You may remember my post about how I ended up with a 30 gallon fresh water aquarium. If not, here’s the link
http://ridingwiththetopdown.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/root-canal-equals-aquarium-say-what/ to refresh you’re memory. Clearly, I had not thought it out. I brought home the tank, started stocking a few days later and thought, okay. I’m done. Not so much.
Fish keeping is NOT a plug and play hobby. It requires diligent attention to Ammonia and Nitrate and Nitrite levels, religious water changes, correct food (and not too much of it) and selecting fish that are compatible to live with each other at a prescribed temperature, adequate filtration and so much more. Suffice it to say, I’ve learned a LOT since I started on this journey the first part of February. I’m happy to say, that despite the work involved (probably 2 hours a week at this point but I expect that to decrease in time) I love being a fish keeper. I love my fish. But it takes a village, it seems, to educate me. That and a lot of reading. I am indebted to my friend Jeff, to Cole and Ed at the Coral Reef Tropical Fish Store and an online community – http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/ and the kind, knowledgeable people there who held my hand through the process of cycling the tank (getting all the chemicals balanced) and teaching me responsible fish keeping.
Yes, I said responsible. You really have to do your homework if you want healthy happy fish – and I do.
So without further ado … here are some shots I took to show you my fully stocked tank in all its glory. My 30 gallon fresh water tank contains 3 male gouramis, 3 platys (1 male, 2 female) 3 dwarf neon rainbows, 3 cory catfish, 3 fan tail guppies (1 male, 2 females) 1 betta, and 1 pleco. I may still get 3 more dwarf neon rainbows but I want to see how the tank handles the current bio-load before I make that decision. I don’t want to make the mistake of overstocking.
The tank is artificially planted (not brave enough to try live plants yet) and is considered a community tank because I have a variety of species that I’ve carefully selected to live together peacefully. (Side note – I already had to take 3 pineapple swordtails back to the store for adoption because they picked at my gouramis and Turbo, the betta, relentlessly.) Another note: It’s very difficult to get good shots of fish. They don’t respond to the: STAY command. But then Margaret, the dog, doesn’t respond to it either
Male fan tail guppy, 3 dwarf neon rainbows. When the light hits the rainbows just right, they are iridescent all over – like the tail of the one rainbow in this photo and the body of the guppy. Beautiful!
Orange platy, Rainbow gourami, peppered-yellow platy, striped gourami, 2 female guppies to the bottom right of this photo all hanging out at the top of the tank. Most likely hoping for food!
Gorgeous shot of my rainbow gourami. They use those trailing feelers like arms. It’s so cute when a fish gets too close to their personal space – those thread-thin feelers shoot out as if to say: Back off buster!
This pretty little powder blue gourami is adorable. I sucked this poor little guy up in the vacuum the first time I did a water change. He got stuck in the hose and hubby and I had to cut it apart to get him out. I was so afraid I’d scarred him for life LOL but he’s a tough little guy and he’s doing just fine. He does, however, hide in the far corner of the tank now when he sees the hose coming.
3 dwarf neon rainbows. This photo doesn’t do them justice but it was a nice shot of them all together so i took it. When the light hits them just right their fins are bright orange and their bodies glow neon blue. Stunning
One of my 3 little cutie pies. Three-lined cory catfish, about 2 inches in size. I didn’t think I wanted catfish at first but someone on the fish forum referred to them as ‘cute, busy little guys’ so I decided to give them a try. So glad I did. I LOVE them. They’re little clowns, always tumbling over each other and always on the move.
You remember Turbo, the betta? He loves his new digs in the big 30 gallon tank
Nice shot of Gus, the male guppy. He’s so pretty.
This is my Pleco, Pete. Maybe I should have called him Houdini because he’s always disappearing on me. I swear he can make himself invisible. I’ll be looking all over for him and then next thing I know, he’s just there, right in front of me. He cleans the sides of the tank and just sort of hangs around.
He loves it when I drop in a piece of zucchini or watermelon. He’ll suck on it all day :o) He’s a little guy now, only about 2 inches, but he’ll eventually get too big for this 30 gallon tank. My local fish store guy, Ed Fisher (yes, his name is Fisher!) said he’ll happily trade for a smaller pleco when the time comes. I’ll hate to see Pete go but know he’ll be happier in a bigger tank some day.
Here’s Mr. striped gourami being camera shy. This is one gorgeous fish. IMO he’s the prettiest one in the tank.
Remember Mad Max the betta? He used to live in a little divided tank with Turbo but I learned the error of my ways. That tank was way too small for either one of them. He now lives in his own 5 gallon tank with Hector, the snail. You can see Hector on the upper part of the tank a little left of center. He does a lot of hanging around but man oh man, does he get around that tank. Every time I peek inside he’s traveled to another area. As you can see, I moved my little snorkelers and mermaids to this tank :o) Oh – and those are live plants. I figured I could give them a try in this small tank and see how things works out. So far, so good
And finally … What? Wait. That’s not a fish. That’s not even a CATfish. That’s a smug cat who didn’t want to be outdone by a bunch of mice with fins – or so he told me.
Okay. There you have it. My new addiction. And I don’t think I’m finished yet. Yikes. I have my eye on a 46 gallon bow front tank with a really nice stand that I’d love to have in my office. We’ll see. I spend so much time in my office I figure that an aquarium – to calm and sooth me as I’m working – is the perfect choice for a writer on deadline, right?
So – anyone out there ever try their hand at fish keeping? Anyone have fish now? If so, what have you got? And what advice have you got for me? And if not fish, what’s your most recent addiction/passion? I’d love to hear all about it.