Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tank Updates: Pining Mongkut Edition

I've been in fish-mode for about 36 hours now, between setting up a new little tank and doing my maintenance  chemistry, and tinkering with the pair of them.

A few days ago, though, I noticed something that made me very happy in Mongkut's tank. That little mound right there, in that photo, is a bubble nest. Male bettas (and Gouramis, for that matter) construct such a thing when they're looking for a mate, which they only do when they're in a relatively good mood, and they know that their habitat is ideal for breeding. In a way, it's his little thank-you note for taking care of him, and I'm pleased to see it constructed so well given that the tank is somewhat overfiltered.

I was less pleased to see that my Hygrophila has died back completely - adding the water after the water change this morning actually tore the rotting plant to bits. I'm glad to have it out of there, but I'm less glad to not have a hygro, as I need more of it now and nobody in town has it.

One more small matter...
Grrr. Such is life and death in the fish business. Better dead plants than dead fish I suppose.

There's also the small matter of a new tank that I've acquired through wit, guile, cunning, manipulative bartering, and shameless reliance on corporate discounts. This tank here is 55 US Gallons. It weighs as much as three men (somewhat less than my refrigerator, when filled) and I could likely lie on my side inside it with my knees tucked up by my chest... but probably not. The whole tank, with its stand and everything else I needed, cost me, taxes in, only ten dollars more than a regular person would have paid for just the tank, lid, and lights itself. For now, the tank's just settling - I took a good long time filling it to assure myself it's secure and leak proof, and now I want the filter to get good and grungy on liquid ammonia. I've added tropical extracts and plant-gro in preparation for planting the tank, which should come later next week. Some careful testing and monitoring, and I think I'll have a cycled tank, ready to stock, before february.

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