Monday, July 30, 2012

Art is never finished...

only abandoned. - Leonardo da Vinci

(I'm still keeping tanks.  Just no time to write it all down.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mail Call


Thanks to a once-in-a-long-time opportunity, the fish club and I got to go in on a wholesale order.  I wanted to order most of the catalog but I peared it down to a practical list. 

Of what I requested, one African Butterfly Fish 

and three South American Leaf Fish were available.  

Incidentally, I also scored seven Pygmy Corydoras because the shop that received them ordered extra.  I had planned to order them anyway but they didn't make the cut.  

So you may think that the Leaf fish will be my cull fish I was talking about a couple of posts ago.  They will.  But so will a Zig Zag Eel I picked up at Claws N Paws last Saturday.  $9.99, best price I've seen.  I'm temporarily housing him in a 10 gallon until the 55 is up and running.

Can you spot the eel?

Just his head poking out.

I buried a length of clear plastic tubing for him to hide in and after a couple days, he's comfortable.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine's Day is approaching

The eyes are distorted by the flash.  Nest in back.

Love must be in the air, or water as it is.  I'd noticed last week that one of the two female Pearl Gourami had fattened up (usually indicating they're full of eggs and ready to spawn).  I considered moving her and the male into a separate tank but I hadn't seen the male build a bubble nest yet (male spawning indicator) and didn't know if he would be ready.   I also don't have easy access to RO water, which may be necessary to hatch the eggs.  RO water lowers the hardness of my tap water.  This reduced mineral content is reportedly necessary for Gourami eggs to hatch.

Today I noticed the male tending a bubble nest.  At first I thought he was building it, but I saw him running the females off.  He appears to be in post-spawn-egg-guarding father mode.

View from above.

 and angled from below.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Glass Tops

I finally got proper glass over the 130.  The tank being 6', I had three 3/16th's pieces cut.  One 24" and two 21.5".  The custom notches I originally planned for to accommodate the filter tubes would have doubled the bill, so standard square it is. It's important to ask for the edges to be polished or beveled so you don't cut yourself when you're handling it.

This should significantly reduce water and heat loss to evaporation in the tank and help control the humidity of the room.  Rh has gone from 55% to 52% in a matter of hours.  That will be more important in the other three seasons.

I stole a 55 gallon from Corey that I plan to house my "cull caretaker".  (With all the breeding I plan to do, I'd hate to waste an opportunity to feed a super cool predator.) Species yet undetermined.

I also picked up a 10 gallon from Ramswin to go in my yet to be built stand.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Episode II: Attack of the Clowns

My first blog post nearly three years ago asks "am I ready for Clown Loaches?" The answered turned out to be "no", but I did learn some important lessons.

Fast forward and I scored three Clowns at the KC fish auction last March. They got Ich, I raised the temp to 85F and two of them survived. I loaned one to Corey for about a month and he fattened him up with some snails he was having a problem with.

The remaining two were playing around in the 130 a couple weeks ago and my wife commented - "I really like these two, they're fun to watch. Can we get more?" I said, well, they can be expensive. She said the next fish we get should be more Clowns.

If the wife gives me permission for Clowns, I'm getting Clowns! Of course, I'm three years wiser and equipped with an arsenal of fish keeping tools that is my fish room, right?

Exotic had three nice sized Clowns for $15 each - all ready sold to the Howards, regular customers that love large fish.

Today, Corey and I met Kevin and Brandon at Claws N Paws in Neosho, MO. Great store, IMHO. He had six young Clowns in a tank at $6.99 ea. A good price. I considered getting four to round out my school. Corey said I should ask how much it would be for all six.

I did. Mike, the owner, said - "$31.99 for all of them." That's $5.33 a Loach! Lowest. price. ever. Needless to say, I jumped on it. We brought them home and I evicted the Goldfish and Madtom from 15B and did a substantial gravel vac and WC. I added a heater and digital thermometer (thanks, Corey). Once the temp got to a stable 80F, I drip acclimated them and then introduced them to their new home for the next few weeks.

Not only do I want/need to quarantine them, I want to "fatten 'em up", too. I've got some snails I can add to their tank, some bloodworms to offer, and am planning on ordering some blackworms soon.

As the Clowns get older (and bigger) the 8 of them will be fine in the 130 gallon. IF there aren't any other fish in there. I'll have to see if all 8 make it, and adjust the tank's bioload as they grow. It's likely that I'll have the 55 set up in the dining room and maybe, maybe, have the 75 setup again in the fish room by then.

I've got a couple years to figure it out, I hope.


8 Rummynose Tetra's
10 Pristella Tetra's
5 Lemon Tetra's
1 Glass Tetra
1 Silverside Tetra
4 Cardinal Tetras
1 Weather Loach

And that's why you quarantine. The Rummynose came down with Ich and soon they all did. I then blundered the QuickCure dose and finished them off. The only survivors were in other tanks. Lesson learned: Buy one species at a time and QT them properly.

The Weather Loach was killed by a Madtom. The other Weather Loach I have has ripped fins and an open wound on his back. I moved him to another tank, hope it's not too late. Note to self: do not put the Madtoms in with other Cats or Loaches.