Since I was on the subject of planted tanks, I thought I would start with an introduction of Chance today. Seeing him out for an afternoon swim darting through his plants and flaring at his cory cat neighbors makes it hard to remember his humble beginnings and fight for life. So meet Chance Victory J
Hah-cabomba does look like pine trees, now that you point that out. Very cute!
I am itching to do just that...the organic potting soil and play sand cap. ! It sounded INTIMIDATING a few months ago...but now after much reading and practicing plants in gravel, I want to try soil...
Thanks Polkadot. I typically take pictures with my phone which sometimes if I can get it to focus correctly and fish cooperate I can get a pretty good picture. I have a Cannon camera that my son no longer uses that I have been meaning to try out and see if I can get something really detailed. I really like photographing fish because it is such a challenge. If I only had a dollar for ever tail end I get haha!
BettaSplendid I totally felt the same way about planted tanks when i started to research them. There are some great knowledgeable members on the site that I have learned a lot from. Still so much more to know, but gradually as I am trying it confidence builds so I try a little more. Maybe one day I will get it down pat. Each tank is a little easier. In fact, sorry for delay on Chance's story. I made a run to the Aquarium store for more plants last night to rescape some of my smaller tanks that had silk plants. As always, I get into a bigger project than realize, BUT I redid 6 tanks!! It is so much fun to see how thrilled the fish are with live plants. I guess that natural instinct comes out but they are hillarious doing flips through the leaves and posing on plants. Titus had a piece of cabomba floating on surface. He got right under it and stuck his head right up in it. It looked like he had on some crazy wig! I laughed so hard.
It was just a typical weekend the 1st of July and off to Walmart again to get some things for our cookout. My parents were coming over that weekend so we enjoy doing the famous fourth tradition of grilling burgers and hot dogs. Oh and you have to have a watermellon! Once again I made my regular rounds to the fish aisle. I had seen a new shipment come in earlier in the week and there were some beautiful multicolored veil tails and a nice selection of crown tails. I looked through each fish again. I always have to make sure they are not stacked (major pet peeve!) and put them back into categories so they can be better seen and hopefully find a new home. I noticed a shelf above the tanks were all messed up and pushed everywhere. Out of the corner of my eye pushed to the back I caught the site of a betta cup behind this mess of tanks. Oh surely someone has not stuck this poor fish back there? Shock was the next emotion as I pulled this little fish to the front to see. His fins looked like he had been in a blender and was so weak he barely could make it to the surface of the nasty water for air. When he floated back down he just laid to the side. He had ammonia poisoning and I just wasn't sure what else. Then I got mad! I was not going to let Walmart be so neglectful that they would allow this to happen to this poor fish and then push him back on the shelf behind tanks to die. No way was I going to let that happen. I called the department manager and confronted him. To my further shock I found out this poor little fish had been a RETURN! Seriously????? He had been in that new shipment. Someone had bought him, fought him with another fish and THEN to beat all had the gall to return him to the store. Unbelievable and what made me even more mad was that the store took him back! Now at this point I have to give the department manager credit. He turned out to be a really nice guy and actually had done some research on bettas and how to care for them. He said he felt so bad for this fish but didn't know what to do. He had tried to help him and put some melafix in his cup. I told him the fish was so weak it was doubtful he would even make it through the night unless something was done. I did not need another fish. After all I had 10 happy fishes at home and no extra tank, however I told him I did do betta rescue and thought I could help the fish. I asked him if he would give the fish to me at a deep discount and he said yes. He was so glad someone was going to try to help. I had to talk to the store manager as well but I got the fish for .99 cents. That was my gracious offer to the manager. I also bought another tank and gravel to go home with. This special fish was a fighter. He had survived to this point. He deserved a CHANCE.
I brought Chance in and set up his tank. I was still fairly inexperienced with treating fish, but had some past success that I wanted to try on him. I set his water up with 1 tsp Aquarium salt per gallon. I knew this would help his gill function and would be a preventative for parasites. I set him up with several plants and a little tunnel to hide in. I wanted to help him feel as secure as possible. As I netting him to the tank, he didn't even move or fight me. That was a real clue to know how weak he was. He settled into his new tank but was very quiet. Swimming to the top was challenging so I set him up with a betta leaf as well. Thank goodness for Amazon and quick delivery! I got an order in on some Indian Almond Leaves too. The tannis they release would be a great help to him. Gradually he started to respond some to me. He would try to hold his little head up but didn't have enough strength to be level in the water. I knew it was touch and go but his eyes showed hope.
The first night I didn't sleep much at all. I would get up and check on him periodically. Even my husband, who is not much of a fish person, began to take an interest in Chance. My daughter would also check on him. Though still not eating, Chance gradually started improving with the salt treatments, and daily water changes. He would now start swimming some and could maintain himself up in the water for longer periods of time. The IAL had also done their job and seem to soothe him. I was starting to see some clear fin regrowth as time went on.
Eating had been a big struggle. I had bought some of the BOOST vitamin I mentioned earlier to enhance his desire to eat. He started showing interest in food but would eat it then spit it out. Concerned the pellets were not staying down, I tried the frozen brine shrimp. Gradually he began to eat and his strength improved all the more. He began fighting me tooth and nail when that net came out. Great sign!!! Now I was beginning to look for new challenges such as normal fish behaviors. He would not respond to other fish at all often swimming away. Each day he got a little face time as I call it to see other fish. Nothing worked so it was time to play the girl card! No fish that I had could resist Leo. She was one of my most animated fish and always put on a good show for a boy. So romantic music (just kidding) and out comes the girl next door. Woa baby that did it for him. His first flare!!!! I was so excited. Soon after he made his first bubble nest. I about cried as at that point I felt we had made it. His colors started coming out bright. I couldn't wait to see how he would turn out!. To my surprise, his coloration was coming out red, white, and blue! Now how perfect is that for a fish rescued on July the 1st! Chance was then given a middle name to celebrate: Chance Victory
I will conclude on Chance with some more progression pictures. As you can see his fins have grown by leaps and bounds! It amazes me he doesn't look like the same fish. He is by far my happiest fish. He recently got upgraded to a fluval spec tank. He loves swimming under his bridge and flaring at his neighbors. I also have added live plants to his tank so we can continue to have pretty fins. There seems to be more clear growth currently on his fins as the grow longer each day. He is often the first fish to greet me in the am and has eyes that just smile at you. You know I have really not done much more than offer him a good environment and a lot of tlc. Love goes a long way and it is such a joy to see what he has become. Any one of us can provide that for a fish. We can't save the world but can help make things better for a fish one fish at a time. Sometimes all we need is a second chance like Chance. I'm sure grateful my Lord and Savior, Jesus, gave me mine.
As I mentioned before, visiting lps has been a fun think to do when I have a chance. I started taking photos of unusual fish and studying their traits. One day I ran across this very unusual plakat. He was a dragon scale but had facinating color patterns. The fins were orange with red dots and the edges were black. I never seen anything like him. After doing some reading, I thought it might be possible for him to be an Armageddon. This is when you have a yellow and red combination together on a fish. It seems to be very unusual trait combination and have only seen one or two on Aquabid. If you have never seen a true Armageddon check it out. It turned out he didn't meet criteria for that but i loved his different coloration. I was in and out of the store many times and would stop and see if he was still there. Several weeks went by and so this time I decided if he was still there, he was coming home. Yeah he was!! Here are some pictures from when I first saw him to separate visits to the store. You can tell how his dragon scales were starting to change over time turning more of a blue green.
Oh! Sweet Chance. Poor baby...he went through so much. I am so glad you found him! He turned out to be a gorgeous boy too- is he a "butterfly"? That would be fitting. I like how he perked up at the sight of Leo! That will do it!
And Eli is so very special. I do love Plakats! They are so free and lively!
Eli has continued to make at very interesting progressing. His white dragon scales have all turned blue now. He has turned into a very beautiful fish! He is a funny guy. If you put your finger on the tank he tries to bite it. He also really enjoys having a planted tank. Duckweed is a favorite floating plant to nibble on or hide in. Though I will warn you...a little duckweed goes a long way. It is kindof like glitter...it is always with you and you will find it in tanks you didn't know it was there Some more progression pictures. Eli is very hard to photograph because he is fast as lightening. Apparently I caught one personality picture today that shows he was not overly thrilled having a photo shoot. :lol:
One other thing I will mention on Eli. He is starting to develop diamond eye. This is something that happens in a dragon scale fish where the scales actually start to cover the eye. A fish can have limited vision, as a result of this, or eventually go blind. Fortunately for Eli, his is just starting. I am currently treating him with banana leaves. These also release tannis into the water but they have properties that created more of a color loss. This can affect the dragon scale and reverse the process to some extent. Some have had great success with this treatment. I have another fish, Neil who you will meet soon, that has a significant diamond eye. He still can see shadows or has very limited vision. Unfortunately, his eyes may have been too progressed when I got him but I have see the effects of the banana leaf. One drawback is that they can fade the color of your fish. With fish like Neil, however, any quality of life that can be restored the better.
Bettasplendid thanks for reading their stories! Chance is a trooper. I hope he lives a very long life. I am curious how long those fins will grow!! Plakats are much fun. Mine swim like little bullets zipping around then will all of a sudden stop mid swim and flare those fins. They seem to be a bit more aggressive in that they will charge the glass more when they see another fish, but they are very sweet fish. What types of bettas do you have?
Oh! You should read my journal. I have a post for each betta. Hatzallah has a story painfully similar to Chance. I don't know if he was a return but he hardly had any fins left. He looked like a shrimp! Now he is amazing! I have a veiltail (the one who started it all), a female, 2 crowntails, a plakat...and one...well I don't know what Simeon really is...Petsmart had him labeled "halfmoon dumbo" but his tail is plakat-short and his pectorals are not long but they ARE white. He is cute, whatever he is.
I love Eli's gill picture! Tell him he looks "tough" (but he is really just adorable).
Please keep us updated about the banana leaf! Hopefully I will never need it! And I hope it works for you.
Beautiful yellow fishes are not very common in our area but a few stores had started carrying them from time to time. I had seen a beautiful lemon girl awhile back and admired her coloration. Not long after I saw her she found a home which was great. The day I was brought Eli home, I had forgot a couple of supplies so ran back in a pet store closer to home. To my suprise there was another lemon little girl. Her eyes were dark and she was a feisty little thing despite her very murky water. The EE next to her had died. She was to special to leave behind so Raisa Faith, my little ray of sunshine came home. Raisa is actually a Russian name. It means friend. The nickname for it is Raya a perfect fit for this cute little girl. I had the privilege to care for Raya for about 3 months before she was adopted into her forever home. She got her own 5.5 tank and is doing amazing from what I hear.
I had done some internet reading about giants and king bettas. Their size alone was intriguing. I was curious to see if their behavior was the same or different from a standard betta. Our Petco in town carries the kings (their version of giant). I have seen some monster sized ones from time to time when been in the store. They always seemed sad as so big that sometimes they couldn't hardly swim but had to almost pivot around in the cup to move. After a long search for the perfect king, I spotted Golliath. His colors were a bit different from most kings (most common are dark blue with some red) I had seen in the store. Love his heart he looked like Big Haus next to my other boys. Clearly he was grumpy and unhappy in a cup too small for him but overall healthy.
I decided to start Goliath out in a 5.5 planted tank. This was my first attempt at real plants but thought I would give it a shot with some common plants such as anubias, amazon sword, fern, and cabomba. I started out with a gravel base. The hood for the tank had just at standard bulb since the tank was one from my dad. I upgraded to a compact fluorescent. Goliath loved the new tank. He would patrol the perimeter each day to make sure all walls were secure. My grandson had decided Goliath needed a friend in his tank and insisted we put in a Squidward aquarium figure I had. Even though Squidward was not in my aquascape plans I caved lol. Well Goliath did not know what to think of this new intruder. He would circle Squidward and get up in his face like "i am going to take you down". I think it took a couple of days before he realized he was still the King of the tank.
At this point, I'm finding Goliath to be such a funny boy. After looking into some potential tank mates I decided on a golden mystery snail. He couldn't harm that and it might provide some entertainment for him. Well it did! Now Goliath was back on military duty. He would follow that snail all over the tank. He tried nipping at it once but quickly realized it would pull back in the shell in retreat so he left it alone. The only thing Goliath wasn't happy about was that fact that Johnny the snail, whom should have been named Turbo, was getting these strange little algae wafers. That crazy fish would try everything he could to get one of those in his big mouth. What was really funny was since bettas have an upturned mouth he about had to stand on his head to get near the food. After much acrobatics he finally gave up...or so I thought.
Not long after Johnny entered the picture I upgraded them to a 10 gallon heavy planted natural tank. I did the whole 9 yards with this with mineralized topsoil and a play sand topper. New plants included cryptocoryne, scarlett temple, dwarf sagitarias, brazilian pennywort, anarchias, rolata, dwarf baby tears, and ludgwia. Don't quote me on the spelling though. Goliath was thrilled with himself as a new empire to control haha. He thrived with the new plants and had gotten quite accustomed to Johnny....so I got another snail. This one was also a mystery snail but more of an olive green. It's body was black unlike the other which was white. My grandson named this one Jammy.
One day while making daily rounds with fish I noticed Goliath acting really weird. He was up under a sword plant twisting and turning. He would go back and forth and looked like pushing something around. With further evaluation, that crazy fish had been stashing algae wafers under the plant and was trying to keep the snails from getting them!! And some people think fish aren't intelligent. He always has me doubled over laughing at something.
On a side note; Johnny and Jammy had started to become a little too friendly. I suddenly had egg sacks at the water surface. Not good so Jammy got rehomed to my daughters goldfish tank. I guess you could say the mystery is over now. hehe