Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rough Week

    A seriously rough week when it comes to fish people.  Here's what happened...

    Sunday my son and I went to PetLand in Russell to pick up my first dwarf ciclid, a baby German Blue Ram.  While at the store I waited, and waited, and waited.  I watched some woman purchase TWO male bettas.  I quickly informed them that if they were put into the same tank they would kill each other.  I have no idea if that's what they did, but they didn't really look like the type to care... 
    When I finally received service it was from the most inexperienced guy there who was obviously just trying to make a commission.  He bagged my beautiful little guy, and took us to the checkout.  Come to find out a bill that I wasn't expecting to go through till the next day had, and I didn't have enough money to buy him...
    My son and I came back on Monday (the next day) and actually purchased him, plus one Otocinclus.  While at the store I saw that one of the Rams from the day before was now dead, and had been partially eaten.  NOT a good sign obviously. 
    When I got them home I drip acclimated them for an hour, and put them into the display.  Upon the Ram entering the tank it was quite obvious that something was wrong.  He kind of spiraled down to the bottom, and immediately got stuck to the filter intake.  He freed himself within a few seconds, but long story short I ended up putting him down. 
    I went BACK to PetLand with the fish.  While there I spoke with someone else who notified me that there had been trouble with that tank, and that the inhabitants were actually being medicated at that time... Wish someone had told me that in the first place.  So I did not get another one.  I will be waiting on the new shipment. 
    I ended up coming home with two more Otocincluses, and one neon tetra ( to bring me to 25).  Today the neon died.... 
    Let's put it this way.  PetLand gets ONE more chance when I buy another Ram.  If it ends in the same way, then I'll no longer be shopping there. 
    On a good note the Oto's are doing very well.  They are a type of algae eater, and they have been doing a really great job!  Below are some pics. 

This is just a better picture of the tank, now that the water has cleared.

There are a total of three Oto's.  This is number 1.  Lol.

 Cleaning up my leaves for me. 

They sure are good at hanging on!

    Ahhh, but it doesn't end there.  I haven't seen Agent 47, my Assassin Snail for a few days.  Apparently this is a fairly normal occurance, but it worries me.  For some reason my betta tank has developed some sort of clear slime on everything, and Roo (the betta) is acting funky.  I've done a 50% water change for him two days in a row.  I don't know what is going on with him.  Annnd for some reason my 10g isn't cycling right.  I am currently conducting an experiment to rule out some things.  Arg...  Good things I really enjoy this or I might get a little discouraged.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Changes, Changes.

    So it's finally time for an update. 

    Since we last met I have completely changed the look of the tank.  I haven't added any new fish because I knew I was going to do this, and didn't want to stress them out.  All of the fish that are on my list to be added are fairly sensitive.
    In addition to that I have decided to change the brand of water conditioner I am using.  I was using the Tetra brand, but will  be switching to Prime.  It has the rep of being top notch.  I went to Bert's to pick it up today, but alas they don't carry it.  Like the rest of the stores around here....  I imagine I'll have to order it.  So instead I got API Stress Coat which is the next best thing. 

   Okay, on to the pics!!!

    Above is my general set up for the switch.  You can see my gravel vac hanging on the right, and going out the window.  That's the best I can do until I get my Python.  Man I can't wait to get it!  Lugging 55 gallons of water to that tank in one whack alone was awful.  

    This is a good close up of the holding tank I set up for the fish.  This is a cheap cooler into which I drained some of the tank water into.  I outfitted it with one of my extra filters that was running on my QT, the QT heater, a thermometer, and my battery powered bubbler.  The only thing that wasn't necessary was the filter.  I just put it on there because it made me feel better.  

    Oh what a scary sight.  The empty tank...

    All 34 fish, 1 Assassin Snail, and 3 Nerite Snails were actually in the cooler at this point.  The plants are also there to keep moist, and to also provide cover for the fish.  I really did not want the fish to get too stressed out. 

    Oh lovely....  Haha, this is after I replaced the substrate with sand (yay!).  As you can see it was pretty crazy in there

    And here we have the tank this morning.  The water had cleared enough for me to replant the plants, and has cleared even more since.  I just didn't take a picture of it.  All the fish made it through the big change.  Only about 4 were stressed enough to lose color, but they have regained it as far as I can tell. 

    The only mistake I made during this process was not watching what I was doing with the filters on the display.  I had assumed that water would remain in the HOBs unless I drained it out.  WRONG... It syphoned out as I took the water out of the tank.  I didn't realize this until I was getting ready to fill the tank back up.  I hastily took the filter media out and submerged it in the cooler with the fish.  I am hoping and praying that I caught this mistake quick enough, and that the bacteria that I spent 4 weeks growing didn't die.  If the bacteria died then I'm stuck doing a fish-in-cycle.  You know what that means???  Probably 2 50% water changes a day until the cycle completes.  Oh PLEASE let the bactiera be ALIVE!!!  I won't know for sure till a few days have passed. 

    On another note my husband and landlord are going to build me a new stand for the tank.  As you may have noticed the current stand isn't quite big enough.  I can't wait to get it!!!

    That's it for now.  I'll post some better pictures when the water clears up, and I'm sure the tank is situated the way I want it.  Thanks for reading!