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Old 08-18-2007, 12:04 AM   #1
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Telling male and female Dojo loaches

We have 3 dojo loaches, and lately I've been noticing 2 of them "fighting" together, tangling up and swimiming together. It's like they are play fighting, like couples tend to do. Does anyone know how to tell male from female in the dojo loach species? I wouldnt mind some dojo babies, would give me a new experience, and a good challenge. I appreciate the help,

Bear
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Old 08-18-2007, 03:54 AM   #2
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Pectoral fins are used in sexing mature fish, they are larger in males than in females. Read up on breeding them. They do have spawning seasons and are triggered by certain chnges in temps (generally they'll breed late spring/early summer before it gets really hot). Interesting weather related info. on these fish. They become more active right before or when the air pressure changes indicating an upcoming rain. They are nicknamed weather fish. Pretty neat, huh?

Fry, after a few days from hatching can be started on baby brine. Good luck
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:05 AM   #3
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by pectoral fins, those are the ones up front that they use primarily for swimming? I will continue to read up on these fish, as a nice spawn from them would be neat. Would I need to separate the fry from the adults?

Thank you for the quick response, and the information

Bear
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
by pectoral fins, those are the ones up front that they use primarily for swimming?
Yes.

Quote:
Would I need to separate the fry from the adults?
I'd recommend it. Place them in a small rearing tank. Good to have set up and cycled prior to them going in. Fry are VERY sensitive to changes. Keep water changes minimal, but frequent. Like 5% every other day or two. Use an air pump driven sponge filter to avoid filter intake fatalities. Many people don't think of that until it's too late. It's how I learned.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:04 PM   #5
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would it have to be air driven, or could we use a power hob filter with a sponge over the intake tube?

I do appreciate the help, and hope to one day have some dojo fry to post pictures of...
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:48 PM   #6
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An HOB has a high powered intake. Way too strong for fry if they wander too close to the vaccuum of the intake. You could use fine mess screen around the intake, but this just keeps them from being sucked through. They still run a high risk of getting killed from the strong vaccuum of the intake. Newbie fry are super tiny (some may even be nearly completely invisible) and very fragile. Taking care of fry pushes the parental care to the hilt, no doubt...lol.

Any other questions, feel free to ask. We are here to help you with your success.
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:56 PM   #7
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I have an AC30 filter that would likely be brought over to the fry take, which can be gated down to reduce intake flow, would that work for the fry tank? Given their small size, would they need full filter power in a 29 gallon tank? Also, what kind of substrate would I need for the fry tank, if any? Would a substrate be a good idea, or no?

I know our biggest is ~4 inches long, how big do they need to be to breed?
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:36 PM   #8
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I'm not sure of the size or age they start to breed. You can search this site for profile info. or other sites. You could also do a Google search, but definitely make sure the sources you check out are legit. I mostly refer to sites with .org, .edu and .gov for reliable information. Surely there are good .com resources, but do have their share of bogus information more so that the others.

You know...an air driven sponge filter is so cheap, it's worth giving the fry as safe of a haven to grow up in. You would have more success of more fry surviving than using any kind of filter other than a air pump driven sponge. The choice is ultimately yours. Just take the needed precautions if you stick with a power filter...(it wouldn't mean you're a bad fish parent)...it's just something I highly recommend for best results in the amount of fry that actually make it past the infant stage...lowering the mortality rate.

There is a naturally high mortality rate with most fish. Do expect losses. It's that wonderful circle of life. In captivity, we have the capability of meeting a near 100% survival rate...though rarely is it ever 100%. There always seems to be a loss however grand or small. The safer the fry tank, the more that survive...safe from predation, chemical poisoning and mechanical mishaps.

...and the capacity of any filter should fit the # of gallons the tank holds. I actually like getting filters that have a larger capacity than what my tank holds. This does include for fry. Taking care of the water is key to taking care of things that breathe water. Just as taking care of the air quality is key to taking care of things that breathe air.

Substrates depend on what is natural to the fish and what it does. Loaches are ground dwelling so some substrate should be used. They are smooth bodied, so a soft substrate would be preferred to avoid scrapes and cuts. Fine sand would probably be suitable for dojos or a very fine grain of gravel. I'd recommend a grade 3 or smaller, which I think smaller would end up being sand. Plenty of plants to hide in and under as well as wood can make a nice simple tank. IMO, a 29 gallon tank seems a bit big for a fry tank, but I would guess the larger water volume would be great for water quality.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:47 PM   #9
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The reason I recommended the 29 is because it is the smallest, and most empty tank we have at the moment. I reckon an air driven filter would not be an unreasonable expense for the survival of the fry, maybe use the ac30 to help seed the tank before the are hatched?

Would I put the loaches in the tank together, and remove them after they lay the eggs, or remove the eggs from the big tank? Would it be safe to have other fish in the fry tank, or should it be a fry only tank? I apologize if I am full of questions, I just dont want to go into this with no information.

To verify, the paired fins up front on the loach is what is used to tell the sex, or is it one of the more rear fins? I know I've asked this a couple times, but I am going to assume the fins in the "chest" area, like our arms?

For a 29 gallon tank, would you recommend a filter in the area of 50 gallons, or would you recommend a smaller tank with a sand bottom with driftwood, rocks, and plants? Would fake plants be ok, or do I need live?
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Old 08-19-2007, 05:50 AM   #10
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http://www.statefishart.com/anatomy/anatomy.gif

You'll see where the pectoral fins are on a fish...they are the main fins the fish use to swim...yes the 'arms'....but the ones on the side of the fish...not the ones off its chest (those are lower than the pectoral).

What I would do is run the sponge filter in the main tank to seed the sponge to kick start the nitrogen cycle for the 29.

You really want to use that AC30, huh? I understand...it's something you already have just hanging around...might as well put it to use. You can use it for a QT or a hospital tank (good to have). You can also use it as a second filter on the main tank as a bio filter. No carbon, just either a sponge or ceramics for the bacteria to grow on. It would extend the waste capacity of the main tank...great for when those baby dojos grow up

A 50 gallon filter for a 29 is fine. For power and canister filters...just make sure the filter outflow isn't so strong the fish can't swim to their control. Though it could be funny to watch them get blown across the tank (neat ride and some may actually enjoy the first couple of rounds...lol) they'd eventually become exhausted. You can buffer the outflow in most cases with placing something in the tank under where the outflow hits the water. It'll act like a cushion. I find tall dense plants can be helpful with that...and plants do not have to be real.

The 29 is fine to rear fry. As I menitoned, it'd be great for water quality control (the more water, the easier it is to maintain good water quality, which is imperative for fry).

Here's some additional info. on breeding dojos...

http://www.petfish.net/articles/Catf...h-Breeding.php

http://www.aqua-fish.net/show.php?wh..._lang=2&id=416

http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/DPI/nrenin...256DEA00290399

(look under 'brief biology' at the site above for some info. on the eggs and fry)

In general, most fish breeders remove the eggs from the spawning tank to the fry tank.

One of the best ways to get really good detailed information is to find someone who has successfully bred them. Perhaps you can start another thread and ask if anyone here has ever done so and browse other forums. From what I understand, they can be difficult, because they require special temperature conditioning...(a cooling spell followed by a slight increase in temp...I think it mimics rain is on the way and triggers them to spawn).
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:18 PM   #11
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I cant say how much you have helped me out, and how much I truly appreciate it.

The main reason behind the persistence behind the is because it is already seeded, and in use on the big tank, so I figured use it on a smaller tank to aid in the cycle time. I have no problem picking up a filter for the safety of the fry, thats a small price to pay for such a cause. We may end up getting a smaller 10 gallon tank for the fry, and keeping the loaches in the 29 gallon, as the ghost knife I want to get may not get along well with the loaches. And I can put a more suitable substrate in the tank for them, rather than trying to change the substrate in the 55 gallon tank.

Again, thank you for all the help, and information you have provided

Bear
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:30 PM   #12
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A few word about the black ghost knife...

They get huge (at least 18" in captivity, though the largest specimen I've seen was about 24") and they eat things. They are a very abled nocturnal predator. It would eat the loach eggs long before you could ever get to them and perhaps a few adults as well...eventually.

Though they are abled predators, they do lack defense and are easily picked on. Their best defense hiding. Some may resort to a mild electrical output, but that's it.

Adults need a very large tank (at least 100 gallons) and should be kept alone.

I wish you the best of luck with the dojos. It would be exciting if you came out with a brood. Please do let us know when that expected time arrives
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:12 AM   #13
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I love the ghost knife, but am now torn between ghost knife or dojo fry. I'd hate for the dojo to spawn, and it all get eaten, or the bgk to be too stressed. I must ponder, as I dont think it fair to put the dojos in the 29 to breed, would the khuli's eat the eggs, or any other fish?
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by papa_bear_21
I love the ghost knife, but am now torn between ghost knife or dojo fry. I'd hate for the dojo to spawn, and it all get eaten, or the bgk to be too stressed. I must ponder, as I dont think it fair to put the dojos in the 29 to breed, would the khuli's eat the eggs, or any other fish?
Keeping a ghost knife in a 29 is worse than keeping dojos in there. They get way too big and though they'd do OK for a little while, will you be prepared to upgrade? Need to think for the welfare of the animal you decide to take in rather than for the love of wanting the animal. It's a tough discipline, but neccesary.

Khulis would eat the eggs as any other fish would given an opportunity, but the only fish they can consume are those small enough to fit in their mouth...as with any other fish.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:18 PM   #15
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I agree completely in regards to the taking on the fish you are prepared and capable of taking in, and if I cant house the bgk comfortably at this time, he can stay at the pet store until I have the capabilities. I eventually intend to get a nice 180 gallon tank, and still plan to custom build a tank. The 180 would be for my larger fish, like my pleco's, and the bgk with some eels thrown in if I can get them. The custom tank is going to be in the area of 500 gallons between the 2 tanks, which will be roughly 4 foot square x 3 foot tall with a tube connection of about 1 foot in diameter connecting the 2...

Once I get the bigger tanks, I will begin to look for the more exotic and larger fish. I think the 180 will be a much more reasonable near future purchase than the materials to construct my custom tank.

I do truly appreciate the help with the dojo's, and everything else. I have come to a point where I need to make a decision, that being to breed the dojos, or to house the bgk. I know that I can house a bgk in the 55, but the real question is, will he be comfortable? I have been doing my research regarding the bgk, and have passed up purchasing one, because the tank is not ready for him yet. I have been weighing both sides of this decision, and the one that is leading right now, is to outfit the tank for a bgk and wait for the dojo fry. At this time, it is not set in stone, so we shall see.

I know from reading that the dojo's need a lot of space to spawn, the 29 is 36 inches long I believe, with the 55 being 48 inches. How hard would it be to breed the dojo's in the 29 then move them back to the 55? It is not something I would really want to do, just something I've pondered...

Again, thank you very much
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:18 PM   #16
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The larger water volume would make it easier to maintain proper temperatures for spawning. Length would allow comfortable room for spawning behavior.

Being you do have plans for much larger tanks, you could wait until then. You'll have the 55 to use for spawning and exclusive for the dojos to be by themselves without risk of losing eggs to other fish and the 29 to rear the fry.

FYI, plecos are not suitable to house with BGK. The same goes for synodontis cats and it goes for any knife species. I learned that the hard and depressing way. I lost several knives before I caught the kitty in action. Before that, I was baffled as to why they were dying when everything was perfect for them. Plecos and synodontis cats have a habit of eating the protective slime coats off of knife fish. This leaves the knives vulnerable to infections and can result in death as mine did.

The BGK will be comfortable in the 55 for a good amount of time. Just keep to recommended water quality for them. Water quality is key to keeping any fish alive in captivity.

Also to keep in mind when trying to find a suitable tank mate...though BGK are best in species tanks, if kept with others, the BGK should be the most aggressive fish in their tanks. Larger peaceable species of fish are recommended as tank mates.

I think it's very responsible of you to go through gathering information and asking questions the way you are. Less dead fish and less disappointed hobbiests
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:34 PM   #17
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I tried a bgk once, he lasted about 12 hours, it was very unfortunate. I think the reason behind that is because of a lack of knowledge, since that point, a lot of research has gone into the fish we have, and want. To me, it gives me the knowledge needed to successfully raise the species, and the ability to say no we cant.

I never knew that about the plecos and bgk, given that we have 2 plecos, that may settle the decision. I've never noticed the plecos attacking anyone else, but they also get fed 1 to 2 times a day. I am debating whether to make the 55 a tropical tank until we can get the 29 setup again, or to turn it into a bottom and mid level tank with a few top level fish. I need to do some work, I saw some golden dojo's today, and they looked awesome which made me want some of them...LOL
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:44 AM   #18
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It is not typical behavior for a healthy well fed pleco to go after a healthy fish, but there may be something in the odor of the slime coat of knife fish that attracts them (it's just a thought). This is one of those fishy behaviors out of the ordinary we still lack knowledge on. There's so much to fish, it's impossible to learn it all.

You do seem to be more partial to the dojos and you have great plans for them. They are easier to house and are sought after by a lot of people. They are very compatable with many fish and are a great maintenance fish.

I think more people should get involved in captive breeding. It's a way to 'give back' for what these animals give us considering many are taken from the wild. Some of that take (not all and very few to date, so far, but that could change) does benefit the animal's existance in the wild, such as cardinal tetras. Buying wild cardinal tetras is more eco friendly than buying captive bred. Why? Because it gives the natives in South America a reason to keep the rain forest intact rather than be bulldozed. Some marine fish are also more eco friendly if wild caught, because it keeps the coral reefs intact rather than be dumped on. Others however, should be bred in captivity to leave the wild populations intact and those are going to be species where their natural habitats are intact and without threat to those habitats from development.

Now I'm just babbling if you don't mind ...lol

There's this guy I know I go over to visit him and his wife. He turned me on to African Cichlids. He's got a nice 120 gallon tank and a 60. In his big tank he's got all sorts of Africans, catfish, loaches, etc. Same in the other. He's got fish living together most people fear to try to mix. Ever hear of red eye tetras living with Tanganykan African cichlids? How about dwarf frogs living with them? ...and cory catfish too!! LOL. He's got living in the big tank with the Malawi cichlids a bunch of rubber eels. Three pairs of which I gave him. They're actually amphibians, not eels but look like eels. Really neat animal. Weird to watch them stick their head out of the water and drink air. Their head reminds me of a sock puppet...LOL...with almost no eyes. Just a silky dark gray sock hand puppet. Very unique. They are listed as highly difficult to breed in captivity and you cannot get any unless they are captive bred. They reside in the drug/war strickened territories of Columbia. No one collects them anymore. If they do, they risk being killed by rebels and militia. Certainly not worth it. We lost a great animal to observe, learn and enjoy. These critters breed all the time in his tank!! He's got babies swimming in there right now...many years after I've given mine to him and there's a pregnant female for like the fifth or sixth time. They breed once every other year and gestation is one year. He has at one point in time looked into breeding them for conservation and there are groups who would help. He did seriously consider, but for whatever reason, he backed off from it. I think he's crazy. He's sitting on a great conservation project and a gold mine to the aquarium industry. He's been wanting to turn his tanks into marine tanks for a few years now. If he ever does, I get the eels back and I know how he keeps his tank to replicate and continue the breeding

Hope this inspires you...
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