I learned three very important things today. The first is that “fish stress” is a real thing, and it doesn’t take much. I guess I was surprised it took so long to manifest in a few of them, but yeah, it’s very very true.
The second thing is you can think things are going fine, and even your water is fine (because you had the sense to get a sample to test), but you’ll wake up and a fish may be dead on the gravel anyway.
The third is when exchanging dead fish for live ones, make sure you get ’em home in a timely manner. I put them in a small carrier rather than a bag because I got called in to work way sooner than I thought and ended up taking them with me. I guess one was stressed and the other stressed leaning toward aggressive. it kept acting like the annoying brother that thinks it’s funny to punch people in the shoulder even when they tell it to knock it off.
Yeah, I ended up going back to get a replacement fish after work–and make sure to get home ASAP. Well, they seem to be doing pretty well, but imagine my surprise when I found the bottom feeders–most of them–in one side of the tank and some dead fish eyes staring out.
I started to count the fish in my tank and realized one of my sunburst platy fish must’ve died while I was out and at work. If I can get that little fishy corpse away from the snails and corys, then maybe I can clean the tank a bit better next go-around.
I’m guessing it was delayed stress, or maybe some overfeeding the past couple of days. I really restricted it today after seeing the fish swimming everywhere cleaning every surface they could find. I gave them a bit when I walked in the door tonight, but that was it. Two small feedings sound like a good idea, and my days are so shot I couldn’t reasonably give ’em a third if I wanted to.
It’s just weird to suddenly have fish dead at the bottom of the tank. Granted, I’ve only had most of these fish for 4 days, so maybe this is that weird period where a lot of fish will die til things stabilize. But my water is fine… maybe I need to wait several days after they get delivered to the pet store to go shopping, so that they’ve adequately calmed down.
Yeah, I’ll be asking about that tomorrow, because my GloFish in their tank don’t have any problems so far. All 4 fish and the 2 snails are just fine, seemingly, swimming around doing their thing. May not stay the case if they start getting too big, but for now, it works fine.
I guess I’m bummed that there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to what’s going on. The one guppy I saw having problems yesterday morning looked like it had swim bladder or something. It kept going way up fast and then slowly spun downward. Eventually it’d snap out of it and do the same thing until it quit doing it entirely.
I was doing research, trying to figure out what it was all about for a good half hour after I saw all that, and when I looked next, he was lying under an ornamental lantern structure and a snail was pulling it out, sucking on it’s head.
Sometimes the circle of life just looks freaking weird up close. I heard that fish bodies can make ammonia levels skyrocket if left in there too long, but I wasn’t gonna fight with a snail over a dead fish (and I can’t find my gloves–eww). When it left the fish alone, I was able to scoop the dead out and put it in a container to take to the store and replace.
I hope this third fish is the last in a while and the others are better adjusted to the tank. A few seem to be happy, in that they look preggers and one black molly fish had a baby. At least, I think it was a black molly fish. It looks like a black long grain of wild rice with fins on it, and you can see them barely move in the water. I haven’t seen it since this morning, and hopefully it’s okay. I’d love to see how fast they grow (called a “fry” in the fish world).
Then again, I don’t have any fry-friendly food I can give it that I know about, so maybe it died. Or maybe it’s been cleaning the gravel with every other fish in that tank.
Anyway, been a bit depressing of a day finding these things out, so I’m gonna sleep on it and come up with a plan in the morning. The snails are too busy with carcass #3 to let me near, so it’ll have to wait til morning, I’m guessing.
3 thoughts on “Learning about fish the hard way…”
Years ago we had an aquarium and in the end I gave up on it. Fish with their various needs are about as arbitrary as can be and the snails? Ours never did what the books said they should. I wish you well, hoping that you triumph because I like the idea of knowing that someone could make it happen.
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You’ll be a good fish mom, I’m sure. 🐠🐟
most of them seem to like me, and crowd the glass when I come in after a few hours. My dogs do the same. It’s kinda funny, and it’s nice to watch them swim around and hide in all the little pagodas, rock formations, fake battleship, and flit between the live plants and fake ones.
I figured smaller fish would be best because of price, to start, but also they remind me of hummingbirds playing on my porch, flitting from feeder to planter and chasing each other around. A lot of these nibble, ride the currents, and chase each other. Even the bottom feeders have zing to them.
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