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Giant Pink Gourami - The "Jolly Swagman" and Co.

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The Year(s) in Review – 2015

This was going to be one of those “year-in-review” thingies that the TV networks do, but I decided that was all too hard. And the GPG posts have been going since September 2012, so I’ve missed a few year-ends along the way. This post was inspired by [MENTION=9986]Pepperbris[/MENTION] who advised [MENTION=16518]benno87[/MENTION] in October 2015 that there was a whole bunch of previous posts for “Giant Pink Gouramis” to be read – it may be a little late, but this may save you from late nights poring over your smartphone! Here’s the ‘Wikipedia’ short version to save you from having to read 1,537 posts over three different threads!

2012:

After years of keeping Oscars, in early 2011 I branched out with a Giant Pink Gourami (GPG) or Pink Giant Gourami called “Tiddles”, which is an Australian way of say he was bl**dy enormous. He lived in a one of those ‘fast-set’ swimming pools with the blow-up ring around the top and a bunch of friendly Albino Oscars. As you tend to do, you decide to get just a few more to keep him company, so “Baby” turned up – hence the name of the first thread –

Giant Pink Gourami "Baby" Updates

2013:

The start of this year saw me worrying about how to keep them warm during Winter. In Brisvegas (aka Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) the temperature can dip to a chilly 9 or 10deg C overnight; much effort was put into various heating methods from 1000W heaters to comments on solar and rock heating. Along with heating, the other main excitement was feeding, with the pro & cons of banana figuring highly in the discussions. The best discovery was that the GPGs loved ‘frogbit’ / ’frog’s-bit’ (Limnobium laeviatum) and to this day they still love the stuff as a snack or main course. Towards the end of this year the first videos are made and loaded up to YouTube – do a search with “GPG UW” and you’ll find them.

YouTube Search - "GPG UW"

Towards the end of 2013, filtration becomes the excitement of the day, with various 200 litre blue barrels and giant box filters being constructed and plumbed up. In fact, over the next few years you’ll find that plumbing skills were in as much demand as fish-keeping skills!

2014:

The 2014 year began with a distracting bang !; when I decided that the pool needed upgrading to a 4.5m diameter above-ground swimming pool with an approx. volume of 14,000 litres! Also, I spotted the UNICEF guide to ‘How to breed Gouramis’, which caused another lot of $$$ expended on potential breeding equipment. The water iris plants which started with a solitary specimen needed re-potting (as of today I have a forest of these) and we still haven’t got past February 2014! There’s more interesting bits in 2014, but I decided to stop the ‘Baby’ thread and start up one focussed on breeding -

Giant Pink Gourami - Breeding Venture

This one runs from June 2014 to December 2014 and covers a fairly tumultuous time in fish-keeping life. The rental house I’m in gets sold, and I have to find another place for the house-mate, a border collie, some number (?) of giant gouramis, uncountable platies, 3 cars, and sundry household effects. I’m sorry to say that no actual breeding of GPGs actually occurs and the entire QLDAF forum is still on tenterhooks waiting for something (anything!) to occur. There was evidence of nest-building by one of the males and there is an offer of agistment in 2015 to be followed up which may result in baby GPGs, but that will have to wait for action down the track.

2015:

This year really begins on 15-Dec-2014 with a new house and a new thread –

Giant Pink Gourami - Billabong Adventures

The angst of moving house (and I still have a huge thank-you to the QLDAF’ers who pitched in to help move all the giant gouramis), is over and the above-ground pool set-up is abandoned in favour of the 9m x 5m in-ground swimming pool known as the ‘Billabong’: Aussie Billabong

As you may have expected, more plumbing is planned and in fact has been going on all year! My LFS (Local Fish Shop) becomes Bunnings/Masters and Reece Plumbing! Somehow even more giant gouramis find their way to the Billabong and focus on eating copious amounts of vegies sourced from Aldi to become even bigger and fatter. Keeping the GPGs warm over the impending Winter of June-Aug 2015 becomes a topic of hot discussion. The solution lies in a weird framework built of electrical conduit, a pool blanket (held off the water surface by the aforementioned framework, and a pool heat pump). The addition of 6kW of solar panels means I can run everything full-bore during the day, and hope the temperature doesn’t fluctuate downwards too much in the night.

I managed to acquire a 5,000 litre water tank; sited it at the end of the carport (more plumbing!) and it is now in use for water changes. On the filter side, I thought that a ‘bog-bed filter’ tank might be the way to go – well, it has, but it’s been a very loooong way to go. The rack to place it on arrived in April and finally got built into place, but I then ran out of $ for the tank – it only arrived towards the end of 2015, and I’m now chasing 2 cubic meters of scoria to load it with (also the plumbing, but let’s not mention that!).

At the end of the year, work interrupts my fish-keeping with a business trip to Manila, the Philippines. Whilst there, Typhoon Koppu interrupts my plans to visit Aqualand Alley at the Cartimar Markets. The final act for 2015 has been the appearance (and sounds) of Cane Toads attracted to the Billabong. “Hunt & Destroy” squads have been deployed at night to solve this latest hiccup!

2016:

Well?

You’re looking at it!

Giant Pink Gourami - Jolly Swagman and Co.

Here we go again!

Cheers, and Happy New Year

Grover

Edited by Grover65k

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That's a nice summary of the life and times of gpg.

The cane toad problem may dominate this year's (2016) discussion if not addressed in a timely manner.

[MENTION=3726]grubby[/MENTION] has a toad proof fence around his yard, not to be confused with the rabbit proof fence around qld as his fence actually works unlike the rabbit version.

It might pay to install a similar version as a couple of toads in the Billabong could prove disastrous.

Your gpgs have an army of fans now and we will be checking in from time to time to see how they are going.

Good luck and God speed Mr grover.

Cheers mick

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Thanks for the mention [MENTION=5372]Grover65k[/MENTION]. Has been an awesome read whilst I've been laid up in pain. Can't wait to see what the new year brings for this most epic of sagas.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I have a simple cane toad trap made from a buried 20L bucket with overhead light. The bucket lid is cut smaller than bucket and suspended on twine and a sinker - much like a pendulum. Light attracts insects which attracts toads. They hop onto the lid which swings open, dropping them into bucket containing brine solution. The lid swings back stopping them from escaping. YouTube may have some examples or i can post pics.

I added a smear of silicon and sand down one side of bucket to help lizards and frogs climb out.

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I have a simple cane toad trap made from a buried 20L bucket with overhead light. The bucket lid is cut smaller than bucket and suspended on twine and a sinker - much like a pendulum. Light attracts insects which attracts toads. They hop onto the lid which swings open, dropping them into bucket containing brine solution. The lid swings back stopping them from escaping. YouTube may have some examples or i can post pics.

I added a smear of silicon and sand down one side of bucket to help lizards and frogs climb out.

Hi aquaholic99!

Thanx for the idea - I found a video explanation in YouTube based on your description.

post-5372-14711634715151_thumb.jpg

So that's another little project to add to the Billabong activities! [MENTION=885]smicko[/MENTION] 's

fence idea will also get a run - as the pool fencing may be able to have a "skirt"

attached around it to stop them - will check it out.

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That's a nice summary of the life and times of gpg.

The cane toad problem may dominate this year's (2016) discussion if not addressed in a timely manner.

[MENTION=3726]grubby[/MENTION] has a toad proof fence around his yard, not to be confused with the rabbit proof fence around qld as his fence actually works unlike the rabbit version.

It might pay to install a similar version as a couple of toads in the Billabong could prove disastrous.

Your gpgs have an army of fans now and we will be checking in from time to time to see how they are going.

Good luck and God speed Mr grover.

Cheers mick

Hi smicko,

Thanx again for the kind words of support!

I've personally been inspired by the [MENTION=2383]ageofaquariums[/MENTION] AoA Staff tip of the day.

Especially the latest - "Are fish easy to breed?" :frusty:

But, you have to be good at patience - except the Billabong has been 'infested' by

platies! They smuggled themselves in when I plunked the water iris plants in,

even though I washed them through with tap water ! Needless to say, the Oscars

and probably the Toga have a good time chasing the little perps!

It's getting closer to my 2nd trip to the Philippines - so perhaps this time I can

manage a visit to the Cartimar Markets and ogle at the exotic aquaria to be found there

- here's hoping!

Don't be concerned for the GPGs. Apart from being monstrously fat, they will be cared

for by my loving daughter (who has been bribed with 4WD Christmas presents).

With a bit of luck I'm looking for this result (thanx for the meme AoA) -->

post-5372-14711634724442_thumb.jpg

The sump pump and Aquael pump have both been hauled out, cleaned and dropped

back in. The Giant Cr*p Filter got a total clean-out today, with replacement filter sheets

top and bottom, plus an overall flush. (Yes, naughty of me - I used tap water, but was in

a hurry, and besides, its action is designed to be mostly mechanical filtration, not bio).

Tomorrow will see me drain the 5,000 litre water tank for a partial water change.

Hmm... strikes me that that is a lot of water for a water change - but basically it :drum:

will be about 12% based on the full 40,000 litres.

Cheers

Grover

(packing his bags for Manila, but hoping for no more typhoons!)

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They say fish are easy to breed but hard to raise, maybe I should get some of my fish to read it as they seem to have gone on strike in the breeding department.

Cheers mick

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The bags are packed. The boarding passes printed. The upgrades requested (!). The taxi will be honking his horn at 6am tomorrow morning.

It's off to a "Thriller In Manila" for a week for me. I've had a bright ☆ idea (the usual fishie kind) which would make the visit more interesting. But, you'll have to wait to see if I can make it happen.

The Jolly Swagman is temporarily leaving the Billabong :- )))

Cheers,

Grover

Sent from the Billabong...

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The bags are packed. The boarding passes printed. The upgrades requested (!). The taxi will be honking his horn at 6am tomorrow morning.

It's off to a "Thriller In Manila" for a week for me. I've had a bright ☆ idea (the usual fishie kind) which would make the visit more interesting. But, you'll have to wait to see if I can make it happen.

The Jolly Swagman is temporarily leaving the Billabong :- )))

Cheers,

Grover

Sent from the Billabong...

I didnt get a chance to go to cartimar but las farolas is a must see.... Many goant gouramis there :) enjoy manilla... Im currently leaving to go to vietnam so just missed each other haha

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Hi [MENTION=12090]Tristan[/MENTION]! Sorry to miss you :-(

Yes, Las Farolas has been added to tomorrow's jaunt. Then Cartimar Markets where I have a bright idea to put into action. Wait for update tomorrow night :-)))

Grover

(Hard at work in Manila)

Sent from the Billabong...

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G'day to everyone from uptown Quezon City!

Today is warm and sunny with NO typhoons anywhere nearby :- )

Leaving now for Fishie Adventures. ☆¿○♡♧》《●{☆☆

"Baalam" for a short time

Grover

Sent from the Billabong...

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What can I say?

It was a fabulous day!

There was an instant bonus this morning – my normal phone alarm goes off at 7am AEST – Yay! It’s 5am here and I can sleep in for another 2 hours before breakfast!!

The Meranti Hotel came thru with a taxi on an hourly rate to tootle me around the countryside, I had a cr*ppy map, and places to go; all of which added up to a burning desire to see aquaria exotica.

First stop – “Las Farolas”

Las Farolas

In my enthusiasm and due to Manila traffic on a Sunday being relatively non-existent; I arrive before they open! I stand looking bemused at the entrance and a friendly staff member asks me to wait while he fetches Mr Bernie J. Repalbor. So, the Chief Operating Officer and I sit in a shady foyer and chat whilst waiting for the air-conditioning inside to come up to speed. We compared fish notes between the Philippines and Australia, bemoaned the loss of habitat and noxious fish which are a bane in local waters for both countries. Then, with some trepidation, I show him photos of the “Billabong” and my Giant Pink Gouramis. I think he approved, but he also advised that my swimming pool billabong should be bigger!!!

Bernie, along with a young staff member and I then embark on guided tour of Las Farolas. Right inside the front door are the real monsters – the South American Arapaima – a pair looking 5 or 6 foot long if they’re an inch! We skip around to a wall of fish where my happiness is unbounded – Giant Gouramis!! Both Pink and Grey – and my honour is upheld as I’m pretty certain that some of mine are larger than Bernie’s specimens. I do grant, however, that in Asia they are food fishes and so not so much a specimen as more a main course :-/

post-5372-1471163474549_thumb.jpg

Wandering around, my eye is taken by some very elegant and large Pacu. I have no idea what genera they belong to, I was just appreciating the fact that they were bigger than the GPGs!

• Colossoma

• Metynnis

• Mylesinus (Mylopus)

• Mylossoma

• Ossubtus

• Piaractus

• Tometes

• Utiaritichthys

post-5372-14711634745804_thumb.jpg

Further on (I can’t remember if it was upstairs or downstairs / Building 1 or Building 2) there is a happy bunch of red-tailed catfish Phractocephalus hemioliopterus living reasonably harmoniously with what I think are Black Pacu or Red-bellied Pacu. Just a note, in my estimation the RTCs were over 3 foot long and you can count at least 8 in the picture!

post-5372-1471163474597_thumb.jpg

PS: there were Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Pseudoplatystoma sp. as well

post-5372-14711634746122_thumb.jpg

Hang in there for part 2…

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On to a real exotic – the interestingly named “Irwini Catfish”, also known as the Giant Talking Catfish Megalodoras uranoscopus. Interesting, because I immediately thought of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter from just up the road from Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast, but the ‘irwini’ is just a species name. According to Wikipedia these are peaceful and hardy in a large aquarium and keep their colourful pattern as they grow larger, with a maximum size of 27 inches. I didn’t measure this guy, but he looks the part!

post-5372-14711634746283_thumb.jpg

And now to a real crowd-pleaser – the Alligator Gar Atractosteus spatula. Leaping forward a bit I saw 6inch babies for sale in Cartimar for 1,000 peso each, which at $30AUD per fish is quite cheap. Wonder how the GPGs would like them??? The “little” babies in the photo below looked more like 6feet long, but you know how fish stories go… the taller the story, the longer the fish :- )

post-5372-14711634746469_thumb.jpg

Sadly, I must take leave of Bernie’s wonderful hospitality and Las Farolas, but not before promising to attempt to convince my IT project team that a visit there would be both instructive and a ‘team-building’ exercise. Honestly, the exhibits were well maintained and the staff enthusiastic, so if you can visit then do so!

Off to Cartimar! ...

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[MENTION=5372]Grover65k[/MENTION]razy said:

"Don't be concerned for the GPGs. Apart from being monstrously fat, they will be cared

for by my loving daughter (who has been bribed with 4WD Christmas presents). "

If I was your daughter would I get a 4WD Hummer??

As usual another bunch of easily read words put together. I enjoy reading your posts.

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Ahh... Mr [MENTION=204]mbunamad[/MENTION]

I'm just glad you're NOT my daughter (ugli...err... "not good-looking" springs to mind LOL)

Naw... no Hummers for Christmas - unless you count pickled omions - the Bum Hummers!!!

She gets 4WD accessories as I can't afford either a Nisaan or Toyotaa :- ))))

Aw!

See what half a bottle of chardy does to me, wait til I wipe out the rest of the bottle *hic*

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All very interesting at Las Farolas you say,

but what was Grover getting up to in Cartimar??

You really want to know?

He’s missing his fish already, and, as he’s here

for week, he wants a pet fish!

Meet “Aussie “ (pronounced “Ozzie” :amen: )

post-5372-147116347471_thumb.jpg

Yes, Grover knows not the first thing about quality Bettas, so please don’t throw things at him. “Aussie “ was all of 85 peso (which equates to $2.48AUD). And, required much hunting up and down the alleyways of Cartimar. You’ll be pleased to know I resisted the birchers, the baby koi carp, the tiny arowanas, the elegant alligator gars, and other sundry exotic fishies. Even the baby Oscars were cute – there were some absolute teeny-weeny ones in the juvenile colouration of stripes with white and orange wavy bands.

For this exercise, I convinced Jimmy the taxi-driver to come wandering thru the markets with me. The project team would never forgive me if I managed to get lost in Manila and not appear at work; also Jimmy was the ‘local’ pottering along in my wake for nominal security purposes :-)

[ATTACH]70423[/ATTACH]

Finally, NO! I’m not smuggling “Aussie” back to Oz! I will appreciate (and laugh at) all your suggestions and bright ideas ranging from Coke cans to water bottles, but it ain’t happening. I’ve seen these ‘Border Patrol’ TV shows where some hapless bod gets the 3rd degree for a half-eaten piece of fruit or a smelly sea-shell!!

To say thank you for the friendliness of the hotel I intend to gift him to the front-desk staff for future employment as a hotel mascot! This is his current accommodation, but if I have any Philippine pesos left at the end of the week I’ll bequeath them to “Aussie” for a bigger, more salubrious tank!

[ATTACH]70424[/ATTACH]

Thanx for coming on the Manila outing with me…

*hic*

Grover

(happy that he’s finally managed some touristy action on a work jaunt)

post-5372-14711634746626_thumb.jpg

post-5372-14711634746808_thumb.jpg

post-5372-14711634746986_thumb.jpg

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Glad you enjoyed las farolas, as you said the hospitality is amazing and theowner really does care about the fish. Their collection is worth a lot more then they have made in entrance fees yet they are still willing to give welcome drinks and chat for hours haha. I took some video while i was in there so will upload once i return :)

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Yes!

The little aussie battler "Aussie" has survived his first hotel day. I brought his food all the way from Australia stuck in my bathroom toiletry bag. Along with water conditioner, so he's a happy Vegemite.

Cheers

Grover

(survived his first Manila work day!)

Sent from the Billabong...

Edited by Grover65k

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Arrived back at the hotel today to find a nearly frozen "Aussie" !

The cleaning staff had turned my air-conditioning back on and re-set

it to 19degC... brrrrrr.... Poor little guy!

I had been racking my few brain cells as to how to do a water change

in a hotel room, when I realised that the hotel was the solution! As

you can see - a quick request to the restaurant for a carafe of water

resulted in this -

post-5372-14711634756516_thumb.jpg

(not the glass of orange juice/chardonnay - that was me!)

Throw out the lemon slices and mint, rinse in the shower a few times,

refill with tap water, then add 10 drops of "Water Ager ST" from Biotec

Restoration PL and wait for tomorrow morning to do the change.

I really should have grabbed a baby bristlenose as well to

perform 'clean-up' duties around the bottom of the vase!

Oh well!

Cheers,

Grover

(halfway thru Manila trip!)

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