|Posse of Angelfish. They are very macho fish. |
Don't fuck with them... ;)
I always get embarrassed when I blog things that are guaranteed of minimal interest to anyone (which means most of the time, let's face it).
Anyway, some time ago (maybe a year? I'm useless at time) I began to keep tropical fish, and it's pretty much turned into an all consuming past time. I would kill anyone who fucked with my fish tank.
Since I began keeping fish, I've acquired another tank, and I have another one coming, and I've also realised, I want (no, need) a very big tank. So, reckoning in Sinbad, my axolotl, I will have all up 5 fish tanks. I don't think that's unreasonable.
So anyway, I know it's kinda nerdy and *yawn* to most people, but you know, who gives two shits. My blog, my rules, fuck off if yer bored cunt, for your enlightenment and edification, I'm going to explain the essentials of tropical fish keeping.
So if you decide to keep fish, here is what you must do:
1. Buy a tank. You will need a filter, a pump and water ager at a minimum. You should buy gravel, plants, rocks and I think an air pump and air stones is highly desirable. Ideally, the tank should have a light. Most tanks come with the essentials these days anyway.
2. Rinse tank, put water in it. Put in filter and switch it on. Put in a thin layer of gravel. Put in plants and decorations.
3. Leave tank to "Cycle". Cycling a tank refers to initiating a nitrogen cycle. Why? Fish piss and shit their water (I didn't know fish could pee). All this crap exudes ammonia which would burn your fish's fins, bodies, and then kill them. To avoid this rather undesirable consequence, you need to establish a bacteria colony in your tank.
What does a bacteria colony do? bacteria will break down the ammonia into Nitrites, more bacteria will then break this down into Nitrates. Nitrates are not very harmful to fish. You will have to remove 20% of your water regularly, how often depends on a) your bioload (how many fish in the tank) b) the size of your tank c) the strength of your filter.
4) To begin the cycling process, add some fish food, old shrimp, whatever. The bacteria must after all develop from something. You will know when your tank is ready to have fish in it when you have your water tested and your readings return the desired results. Your fish shop will most likely do it for you free and advise you of the state of your tank.
5) Get some fish. The bigger the tank, the more fish you can have. Be nice to your fish, very few, if any, come from waters completely devoid of plant n rock matter. So give them lots of plants and rocks. Make 'em feel at home. Don't put lots of fish in at once. Give the bacteria time to adjust to the increased load.
6) Now you just pretty much have to maintain your tank. Feed your fish appropriate flake, also live food (you wouldn't believe what I did to give mine live food, fuckin' bizarro).But watching my Angel fish and gouramis get a chance to flex their instincts that thousands of years of evolution has primed them for, is pure fascinating, and the right thing to do for your fish. Otherwise, they are simply the sad equivalent of the battery chicken.
Live Plants v Plastic
Over all live plants are probably better, but they do have drawbacks. I think, unless you're a painful snob, start with plastic plants cuz that way, you can redesign your aquascape until you get it right. You can always plant live ones any time, but kinda tricky to move them about. I'm slowly replacing my plastic ones with live ones. I've pretty much got my tank a I like it. Almost.
Because food can get stuck in deep gravel, I think it's best to keep it skimpy. I don't think lots of substrate (stuff on the bottom of the tank) is healthy. I use minimal layer of dark blue gravel with black gravel strewn through it. Dark colours, also the colour of the back of the tank if it's dark, will make your fish stand out. I see lots of people with inches and inches of gravel. Looks shit. It also displaces water volume.
Personal taste obviously. I like angelfish, gourami, dwarf gourami, glowlights, catfish and albino rainbow sharks. These are truly smart, friendly and funky fish. They eat from my hands and the feeling of their mouths on my fingertips is pure beautiful. Fish can see, hear, taste and smell. Being animals that make the most of their senses, they take a healthy interest in their surroundings. Mine congregate to the part of their tank closest me and watch what I'm doing, if I run my fingers across their tank, they will often chase them.
|An ornery young Albino Rainbow Shark sees an uppity|
Gourami off His territory... The Gourami, pissed off no
doubt, departs for now...
These sharks grow to a maximum
of 15 cms. So quite a large fellow to be reckoned with...
What completely draws me to this practise is the fact that it exercises both parts of the brain, the creative and logical. It's also extremely entertaining (you might have to be a certain personality "type" to be thusly entertained, I dunno) Anyway, watching my bristlenose catfish fool around with his courgette/zucchini slice is dead funny.
Watching the very "macho" and pompous Angelfish keep order in Their Tank, Gourami taking the piss out of each other, sharks mooch around... if like me you have a biophilic attraction for nature, you will be moved again and again by the beauty, the intelligence and the individual personalities and quirky dignity of your fish.
|A platinum male Gourami in all his glory. These are |
sizable fish of a strong character. They use their feelers to touch things
Think from memory they may be only fish to do this.
PS, if you don't want to keep fish (the fuck is wrong with you..) then at least don't eat 'em. They wouldn't eat you.