Angelfish and Aquariums

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Oh, our fish tank journey has become epic. I have officially looped around and become…my grandfather–and I am proud of it. Although he did raise guppies…guppies in rain barrels… I can still remember the wall of 10 gallon tanks full of fish. I remember sitting there for as long as i was allowed and just staring, watching the fish.

He died when I was eight years old. I never got to say good-bye…and in case you are wondering, my dad took me to see the grave once when I was older. Then the city (or someone) decided to move the cemetery and as far as I can tell, my aunt has decided that I do not need to know where now both my grandparents are buried. She’s the same aunt who refuses to share any genealogy information–and I have found out it’s not just me she refuses to share family information with…not that that makes it any better, but I have no time for such stupidity.

This post is about fish, not about people who are too certain of themselves being above all others.

Anyway, we started with a forty gallon tall aquarium. Gravel on the bottom. A HOT filter and a canister filter. I have two heaters, due to an ich scare. We only use one typically. Well, one of our original fish started to act…strange. He settled himself pretty much in a corner and stayed there. He would come out to eat. He moved when he was made to by other fish. But otherwise he faced away from everyone else in the tank and didn’t do much. When he stopped eating, I had a bit of a fit. We quickly re-arranged our living room and set up a twenty-gallon tank. We got it set up, (my first tank ever wit sand instead of gravel), allowed it to cycle through for three days…and by then I had to put the grumpy non-eating fish (Ven, short for Adventure) in the now quarantine tank. Knowing he wouldn’t do well alone, I pulled out Stripe, a female with a similar color pattern. Then I started to treat the tank with melafix. Within five days, Ven was eating and moving around. Now he is healthy and swimming around and all over the place. He’s good.

While treating the tank, Stripe started to act weird. Because it took Ven a few days to get into a healthier state, Stripe didn’t have a real companion. She had a wooden tool that floated randomly through the tank, usually nearby, but there wasn’t enough interaction. So I bought Stripe six little danio to keep her company. That worked like a charm.

Now, last week, I noticed, in the big tank (as we call it currently), one of the last pair of angels we bought had lost her tail. This is Speck. She is a gold-color, except for a tiny black speck on the top of her head, hence, her name. Someone picked off her tail. It could have been the corys. It could have been the other angels. Speck doesn’t seem as healthy nor to be as thriving as well as the other.

When we bought Speck, it was because she and another fish (Gobi) were small and all alone in a tank…and I mean Gobi was awful. Gobi was basically paper thin and smaller than a dime. Now, that little wolfling is about the size of a quarter, rowdy as all get out, and growing like a weed. We’ve only had him a few weeks…and he has GROWN. He is determined not just to live, but he is going to thrive…and he is doing it. This boy does not back down from any other fish, no matter how big they are, not when food is in the water.

Speck, however, was about nickel-sized and rail thin when we got her at the same time. She has not grown as much, although she eats well and she makes sure she gets her share. I do work hard to make sure everyone gets enough food, to the point where I have had to cut back on the number of times I am feeding everyone, lest I have little round balls for fish…

well, as soon as I saw Speck had lost her tail, I pulled her out and put her in the quarantine/20 gallon tank. It took me half a second to see that was not a smart idea if I meant to protect her. Stripe was much unwilling to share the tank with anyone other than her danios and Ven. And so…we quickly put together our fry net (it’s like a little room for baby fish to live in until they are big enough not to be eaten by others in the tank) and put that in the 20 gallon tank and quickly and safely moved Speck into the tank. This has suited her quite well. There is plenty of room for her…because of the slant of the actual floor in the living room, one side of the tank’s water rises higher than the other…and the danios can (accidentally or not) slip into her net and hang out for a bit and then slip out when they figure out how…speck is swimming beautifully. Her tail is beginning to grow back without an issue. She is still eating a lot better…and has become one of the beggars of the entire school.

The fish in the big tank…when you walk by, they basically swim upside down waiting for food to fall into their mouths from above. I can now hold a freeze-dried tubiflex worm cube in my fingers and all the angels in the big tank will fearlessly eat the stuff from between my fingers without any issue at all. They are dogs that swim, I tell you. I called them my drogs. Why drogs for underwater dogs, I have no idea, but it works. I stood across the room talking to them this evening, telling them I would not feed them until later…and based on their movements and behavior, they understood. They all swam down, all looked at me, stopped their feed me Seymour behavior and chilled out for a bit. Of course, thirty minutes later, they were dying of starvation (in their estimation) all over again.

That’s the aquarium update for the moment.

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