Going Sponge-Free, Part 4

I suppose I should get everyone updated on the sponge-free test, eh? I mean, it’s only been about 3 months since I’ve updated the blog… what’re you crying about?!

First I should recap:
– I started this test on 2/16 with all 4 of my tanks.
– I removed all filter floss and sponges from all filters.
– I added a pre-filter sponge to all intake tubes.
– About 2 weeks ago, I replaced the pre-filter sponges with stainless steel mesh filter guards
– All other maintenance remained the same (weekly 50% water changes & monthly filter cleanings)

Here are tonight’s parameters for all 4 tanks:
75gal = 5ppm Nitrates
40gal Breeder = 5ppm Nitrates
20gal Long (micro fish) = 0ppm Nitrates
20gal Long (Apisto/Killi tank) = 0ppm Nitrates

These are ALL improvements, but of course, there are other parameters to consider. For one, all of these tanks are planted. While the 40gal Breeder tank hasn’t changed since day 1, the others have become heavily planted. All three of the others have gone through some pretty dramatic changes with plant stockings. Also something to consider is that my fish stocking has also changed throughout. I actually increased livestock in all tanks. I added 2 GBRs, 4 Lyretail Killifish and a Flash Pleco to my 75gal. I added 3 Kribs to my 40gal Breeder. I lost the betta & 1 otocinclus, but added 5 Clown Killifish, 15 Trigonostigma hengeli, 13 Celestial Pearl Danios and 2 Apistogramma cacatuoides in the 20gal Long (micro tank). I sold 2 of my Apisto panduro approximately 6-7 month old fry and added 2 Lyretail Killifish.

Something else to consider is that I cleaned all filters, with exception to the 40gal breeder Filstar canister. All others were cleaned.

So, is it working? I think so. The only tank that hasn’t become more heavily planted, and is thus, my control, has been the 40gal Breeder and I added 3 additional fish to it, while the Angels and Plecos continue to get bigger. You’d think that would result in higher waste output from the fish, while sure, the plants are also growing, but they were also growing in January/February. Yet, it dropped from 10ppm to 5ppm Nitrates, and that’s without cleaning one of the filters (the bigger of the two) last week.

For me? This is a positive result and I think I’ll continue as-is for some time. The clarity of the water has always been a concern, as well, but with exception to the 20gal Long micro tank, the others are hard to judge, based on the messy eaters and other outliers, such as algae growth). I’ll continue to monitor the water column of every tank and make certain I’m not imagining things. I think that once I find a nutrient/light/co2 balance in my 75gal, that will certainly improve… but it’s been a pain in the butt since I went high tech. lol

Thanks for reading. I hope this has been helpful to anyone that’s been interested in testing this method out. Sponge-free is a win-win, if you ask me.

Take care,

Going Sponge-Free, Part 3

So, three days ago I switched my HOB filter media in my 20gal Long and 40gal Breeders so that I no longer have sponges or floss. I then placed pre-filter sponges on the intake tubes for all filters (including the canister’s). I had intended to switch out my floss and sponge media in the canister filter two days ago, but ran out of time, so I ended up doing that yesterday. Now, all filters in my 20 and 40 are utilizing lava rock, matrix and ceramic biological filter media… and that’s it. There’s absolutely nothing else going on in those filters. Thus, the true test begins.

Meanwhile, the new plants in my 75gal are growing like crazy. I’m going to have to trim the Parrots Feathers in another day or so, because they’re already nearing the top of the tank. When I do take trimmings, I plan on outfitting the 20gal long with the new plants. I’ve been meaning to rescape that for a while, but haven’t had the plants to do so, and I really couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. Now I have a pretty good idea, so I’ll be moving forward with that idea soon.

Tonight, I outfitted both canisters in my 75gal with pre-filter sponges. Just a reminder, I used an AC110 Sponge and just cut it up into 4 different sponges for the 40gal Breeder and 75gal filters (4 filters in total and I still have a block of sponge left to create another one, should I need to). That sponge was well worth the money.

Anyway, as far as results go regarding the test:

The 20gal long is surprisingly very clear. There is no particulate matter floating around in the tank, which was one of the things I was worried about. I actually think the tank looks more clear than it has in a while… not that it’s been cloudy or anything, but I’ve noticed an improved clarity. My guess is that the nasty sponges can no longer leach dirt into the tank through the outflow of the filter.

Since it’s only been a day for the 40gal to be completely sponge free (besides pre-filter sponges), it’s a little hard to tell if there’s a difference. However, I can say that there certainly is improved flow. My floating plants don’t stand a chance anymore… not that I really mind. I’m kind of sick of them at the moment, anyway. Even with modest flow, they still get pushed around and get submerged. I hope to see the same improved clarity as the 20gal in a couple of days. Not sure it’ll happen, but in this tank I’ll definitely be able to see a difference if it does.

I tested Nitrate in all three tanks tonight, to see if there’s any improvement yet and here are the results:

75gal: 20ppm Nitrates
20gal: 20ppm Nitrates
40gal: 10ppm Nitrates

So, no change yet… but the readings have remained stagnant since the 17th (2 days ago). I suppose that could be read as good news. I would hope they remain stagnant after a water change, as well, but time will tell.

Tomorrow is the end of my 75gal’s first dosing of medication, so I’ll be conducting a large water change. It’s at this point where I’ll be switching the filters over to lava rock, as well, and removing the sponges. Then, all 3 tanks will have completed the sponge-free transition. I’m curious to see if the nitrates drop considerably after the large water change and how long they’ll remain stagnant throughout the week. I’m hoping it lasts the week, but we’ll see. I’m definitely going to need a new Nitrate tester, as I’m running out of liquid.

Anyway, until next time, have a wonderful night and thanks again for stopping by!


Going Sponge-Free, Part 2

Hello again!

Yesterday I made the decision to begin testing out the sponge-free theory. After my post, I took to the tanks. I cleaned out my 20gal Long’s AquaClear 50 and my 40gal Breeder’s AquaClear 70. The 50 was pretty clean, as I had just cleaned it out last week, but the 70 had a nice colony of pond snails developing in there, in addition to a ton of detritus and decaying plant matter. There was also a random red cherry shrimp that got stuck to the intake tube (on the inside). That was a lovely revelation. As I took him off, he flopped around, but when I replaced him in the 40B, he kind of went limp and was hastily eaten by one of my angelfish. It’s a dog eat dog world out there!

Now that the filters were clean, I took out the sponges and floss and replaced them with a good assortment of lava rock (most were about marble to golf-ball size pieces). I’m leaving the bigger pieces to my canisters. Now for the intake tubes…

The 50 has had a pre-filter sponge on it for quite some time, but I had a difficult time finding a pre-filter sponge for the 70. That and my canister filters have been too strong for the finer sponges from the likes of fluval, and they would literally suck the previous AC20 sponge I was using right into the intake tube’s strainer, causing the sponge to clog the tube, restricting flow. It was too flimsy and not porous enough for the strength of the motor.

As was suggested by a friend, I purchased an AC110 sponge, which is a huge block of very porous and relatively stiff sponge. I was able to cut two pre-filter sponges from this for the 40 gallon Breeder filters and I still have enough of the block left to create two more for the 75gal’s filters. So far, I haven’t seen any flow restriction, which is great news, but it’s only been half a day. I’ll check tonight to see if there’s any change. I expect that it’ll be fine.

With the pre-filter sponges in place, I should no longer have any problems with snails (or shrimp) creeping into the filter (which is a big concern for me). First, I don’t want my treasured RCS to get killed in the filter or intake tube, and second… snails and shrimp eat/poop and repopulate in the filter, which can cause issue by increasing bio-load right in the filter, causing nitrate spikes and another nitrate trap. Plus, when they’re doing all of this in the filter, they’re out of sight, so I’m unaware of what’s going on. I like to know what I’m dealing with.

So, with pre-filters in place and the lava rock in the HOB filters, I’m well on my way to knocking nitrates out (hopefully). The pre-filter sponges should trap the larger debris and there’s no way for a nitrate trap to develop inside the filter. Tonight, I’ll be replacing the sponges/floss in my Rena XP-M canister filter with lava rock, then my sponge-free transition in the 20gal Long and 40gal Breeder will be complete. That’s when the true test begins.

I’m going to create the pre-filter sponges for my 75gal tank tonight, but I’m going to hold off on replacing the filter media in the canisters until Thursday. I’m treating Dropsy for one of my Black Ruby Barbs right now, so I don’t want to disturb the medication and give the fish plenty of time for recovery.

I’m hoping he pulls through and I can kill this gram-negative bacteria. ;/ I have a feeling that rising nitrates has become a problem and has caused stress on these fish, making them susceptible to disease, like Dropsy. The fault, it would seem, would then be mine. So, I’m doing all I can to fix the situation and I’m very hopeful that going sponge-free and using only pre-filter sponges will result in less nitrates.

The 75gal will act as a different type of test though, or maybe even a control, due to my fully planting the tank using nitrate busting plants. Either way, a 0ppm nitrate reading will be welcome news and certainly worthy of documenting. If anything, it proves the point that plants can aid in creating a very healthy environment for your fish friends.

Anyway, take care and thanks for stopping by. I’ll keep you posted!


Update: 2/17/2014 @ 8:40pm

I tested my water parameters when I got home from work today. I figured I should do this so I have a control.

75gal (no pre-filter sponges with sponges in the canister filter):
0ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
20ppm Nitrate

20gal Long (pre-filter sponge w/ no sponges/floss in the HOB filter – no other filters on this tank):
0ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
20ppm Nitrate

40gal Breeder (pre-filter sponge w/ no sponge/floss in the HOB filter, but sponges/floss still present in canister):
0ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
10ppm Nitrate

I’ll continue to take readings every few days, so we can keep an eye on the progress of this experiment.

Going Sponge-Free, Part 1

Sponge free? That sounds odd.. What in Sam Hill is he talking about?

I’ll get to that in a minute, but first a little back story.

When you keep an aquarium, you typically have 3 types of filtration: biological, mechanical and chemical. Biological is your beneficial bacteria that oxidizes ammonia and nitrites. Mechanical are the sponges/floss that captures small/medium/large sized particles in your tank that are typically floating around. Chemical is the optional method, which is your carbon (or a variety of other chemical absorbing media) that filters the tank of unwanted chemicals, like medication, excessive dissolved metals, etc.

Now I don’t use chemical filtration, unless I need to rid the tank of medication, and I would recommend that most people follow that rule of thumb. It’s unnecessary to keep carbon or any other chemical media in your filter. It’s costly, because they always need replenishment and you shouldn’t need to do it, based on your other two filtration methods.

The biggest component for your filter should be your biological media. That’s the most important method of filtration, because it keeps your tank safe for your fish to live. Anything else is purely cosmetic, which brings me to sponges/floss. Yes, biological bacteria can colonize on sponges/floss, and they do, but the largest colonies will be located in the biological media (such as porous rock, like Matrix or Lava Rock, or ceramic media, like Biomax). The main use of the sponges/floss is to create clarity in your aquarium, by removing various sizes of particles (like detritus/plant matter, excess food, etc).

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed an excessive amount of Nitrates in my tanks – upwards from 40ppm. This is abnormal for my tanks, because I typically keep heavily planted tanks. In the past, I’ve seen regular readings of 0ppm, which to me, is ideal. However, since I switched my 75gal and 20gal Long from medium-high lighting to low, the nitrates really started getting out of hand. I also just re-scaped my 40B, which resulted in high nitrates, as well.

Plants can be great nitrate busters in aquariums. They’ll eat up as much of the excess waste as they possibly can, but they can only do this in ideal situations. You need the right plants, first of all, the right lighting and the right fertilization. The right plants are fast growing plants, like Cabomba, Parrots Feather, Dwarf Lillies/Lotus, Water Sprite, floating plants like Frog Bit and Red-Rooted Floaters, etc. The problem is that these plants typically require medium to high lighting, and with medium to high lighting, you need to dose more fertilizer and CO2.

Once you find the right balance, you’ll be on your way to being nitrate-free.

Ok, that’s well and good… plants eat nitrates. Everyone knows that, but what does that have to do with sponges and your filter?

Ok, I’m getting to that. It’s just taking me a minute to get there.

When I say “Nitrate-free,” that’s in the best of circumstances (again). You still need to do your tank maintenance, which includes your weekly partial water changes, gravel vacumings (if you have gravel), monthly filter cleanings and glass/acrylic cleaning (of algae), etc.

What’s really key for the purpose of this article is the filter cleaning. If you let your filter go without cleaning for over a month, maybe less, maybe more, it can act as a trap for nitrates. When that happens, it doesn’t matter how many partial water changes you do, you’re still going to have a steady level of present nitrates in your little ecosystem.

How do nitrates get “trapped” in the filter, you ask? Well, when detritus and plant matter get sucked into your filter, they’ll get caught by the sponges/floss. Once there, it just sits and decays. Without removal, it will remain a constant source for ammonia that your BB will devour into nitrites, and then nitrates. That’s why filter maintenance is absolutely necessary at least once per month. Things can get pretty messy in there and they do. The sponges can become quite clogged and rather disgusting.

So how do you prevent so much decay inside the filter? Well, one method is the pre-filter sponge. By using a coarse sponge, you can eliminate a lot of the bigger particles from getting into your filter. This actually eases the stress on your filter’s motor, plus it allows you to go longer without having to break down the filter and clean it up. The only thing you’ll need to do is clean up the pre-filter sponge every week or so. Fairly easy enough. The only problem with a pre-filter sponge is that it can sometimes clog (especially if you use something that’s more fine/less coarse, with smaller holes). The pre-filter sponge clogging can also cause problems for your filter’s motor, so be sure to use a coarse enough sponge that can go for a while without clogging. I find that the AquaClear sponge media (made for hang-on-the-back filters) make great DIY pre-filter sponges. Just slice a hole down the middle of the sponge, shape it to your desired shape, using scissors/shears, and slide it on the filter intake tube/strainer. That’s it!

Ok, so that eliminates a lot of the bigger particles from getting into the filter, but it doesn’t stop everything. Sponges/floss inside the filter still trap the smaller/minute particles which still decay and trap nitrates. So, our problem has not been eliminated altogether, which brings us to our solution:

Go sponge-free in the filter. Using a pre-filter sponge on the intake tube, will prevent most medium and large-sized particles from entering the filter, but the smaller stuff still gets through and caught in the filter. The filter’s internal sponges will trap them… right? So, take out the trap! Remove the sponges from the filter and you’re creating an ease of passage for water flow and for the small particles to re-enter the aquarium, preventing them from decaying the filter.

The theory is that the particles (ie – detritus) will eventually settle to the bottom of the tank, on the substrate, and will either be eaten by fish or used as nutrients for the plants in the tank. What doesn’t get eaten, will be taken out during the weekly partial water changes. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s a rare idea that was presented to me by a friend. He swears by this method and claims that his tanks are clear of floating debris and he hasn’t any nitrate problems at all. Without plants, he has a steady nitrate reading of 5-10ppm with minimal filter maintenance.

The idea sounded brilliant to me, but I’ve been nervous to try it. I’ve spent two years trying to perfect my fish-keeping methods, so taking sponges out of the game, with exception to the pre-filter sponge, seems somewhat risky. Aside from a potentially messy tank, I would be presented with two positives: 1. much more room for biological media, and 2. no nitrate trap in the filter, which results in a healthier tank and less filter maintenance.

Another friend of mine has already begun to test the theory and this week, I’ll be jumping in head first to test it out for myself.

I’ll certainly report back with my findings, but for now, my nitrate readings are thus:

75gal (now heavily planted): 10-20ppm (after cleaning both filters and 2-3 partial water changes for the week)
40gal Breeder (heavily planted with low-medium light plants): 10ppm
20gal Long (lightly planted with low-medium light plants): 10-20ppm (after a filter cleaning and 2-3 partial water changes for the week)

Thanks for stopping by!


Exit Aquatic Horticulture & Live Stock Breeding (for now) *sad face*

Hello again!

I know… it’s been a while since I’ve updated. There’s good reason for that, or at least it is to me. About 8 months ago, my wife and I had another baby (our second one – a baby boy we decided to name Noah). Despite this obvious event in my life and knowing the time and effort it takes to rear a child (and also having a 3yr old daughter, Kaitlin), I said to myself “I can do this! (regarding aquatic horticulture & live stock breeding).

Unfortunately, reality slapped me in the face and said “No sir… no you can’t.” Of course, before it hit me, I had already invested in breeding tanks and the stock I wanted to breed. Before long, I was 7 tanks deep in fish hell, resenting my decision to start this new venture while also taking care of a 3yr old demon child and a very needy newborn.

In the beginning, my heart was in it and I was anxious to get started (even when my son was born and around for the first couple of months). After those first months, I became resentful of my new tanks and actually started to neglect them. Not getting any sleep, working 40hrs a week at a regular job and having to deal with kids, a dog and 7 tanks was starting to wear on me. So, I disappeared from the online aquatic community for a few months and decided to nip this venture in the bud post haste.

I downsized by moving my Zebra Nerites and Rabbit snails into my 75gal community tank. That brought me down to 5 tanks which was more manageable. However, that wasn’t enough, so I transferred my Sterbai Corydoras from their 20L breeding tank into my 40B pleco breeding tank.

At this time, things were getting better. Downsizing by 2 tanks gave me new life somehow. lol It also invigorated my love for fishkeeping and I started to watch my tanks again. I suppose I was also getting more sleep at this point (Noah was about 6 months old), so that probably alleviated some of the stress I was feeling. I decided that breeding was still out at this time, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the 40B, 20L and 75 gallon tanks as show tanks.

So, the idea was to start another community tank with the 40B. My neglect had led to the death of many plants in the 40B, and the only things that were really prospering were the Java moss, java ferns, italian vals, a Aponogeton boivinianus and a random sword (I believe it’s an Indian Red).

Adding the Corys into the 40B was a fantastic idea, because they immediately took to the tank and became very active. They were quite shy in their 20L and I never saw them. The plecos I already had in there were doing great and are extremely showy, so having these two bottom dwelling families in the tank really made for a fun and interesting tank, but I realized that I needed something in the middle that I could pay attention to from across the room. To make this really worth it, I Decided that I should have 3 Angels.

While angels would be great, I realize that this should be a pretty heavily planted tank, so I invested in some low-light, easy growing selection of crypts and hygros. Now I have about 6 Cryptocorne wendtii red (for the front & mid ground), 11 Cryptocorne retrospiralis (for the back), about 5 stems of Hygrophila corymbosa (for the center of the tank (front-mid ground), I kept the Italian vals for the center back and I’m in the middle of tying down some of the Java ferns to driftwood. I also have Red rooted floaters in there for a lush canopy.

I’ve already added the three angels (a black veil, black/silver veil and a yellow standard). They’re beautiful fish and already growing.

My transition from breeder/horticulturalist to tropical fish hobbyist is almost at an end… I just have two tanks to break down. The problem is that one tank (my Apistograma panduro 20L breeding tank) has about 8 fry in there. So, I’m growing them out until it’s safe to rehome them. I may keep one or two and add them to my 75gal, but that’s only if my Apisto. Cac female passes away. Her mate died a while back from a tank mate that decided to eat him, so she’s a loner for now. ;/ The other 20L (previously the cory breeding tank) still has RCS in there. I want to try to get them out of there, before I break it down. I’ll just add them to my 40B and call it a day. The trick is getting them out.

In the end, this was certainly an adventure in aquaria for the books. I’m glad that I tried it, but I wish I tried it at a later date… There was just too much going on at once and now I’m in recovery. I learned a lot, I was successful (very quickly) with the Panduros and I ended up with some great fish for a community tank. I haven’t buried the idea for the future, but for now, I’m keeping breeding and horticulture to the professionals.

Take care out there!


Enter Aquatic Horticulture & Live Stock Breeding

So, I’ve been giving some thought to my new hobby (about a year old now). Usually, when I start a new hobby, I take it to the next level. I’ve done that with computers/internet (started a business in unix shells/web hosting), I’ve done it with comic books (started an online community and retail store), and now I’m doing it with Aquaria and fish keeping. My wife typically doesn’t like it when I do this, but I can’t help myself. I always figure that if you find something that you love, and you can make that into a career that can sustain you for the rest of your life… then perhaps it’s worth pursuing.

This current venture is derived from my love for the animals I keep and my newfound pleasure in aquatic gardening (honestly, I enjoy gardening of all types, but aquatic gardening is my primary focus). As soon as I jumped into this hobby, I started learning everything I could. I joined several fish keeping forums, read articles online about starting fish tanks, cycling tanks, keeping live plants, compatibility among fish, and the specific makeup of water chemistry and the many parameters that can be tested (ie – pH, GH, KH, DH, NH3, NO2, NO3, PO, etc, etc. – you get the picture). There is so much involved in this hobby that I don’t think I’ll ever get bored learning new things, trying new things and helping to educate others. It’s a hobby that can last a lifetime and in many cases, usually does.

Right, the plan… Aquatic Horticulture and live stock breeding. I’ve already setup two different experiment tanks for my personal entertainment: 1. breeding Zebra Nerite Snails (Nertina natalensis sp “zebra”) and 2. breeding Orange Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania zemis Poso Orange Rabbit Snail). I’ve yet to have any babies in these tanks, but they’re relatively new. I do have a mother Rabbit Snail in a 20gal long, which has given birth to two babies, over the course of 7+ months, so I know I can create the habitat for it, they just need to mature. The Zebra Nerites are a work in progress. I’ve also added Red Cherry Shrimp (RCS) to the Rabbit snail tank, and they’ve already reproduced twice in the last month. I’d love to expand this into different types of snails and shrimp to start.

I have also purchased several plastic tubs (Steralite from Target), which I intend to grow different floating plants, mosses, stems and rooted plants. I’ve already started with Frogbit, Giant Duckweed, and Red Rooted Floaters in clean/clear shallow water-filled tubs – these will also house the different mosses. I also filled another shallow tub and a deeper tub with organic soil. These will be for stem and rooted plants. I may also delve into rhizome plants, as well, but I’m starting small.

I have setup the tubs outside for now. It’s going to be a tricky thing, because I’ve already found out that my dog likes the water with the soil (which can’t possibly be good for the dog – at least it’s organic, though…) and I’m still scratching my head with what to do when winter rears its’ ugly head in Virginia, again. My rabbit/rcs and zebra breeding tanks are inside, safe from scavengers and the weather. It’ll be tricky, but definitely an interesting and I think rewarding experience. Hopefully it will also end up being profitable, as I intend to sell them on Aquabid and direct selling to people I know online/offline.

I will not be delving into fish breeding until I move. My family and I are planning on selling this house in the next year or two and buying something larger for our expanding family (we now have two children and it’s getting pretty tight around here – especially when we have visitors). So, when we’re looking for a house, I have two things I’m specifically looking for (well, more like 3): 1. a fish room (somewhere I can setup breeding tanks and a sump, which can be setup with a tile or cement floor and possibly a drain), 2. a large basement, where I can house a 300+ gallon Discus/Altum Angel tank and other fun things, like a home theater (another hobby/interest), and 3. a yard with 1-2 acres+. I would love to have the ability to add a pool (if one doesn’t already exist) and a Koi/Goldfish pond (a nice 500-1000+ pond would be excellent).

If you couldn’t tell, I have very specific needs. lol Wish me luck on finding that “affordable” home. These are requirements, however, so we may be looking for a while. ;P

In the meantime, I’ll be working on my snails/shrimp and live plants. Below, I’ll be making a list of everything I’d like to breed, currently and in the future (I’ll keep this list updated for future reference). This will be a starting point for documenting my progress. I’ll post more blog entries at later dates to update you on what’s happening with this list.

Live Plants:
Red Rooted Floaters [Phyllanthus fluitans]
Amazon Frogbit [Limnobium laevigatum]
Giant Duckweed [Spirodela polyrhiza]
Water Sprite (also can be rooted in substrate) [Ceratopteris cornuta]

Christmas Moss [Vesicularia montagnei]
Some unidentified mystery moss I have no idea what it is, but it came with some shrimp, so I kept it. [lol]

Alternanthera [Alternanthera reineckii ‘roseafolia’]
Ludwigia [Ludwigia repens]
Giant Hygrophila [Hygrophila corymbosa ‘stricta’]

Rooted (in substrate):
Pygmy Chain Sword [Echinodorus tenellus]
Undulated Crypt [Cryptocoryne undulata]

Rhizomes (rooted out of substrate):

Orange Rabbit Snail [Tylomelania zemis Poso Orange Rabbit Snail]
Zebra Nerite Snail [Nertina natalensis sp “zebra”]

Red Cherry Shrimp [Neocaridina denticulata sinensis]

Tropical Fish:

Thanks for reading!

75gal Freshwater – Intro: Black Ruby Barbs

Just added 18 Black Ruby Barbs to my 75gal freshwater planted tank and new life began to emerge immediately upon introducing them. Absolutely fell in love with these fish: they’re beautiful, active, peaceful and actually eat algae/detritus. Win-win-win-win.

Not only are the Barbs quite active, but it seems they’ve spawned new vigor in the other fish.

Hope you enjoy the vid.