Sneaky Snail Snackers

I’ve noticed a number of times recently that the clown loaches are nibbling around the apple snails. The snails are winning so far by clamping shut quickly and waiting until the coast is clear but I’m not sure they will survive the rapidly growing mouths of the clowns. They made short work of the mini snail infestation a while ago. The clowns are venturing out even more than usual now they have rainbow buddies, it’s great to see them and the scissor tailed Rasboras as part of a mega-shoal (technical fishkeeping term)!

The new fish are doing well so far, one of the four rainbows has turned distinctly orangey red, the mini rainbows are a lovely sparkling blue and the flag cichlids are happily following one another around. I noticed yesterday the larger cichlid has a small lump under its chin. I have no idea why but will keep an eye on it.

In the second photo you should be able to see Nancy the bristlenose suckered onto the bogwood with a zebra snail friend. She’s a buxom beauty.

I did a partial water change on Sunday before introducing the new fish, another mid week and also today. I am aware I have introduced a large bio load by adding so many fish at once so the least I can do is keep an eye on the water quality.

I love my fish!

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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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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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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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Frog Friends and a Dead Snail

The apple snail is no more. I netted it from the aquarium as it hadn’t moved for ages and sure enough, the protective disc at the shell opening was gone and the body looked mushy. The real clue to the state of the snail was the awful rotting snail smell. What a stench. I’m glad I fished it out.

The two frogs have survived the night. I fed them blood worms today and placed some right next to each frog but I didn’t see them eat any. They had plenty of opportunity to eat before the fish cleared the lot.

They managed to find each other this evening and had a chat about their new home. I really hope they eat something tomorrow or perhaps they are finding food at the bottom of the tank?

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Death and Life in the Aquarium

I am sorry to say that the beautiful Rene, my male bristlenose catfish, died sometime last night. He was at the bottom of the tank, lying on his back when we got up this morning. I had a good look at him out of the water to see if I could learn anything about his demise. He was lumpy of belly, but this was all soft with no hard or prominent lumps anywhere. I could see just a few tiny blisters along his back but no others. I did see some yesterday near his tail, bobbing in the water (!) but perhaps these were deflated out of water… Did he have some sort of bacterial infection or dropsy? No one knows but thanks to those who gave advice.

The good news: the community tank is doing well and Big Boi is making his largest nest EVER! The live plant stems bend in towards it beautifully and he is effectively guarding it from his fish buddies. Betty looks the same as usual; I was hoping to see a belly plump with eggs… We will see.

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Two new shrimp and a mighty nest

I really want to post pictures of the new Dwarf Gourami eggs or tiddlers but…nothing has happened yet! Big Boi has primped and plumped his bubblenest, chased all the fish in turn if they get too close and has chased Betty around a lot. I haven’t seen any dancing under the nest or egg-squirting (that should be a technical aquarist term!) I probably won’t get a successful breeding situation as this has all happened by chance. It would be nice though.

Hot shrimp update: I bought two algae-eating shrimp from the same shop I picked up Speckled Jim. There’s plenty of algae to munch on so they should thrive. I’ll do another water change tomorrow but I want to be careful not to disturb the mighty nest.

The first pic shows the lovely Betty, the second Big Boi and his nest (the mound coming out of the water has a halo!) and in third place, the Big Boi squirting water into the air! Woohoo!

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