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Tag: aquarium

Fishy Triage

It’s been a hectic week in the aquarium side of life! One of my fish up and died out of the blue, which is usually a sign of something being wrong, especially a relatively young fish like Thing One.

So, I pulled out my handy water testing kit and found that my nitrates were painfully high. Of all the things that can be wrong in a tank, that one is relatively “minor”, but still a problem. I’ve been doing partial water changes every few days for far too long now, and it’s still a fighting battle.

I had set up a 1.5 gallon tank in my office, for a new desk fish and put a betta in there. Only, after I did that, I realized that the betta in the community tank was very ill. He stopped eating, spent all his time in hiding, and was turning funny colors. So I fished him out (which was harder than I expected, clearly he wasn’t too sick to run away!), fished Desk Fish out of the small aquarium, put him in the community tank, and the sick betta in the small tank. Let me tell you how much easier it is to medicate 1.5 gallons versus 20!

So I spent 4 days medicating Sam in the little tank. Poor thing had something awful, he had this giant sore on his side! I can only hope that it looked worse than it felt, cause I feel soooo bad for this fish :(

Bettas are kind of hard to diagnose, as both a fungus and a bacteria can cause all his symptoms, so I went for a shotgun approach and medicated with a blend of anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-something else medicine, as well as some anti-stress and fin repairing medicine. That caused a new problem of mega stinky water, but daily water changes kept it tolerable.

Days later, the nitrates are in a better place and my betta is eating and back to his normal color again. The sore on his side is almost healed all the way, too! Here’s hoping that everything will be good in a few days so I can put him back in the big tank, he seems lonely now! He’s in a smaller container for easier final medicating, and Desk Fish is back on my desk (after cleaning the quarantine tank, of course).


Pioneer Fishies

So, remember how I was talking about how I wanted a 10 gallon community tank in my living room? I did one better… we bought a 20 gallon tank. It’s so big, I love it!

Today we added the first few fish to it.

I’m working from the living room today so I can observe. They are obviously still in adaptation mode, but I need to make sure that nobody gets bullied. I did my homework and found a list of fish that can be (relatively) safely housed with a male betta, so I’m keeping an eye on them to make sure he doesn’t start picking on the other fish.

Their initial reaction was a bit different than I’d have expected. Here’s a photo of the tank before I put any fish in it:

Empty Fish Tank

(I totally love the tiki man bwahaha)

So, the betta immediately swam into the big tree decoration. He’s come out a couple of times, but mostly is camping out inside, in the dark, far away from the other 5 fish.

I got two mollies, a white molly and a dalmatian molly (mine is more black than white). The white one initially was hanging out near the surface, and ate most of the food I put in there. Now he’s exploring a little bit more, but still spending more time near the surface than anywhere else. The dalmatian one has been exploring pretty thoroughly and likes to follow the bottom feeder around. Now the two mollies are spending more time near each other.

The neon tetra was initially cowering behind the tall plants (literally, he looked like he was shaking) for a while but is now out and about.

The guppy seems the best adjusted so far, he’s been exploring the whole time and is now content to hang out with the tetra; they’re BFF’s hehe.

And, the cory catfish, in true bottom feeder fashion, is playing with the gravel at the bottom of the tank.

So far everybody looks happy but the betta; I prefer hiding in the dark to attacking other fish though, so we’ll see how he does when he’s done playing in the dark.

Once these fish are established, we’ll pick up a few more; either of similar types or more of what we’ve got.There’s a few other kinds that can co-exist with a betta as long as he’s not snarky. If he seems really docile, I might try some angel fish – they’re labeled as “use caution”, so they may or may not get along with the betta, depending on individual temperament.


I Want An Aquarium

When I got my apartment, I pulled my little 1.5 gallon fish tank back out of it’s box and set it up next to my desk and stocked it with a red/white (he changed colors.. he was more blue/white when I bought him) betta named George. George is the most entertaining fish I’ve ever had. When I first put him in the tank, he was picking fights with his reflection in the tank. Once he got used to himself, he started picking fights with the gravel at the bottom of his tan, which was hilarious. Then when he got bored with that, he started playing with the currant from the water filter… he’d swim up to the top, relax his body, and let the flow send him “flying” across the tank. Super cute. He also likes to stare at me when he knows I’m watching him.

I noticed that George was really fond of laying on top of the little plactic plants that were in there but they didn’t seem to be treating his fins well, so I bought some live plants and a little cave to put in his tank. That triggered the need for an aqaurium.. his tiny tank seems so FULL now, and OMG I really want to do more aquascaping.

A few weeks ago, George got really sick. He turned grey, stopped eating, and spent all his time laying in the corner of his tank. After a few days, his breathing started looking really strained as well. I took in a sample of his water for testing to see if it was a problem with the ph balance or something but I was told that the tank water was nigh perfect. I started reading all about betta illnesses and stuff trying to figure out what was wrong with him. I was worried that I’d look over and find him belly up (and at one point he looked so bad that I almost hoped I would just so he wouldn’t be suffering anymore, cause it broke my heart how miserable he seemed to be) but George is a trooper. I took him in to the fish shop to see what they thought and they said “well, he looks pretty terrible but an antibiotic might help him. don’t get your hopes too high though.”

So we came home and started his antibiotic and stress reducing treatment. Within 3 days he was back to his old self again

But all the research made me realize how fascinating fish really are, and how they have personalities and all that. Pair this with the want to do more aquascaping and I seem to have a problem. I want a 10 gallon community tank for my living room. George is going to stay here by my desk so I can see him all day cause he rocks, but there’s a bunch of fish that you can (relatively) safely tank with one male betta. I saw one once; my friends dad had a large tank with about 9 fish and a male betta; he was HUGE. It was cool. I want a tank like that.

I might get one this month, which would be exciting. I’m researching what kinds of fish I can put together. Anybody have any suggestions?

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