Friday, August 10, 2012

Fish Myths and Other Rants


1.  Goldfish belong in bowls:
     There is not one species of goldfish that would actully fit in a bowl, or any tank under 30 gallons.  The general rule for goldfish (depending on species) is 30 gallons for the first fish, then an additional 10 gallons for each fish after. 

2.  Goldfish are a great beginner fish:
     Wrong again.  Goldfish are one of the dirtiest fish out there, and require ALOT of tank maintanance.  Couple this with the fact that people think they can have a Goldfish in a 1 gallon bowl, and you will certainly end up with a dead Goldfish. 

3.   Fish will only grow to the size of their tank:
      Oh so wrong.  Fish that belong in large tanks, but are kept in small ones have their growth stunted.  STUNTED... This is NOT an adaptation, this is a negative health issue. 
      (I once had a conversation with someone insisting that he could put Koi in a 20 gallon tank...  For those of you who don't know Koi are pond fish that reach 1-2 feet in length.  How... retarded...)

4.    1 inch of fish per gallon:
       Are you really going to put your 10 inch Oscar in a 10 gallon tank???  I don't think so.  This rule MIGHT help you while stocking fish that remain small,  but it still isn't a very good rule. 

5.    Pet stores know what they are talking about:
       9 times out of 10 this is false.  If you are going to keep fish it is YOUR responsibility to educate yourself on how to do so correctly.  The people at the store are there to sell you fish, and that is it.  I had a guy try to talk me into buying fish, because he had a chemical that would make the water safe in one day.  This is absolutey false.  You have to cycle your tank, which takes 3-5 weeks.  You must do this regardless of what chemicals you put in. 

6.    Water changes are not necessary, just top it off:
       WAY wrong.  Water changes are probably the most important thing you can do to keep fish alive, and healthy.  Your water may look clean, but think about this.  Your fish pee in the water everyday, all the chemicals you put into the tank stay there until you take them out, and refresh them.  Not doing water changes causes all of this to build up, and it will eventually cause health issues/death. 

Fish and Requirements/Adult Sizes

Iridescent Shark-  As you can see, this fish gets HUGE.  I'm guessing it is in a 55g, which is still too small. 

Bala Shark:    This picture doesn't really give a good size reference, but these guys get about a foot long.  

 Arowana:  Another huge fish which is also predatory. 
 Common Pleco:  I would say this is one of the most purchased fish, and it is always purchased when it is about 3 inches long... 

Angelfish- I'm not posting a pic of these, because everybody probably knows what these look like.  You could probably keep one in a 30 gallon high tank, but that isn't ideal.  You could keep about 3 in a 55g, and you have to have 1 male, and 2 females.  They will pair off, and you will have to get rid of the female that isn't paired or she will be killed.  In larger tanks 5 plus can be kept, but they MUST be large enough to accomadate breeding. 

Gourami-  All but the dwarf species get to about 6 inches, but even the dwarf species can't be kept together.  I was advised not to have 2 in my 55gallon because they would kill each other. 

    Well, I think I'm done for now.  I do have some updates on my own tank, but I'll save that for later. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just Awful

    So in the time that my computer was gone I lost a total of 5 fish, and 1 snail.  ARG!!! Here is the mortality list:

Betta (Roo)- Lost to widex contamination.
German Blue Ram- Was either sick, or was bullied to death by the Gourami.
Neon Tetra- Bad stock.
2 Otocinclus- Possible windex contamination, internal parasites, or bad stock.
1 Assassin Snail- Not a confirmed death, but probably. 

    I would also like to note that all the fish that died came from PetLand in Russell.  I will not be returning there for any livestock.  I have one To left that came from there, and I'm praying that something doesn't happen to him.  All of my original fish are doing great. 

    I do have more to update on, but I'm not particularly in the mood to go into all the details.  I'll save that for a day when I'm up for it.  I'll leave you with some pics!

This was one of the Otos munching on some zucchini.

My little neons.

A pretty good close up of an Oto.

And another.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rough Week

    A seriously rough week when it comes to fish people.  Here's what happened...

    Sunday my son and I went to PetLand in Russell to pick up my first dwarf ciclid, a baby German Blue Ram.  While at the store I waited, and waited, and waited.  I watched some woman purchase TWO male bettas.  I quickly informed them that if they were put into the same tank they would kill each other.  I have no idea if that's what they did, but they didn't really look like the type to care... 
    When I finally received service it was from the most inexperienced guy there who was obviously just trying to make a commission.  He bagged my beautiful little guy, and took us to the checkout.  Come to find out a bill that I wasn't expecting to go through till the next day had, and I didn't have enough money to buy him...
    My son and I came back on Monday (the next day) and actually purchased him, plus one Otocinclus.  While at the store I saw that one of the Rams from the day before was now dead, and had been partially eaten.  NOT a good sign obviously. 
    When I got them home I drip acclimated them for an hour, and put them into the display.  Upon the Ram entering the tank it was quite obvious that something was wrong.  He kind of spiraled down to the bottom, and immediately got stuck to the filter intake.  He freed himself within a few seconds, but long story short I ended up putting him down. 
    I went BACK to PetLand with the fish.  While there I spoke with someone else who notified me that there had been trouble with that tank, and that the inhabitants were actually being medicated at that time... Wish someone had told me that in the first place.  So I did not get another one.  I will be waiting on the new shipment. 
    I ended up coming home with two more Otocincluses, and one neon tetra ( to bring me to 25).  Today the neon died.... 
    Let's put it this way.  PetLand gets ONE more chance when I buy another Ram.  If it ends in the same way, then I'll no longer be shopping there. 
    On a good note the Oto's are doing very well.  They are a type of algae eater, and they have been doing a really great job!  Below are some pics. 

This is just a better picture of the tank, now that the water has cleared.

There are a total of three Oto's.  This is number 1.  Lol.

 Cleaning up my leaves for me. 

They sure are good at hanging on!

    Ahhh, but it doesn't end there.  I haven't seen Agent 47, my Assassin Snail for a few days.  Apparently this is a fairly normal occurance, but it worries me.  For some reason my betta tank has developed some sort of clear slime on everything, and Roo (the betta) is acting funky.  I've done a 50% water change for him two days in a row.  I don't know what is going on with him.  Annnd for some reason my 10g isn't cycling right.  I am currently conducting an experiment to rule out some things.  Arg...  Good things I really enjoy this or I might get a little discouraged.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Changes, Changes.

    So it's finally time for an update. 

    Since we last met I have completely changed the look of the tank.  I haven't added any new fish because I knew I was going to do this, and didn't want to stress them out.  All of the fish that are on my list to be added are fairly sensitive.
    In addition to that I have decided to change the brand of water conditioner I am using.  I was using the Tetra brand, but will  be switching to Prime.  It has the rep of being top notch.  I went to Bert's to pick it up today, but alas they don't carry it.  Like the rest of the stores around here....  I imagine I'll have to order it.  So instead I got API Stress Coat which is the next best thing. 

   Okay, on to the pics!!!

    Above is my general set up for the switch.  You can see my gravel vac hanging on the right, and going out the window.  That's the best I can do until I get my Python.  Man I can't wait to get it!  Lugging 55 gallons of water to that tank in one whack alone was awful.  

    This is a good close up of the holding tank I set up for the fish.  This is a cheap cooler into which I drained some of the tank water into.  I outfitted it with one of my extra filters that was running on my QT, the QT heater, a thermometer, and my battery powered bubbler.  The only thing that wasn't necessary was the filter.  I just put it on there because it made me feel better.  

    Oh what a scary sight.  The empty tank...

    All 34 fish, 1 Assassin Snail, and 3 Nerite Snails were actually in the cooler at this point.  The plants are also there to keep moist, and to also provide cover for the fish.  I really did not want the fish to get too stressed out. 

    Oh lovely....  Haha, this is after I replaced the substrate with sand (yay!).  As you can see it was pretty crazy in there

    And here we have the tank this morning.  The water had cleared enough for me to replant the plants, and has cleared even more since.  I just didn't take a picture of it.  All the fish made it through the big change.  Only about 4 were stressed enough to lose color, but they have regained it as far as I can tell. 

    The only mistake I made during this process was not watching what I was doing with the filters on the display.  I had assumed that water would remain in the HOBs unless I drained it out.  WRONG... It syphoned out as I took the water out of the tank.  I didn't realize this until I was getting ready to fill the tank back up.  I hastily took the filter media out and submerged it in the cooler with the fish.  I am hoping and praying that I caught this mistake quick enough, and that the bacteria that I spent 4 weeks growing didn't die.  If the bacteria died then I'm stuck doing a fish-in-cycle.  You know what that means???  Probably 2 50% water changes a day until the cycle completes.  Oh PLEASE let the bactiera be ALIVE!!!  I won't know for sure till a few days have passed. 

    On another note my husband and landlord are going to build me a new stand for the tank.  As you may have noticed the current stand isn't quite big enough.  I can't wait to get it!!!

    That's it for now.  I'll post some better pictures when the water clears up, and I'm sure the tank is situated the way I want it.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Little Bit New

Welcome back everyone! 

I have a few updates for you.  Over the past week I've added 7 Neon Tetras, 1 Assassin Snail, and I am quarentining 10 Kuhli Loaches!

When I went to get the Neons I went in to get 6.  The store actually owed me one for free so I ended up leaving with 7.  Unfortunately on the first day I lost one Neon to stress, and the next day I lost another.  I actually had to euthanize the first one.  That wasn't a fun experience. 

After some research I concluded that the quickest way would be to boil some water, and plop the poor guy into it.  He was gone immediately. 

I brought my snail home on the same trip, and he is doing well. 

Yesterday I went to pick up my beautiful Kuhli Loaches!!!  The guy that waited on us gave us extra fish, "Just in case some die".  That didn't really sound too promising, but we were happy to take them seeing as they do better in bigger groups. 

I'm pretty sure we made it home with 13.  (Those guys are EXTRA hard to count)  I had 3 die from stress, 2 of which I'm positive were dead before they even left the bag.  Today the remaining 10, (my original desired number) are doing well in the quarantine tank.  

Here you see my loaches in the acclimation bucket.  The one in the very middle of the bucket was one of the 3 that died.  He hung on until about 2 hours into the QT.   

A close up of my guys.

This is the QT all set up and waiting for the Loaches.  Room the Betta is hanging in his small tank for now.

This is my Assassin Snail.  He is doing his job well I might add.

Here is my little buddy Akio.  He actually eats from my hand now.

And a bad picture of some of the neons.  They are now a school of 24.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tank Edit

Hi guys!  I'm going to start out with a few pictures.  Here ya go!

There we go.  If you have been following my blog you will notice a few differences.  The bottom of the tank is now covered in black river rocks, and there are quite a few more plants. 

I'm really loving this look!  I need one more bag of rocks for sure, and the substrate will be done.  I may or may not add more plants.  It really depends on how much the current plants grow, and how fast. 

As of now there is a total of 20 fish in the tank.  I bought 20 neons, but I only made it home with 19.  That's alright though.  They are REALLY hard to count so I'm sure the girl at the store didn't do that on purpose.

Hopefully this week I'll have 6 more neurons and an Assassin Snail.  If I'm REALLY lucky I'll be able to bring home some Kuhli Loaches to put into QT.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Greetings!  I know I just wrote an update yesterday, but today also calls for an update. 

My little family and I made a trip to our main pet store today (MochaPet, Hillard, Ohio).  Here is a list of the loot we brought home!

1 Turkey Baster (For minor maintenance in the QT)
1 Pack of Biomax (Brings me to two)
          For those of you that don't know Biomax is a substance that goes into your filter, and provides extra
          space for good bacteria to grow on. 
1 Foam cooler (for fish transport)
1 Pack of frozen blood worms (for the fish to eat)
1 Battery powered air stone
         We got this airstone because it is portable, and will make it much easier to use during acclimation than
         having to take the one from the QT all the time.  If you noticed in my earlier post when I acclimated
         my Dwarf Gourami (Akio- Japanese for 'bright boy') I did not use an air stone.  I was kindly reminded
         on the forum that I am linked to that this is baaad.  The fish could have died from lack of O2. 
Annnnnd the big purchase of the day was...............................................................
20 NEON TETRAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yes I love these little boogers.  After seeing how small these guys actually are I now know that 20 is just a too insignificant number for my 55g tank.  One step at a time though. 

The tetras and Akio are getting along just fine as of now.  I gave them one full cube of blood worms earlier and they feasted.  It was funny watching the little tetras swimming around with half a worm sticking out of their mouths. 

As far as my research goes on these guys they were said to be quite shy.  So far the only thing that bothers them are rather quick movements when you approach the tank.  Other than that they are swimming right out in the open.  Of course this may very well be due to the fact that I have 20 of them.  The more you have the safer they feel. 

Another thing, as I was observing the fish earlier I noticed a small snail crawling up the side of the glass....  SOOOO it looks like I AM going to have to buy an Assassin Snail after all (it will kill the others).  I'd rather have one snail than millions.  The only thing I can figure is that they were brought in on the plants I bought, and were just too small to be seen until now.  Those of you who want no snails at all I strongly advise washing your plants before you put them into your tank. 

While I was at the pet store I received a compliment from the fish manager (who really does seem to know her stuff).  I had been talking to her for about a half hour, and I apologized for taking up her time.  She said to this, "Oh that's okay.  It's nice to talk to someone who actually knows something about fish."  Made me feel special!