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Giant Pink Gourami – Billabong Bayou

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Welcome to the Billabong-Bayou Summer of 2016 in Oz...

   Here in "Billabong" land the days are getting longer, and warmer. The fish are getting larger and feistier! And Grover is getting out the board shorts to go in paddling with the GPGs, the Albino Oscars, the odd Goldfish, and the monster Plecostomus.

   When you last tuned in to the previous Billabong post, Giant Pink Gourami - The "Jolly Swagman" and Co. , I had just finished up a hectic Saturday getting all the non-essential stuff done around the place, so that I could focus on the reason for this post - the Giant Pink Gouramis - all 20+ of them. We had some technical difficulties with regard to rather large photos that I stuck up on the site; I'm fairly certain this is fixed now. There was also an interesting (if off-topic) snippet about Border Collies and Tennis Ball Quality, but if you missed it - sorry, no re-plays. 

   To get you up-to-speed, the blue cover has come off the Billabong, a new shade cover is being sourced, and the water iris plants have multiplied immensely over winter and now need re-potting. Here is the first plant being plopped in with the fish.

30-plant-a.jpg

   For those of you who have only just found the GPGs in the Billabong-Bayou, you do realise that it is an ex- swimming pool given over to monster fish? Good! Glad that's out of the way. The water iris plants are in pots that are 12inch (30cm) diameter and the plants are 'large". There are more to be 'plopped' later! 

   On the potential breeding side - the GPGs have been just that - potential :-( . This Spring/Summer will see my approach altered from trying to make the pool clear so I can see them, to: "what the heck!" leave the pool green, flood it with as many plants as possible in the shallow end, and rather than cleaning out the dead/dying iris plant leaves - leave them floating around for some excited male gourami to use in building nests.

30-plant-b.jpg 

   This may create a total mess in the Billabong, but as it's just me and the dog viewing it, I can live with that. I have a range of "dirty water" sump pumps to power water out and through the various filter 'thingies', so I expect they can cope with any left-over leafy material. If not, I go and buy another more powerful sump pump (Bunnings is my aquarium hardware LFS !). My plan is to create pockets at the shallow end with as many plants that I can pot up. At this point, long-time readers will expect to see a "Wile E. Coyote" drawing, and who am I to disappoint you ?

Billabong 001.jpg

   Yes, the green blobs are meant to represent iris plants, and you can see the rough idea of 'pockets'. I do know that this is not the best way to approach successful breeding of giant pink gouramis - I'd rather have separate 15,000 litre pools for a male and 2 females, but if I fill the entire backyard with ponds, then the afore-mentioned Border Collie will have nowhere to play (although lotsa places to swim! LOL). 

   The Billabong adventure continues! And the benefits are possibly only visible to one-eyed monster fish-keepers ?! I spotted one male this afternoon coming up for pellets, and honest-to-goodness (would I exaggerate?) his lower chin was the size of a tennis ball (refer previous dog story). With a chin that size the rest of him was in proportion!!!!  If I have no success breeding, then I aim to have the bl**dy biggest Giant Pink Gouramis in sub-tropical Brisbane!

Cheers,

Grover

(off and running in the springtime)  

 

 

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A Visit to My LFS...

   The excitement was palpable as the Dog and I

wandered off to the local Bunnings - what would

we find that could help in the great Billabong caper?

First, we spotted el-cheapo buckets, and promptly

decided that as the iris plants were going at least

30cm down there was no need for proper pots.

(Just testing if this fixes the mobile hiccup)

(couldn't be bothered to wait for technical fix,

so I've stuck hard Returns in all over the place)

The price? An exorbitant 95c each :x  which immediately

had me thinking of Masters down the road with their

closing down sale! Masters was also where I had scored

the 2 large woven baskets (with the open weave style)

previously used to encourage the GPGs to build nests.

Still, honour had to be preserved as we were already

at Bunnings and the Dog wanted a delicious sausage

from the sausage sizzle out the front. Around in the

homeware department I saw laundry baskets for $6 -

these had instant appeal as secondary barriers to hold

back the scoria in the Bog Bed Filter. If I bought 2,

I could nest one inside the other for double strength

and scoria-holding ability. 

   Leaving Bunnings (after the sausage had been duly

devoured by a canine), we sussed out the bargains at

Masters. Hooray! Plastic buckets were 15% off and a

real steal at 84c each - so I bought 30!  PS - I choose

'purple' as no-one is ever going to see them! In the

basket area, there were slightly smaller woven baskets

of the same style for a reduced price of $28ea, this

time I grabbed 3. All up a saving of $25 :eyebrows: Then,

back to Bunnngs for two of the laundry baskets,

some UV-proof zipties (to be deployed later), and

some hanging basket hooks which I intend to use

to prevent the GPGs from sinking the iris plants

into the deep end !

 

Here are the goodies...
Hardware-20.jpg

 

And tomorrow the purple buckets and the iris

plants get a hammering and 'plonking'  :!:

Grover

(a successful "hunt-&-gather" accomplished

at his local "LFS")

 

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Afternoon Update...

   The existing plants in pots have been trimmed and 'plopped', while the iris plants sitting over Winter in the tub have been pulled out, pulled apart, and then plunked in purple buckets (with a ice-cream containers's worth of Mary River sand) and placed on the pool edge surround about 30cm down. 

30-Plants-01.jpg

 

30-Plants-02.jpg

 

30-Plants-03.jpg

 

   As you can see, it's not quite the design I had in mind. Whilst wading around the shallow end, I discovered it was deeper than I remembered, and when I dropped a pot out towards the middle, I only saw the top-most inch or two of the leaves - which I figured would actually "drown" the plant rather than make it happy LOL! Adding to the problem is the sloping aspect of the pool base - I did try setting a terracotta trough down there in the deep green, but it still had a slant on it. 

   The next bright idea will be floating plants - no, no, not Eichhornia crassipes - possibly a floating pot that will let me have some Elephant Ears or Woolly Frogmouth (Philydrum lanuginosum) like this:

16inIslandPlanter-floating.jpg  IslandPlanter-ins.gif

 

But, we'll see how this first lot go.

Grover

("more iris plants than he can shake a stick at!")

Shake-A-Stick

 

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Looking good mate, ive seen some of the floating planter boxes on koi forums and some of the "islands" look absolutely awesome.

Just remember if you add too many plants the algae wont enough food and you may end up with a clear billabong, i think your idea of leaving the water green is good the gpgs may be less likely to breed in clear water.

If they see how many friends they have they could also become more territorial.

Have you added anything for the plecos or oscars to breed in? It could be a great protein source for female gpgs to produce more eggs.

Thats enough rambling from me.

Cheers mick 

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Hey Donny,

Thanx for the suggestions re floating island plants.

I'm also leaning toward Nephrolepsis exaltata (Boston Fern),

although I can just see the GPGs getting excited and trying

to pull it into the water! LOL

boston-fern.jpg

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Swooping Swallows...

   With Spring has come the return of a bunch of Brisbane swallows (unsure of the species) which both drive the k9 to distraction, and also perfom death-defying swallow-swoops along the 9m length of the Billabong. These are particular hairy aerial acrobatics, as neither the GPGs nor the Toga approve of aerial dive-bombing. The swallows curl around the house behind, barrel-roll in over the fence, skim the water, nick a sip with their beak, then power up and over the fence and away. Brave little blighters LOL !

"Hawking" behaviour of swallows

   If I ever find tiny black feathers on the Billabong :angel:, you're never going to know about it ! 

Grover

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23 hours ago, smicko said:

...Have you added anything for the plecos or oscars to breed in? It could be a great protein source for female gpgs to produce more eggs.

Thats enough rambling from me.

Cheers mick 

Hi @smicko,

I figure that the Oscars and Plecos act as giant "dither" fish for the GPGs. And in fact, since I threw in great wads of old iris leaves (as per photo a few posts ago), the GPGs have been vewwy vewwy quiet...

Whether they're shocked by the appearance of lots of plants, or the warmer weather is motivating them is hard to say! Will put up a shade exercise over the pool once it really starts to get warm, but I suspect the solid green colour of the Billabong is here to stay!

Grover

(Gpg Quixote is a dreamer and a gentle buffoon, a mature, but young-at-heart gentleman who sets out from his sub-tropical village of La BrisVegas to perform acts of chivalry, to write QLDAF posts, and attempts to breed giant pink gouramis, all the while seeking a lady to be his grand love, Dulcinea, who will also like GPGs)

PS: with apologies to Miguel de Cervantes. 

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The Billabong Meets The Sargasso Sea...

   After a day or so the dead/floaty iris leaves have ended

up in the middle of the "Billabong". You can see a small-

scale replica of the Sargasso Sea (although thankfully,

not a replica of the NAGP ) !  While the Sargasso is for-

med by ocean currents and a coriolis effect that moves

floating objects into the centre of the gyre, the Billabong

relies on the water from the outlets of the sump pump

and the old swimming pool pump which swirls in a anti-

clockwise direction during the day. They're on timers,

so everything switches off in the evening and the

water flow is not that wild - more just a gentle flow

around the edges.

   Here's the Billabong's mini-Sargasso...

30-Plants-10.jpg

 

You'll note the abundance of wildlife, and that the ducks

have survived living with the North American alligator!

And to prove there's life under the water...

30-Plants-11.jpg

That's somebody's (?) big nuchal hump head

investigating the reedy leaves!

Grover

(sailing the Sargasso Sea in his own backyard)  :lol:

Edited by Grover65k
Fruit-cake! The mobile view went haywire again - sorry!

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Technical Update :-)

   Grover will, in future, refrain from using silly colours for text in his GPG posts. And promises to check for technical errors that may appear in either of the forum themes on a mobile (at least on a Samsung android, as he doesn't own an iPhone).

   Photos also appear to be a leetle bit tricky, but he'll persevere as he thinks posts without photos are boring (he obviously prefers comics/manga !).

:behindsofa:

Grover 

 

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Ahhh @clickme & @Donny@ageofaquariums

You're both a pair of tipsy Major Mitchell galahs :-) LOL

Give me a Bundy & Coke and I'll sit by the Billabong twiddling my toes in the water trying to get the Oscars to nibble me if they're game!

Thanx for the support  - you're actually both :first: GPG followers !

Grover

(now... where did I stash the Bundaberg Rum or was it the Captain Morgan Black Rum ? ? ? )

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GPG Nest Building...

Not so fast!

It's "GPG Nest Building" by hard-working Indonesian people so that Munk Pty Ltd can import 'Rattan Antique Grey Round Open Weave Baskets' in the 46cm x 46cm x 35cm size with a Net Weight of 1.10kg especially for people (like Grover) who are trying to breed Giant Pink Gouramis (aka GPGs).

In addition, you'll need to visit Whitworth's Marine & Leisure - Discount Marine Supplies for 3 stainless steel Outboard Motor Safety Cables! As the online blurb says: "Secure your outboard-motor imitation giant gourami nest with this 128cm vinyl coated stainless steel cable. With a loop one end and stainless steel snap hook the other." That should stop them being sunk 6ft into Davy Jones' Locker at the deep end of the Billabong - ah ha!

Installation excitement will occur over the long weekend :drum:

20-Nest-02.jpg

20-Nest-01.jpg

 

Grover

(Will the GPGs appreciate their new nest environments??? Stay tuned!)

 

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Getting Better...

Well... you can see that Grover and the GPGs are heading in the right direction (with apologies to Renee Geyer, circa 1976), but that the pseudo-nest refuses to go down any further than this - 

30-Plants-22.jpg

More "sinkability" will be applied tomorrow.

Grover

(Rocket scientist? He hardly makes the grade as trainee zoologist at UQ)

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They may become waterlogged overtime and sink further so make sure you still have cables to hold them up.

The billabong is looking great with the added greenery and i dont mean the colour of the water.

If i was a gpg i would love the way you care and decorate.

Cheers mick 

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Yes, I'm hoping that they'll get waterlogged and "go down with the ship" !

Still umming and ahhhing over floating pots - I even looked at life jackets when I was at Whitworths - wondering how I could adapt them into floating plant islands.

This is very appealing...

floating-island-01.jpg

   

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