Friday, March 11, 2011

FW tank has finally cycled!

Well, just when I was starting to lose hope, the 20g freshwater tank has completed it's cycle.  I waited a couple days to make sure ammonia would cycle within 24 hours and then went out to get some fish.  On Wednesday, George, Dora and Boots (*sigh*), all Emerald Catfish, joined Mr. Cat in the big tank.  There was much rejoicing.  Unfortunately my second Aqua-Tech filter decided to almost explode (I'm guessing from the sand the cats were churning up) so I switched it with the Aqua-Tech filter from the BW tank that's still cycling downstairs. By yesterday morning that filter was toast as well.  I'm very frustrated but glad that the retailer would take them back.  This morning I exchanged one of the filters for my 4th (and LAST...this is where I draw the line) Aqua-Tech filter.  This time I shoved a piece of sponge on the intake tube in an attempt to keep out the sand.  We'll see if it works.  Unfortunately I have to stick with this filter until I can get something else in there to keep the nitrifying bacteria alive.

The FW tank, ready for fish!

Emerald Catfish (not mine).  They might look ugly but they are awesome.

As for the BW tank that had donated it's filter to the cause, I'm afraid it's cycle will at best be stalled and at worst be lost and I'll have to start it all up again once I get a permanent filter for it.  That's another month gone.  I've actually ordered a canister filter for it, and just need to wait until it arrives to get going again. Seriously, if anyone needs pet supplies, buy them from're AWESOME. For example, I ordered a number of things on a Thursday night and they delivered them on a SATURDAY.  FEDEX.  NO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING COSTS.  Awesome.

Anyway, in about a week I'll start purchasing a school of tetras, probably Long Fin Red Minor Tetras.  I think I'll be getting about six, but will start with three so that the bacteria can adjust to the bioload.  A week after that I'll get the last of the tetras and hopefully will FINALLY be done with that tank, minus regular maintenance.

I reserve the right to change my mind about the tetras at the last minute.  :)
Long Fin Minor Tetra

My only other concern is that one of the emerald's is acting insanely.  He is constantly darting up and down the tank walls and won't school.  As much as I would hate to do it, I might have to bring him back to the store tomorrow. 

Mr. Black is still not doing well.  I've been treating him for about two weeks for what I think is constipation and/or swim bladder disease.  He's been a sickness magnet.  I really need to get him in proper conditions.  Anyway, he spends most of his time in the hospital tank either lying on the bottom of the tank, or hovering near the top looking like an apostrophe.  He's certainly gotten better but, to be honest, he's either dying or the saddest fish on the planet.  After two weeks of forcing him to eat peas and have epsom salt baths, on top of the daily water changes, I have made the decision to put him in with the emerald cats.  I don't think what he has is contagious (Mr. Cat has been fine) and if there's any hope for him at this point, it's in a well heated, fully cycled, appropriately sized tank.  And now that I might have to restart the cycle on his future home, it's probably for the best.  Of course if he is suffering greatly in the FW tank, I'll put him back in the hospital tank and hope he does better in his BW tank, once it's ready.  He's is currently going through a gentle acclimation process and in a couple hours I'll put him in the tank and see how he does.  I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that this will be good for him.

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