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Well i’m afraid I have some very bad news that i’m quite upset about. Captain Gills, my fancy goldfish of 3 or so years, is sitting on his side at the bottom of the tank. He’s breathing slowly and every now and then I see him wiggle, but he’s not even strong enough to maintain his stability. I’m at a loss as to why this is happening. He has not signs of any parasites, bacterial or fungal infections. I’m pretty sure I’ve just turned into the world’s biggest hypocrite. I’m always telling people about how they should never keep any goldfish in anything under 20-40 gallons, because they’re so dirty and they get too big. I tell them about how this will stunt their goldfish. Because I have nowhere else to keep him, and I currently cannot afford to buy a bigger tank, Cpt. Gills has been living in a 10 gallon tank. Because I have no other explanation, I would say he has been stunted. I have been doing extra water changes ever since he moved in, but you just can’t keep a goldfish in something so small. My lesson- never bite off more than you can chew, and always do your own research. A message to all of you reading this- DO NOT trust the information given out by pet shop employees. While some ofthem do actually know what they’re talking about, the majority of them couldn’t care less about the wellfare of the fish they’re selling; it’s all about the money. There’s one simple way to prevent this from happening to you- do your own research! No matter how cool a fish looks, always come home first and look it up on the internet. If it suits your setup then by all means, go out and get it the next day, but if you don’t take this step it’s very possible you could come home with a predator or something similar that will wreak havoc.

   Well, that’s the end of my rant. It’s just silly that this should have to happen. In my opinion, pet shop employees should have to do basic training before getting the job.

   So, what’s next? No, I’m not buying any more fish. As planned from the beginning, Ajax (my male crowntail betta, also known as a siamese fighting fish) will go in there, along with the heater I’ve got for it. It doesn’t get too cold during Winter where I live (Australia), but it’s still too cold for tropicals, so I do put heaters in all of my tropical tanks. This will become his perminannt home. I’m going to completely wash it out, let it dry out, and recycle it before putting ajax in there. Seeming as I have no idea what happened to it’s former inhabitant, I don’t want to risk the chance of any diseases being passed on to Ajax.

   Say goodbye to Captain Gills. As unfortunate as this may be, it was probably inevitable. You get attached to something you can’t care for, or at least not for it’s whole life. This fish will be missed a lot.

 

I have updated my ‘THE TANK AND FiSH’ page. Take a look if you’re interested the tanks I currently have running.

 

Soon I plan to create a new page telling you a little big about my fishkeeping past. I’ll write about what fish I’ve kept, my thoughts on the species, my biggest mistakes, and more.  I’m also thinking about making a page with tips, recommended websites and books, what and what not to do, etc. I’ll let you know what’s happening once I’ve made the decision.

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How the tank used to look

How the tank used to look

Guppy Fry

Guppy Fry

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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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That’s right, I have reached my goal! Though I must inform you, the goal has been changed. What i changed it to was to have an aquarium that I am happy with, that I can use to keep various species, a mini display. What I now have is a very sleek, modern-looking 9 gallon Aqua One AR-380 aquarium! Don’t dispare. While it may be small, that does not in any way mean that it has to be boring. Besides, I still have my 18 gallon and I will soon be getting a 20+ gallon for Cpt. Gills. Perhaps one day I will gather up the time, money and knowlage needed for a 50g marine tank? Anyhoo, here is some info on the exciting new addition:

  • Acrylic glass, meaning it has seemless curved corners
  • A base with built-in stabalising styrophoam
  • It’s silver
  • The hood is neat and tidy and shows no cords. It houses the light with a protevtive plastic splash cover, a fantastic (and very quiet!) wet/dry filter and the non-submergable top or the heater. It has a switch for the light on the topwith a plastic casing and a very handy swivel lid along the front, very convenient
  • As I have just said, the filter runs very quietly and effectively
  • The dimentions (including hood) are (approximately) 37cm long, 46cm tall and 25cm from front to back

I have natural coloured gravel in the bottom.  I have live plants in there, including one small smazon sword and a clump of dwarf hairgrass. I did have cabomba in there, but it died (I have never been able to keep cabomba for very long). The sword and hairgrass don’t seem to be doing to well either, I suspect it is the lighting. I will experiment a little more with my current lighting, then upgrade if needed. It may also be that I have not added enough gravel. I do have half a bag spare and will be adding some more soon. At the moment I am attempting to cycle it with my last remaining male guppy and three male juvinile guppies. I have my driftwood in there. I have bought a new 50w heater and  a smaller gravel vacuume. I have been trying to tiptoe around the ammonia spikes to avoid any major health issues with the fish, however my adult blue moscow has come down with tail rot. I do have aquarium salt on hand, however no medication. i have done a 40-50% water change via vaccuming the gravel, so the tank is very clean. If it does not clear up within a few days, or if it gets much worse by tomorrow, I will drop into the pet shop and get some medication. I’m not in too much of a rush as this particular male has come down with fin rot in the past (a few months ago) and it seemingly cleared up after doing a major water change every day for 4-6 days. Let’s see what happens before rushing into anything.

 

All the guppy fry seem to be maturing very necely. The three males in my new aquarium were seemingly trying to harass the females, which is why they were put in the new tank. They are all mainly red in the tail with some yellow and a few black dots. Their body is developing a dark blue colouring. Looking down on them from above they all seem to have a vibrant, almost flourescant violet patch along the top of their bodies, linking from their dorsal fin down to the base of their tail fin. Very beautiful, especially for a crossbred batch.

 

My golden apple snails have been relocated to the 9g and seem to be very happy in there! They have had no effect on my live plants and their antennae have fully grown back. I balieve it is only the youngest guppies that tend to nip at them.

 

To everyone with a heater in their tank, I want to share my recent experience with you. yesterday i was performing weekly water changes on my 18g tank. I vaccumed the gravel. I was changing my regular amount of 5 gallons (25% of the water) and without realising, the heater had come out of the water. I went to empty out the second bucket and when i came back I heard a sizzling noise and realised what I had done. With no thought at all of the consequences, I slid the heater down into the water and It practically exploded. huge bubbles came flying up and the glass cover shattered. I immediately unplugged the device and checked what damage I had done, still unawear of what had happened. Thank goodness I unplugged it in time, the water was creeping up the inside of the remaining top half of the heater. Dangerously, the VitaPet heaters I use have no transformers, making them risky to use. Thank goodness, all my fish and I are perfectly fine. It jsut serves as a reminder of how carefull you need to be when working with electrics. I replaced the heater, this time with a smaller 100w (my old one was 150w), that better suits my tank.

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I got some rummy-nose tetras! There are five of them, just a small school, hearding around my tank. They are wonderful to watch, and so very colourful! They really do add to the tank’s appearance. I would reccomend them to anyone with a descent sized tank and peaceful fish. I have actually found them quite hardy. The youngest of the five, when i bought it home, had no bottom lobe of the tail. Within a few weeks, it has almost completely grown back!

 

As beautiful as they both are, my two golden apple snails now have antennae about a cm long. The young guppies constantly nip at them. I am hoping that once I get these guppies to new homes they will regrow and my snails can live out the rest of their lives in a much more peaceful manner.

 

My prized female guppy has unfortunatelly passed away. I believe it was likely from stress (poor thing). with only one female in the tank, the male was constantly harassing her and the young guppies were always trying to nip at her tail. She has blessed me with many guppy fry, the most recent of which in the net breeder to ensure their survival (only approx 5 could be salvaged). She was flushed yesterday, on the 5th July 2008.

xRIPx

 

My platy isn’t looking very healthy. She may be getting constipafed, though peas are not helping. on top of her head, she has a bump, and her scales are slightly raised, but only on the bump. I know it is not dropsy, as she is not bloated and her scales are not all raised. she seems to have some type of ammonia burn on the bottom edge of her tail fin, though my parameters in my tank are fine and the tank is perfectly clean. It may be TB, though i doubt it. I don’t think it’s infectios, she has had it for a while and none of the other fish have been affected by it, not even the youngest fry.

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First up, i have some sad news. One of my females, the one with many colours and the black spots on her tail, has unfortunately died after fooling me into thinking she made a full recovery from this whole ‘swimming nose-down’ thing. It was completely unexpected! It may just be that she was getting old, though i had only had her for 6 months or so. who knows how old she was when i got her. That leaves just one female and male left. I saw the most beautiful male at the LFS (Local Fish Shop) the other day. he was like a green snakeskin guppy but his colours were very light and he had amazing shimmery rainbow spots on his tail instead of black blotches. I wanted to get him sooo badly but i should have at least one more female as it is. The only reason i don’t is because i am going to convert my tank once the guppies are gone. I want a male (or female, it depends) betta, my black kuhlie loaches (of course, they are great fish and very entertaining), a small school of rummy nosed tetras and possibly, depending on how stocked my tank will be, a small school of neon tetras. More information on that as it comes.

 

After a population explosion of guppy fry (babies) I have decided to give them away.  Some to my sister’s friend, some to a few of my friends and the remainders (the majority of them, actually) to a close friend’s friend. I think i’m off breeding any species for a while, to be honest. A display tank is what i am interested in at the moment.

 

My platy has been moved from that awfull 3 gallon to my 18 gallon with great results! It truely proves that any tropical fish is so much better off in a suitable environment. The temperature has a lot to do with it.

 

A close friend of my sister has offered me a tank for my small goldie, named ‘Captain Gills’. Anyone who has played the latest Paper Mario (for the wii) would understand my reasons:D Although it is in need of a good filter (In fact I don’t believe it has any filter at all right now) it will certainly be a huge improvement from that scarily-undersized 3 gallon. In the short meantime I have put in a new filter. i used to use it in my tank before i got the sponge filter. it’s for tanks up to 50 litres (approx 13 gallons) and my tank is a mear 12 litres (3 gallons). Little did i previously know, that filter was way too small for my 18 gallon tank.

 

I have changed my gravel to small-sized black stones. They look great! They really make the colour of the plants stand out.

 

Instead of a monsterous 6 foot tank in my bedroom, i am considering a more modest 3 to 4 foot. I have found I don’t have as much time as I used to, however i still like the idea of being able to have angelfish, small schooling fish, gouramis…. pretty much any small fish that floats my boat. The only problem would be the angels, they would have to move once they get bigger, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Many aquarists would simply jump at the chance of a matured, large, beautiful angelfish (or two). The tank will still be natural with live plants and whatnot.

 

I am considering switching to live plants for my tropical tank and using the plastics for my goldfish tank.

 

I’ll keep you updated on everything. Thanks for reading!

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As you may or may not know, my molly recently came down with ‘pop-eye’, a bacterial infection. Pretty much, fluid builds up behind the eye. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, it was a downhill struggle and he didn’t make it. Rest In Peace, 18th May 2008.

 

On a lighter note, a new generation of guppy fry have been spotted! First seen on the 16th, they are growing well and seem to love the tank.

 

All guppy fry have been seen nibbling on the adult’s tails. If the problem continues and/or gets worse, something will have to be done, i’m just not sure what at this point in time.

 

Once I get the 6′, if i do end up getting it, i am hoping to continue with the guppy breeding, and possibly take up breeding platies and swordtails. My planned method is to have a few breeding nets and put them in there if i spot them before they get eaten. If they do get eaten before i get a chance then it’s not really all that of a big deal, it will be good for the other fish and help keep them happy. Live food is an excellent treat for fish. There will always be more fry. As for the angelfish breeding in the new tank; if they do, great. If not, it’s not a big deal. What may be a problem is their aggresiveness while spawning and caring for the young. Let’s just see how things turn out before jumping to conclusions.

 

One of my females has amazingly recovered from what i believe was a pregnancy problem. She was having a few bouyancy problems, but it does not fit the desccription of a swimbladder disorder. When in a resting state her head would tip down and her tail would almost appear to float upwards. I draped a net into the tank and put her in there. Just as a precaution, I tried feeding her shelled peas, but I got no results. I was expecting to wake up to a sad sight, but after a few days it appeared to just clear up. She has now been released into the tank and looks very happy and jsut as active, as if nothing ever happened. maybe she just needed a break from the others? Particularly the male!

 

I’ve just re-arranged the tank slightly. i took out some screen i had at the back to make the tnak look wider (it certainly worked!) and I moved the filter to the back corner of the tank so it could be hidden by some plants. It looks a lot better now.

 

I’m just having a little bit of trouble uploading my photos now that Worpress has upgraded it’s sight. I jsut need to get the hang of it. I also have taken some photos of the whole tank (before i hid the filter, unfortunatelly) that are just waiting to be posted.

 

I have just one guppy with a slight deformity. It’s one of the oldest ones and it’s lateral line (the line going from the body to the tail, you cannot see this in all guppies) is a bit bent. Other than that it lives just the same as any of the others. I will be keeping it. The guppies’ colours are really coming along and some are developing unique personalities. I am pleased with their progress.

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