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Giant Pink Gourami – Billabong Ontknoping

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Bog Bed Filter Update #2

In summary, everything is growing!

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And as everything looks happy so far, Grover is branching out.

In NSW (Australia), the Watergarden Paradise Aquatic Nursery maintains over a 1,000+ waterlilies and aquatic plants for sale. The downside of the GPG's is their herbivorous nature and the fact that they will demolish anything of a vaguely vegetable nature.

Grover's idea is to buy some 'test' plants to grow in the BBF and if successful, expand them onto the floating islands (currently occupied by Elephant Ears).  The Elephant Ears are looking rather sad, as they have been munched by caterpillars.

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He is sure they will bounce back when the caterpillars disappear as butterflies.  And the GPGs cannot really leap onto the islands, so the plants are relatively safe :roll:

Arriving soon is a tropical waterlily - Nymphaea colorata ( A smaller growing waterlily with rich violet-blue coloured flowers fading with age.)

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And a creeping plant to infill between the Water Iris and Amazon Swords - Water Hyssop (Bacopa amplexicaulis - Bright green ovate leaves that clasps the stiff trailing stems. Small bright blue tubular flowers produced in the warmer months.)

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This is the current plan...

Grover

(Waterlily planted!)

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Edited by Grover65k
Plants arrived and have been added to BBF

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Thanx @aquaholic99 !

Green Tree frogs would be a great start - it'll help the Bog Bed Filter "come to life".

Just noticed over the weekend that even though the Elephant Ears have been denuded by caterpillars, they still made the effort to produce flowers.

EE-flower-030.thumb.jpg.fe81360d795309f90b3661a95f432862.jpg  EE-flower-032.thumb.jpg.e26e24676cde442cfe9bec31fd30693b.jpg

 

Cheers, and thank you

Grover

PS:  Do you have photo of the pipe clusters?

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Meanwhile back in the BBF...

The starring plant at the moment is the Amazon Sword Plant.

GAS-01.thumb.jpg.fdb764d7bfa9e93336cda43efa009092.jpg

Echinodorus cordifolia

 

The history of these particular plants goes back to Grover's earliest years keeping aquariums.  The family moved to Buderim, Qld in the early 1970s and at the back of the garage (underneath the verandah) was where the 4 fishtanks in a wooden stand ended up. Grover then proceeded to have great plans to breed Swordtails for profit... Ha ha!   You can imagine how that turned out. :frusty:

One of Dad's friends was Evan Williams in Alstonville, northern NSW, who at the time specialized in growing and hybridizing waterlilies.  He also supplied a small variety of aquarium plants and Grover decided to splash out big $$ on some Echinodorus plants (the price?  $2.00 per plant incl. postage!).  Bear in mind that Grover was earning a whole 60c per hour at his Saturday morning job, so $2 (+ postage) was a big ask.

Short story is that a number of Giant Amazon Sword plants turned up, and in sub-tropical QLD promptly grew out of the tanks with emergent leaves and flower stalks.   And Grover has managed to hang onto descendants of these originals thanx firstly to his Mum, and then a younger sister who grew them in tiny ornamental ponds while he was moving around the state from job to job / house to house.

Photos from the Bog Bed Filter (BBF) -

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These flower stalks have small white flowers with bright yellow centers spaced about 5-10cm apart.

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And as the flower stalk lengthens, the flowers die, but are replaced with small plantlets.  Tiny roots go down into the muck and somewhat small but growing leaves start reaching upwards.  The stalk part hangs on for quite some time, so a pair scissors does the job of cutting the new plant loose.

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And there you have the cycle!  From adult plant to tiddly plant which then grows to adult plant.

By the way, these plants look absolutely stunning when grown underwater.  In the Billabong they would probably last about 5minutes against the giant pink gouramis voracious appetite, so its best that they help reduce the bioload in the Bog Bed Filter!  In the BBF nearly all the larger Amazon Sword plants are throwing out flower stalks and the tiddlers are taking root and going gang-busters. :boxing:

 

Here is some more detailed information from the web -

Tropical Fish Magazine Issue Mar/Apr 2018

 

Cheers,

Grover

(more to come on the GPGs next time...)

 

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Solomon Islands Souvenir

Found this in my collection of things from 2002 when I worked at SITCO in Honiara.

MOTD-03.thumb.jpg.f6bdb9652203a83e0247b36128289ef0.jpgMOTD-04.thumb.jpg.ef8160feef3084139614ecb8a2fd637d.jpg

Looking suspiciously like a Giant Pink Gourami !

This was acquired about 7 years before Tiddles arrived.

Grover

(Picture on right courtesy of  "Aquadiction"  - Design © 2021 - All Rights Reserved)

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Ahh...

Good thought @crusty76 but the rim of the BBF is about 15cm higher that the scoria.  And any that manage to wander into the downpipe to the Billabong will get munched by hungry gouramis.

They are a bit of an experiment.  As the water floods and recedes in the bed, I don't know whether they will like the constant need to hide under the pipes and frogbit to stay wet.

There are a dozen or so distributed into the temporary pools as back-ups.

Cheers,

Grover 

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CRAYFISH Alert!

Australia has somewhat of an obsession with "BIG" things...

Now this giant crayfish probably WON'T fit in the Billabong :razz:

The_Big_Marron.thumb.jpg.c7a981995cd48643535663d15746859f.jpg

Thanx to Wikipedia!

Reference:  By &lt;a href=&quot;//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:BrisbanePom&amp;amp;action=edit&amp;amp;redlink=1&quot; class=&quot;new&quot; title=&quot;User:BrisbanePom (page does not exist)&quot;&gt;BrisbanePom&lt;/a&gt; - &lt;span class=&quot;int-own-work&quot; lang=&quot;en&quot;&gt;Own work&lt;/span&gt;, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0" title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44837891">Link</a>

Also Reference:  By BrisbanePom - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44837891

Cheers,

Grover

Edited by Grover65k
Add more intelligible reference !

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On 20/03/2021 at 2:54 PM, billfish said:

hey mr @Grover65k

do you know if any of them plecos you chucked in the billabong have bred ?

Hi @billfish !

I've been out at night spotlighting, and no, no signs of baby plecs.

They have some v.large terracotta tubs to hid in, but I think they also require a clay base or a muddy hole in the side of a pond to really get going.  All mine do is just keep munching their zucchinis and growing ever larger.  One day they'll reach this size (I hope) !

Plecostomus.jpeg.f5de44fe194a2517ea4b4ce9a6863ecb.jpeg

 

Cheers,

Grover

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CRAYFISH Update...

OK cobbers... Grover comes up with one or two brilliant ideas...

And then there are the abject failures :esad:

 

Sadly, it appears that buying a plastic bag full of live and happy crayfish was not the way to go.  It's probably a combination of water (pH/Hardness/salinity etc.), temperature, bioload, the cycling of the filter - filling and drying, and last but not least... kookaburras!

 

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 There appear to be only a dozen or so left wandering the Bog Bed Filter and Grover doesn't hold a lot of hope that they will survive.

If Grover can lay hold of a few adults from a local creek ( from way out in the countryside for free - have you seen the $ price of them in your LFS? ) then he may try again. But those kookaburras look like they could handle any size of yabbie without a second thought! :ph34r:

Sigh...

Grover

(Yabbie today... gone down a kookaburra's throat tomorrow)

 

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BBF Update (without crayfish)...

After days and days of rain the Bog Bed Filter is looking green, green, green !

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And off to the left you can see the cherry tomatoes starting to straggle all over the place.  The GPGs just luuuv cherry tomatoes!

Grover

(trying to dry out in the intermittent sunshine of today)

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Hey mate, good to see you're still at it with the GPGs.

 

I'm hoping to get back into the hobby after a few years break. looing forward to following along with your adventures. 

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On 08/04/2021 at 9:02 PM, Lictoga said:

Hey mate, good to see you're still at it with the GPGs.

I'm hoping to get back into the hobby after a few years break. looing forward to following along with your adventures. 

Thanx @Lictoga,

Welcome back to the forum  :welcome:

The Giant Pink Gouramis are still here, and Grover is still working on breeding them. 

Even though today hit 33degC   :flame:   Grover figures that Winter  :unsure:  is coming and has been prepping for the covers to go on the Billabong.

He's also almost at the stage of giving up trying to have a clear-water pond.  The Bog Bed Filter is only just coping with the load of fish excreta, and to put it in another language - "Semper In Excretia Sumus, Solim Profundum Variat".

Having decided to go with the flow about owning a green swamp where you see the GPGs surface occasionally; it was an easy step to decide that the entire shallow-end of the ex-pool should be given over to a range of swampland plants.  There is a bunch of papyrus that can be broken up and planted out, the Elephant Ears may get an expansion, and some spare water iris plants can be added to the mix.  Was thinking about the large grasses you see along the banks of Kedron Brook, or maybe those Brisbane Lily plants (Crinum pedunculatum).  Leaning towards the grass-type stuff as the gouramis would be able to grab mouthfuls of that for their nest-building activities.

Also, have thought to ask @aquaholic99 if I should thin-out the goldfish just in case they are putting some competitive pressure on the GPGs. 

So, that's the current "State of the Nation" report.

Grover is now on holiday for a week or so.

Just before it gets chilly, which is

any temp. < 20degC.

Cheers,

Grover

( Oi !!!   more photos...   less words...  )

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Billabong Vegetation...

Oops!

Another fail!

Apparently the large Elephant Grass (Pennisetum purpureum) plants growing beside Kedron Brook are environmental weeds according to the Brisbane City Council website -

BCC - Elephant Grass    Species NOT in the Biosecurity Act but that are regulated under the Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL).

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Maybe the Council wants some assistance in "Cut and remove" weed control exercise ?

The GPGs would volunteer to eat them as well...

Grover

(back to the drawing plant board)

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