Tuesday, September 27, 2011

and then there was life

I decided that it was time to add fish to my aquarium. Because my aquarium is only 37 liters (10 gallons), it's best to keep smaller fish. I was thinking of Boraras brigittae, Endler's Livebearer and Ember Tetra. After reading up about these fish a bit, Endler's Livebearers seem to be the hardiest, which makes them a good choice for me. This is my first aquarium ever, so I'll probably do a lot of things wrong. On top of that, this is a dorm aquarium, so they'll have to survive weekends without feeding and getting moved over the breaks. I already feel bad for my fish, heh. If I go for Endlers, I'd have to get all males because they breed like crazy and I don't have any idea of what to do with all the babies.

After visiting several local fish stores, I found one that sold Endlers, but they didn't look very pure. They all had different colours and patterns, so they were probably hybrids that had been crossed with guppies. And they were very expensive. So I looked at online ads, and found someone that sold Endlers. I bought 6 male Endlers from him, 5 adults and 1 juvenile. To get them to my dorm room, they had to survive a car drive to my house and then a train and bus trip to my dorm. They got there safely, and they're already happily swimming around.

This is what my aquarium looks like now, with the 6 small Endlers in it.

These fish are very lively, they are swimming around and playing with each other all the time. It's very entertaining to watch, but hard to take pictures of.

Here's a short video of my aquarium:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

things had died while I was gone

After I got back from my vacation, I saw that my CFL had broken while I was gone. Could've been because of some water that got in the hood, or because the lamp was kinda squashed between the glass and the plastic of the hood. Who knows. Either way, I wasn't going to risk buying another €18 lamp just to have it break again.

On top of that, some of my plants had started rotting and died while I was gone. Most of the salvina natans was falling apart, and the bacopa lanigera was gone altogether. The water was brown, and very hot. I bought a thermometer, and apparently the thermostat didn't work correctly. It should have kept the temperature around 25°C, but instead it was about 30°C in there. I solved this problem by turning the thermostat down a bit. It does keep the temperature constant, but always warmer than it's supposed to be.

Without a lamp, I wouldn't be able to keep any plants, and I saw no way that I could keep a decent lamp in this hood. I went to the aquarium store to see if they had any solutions for me. They had 18W clip-on lights but they were €40, more than I had paid for my aquarium originally. It just seemed too much money to spend. After all this, I didn't feel like carrying on with the aquarium.

Luckily, my boyfriend convinced me to just buy that clip-on light, because I had been wanting an aquarium for so long. So I bought it, and after removing the hood and spending quite some time cutting through the plastic on my aquarium with a butter knife, I was able to attach it to the glass. I also had some glass cut to act as a cover for my aquarium.


I removed all the water from my aquarium twice, because it was really a rotten mess. Most of the plants survived though, and all seems well for now.

Saturday, September 17, 2011