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Everything posted by cathface

  1. one of my goldfish was, at least, temporarily stunted due to what I'm ashamed to admit as my neglect. he lived in what is equivalent of a 4 gallon plastic tank, with no filtration, rarely fed, rarely had his water changed, and yet he struggled on. he lived in such conditions for 1½ years, before I realised just how bad it was (I had that mindset of "oh it's just a goldfish, it'll die soon" like many fish-ignorant people); it was the fact that he survived "for so long", longer than someone who only believed goldfish lived a year max would have expected. when he was first purchased, he was around 1", with a tail maybe ¾ of an inch. after living in abysmal conditions, he stayed around 1.5" in body length, with around 1-2" of tail length on top of that. eventually he was upgraded to a 42g with 3 juvenile tankmates, was fed properly with clean water, he grew a little though the juveniles who had the better start in life quickly overtook him. the things I noticed that were different about him were that he was less agile at swimming, and that he seemed a little differently proportioned to the juveniles (bigger eyes, chunkier body, longer fins). however I believe his quality of life was fine from that point onwards, even if he wasn't a great swimmer; he definitely managed to push the others out of the way for food and was never left hungry. eventually he succumbed to something that even Alex could not help me with - he bottom-sat for no discernable reason, we treated him for flukes, we gave him salt dips, hydrogen peroxide dips, to no avail. I believe it must have been something internal, which could have been attributed to his not-so-great start in life. in the end he got so bad I had to euthanise him at the age of 2½ years.
  2. congrats on your new fish! I am curious though, as you said you got your tank at the same time as your betta - how did you cycle your tank?
  3. some great pics there, Alex! I remember when you first posted about Momo, and now look at that wen!
  4. haha I know that feeling, the first time I tried it basically was just watery jelly and I had to chuck the lot. second time lucky though!
  5. thank you both! I'm really liking how it's turning out.
  6. when I kept goldies, I used Saki Hikari purple bag, which they loved. then I moved onto making my own gel recipe and they loved that even more!
  7. sorry for the lack of updates, I've been rather busy recently! 6 weeks on from when I first got them, the lamprologus stappersi are doing just fine. the setup is pretty much the same, except I have added some plants! originally I was planning on trying vallis again now that I'm no longer having to dose ammonia which probably killed the first lot, but the LFS guy couldn't tell the difference between vallis and cyperus helferi so I got one pot of each lol. I don't blame him since I couldn't tell the difference in the holding tank myself, and I was thinking of trying cyperus helferi anyway as I heard it was less prone to melts, unlike vallis. tank currently the Gent! sadly there is still no pitter patter of little fins, though the pair are still getting bigger so perhaps they're not fully mature enough to breed yet. they've been feeding well on NLS Thera A, frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp, and live bloodworms! getting greedier by the day.
  8. I added some MTS (Malaysian trumpet snails) yesterday to help turn over the sand as I felt the stappersi weren't doing enough to keep it from going anaerobic. there was a total of 6 as I know they can be prolific breeders, all of which were alive when they went in. the stappersi seemed curious about them, assuming they were edible, and pecked away, but eventually gave up as the MTS closed their trap doors. I assumed that, by evening, they'd all have dug their way into the sand and I'd just not see them much after that. however, this morning I have found 5 uncovered snails, none of which seem to moving. could they be dead from being harrassed too much by the stappersi? I've tried googling it but nothing comes up other than "did my MTS eat my shellies' fry?" so that's no help. I wouldn't have thought the stappersi would be able to eat them because of their trapdoors. all shells are intact, but no sign of movement since I discovered them uncovered at 11am. I'm glad there's one "missing" though, as that suggests that one has escaped that fate and is busy digging around somewhere. anyway, have some pictures of Gent Stapps with sand on his head. look at those sand-digging jaws!
  9. some strange behaviour has been happening... the two of them have not been aggressive to each other at all for the entire time they've been in their tank. then today I noticed that Gent Stapps had chased Lady Stapps to a crevice in the rocks on the left. apparently he really likes the left side of the tank now, when he had been perfectly happy with the centre and the right side up until today. but then I watched the interaction a little longer and it seemed like she didn't want to back down or leave, and he wasn't going to be more aggressive than flaring and telling her who's boss, kind of like a domestic lol. eventually what happened was that Lady decided she would stay in the crevice by that shell rather than seek out another shell - I left one in a secluded-ish area just in case there were scuffles at the beginning, but she didn't retreat there. as I watched more, they just flared at each other, didn't bite or nip, and just hung around with each other instead. I don't feel like this is breeding behaviour, at least not yet, as Lady has not been swishing by the entrance of any shells, that I've noticed anyway. some snaps: just hanging?? why that shell?! that crevice to the left of the pic is where Lady goes, not because she is scared but rather because she didn't want to leave the area just flaring beside each other, possibly to try to ward my big face off, idk?
  10. I wouldn't use a stand that the tank doesn't fit on entirely as it puts stress on the tank and I'd be worried about it cracking. would your nightstand have been able to hold what, 200+lbs (factoring in substrate, decor etc as well) anyway? for anything over 10 gallons, I prefer using stands made specially for aquariums, as that way you know they can hold the weight.
  11. very well said, Narny! couldn't have put it betta(!) myself.
  12. how absolutely stunning, all of them. I lovelovelove Sakuras, never really see them here.
  13. thank you Fluffy! I will of course keep posting updates & pics. I bought more rocks today. looks better, I think, though it still seems to be missing something... not much more I can add except more rocks though? haha. and I'm pretty sure they are looking much bigger than when I got them, especially the Gent! male - approx 1.6" (was only about 1.4" when purchased) female - approx 1.3" (was only about 1.1" when purchased) I put it down to the live bloodworms I've been feeding every day (second meal). no spawning behaviour yet but I reckon they're still young. absolutely no aggression towards each other or even my hand, but I did read that they're much more docile than occies lol.
  14. I only assumed you didn't have one because of the fluctuating temps... it shouldn't fluctuate that much with a heater in so as Narny as said, I would also suggest getting a better heater. good luck with treating him, you're in good hands with Narny here.
  15. do you not have a heater in with him? he won't like the constantly-fluctuating temperature. even if he was kept at a colder temp than he would like (eg. 26ºC because of other inhabitants), at least keeping it constant would be better. I'm sure the fluctuations won't be helping.
  16. thank you both! my lily pipe's inflow finally arrived (5-10 days my butt!) and I totally forgot about it because I was out most of the day! just installed it (incredibly carefully this time) as well as did a bit of late night tank maintenance. it looks so... empty now lol. oh I also took out the vallis because it was looking worse and worse and I just thought, why bother? so now it's proper biotope haha. one less thing to dose anyway I guess. I think I'll need to get more rocks now, so it doesn't look so spacious? oh and if anyone was curious, this is the colour the l. stappersi go at night: Lady Stapps there. I'd just turned the light on to see what the tank looked like with the all-glass pipes and thought I'd snap a pic for the curious! Gent Stapps was also much paler but not quite as pale as the missus. wondering where I should put the heater now? looks a bit silly just plonked in the middle lol.
  17. just an update on this tank! I finally found out why the first occie jumped and why the other two died from a nitrite spike - the occie that was missing from the first pair, who I assumed had also jumped, had actually gotten stuck in a shell (which I thought I'd made sure couldn't happen) and died that way. that fouled the water which caused her mate to jump. then, unbeknownst to me, I added more assuming it was just a cycle bump from the filter change. they also of course died because nitrite kept spiking. it was selfish of me to buy them in the first place, I know, but I thought that I could keep on top of it, making sure whenever nitrite was anything but 0ppm, I'd do a big water change. then when they died within an hour and 45 mins of them being fine, I knew something was very wrong. how could nitrite rise so quickly?! I investigated, seeing if the corpse of first Mrs Occie was just rotting away under a rock or something, when I lifted out a shell and the most disgusting smell hit my nasal passages. yep I'd found the source of the ammonia/nitrite. I figured I never got an ammonia reading as my ammonia-munching bacteria was sufficient/multiplied quickly enough to deal with the decay, but obviously as nitrite-munching bacteria takes longer to form, all the nitrite was building up. I ended up just chucking the shell despite not ever actually seeing a dead fish in the shell. the smell was enough; it was like when a snail dies, except x5. there was also no way for me to get the fish out unless I stuck a finger in and I didn't want to do that... after I got rid of the cause of all my problems ever, I treated my tank as basically mid-fishless cycle, as nitrite was just not catching up. I also decided I wanted one of two species: lamprologus stappersi (also known as meleagris), the "pearly ocellatus", or lamprologus speciosus, the "black ocellatus". little did I know how hard it would be to source either of those. after trawling and calling all nearby LFS', and asking my most local to let me know if they appear on their next order stock list, I found a place where they had 4 in the tank under meleagris! despite my cycle not being caught up, I knew I needed to snatch them up right away, so I decided to get a pair and keep them in a breeding box in my mature betta tank, in which I'd turn the heat down a bit. from the breeding box, Gentleman Stappersi they originally got on quite well but in such a small space, Gent Stapps bullied Lady Stapps out of a shell (he tried to take all 3!) so I separated them with a barrier this also left them to get used to each other despite not being able to bully, so I'd hoped that it would make the transition into the big tank much easier for 5 days they were in the betta tank; when I added 2ppm of ammonia to the shellie tank, it would go in less than 12 hours, but nitrite would linger at 0.5ppm even after 24 hours. on day 5 (which was yesterday), I tested and lo and behold, it seemed it'd finally caught up, thank god. I did a 95% water change and Lady Stapps was the first to go in, as she was smaller, so I wanted her to establish a shell first so Gent Stapps didn't think he was some overlord. actually what happened was that when she first went in, she looked lost and confused, swimming at the right wall, until he went in, wherein he seemed to calm her down or something, and they started surveying shells together. that was really quite sweet. as they are similar to l. ocellatus, they don't form strong bonds like n. brevis do, but their behaviour was cute nonetheless. they established shells very near each other - the foreground is Gent Stapps and you can spy Lady Stapps at the back there today they were both accounted for and no signs of distress, and water parameters stable and safe, thank god. I think I would have had a breakdown if anything had gone wrong overnight yet again. at the moment they seemed to have a half of the tank each, though no aggressive behaviours are occurring if one swims into the other's half, which is promising! I bought some live bloodworms to test out (never fed live before as it grosses me out a bit) - they loved it (as did Paul Bettany). "live food, you say?" "don't mind if I do!" "let me in on this action" "argh it's coming out of my faaace!" the only issue now is that the vallis is looking miserable, which may or may not be because of the cycle bump and subsequent ammonia top ups. it could also be that I just have no luck with vallis, I don't know lol. but here's a full tank shot:
  18. if that's supposed to be like a hang-on canister, then the only one I can think of that I've seen available here is this one: http://www.allpondsolutions.co.uk/aquarium-1/aquarium-filters/external-filters/aquarium-external-filter-150-l-h.html
  19. I don't want to beat a dead horse here but honestly, like everyone else has said, it would not be a good idea to try to accommodate for another fish, especially when you can't even do that for your existing fish. I understand how tempting it is to just "get one more fish", god knows that's why so many of us have ended up with multiple tanks (myself included), but really, you have to know when enough is enough. I sneakily brought home a 15 gallon whilst my parents were away for 14 days, but I only did that because I paid for it all myself, I set it up, and I am taking sole responsibility for it. also I knew I could get away with it because my mum is a fish-lover, but if they'd told me to get rid of it, as much as it would have been a disappointment, I would have done so, because I am living in their house, so it's their rules. after living away from home for 5 years, I believe I've matured enough to understand that they may have their own reasons for not wanting certain things, and I accept it because I am living under their roof. I've wanted a cat since I could remember but I didn't sneak out to get one instead of the 15g because I know my parents despise cats and it would be unfair to both them and to the cat that I inevitably would have to rehome. their reasons may not make sense to you, or they may not have a very good reason in your eyes, but still, if they say no, then it's a no. and since your mum doesn't want anything bigger than your 55g, and you are already overstocked, I would think of rehoming some of your existing stock so that the rest don't get stunted, purely because of your (and I don't mean to be mean) selfishness. remember, they are living creatures and they deserve a good, long life too! I know how attached you can get to a fish, I was very attached to my goldfish, but I knew when to let go; I had to rehome all but one of them, and the other I had to make the very hard decision to euthanise. that entire week was incredibly heartbreaking, and I still miss them and wonder how they're doing in their new pond, but I take consolation in that I did the right thing.
  20. I assume this raffle is only available to those in the States/North America, right? either way, nice one, Ashlee, it's very kind of you to donate!
  21. I love me some Eheim. I'm pretty sure, bar two (and one came with a tank), all of my filters have been Eheims. they're just so trusty and silent and great quality, and have never failed me. food-wise, my favourite so far is NLS.
  22. I always see cutie goldies I want when I go to the LFS and it makes me sad because I know I can't even one. that one sure is adorable!
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