The Fish Tale

Part 1 – Bob – 2/4/2014

So here’s my fishy hobby, It’s just another chapter in my life…….but you may wanna read this when bored.

It started with Bob the baby betta, I came across him in a dollar store of all places, there were about 10 fishes in critter carriers. The water was visibly stale, and he was the healthiest looking one in the bunch, that looked like he still had life. I just couldn’t leave him there so I bought him, (turns out the ladies nephew breeds them and ran out of space to keep them, she knows nothing about keeping fish.)


This is the only picture I have of Bob, he was a Veil Tail Betta. I was told I should have named him Nemo, because he had a deformed fin too. So why name him Bob? because he was bobbing at he surface, the water quality was bad and he seemed to be the only one that could still swim to the surface to take a breath.

I’m sorry to say I made mistakes with poor Bob. First, I bought him on impulse because I just couldn’t leave him there. Second, I didn’t know what I was doing, and third I had nothing for him except food, I bought him Thursday night, Friday read about betta care online like a maniac and hitting up fish forums for info. Saturday run around looking for pet store in my area with an aquatics department to find him a suitable home. (DC pet shops SUCK for aquatic items.) I found a Petvalu, they had a Marina Cubus Glass Kit and water dechlorinator but no heater, so he was cold for a few days till I got one from Amazon. Unfortunately he died in about a month, I didn’t recognize the symptoms of stomach parasite until he stopped eating, and no treatment I tried at that stage worked.

Part 2 – Frisky – 2/5/2014

I felt sad for a while, but everyone kept telling me to get another fish since I seem to be enjoying it so much.

So I did, meet Frisky the Halfmoon Betta, I got him from Petco. (It was out of my way but it had a huge aquatics department.) I named him frisky because when I picked up his container he was zipping around it like a maniac, the first thing I said to him was you’re a frisky fellow.


And before I get any complaints about keeping him in the cube, happy betta’s build bubble nests and every time I cleaned the tank he built it back. (I did feel bad about constantly destroying his nest though.)


I decided around christmas to get a aquarium with a filter so I can stop scrubbing his tank/cube so often, I got a Fluval Spec and decided to heavily plant it. I knew I had to cycle it but then found out it will not completely cycle or go into the second stage of cycling until I put fish in it, and I had been doing a fishless cycle.

Not wanting to kill my betta I decided to use ghost shrimp (DON’T DO IT!) Whenever the water levels spiked (which they will) they tried to escape the tank and I feel like i’m torturing them.

Water still cloudy.


Water cleared up.


Slowly raising the ammonia levels by adding more shrimp, until it came down to barely detectable. And then I made a mistake, the levels were fine so I added my betta.


I was concerned by all the complaints  saw online about the pump being too strong for bettas and them getting bashed around and not being able to get to the surface to take a breath, but he was fine and seems to enjoy swimming in the current and escaping when he wants to. There he is swimming on the surface.

I’ll let the following pictures tell the tale.





Yep what I thought was investigation was stalking, and over the weekend when I wasn’t paying attention, he hunted down and assassinated all the shrimp. But I should have known better look at the second ingredient in the food, shrimp meal.


I felt so guilty, I still do. It screwed up the water quality with so many dead shrimp and all the constant water changes to get it back to being normal are getting annoying. The Nitrite levels are too high and seem to be causing some fin damage so I had to remove him but once it’s back to normal he will be alone in his tank, he seems to like it that way.

2/12/2014 – Water mostly back to normal, though the PH seems a bit low, 6.2 is too low for a betta.

2/21/2014 – Things aren’t going well for Frisky i’m afraid, he seems to be suffering from severe nitrite poisoning, the only cure is daily water changes and aquarium salt, so far i’ve seen no improvement.

3/18/2014 – Well poor Frisky didn’t make it, Sunday I found him struggling to swim and knew he wouldn’t make it. Unfortunately there isn’t much one can do to treat nitrite poisoning except clean water and aquarium salt, but I knew it wasn’t helping cause his fins weren’t healing. R.I.P. FRISKY.

Part 3 – The New Tank – 2/5/2014


Lovely new planted tank,  I planted Alternanthera Reineckii ”roseafolia”, Amazon Sword and Dwarf Baby Tears which started becoming covered in algae.


Never buy fish when on cold meds, meet the terror of the tank. When you go in to get a Siamese algae eater and go home with a Chinese algae eater because your mind was too fuzzy to realize that he has the wrong color this will happen.


The aftermath, He ripped up all the plants in the tank, there was dwarf grass everywhere, It even started to clog the filter. I have yet to replant it, he went back by the way, he grows up to be 9-12 inches long…..that would have been a problem.


I finally did some replanting, and because I can’t stand an empty tanks I added some tenants, 6 Neon Tetras and 3 Ghost Shrimp.


This is an Otocinclus Catfish (Otto Cat) one of the most difficult fish to keep. Most don’t survive the night, but if you can keep them alive a month they may live out their lifespan.


3/18/2014 – The Otto Cat is still alive but I don’t know how, cause it won’t eat the algae wafer I got from the pet store, I tried different brands, none of them work and he doesn’t even seem to be touching the blanched zucchini. The tetras and ghost shrimp are still alive too.

8/6/2014 – If you ever decide to get an aquarium get a big one if you have the space, small ones are a pain in the ass. Where you can choose to do a water change every two weeks on a big aquarium, you have to do them every week or even every few days on a small aquarium just to be safe.

Fishies all alive.


8/13/2014 – Ghost shrimp hanging out on a plant in the water current. Now this little fellow here, freaked me out, I’ve never seen a ghost shrimp looking like this before. I need to ask the fish place if this is normal, or I should Isolate him.


Well no-one knows what’s up with this dudette? (not sure) The color has become more opaque, but other than that, seems fine.

And I’m gonna be a grandma, shes carrying eggs and if she doesn’t eat them, there may be babies but unfortunately the survival rate of shrimp babies is not good unless they’re isolated, even from they’re mother.


 Part  – The New Fellows – 11/23/2014





There goes my i’m never keeping bettas again, say hello to my still unnamed birthday present, I though of naming him Frisky the second like Lisa from The Simpsons keeps naming her cats Snowball when the previous one dies, but that doesn’t seem fair.





Building a bubble nest and making himself at home.



Slick is a temporary resident, i’m keeping him for a month for someone.




Amano shrimp



Pregnant mama Cherry Shrimp, I bought 4, and one was pregnant she died about a week later and all her eggs disappeared, imagine my shock a few weeks later when I saw babies, and that was the start of all of my cherries.



Baby pics.



Why must the babies be in the filter?


March of the Amano shrimps, I bought these the same day as the cherries but still no babies, One simple disappeared, I don’t know if he/she died and was eaten or he jump out of the tank it. It happened before, I was reading and heard a soft wet splat and one was just leisurely crawling along the counter top. I’ve also found one or two dead cherries behind the aquarium when i’ve come from work



Added a new feeding dish to minimize the amount of left over food and gravel vacuuming I have to do.



More baby pics




Say hiya!


What if you turned on the lights and see this? If this doesn’t freak you out nothing will, copepods and nematodes infestation. I know it’s a sign of a thriving biological ecosystem, but also over feeding the shrimp, which I may have a done a bit off because of all of the babies, this is all of the babies from the previous pics all grown up.  There are more babies all the time so i’ve been feeding them crustacean calcium rich food and it’s very messy, plus I haven’t been vacuuming because i’ll suck up the babies hidden in the aquarium substrate.


5/4/2015 –



To be continued…….

If you read this to the end, you’re a CHAMP!

Thanks for reading,



6 thoughts on “The Fish Tale

  1. This fishy post made me want to get back into working on my (husband’s) fish tank again!! We started out w swordtails, 2 tiny angelfish, 2 frogs, some neon and glow light tetras, and a pleco. Then as a few died off we got a dwarf gourami, and a cory. One angelfish and most (I think we lost 2) of the glow light tetras are all that’s left 2+ years later. The angelfish is big now. We got it when it was about quarter sized, now it’s about 3-4 inches tall and about the same width not including its fins. Our other angel fish JUST died like within the last few months too. They were good fish. You’re making me want to get more fish!!! They’re pretty to watch swimming around!

    • I’m sorry you lost some of your fish friends. And I totally understand about wanting more fish, every time I go to the pet store I always want to take home more fish, That’s how most people end up with new tank/multi-tank syndrome., lol.

    • Lol, I don’t know about the good pet owner, i’m an amateur so i’m learning as I go, The most complicated part it getting the water quality stable, once you have that you’re good to go.

  2. Oh the joys of cycling a tank. I always used that cycling agent… bio something? It had to be kept refrigerated because it has life bacteria in it but basically it’s a 24 hr cycler. I also did a planted tank for my dwarf puffers – they LOVED it! They also had an oto with them to help with the waste since they are carnivores. You’re doing a great job. Fish keeping is a LOT of work but it’s so rewarding!

    • Dwarf puffers are so cute! I also had startup bacteria, the aquatics specialist at the pet store told me it gives the tank a jumpstart in cycling but a complete cycle still takes time. I know I made a lot of mistakes but things are just routine now.

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