Thursday, April 30, 2009

oooo ... the headaches of an aquarium

Originally uploaded by WTL photos
So I purchased an aquarium in march with plans to just enjoy swimming fish. I decided with freshwater because everyone always says saltwater is a lot of work in maintenance. So I purchased my tank as a kit which included a filter that was useless and i ended up replacing in less than 2 weeks. The heater that was included is still working so i cant complain entirely. I then purchased the gravel and excitedly wanted to purchase my fish .... OH NO you cant buy fish the same day you set up the tank? WHAT ???
To my surprise you need to setup a tank in advance , establish healthy bacteria in it and then ... you can add the fish. So i purchased some little bottle of bacteria which after setting up the tank i poured in and was told to wait 1 week . I spent a few days with an entirely empty tank and just bubbling water and then lied and went back to the fish store to buy the fish. I read online that you can add fish 48 hours after adding the live bacteria .... so I did just that. After spending over $200 i wanted to see FISH !!!
So I picked up some really cute Red Eyed Balloon Tetra's which as you can see from the photo is adorable and they are really resistant . I have a total of 5 of them now and they swim around in a school . I also purchased 2 German Blue Rams . They were coupled in the fish store so I decided to buy both of them in hopes they were a female and male. BINGO!!!! They are a couple and have laid eggs for me ~ 7 times by now. ( they end up eating the eggs before hatching ). Finally I bought 2 Discus , one is blue and the other is a mix of blue and red. I am unsure if they are male or female and this point I am just glad they are alive. After a few days of getting them my whole tank came down with ICK !!! ICK !!! White spots on all the fish , I immediately increased the temp to almost 88 deg, and added Aquari-Sol. It worked miracles and all my fishies are happy once again.
Everywhere I read discus seem to be a difficult breed to keep alive because of there sensitivity to pH, Nitrites, Ammonia, water temp etc.... So far so good!
This past week I noticed one of them was acting a little strange , secluding himself in the corner by the filter. I noticed he had whitish looking feces so I went to pick up some medicine for him . He perhaps has an internal parasite that needs to be treated with Metronidazole. I have to sprinkle it on his food to get him to ingest the medicine. (sounds easy ? its not !!)
So ....lets see .... I started out just wanting to sit back and be able to enjoy a beautiful aquarium and now I am overly concerned with the health of my fish, temp, pH, ammonia , medicine , change the water every 3 days , change 20 - 25% or more ? , are they eating, what color is their poop, does he have any white spots, are his eyes clear or cloudy, is he acting normal, am i overfeeding , am i underfeeding????? ..... and the list goes on .
I have gotten very attached to my little fish so in the end its worth it ..but it is definitely hard work!

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Originally uploaded by WTL photos
To the earthquake victims in l'Aquila , Italy

April 6-- An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 rocked central Italy early Monday morning, damaging buildings in the epicenter, some 95 km northeast of Rome. The quake seriously damaged historic buildings in the medieval hill towns of the mountainous Abruzzo region east of Rome. The deaths and damage was centered in L’Aquila, a picturesque fortress town at the epicenter, but more than 26 nearby villages were also affected, some seriously. Current Death toll 287.