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Twist 02-25-2019 05:14 AM

Twist's Aquarium Chronicles
 
I haven't had any fish in over ten years now and hadn't thought much about getting another tank until I happened to find a praying mantis in the house and kept it in a huge jar as a pet for a few months. After he passed away I found myself missing having a little desk buddy to keep me company while I work on art and such.

So, after considering other small creatures like rats and mice I decided I didn't have space for that, but I could fit a small fish tank on my desk. Then I just had to figure out what kind of fish would live happily in that setup. I considered small comet goldfish since I knew if I got a fish tank I'd eventually want a ten gallon again and would be able to do that within 9 months or so when our house was done being built but decided that a tank that small wouldn't be great for a goldfish as it wouldn't be able to have any friends. I considered getting a handful of male guppies instead but decided if I was going to do guppies I'd wait until I had a larger tank and get a good dozen or so of them instead. That left me with mystery snails and bettas. I loved keeping Apple snails, they were so cute and really had quite a bit of personality (which surprised me) but I went and looked at the bettas and recalled with fondness the ones I had in high school.

I had around seven of them at one time in tanks of various sizes throughout my room and remembered how each one was different in color and demeanor. That clinched the deal, now I just had to decide which one to get. I'd always loved female bettas, my favorite fish ever was Margret, a very drab red female veiltail. She was curious and gentle and I picked her because everyone said she was ugly compared to the more popular cambodians and blues. I thought she was pretty and had her for several years.

I decided this time to pick one based on color, knowing she'd be right next to my desk and I'd see her all the time. I was seconds away from picking a gorgeous opal white female who was quite small and seemed a little shy but healthy when I saw a dark flash in the very back. Curious, I picked up one of the females from the very rear and this deep, black looking fish flared up and darted around her cup, showing off a bright blue iridescence. I commented to my friend about how feisty she was and he agreed. I set her down but almost immediately picked her back up and went and got different colored gravel to offset her color before bringing her home.

I named her Seraphina after a glass dragon in a game I play with my friends and she's remained feisty and bombastic, swimming all around her tank and inspecting every corner. I'm now just obsessed with fish as I was in high school and already considering getting a male. And I know when I have enough space in the new house I'll be setting up a breeding tank to try my hand at it. I have a few months to figure out what I'll do with the fry and how I'll perform culling and learn as much as I can about breeding and rearing. And, of course, to learn how to pick good looking fish.

I've already decided that I want to breed Halfmoons but I haven't decided on color, so what I'll likely do is start on just breeding for conformation while I'm learning since breeding can be difficult and my first few spawnings will probably not have high survival rates.

Twist 02-27-2019 04:05 AM

Seraphina survived her first water change today. She was not a fan of being scooped up into her cup so I could get new water in and out but bounced back after a few minutes and started patrolling her tank again. She scared me a little by resting on the bottom for a bit, which is unusual for her, but when I went to feed her she popped right up, ate her pellets, and immediately went back to her normal patrolling.

I need to get a vacuum for the tank, I think it will be a lot less disruptive and annoying. I made due with pouring water out today since the weather's been crummy and I didn't feel like going out. It was annoying and more stressful for her though and I just don't think the water's as clean as it could be.

I did a lot of research on betta conformation and color genetics today and I think she's a decent female to breed. A show or A quality betta would obviously be better but I'd like to get a handle on the process before I shell out that much money. That and her conformation is really fairly good with nice finnage of the right length. I think her dorsal fin is not quite wide enough front to back so that would be a fault, but her overall body shape, deportment, and coloration is good.

I'm still not entirely certain of her color, however. It was suggested by a more knowledgeable member here (thanks Indjo!) that she's a black copper. Looking at other images this seems like a good guess, though I'm concerned that having black might make her infertile. If she is, I'll be a little disappointed but I'm perfectly happy to enjoy her as my desk buddy. She can continue to help judge my art. What a good little art critic she is, even if the tablet stylus is clearly something to be flared at.

blubird101 02-27-2019 09:12 AM

Love the name :) She's very pretty!

Twist 03-04-2019 07:26 PM

The Anubias Nana petite plant my friend purchased for me finally arrived today, nearly a week late. It's been below freezing every day as well and despite the labeling on the package, it was thrown in my mailbox and left there.

When I opened it the plant miraculously still looked alive, but once I get it all properly thawed out I'll put it in Seraphina's tank and hope for the best. The color of some of the leaves looks a little dark, so I'm afraid they're going to die off, especially since ice was clinging to the rock the plant is tied to.

I'll have to keep a close eye on it and remove any dying leaves immediately.

Twist 03-07-2019 06:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Seraphina seems to have scraped a couple of scales off on her head, probably shortly after I added her little stone cave and she kept playing with a bubble inside it. At first I was worried she'd developed a fungus of some kind as it was white and fuzzy looking but since she acted like nothing was wrong, kept eating, and I had reason to suspect she'd scraped herself, I decided to just observe her.

It's been a few days and the spot has gotten smaller and while white, no longer appears fuzzy. She continues to eat and act happy and normal, so I'm very relieved. I'll continue to monitor it, however.

Anubias Nana still appears healthy and hasn't had any die off despite its jaunt through freezing temperatures.


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