And fishtank update

I got a lot of different kinds of plants. I’m sort of thinking I may even do a second tank later, so I could use these to propagate plants for it. See, that makes splurging on them now practically fiscally responsible, right?

Well, anyway, the tank is now properly set-up with a layer of potting soil, then gravel, then very generously planted and filled with water. The new LED light came, and it is pretty nifty. For one thing, it stays cool. Also, in theory, I can program it to turn off and on, but it isn’t being simple. The directions say  I press the set button and I get a green light and start setting on and off times, except that I don’t get a green light. Sigh. I will work on it some more later, because it would be convenient to not have to fuss with it, but for now it turns off and on just fine so we are go.

I did a number of water changes when the first lot of water picked up a yellowish tinge from the soil, and now it seems over that. We’re not down to zero ammonia yet, but the planted-tank gurus tell me I can go straight to adding all my fish – the plants theoretically gobble up the ammonia. Instead I’m being wimpy and treating it like cycling a new tank, and so adding fish gradually, watching the water chemistry and planning on some more water changes if needed.

I did get a bunch of golden white cloud minnows, and they are hanging out comfortably, doing fish stuff.


So ten of these guys. Mostly they just school around, except that there is always one fish that isn’t sticking with the crowd. I can’t tell yet whether it is always the same one guy, or whether the outlying fish thing is a rotating position. But it is cool to see them exploring.

If things seem stable, I may add some more fish over the weekend. I just don’t quite know to what extent I really Believe in the experts and all. We’ll see how it goes with these guys in place. At this point I’m thinking ultimately these minnows, a bunch of maybe miniature corys, and than a school of cardinal tetras, after I’m sure the tank is working. Then also maybe something else, maybe a betta or maybe a couple gouramis. I think I’ll hold off on things that tend to multiply until I have a second tank available. Maybe.

And maybe I will set up a betta in a small tank on the table, since Tom seemed a bit unhappy that I moved the fish tank over to the window. It would give him something to interact with in the mornings. But when I look up bettas online, it says the fish likes to be quite warm, but then I see them in stores at room temperature. Hmmm. It would be easier to set him up there if he only needed a light, but I wouldn’t want to be treating him poorly.

No rush on that, though, since I don’t want to overwhelm Tom with fish, but I think he might like a small betta tank, like five gallons?, with a light and plants. Maybe when I’ve got this one all set. And I’m not yet discussing a possible second tank in dining room at this point….


24 responses to this post.

  1. Your minnow in the pic is lovely, I bet they are beautiful schooling. Do any of the cats watch the fish?


  2. They haven’t noticed it yet.
    Sisko saw it was there and new before I put in the fish, but he hasn’t taken a good look at it since then.
    I’m waiting.


  3. An aquarium shop owner told me to buy the cheaper fish (guppies) when starting a new aquarium, because if the water was bad or something was wrong with the aquarium setup, I wouldn’t be out of a lot of money should the fish die. I do love cloud minnows, though. In good lighting they look like little swimming pieces of jewelry. 🙂

    You’re beginning to make me want an aquarium, or at least a betta in a small tank. I’ve always loved fish, but there is just no room here for a large, freestanding aquarium. And I don’t like those tiny fishbowls, They look like fish prisons.


    • Next time you are down here I can pass along a small tank – I think it’s a gallon? It’s one of those upright circular ones.
      And I have leftover gravel, and can take plant cuttings.
      I think if you had it near a good light that would be all it would need.
      Maybe some time this summer.


      • Oh, that would be fun, thank you!

        I’m also looking forward to summer and a break. I’m sooo tired. Watching a fish swim in a lit aquarium sounds like a vacation for the brain. 🙂


  4. One of my former coworkers kept a betta named Sapphire on her desk in a large vase with philodendrons in it. Sapphire seemed pretty dang happy. Lived a good long time (years and years). I’ve never had a betta so know very little about them but there was no temperature control of any sort – just ambient, and he lived under fluorescent lights so no fuss there, either. She changed the water once a week, if I remember correctly.

    Sounds like a winner tank!


  5. My mom kept aquariums when I was a kid. I loved watching them. The only fish I remember was the the betta. Post more pictures please as I would love to see your aquariums and cute little fishies. The minnow is pretty.


  6. Regardless of what any experts said, I’d be cautious too after going through the experience you just did with the other tank.


    • I’m taking it really slowly. The new fish are all still there, and acting happy, so no disasters overnight. The water is still slightly cloudy, so I am still filtering, and I’ll probably do another water change today, depending on the water analysis. I am soooo impatient to add new fish, but I think it should wait until I’m not doing major fussing with the water. Corys are next. Lots of corys.


  7. It sounds fantastic! I love those minnows, too.

    We are having a heck of a time getting our water clear. I know the tank is over-crowded, but it’s never been this cloudy after water and filter changes. I quit feeding the new frozen brine shrimp I bought because it seemed to get worse right after I got that. We’ll see if that helps.


    • It’s always something.
      Could be the brine shrimp – especially if they were like a cube, the shrimps in a frozen liquid?
      Might just be too much extra nutrition hitting the water.
      Or sunspots.


  8. I had a goldfish for about 6-8 months in high school. This is the limit of my fish experience. Oh and I had sea monkeys for about a year before that.

    People used to let their goldfish loose in the water hazards in the golf course I lived near then. They ended up becoming big koi. I don’t know what they ate when people weren’t feeding them leftovers, and I don’t know how they survived the winters. But they did. Weird spotty colors and all.


    • Goldfish are really tough critters – they are essentially carp. They’ll eat algae. They’ll eat anything. Actually, probably they are better off in the ponds than in any random tiny fishbowl.

      Sea monkeys?
      Like in the back of comics?


  9. lol.. bettas don’t like to be quite as warm as i made mine (comment on previous post). I kept mine at room temp… small heater in winter. don’t remember how we managed on obscenely hot summer days.

    good luck!


    • So far, so good.
      They seem to all still be alive.
      Of course, it is so planted up that I can’t always find all the corys.
      Every day or so I manage to count up all of them, but mostly I just find about half.
      But I assume that if one died I would see it.


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