damselfish: photo by rling (Default)
[personal profile] damselfish

I am at a crossroads of fish and books.

My 75 gallon has given me a lot of trouble over the years--failure to manage live plants, long battles with algae, and most notably, a murder mystery to baffle even Nancy Drew.

Something was wrong with the water. I knew that, because the last angelfish standing (swimming) was severely stunted. But, curiously, the water parameters all turned out fine no matter how many tests I threw at it except for an overall hardness that rocked the charts. Not just that, but the fish didn't die in the order they should have: if it's a disease or poor water quality, the most delicate die first, if it's a bully, the weeniest die first. There was no rhyme or reason. Once a month, like clockwork, one fish would die. Maybe it was a ram (delicate, invites bullying), maybe it was a cory (hardy, ignored by tankmates). For the past half year it settled into equilibrium with one angelfish and three cories. In a vast 75 gallon.

The angelfish died last week, which leaves me with a question.

Take the tank apart, put the cories into the 20 gallon with one of my bettas, and put up book shelves? I do need book shelves, I'm running out of space for books and knick-knacks.

Or... try again with very different kinds of fish and plastic plants? I know that my ability to care for fish is fine, given that the only aquarium that's ever given me trouble has been the 75 gallon, which is why I am not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.

For a while I'd been thinking about trying Malawi cichlids since they thrive in hard water, but a cichlid tank would be pretty expensive to start out. If I try again it'll probably be mostly livebearers. With plastic plants.

I'm doing good with live plants in my betta tanks, but that's because I can actually reach the bottom to do maintenance. ...And they survive with the ambient sunlight in my living room orz so much light so much algae. But in the 75? Eff live plants. Eff them.

Date: 2014-07-25 04:31 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (mischief)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
I had a lemon yellow cichlid for A DECADE who was hardy as hell. He was given to me by a friend who knew NOTHING about fish my freshman year of college. They knew I liked kribensis (I had a breeding couple once in middle school) and got me a pair of them and this lemon yellow cichlid (because he looked pretty) right before Christmas break, all of them practically babies. Well, came back and only the LYC was left. I named him Gilgamesh.

Date: 2014-07-25 05:49 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: A picture of GIR. (gir)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
If you heard about my kribs you probably heard about my breeding pair from before I went to college! I was too young to really know what I was doing and didn't expect to end up with a pair that decided to breed in my *community tank* ha. So the next thing you know they are terrorizing ALL the other fish up into the corner, including a huge angelfish, while they lovingly tended their nest. Then when the fry hatched, they lovingly shepherded them over algae covered rocks (still protecting them most ferociously), it was adorable, until we managed to move them to a tank that wasn't a community tank, ha.

They were fantastic and I adored them and I probably told my friend about them at some point and that's why she got it into her fool head to get me a pair without saying anything to me beforehand--I was NOT set up for those fish. I only had a little five gallon. There is no way those fish were appropriate to my situation, and I didn't even have time to deal with it in a good way before I had to leave the dorm for Christmas break. Those kribs were there and gone so fast that there's no way I would have formed an opinion about them from that short encounter.

Oh man speaking about accidental fishes that are also bastards, I ALSO once had--I shit you not--A GREEN SUNFISH. My roomie had turtles and she fed them goldfish and one day a little fish that was NOT a goldfish came home with them.

Which is no biggie, right, they are turtles, the fish isn't poisonous.

Except THAT fish was too smart to get eaten. And it just got bigger. And bigger. We didn't know what it was but it was too big for the turtles now and too big to live in a scummy few inches of water. So I took it out and put it into a ten gallon and it just GREW AND GREW it was RIDICULOUS. It was named Ugly Bugly. In any case what I'm working up to is: one day I found a praying mantis and took it home and was setting up a terrarium for it and my boyfriend was holding it. The praying mantis decided to fly off my boyfriend's hands...

...and landed on top of the water of Ugly Bugly's tank. UGLY BUGLY SWALLOWED THE PRAYING MANTIS WHOLE. That is how big he was. There was just a bit of abdomen sticking out of the end of Ugly Bugly's mouth.

Unfortunately, Ugly Bugly died when my other roommate was babysitting him for a week, probably due to some fool mistake he made.
Edited Date: 2014-07-25 05:50 pm (UTC)

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