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Giant Pink Gourami "Baby" updates

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Just so you know...

It turned out very well.

I named her "Baby" and she is living with 3 other large GPGs in a 10ft swimming pool (approx. 4,000 litres). The last time I moved her (from an 8ft swimming pool to the bigger one) she was about 50+cm, so she's still growing :-)

Thanx for the interest.

Edited by steveandjules
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So far not a lot of activity in regard to bubble-nesting, but the water temp is still a little cool around 22deg C. I've been running x4 300W Eheim heaters over winter = $$$$ :(

To help encourage them in the breeding department, I've bought two polystyrene rings (used to make Christmas wreaths) and fitted them with plastic bubble-tops (plastic bowls from LifeLine) and then stuffed them full of palm frond feathery bits (which seem to survive being in the water without decomposing too fast). No photos, as it's dark outside currently!

Both these floating nest-things are tucked behind some bull-rush plants, and hopefully will encourage some ACTION!! On the food side, each day they get about 400gm of mixed vegies, defrosted peas, zucchini, and seedless grapes (sliced in half, and only when in season). Strawberries they have to share with me.


1) is the 10ft pool (with complimentary crocodile head called 'Barry' to keep away the blue heron) with my giant box filter, size - 3'x2'x2' and powered by a sump pump, in the background;

2) 'Baby' with friend (I think it's 'Mr P.' - named because a previous owner showed me a scar on his arm from being bitten and said he was a pr**k); and

3) 'Mr P.' himself. Yes, those are TEETH he's showing you!

!0ft GPG Pool picture by Grover65k - Photobucket

Baby and friend picture by Grover65k - Photobucket

Mr P picture by Grover65k - Photobucket

Hopefully I'll get bubbles soon...

PS: the pond water has now gone a solid green colour, so I only see them when they're feeding. Their current length estimates (50cm+) comes from the fact that the water depth is 60cm, and when Baby stands on her head to eat peas on the bottom her tail is waving just under the top of the water. Cheers.

PPS: Not sure if I’ve got PhotoBucket working correctly... I’m sure someone will let me know ;)

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Hi abyss,

Sorry to disappoint you, but Funkychicken85 sold "Baby" to me in July 2011, and she's very happy where she is :-)

These last couple of posts were just an update to let people know how she is getting on.

She now has another new friend - "Rogue", who is a male approx 50cm, in addition to the previously mentioned swimming pool mates.

PS: Now that it's warm weather the food input has gone up to 1 ice-cream container of mixed vegies & peas per day.



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Q: Why a swimming pool?

A: My 6ft tank was never big enough, so I upgraded to swimming pools!

You’re right – the pool looks a little bit “plastic”, but it’s designed for kiddie-winks to play in so it can stand a fair degree of fish rough-and-tumble. If the GPGs get disturbed (usually by a kookaburra sitting on the fence eyeing them or strafing them in a low-level flying pass), then they bang against the side and make the whole pool quiver. The plecos also have been well behaved and their pointy pectoral fins haven’t done any damage to the base. The outside pool sits on a thick bed of fine builder’s sand. So far no holes ;)

But yes, the worry remains – hence the 8ft backup swimming pool under the house is kept ready for emergency use. Currently there are 200-300 assorted platys motoring around in there with some giant Amazon Sword plants. First thing in the morning when I feed them, they all school and swim in a large circle. The water ripples and splashes as they go round and round.


Anyway, the point is you will need a backup! The 10ft pool is approx. 4,000 litres and the 8ft pool is over 2,200 litres. For emergency notification during the day, I have a sprightly 80yro neighbour (the Neighbourhood Watch exercise helps here) who would certainly let me know if 4,000 litres of water went flooding through her yard. The pools you can buy on the internet for varying cost – I picked up two of the 10ft ones from Big W in Brisbane CBD for around $60 each. Not sure why they had swimming pools in a city store – who knows!

Please note: this is NOT advertising. The ones I use are the Intex (8 or 10ft) Easy Set Pools. Also, try to buy just the pool by itself, it’ll be cheaper. I throw away the useless pumps that come with them. From a UV perspective they seem to last OK, but I do tend to replace them on a yearly basis. Not sure how much you pay for an 8ft glass aquarium with 10mm glass, but I guess I can buy quite a few pools for the same price. As noted earlier in the thread I have a giant box filter powered by a Bunnings sump pump.

There you go – you CAN try this at home yourself :)

(But please don’t complain about then needing four 300W Eheim heaters and getting a HUGE electricity bill over Winter :o )



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OK, so here's how I learn another fish-keeping lesson!

Even though the GPGs are an anabantoid species I still worry about the level of oxygen now that the water temperature is running at 28-30deg.

So, in line with all my previous experience I hook up 2 two-outlet air pumps with silicone hose and 4 massive airstones.

this works well... for a while...

Then 'Baby' or one of the others (probably 'Rogue') decides to play with the airstones and detaches one of the air-lines.

I'm not going to go swimming in a pool full of GPGs with teeth (see earlier photo) so I find a dinky little plastic airstone and pop it on the line and throw it back in the water.


A couple of days later I find the dinky plastic airstone in three bits in the giant box filter - oh well, the sump pump must have sucked it up, and the line’s fallen to the bottom.

A day later I realize the sump pump is not working. Bugger!

Solution: Throw old pump in wheelie bin, go to Bunnings, buy new sump pump and install. Test, and yes it works fine.

Hmmm.... wonder why the other failed (it's only 2 months old)

Fish old pump out of bin and inspect...

Ahhh! Perhaps the 3ft of silicone airline wrapped, twisted, and squashed in the impeller chamber might be the cause!!

Sure enough, remove tangle, and the pump bursts into life - so now I have a spare pump.

MORAL: Do not use a dinky little plastic airstones when you have a sump pump sucking 150+ litres per minute and nosy fish! :)

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Very green!

The only recent sightings of Baby, Surf and the others has been as a giant mouth appearing from the depths and a tail wag as they plummet below. As for the 3 albino Oscars…. Well, they’re in there somewhere.

So, on to last weekend’s little exercise in fish pond system maintenance! In my enthusiasm to actually see my giant gouramis, I decide that a Blagdon 6000 Green Water UV Clarifier is a “must-have”. With years of practice throwing $$$ on web purchases, it’s easy, and soon a shiny new ‘6000’ has landed on the front porch. Eagerly I read the slim manual –

“Getting to Know Your Minipond UVC”

“Convenient Installation”


Sounds easy, so let’s go.

Part 1: I look at the inlet and outlet pipes supplied and find they are undersized little one inch jobs which will restrict my filter works. When checking the threaded sections – hmmm… they look like standard 32mm Ag pipe thread. Off to Reece Plumbing (too specialised for a Bunnings visit) and wave the body of the filter at the bloke behind the counter. He wanders off and comes back with 32/40mm adapters and various elbows etc. Exit one happy customer.

Part 2: Got all the bits, now put it together. Grab adapter and fit onto UV body inlet and outlet threads. Nuh! Not gunna fit. Try again, this time while swearing (that should help). Still no soap. Right, get really stroppy and grab file to attack thread on inlet/outlet sections. Successs!!! One on. Second one still putting up fight, go grab hammer and bang various bits to persuade it to go on as well. More swearing, and sweating in equal measures. Finally, it goes on (not before cross-threading the entire adapter :!: ).

Part 3: Seal carefully (drown the sucker) with silicone sealant. Leave for a day to cure (I’ve had enough – I’ve gone to do something else to cool off and stop swearing).

Part 4: Attach to filter works. Really easy bit as you are doing 40mm pipe work. More silicone (refer to Part 3 for instructions).

Finally, fire-up UV thingie and filter system for 10-12 hours.

Hooray, I can see the top half of the gouramis – now to let it run for the rest of the week, maybe I can then count how many I have! :cool:

PS: I sent an email asking politely about thread size incompatibilities - the reply from Consumer Support “www.interpet.co.uk” to date?

Dear Mr Grover65k

Further to your email correspondence, please note that your comments have been forwarded to our Quality Assurance Controller for comments.


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Thanx for the encouragement!

Working on the photos ASAP (dark outside at the moment); the littlies (previously 10 cm jobs) are now "leetle monsters" and are very happy with the true monsters - I'm sure it's the huge volume of water (4,000 lit.) and lots of hiding places that keeps everyone happy!

Sadly, no nests but I have section of the pool corralled off by reed plants which gets visited by the big ones. Must work out what floating stuff would be attractive to them - water hyacinth might work except for the fact it's a noxious weed - oh well. Any ideas out there? Remember we're talking 50cm+ fish and when they open their mouths you could probably fit a squash ball in there. So the floating medium needs to be reasonably massive - but floaty and natural.

And yes, I'd love to have a humungous inside tank for display. But I'm more inclined to go the other way - anybody with an in-ground swimming pool they're not using? :-)



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Thanx for all the supportive messages !

I realize that my GPGs and the pools are a world away from nano tanks and some of the fabulous set-ups I see you have with African cichlids and other wildly specialized aquatics - especially the people who keep rays! I have big, messy fish (with personalities) so I really do admire other people’s dedication to maintaining water quality, CO2, ammonia, nitrates, plants, and all the technical bits which go to support a first-class tank community. With “big & messy”, I’m just lucky to do water changes (1,000 litres at a time) from a rainwater tank!

I started the usual way - as Mum & Dad had 4 tanks in a wooden frame while I was growing up. In the days before silicon, Dad had scrounged old shop-window glass, built some stainless steel frames during lunch-time at his work, and then put the whole lot together with aquarium putty. I can still smell it!! Once I discovered Oscars, my fish just had to get larger and larger, hence the GPGs now :o Here are some recent photos of the outside pond.

Grover65k's Library | Photobucket

As you can see the UV thingie is installed (yes I know it’s a “Blagdon Green Water UV Clarifier 6000”, but you’re not interested in that). It is working, as I can now see the tops of the GPGs; I may have to do a water change to help the process along so I can see the rest of everybody. I did spot one of the Albino Oscars yesterday for the first time in a few months, so that was a joy to know they are holding their own.

Also, the “Reedy Corner” as previously mentioned. Not sure what the reeds are but they grow well and actually have stunning flowers. The blue jobs floating in there were my attempt at encouraging bubble-nests. Obviously the GPGs think they are flying saucers and won’t blow bubbles at them – hence the prior request for advice on floating/bushy stuff suitable for monster bubble nests.

And lastly, the food. Feeding time is exciting with much jostling to get first dibs on that yummy bit of banana, or if you are slow you just get peas and protein pellets. The ice-cream container is a 2 litre job; I fill it with defrosted mixed vegies, cut beans, peas, and sliced bananas, then it’s a bunfight in the pool. Once or twice the monsters have grabbed the container and sunk it. No way was I reaching in to fish it out !? I eventually found it floated to the surface after an hour or so.

There’s the update. No babies, and not single bubble! Over a dozen chubby GPGs hanging out for their next meal – and hoping for strawberries.

Ciao for now


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hey mate just having a read of your posts and all i can say is nice work some very happy lookin gg's there.

I realise we are now in summer and this is the least of your worries but when it starts to get cooler maybe look into some products from abgal.com.au mainly there thermal blanket good for around the sides to help keep heat in as well as a cover on the top to help keep heat in if its in the sun you could also use there solar blankets to help heat the water I dont think they will sell to you direct if not and you are interested PM me my work uses it from time to time and we could get some in for you just trying to help you out as i read how you where having issues keeping heat up in winter.

Good luck with the breeding

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Interesting read. Looks like alot of fun.

With regard to your floating plant question, would water lettuce do the job? They grow to a reasonable size and do an amazing job of sucking up nitrates.

Also, i wonder if they would be more likely to breed if they didn't have any company, particularly the oscars although i am no expert on GPG's.

Good luck with it all.

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OK, so winter in BrisVegas is a tad warmer than other places everyone tells me about… “Ooooh - it was minus 8 and the snow was THIS thick and the ice was yada yada yada…” In my opinion (and the opinion of the GPGs) any temperature under 20-deg C is cold ;), so now is the time to start preparing for the cooler weather!

Thanx to gts69 for the www.abgal.com.au website! I’d been thinking of how to keep the temperature up with passive approaches and your suggestions are right on the money (for saving $$ money). One idea that I had had was to use “space blankets” wrapped around the outside of the pond – eBay has them for a very cheap price, so I will test run a bunch of them wrapped around the outside. Also, this year I’ve re-arranged the cars under the house, and I think I can squeeze the 10ft pool in with them (fish are obviously more important than cars, but you have to convince some people). A visit to a discount carpet place gave me rubber underlay strips, and I have a 3m square piece of carpet which I’ll place in-between the concrete floor and the pool.

As to the surface – most of the heat loss is going to be by evaporation to the cooler surrounding air. The area under the house is protected by slats, so there will be less direct breezes. However, I’m not sure that the GPGs would appreciate a solar blanket - even the one made with bubbles – as they come to the surface and take a gulp of air on a regular basis. I like beencees idea of ‘Water Lettuce’; perhaps a good coverage of plants plus the existing large hydroponic light will help. I’ve tried duckweed already, and the GPGs just pretend to be vacuum cleaners and it will disappear by the next morning. Not sure about Azolla, I’ve never had enough clean azolla to try it out – I expect it would go the same way as the duckweed – straight down their throats! Oh well… looks like the best things are illegal – Water Lettuce, Salvinia, Water Hyacinth. I have a good crop of Giant Amazon Sword plants (Echinodoras), so will include those in the pool. Not all of them though, as I have the suspicion that the Swords will be considered as tasty treats just like the duckweed.

The active side of pool heating will again be played by the 300W Eheim heaters – but this time I’ll set two to a high temperature (around 28-deg C) and the other two at a lower level (maybe 22-deg C). My thinking is that the two high ones will provide localised “hot spots” for the fish to visit if they’re feeling chilly, whilst the two set at the lower temperature are there as insurance to kick in and make sure no-body freezes accidentally if we get a cold snap. Arrrggggh... my electricity bill is going to be ferocious again! I got all excited when I read about ‘Heat pumps’ being used to heat small pools & spas etc., and all for only 10c a day!! Then, I found out their price – around the $2,000+ mark (although eBay has some cheapie ones at “only” $1,700). So, not this time – my aquarium budget does NOT stretch to those fiscal heights.

In the interests of GPG health and diet happiness I’m trying out frozen vegies, peas, and beans from ALDI. I can report that they are very happy with most of it - even the cauliflower bits, but that the cubes of carrot are a TOTAL REJECT!

For those of you who were interested in how many I have (to be technical – the total fish ‘bioload’), I have added the current GPGs in my signature block. The “Giant GPGs” are all over 50cm in size; the second original – “Baby” – is bigger, but I never have time to stop and measure her! (Sadly, I have to admit my first ‘original’ – “Tiddles” – succumbed to a case of chlorine poisoning when I used tap water rather than rainwater-tank water in a massive water-change – oh, the shame… I still feel really awful about it :() The “Leetle Monsters” all started out around the 10cm mark about a year ago, but visually they are the same size as adult Oscars now. Honestly, I don’t have time to stop and measure everyone when I’m frantically galloping between ponds with a flip-flopping giant gourami in large soft-rubber snapper landing net. What can I say? There are 13 GPGs all up, plus the 3 Albino Oscars, and 2 or 3 large “invisible” plecos (I know they’re still there as they demolish all the zucchinis I sink to the bottom for them).

PS: Still no bubble-nesting activity – maybe I’ve got too many participants or the Oscars are disruptive. Hmm… I may have some Albino Oscars for sale soon!

My next update will be when I get around to setting up the 10footer under the house – stay tuned…



Edited by Grover65k
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