Pam and Mr C Are No More. Boo.

I returned from a quite fantastic holiday and found Pam the Platy dead at the surface of the water. I couldn’t see any signs of illness (other than the being dead part) and just her tail had been nibbled. She had a fuzzy coating of mould where one side of her body was exposed to the warm damp air at the top of the tank. Yuk.

The same day we noticed that Mr C the dwarf cichlid was looking pretty awful. He had a white-ish patch which looked like a lump on his head and one of his eyes was protruding. The next day he was dead. There seemed to be a small dent in the white patch on his head. As usual with this fish keeping lark, I will never know what the problem was but perhaps a burst tumour, or conditions such as ‘popeye’ or ‘hole-in-head’ disease? Errr.

Mr C was such a handsome chap and I’d definitely get more cichlids in future as their behaviour is fascinating.

The pictures are of the late fishies in life!

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Aquarium Update Good and Bad

Hey all! There have been a few changes – good and bad – over recent months. Sorry for the delay!

Bad News

On the down side, I have lost quite a few fish, mainly after unwisely purchasing a Siamese Fighting Fish / Betta male from Pets at Home. The second day after his introduction to the tank the female was dead, a couple of days later the new male was dead. Then White Spot was evident on many of the fish. I medicined the tank (details in a future post); some died, some recovered. Mr C the male Dwarf Cichlid was very spotty and has lived to tell the tale. So too was Stephen the male Bristlenose, but he is healthy and bristling nicely.

Good News

Current (happy and healthy) inmates are as follows:

Scissor-tail Rasbora x 5 Rasbora trilineata

Platy x 1 female Xiphophorus variatus
Pam

Bristlenose Catfish x 2 male and female Ancistrus temminckii
Nancy and Stephen

Dwarf Gourami x 1 female Colisa lalia
Betty Too

Sterbas Corydora x 3 Corydorus sterbai

Dwarf Cichlid x 1 male Apistogramma borelli
Mr C or Grump

Upside Down Catfish x 2 Synodontis nigriventris

Clown Loach x 5 Botia macracantha

Shrimp x 3

Apple snail x 2

Zebra snail x 1

Future Fish

I’m planning on buying some more fish friends in the new year and I’m considering a group of Pearl Gourami Trichogaster leeri and a group of Dwarf Flag Cichlids Laetacara curviceps.. I’m still enjoying the decision making process!

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New Fish, Moody Fish and Daily Water Changes, Phew!

Hi all, long time no blog! I’ve taken a few pictures this afternoon of the tank as a whole and I’ve tried to capture some new fish.

Dead Fish and New Fish:
Big Boi the Dwarf Gourami now has two lady friends: Betty and Betty Too (yes, Too not Two!). Sadly Mrs C died a few days ago quite suddenly so Mr C the Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma Borelli) now has new lady loves as well now. Randy is also as happy as ever as a while ago I replaced the late Lemony with a new black Platy lady.

My husband went Upside Down Catfish crazy and bought four for my tank this weekend (along with the female cichlids – thank you!) They are very striking with their big round eyes, paler backs, snazzy markings and big whiskers (hmmm, ‘whiskers’ may not be the correct fishkeep’s term, sorry!)

I haven’t seen the last remaining Pygmy Sparkling Gourami for weeks so assume that it has been eaten. They were an unsuccessful addition (sorry little fishies) so I won’t be replacing them.

Male Dwarf Gourami in a Funny Mood:
Big Boi has been acting a bit differently for a week or so and seems more lethargic, mostly hanging about in a corner. He has also done some ghostly ’empty’ poops. It is sad not to see him spitting water and building bubble nests. Maybe he is fed up of me clearing out the dead plant nests as they start to rot…

I asked the LFS for advice and it was suggested my Nitrites (?) may be high but they were at zero yesterday. The pH is the same as ever BUT I was surprised that the Nitrates are high. Yesterday they were at 40ppm, which is the worst it’s ever been. I did a partial water change of course. Today the Nitrates were between 20ppm and 40ppm and I did another partial water change. I plan to do another test and change tomorrow and for however long it takes to bring it to a reasonable level. I am guilty of neglecting my testing so I’ll get the water back up to scratch and make sure I test every week as a rule.

I will keep you posted.

Egg Roll and a Tiddler:
Today I’ve seen what looks like bright white speckles here and there on the mopani root and bogwood so I am hoping they are eggs. I’m surprised the snails haven’t slurped them up by now. Two of the three shrimps seem to be on a roll of egg production at the moment. They keep fanning the eggs with their many legs. Is that why they have so many limbs?! Lastly, I saw a tiny tiddler in the tank last night after the lights were turned off. How exciting to think a fish has survived the perils of the tank. I haven’t seen it again yet though…

Happy Monday!

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Goodbye Frogs, Hello Platy Monster Poops!

As I suggested in my last post, the frogs had to go and the LFS took them back with no problem. They told me that the dwarf variety was hard to come by but I would buy some if I come across them in the future.

I cleaned the tank today and did a good water change. I’m finding myself to be more confident about the state of the tank and the inhabitants and don’t obsessively water test any more. I always do a hearty water change each week and all is as it should be.

The platys, particularly Minnie, have impressed me with their awesome pooping ability…they must be trying to cheer me up after taking the frogs back. Look at the size of that…it looks like a couple of long dashes as it has a clearer part in the middle…morse code?…..too much information??!!!

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RIP Lemony – What IS that lump?

Lemony the female Platy is dead. Sorry if this post is a bit too gruesome for some, it’s not THAT bad but be warned! She spent a night in a hospital tank with a first dose of Myxazin and her behaviour seemed fine last night. Today the plant was holding her up but I looked closer and realised she was a goner. Such a pretty fish and she helped to fend off the advances of Randy the male Platy along with the other two ladies, so I’m sure they will miss her.

She had a small white lump sticking out of her underside and it got noticeably bigger after a day. I have taken a few photos of her to give an idea of the condition. The lump was soft and oozed away from her body when I wiped it gently with tissue. Having taken the outer lump away, more white ‘stuff’ came out of the same place. Could it be fish pus?

Big Boi, the dwarf gourami, is a regular bubblenest builder and defends them keenly. My theory is that he bit one of her scales off and the injury got infected. I observed him sucking in and spitting out a scale so maybe that was Lemony’s.

If it seems obvious to you what the problem was then do let me know. It would be good to know what may have been the problem if I could spot it earlier next time or prevent it happening, or perhaps it’s just one of those things. She is now wrapped up in the recycling bin. I haven’t buried any of my fish but they will contribute to good compost.

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Handy Hospital Tank and an Eggy Belly

Lemony the female Platy was looking a bit rough yesterday and today she has a definite lump near her rear end so it was time to set up the little 12.5 litre tank. She is now on her own with a plant and a flowerpot for company but I do talk to her now and then as she’s on a side table next to the sofa – maybe talking therapy will help?!?

I’ve added a dose of Myxazin, the first of a five day course, which is suppose to help with a range of bacterial problems so I can but try.

The good news is that Stephen the bristlenose is settling in nicely and tours the sides of the tank a lot so we can see him. Good boy. Well he’s got a small moustache so I’m guessing boy…

The prawn still has a belly full of eggs. They look darker now than the whitish colour they have been. It looks weird. Maybe it’ll put me off eating prawns?

While taking pictures, although Stephen was buried in bogwood, a Pygmy sparkling gourami popped its tiny head up. I haven’t seen one for weeks and weeks so perhaps this is the last survivor.

The female betta (who I have not named for some reason) has been particularly enjoying the tv tonight. So mostly all is well.
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New Bristlenose and a Shy Sore-Bellied Platy

I was lured into buying a new bristlenose catfish today by the LFS – how dare they! He/she is about half the size of Nancy, with a similar colouring and tiny white tips to its tail. I might call it Peta/Peter or Victor/Victoria?! Or Steven. Nancy seems ok so far although I did watch her chase the new one away from the underside of the planted bogwood. There are two pieces of it and lots of room but she isn’t used to sharing. I also bought a lovely piece of mopani root (£4.99 bargain!) which is soaking in a bucket so I can see how much it tints the water; the tannins leached are supposed to deter algae but I don’t want a big imbalance of the stuff nor do I want brown water! I’ll keep it soaking a while. Also, I bought a small fern-like plant; no clue what it is but I’ll try and look it up online.

I had a good 50-60 litre water change today and replaced the white wooly top layer of the external filter with a new one. I bought some non-branded ones on eBay and had to snip a tiny bit with scissors for it to fit perfectly so I hope they will be effective. Big Boi the male Dwarf Gourami is very miffed with me as I have destroyed his nest of dead plant matter. He is determined number 7 will prove irresistible to Betty. He expressed his feelings towards me in the photo.

I’m a bit worried about Lemony the yellow female Platy as she has been hiding out in a flower pot lately. She is getting so skilled at camouflage that the other night I thought she had been eaten as I couldn’t find her! I assumed she was either hiding or guarding. Unfortunately, I think she has been hiding as her abdomen looks like someone has taken a nibble at it – her undercarriage looks a bit frayed! And a bit pink. You can just about see it in the fifth photo with Mr C the cichlid (it looks like he’s having a close look at it!) I’ll keep watching and (hopefully) learning!

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