3/30/2011: An update on life

It’s about time for an update on what’s going on in the fish tanks.

20G Planted tank: Not much to say here, everybody is doing fine, and I’m continuing the never-ending process of trying to select the best balance of fertilizers to maximize plant growth and minimize algae growth. I think I’ve made a recent improvement, in that the type of algae that’s growing now is easy to remove from the plants. Exciting, huh?

55G Freshwater tank: An interesting development here. Last week I took a reading and I got my first zero ammonia/nitrite reading. This is actually a big deal because this is the first indication that the fishless cycle is done. I added ammonia and checked it the next day and I still got the zero readings, which served as a way to double-check that the tank is ready for fish. I started to make arrangements to get fish this past weekend, like I mentioned in my last post, but I was having trouble getting the rams. I went around to a couple more stores and it was looking like I was going to have to order them online. Then, something strange happened, I started getting ammonia readings in the tank. I have no idea what’s causing this, even though the solution is the same regardless of the cause. The worst case scenario is that something wiped out most of the bacteria population I’ve been building over the past several weeks, and I have to start mostly from scratch again. Best case is that it will be ready again next week.

In other news, one of the fish stores I went to had Bolivian Rams in stock. They were all female, but I asked about it and they said they get those fish from a local breeder. I think I’ve made up my mind that this is what I want to do, since it’s a near-ideal situation for both me and the fish. It’s good for the fish because they don’t have to be shipped a long way at any point in their life, and it’s good for me because I know I’m getting the fish very young, and they are small enough at that point that I can add them to the tank basically whenever I want without serious consequences, which I can’t do with a more mature fish like that. There’s no way to know when the breeder will have another batch ready, but I’m willing to wait, and I can fill the tank up with 50+ tetras while I wait.

One last thing on this tank, that same fish store has some absolutely beautiful driftwood sets. They’re expensive, but totally worth it. I’m going to try and stop by there soon and pick one up.

Quarantine tank: Just a little over a week until these guys go into the main tank! They are both eating very well, and appear to be happy, except for the fact that they would like to be in a larger tank. They’re even starting to warm up to me being in the room; the powder brown tang especially. They have started to develop personalities, even in the quarantine: the Atlantic Blue Tang is very similar to Butch, except he can be more persistent in his aggressive behavior. The Powder Brown Tang is friendly and outgoing, but but has a little bit of spunk in him that I’m not sure how to react to yet. I’m not quite sure how he feels playing a submissive role to another tang, hopefully he’ll do better in the larger tank with more hiding places.

150G Saltwater tank: The only real news here is an update on Ruckus. His eye sort of got worse, but now it’s looking much better. There is still some swelling, but it’s mostly gone down, and no other fish have shown any signs of infection or anything bad, so leaving him in the tank was the right way to go. Since it’s not completely healed, I can’t say for sure, but my best guess based on my observations is that he hasn’t lost sight in that eye, but he’s still having trouble seeing out of it now because it’s still not back to normal. I feel OK saying that I think he’ll be back to normal with all of his sight within a week, which is a good thing because soon, this tank will be getting two more aggressive fish and Ruckus doesn’t need to be vulnerable.

That’s all I have for now.

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