Friday, 19 April 2013

A new hobby: Tropical fish

A new hobby: tropical fish

I have recently purchased a tropical fish tank a few months ago as I wanted a new hobby which I would appreciate and helps to liven up a boring room with scenery that is always changing. In the past my parents used to have a huge tropical fish tank with a large variety of different tropical fishes. 

As I am new and inexperienced at keeping tropical fish myself I decided to go for a stylish and easy to keep aquarium. I chose (after searching online for a long time) the Baby BiOrb Aquarium which is manufactured by Reef One

The tank is small and managable, when I first purchased it (after setting up the aquarium and allowing it to settle for 3 days) I purchased 8 fancy guppies and a Sucking loach. I have always loved guppies and I knew that sucking loaches were great "housekeepers" and clean the algae from the sides of the tank. 

I keep the tank at a steady 24 degrees celcius 

My Guppy Misfortune:
My 8 guppies lasted about 4 weeks, I made a fatal mistake of moving the tank into the kitchen, which meant I had to empty half of the water to take it downstairs as it was very heavy even for a little tank. 

One black tailed guppy lasted a couple of weeks after the rest had died, so I chose to purchase another 4 fancy snakeskin guppies. These only lasted a couple weeks along with my last remaining original guppy, why they died, I do not know. So at that point I was left with the sucking loach alone in the tank. 

A new species: Neon Tetra and Siamese Fighting fish.
At this point with one remaining fish, I chose to purchase 8 neon tetra and a siamese fighting fish. Sadly after two days one neon tetra (which was very small) comitted suicide by swimming into the filter, the Siamese fighter, sucking loach and the rest of the neons were doing well and still are. 

Trying guppies again:
After a few weeks I again bought a couple of guppies, one was very beautiful with a pale yellow painted tail. Unfortunatly I did not know that Siamese fighting fish do not like guppies, and within 10 minutes of being released one of the guppies (one that i specifically picked out of the tank) had its tail shredded to pieces by the siamese fighter and sadly died. Overnight the siamese fighter took out the other guppy. 

The addition of mollies
At this point there is now only a sucking loach, siamese fighter, and 7 neons. After a few weeks I purchased two dalmatian mollies, a male and a female. I released them into the tank and all was well, nobody was chasing anyone around. Until I woke up the next morning and found Mrs. Mollie was dead and the Siamese fighting fish was being territorial over the body. Another night passed and I woke up in the morning in the same situation with Mr. Mollie and the Siamese fighter again being possessive over the body.

I never knew how aggressive siamese fighting fish could be. 

Siamese Fighter gets his own tank:
So I decided to setup a small tropical tank to house the Siamese fighter separately. The fighting fish liked its new aquarium so much he started making a bubble nest in the top left of the tank, which I never knew they did. 

Final Try with Guppies:
As the siamese fighter was now out of the equation, I bought two very large and fat male orange tailed guppies, to start with the first two days they were fine, swimming round the tank looking very healthy. Then they started to deteriorate. They started hanging their tails downwards and sitting on the bottom of the tank (much like many of the other guppies that I have owned). Overnight one guppy passed away and I found it hanging upside down from a plant in the aquarium. At this stage I changed about 1/10th of the water in the tank thinking it could be the nitrates / condition of the water the guppy perked up for a few days sometimes swimming round the tank with the neons - but then settling back down on the bottom of the tank, and then passed away.

Sucking Loaches & Siamese Fighters do not mix
By the time the guppies had all passed away, I felt that there was no reason to not introduce the siamese fighter back into the main fish tank. However since purchasing the Sucking loach about 2 months ago, the loach had grown from 2cm to nearly 3.5 inches in length, and apparently became very teratorial. After the siamese fighter was introduced I would see the sucking loach chasing the siamese fighting fish around the round aquarium and getting his fins nipped. 

So I took the decision to send my rather large sucking loach to the local pet shop who sells tropical fish, i was rather sad to see him go as he was my last original fish, but it was for the best. But brought home two Red Clawed Crabs which I setup in the small square tank I had prieviously housed the fighter in. They had a rock formation to climb out of heater and filter. After the first day, one crab had already died but the other is still doing very well. I think they were both males and the small one was killed by the larger one.

So in 2-3 months I have bought:
1x Sucking Loach (sold)
8x Neon Tetra (7 remain)
1x Siamese Fighting Fish (1 remain)
13x Guppies (0 remain)
2x Mollies  (0 remain)
2x Red clawed crabs (1 remain) 

So as I am writing this now, I still have 7 neons and a siamese fighting fish.
And one crab in a separate tank with his own heater and filter. I am still very new at tropical fish keeping

A conclusion:
I think maybe the reason why my guppies were dying was because I did not change 1/3 of the water every two weeks. I have been doing it regularly now and all the remaining fish still seem fine. I dont think I will try guppies, mollies again as for one the siamese fighting fish does not like them, and I think guppies may be a little intolerant to water changes - or lack there of. 
The neons I must add are doing extremely well, I have about 5 females out of the 7 neons in total and they have been breeding and spawning every few weeks. The eggs dont survive due to the filter and other fish eating them, but my fish keeping cant be too bad if for one, the Siamese fighter has been building bubble nests and the Neon Tetra's have been laying eggs.      


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