I am a novice fish keeper at best. I know this. I am sure I have made my share of mistakes when it comes to fish care, but I am trying to do my best. I am in desperate need of advice!
I am sorry if this seems long winded, but I am going to do my best to give you all he details. So that you may advise me to the best of your ability.
I never sought out any fish at first. I was with the boys I nanny for in February at the Florida state fair, and we won seven goldfish! We left the fair at about nine pm. I drove the boys home, and ran to walmart I bought a twenty nine gallon tan for the boys and a ten gallon tank for me. I ran to there house set up their tank, and then ran home and set up mine. I rinsed everything off plugged it in, and then floated the fish four about ten minutes before putting then into their new tanks. I now know how lucky I am that all seven fish lived, and that this is not the right way to do things, and so started my fish keeping.
I have had my ten gallon fish tank with two goldfish ever since. All was well at first. The next day I went to reading about fish keeping on the web. I quickly ran out and bought a second filter for my little tank. I also got them live plants to help keep the tank clean. I started doing 25% water changes every Sunday, and testing water quality twice a week using the super convenient test strips. My two goldfish and I were doing well. I would have been happy to never have another fish.
My boyfriend at the time decided he wanted a fish also, so he ran out and bought a half gallon bowl, and a Betta. I came home, and remarked that this seemed cruel at best. I went right to the web, and did some more research of my own. I found that people can't seem to agree on the best way to keep these beautiful fish. Some say small tanks are best some say they need large tans. I decided I has enough information to make my own decision.
I ran out and bought his nice three gallon home. I got him a whisper 2-10 filter (later changed) and a heater (pad style) some silk plants, and some real plants. I bought a snail for his tank to help with clean up (I tend to over feed) He ate the snail that same day. I kept his tank at 78 degrees ph at 7. I did my partial changes every Sunday just like the goldfish.
He wasn't doing well. He got sucked into the filter, and got torn up badly. I took it out, and I bought him a bubble filter that same day. He perked right up, and has been busy building bubble nests, and being a happy healthy fish since that day. I feed him drained rinsed brine shrimp, and beta pellets. I have had him about six months now.
I lost the boyfriend, but I kept his fish.
About a month later I got a call from a friend at two am. He was being evicted, and needed me to take his fish and his frogs. I being an animal lover agreed. He told me he didn't want any of them back, and that they would be mine. I went right over.
I knowing a little
more about fish now, but still not much emptied most of the water from that tank into 5 gallon buckets, and brought it back to my house. I left the sand wet at the bottom of the tank careful not to disturb it to much. I moved it all in set it up, and put back the fish. Two bichirs. I didn't know what kind of fish they were at the time, but I knew I loved them, and the new 20 gallon tank that I had.
I didn't hear from my friend for weeks, so I ran to pet store after pet store with a photo of these weird and lovely fish until someone could tell me what they were what to feed them, and how to care for them.
Later I bought a 30 gallon for the living room. My niece who lives with me grew to love fish as much as I do. I bought this tank on the internet for a steal. It came with the fish that it has in it now. Amazingly I was able to move this tank and all 14 of the fish in it to my home without losing any. Again saving as much water as I had jugs to carry.
I soon added to pearl Gouramis to the Bichir tank.
When the three inch Gourami in the living room tank began to pick on his smaller tank mates I decided action must be taken. I moved him into the Bichir tank. Now I had three gourmi about the same size, and two six inch bichirs in the twenty gallon tank.
At this point all was well.
Issues started just about a week ago. It was my nieces birthday. I decided it would be ok to take her to the pet store with a little money to spend. We needed a little tank for her molly that was about to mave babies anyway. I didn't go to my local pet shop that I trust, and love, because it was Sunday, and they are not open. It was her birthday, and she wanted to go. We went to a chain store. Big mistake number one.
We got two zebra danio that we put in the goldfish tank. I figured it would be fine. I run two filters, and have never had a issue with this tank except when it first cycled. The ammonia is almost always 0 ppm in this tank maybe .25 at worst. BIG MISTAKE number 2.
Also, she fell in love with this figure eight puffer fish. I told her we had no tank for him. They lady at the pet store asked what tanks we had, and I told her about my tanks. She said he would do fine in the Bichir and, and that he could eat the same ghost shrimp I already feed the bichirs. I decided to trust her. BIG MISTAKE number three.
I brought home the puffer, and the danios. BIG MISTAKE number four.
The next day the goldfish were sick. The goldfish and zebra danios all had Septicemia. I ran to the pet shop and got Maracyn two. I stared treatment right away. I lost my first fish ever the nest day. The inly fish I have lost os far.
It took me two days to notice that the puffer was quickly eating is tank mates! I guess I was to worried about my goldfish to notice. I had no idea what to do. It was late at night, and no pet shop was open. I considered flushing the puffer down the toilet it my rage. I knew this was not a reasonable option.
Instead I moved my beta into a one gallon bowl, and added salt to the beta tank, and then put the puffer in the now empty, and salted beta tank.
That night racked with worry, and guilt.... I came up with a plan. I would buy another tank! It seemed like the prefect idea to me.
I would move all the fish from the bichir tank into a larger tank. They were starting to outgrow there tank anyway. I would move the goldfish into the old bichir tank. Goldilocks my goldfish is getting to be to big to be comfy. The puffer could take the ten gallon for a while. My beta could have his tank back.
So, it was done. I went out and got this neat 75 gallon the very next day. I bought it used, and it was dry already when I got it. Sadly, no good bacteria left here. I filled it with water, treated it added salt, and added some water from the bichir tank, and about a dozen shrimp. I waited 48 hours. The shrimp were all alive. The temp was right ph right water clear. I know the tank is cycling, and that I need to be careful.
I added my groumis to the tank after 48 hours. 24 hours later I went and bought tons of little shrimp because my injured bichirs need to have good odds for food catching. Then I added the shrimp, and bichirs to the 75 gallon.
I also added some more shrimp to the now empty tank. I put the puffer into this tank again. Now with no tank mates to eat.
The pearl gourmis now look better than they ever had. They didn't get chewed at all. The male is so bright orange. I have never seen him this way. He keeps flaring his fins, and seems to be making a nest like the beta makes??? The female is looking very rotund. The bichirs are fat and happy catching the shrimp.
I washed out the beta tank completely.I put him, and the water from the bowl in his tank with fresh water slightly warmer than the water he had been in. I slowly got his temp right. He seems happy again, and glad to be in his own tank.
I am watching the water in the new tank like a hawk. I have my master test kit on my night stand n fact because I have been watching for an ammonia spike. If it happens I am ready to treat it. I have plenty of aged water handy for emergency water changes if need be. Ammonia readings still at 0ppm in the tank. All seems to be well despite the newness of the tank.
Now comes the tricky part. The goldfish tank is now done being treated with the meds, and I want to move them to there new home, and I want to move the puffer into the old goldfish tank.
I don't know what the best way to do this is. Should I scrub out the goldfish tank because of recent illness? Should I wait a while to make the swap. I know Goldilocks needs a bigger tank. I know I shouldn't have added the danios.
Should I wait a while longer? Right now the puffer doesn't have a lid. I broke it in the excitement. I can't find a replacement as of yet. Its an odd size tank I guess. I am afraid he will jump out if I leave him there to much longer.
I did take some of the water out to its a further jump to get out. I saw him jump out of the little beta tank while I had its lid off.
I am going to be getting a ten gallon or so that I can use as a hospital tank right away. I never want to be in this spot again.
I am not going to be getting any more fish for some time, and if I do it will never be from a chain store again, and I will always read up on any fish I buy before I bring him home. I now know my puffer needs more salt than I keep in the rest of my tanks, and I am feeding him a diet of snails, ghost shrimp, and brine shrimp. I have not figured out enough about him even now. The lady at the pet store absolutely misinformed me about him, and his needs. I should have known better.