Fast forward

I’m going to bring everything up to date in this post & hopefully not miss anything out.

Well the plants did quite well for a while, particularly the elodea & cabomba. Unfortunately they were irresistible to many of the fish & quickly became tatty & nasty looking.  I stuck with it a while & tried all kinds of plant foods, but it was a losing battle. I just don’t seem to be able to keep aquatic plants alive. The only way I could keep nice plants was if I kept buying new ones to feed the fish, but this wasn’t great for a couple of reasons (one of them being that I was getting all kinds of snails & bugs hatching in my tank), so I went back to fake plants.

It was around this time that I bought a Fishbox. The idea there was that I fancied getting some shrimps & didn’t want a tank that was too big.
I set the fishbox up and let it cycle & added 13 cherry shrimp and 2 Singapore wood shrimp/bamboo shrimp. About a month or two later I turned the heat up a fraction & the cherry shrimp started breeding. I never tried to count them, or even guess the amount, but before long I had loads of them.
I wondered if it was going to get out of control, so I came up with this plan. I’d try to create a semi, sort of, natural-ish environment by adding a few small fish and a few elodea & cabomba. The small fish (neons & harlequin rasboras), while calm & non-aggressive, would still eat some of the baby shrimp. The elodea & cabomba (along with wood cave & coconut shell) would help some of the baby shrimp to hide and survive. Also, the small fish shouldn’t eat the plants, so it will all run smoothly and there will be balance and the fish will eat naturally and all will be well. You know it didn’t go that smoothly, right? I still have the fishbox and small fish, I’m back to fake plants in there too, but I still have loads of shrimps, so it is sort of working.. unfortunately I have an infestation of snails. An infestation I tell you. They hide all day & you wouldn’t think there were any snails in there, but wait until night… that’s when they come out and strategically place themselves all over the front glass so in the morning I can’t see in the tank. I’m thinking I have 2 options. Either try to get rid of the snails (or keep them down to an acceptable level), or totally clean the tank out. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Along the way I gradually gave away & sold most of the community fish from the Rio with the intention of setting up a cichlid tank. That is still the situation with that tank. Firemouths, Kribensis, platinum angel (waiting to go), gold severum & a couple of blue rams. I know they will outgrow that tank & will have to go, but I’m enjoying them until that time.
I also got hold of another long 90 that I needed to hold 9 baby convict cichlids. Again, I know they can’t all live in there, but they came as a job lot and I wanted to pick a pair. I’ll pass the rest on. It’s strange that they are not commonly stocked (in this area at least) considering how easy they are to breed.

The most recent addition is  square 90, in which I hope to try to breed either kribensis or firemouth. I’ve been reading that firemouth & convict cichlids will crossbreed. I haven’t read enough about whether that’s a good thing or not, but it’s something I’m interested in.

So that’s it. To date:

Rio – Mainly cichlids & cleanup. Sand, Fake plants, Mopani wood & a few moss balls.

Long 90 – baby convict cichlids. Sand, Fake plants, plant pot, jug ornament, Mopani wood, coconut shell & a few moss balls.

Square 90 – Pair of firemouth cichlids. Medium/fine gravel, Fake plants, plant pot, Easter island head ornament.

Fishbox – Neon tetra, harlequin rasbora, flying fox, cherry shrimp, wood shrimp, 50 million snails (Including a couple of assassins that I forgot to mention. They didn’t do much… I need an army of them), sand, fake plants, wood & a few moss balls.

Was it obvious that I wanted to get that out of the way? 🙂

(Click image for full size)

Nikon 111_50pc


Reemergence from fishlessness

The first tank I got hold of was the Rio. It came ready to go, with a mature external Eheim pro 2 filter, heater, pumps & such, not to mention a big bag full of various plastic plants & tank decorations.
It didn’t need much in the way of cycling as the filter was full of the good stuff, but I let it run for a couple of weeks with nothing in but a few snails.

Juwel Rio
Juwel Rio

Once the water all checked out OK I started to add fish, as you do. I can’t remember what order I bought what, but I ended up with the usual, peaceful community tank. Swordtails, Cardinals, Ruby shark, Bala sharks, Clown loach, Corys, Gouramis & such.
As you can see I started off with all fake plants, mainly because they came with the tank. I did consider starting off with real plants, but I was too keen to get fish.
So, the fish all settled & everything is nice, running smoothly & I’m happy… for a while.
It’s not long though before I want more to do than just feed them & do water changes, so I decide to get real plants. Real plants are nicer, they’re real & beneficial & more natural… So I planted.


As soon as I’d finished planting I wasn’t happy with it. It looks too organised. Apparently they should spread themselves about, so maybe it’ll be OK.

(As always, click images for full size)

Here we are then.

While reading through some of my old blog posts and browsing through other people’s, I decided that I need a blog about something specific, as opposed to just my usual rantings & grumblings about silly things. While I will still keep the other blog going, I intend to focus more on this as it is more ongoing and will hopefully offer more opportunities for input.

As you may have guessed this blog is all about fish. More specifically, my fish. How exciting for you.

When I was quite young my parents kept tropical fish & I was always fascinated by them, so it’s no surprise that later in life I decided to keep my own. I started off badly, as many do, and didn’t really know what I was doing. When I got my first tank it was simply a case of ‘Fill it with water, put in a heater & filter and throw in a whole load of the prettiest fish I could find’. That didn’t work out too well for me or the fish. I’m pleased to say that having learned a few hard lessons along the way, I’m now a much more competent aquarist. I’m certain that my current stock must be pleased too.

I am no ‘expert’ and am still very much in the early learning stages concerning many parts of the hobby. I will mostly be sticking to what I know from my own experiences, but anything else I mention or show will (where possible) be attributed/linked to the relevent people/places. I will be concentrating on fresh water tropicals and coldwater fish. Don’t be put off if you’re a marine enthusiast though, I will be covering that at a later date.

So OK, this isn’t going to be something you’ve never seen before. Nothing new or mind-blowingly original, but just a personal record or diary of my experiences, purchases, discoveries & such that you are welcome to read and comment on if you wish. I welcome all comments & am always open to advice from people who have more experience or have just found better ways to do things or whatever.
As I only recently decided to start this blog, I obviously had to mark a point in time for it to begin. I considered just starting from now & just talk about whatever happens from today, but I thought that as I had a long break from keeping aquariums until fairly recently I would start from maybe a year or so ago. I’ll need to check the dates on the photo’s, but that’s roughly when I started seriously getting into it again.
Of course, I can’t remember any interesting specific events and dates from back then, so my intention is to run through it fairly quickly up to the here & now just so you have an idea of how things got to where they did.

Without further ado…

My current stock:

Firemouth cichlids
Convict cichlids
Gold severums
German blue rams
Platinum angelfish

Cleanup crew
Common plecos (Hypostomus)
Bristlenose plecos
Bronze corydoras
Flying foxes (Kuonobarbi)
Kuhli loach
Cherry shrimp
Bamboo/Wood shrimp

MIsc others
Ruby shark
Clown loach
Cardinal tetra
Neon tetra
Harlequin rasbora
Scissortail rasbora
Tiger barb
Honey gourami

Hibuna (Goldfish)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

For this photo challenge I couldn’t decide which of the following photo’s to use, so I used all three.

I wasn’t sure whether to use the moon photo for this challenge, but decided I would as it is undeniably ‘up’.

The next two photo’s are not quite as ‘up’ as the first, but I enjoy taking photo’s from these sort of angles. I would have liked to taken some from the top looking down too, but that was not possible with either of these subjects.

This is Herringfleet Smock Mill in Suffolk. It stands in marshland beside the Norfolk Broads (England, UK)

Just some spiral steps attached to a building on the beach at Aldeburgh in Suffolk (England, UK)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers

After wandering around a garden center for a couple of hours with my camera, taking quite a lot of photo’s of various flowers and not being completely happy with any of the results, I ended up taking a few of some roses growing in my garden and settled with this one.

As I took this fairly close, you can’t see just how huge and rambling this bush has become over the years. It looks wild, but I like it like that so I do very little to it & prefer to let it just go where it likes.

Facebook – They make it up as they go

I’ve had a facebook account for some time now and have on many occasions joined different groups & pages for different reasons. One of the main types of group I follow is pages that allow you space to sell things.
There is a particular group that covers various different regions to allow people from various places to advertise in their area and/or other areas. I joined around 10 of the regions close to me (including my own of course) so that I had a nice wide area to offer my items for sale.
The way these work is basically you upload a photo of the item you want to sell and add a little text to it (how great it is, how old it is, size, price etc) and publish it. Once published it should be visible on your wall and on the wall of the ‘For sale’ page that you post to.
On each different page for each region there is the option to upload a photo and share it with that page. However, to save a lot of time & hassle many people create a ‘For sale’ folder on their own facebook profile and simply drop the link to whatever it is they’re selling in whatever group they want to advertise it.
I did this successfully on several occasions, dropping the link to various items in anything up to 10 pages/groups at a time with no problem whatsoever… Until, one day recently.
On this particular day I did exactly the same thing, but actually dropped the link in fewer places than usual. 5 to be exact. When I tried to put another one into another page I had a message pop up telling me that it looks like I’m spamming and I have been banned from posting on walls for 15 days. Nice huh?

I tried to contact a human at facebook help centre, but that was, on reflection, a really stupid waste of time. Of course I didn’t get a reply. Oh I had the email telling me that they had received my message and that while they couldn’t always respond to each individual case, they would look at it. Well thanks for that.
So anyway I left it at that & logged out.

Next day I log into facebook and have actually forgotten that I was banned from posting on walls. I looked at a few of the humour pages that I have subscribed to and even managed to comment on a few of them. Then, all of a sudden, facebook remembers that I’m not supposed to be doing that & throws a message up saying something like “Hey, you can’t do that, we told you before that you are restricted from doing this because of your previous spammy & irrelevant posts”. WHAT? Spammy & irrelevant? Cheeky bleepers.

Well I decided that if I was being punished for using the features of the site & being prevented from socializing on a social network site that I wasn’t going to stand for it. So I sat down.

I decided to abandon that account and start a new one, which is what I did.
The only problem with that is that I have to now start building my profile & pages up again. Adding new photo’s & such and also making sure that any other applications/sites/etc that are linked to facebook are linked to the new account.

This is partly the reason for this blog entry. I want to make sure that I am linked properly here to the new account. If I’m not then this will have been a monumental waste of time. Wish me luck.

I’m posting every week in 2011

I started this blog ages ago and haven’t really added much to it in all that time. So I decided to try and add more content more often. To help me do this I looked for some inspiration within the WordPress pages & found PostADay & PostAWeek.
I can’t commit to posting once a day, but I think I can manage to get something on here at least once a week, so I decided to sign up for PostAWeek. That means I will be posting on this blog at least once a week for all of 2011. Depending on how this goes I’ll see if I continue next year.

I will be making use of The Daily Post and other bloggers who are also doing this. It would be nice to get some feedback, comments etc. So if you don’t already read my blog, please have a look. Any & all encouragement is greatly welcomed.