I don't have enough participation to chat, whatever that means. I'm going to start now & the bugs will work themselves out.
1.12.10 Working Title ~ Zen at the End of time
My name is Lisa. I live in a box on the rocks of New England. My greatest joy is nurturing life. I have a garden, (in the Spring, anyway), a houseful of plants, 2 10 gallon freshwater aquariums & a very active boyfriend. I lost my beautiful angel kitty cat of 17yrs recently & will eventually adopt another 4 legged creature at some point this year. My aquariums are a new addition to the family. It was one of those *ding* moments when I was shopping for a foot stool at Goodwill & saw a set-up for $25. Next thing I know I've got three tank set-ups w/ stand. One tank leaks, y'know...2nd hand. *TIP*~Never start a project right before bed.~ I learned Resolve works wonders on dingy 30 yr old cream coloured carpet.~ That one will be used as a seedling starter in the Spring.
My last 2 tanks were a 55 gallon & a 20 long. In the 55g I mixed African (3 Labeotropheus Trewavasae) & South American (3 Jack Dempsey, 1 Texas Gold, 2 Fire Mouth & 2 Convict) Cichlids. The South is lousy with shale & shale makes for excellent housing material. Result; High-rise Resort Condos for everyone! Had to let it go during a trying time back in '91. Then, in my 20 long I had 8 Africans. 3 of them made a 2 female/1 male Labeo family. One day I came home & all but the Labeos were dead. I knew babies were on their way. They fetch a pretty penny at the pet store. I had to let them go when I moved to London back in '98. I never had any real problems with either tank except when I moved from Memphis to Chattanooga in winter. My female Dempsey & Texas Gold turned male.
I know the animal mix in the 55g was inadvisable & someone is sure to think me cruel, or at the very least foolish but I felt positive a relative harmonious balance could be attained. I built a virtual hive of apartments for shelter, comfort, sport & play. I kept the temp. & pH 1/2 way between both optimums. It was an exciting & alluring sight. It filled me with tremendous satisfaction.
I am planning to stock a few SA Cichlids in the new tanks. To get the first tank to cycle I bought 3 Black Mollies & 3 Neon Tetras. There was some major dissension among the Mollies & a few deaths to mar my record but the seas of desperation are now calm. My mistake was continuing to stock Mollies instead of switching to cichlids right away. Now I'm quite attached to the little buggers & as I am oh, so aware of the dangers I am reluctant to mix the species. I'm going to do it anyway. This will be an account of the journey through the channels of environment manipulation of an aquatic habitat.
Second story Aquarium: 3 months old.
10 gal. Freshwater. Undergravel filter. Aqueon wet/dry filter, 15w full spectrum hood, heater & thermometer.
Aggregate & large rocks from Revere Beach, MA
Personally mined semi-precious stones.
A statue of Smiling Buddha.
A plastic plant.
4 live plants. (Don't know what they are. A gift. I'll find out for us.)
Inhabitants : Wu ~ Male Tangerine Mollie
T'Ang ~ Male Tangerine Mollie
(He used to be female or a VERY late bloomer.)
Abby Normal ~ Black Mystery Snail
Tesla ~ Black Mystery Snail
First floor Aquarium: 2 weeks old.
10 gal. Freshwater. Undergravel filter. Aqueon wet/dry filter. 15w full spectrum hood, heater & thermometer.
Store bought aggregate.
Ceramic hand-painted Owl statue.
Myan Jaguar God statue & a frosted glass light shade.
Inhabitants : Nikki Finn ~ Female Black Mollie
Bad Ass ~ Male(?) Neon Tetra
Kitty ~ Female(?) Neon Tetra
The 1st floor guys were on the 2nd story till 2 weeks ago. Nikki is super aggressive. I suspect it might have something to do with T'Ang's trip to Switzerland. The boys hang out together all buddy-buddy & such.
This is my first experience with non-aggressive fish. I've always found Mollies to be a bit of a snore & Neons are pretty but have never found any interest in them. I didn't expect these guys to live longer than 2 weeks. 3 at the most. Everyone is getting along. The temperature has been a constant even with our heat being out for 3 weeks. I used an ambient 1600w heater. The pH stays a bit high for the Neons. I'm a little worried about them. Kitty came to me small & was always hiding. That's how she got her name. "Here kitty kitty kitty!" I thought she was pregnant a while back but after doing some research I believe she has dropsy. Distended belly, pale colouring. She joins in at feeding time but spits it out. Sorry, but I'm not going to buy dropsy medication. I don't see the point for one tiny fish. Am I a bad person for that? Maybe. Bad Ass' colouring is super rich. Deep turquoise & velvety silver. My biggest hazard is Nitrate. The Neons have reddish gills. Maybe Nitrate poisoning. Our tap water is inherently Nitrate rich as well as having a high pH, 8.2 & above. I use citric acid to decrease the pH but water changes don't seem to help decrease the Nitrate. There are Chemical solutions for this but I'm trying to find an organic way. If I discover a solution to this I'll definitely write about it.
So there you have it. My 1st installment to the Zen at the End of Time.