Tankmates for Hillstream loach?

Discussion in 'Asian Other' started by superbole, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. superbole

    superbole

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    Hi Guys

    I am in the planning phase of a project I have been wanting to do for a while now - a river setup. I am thinking of a nice long tank, about 2.5 m, with uni-directional flow to simulate a nice fast flowing stream. I would like to set the tank up for the Hillstream Loach, providing them with the conditions they would find in the wild (fast flow, high oxygen levels). I have done quite a bit of research on possible tank mates but I'd like some advice. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is an obvious choice (although they are from China). I've also read about weather loaches and think that two or three would go well in such a setup.
    I've also come across; Clown loach, Red fin loach (Botia), Zebra Danio (although technically they come from India and Bangladesh), Bala shark, Red-tailed black shark, Flying Fox, Checkerboard Sand Loach and the Dwarf loach.

    So, I was thinking hillstream loaches, a decent sized school of WCMM, maybe a school of bala shark or Danios and two or three weather loaches.

    I'm not really worrying about fish load at this stage because I'm not sure exactly what volume the tank will be. But in terms of compatability and suiting the tank, what do you guys think? What suggestions do you have?

    Thanks

    Sheldon
     
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  3. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    Hillstream loaches like high flow and smooth rocks. So see if you can get some nice big smooth rocks from a local river. I got a bunch of big black ones from a friend in Hartbeespoort who lives on the river. They'll also go very well with other Asian biotope fish, especially the riverine fish, so you can add loaches (look for a school of smaller ones like zebras or polka dots, kuhlis also love high flow) and Siamese Algae eaters and Otocinclus and danios.

    Have you got an idea of how you're going to design the tank yet? Because I've seen two very effective systems for river tanks so far. One uses PVC pipes under the substrate with sponges on one side and powerheads on the other, and the other system had a sheet of glass about 10cm away from the back of the tank running nearly the entire length. That system just put the powerheads at the one point where the water entered and pretty much made the tank into a big loop. I found it on youtube, so just look for it there.

    Good luck and please post progress on this system because it's something I'd love to do someday!
     
  4. Reafer

    Reafer

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    [​IMG]

    that might help
     
  5. speedz

    speedz In need of a fishroom....

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    wow thats sounds like a good idea for a tank setup. Found this on youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUUyfhlD5js


    thing is that its bi-directional.

    Also i believe they are coldwater fish(hillstream loaches) if im not mistaken, paradise fish would go well in there
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  6. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    That's the one, should do well to turn a 2.5m into a river tank.
    Edit: I was talking about the one with the pipes, and yes, that youtube link is the river tank I was alluding to ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  7. speedz

    speedz In need of a fishroom....

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  8. OP
    superbole

    superbole

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    Hi Guys

    Whipme, that's the plan. High flow rate (I read somewhere 1m/s?) with some nice smooth rocks with lots of algae on. I was also thinking of some valis and maybe some java fern, but not too much since there usually aren't many plants in high flow areas. Photos I've seen of hillstream loaches' natural environment show bare rock face and boulders! I'll go to Harties (below the dam wall?) to look for some nice rocks, thanks for the tip. I assume you have to clean these REALLY well coming from there?

    I'll have a look at some of the other loaches, but am nervous to get too many fish that eat algae. Same goes for the SAE. Otos come from South America, so I would rather avoid them - I am aiming to get as close to a biotope tank as possible. I've also found out that the weather (dojo) loach is on the black list, so he is off my list (unfortunately because they look really cool!).

    As for design, I've looked at the pvc manifold as per Reefer's post (if I'm not mistaken it comes from www.loaches.com), but would actually like to have a tank without any equipment in it. I like the youtube tank I think it's quite a nifty way of doing it. I was however thinking of having a sump with an inlet on the one side and an outlet on the other. I'm going to model the tank on some fluid modeling software I have to see what different layouts give me.

    Speedz, you are right, hillstream loaches are actually "sub-tropical" depending on your definition. Where I live (north of the Magaliesburg) I should be able to keep them in a heater-less tank (something I know you're aiming for - I have read your cold-water fish post). The paradise fish look beautiful and conditions wise would go well, and they come from the "right" area. However on Mongabay they say "[FONT=Arial, Helvetica] Best kept in a species tank" so I'll still do a bit more research on them. That fish Henk suggested scares me (yes it is beautiful) wikipedia has this to say about it "[/FONT]Maximum size in aquariums (min-max): 90 - 100 cm ( 35.43 - 39.37 in )". That's huge!!

    So, thus far no one has any issues with my list - hillstream loaches, white cloud mountain minnows, bala sharks and danios? What size schools do you suggest for the different species? What about a fair sized group of hillstream loaches and a big school of of only one of the other species (maybe bala sharks)?

    Sheldon
     
  9. speedz

    speedz In need of a fishroom....

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    On second thoughts, i dont think paradise fish would appreciate the rapid flow of water. If im not mistaken they normally come from stagnant waters(i think it has to do with their bubblenest building).

    the list is looking good, although i have concerns that the bala sharks may cause havoc when they grow a bit bigger. I think a shoal of danios will liven the tank up


    apparently this species in the link below is quite the escape artist:

    http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=1970
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  10. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    I actually forgot about sumps, my bad :)
    That might actually be one of the easiest ways of making a river tank!

    As for the stock list, I'd say you'd need some other active fish like different loaches and some danios and I also just remembered that Harlequin Rasboras might fit the bill too. Just remember that a 2.5m tank is huge, you could easily put 50 harlequins and 50 danios in there with your hillstreams and 11 Botia Kubotai for example. They'll all form their own groups and add their own bit of character to the tank :)
     
  11. OP
    superbole

    superbole

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    Yes speedz, I also read that they come from stagnant pools... guess they are out.

    Looking at that link I guess I'll have to put a secure lid on the tank!

    Yip, I havn't seen many examples of river tanks made through a sump, I cannot understand why.

    Harlequin Rasboras come from "still and slow moving brooks and swamps" and need temperatures between 22 and 26 degrees (again from Mongabay). How about the Scissor Tailed Rasbora? Mongabay recons they need 18 to 25 degrees however they come from "[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Still and slow-moving rivers and lakes". I don't know how they'll handel the faster water...

    So, we have:
    Hillstream loach (don't know exactly which species will have to see what's available).
    I still like the White Clouds, especially if I could find the "natural" colouration.
    Then I think the next best would be the Zebra Danios.
    After reading around a bit, the Bala's are off the list - 30 cm is rather large, even for a 2.5m tank.
    Botia Kubotai need a bit too high temperature -
    [/FONT]24-28°C (loaches.com)
    Flying Fox needs too high temperature...
    The checkerboard sand loach still seems like an option. Anyone seen these in SA?
     
  12. Gareth

    Gareth Angel Freak

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    Good luck with this Projectif you do you home work correctly like I see you are you are going to have one AWESOME tank can't wait to see pics
     
  13. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    I don't think you'll need such high flow rates throughout the tank to keep the hillstreams happy, you could maybe aim the high flow through the middle of the water column allowing you to keep other types of fish. So that would be a bit more like a real river with the high velocity water in the middle and slightly slower on the edges.

    Having a look at Fishbase for the Harlequin Rasboras, it says they inhabit streams. So that makes them potential tankmates. I know mine spend a lot of time swimming in the flow of the powerhead and under the "waterfall" that my hang on filter makes.

    I rate you could easily keep kuhli loaches in a river tank because they're well known for killing themselves by swimming into powerhead outlets, that's actually how I've lost 3 of mine! And they can absolutely survive in colder waters, I rescued one of mine out of a friend's tank that had been left for 3 months with no food or filtration or heating in winter! I think it's just a matter of acclimatization.

    Speaking of which, what temperature are you aiming for? Because I keep my harlequins and Botia Kubotai quite happily in 22 degree water in winter.
     
  14. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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  15. Dolphin

    Dolphin

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    I've quickly skimmed through the posts here and would like to comment that I have 4 Gold Tiger Hillstream Loaches (Sewellia Lineolata) in my planted tank which does not have any current to speak of with a temp of 25-26 Celcius and they seem fine and have even paired off... So, I really dont believe fast flowing currents are critical but rather very good filtration with high amounts of saturated oxygen. IMO.
     
  16. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    Those are beautiful fish, where did you get them and how long have you had them?
     
  17. Dolphin

    Dolphin

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    yep those are beauties! we imported them in september...

    here's a pic I have of one of the males

    Gold%20Tiger%20Hillstream%20Loach[1].jpg
     
  18. OP
    superbole

    superbole

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    I would like to fluctuate the temperature with the seasons, and was thinking of the 20 - 25 degree range, but the final combination of fish will determine this. The hillstream loaches want temperatures between 18 and 24...
     
  19. OP
    superbole

    superbole

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    Gareth, I am still in early research at this stage, so it will be quite a while before there are any decent pictures! But I will keep the forum updated.

    Whipme, fishbase is the only place I've seen the hillstream loaches described as tropical! I have been using loaches.com and forums.loaches.com as sources of information for my research and they all speak about temperatures between 18 and 25 for the different species and 20 - 23 being the most common. Besides this, I want to see if I can run the tank without a heater.

    Dolphin, fast flow is not critical, however my aim with the tank is to give the hillstream loaches as close to their natural environment as possible, and that's why I want to do the river tank and get other fish that will do well in such a setup. I do agree that filtration and oxygenation are vital. I'm glad to see that you have these fish, and particularly the Sewellia Lineolata! When I'm ready will I be able to order these from you?

    On another note I found these two tanks today, I think this is somethign I'll definitely look into when it come to setup.If I can get my tank to look like this I will be very happy. The plumbing of such a system is very interesting. What do you guys think of the filter system they are using, mattenfilter?
     
  20. Dolphin

    Dolphin

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    Its really great what you're attempting to do here and will be one of the few if any such setups in SA...good luck!

    Yes, we'll have them in stock again shortly. I'm trying to source other rare Hillstream loaches as well as this is a very interesting species...
     
  21. OP
    superbole

    superbole

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    That's awesome! But it's still going to be a while before I am ready for them. You'll definitely have my interest when you do!
     

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