Archive for the 'Pets' Category

Another Shot At Fishkeeping

After having mostly¬†disastrous¬†results with a saltwater fish tank in Denver I’m thinking of giving fishkeeping another try. I’ve grown up with a fish tank for most of my life and thought I could handle the more advanced world of saltwater, but I think I’m better off sticking with freshwater tropical fish. I’ve dusted off the tank stand and found a corner spot for it in my office. If I find time this weekend I’m hoping to clean the tank, equipment, and decor items and hopefully get water circulating soon. Trey has loved animals since day 1, so I figure it’s time we get some kind of pet at home.

Disaster In The Tank

Disaster! Since last reporting good things about my fish tank, it has all gone way downhill. In these two months, the algae levels have been uncontrollable at best. I tried adding a bunch of snails to the tank, but those quickly disappeared. I’ve never had good luck with any snails, and I cannot determine if either the hermit crabs are finding an easy snack or if there is something wrong with the tank itself. So that attempt to clear out the algae failed. I tried limiting the amount of time that the new lights are on, but that didn’t help much either.

So I had to resort to extreme cleaning sessions every couple of weeks. I would scrape and remove as much algae as possible, but these sessions didn’t seem to have positive effects on the fish. I think I stressed one of the clownfish into shock a month ago or so, and though I tried to help him out, he eventually found his way to the toilet bowl in the sky. Since that time, I’m assuming that the six line wrasse experienced a similar fate, though I never could find any of his remains. And just last night, I found my last remaining clownfish on the sand bed of the tank.

This is an all time low for the tank, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. The only form of life left are a couple of hermit crabs that I’ve had for a long time. It seems nothing can kills those guys. So I am considering starting over with the tank, though I will keep the live rock submerged in salt water, as to preserve any beneficial qualities left. Perhaps I should remove all or most of the sand currently in the tank, and replace it with live sand from a fish store. Or maybe I should just give up on it and sell what I’ve invested into this super frustrating hobby.

Tank Time

I’ve been spending a bunch of time working on my fish tank recently. I bought a new lighting fixture and a couple of brand new compact fluorescent bulbs with the hopes of one day adding some corals to the tank. Since I bought the fixture used on eBay, the bulbs that came with it were also used. After installing the powerful new lighting, the tank quickly developed some green hair algae followed by red slime algae. So I’ve been doing lots of water changes, scrubbing of the tank, and with the new bulbs I am hoping that I can stop the nuisance algae.

Here are a few photos I snapped of the tank and fish today. Despite the algae mentioned above, I’ve avoided catastrophes in the tank for over a year now. Which also means that the six line wrasse has been alive and doing well in the tank for over a year. And both clownfish are doing fine too. One has grown larger than the other so I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll have a breeding pair. It’s well known that all clownfish start the life as males, and the dominant fish of the group will go through a sex change to become the female of the group.

Underwater Adventures

I just finished a big cleaning of my fish tank and realized that I haven’t mentioned it in awhile. The six line wrasse I added in March is alive and doing well. I also added another pair of clownfish in June and those are both doing great as well. I haven’t had any major happenings in the tank, minus a bit of an algae problem that I hope I’m on the way to resolving. The old automatic feeder that I had always seemed to dump out too much food, so I broke down and bought a much better one. It’s digitally programmable and lets out the perfect amount of food every time. This should help control that pesky algae. Next up I want to get some new lighting so that I can start thinking about adding corals to the tank.

Tank Ups And Downs

While we were gone most of last week, my fish tank suffered quite a disaster. I bought an automatic feeder the day before we left, and hoped that I could get the kinks worked out before we were on our way. Well I guess that didn’t really happen as I had planned. When we got back into town all three of my fish were missing! The fish feeder appeared to be clogged after some moisture got into it and clumped the food together. I’m sure the little guys must have tried to hang on but ended up dieing from lack of food. Stupid technology, it shouldn’t be trusted! After mourning the loss for a few days, I went out and bought a fish to add back to the tank today. It’s a six line wrasse and I’m hoping that he adjusts well. He’s very fast and I can’t wait to see him in the tank zipping around. So at least my story ends on a positive note. And all five of my crabs are still alive. They must have found something to feed on.

Alive And Doing Well

Two weeks ago I added a couple of clownfish to my saltwater tank. Well I have good news, they are both still alive and both doing really well. These guys are pigs and eat most of the food before anything else can get to it. They are very active and swim all over the tank. They like playing tag, or establishing dominance, depending on what way you look at it. I think this is all a part of growing up, and I’m still hoping that I’ll end up with a mating pair when it’s all said and done. I finally took the camera out and spent a few minutes taking some pictures. They really seemed to like posing for me, so I’ll be sure to take more as they grow older. All of the pictures can be found in this photo album.

Even Closer

More Nemo’s

I just bought a couple more nemo’s to add to my tank. If you recall, the previous one didn’t last too long, but I’m already predicting much better luck this time around. Unlike the first, these guys are tank raised clownfish, which means that they should be much hardier than wild caught and disease free. The store I went to, Aquamart, had tons of these little guys in a tank of their own. They were all really active and healthy. I thought they were so perfect, and at a great price, that I couldn’t buy just one. So I bought two and with luck I could end up with a mated pair after they mature. I can’t wait to watch these guys grow!

Poor Nemo

Well, crap! My clownfish died over the weekend, lasting only a few days in my tank. He was pretty small and wild caught, which I guess means more prone to and often already having diseases. I’m betting that the store I got him from didn’t quarantine him in their store for very long, and he would have died regardless of what tank he was in, mine or theirs. I checked all of my water parameters and everything seems be be perfectly fine, so this is my only explanation. I guess that’s what I get for trying to save a few bucks on the fish. There are other stores in the area that have higher prices for the same thing, but I know that they are quarantining their fish. The exact date the fish entered the store is often displayed, and they will not sell them for at least a couple of weeks. You get what you pay for, right? I just hope the rest of my tank is okay and that I won’t have any other problems. I’ll probably give it a week or two before I add anything else back into the tank.

Hello Nemo

I added another fish to my tank today, a clownfish. I always have wanted one of these fish, and now I finally have one. The Clownfish was the winner of the poll from a couple of weeks ago, so it was an easy decision at the store. It looks like some people liked the Royal Gramma as well, so maybe I’ll get one of those sometime. I still have room for at least one more fish, but I’m taking my time adding to the tank.

The Cardinalfish from before is still doing well in the tank. He’s a little shy, but is slowly coming out from his hiding spot more and more. I also have five of the original six hermit crabs roaming around the tank. One of them disappeared early on, and I’m still not sure what happened to him. These little guys took out my snails that I initially bought with them. They are quite feisty and have big appetites. So I added another snail last week. This one is bigger than the others were and it seems to be able to escape from the crabs, at least so far. I’ll try to get some updated pictures soon.

Fish Finally Added

After days and even weeks of searching, I’ve finally purchased a fish and added it to my saltwater tank. The fish is called Sphaeramia nematoptera, or more commonly known as the Spotted Cardinalfish or Pajama Cardinalfish. The selection process of what stores to buy from and what fish to get has been very hard, so I’m asking for your help. You can click on each name to see a picture of the fish.