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Archive for September, 2008

Ajax is certainly a jumper. This time, he’s gotten himself into trouble. Of course his tank came with it’s own little lid, however it didn’t completely cover the top of the tank, and gaps were left. I didn’t think his aim was good enough for him to get out of the tank, and stupid me didn’t cover the gaps. I feel absolutely terrible. Thank goodness, bettas have a heavinly organ called a labyrinth organ. This means that should a betta jump out of the tank, he can gulp air and get oxygen  this way. Therefore, labyrinth fishes will never suffocate if they jump out of a tank, they will die when their lungs dry up. I found him in a box with some crepe paper. He was pretty dry, only barely sticky from his slime coat. He was stuck to the crepe paper, so i put it in the water to soften, and eventually Ajax pulled himself away. The poor thing is still mainly in one piece. His fins didn’t tear off, but they spit and some rays have stuck together. His eyes are cloudy and I fear he may be blind in one eye. He appears to have minimal sight in the other. Hopefully this will heal in time, and he will still have vision in at least one of his eyes. I have turned off the filter, as he is so weak I don’t want to make him swim against the filter in the state he is in. I have also removed the carbon from the filter and administered Melafix to the tank. Melafix is an antibacterial medication. It should help prevent his wounds getting infected and speed up the healing process of his fins. As I watch him now, about 15 minutes after the incident, he has gotten most of the fluff off his body. He has only just started to become active and is begining to swim a little bit. Before he was just lying on the bottom of the tank, recooperating from the ordeal. Tomorrow afternoon I will head down to the pet shop and pick up a larger bottle of Melafix. I will probably be treating him for one or two weeks. Tonight I will feed all the fish frozen brine shrimp. I am hoping Ajax will be tempted by the meal, otherwise he probably won’t eat for a day or two. On Thursday I will be getting some live food. From what I remember, my petstore currently stocks bloodworms, black worms, white worms and brine shrimp. For now I have covered the tank with a fry screen-like netting, but within a few weeks (hopefully) I will be getting a lid custom-cut lid for not only Ajax’s tank, but for the 18g community aswell. I leave you today with this message:

 

If you’re going to have a betta, COVER THE TANK!!! Don’t be stupid and make the same mistake I did. Don’t assume it will be okay. Chances are, it will not. It is in the betta’s nature to jump. They jump from one rice paddy to the next in the wild. I’m incredibly lucky to have found Ajax in time and he will probably make a complete recovery, but if it happens again I might be too late.

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As my guppy fry grow, they are maturing, and fast! As i was watching my bustling tank after a large water change, I realised the male juviniles have begun to chase the females around. I don’t want any pregnant females, so i put all of the males in the 9g. I’m having to really bump up the water changes, as this drastically overstocks the tank, and to make matters much worse, it didn’t even have time to cycle. Of course there is no way they would all be able to live in there perminantly. My next goal is to get a 3 or 4 foot tank (42 or 56 gallons) within the next two months (roughly). I would like to get a large corner desk, put the tank on one side, and my computer etc on the other. All the guppies are slowly developing some very beautiful colours. They will make such a beautiful display once they have matured.

 

I spent the day running around looking at small tanks for a betta. I ended up getting:

  • A small 10 liter acrylic tank
  • White gravel
  • A broken vase aquarium decoration
  • JEBO JB09 Small Aquarium Light With Holder (wattage not specified)
  • A small bunch of moneywart and elodea (aka anacharis)
  • AristaPet Plant Food (fertilizer), which I am also using on the other tanks
  • BettaMin Tropical Medley
  • A few Hikary free samples
  • VitaPet Crystal Clear Aquarium Filter 200 (200 litres per hour); and
  • A betta, of course!

The light is in a slick silver hood. I’m hoping it will be good enough to support some hardy live plants. The filter is pretty good, about double as good as it needs to be, however I will not be cycling the tank due to it’s small size. You may have realised the tank does not have a heater. This tank is only his summer home, in the winter he will be going into the 9g. By next summer the 9g will be cycled with a full-on live plant setup, i’m considering a CO2 system. It will have neons and possibly WCMM (white cloud mountain minnows). During the colder months the new 2.6g will probably remain running with the live plants. Back to the heater issue, you will have to keep in mind I live in Australia, so it is now just coming into Spring. The 2.6g’s water is currently sitting at 25*c, and it’s night. I’m actually more concerned about the water overheating rather than getting too cold. I administered the first dose of plant fertilizer today. Hopefully I will get some good results. Once I have used the free samples I will report on what ones the fish like best. I do like the BettaMin Tropical Medley food for bettas. It’s a combination of small, thin red flakes and freeze dried brine shrimp. It seems to be pretty nutricious, if you read some of the ingredients:

Fish meal, ground brown rice, shrimp meal, brine shrimp, potato protine, dehulled soybean meal, omega-3 fatty acids, algae meal etc…

My betta seems to really like it. While i’m talking about my betta, I’ll take the chance to tell you what he looks like. He’s a dragon crowntail. His base colour is a deep purple-blue colour, his face is black. The fins below his body are a beautiful deep red colour, that fades into a deep blue. His tail and the fin on the top of his body are a metalic green which blends into a deep blue and dark purple at the ends. He has descent finnage and i’m very surprised to find such a specimen in a pet store (PetBarn). He seems to be quite placid and will not flare at bright objects or even his reflection. This could be a good thing when I mix him in with the tetras in the winter. He is still quite small and seems to be pretty young. He really enjoys exploring the tank and you would be lucky to catch his sitting still. He doesn’t hide much at all, which is surprising, seeming he was only introduced to the tank today. He did have horizontal bars earlier, but he is settling in quickly and they have almost completely dissapeared. The most important piece of advice I could possibly give you regarding bettas would be to keep them out of small bowls, containers and vases. They will be so much happier, healthier and lively in a descent tank.

 

I’ve gotten some anacharis for my 9g, along with another live plant with a beautiful red colour underneath the leaves. I forget the name of it. The tank is looking better with the new additions and I look forward to adding more in the near future.

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