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Friday, March 20, 2009

This is what I've been doing

The other day Caleb and I went out to the garage to find the fish tank and all it's stuff. We found the heater, filter, lid, light, and box of chemicals and stuff which we brought in and cleaned up. Then we had to uncrate the actual tank. When we moved from Austin, TX to Leesburg, VA the movers built a wooden crate for the fish tank, then wrapped the whole thing in blankets, put it in the crate and there it stayed for 5-1/2 years. It was very safe there. When Caleb and I went to uncrate it, we realized that we wouldn't be able to pull out the nails with a hammer - they were in too deep. There were also some pretty serious staples holding the thing together. Clearly we were going to have to rethink the way we were getting into this.
Caleb immediately suggested a chain saw. This was not a surprise since Caleb frequently suggests chain saws - for every situation. I realized that a small handsaw would probably get us into the crate so I grabbed that. Caleb wanted to know why not use a chainsaw. That led to a discussion of the right tool for the job. I pointed out that while a chainsaw is helpful in some situations, it just won't do for every situation. He thought about it for a minute and then agreed that sometimes you need an alien plasma rifle too. Thinking outside the box - that's my boy!
We got the crate opened, Mickael brought the fish tank inside and we got it set up (it's a 20 gallon, not a 10 gallon - I realized this when I was dumping gallon number 8 into it from my 1 gallon pitcher). We've declorinated the water and added bacteria to get the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite cycle going and we're almost up to temperature with the heater. The bacteria will be ready to have fish added by tomorrow afternoon, but I'm still trying to bring down the pH. Once we get the pH down where it needs to be, we should be ready to get some fish. We are planning on moving Balto the betta upstairs to this tank (he's been through a lot, he deserves a bigger place to live). This has meant rethinking some of the fish we were planning to add to the tank since we don't know Balto's opinion of other fish. (We do know that Balto talks smack at the sofa a lot -red floral - and he'll get sassy with us if we're wearing bright colors, so I'm assuming he's not just going to ignore other fish.) After spending way too much time figuring out what kind of fish can go with betta's, we've decided on Neon Tetras (they're bright colored but they move fast and don't mess with other fish) and some Cory Cats. Everything I found said both of these work well with bettas. I'd love to get some fancy guppies (did you know there are show guppies - the idea of a guppy show just cracks me up), but opinions seem to be divided as to whether or not guppies and bettas get along - it seems to come down to individual personalities of the fish involved.
So for now we're waiting on the water to get sorted out and then we get to go fish shopping!


Blogger Rudee said...

Never having had fish, I didn't realize they have personalities. Little boys are so creative with their problem solving skills. I love the alien plasma rifle idea.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Yarndude said...

As long as you don't have too many fish in the tank, you shouldn't have too many problems with the betta. They're extremely territorial, but if they have enough space they shouldn't bother other fish (unless they're a bully.)

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Purty tank! :)

My betta didn't like the guppies I put with him. But then too, I don't think my betta liked anyone!

Cool thing about guppies is the fact they give live birth. I left on a long weekend and I had a 20 gallon *full* of guppies! They were so sweet too!

Rudee: You'd be surprised how much personality fish have! They have a lot!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Tiny Tyrant said...

Have had extremely unlucky results with bettas and fancy guppies. The betta will shred the guppies fins.

And you shouldn't have more than 20" total of fish. 1" of fish per gallon of water. :-)

We have a 50 Gal Cat TV of our own. :-)

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Pork with Bones said...

Do not put fancy guppies in with bettas. Or anything else with long, flowing fins — to a male betta, that reads as a rival.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Kathleen C. said...

Yep... what everyone else said about mixing bettas. They're fighting fish and don't like anything that appears to be a rival. No broght colors, long fins, or over population.
They sure are pretty fish for being so aggresive though!

I had to laugh at J's comment about guppies giving birth. Boy howdy, do they give birth! We must have had hundreds of guppies popping out more little guppies way back in our childhood fish tank.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous taelixev said...

So rare when I actually can comment on something other than knitting.

Bettas don't get along well with guppies. The bettas tend to nip at their tails a lot. My betta never killed my guppy, but my guppy wasn't very happy. I never tried tetras with my betta, but the corys got along with the betta very well.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Knittripps said...

I love it. My tanks have been sitting out in the garagae waiting for a good cleaning. Happy fish shopping!

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are one good woman to move a fish halfway across the country! Neon tetras are neat little fish. Good luck - hope all goes well!

10:02 PM  
Anonymous janet said...

We had neon tetras in a 10 gallon tank with a Betta. One orange one kept going up to the Betta and nipping its fins. The Betta would just swim away and the tetra would chase it! We called the orange fish Little... well, maybe I shouldn't type it.
After about six weeks I guess the Betta realized it had teeth and turned around and snapped back at the little tetra. He was lucky the Betta didn't realize the tetra was food.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't mix show guppies and bettas. Think bullfighters cape and bull!! They will very sortly become lacy finned show guppies!!

3:49 PM  

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