Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fishy Tails

Remember my (err... I mean Matilda's) beautiful fishtank?

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Well, the fish have been slowly returning to their maker; apparently they were getting something called nitrite poisoning. A tank normally has bacteria colonies living in the gravel and filter that neutralise all the...erm... fish excrement. I found out, too late, that when you have a new tank and dump a lot of fish in it, and the bacteria aren't all there yet to help keep the water clean, all the fishy poo turns into massive amounts of amonia. The amonia then turns into nitrate and nitrite, and (even though by that point the bacteria had been established,) that takes ages to clear up. Aaaaaaaaages and aaaaaaaaages. Meanwhile, the fish get blood poisoning and die. :/ Which they did, in the fishy equivalent of the black death.

I didn't know! I've only ever kept goldfish, the piscine equivalent of little pigs! (To be fair, the people at the fish shop told me it's better to let the tank sit for a couple of weeks to get "established," but as we all know, (or is it just me?)doing what you're told without knowing why is for sissies. Well, I found out why, and we now are left with two solitary tiger barbs... And really good quality water apparently.

So now it's time to re-colonise the tank. Matilda is eagerly awaiting the return of Rosie, Posie and Christopher from "the vet" (shhhh! They're the only ones she noticed missing!)
This is my projected fish tank population: I am allowed 12 barb-sized fish for the size tank I've got. So I'm planning to have:

4 x tiger barbs
1 x albino tiger barb
2 x green tiger barbs (all of these will form a group. At this point I have 3 tiger barbs and one albino.)
3 x tic tac toe barbs (Rosie, Posie and Christopher)
1 x Polka Dot Pleco (got that today! But I couldn't find a good photograph of it.)
1 x algae eating cat fish thingy.

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What do you think? :)

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