Tank Chat: Winter is coming

As much as Bucky is known for being the Winter Soldier… the fish version will not survive the cold. Thus, the heater. And because I couldn’t help but add to the sudden changes, I’ve added a filter as well.

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Tank Chat: Hey, Bucky!

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I don’t know why, but whenever Adam comes up with a name, it tends to stick. I’ve given up trying to defy it.

“Why Bucky?”

“Because he’s replacing Steve.”

Ouch. And yet. What can I say? He is a little frosty.

Tank Chat: Another Betta

Screenshot 2017-08-31 01.14.24

The store called this guy a fire tail. *shrugs* He’s got a very frilly tail, I’ll give them that.  Haven’t named him yet, waiting to see if he’ll survive the week first.

For now, he’s in a cheap fish bowl that’s about 3 gallons in capacity, much larger than his cup, but still not as big as I’d like. Eventually, I’d like to get a 5 gallon tank with nice clear sides. It’s hard enough taking pictures of fish via phone without dealing with textured glass! Continue reading

Tank Chat: New denizens

The ich parasites have been routed as have the Camallanus worms which arrived shortly after. Now my community tank has been clean for a month after two rounds of medication and I’m finally restocking.

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Please, ignore the glowing shell…

First thing I did was clean out my local fish store of albino corys, just to give the lone cory company to play with. All five of them (yeah, not that many) are now skimming across the sand and basically shaking up their tankmates (corys are active buggers). The cardinals are still shy, though the two remaining rice fish are up top and begging for food (I fed you guys twice already!).
I’m also in the process of adding more sand to the tank. Petsmart has this fantastic black sand that weighs just enough not to swirl up in the current. It can only be added a little at a time though, since, against all its official claims, it does raise the pH levels in the tank. Quite a lot. So a bit at a time gives the driftwood time to boost the low acidity*. Eventually, the sand grains neutralize (not sure if it’s because of biofilm or the surface acclimates) and they stop releasing base elements. In the picture, you can see the difference between the old sand and the new (and the air trapped by the fresh sand). For now, I’ve only put in a quarter cup of sand. I’ll probably wait another week before dropping in another helping (this is gonna take a while…) Continue reading

Tank Chat: New tank light!

  1. Yay!
  2. Uh… different light = plants freaking out. Hmmmm…
    1. Anubias drop existing leaves, grow new ones (oh well)
    2. New plants?
      1. wisteria3

        W. Wisteria

        Water wisteria is pretty!

        1. Likes mod-high light (done!)
        2. Needs iron fertilizer…
        3. Needs to be anchored down
          • I got plant anchors!
        4. May need “rich substrate”
          • I got plant baskets, fill those with dirt pebbles…
        5. Can be “anchored” horizontally
          • Oooo… So if I seal the roots in a basket, pin it down… Neat.
      2. Java ferns?
        Java fern

        Java fern

        1. Only in shade… I can do that!
          • Oooo! Put that in Steve’s tank!
        2. No need for fertilizer (even better!)
        3. Easy to split apart for new ones (ah ha! 2 for 1!)
      3. Java moss?
        1. Only in shade…
          • You know what? Never mind. It floats everywhere.
  3. I think I should just get more sand and split the anubias for now.
  4. The second chunk of driftwood should be ready soon!
    1. Yay!

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Tank Chat: Electric Blue Rams (x 2!)

I got new fish!

Girl?

Girl?

Boy?

Boy?

These two beauties are called electric blue rams. A bit different from regular rams in that both sexes have the same colours; no helpful black or blue dots to give hints. Eventually, when they get older the body shapes will change… but while they are young I can only guess by their fins. Oh, and they really are the same colours, I just used different photo filters (I love Instagram’s UI). Continue reading

Fish tanks: Disasters and silver linings

Oops. Didn’t realize a month had already gone by!

There’s been a few job interviews here and there, but still no bites. On the home front, I’ve been having a few challenges. One of the biggest events is the ich infestation in my community fish tank.

It used to look like this...

It used to look like this…

Two and a half weeks ago, I brought home a bristle nose pleco. Into the main community tank she went. Unfortunately, I think she also brought along a few parasites. (Funny enough, we’ve named her Snooki).
One week ago, Adam spotted white speckles on one of the tetra fish and after some research, I switched out half the water and turned up the temperature (at 86 degrees, the parasites stop infecting new fish).
The next day, I went to work (pet store) and nabbed some medication. After another 50% water change, I dosed the tank.
At first, it seemed like things would get better… Nope!
For three days, my fish died by the bunches. The original tank held 14 fish. It now holds 3: Snooki and two corydoras. All the deco and gravel have been taken out. There’s been so many water changes. It’s looking pretty sad to be honest.

On the other hand, there’s Steve!

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After

Before

Before

Yesterday after work, I picked up a bag of filter floss (pillow stuffing) and replaced all my filter sponges with the stuff. The community tank had a filter that used a very thin pre-packaged screen that seemed to be constructed specifically to be as dinky as possible and disposable. It’s a good filter, its filter media (materials) are just money sinks though. So thus the filter floss.

Steve’s mini filter ran off a cheap sponge and a bag of carbon I had put together. However, I don’t need the carbon all the time and since he’s still healing from fin rot, I needed to put some medication in and the carbon had to go anyway.

That filter floss really made a difference, huh?

Right now, I’ve got a few ceramic beads in the filter to grow some helpful bacteria. The motor on the filter is hella strong for something so tiny. I had to take the cheap sponge and wiggle it over the outflow nozzle. Thankfully, it did the trick. As a bonus, the sponge is black, so it’s hard to see behind the fake plant!

There’s an under gravel filter rigged up in his tiny tank which is overkill on the filtration, but I had the air pump set up for the community tank anyway.

I’m thinking of switching from gravel to sand. Any time Steve misses a bit of food, it drops down into the rocks and he can’t get to it. Which means, it rots down in there until I do a cleaning. The community tank too, since the cat fish are happier with smooth sand grains rather than rough gravel.

But all that is going to have to wait for a week or so.  Too much going on now with not enough money.