Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sponge Out

The sponge filter is coming out. Not a moment too soon either. The sponge is starting to fall apart. Without that air pump running its a lot quieter in my office.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New QT Tank

Ok, so my original QT tank was set up right at the beginning of November last year. That rubbermaid tub served as an ad hoc fish tank for nearly a year. I never did get around to spray painting the back black. Oh well. Anyways I've wanted a real tank for a while to replace it, it was never meant to be anything but a stop gap on the way to a real tank.

So I finally got one, and a proper filter. With a little bit of outage money I splurged on my fish. I have to say, the "saving money" idea with the sponge filter and rubbermaid... not so much. The rubbermaid is about $15, the ten gallon tank was $13 at Petsmart. The sponge filter was $12 and the Penguin 100 was $18 at Petsmart. So the all told my old setup cost $27 and my new one cost $31. I can't say there's any monetary savings involved unless you've got a suitable container just sitting around. Still, it works and I'm a touch nostalgic for the old makeshift rig.

Anyways, I'm kicking off the new tank with four long fin serpaes and another platy. Three days in everyone is looking good and healthy. I've got the sponge filter running concurrently with the Penguin for the moment to help get the cycle rolling on the biowheel. I'll let it go for two or three weeks then yank it. Once it's out I'll put in a few more of the old plants in.

Oh, this is also my first non-sand tank. I decided to go with gravel because it's easier to deal with if I actually have to use it to treat a fish. I can either disinfect the gravel or just put in new. It took about fifteen minutes to rinse out the whole tank's worth. I like sand better for show tanks but this works.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Betta

He'll never replace Shark, but he's pretty good in his own right. Maki is settling right into his new home. Much like Shark at first he didn't seem to know what to do with all the space. He's adjusted though, in fact he's taken to swimming up to the front of the tank and begging for food when I get in to work in the mornings.

In fact he's so settled in he's even started his own ragged little bubble nest.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Long Overdue

This is overdue, by months honestly. I'll hopefully get something more in depth up but...

I'm pretty sure I've got two batched of platy babies. I've moved about five of the biggest from the QT tank to the main one where they seem to be doing well. The remainder are hanging out in the QT a little longer as they're still on the small size.

I've lost Shark. My betta at work died. Dropsy got him. It busted me up quite a bit. I'm still bummed out as I find myself looking at the tank expecting to see him swimming then.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Platy Babies!

Wow, here we go again. First of all I decided that after over four weeks in QT if my platy was preggers she was going to have dropped the fry by now so I decided to move them both over to the main tank. I did, everything went fine. They settled in rather quickly and got into the swing of things.

I headed to the fish store to pick up some more fish. Unfortunately they were out of panda cories. Only when I'm looking to buy them of course. So I picked up some neons instead. I acclimated them and put them in the QT tank. Then I noticed something, lots of somethings. Little orange somethings. My platy had been pregnant and she had a LOT of fry. At least 15 that have made it to a good size. I'm not sure how it's going to turn out but at this point they're too large for the neons to eat. In four weeks I'll move the neons over. I'm waiting until I can sex the platies so I can only move females to the main tank.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Big Fat Shark

Yes, my little Mekong is growing up. She's a good four inches long now, most of the way to her adult size of six inches. But more than length it's her girth. The girl is getting chubby. Her colors are vibrant though, dark black and bright red. Aside from a few extra ounces around her belly she's the picture of health. I'll take fat and happy any day.

And here she is pigging out with one of the cories and one of my new ghost shrimp. I got the shrimp as a rather hearthless way to test to ensure shrimp could survive in my tank. They can. After two weeks I've still got at least four that I've seen and who knows the other four could still be hiding out in the tall plants at back. I figured what the heck, 0.90 cents for all of them. If the fish made them a snack or the jumped like the amanos I'm not out any real money.

While I like my rasboras and Shark at work my favorites at the moment are the plants in the tank. My Java fern is a bit odd. It seems to lose as many leaves as it grows. The good news is that it no long looks ratty like it did when I first got it. Oh! Look below it, see the little green shoot? It had babies. I plucked it from the end of a frond and "replanted" it. Tomorrow during the weekly cleaning I think I'll move it to a rock on the left side of the tank, see if the direct light lets it grow better.

My crypt though is growing like mad. I need to take a look into how to split it because I'd like to transplant an off shoot to another part of the tank.

If you've got plants in your tank but aren't running CO2 injection I highly recommend Flourish and Flourish Excel.

Monday, May 18, 2009


It's about time for the platies to come out of quarantine. I lost one of them early on. It was one of those unexplainable deaths. Happy, active, no sign of disease or sickness the next day she's dead on the bottom of the tank. The other two have been doing ok and I'm really enjoying having the QT tank running in my office again.

I've decided that I'm going to leave the platies in QT until they give birth. Once the little ones are free swimming both mommies are going in the main tank. I'll give the little ones a couple weeks to mature before looking for some new fish for QT. Probably some more panda cories.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quarantine Set Up

Anyways, after the losses I've decided to build back some of my stock, specifically non-characins since no one but tetras have been having issues. I set my quarantine tank back up, with sand this time since I'll be dropping corys into QT soon.

However... that's a month in the future. I was in Petsmart and had a moment of weakness. Petsmart is the only place that has red wag platies. I love red wag platies. I bought three female red wag platies. I made sure to get only females, small ones, and none that were visibly showing. There's probably zero chance they're not knocked up but I'm hopeful they'll hold off on giving birth until late in quarantine and I'll be able to move the moms right over into the main tank and let the babies grow out in the QT. At the very least I've got a week or two to get a few more to get some more small plants to help the fry hide if they're born early.

After the platys and maybe platy fry I'll be getting some more cories, 4, and 4 more neons. There could be a couple more serpaes in the future but not until the remaining three have a good two months of good health.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Since the last post I've been on a bit of a fishy roller coaster. I've lost two rasboras to the fungal infection. The infected long fin serpae died. Two of my female guppies were also in a bad way, one blew up like a balloon and the second developed a bent spine in only two weeks. To top it all off my interest in the 90 gallon tank apparently rekindled the owner's interest in it. He decided to try and fix what's wrong with it. That was a huge disappointment.

Ok so its not so much a roller coaster as free fall.

I'm not sure what my course of action from this point is gonna be. I'm thinking of setting up the quarantine tank and putting the serpaes in it. Leave them in there and see if anything happens to the remaining three. I do know I want more neons and cories. If anything happens to the serpaes I may give up on them and use rummynose tetras.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Salty News

It's not all doom and gloom. Most of my fish are in good health.

Also my wife has notified me that she knows a woman who is trying to get rid of a 90 gallon saltwater tank. They don't want anything for it, just get it out of their house. I'm really hopeful that I'll get it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Been a While

It has, hopefully in a few days I'll have some pictures to post.

Most of the reason is the same as always, nothing is really happening. Well, mostly nothing. I've got to admit that there is something seriously wrong with my serpaes. Since I've gotten them they've been slowly dying off one by one. The symptoms are always the same. The serpae starts to get pale. Their eyes start to bulge, they get lethargic, they take to hiding, and then they die. The entire process takes about two weeks. My most recent one died on Saturday. Unfortunately my last long fin now has one severly distorted eye. I have a bad feeling that he'll grow more pale soon and die.

One of the rasboras in my tank has a discolored patch behind is dorsal fin, a little fuzzy, like a fungus.

Shark is also not staying to the front of the tank but the back.

To top off the fun times, I haven't seen any evidence of the fry lately. I suspect they've all been eating.

Right now, things kinda suck.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Circle of Life

Yesterday the 48 gallon surprised me. When I went to vacuum the tank like I usually do. When I moved the fake tree stump to clean under it I saw a lot of detritus swirl around. And around. And around. In fact quite a bit of it wouldn't stop moving. I got down close to the tank and found...

Babies! Small black fore body and clear tails. I don't know who's getting it on in my tank but someone did. At least eight fry are in there. In fact I managed to vacuum one up. I was able to scoop him up in a cup and put him back in though. Unfortunately with this tank it's deep and has tons of cover. It's almost impossible to find a fish that doesn't want to be found. That's good news for the fry. Since I know my guppies are all female that leaves the pandas, serpaes, or neons as the culprits. Given the coloration of the fry I'm hopeful it was the pandas. I hope so. First off I want more of them and second they're pretty stinking cute as little ones.

The rest of the circle of life? Friday night I couldn't find my second platy. Nothing turned up Saturday when I vacuumed the tank. Then Saturday night when I was getting some frozen food fixed for them I spotted my platy.

What was left of him.

Apparently the cannibals in my tank don't care for scales since that's all they left of him. Yikes.

The circle of life baby, it's brutal.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ammonia Spike Over

Well, the ammonia spike looks to be over. I tested yesterday and today with no sign of ammonia. Good deal.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Heater on the Fritz

The 200W heater I got for my 48 gallon tank lasted almost long enough to get it through the first cold snap. About a week ago I went to feed my fish and when I opened the hood I got a blast of hot moist air in my face. This has been pretty normal since the tank was supposed to be almost 80 in a room that was maybe 65 degrees. This was HOT though. Looking at the thermometer I saw the temp was all the way up to 86 degrees. Yikes. I quickly unplugged the heater and let the temp settle down. I spent a while monkeying with the heater but nothing seemed to work. Since the temperature was so low I couldn't just switch back to my 100W heater, it didn't have the grunt to deal with the low temperatures.

So for about a week Angela and I kept the temp in the safe zone by monitoring the thermometer and plugging in and unplugging the heater. Not fun. Thankfully the temperature has come up so my 100 and 50W heaters can keep things ok. I'll need to get a new heater either with a warranty on this one or just buying one.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ammonia Spike

I've been fighting a bit of a conundrum with my Eclipse at the moment. For some reason I'm having to deal with an ammonia spike. Given that the tank is over six weeks old, almost seven actually, and it's not big and well stocked it's odd that this would show up now. It's been three weeks since the rasboras were added. The two things I've done lately are starting a proper vacuuming routine (not the epic failure that was the turkey baster. Fish poo shows up remarkably well on white sand, on black... not so much) and adding the diverter.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense for the vacuuming to be the cause, I'm removing things that make ammonia. The diverter doesn't make sense either. Potentially there could be fungicides in it but the packaging makes no mention of it and the diverter is the same material as the old one that's been in the tank for four weeks.

Consider me stumped.

The downside is that the growths on the rasboras are back. he upside is it looks like the ammonia is coming back down. With any luck this spike will be over soon.

There is more good news though, it looks like the algae problem is about beat. After a good scrub about two weeks ago the brown algae is not making a come back. There's small spots here and there but it's not expanding. Also the filamentous stuff on the driftwood is looking pretty bad. It is no longer gauzy and swallowing the piece, it's stringy, weak, and looks to be barely holding on. My new crypt is also looking good as well. It hasn't grown or anything but after a week in the tank it's holding steady.