Friday 8 May 2015

64 Litre "Hidden Paths" Tank (Week 16) - Video Update

64 Litre "Hidden Paths" Tank - Week 16 Update

Its been around 16 weeks since the 64 Litre "Hidden Paths" Tank was started... so i guess its due for a much needed update. :)

So far its been running well with very little maintenance required, as per my original plan.

Over time, i've gradually stopped dosing fertilizers and excel as i found that the plants already get sufficient nutrients from the tank's ecosystem and their carbon requirements aren't very high anyways. The fact that all of the plants are rhizome based also helps as they can store lots of resources for future usage, so the plants have their own inbuilt buffers against fluctuating nutrient levels.

Platinum rummy nose tetras were added just after the tank was setup, they form the main group of fishes for the tank now. Their exceptional schooling ability really ties everything together perfectly.

Despite their slower growth rates, the plants sprouted out quite a good amount of new leaves... the various anubias and bucephalandra clumps have developed into denser bunches and slowly filled out the aquascape.

I was initially planning to swap out plants, but after seeing everything settle in nicely, i figured its probably better if i just leave it be and simply let the plants grow out. :)

Sunday 3 May 2015

Limnopilos Naiyanetri (Thai Micro Crab)

Finally got the opportunity to get my hands on a group of Limnopilos Naiyanetri... aka Thai Micro Crabs!

These are some of the more unique crabs available that are fully aquatic. Add to the fact that they stay very tiny in size (only around 1 cm in length, excluding their legs), these micro crabs make for very interesting inhabitants in smaller tank setups.

Just for scale comparison... here is one resting on my palm.

They seem to be quite capable of traversing across dry "land", i guess in nature they can crawl around to different water sources in search of food and shelter.

While i was in the midst of transferring them to my main tank, one hopped off the net and started to scuttle around my hand.

When newly introduced into a tank (after a suitable period of drip acclimation), they tend to exhibit a pale transparent coloration.

Once they adapt to the tank environment, their original brownish colors gradually return, though i noticed that they will still switch between colors depending on mood and also to match their surroundings.

So far, i've only caught brief glimpses of them in my tank. Once they disappeared into the plant growth, i've not been able to get a good photo of them yet... thats one of the considerations when keeping micro crabs, they are tough to observe in planted tanks!

Can you spot the micro crab hiding inside this clump of Anubias sp. "Petite"?

They spend most of their time moving between dense plant growth while scavenging for food, i've seen them actively picking along the surfaces of plant roots and leaves, they also graze on algae wafers and blanched zuchinni too. It seems they are quite similar to cherry shrimps in terms of diet and care.

Overall, they are interesting additions to an aquarium... though if you have a layout with lots of hardscape and plants, chances are they will tend to be hidden most of the time. :)