The strohi juvies are in their new tank and settling in very nicely. :)
They had a couple of blackworms each for dinner, and all seem very comfy in their new tank.
I was a bit embarrassed that my place was a mid-reorganisation shambles.. and Cole's tank was a mess of algae (I let it grow to feed the snails, I really like snails...) but otherwise it was really nice meeting Littlebettafish. We all went off to the LFS afterward, where I just the other day ----swore--- never to buy livestock again...
And Daughter spotted a really pretty marble cellophane doubletail .. veiltail... whatever he is... and so we now have Aang the Very Pretty as well as 5 new wild fish AND a bristlenose catfish named Nomnom which I got from the other LFS (where the tanks are always really spotless..) who is happy as a clam in the strohi tank, no drama there at all.
And THAT is ALL the fish we are owning.
No, really. I now have no room at all for ANY more fish!
I'm so happy with the ones we have, though. Here's some pics of Aang and the strohi (hey LBF, lookit how coloured up the big guy is! awesome!)
I've never been one of those terribly organised people with a place for everything, etc. If I had to use a term to describe my lifestyle, it'd be 'thriving in a state of happy chaos'.
That said, there's a limit to how much chaos I can subscribe to and still be happy. Which is to say, I need to throw a lot of things away and find neat storage solutions for the rest. Right now there's a plethora of junk in carboard boxes staring at me from every non-fish-filled surface, as though junk has suddenly developed the ability to predict its own imminent doom.
Various fish updates:
Aang - Daughter's new marble DTVT - has settled in quite well and is rapidly changing colour, with shades of lilac and baby blue, even a hint of pink. He greeted her this morning with a face-to-face wiggly hello, which delighted her, and while there's a few raggedy bits on the ends of his fins there's no sign of rot, which is fantastic - after Demyx and the suicidal guppies, I'd hate for her to have to deal with another sickly fish. She's treating his fins with clean water and good food, and is prepared to use salt if any rot appears.
Cleo is positively glowing red. We bought some brine shrimp and black worms, and while I'm a bit cautious about blackworms for splendens, the brine shrimp's been a real treat for our whole fish mob. I really notice the difference in colour and temperament when the bettas get even a little live food for a few days in a row and I'm increasingly convinced that live foods ought to be a far larger part of the betta diet in general, rather then an occasional treat.
I also think Cleo's in breeding condition, as is Cole, who is headbutting the plants if they appear to look at him funny. Of course, I have no intention of breeding them but it's good to see them in tip-top shape.
Even Demyx is wigglier than usual, though his fins still are not improving much. The popeye's receded a tiny bit more, however, and he has a lot more energy - he manages to swim to the top of the tank without 'flailing' too badly now, and I'm thinking if this slow but sure improvement continues, I may see how he does in a larger tank again. Not too large, maybe 3 or 4 gallons to start with, and we'll go from there..
All the little strohi are asleep after a very busy day of arguing and exploring all the tank's hidey places over and over. They are a real challenge to feed! Little Peeka, the smallest one, is smart enough that she (I think..) hovers around the feeding-corner of the tank every time I come close, as I tend to drop her a pellet if no-one else is around - she gets pushed out of the way a lot when I'm doing the group feed and so that extra pellet or blackworm is just to make sure she gets enough.
Here's some more pics!
The tank will have a major tidy-up on Monday, I think. For now, it's a bit wild and woolly but the fish seem to like it well enough.
Here's one of Om-Nomnom, who's had a productive day sucking all the crud off my narrow leaf java fern clump:
Fabulous!! Yes I'm sure the little one knows full well already where to find extra food and who her Momma is! I think fish are alot smarter than people realize.
Amazing tank. Was reading back in your posts to see what has been going on in your family's exploits and discovered, wow, you can put them together as a group!! Keep us posted, we are loving your excerpts.
Love hearing that you met up with a TFK member. I donated my leaky 45 Gallon tall to a member too. Met up in a parking lot! haha. He took the time to fix it and it is now his biggest tank! Beats putting it out for garbage for someone to scoop in the night!
Haha even in your photos they look like the little turds that they are. I used to just shove them away with my hand if they were being pushy at feed time. The bigger ones are such food vacuums otherwise.
Your new bit of wood looks nice, and I am glad to hear your daughter's new guy seems to be settling in well.
Hi JB! Great to hear from you - hope you and yours are well - and thanks, glad you like the tank! It's pretty wonderful that these bettas can be housed together like this. They do spar a bit, but the aggression is clearly not to the same degree as splendens bred for fighting. It was great meeting up with Littlebettafish. I don't know that many fishkeepers IRL so it was kind of cool to talk about fish to someone who's even more dedicated to them.
LBF! ^ I was just now talking about you.. Ahahaha 'turds'. They are a bit naughty at feeding time. I've been teasing the bullies off with a chopstick so the little ones can get a decent feed, then they all stare at me with that face, as if to say, "We know what you did there.."
I actually wanted to ask whether it's possible that the two dominant fish might be a pair? They sure are acting cosy in the narrow-leaf fern clump, which Mister Blue has clearly staked as his territory. He herds the other one around a lot, too, when they're not fighting... perhaps he's a bit confused?
I'd really like to find some more info on this species and keeping them.. seems not a lot is out there on the net, that I've seen so far.
Oh, and here's some things I ordered for the various tanks..
A couple of blonde snails for the wilds & Daughter's 8 gallon betta tank. I love their spots. Daughter doesn't care so much if they eat the plants, she just wants a pretty snail, so:
And for the strohi tank, some Darwin Algae shrimp. I have hair algae that Om-Nomnom doesn't seem to want to eat, so even if they end up being betta snacks I'm hoping they at least have time to munch some of that back for me:
And for Cole's tank, the native Aussie version of the Mystery Snail:
The Waterhouse snail, which might be big enough that he doesn't harass it to death while it's munching the detritus at the bottom of the NPT.
I had to order some root tabs and stuff anyway, so I figured I'd give these guys a try.
It's been a long time since I posted a fish poem. I found this one by Miles Garret Watson today and thought I'd share it. Some poems float like clouds. Some are cool and clear as water, and some have fire in their bellies..
I had to edit one word for the sake of a terrible swear.
Sermon of an Elder Catfish
Watch where you're going, boys-
Light doesn't dance down here.
Our eyes grow big as half-dollars,
But we still cant see a f***ing thing.
Whiskers, lead the way, pull our bellies
Across the muck we make our beds in,
Steer us clear of the troubles
That shake through the world,
Especially those fast-talking gar,
Their loose lips and flash of gold teeth.
We don't want any trouble here-
Your skins are slick for a reason.
Depth is the key, gentlemen-if
They can't find us, they can't catch us.
I don't care what those heathen trout say:
The surface is not our home. Heaven
Isn't above us, the sun on our backs,
Rainbows bursting from our sides.
Heaven is deep, it's black and cold,
It's still. Heaven is everywhere
Everyone else is afraid to go.
Blackworms are really gross and make my skin crawl.
I just had to say that.
I'm not squicked out by many things, really, having a pretty staunch constitution where it comes to creepy crawlies and mucky things. But these worms are just visually tripping some primal urge to shiver and make a face.
This said, I am inspired toward some new pieces of Lovecraftian art, based on the horrid things. There was a series I planned to do a few years ago and never got around to, regarding just that - making drawings based on my most primal fears. But this entails figuring out what those are, exactly .. and I guess I wasn't in the right frame of anything to be examining my fears, as I was pretty ill for a few years there.
Having bounced back a little (as far as I can bounce these days..) I think I'm more capable of taking a lighthearted, creative approach to something like this.
Here's one of the Lovecraftian pieces I did some time ago, illustrating Frank Belknap-Long's "The Chaugnar Faughn" - can you tell I am entirely horrified by the very thought of hagfish? :D
Blackworms feel like they are crawling into your skin when you pick them up. Don't know why, but they just do.
How have you been keeping yours? I leave mine in a round plastic container with some decaying IAL and an air stone for aeration. Only problem is then I end up with a leaf and about a million worms stuck to it haha.
Hope the strohi are still doing well. My brother moved all his fish (got kicked out of my dad's house) into their tank. I now have this 20 odd cm whiptail catfish and this giant bristlenose in a 40L tank until he brings theirs over. Awesome. I wanted to use that tank for my bettas which was the whole point in selling you my strohi!
Have you managed to get your Eheim canister working yet?