Fish Tank: February 2005 Archives

The plan

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So the idea today (not sure if it was Luc's or my idea, it could have been Luc's) was to take one of the fish tanks into work. Totally brilliant idea. There's a good strong desk in between two people's desks, in a space that's otherwise doing nothing. I decided I'll leave the new one at home (so the neighbours can come visit their fishies whenever they want to), and take "tank 3" which currently holds about 30 baby kribs into work. I'll take the babies into work too until they're big enough to sell (a couple of them are but most are fairly small still), and then I'll try something else in the tank later on.

So tonight I drained their tank into a couple of big tubs, and moved the filters into the one with the fish. I'll take the tank in tomorrow and fill it and start loading gravel into it (I'll need some more gravel, a light hood and another filter) and take the babies in later in the week.

Fishy dilema

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So last night I inherited five new fish from one of the neighbours. This morning they brought the tank up.

But now I am in a dilema. Do I really want to setup a new tank, given that my current ones are such a disaster? Or do I want to try and scale back?

The new fish are two tiger barbs, a white angel, a yellow cichlid, and a huge catfish (with menacing teeth). All quite agressive fish, so even if my other tanks were healthy at the moment, which they're not, the new fish would be likely to terrorise my existing ones. The tank came complete with undergravel filter and a pH test kit. So I ran around testing all my tanks. My four existing tanks have a pH under 6, which is bad news for adding new fish to, as they'd be used to a much more neutral pH. The new tank came with some water that was around 7.3. So I really need to keep the new fish together in a slightly alkaline water until I can get the pH of the other tanks up a bit.

The main problem with another tank, aside from the fact that I literally have nowhere to put it, and would have to invest in a stand for it, and some lights, is that my water changing setup is a disaster. Even if I could muster up the motivation again to do very regular water changes, there's the problem of where to age the water, and what to do with the waste. I currently have a 30L bucket which I keep water in for at least two days, so that I don't need to use water conditioners. Then I have a 30L bucket to hold emptied water until I can use it on my balcony garden. But the pot plants really only need 15L of water per week. And I feel guilty about pouring it down the sink (well, the toilet actually) because of the water restrictions in Sydney at the moment. And bottling it up and taking it outside to water plants around the building would take entirely too much effort.

So with water changes going to not be often enough to get/keep the pH in my tanks up, the only other choice is using "pH-up" (sodium bicarbonate). But this presents its own problems. Adding chemicals, of any sort, has a tendency to throw balances of who-knows-what off. The classic example is many fish medications, which have a tendency to kill off the "good" bacteria that breaks down ammonia and nitrites. You then end up with ammonia spikes which are even worse for the fish. Anything you add to a tank has the potential to affect the delicate balances in play.

So. Even after a long rant, I'm still no closer to deciding what to do. Maybe I'll sleep on it and decide tomorrow.


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Lost another baby krib yesterday. Who knows how many other dead ones are amongst the moss. Really should try and sell em before they all die :/

And lost one of the neon tetras in the tetra tank. This is the biggest neon tetra I have ever seen, at nearly two years old. I measured him when I pulled him out of the tank - 4cm ! Noticed he was looking a bit distressed yesterday, and tonight he'd gone :(

The betta in the tetra tank is also looking very sad. He's a year and a half old, and hasn't been well for a couple of weeks.

And finally worried about one of the black angels. She's been off her food for a week or two, same as what happened to the white angel just before she died :(

All my tanks are a disaster at the moment and I don't know why. Probably acidic water from not enough changes. That'll learn me to be a slacker .

And on an unrelated topic, one of the freakiest things I've seen in a while - pictures taken on someone's digital camera of the tsunami. The people that took them died, but the memory card from their camera was recovered, and had pictures of the tsunami rolling in.

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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