Goldfish Wipeout

Sad to say, all of our three goldfishes rested in peace just few days back, starting from the two newcomers followed by our resident Xiao Wu.

Apparently, one of the newcomers was infected with some fungus infection and passed it on to the others. All died with white spots all over their bodies.

Feeling guilty for Xiao Wu for not quarantining the two goldfishes first and indirectly caused his death. Hope he is now resting in peace with his previous fellow goldfishes.

Following that, I did a 100% water change and cleaned the filter, hopefully clearing up all traces of any undesired bacteria/virus/fungus in the tank.

After filling up the tank with new de-chlorinated water, the tank is ready to accept its new occupants.

Betta as a Community Fish

Betta splendens, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are often kept in solitary due to their aggressive nature against other males of their species, and they will fight only till one is dead.

However, not many might have known that Bettas can be kept as a community fish too, and I was one of those ignorant ones, until I came across two books that mentioned about keeping them in a community tank.

Their nature is surprisingly, quite timid and shy when alone, and tend to swim around slowly and gracefully. With this character and their fanciful fins, it makes them an easy target from other fin-nipping inhabitants. So in the end, it may not be the Bettas bullying the other community fishes, but the other way round.

There is not really any fin-nipping fish in our main planted tank, maybe with the exception of our Dwarf Chain Loaches and Siamese Algae Eaters, but even their fin-nipping behaviours are rare. Confident that a Betta will find a comfortable home here, I made up my mind to add one into our community.

Travelling down to a LFS in Yishun, one betta with blue body and red fins caught my eyes and I promptly bought it at S$7.00. I didn’t really know about the market price, but thought it didn’t really matter since we will only be getting one Betta afterall.

Bringing him home and putting him into our planted tank, he acted very timid and shy indeed at first, always hiding in the corners at the back. We thought this was his characteristic so didn’t expect anything more than that. Despite it hiding in the back, it was always a beautiful sight to spot him swimming gracefully with his beautiful fins. My wife Catherine named him ‘Moody’ after seeing him always lurking behind in the corners, seemingly sulking. ^^|

I had bought a small bottle of Betta food, and started to feed him by pouring a few bits of food on my palm before dropping a few pieces down in front of him with the other hand each time. Surprisingly, he did not feel threatened by my approaching fingers and remained at where he was.

When the food was dropped in front of him, he observed them a bit before swallowing them up, one piece at a time. He does not eat as quickly as the other fishes in the tank, as he will always leave a short time interval of about one second before he will eat the next food piece.

On the second and third days, he slowly gained confidence of the security of his new surroundings, and started swimming around more, exploring the tank. He will even mingle with the other fishes during meal times, as they swim around peacefully:

Since Moody has only been here for a few days, it’s still too early to tell if this peacefulness will last, but I’m quite confident it will.

In my opinion, Bettas shouldn’t be kept in small containers such as jars, since they should be given the rights like all other fishes to live in a comfortable, bearable place. They should at least be kept in a slightly bigger container such as a small tank, equipped with proper filtration or at least regular water change. It pains me to see them celled up in small plastic bags or jars in the LFSes.

Anyway, Moody is really interesting to watch, especially after our new layout, with a small hill formed at the rear left of the tank made up of two big pieces of driftwood, which he has made it his home by hanging out there most of the time.

Resilient Rasbora

There are only three Rasbora left, from our initial population of six early last year. The three died of illness.

Now one of the Rasbora appears to be having some problems too, where he has been struggling to stay afloat since 2 weeks back.

Despite his difficulty in swimming, he has not given up hope and was constantly flipping his fins to stay at afloat.

While We Are Away…

My wife has been warded in the hospital since her delivery on Tuesday, and due to some implications in her condition, she will most probably be warded for another few more days.

During this period, I will be staying in the hospital with her too, so I had to make some arrangements for our fishes and plants back at home.

Having reached home briefly, I quickly made some changes to the wirings so that the Gold Fish Tank will have its lightings connected to the same timer as the Main Planted Tank. Previously I did not do so due to a lack of extension cords, and it wasn’t as necessary since no plants were planted in the Gold Fish Tank then.

After that, I dropped the holiday food pellets into each of the three tanks; a full pellet for the 3 feet Main Planted Tank, and half a pellet each for the two Gold Fish tanks. Hope this will take care of their diet for these few days; the gold fishes had been nipping the leaves off after being not fed for one day previously.

Update: If you are interested in our lives with our baby Darius, you may check out Our Little Dar blog.

Wounds Recovered

Checking the wounds again today, we realised that they were gone from both the backs of Emo and Momo. We were amazed at their speed of recovery!

Emo appeared to behave normally but the same couldn’t be said for Momo; he had been often found ’emo’ in one corner of the tank, stayed there near the surface of the water.

He also appeared to have problems diving deep into the tank, often floating up by itself and struggling to swim downards, like the condition of Xiao Hua. Also, I saw a long white stringy poop from him, which is a sign of intestinal parasites. We will observe him before decide what to do next.

SAE, Guppies, Gourami

Our older SAE has been behaving lethargic lately, and having a small appetite despite his favourite sinking pellet falling right in front of him. He would in fact spend more of his time chasing the other fishes away, though he ended up not eating any of the food after the fishes had been chased away.

Also, he had been resting quietly at different places in the tank, usually under the shelter of the driftwood. On an occassion, he was resting by the carbon dioxide outlet tube, a place which we have never seen him at before. His behaviour reminded us of an old man, and so probably he had already reached that age.

As for the group of female guppies, we had transferred those healthy ones to our main Planted Tank, and they had adjusted well to this new environment. Although they were not born with fanciful tails like those of their male counterparts, they were still attractive as a whole, especially under the light where their tails would sparkle, some with a beautiful blue tint. Besides that, their presence also seems to bring life into the tank.

For the Gourami fries though, things had not been looking good over the past few days. With more than a dozen fries initially, I could only found one fry still swimming in the tank. All the other missing fries were probably be dead.

We had fed them with infusoria (see Gourami Fries!) and topped up some clean aquarium water weekly, so we do not know what might have led to their death. To think we thought we could have a tank full of Gouramis in the near future…

Tanks and Fishes Updates

Some updates since our last post:

The remaining two female Gouramis were found dead one after another shortly after the death of the male Gourami. Reason of their deaths is unknown, but probably attributed to their poor health from the fish shop.

The female guppies in the small tank were mostly doing well, with the exception of two, who appeared to be infected with some kind of disease or deformity, judging from their body shapes. The rest has been transferred to our main Planted Tank and they appear to be happy with their new environment.

The SAE from the Goldfish tank was transferred to our main Planted Tank too, seeing that he appeared to be starving due to the lack of sinking pellet (which will be eaten up by the goldfishes before it even gets close to the bottom) and black brush algae. The SAE appears happy now with the environment, just that he has been lazy in eating up the algae, and instead just hover always at the front waiting for food to be dropped in.

As for the Goldfishes, all look well except for Xiao Hua, who sometimes has problems keeping herself submerged in the water. She keeps floating up to the surface and she needs to struggle in order to bring her body down. However, this symptom only occurs occassionally and she appears normal beyond these occassions.