• They’ve Arrived!

    A Story In Photos

    The FedEx driver was very worried about whether or not the contents of this box were going to be okay. He was holding it protectively until I assured him I would unpack then immediately and they would be fine. He handed me the box over my gate and we went our separate ways.

    Upon opening the box, the first thing I saw was an interior box made out of styrofoam. This wasn’t my first time unpacking mail-order fish, but its always kind of exciting!

    I lifted off the top piece of styrofoam and saw 4 bags, inflated with air, snuggly packed in the box. Because they were all triple bagged, I couldn’t really see the fish inside the bags clearly except to see that they were all alive and didn’t appear to be too distressed.

    I floated the bags on the surface of the aquarium to bring the temperature of the water in the bags to the same temperature as the water in the aquarium. This takes about 20 minutes or so.

    After I had temperature acclimated my new babies, I carefully cut the bags open one at a time and reached in with one hand to carefully scoop each fish out of the bag and release it into the tank. The dirty water in the bags was thrown out.

    Normally, I would house new fish in a quarantine tank for a few weeks, but all of my fish have come directly from King Koi Goldfish and they have already gone though a 2 week quarantine where they’ve been treated for parasites and illness. I trust KKG to send me health fish and all these fish look to be in great health.

    Fish from Petsmart? They would absolutely be put in quarantine!

    I gave my new beauties several hours to settle in before I gave them a light dinner. The demekinis very bold, and was immediately swimming in the front of the tank. The little ranchu and the two tiny pearlscales are much shyer, but tonight before I turned out their light, I saw the tiny babies swimming more towards the front.

    Here’s a (rather shaky) video of everyone swimming around.

    I had a few comments that I really should switch to a canister filter now and I am- I have one on order and it should be here in about 10 days. I’m super excited about some other planned upgrades to the goldfish tank as well!

    A year ago I thought goldfish were cool, but I never realized how fulfilling they are as pets. They’re like sweet little water piggies, with the fancies being a bit bumbling and clumsy. I love them so much!

  • New Friends, Old Friends

    This is mostly going to be a photo dump. I’ve got some new goldfish friends coming probably on Tuesday afternoon. Two of which I selected the exact fish, and 2 which the good folks at King Koi & Goldfish will pick out for me.

    The tank of little orange and white pearlscales is where they will choose two little guys for me. The demekin and ranchu I specifically chose. I’m super excited to see them arrive!

    Here’s a berried mama shrimp, a juvenile shrimp, and the quick little blurs of some of the 15+ new platy fry I had born two nights ago. I finally stuck my arm in there and fished out the plant weight rings that no longer have plants in them, the dead root clusters from plants that did not survive, a bulb that was half gone, and I gave the tank a really good cleaning.

    I have so many mystery snails in there that my nitrate levels are way too high after a week, so last night I drained the tank to 30%, refilled it, and drained it again, giving it a 90% water change. That got my nitrates down to 5 ppm, so hopefully if I keep doing double water changes I can keep things under control and not lose any more platties.

    I found and removed 4 mystery snail egg clusters from the living room tank this evening and I need to remove the hood from the other two tanks and check them for eggs too. I do NOT need any more mystery snails! Ideally I would like 3 snails per tank and I have 15 with the goldfish, 5 with the cory cats, and there must be 40 in the the platties.

    Okay. one last photo. My boys were trying to tell me they wanted to come back inside this morning… LOL.

    They’ve got both their big heads shoved thru the window. Hey! Mama! We’re done with outside now, okay?

  • Today Can Eat a Bag of Dicks

    Today started out okay. Tejony didn’t fuss too much, the weather was good enough the boys could spend a few hours outside and I had tasty leftovers for breakfast.

    But it didn’t stay a good day. Sunday night I noticed a little fungus growing on Tank’s wen. That was after I saw some on a snail’s shell. I immediately started treating the tank with malachite green and aquarium salt. Last night I noticed Tank looked a little bloated, but maybe it was my imagination. He was still acting normally.

    At noon today, Tank was horribly distended, and starting to bottom sit. I gently scooped him up in my hand, and there was no pineconing, no discoloration or any obvious things wrong except the tiny bit of fungus, and his swollen body. I was already doing water changes every 12 hours since I started treating the tank. Water parameters were pristine.

    By 5pm, Tank was even more swollen. Like a water balloon about to burst, and he was dead. His body didn’t float and was very heavy, and I can only assume the swelling was some horrible fluid retention. I have no idea what caused this or why it took him so quickly, but he was my favorite fish.

    I’ll do another water change tonight, and treat for fungus tomorrow afternoon and the next day with more water changes. I’m crushed, because Tank was the fish that made me definitely decide to jump into fancy goldfish. He looked just like a little black manatee.

    Swim in peace, little dude.

  • This Week

    This week has been pretty good so far. I know it’s only Tuesday night, but I mean, that’s almost halfway through.

    Monday morning I took a much needed shower, and then fixed Rafael’s TV which he claimed for broken for 4 days. It was not broken; he just changed the input source and didn’t know it. A five second fix. Easy peasey!

    I was running late by then so I missed lecture and got out of lab early. Then I went to the barber shop and got my hair cut. I feel 100% more human, and way less muppet.

    I popped by a few thrift shops but no one had anything I wanted. Then I took myself to lunch at Applebee’s. It’s not fancy but I just wanted to have a nicer, sit-down meal, even if it was by myself. Then I went home.

    Last week I had picked up 3 Bolivian Ram cichlids and 6 panda cories. Almost immediately, I lost one of the cories and all three of the rams thanks to fungus that came with the female rams. Ugh. The remaining five cories are doing well though and I’ve finished treating the tank for the fungal outbreak.

    I had an unexpected windfall and was able to pay off a good chunk of my debt, so now my account with Dell is paid in full, and all but $200 of my debt with Affirm is also paid off. And I put a large chunk into savings too.

    Today I did the dishes, picked up some trash, and cleaned up after the dogs. I also changed the water in all three aquariums. My algae scraper arrived today and it works pretty well on the curved glass of the bowfront tank. I also had more fungal medication delivered so I have it on hand, just in case.

    I made up a batch of Repashy for the goldies, which they actually ate this time. I have a new sponge filter and air pump on the way, and I made an offer on a 40 gallon tank and stand that I’ll be picking up at the end of the month. I have no idea where I’m going to put it.

    I also bought a fiddle leaf fig and a philodendron brasil. Because plants!

    Right now I’m ripping DVDs to digital and watching some TV before I go to bed. Tomorrow I have lecture, and then I can head home and do whatever. Maybe I’ll remember to make a note of which colors of embroidery floss I still need.

  • Long Fucking Day

    Man, today was a stupidly long day and the last half of it sucked!

    I started off with waking up early and doing a little cleaning around the house and in my car. I’m really glad I mostly cleaned out my car, for reasons they will become clear by the end of this.

    Around noon, FedEx dropped off a box.

    This box contained a new fishy friend, who I have decided to call Ziggy. This is the best photo I’ve been able to get of him so far. He’s extremely active and very hard to photograph.

    He was pissed about being in the shipping bag and was thrashing about, stressing himself out pretty bad so he went into the quarentine tank pretty quickly.

    I had a follow-up appointment with the gastroenterologist at 3pm, who told me my esophageal lining was precancerous, so we’d want to keep an eye on it, and keep my acid under control, but I should be fine. He said my colon and polyp were unremarkable.

    After that I went by the post office and mailed a couple packages out, and headed over to PetSmart to grab some more of the goldfish pellets my fish like so much. So far this is a pretty good day, right?

    But then I got in my car and got ready to leave to head home. I put the key in there ignition, started the car, moved my foot to the brake as I put the car in reverse, and the pedal sink to the floor with no resistance.

    Great. No brakes. 3 hours later I got home, leaving my car at PetSmart, and tomorrow morning I am missing yet another week of Spanish class so I can get my car into the shop.

    Monday I have exams I cannot miss and if my car isn’t ready by then, mom will have to take the day off work to drive me to class.

  • They’re In!

    My babies have made the move to the new 75g and they seem super happy. Now they have plenty of room! No more overcrowded 36g!

    I’m working on redoing the 36g and removing dead plants, and actually planting the still living ones. Tank, Birdie, and Juice did a number of them and they didn’t all make it.

    Later tonight I’ll wipe down the glass and finish getting it ready for Ziggy, who shipped out tonight.

  • My Evolution as a Fish Keeper

    The end of May 2017, I bought a Betta on a whim. I stuck him in a tiny (horrifyingly so) “tank” for a couple days before someone brought me to my senses and I ordered a 2.5g for him.

    A couple months later, I’ve got a 3.5g, and a 5.5g, each with a Betta in it, and 5 amano shrimp in the 2.5. I still have 2 of those shrimp.

    Then I got a 10g, which I stupidly put two goldfish and a common pleco in. The pleco died almost immediately (I still didn’t know about cycling) and one goldfish followed. The other goldfish ended up covered in ulcers that wouldn’t heal and I euthanized it.

    I finally found Reddit. I started reading. I realized I was a fish killing idiot and this all could have been avoided if I had been educated a little.

    At this point, I have two bettas, and 3 surviving amano shrimp. One Betta moves into the 10g and the other into the 5.5.

    I still haven’t learned that much. One Betta dies. I bring home 3 male guppies to put into the 5.5g. When I get home, I discover the 5.5g is leaking at an alarming rate. I put them in the 10g with the female Betta. She hates them.

    Now I have an angry Betta and 3 traumatized guppies and 3 shrimp.

    I’m starting to wise up that the guppies are not going to live peaceably with the Betta in such a small tank. I rush to PetCo and but a 29g which I hastily set up.

    My guppies, female Betta, and shrimp go in the tank. The tank (luckily because I’ve killed enough creatures) is pretty much instantly cycled when I move the filters from the 10g into it. There’s a lot of plants too because I had a few in two of the small tanks, and quite a few in the third.

    Over the next month or so, I add some zebra danios, black neon tetras, and what turn out to be dwarf pencilfish. I keep adding plants. I do semi regular water changes. I add a couple mystery snails. I invest in a water test kit.

    I keep almost everyone in the 29g alive and healthy for over a year. I keep reading, I learn a lot. I find some other fishy folk and build community. The 29g gains a bristlenose pleco and I start transitioning over to mostly platties. They’re successfully breeding and pretty soon I’ll be giving them away.

    My mystery snails suddenly go from about 5 to about 75. I collect as many small ones as I can find and take them to Petco. I vow to remove every egg cluster I see from now on.

    I make a contact on Reddit and purchase a bunch of red riili shrimp from them. A few days later, there’s a snow storm and we lose power for a few days. I’m unprepared and I lose a few fish. Amazingly most of the shrimp survive. I buy battery powered air pumps, batteries, and mylar blankets.

    About 6 weeks ago, I decide to start another tank. I really, really want goldfish. I join r/goldfish and I read everything. I ask questions. I buy a 36g and instant cycle it with my second filter from the 29g. I buy sand substrate after reading some Goldfish will try to eat rocks. I keep feeding the cycle because the tank is empty except for a few mystery snails.

    I discover King Koi and Goldfish. I plan on ordering 2 goldfish but I lose control and order 3.

    The goldfish arrive, healthy and beautiful. They are acclimated to the tank and are soon thriving. My mom is in love with them. But my tank is somewhat overstocked and will be very overstocked when they grow out a little. I do lots of water changes. I buy a Python which is the best fishy purchase I’ve made.

    I start watching the online marketplaces. A few days ago, I come across a 75g that’s only a few miles away. I make an offer on it, considerably less than they were asking, for the tank, stand, and lids. In the meantime, I’ve got a large box in my craft room that has filters, decor, everything I can buy for this unknown future tank.

    Friday night, my mom takes me in her truck to pick up the tank. It’s huge. Are they this big in the store? It’s obviously grown since they bought it… Lol. We get it home and get it in place in the house.

    I add substrate, decor, and flood the tank. Tonight I ordered lighting and and on Wednesday I’ll finish setup, pulling a filter from the 36g to get the cycle going.

    Hopefully by this weekend, the goldfish will be installed in their new tank. I need to order more plants but will move some of the marimos from the 36g to the 75g.

    Twice this week I’ve caught myself looking at the King Koi and the Goldfish Island websites.

    In these three years I have learned so, so much and while I was a horrible fish keeper at the beginning, I’ve become capable to taking care of these guys and keeping them happy and stress free.

    If you’ve read this far, thank you for staying with me, for offering me advice and occasionally a kick in the head, and most of all for being an amazing community that I could learn from. Because of you, my dream of having a goldfish tank is actually real, and they’re thriving.

    Now I need to get some sleep so I can wake up tomorrow and do water changes before I spend half my day doing homework.

  • A Happy Happy Thursday!

    Thursday I had some packages coming my way that I was super excited about. Excited enough that I was checking tracking every two hours and practically placing pushpins on a map to follow its progress.

    What could be so exciting coming by way of FedEx, you ask?

    My order from King Koi & Goldfish!

    I order 3 beautiful fancy goldfish, plus a couple of plants last Friday, and they shipped out on Wednesday evening. At around noon on Thursday, FedEx pulled up and delivered a rather unassuming cardboard box to my front gate. The box weight 11 pounds and the water could be heard gently sloshing inside it as I carried it into the house.

    I opened the box, which was heavy cardboard, and was greeted by an insulted panel which I lifted off the top. Under this panel were 4 plastic bags, plump with water and oxygen, and 3 of them contained a single goldfish. The fourth was actually two bags and contained my plants.

    I read up on King Koi’s shipping methods before my new water puppies arrived and they are pretty interesting, but definitely smart. Once fish are sold, they are fasted for 3 days to minimize waste during shipping. The bags are then topped off with pure oxygen, to give the fish maximum breathable air.

    Anyway, as I removed the bags from the box, I saw each fish was relaxed, not showing signs of distress, healthy looking, and beautiful! I floated their bags on the tank’s surface for 20 minutes to acclimate them to the tank’s temperature, and then gently scooped each fish out with my clean hands and placed it into the tank.

    They immediately began swimming around, checking out the tank, plants, and the sand, and seemed pretty happy to actually have room to move around again.

    I’m sure you actually want to see then now, right?

    First up in Tank, a black Ranchu. Seeing tank on the King Koi website sold me on ordering online rather than taking my chances at Petco or Petsmart. His cute chubby body, roached back, and stubby fins were too adorable.

    Then I saw Birdie. Birdie is a Crown Pearlscale and the fact she looks like she swallowed a golf ball was too much to resist! Birdie is a little shy compared to the other two.

    Finally, there’s Juice. Juice is a Ryukin and I did not select him specifically but rather selected an assortment of calico ryukins and just requested one with a lot of orange.

    Juice will eventually outgrow the tank, since ryukins are typically bigger at maturity then varieties like the ranchu and pearlscales, so before the end of the year, I’ll be setting up another larger tank to move Juice to along with a buddy I’ll get for him then.