It's about time I started one of those! Everyone's welcome to come here to chat, comment or just read through my fishy adventures. I'l mainly be posting about my bettas as well as other fish, maybe about finless friends too. We'll see how it goes!
Now, for some introductions:
• Deta tail male
• 3 gallon - planted, heated, filtered
• 1st of August 2014
Lucifer is my first betta and the guy that got me into fish keeping. The original plan was that I would have this little tank with a nice fish in it sitting in my bedroom and that would be it. Well, that didn't last a long time. Even though I had done all the research before bringing my new friend home, I certainly underestimated how amazing and addictive bettas are. My sister has two goldfish in a bowl, feeds them flakes once a day and changes the water twice a month. At first I thought it was that simple. But Lucifer proved otherwise. Even though he was very forgiving of my newbie mistakes, it soon turned out that the little guy needed far more care and attention than I first anticipated.
We've battled white spot and fin biting together, and despite his chewed up caudal and half a ventral, he's still georgeous as ever. He's a feisty little bugger, flaring at everything he doesn't like. He seriously dislikes my boyfriend which is hilarious as every time he comes over, Lucifer sits at the front of the tank and flares at him. He also doesn't like my tablet pen and freaks out when he sees it. He's not particularly friendly and has murdered a snail in the past, but I love him despite his grumpiness.
• Plakat male
• 6 gallon - planted, heated, filtered
• 8th of November 2014
The story behind Perseus is quite heartbreaking. One afternoon I decided to visit my local Pets at Home, and as always I went to have a look at the fish. By that point I had another tank up and running and I was hoping to find another handsome big boy to add to my fishy family. I don't know why, but I went to look at the female betta tank. What I found whas a scene of horror. Out of the eleven fish, seven were dead. Some were lying on the gravel, some face first in the plants, others stuck to the filter intake. It was horrible. The remaining four looked poor, pale with clamped fins and barely moving. I stood by the tank for some time and eventually decided that I can't leave them like that. I picked one that seemed the most interested in my and took her home.
I didn't expect her to survive the night to be honest. But "she" did, and grew up into an amazing little fish. It turned out that it wasn't actually a female, but rather, a young male. Big beard and huge bubblenests proved that. He was about three months old when I brought him home and still has lots of growing to do!
There are no words to describe how friendly Perseus is. Of course, his mummy is the only person he's friendly towards. He'll shy away if anyone else approaches the tank, and he gets stressed out by other fish. He still flares when I show him the mirror, but the poor little boy is terrified of Lucifer. Whenever I'm near, Perseus always comes to the front of the tank to wiggle and say hello. He never flares at my fingers and even lets me pet him! I don't do it often as I don't want to damage his sime coat, but it's honesty adorabe when he comes over and rubs himself on my fingers haha. He likes getting his dorsal fin tickled!
Thanks guys :) Perseus is such a little gem! I'll get round to posting what he looked like when I first got him at some point :)
I was taking 2 am pictures of my fry last night - obviously I have nothing better to do as I can't sleep haha. The camera I borrow from the college could not focus in these things, they're too tiny even for something that's supposed to be professional. I had to resort to using my phone, so bear with me haha. The fry are seven days old and have been upgraded to a new home yesterday: from a shallow floating box in my 15 gallon to a bigger container which is now in Lucifer's tank. The main reason was that the tanks in my bedroom get far more light than the 15 gallon in the hallway, and platy fry need 12-14 hours of light per day, from what I've read. They got nowhere near as much in the hallway! Lucifer is a good boy and doesn't bother them, I think he knows he can't eat them. When I had my first group of platies and a batch of 18 babies floating in his tank he kept trying to eat them trough the plastic :/ silly boy. The previous kids passed away at four days old, sadly. Now that I look back at the whole thing I realise it was probably because I fed them too much... Anyway, I'm getting off topic. What I wanted to say was that when I was taking pictures, Lucifer decided that he's the only one who should be getting attention here and, well, this happened:
I GOT PHOTOBOMBED BY A FISH.
You can probably just make out the fry behind him, it's one of the nine that I managed to fish out of the 15 gallon. The rest became lunch, and there were about 20 :/ they currently live off TetraMin Baby powder, boiled egg yolk and whatever microorganisms live in Lucifer's floating plants: the kids get a daily dose of fresh floaters with "food" from his tank. They got frozen daphnia for the first time today, just a few pieces. Apparently the kids loved it as everyone has big rounded bellies now haha. I ordered a vinegar eel starter culture for them so hopefully they'll be able to munch on that in a couple of weeks too!
It's been a really difficult day for me today, so the fish haven't been getting all the attention they usually get. I was at the hospital this morning and later got into an argument with my mum which was pretty nasty. Perseus was supposed to have his plants cut and tidied up today but I didn't get round to doing it... It'll probably have to wait until Friday, water changes too. I feel quite bad to be honest :(
I put the little bag of eels under light and I could see some tiny little things wriggling about, I think I underestimated how small these are. I'm not sure if my fry will be able to spot them! Especally since it'll be a couple of weeks since the culture is strong enough before I can harvest, and the kids will have grown in that time. I'll maybe buy some microworms to supplement their diet, they need some protein.
I just poured them (the eels, not the kids) into my 50/50 apple cider vinegar solution, added three slices of granny smith apples and a pinch of dry active yeast - the instructions also sad to add a teaspoon of sugar but I was reluctant to do that so I didn't... Apparently the sugar = food for eels but they have apples and yeast to munch on and the solution is stinking enough as it is, I don't want to make it worse. I need to cover it with something, can't stand the smell haha.
My kids are getting nippy with each other, there's one that's an obvious bully especially at feeding times. I can recognise him (I don't know the gender, but we'll call it a he for the convenience of this post) as he completely lacks any markings and has the biggest belly out of all the children. Their colours are slowly starting to come in, most have the beginnings of black markings on their tails, a few have a spot or two on the body: one is even turning golden! This bully fish nips others when they take a piece of food that he had an eye on - as if there wasn't enough for everyone! Hopefully he'll calm down once everyone is moved into the 6 gallon I have for them :)
They're nine days old today and have grown considerably since they were born. Today was also the first day that they were at home alone, as college started again and I wasn't here to look after them all day for the first time!
I have a bunch of pictures to post but the stupid camera died and I can't get them onto my laptop because I can't find the battery charger... Great.
Today was a busy day, fish wise. I done water changes on all the tanks and this is how it went:
First up was Lucifer. He was due a water change and his plants needed to be sorted so I cupped him, took out the grass and drained about 70% of the water. I made sure to get most of the dirt from the gravel out since it was a good opportunity to do that as the plants were out. I split up the rocks with java ferns on them, rearranged them a little and filled the tank back up. After cutting off the grass runners and replanting the mother plants in the corner, I planted the runners in the centre of the tank and up front. They'll stay here for a couple of weeks until they're big enough to be moved further back: by that point I should have more runners from the mother plants. I wasn't quite happy about the state of the water so I drained another 70% and refilled again.
Before putting Lucifer back into the tank I decided that perhaps he would benefit from a short salt bath. After all, his fins aren't healing and they're looking irritated again. I heated up some water in the microwave, added a pinch of aquarium salt and dissolved it. Lucifer wasn't happy about the bath but it was only ten minutes. He made sure to let me know how unhappy he was with me by sulking behind his plants after I released him. Silly boy.
The platy tub was the quickest to do, even though I took out the biggest amount of water. I'm not sure how much, I usually just vacuum the substrate until all the poop is gone. One of my big girls looks like she's about to give birth, she's becoming square and spends more time alone. I'm not sure what I'll do if she pops, I'm already taking care of fry and I don't want to mix litters in one tank because I'll get too confused with who came out of who. Another girl has gotten into a habit of attacking their floating plants and wrecking them. She's the most active out of the whole group and is always up to something mischievous! I have some floaters drying out for her, I'll crush them up and feed her because she's honestly crazy for plants. She even tries to eat java ferns and fish aren't supposed to do that haha.
I had to take a nap before starting the next tank. Perseus was very happy to see me, but not so happy when he realised he's getting cupped. I never usually take him out of the tank during water changes, but I had to clean up and trim some of his plants and he always gets in the way of the scissors and I'm afraid that one day I'll accidentally cut him. I swear this fish knows how to manipulate me. Now, he's all grown up and in theory, adult males do not get racing stripes, right? Well, neither does Perseus unless he wants to make me feel bad. He spent five minutes in the cup before striping up, apparently realising that I wasn't about to let him back into the tank. I know when he's stressed because in addition to the stripes he clamps up and loses colour, but I can tell you that this wasn't stress. He lost the stripes within two seconds of being put back into the tank. I swear he knows I feel guilty when he does that.
The fry were the last to get their water changed, and the most exhausting. I still don't have an adaptor for their heater so they're floating in Lucifer's tank, hopefully I'll be able to get one tomorrow so they can move into the 6 gallon and I never have to catch them again until they're adults. After taking out their plants I dumped some of the water and put the rest in another container with the kids. I then cleaned out the original container, filled it up with water from mum's tank and proceeded to catch every single child with a shot glass. It took me half an hour to catch nine fry. Half. An. Hour.
I finally moved the fry! I'm a little wary as the heater wouldn't work at first and the water cooled down a little, but my boyfriend got it sorted. The lamp turned on eventually so hopefully it will be okay. I borrowed Lucifer's thermometer as I didn't have any spares and stuck it in the fry tank to keep an eye on the temperature. Here's the set up:
It's a six gallon, exactly the same as Perseus's tank. I'm keeping the water levels low for now as the fry are still small (twelve days old today) and don't need all that space. Instead of stressing them out with water changes and risking sucking someone up with the gravel vacuum I'll just slowly add water every two days or so until the tank is full. That will allow me to control waste as well as keep the pH up as all the after comes from their mum's tank where it's buffered to 7.6 with aragonite sand: I'm my other tanks it's 6, possibly lower. Obviously that's not ideal for livebearers. I threw in the java ferns they had in their old container and a little clown fish decor: it glows in the dark!!
Fry hideout. They seem intrigued by their next door neighbour.
Look at that fat belly!
My vinegar eel culture is growing: I shine a light through the liquid and every day I see more and more eels. Still not enough to harvest, but the fry don't really need them that much: they're doing well on TetraMin Baby powder and boiled egg yolk. I plan on buying a micro worm culture after I get paid because they're not too keen on frozen foods and they need protein in their diet.
I've lost the fry and I have no idea why. I'm done with trying to save kids from getting eaten, I'm not fishing anyone out of the main tank again. Another batch of kids was born overnight and I have some in a container but I'm letting them back into the 15 gallon with the adults. I know that's a cruel thing to do but I can't cope watching any more fish pass away in front of my eyes. I plan to plant the 6 gallon and I'll possibly get another betta, most likely a baby.