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.


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: Tiger Barbs

I love these little guys. They’re like baby mafia.

There are six of them now in my tank: three are green, two are regular stripes, and one albino. I may just call the albino, Hidan. He’s not the biggest of the group, but he’s the only one I’ve seen nip at the tail of the bristlenose pleco. And Snooki is already two inches long (yes, Adam named the pleco “Snooki”).


Click for video! (hosted on tumblr)

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!





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.

Fish, fish, fish, CRAB!

Vacant lot (for now)

Vacant lot for now)

A few things in this update…

The biggest event: Steve has gone to another home today. But not permanently!

Nico, a co-worker of mine, has offered to nurse him back to his full-finned glory. Despite all that I tried–and the rooibos tea seemed so promising!–his tail fin kept losing the new growth. Nico claims to use only bottled spring water, a better water conditioner, a bigger tank and… I suppose just a better environment. I’ve been rethinking Steve’s tank (2gal), and it’s very possible that’s just too small for a fish.

For now, I’m cycling the tank, using a mini filter and sponges from the community tank. Hopefully, in a few weeks, the tank will be primed and ready and Steve will be able to move in without any issues. Continue reading

Overhaul on the Comm Tank

I finally snapped and tore down the community tank. It’s been overdue for a proper water change for months now, and while the chem balances were just peachy, there was algae and scum and bored fishies. It had to be changed up.


For all that they are enjoying the fresh water and the new decor, I’ve traumatized the fish; I’ve dredged the bottom twice, took away all the ornaments for a few hours, pumped out all but two inches of water, and dragged the entire set up from one side of the apartment to the other, and then spent half an hour scrubbing and adding back water and decor. I fed them after the water cleared, so they were a little happier then. Of course, that’s when I stuck my arm back in to fuss with the plastic and plunk in another ornament. Continue reading

At least he’s happy

Steve, the betta fish, is still not healed. He’s gone through two salt baths (a few weeks apart), months of salt water, and a few months of meds. A few weeks ago, I switched to a new bottle of water conditioner since the old one seems to have gone bad. And since then, Steve hadn’t had a set back… until today.

I dunno. Maybe it’s because I feed him frozen foods and the liquid that it’s stored in is polluting the tank. Maybe it’s not even fin rot (tho it certainly seems like it).

Steve’s been suffering my treatments since mid-October. The longer this goes, the more impressed my boyfriend seems to be while the more frustrated I become.

But at least Steve’s attitude seems to be unaffected; he’s still very active for an infected fish.

On another note, seems like Chloe the hermit crab has gone into hibernation. She’s not coming out for food. Not dead though–very offended when I lift up her log!