom Scratcher means I know the youngsters will get their veggies and it is fine for the adults as well. I will use a 3 or 4 to 1 mix. I also use a lot of the Spawn and Grow, both plain and with some Soylent Green added. I really wish I had that when I was working with the tank strains of bristlenose.

I also feed a lot of frozen. Live would be the best option but it is where I drew the line years ago. But I don't want to hatch BBS especially since one can get frozen BBS, Cyclops and Copapods.

One more thing you should know about about me, i am not a master anything. I am a very lucky hobbyist. One of my greatest assets in our well water. I have been saying for years it contains a natural fish aphrodisiac. It is also apparently good for many SA fish as well as those from Africa and Asia which prefer softer water in the neutral pH range. My biggest skill is I do regular maint. on my tanks and change water.
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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