New Fish to Replace the Dead

Today I have five new African cichlids waiting patiently (for now) in their bags floating in the tank. After recent fish loss that I put down to a low pH and kH, it will be good to replenish the population.

Maidenhead Aquatics in Appley Bridge tested the water and told me it was in good shape but I needed to gradually up the kH over a week as it was at 5. They keep their stock at 5 so the new fish should acclimatise well then join the others in enjoying the increasing kH levels.

The new additions:
1 x electric blue hap
1 x red fin kadango
1 x fusco hap
1 x albino peacock
1 x mystery fish – they are getting back to me on the proper name!

I hope all you fish keepers out there are enjoying your weekend.

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Big Boi is no more…

My male dwarf gourami Big Boi died this afternoon. He was propped in a plant at the surface, tilted slightly to one side. I put him in a little ‘hospital tank’ and he stayed the same for a few hours then died. Poor boy, I shall miss his glamourous sparkle in the tank.

How do you know for sure the age of the fish you buy? Perhaps some fish are older as the shops wait for them to develop their showier colours, such as Betta males? I’d like to breed fish in the future, perhaps when I find my favourite types…

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Rene the Bristlenose Has Landed

I had a call today from a lovely lady at Maidenhead Aquatics with the fine news that they had a Bristlenose Catfish in stock. Nancy has been waiting for her boyfriend for a while and he is a similar size to her. The shop seems to get them in so young sometimes that it is not immediately possible to tell the sex. Rene is a beauty. His bristles are fantastic. The photo is of him in the transporting bag but he is now in the tank…in Nancy’s favourite spot hanging on the underside of the planted bogwood. I hope she gets the courage to join him. The woman who sold him to me said he had once belonged to her but she did not have any breeding success, so brought him to the shop to sell. A customer did buy him, but them returned him as he wasn’t wanted for some reason. I want you Rene!!!

I took a couple of (tank!) water samples the the LFS* today for them to test the phosphate level as I believe this is a major cause of hairy algae and I have rather a lot of it at the moment. The level was ‘high’ and all else was fine. While Rene acclimatised to the temperature of the tank, I gave it a spruce. I rinsed the filter media in a bucket of tank water, removed the carbon bag and added JBL PhosEX Ultra. It should remove phosphates from the water and last 6 months to a year (absorbs 18000mg of phosphate). I removed the carbon to facilitate the Interpet Anti Hair Algae I added to the water. The instructions recommend dosing once a week for four weeks. I’m not sure when I can safely put the carbon back in the filter basket though so I’ll have to try and find online forum advice. Does anyone out there have advice about this?

*LFS = Local fish shop. I think I picked this up from wise fish-friend Slimnexus.
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Aquarium Nitrate

I will be leaving my friend Nicola in charge of the fish while I celebrate my birthday this week, so I have made foil fish food parcels for the days I’m away. That way I can still be ‘anal’ about my fish care! I read online somewhere fishy, that the food blocks you can plonk in the tank can affect the water chemistry, so I’m playing it safe. I filled a couple of buckets of water from the cold tap, added de-chlorine drops and will leave them to get to room temp. before doing a 10% water change tomorrow after an algae scrape. The Nitrate level today seemed to be between 10 and 20ppm, but sometimes I find it hard to see… What do you think from the pic?

The aquarium is a birthday gift from my gorgeous husband so this week it will officially belong to me yay!! I’m pleased to have had it set up for a few weeks now so I know everything is stable and hopefully will remain that way. I did feed Nicola’s fish while she was away and her plec died a couple of days after her return, so I hope she doesn’t wreak a terrible revenge on my fish! I wonder if I’ll miss them while I’m away…

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George and Jim are Settled In

Speckled Jim is strutting around his manor tonight. No longer hiding under the log, he is scurrying about, climbing over plants and even climbed the glass in front of my camera. The show off. I’m not sure how much algae clearing he is doing but George is always on the job. They both posed in the same plant for this photo opportunity.

I tested the water this afternoon and the ammonia is still at 0ppm and Nitrates at 10ppm.

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