Funny Diaries of a North Dakota Tank

Corygal8857

Back when I got my first fish about a month and a half ago, back when I was young and naive, I thought fish would be easy. I thought taking care of a fish would be simple. As you all know, I was wrong. There is so much complexity to this hobby. There is so much knowledge and insight you need to be a successful fish keeper. However, I also realized this hobby is so much FUN! You learn so much and really get to see how each fish has a unique personality. In this journal, I will document my trials and triumphs of fish keeping.
 

Mhamilton0911

Welcome! Where's page 2 of your fish diary? Lol
 

Corygal8857

I will never forget the day I got my first fish. I walked into Petco and perused the tanks. I had told myself I would get a betta, but I figured you have to look around. The tanks were full of colorful guppies, gently gliding through the water. There was a tank full of snails, lolling along. The ember tetras were zipping around in their school. I was entranced. I had no idea how mezmerizing fish could be. My eyes so widened with glee with each new fish. I was so excited. I knew I couldn't just get a betta.
As I neared the end of the freshwater tanks, I spotted it. The Adoption Tank. I was drawn to it. It pulled me in like a vortex. I had to stop and survey the fish. The pearl Gourami gracefully floated along, silently studying her environment. Four neon tetras swam together a little nervously. I read list of fish in the tank and stopped when I came to "Cory - $2.00." Then I saw him. He was a white, little ball of energy zipping around at the back of the tank. Cory was perfect. I looked at him and thought, "What a Spaz! He's perfect." The connection I felt to him was instantaneous. It was that moment in a rom com where the main characters eyes meet, and they know they have found the one. I brought him home right then and there. From then on, I was hooked. I knew that fish keeping was for me.
My $2 Albino Cory is one tough son of a gun. He is the heartiest fish, which is good because he holds such a big place in my heart.
In the next installment of my journal, I will share the tragic Golden Girls Saga.
Thanks for reading!

0199AD73-D7EA-4E17-88A1-F8A7D2300F6F.jpegHere is a photo of Cory right after I first got him!
 

Mhamilton0911

Most of us here adore cories. I have just 2 albinos. I started with 6 but over a few months lost all but 2. Once I moved the remaining 2 to a sand bottom tank, they have stopped deteriorating. I think it was my crummy gravel in my big tank causing problems. I have since changed out gravel for sand, but I still just have the 2.
 

Corygal8857

Most of us here adore cories. I have just 2 albinos. I started with 6 but over a few months lost all but 2. Once I moved the remaining 2 to a sand bottom tank, they have stopped deteriorating. I think it was my crummy gravel in my big tank causing problems. I have since changed out gravel for sand, but I still just have the 2.
I really want to get some more cories. Once I get my tank cycled, I am gonna get a couple types! I had a peppered cory too, but I lost him a couple days ago because I added him too soon. At least he had a great last day, zooming around the 20 gallon. I will have to look into getting some sand. I just haven't had a ton of luck with sandy substrates, but it is much better for corries.
 

Corygal8857

The Golden Girls Saga

Part 1: Growing Pains

After observing Cory for a couple days, I decided he needed some tank mates. He kept swimming around and chasing his reflection. At the time, I was convinced this meant was deprived of company, but now that I’ve watched him awhile, I’m pretty sure that was just Cory being Cory.

So anyway, I went back to Petco and straight to the Adoption Tank. I was hoping the Ember Tetras I had seen a few days earlier were still there, and they were. I had been researching good tank mates for Cories, and Tetras were on the list. However, I first had to phone a friend and make sure I wasn’t overwhelming my 2.5 – 3 gallon betta bowl.

I called my cousin Cathy. She currently has a 37-gallon tank full of Cherry Barbs, Cardinal Tetras, Lemon Blue-Eyed Plecos, and Blue Rams. She immediately answered, “What’d you get?” You see, my cousins, Cathy and Emily, and I have a fish group chat going. I had told them I was going to get a tank mate for Cory. They were just as excited as I was.

“I’m not sure,” I said wistfully. “That’s why I called you. I wanted to talk through my options with you.” So, Cat and I sat on the phone in the Petco fish department for 20 minutes discussing whether I should get a guppy, molly, or the four tetras. Eventually, we decided the tetras would be okay. I made the purchase and named them after the Golden Girls on the ride home.

My husband couldn’t stop laughing as I talked to my fish and tried to reassure them things would be okay. I kept telling them that they had been rejected before, but I would never do that to them. I would love them forever and keep them safe. Well, I tried.

When we got home, I float acclimated the fish to the bowl. I watched as the girls swam around, waiting ever so patiently. Cory hid in his house, unsure of what was coming. After about a 20 minutes, I released the tetras into the tank. Everything was great! The fish all got along, and the tetras made themselves right at home. It was all peaceful for a few days and then tragedy struck.

We had just come home from my parent’s farm about an hour away. My husband’s grandparents were in town visiting, so we had taken them out to the farm to see the equipment and land, stuff people who aren’t from North Dakota normally don’t see. (Also my husband’s name is Jo in case I write that later and you have no idea who I’m talking about.) I went to check on my fish right away. They all were doing fine, maybe a little sluggish, but the water was kind of cloudy. So, I picked up the bowl to take it to the sink. This is a “DUH!” moment for me. To this day, I don’t know why I thought moving the bowl would be a good idea. When I moved the bowl, my little house slipped back and crushed the littlest tetra, Rose, that was resting between the rocks the house. I was absolutely devastated. I had a minor (not so minor) breakdown, full of ugly crying. (My reaction was probably exasperated by burnout and the fact my grandpa had just died the week before.) But nonetheless, I was a wreck. I panicked and moved my remaining fish into my back up bowl. (Lord, only knows why I did that.)

The remaining fish were scared and stressed, but they were fine. The next day, still wracked with guilt, I went out and bought my 5-gallon tank.

Thus ends the first segment of the Golden Girls Saga. More to come soon.

Thanks for reading!
 

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GuppyOverlord11

Good job upgrading the tank size! They'll appericate the extra room.
 

TheAnglerAquarist

Most of us here adore cories. I have just 2 albinos. I started with 6 but over a few months lost all but 2. Once I moved the remaining 2 to a sand bottom tank, they have stopped deteriorating. I think it was my crummy gravel in my big tank causing problems. I have since changed out gravel for sand, but I still just have the 2.
Definitely try again! Get four more!
The Golden Girls Saga

Part 1: Growing Pains

After observing Cory for a couple days, I decided he needed some tank mates. He kept swimming around and chasing his reflection. At the time, I was convinced this meant was deprived of company, but now that I’ve watched him awhile, I’m pretty sure that was just Cory being Cory.

So anyway, I went back to Petco and straight to the Adoption Tank. I was hoping the Ember Tetras I had seen a few days earlier were still there, and they were. I had been researching good tank mates for Cories, and Tetras were on the list. However, I first had to phone a friend and make sure I wasn’t overwhelming my 2.5 – 3 gallon betta bowl.

I called my cousin Cathy. She currently has a 37-gallon tank full of Cherry Barbs, Cardinal Tetras, Lemon Blue-Eyed Plecos, and Blue Rams. She immediately answered, “What’d you get?” You see, my cousins, Cathy and Emily, and I have a fish group chat going. I had told them I was going to get a tank mate for Cory. They were just as excited as I was.

“I’m not sure,” I said wistfully. “That’s why I called you. I wanted to talk through my options with you.” So, Cat and I sat on the phone in the Petco fish department for 20 minutes discussing whether I should get a guppy, molly, or the four tetras. Eventually, we decided the tetras would be okay. I made the purchase and named them after the Golden Girls on the ride home.

My husband couldn’t stop laughing as I talked to my fish and tried to reassure them things would be okay. I kept telling them that they had been rejected before, but I would never do that to them. I would love them forever and keep them safe. Well, I tried.

When we got home, I float acclimated the fish to the bowl. I watched as the girls swam around, waiting ever so patiently. Cory hid in his house, unsure of what was coming. After about a 20 minutes, I released the tetras into the tank. Everything was great! The fish all got along, and the tetras made themselves right at home. It was all peaceful for a few days and then tragedy struck.

We had just come home from my parent’s farm about an hour away. My husband’s grandparents were in town visiting, so we had taken them out to the farm to see the equipment and land, stuff people who aren’t from North Dakota normally don’t see. (Also my husband’s name is Jo in case I write that later and you have no idea who I’m talking about.) I went to check on my fish right away. They all were doing fine, maybe a little sluggish, but the water was kind of cloudy. So, I picked up the bowl to take it to the sink. This is a “DUH!” moment for me. To this day, I don’t know why I thought moving the bowl would be a good idea. When I moved the bowl, my little house slipped back and crushed the littlest tetra, Rose, that was resting between the rocks the house. I was absolutely devastated. I had a minor (not so minor) breakdown, full of ugly crying. (My reaction was probably exasperated by burnout and the fact my grandpa had just died the week before.) But nonetheless, I was a wreck. I panicked and moved my remaining fish into my back up bowl. (Lord, only knows why I did that.)

The remaining fish were scared and stressed, but they were fine. The next day, still wracked with guilt, I went out and bought my 5-gallon tank.

Thus ends the first segment of the Golden Girls Saga. More to come soon.

Thanks for reading!
That was an awesome journal! Mine are boring, don’t read them lol. I would get the Cory 1 or 2 more friends for the time being. Until you get a bigger tank of course
Great job handling everything though I would have been so stressed my hair would have fallen out. And yes cories are the happy go lucky and adorable fish of the hobby
 

Corygal8857

Definitely try again! Get four more!

That was an awesome journal! Mine are boring, don’t read them lol. I would get the Cory 1 or 2 more friends for the time being. Until you get a bigger tank of course
Great job handling everything though I would have been so stressed my hair would have fallen out. And yes cories are the happy go lucky and adorable fish of the hobby
I am totally with you!!! I want to get 5 once my 20 gallon cycles! I love them.
 

TheAnglerAquarist

I am totally with you!!! I want to get 5 once my 20 gallon cycles! I love them.
Nice! You will have some happy cories and nothing is better than that
 

Corygal8857

The Golden Girls Saga

Part 2: Golden Meets Gilmore

The morning after Rose’s sudden and traumatic departure from this world. I was anxious to get a new tank. I felt horrible that my impetuousness had killed one of my fish and stressed the ones I had left. I had not slept well, so I got up around 5:30am and researching tanks. I decided on a five gallon, so I could keep it in the same place I had my betta bowl.

After my husband got up around 7, we went to Walmart and got a 5-gallon tank kit. Of course, I grabbed some decorations and food while we were there as well. As soon as I got the kit home, I unpacked it, cleaned it, and set it all up. I was so proud of my work. My fishies had a bigger more beautiful home.

So, this was back before I knew about and understood the nitrogen cycle. Pretty much right after I set it up and got the filter running, I added my fish, which looking back on it was pretty stupid. I had done two tank changes within a 24-hour period. However, my fish hung in there and made it. They all adjusted to the tank well and seemed just fine. Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy seemed to relax in their new environment, and Cory loved zipping around.

Since everything was going so well, and because I still felt insanely guilty about Rose, I went out and bought three Neon Tetras to replace her, along with a Peppered Cory. The tetras started off as Larry, Moe, and Curly. But when Larry was removed from the tank, something must have happened because was swimming in circles vertically and sank to the bottom. So, I had to euthanize. The remaining Neons became Lorelai and Rory.

The Gilmore Girls and the Golden Girls got along great. They schooled right up. Pepper, the Peppered Cory, and Cory instantly became best friends. They would huddle in the house together and chase each other. Everything was going well…Until the next morning.

More to come soon.

Thanks for reading!
 

darkcat

What! This can be a real book! I'm getting hooked into this story! I wish I could see the two of them cuddling. It should have been super cute!
 

Corygal8857

What! This can be a real book! I'm getting hooked into this story! I wish I could see the two of them cuddling. It should have been super cute!
 

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LHAquatics

I am so hooked lol. You have the skill to be an author. How were you able to recognize which tetra was which? they all look the same!
 

Corygal8857

As requested here is a photo of the cories in their house!
As requested here is a photo of the cories in their house!
Also thanks for reading! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this because I am having a blast writing it!
I am so hooked lol. You have the skill to be an author. How were you able to recognize which tetra was which? they all look the same!
Thanks! I am a writer. I love creative nonfiction (CNF), so this was the perfect outlet for that. I could recognize my tetras by slight differences in coloration. Sofia, one of my embers, was pretty pale from stress. Rory was pretty tiny, so it was easy to know her. Also personality helped me tell them apart. I'm so so so glad you are enjoying this journal. I am having a blast! I have 3 more installments already written. I am just trying to keep myself from posting them all at once! LOL!
PS: If you ever want to read more of my work, let me know! I am working on a psychological thriller and have a collection of CNF about my love of coffee.
 

TheAnglerAquarist

What! This can be a real book! I'm getting hooked into this story! I wish I could see the two of them cuddling. It should have been super cute!
I’m getting attached too!
Of course, I grabbed some decorations and food while we were there as well.
Always got to get food at the store! I got some fluval bug bites small fish the other day
 

Corygal8857

Golden Girls Saga

Part 3: Yet Another Tragedy

When I checked on my tank the next morning, I knew something was off. All my tetras were huddled in the corner by the filter, and I could only see four. I searched and searched but could not find Lorelai anywhere. My cories were fine. They were playfully swimming along doing their thing. The tetras seemed agitated. They would not leave the filter. So after a few minutes, I took a deep breath and checked underneath the filter. To my utter dismay, there was Lorelai. She was hanging limply, halfway out of the filter. My heart wretched. I had lost another fish, and now Rory was all alone.

While the remaining Golden Girls adopted Rory, she began to become more and more aloof. She would never leave the corner by the filter. She would just stare at her reflection in the side of the tank, near where I found Lorelai. My little empathetic heart bled out for her. I kept imagining her as this lonely young woman ready to throw herself into the filter because she felt misunderstood and isolated. All I wanted was for her to have friends, to be happy and fit in. The Golden Girls did their best, but my little neon tetra just kept becoming more and more distant.

After a couple days, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I went out and got two more neon tetras, Lane and Paris. When I introduced them into the tank, I watched with bated breath.

Paris immediately went over to Rory and got her to school up with the other tetras. I breathed a sigh of relief. My tetra numbers were back up. They seemed happy and more comfortable. Around this time, I also added more live plants. This also helped my fish, giving them more places to hide and rest.

The drama eventually subsided. All my fish got into a good rhythm. The Golden and Gilmore Girls became a little family. The cory buddies were happier than ever. My snail kept everything clean and tidy. (Norman is just the best little guy.) It was a little fish paradise when the ich epidemic struck.

Tune in next time for more on the drama of fighting ich.

Thanks for Reading!
Golden Girls Saga

Part 3: Yet Another Tragedy

When I checked on my tank the next morning, I knew something was off. All my tetras were huddled in the corner by the filter, and I could only see four. I searched and searched but could not find Lorelai anywhere. My cories were fine. They were playfully swimming along doing their thing. The tetras seemed agitated. They would not leave the filter. So after a few minutes, I took a deep breath and checked underneath the filter. To my utter dismay, there was Lorelai. She was hanging limply, halfway out of the filter. My heart wretched. I had lost another fish, and now Rory was all alone.

While the remaining Golden Girls adopted Rory, she began to become more and more aloof. She would never leave the corner by the filter. She would just stare at her reflection in the side of the tank, near where I found Lorelai. My little empathetic heart bled out for her. I kept imagining her as this lonely young woman ready to throw herself into the filter because she felt misunderstood and isolated. All I wanted was for her to have friends, to be happy and fit in. The Golden Girls did their best, but my little neon tetra just kept becoming more and more distant.

After a couple days, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I went out and got two more neon tetras, Lane and Paris. When I introduced them into the tank, I watched with bated breath.

Paris immediately went over to Rory and got her to school up with the other tetras. I breathed a sigh of relief. My tetra numbers were back up. They seemed happy and more comfortable. Around this time, I also added more live plants. This also helped my fish, giving them more places to hide and rest.

The drama eventually subsided. All my fish got into a good rhythm. The Golden and Gilmore Girls became a little family. The cory buddies were happier than ever. My snail kept everything clean and tidy. (Norman is just the best little guy.) It was a little fish paradise when the ich epidemic struck.

Tune in next time for more on the drama of fighting ich.

Thanks for Reading!
 

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darkcat

Why am I keep getting hooked?! You have the rights to become an author and tell everyone fish keeping is a lot of fun! Did the ich come from not quarantining? Aaaa! A lot of questions in my mind now! I can't wait for the next story!
 

Corygal8857

Why am I keep getting hooked?! You have the rights to become an author and tell everyone fish keeping is a lot of fun! Did the ich come from not quarantining? Aaaa! A lot of questions in my mind now! I can't wait for the next story!
Lol! I’m not sure if the ich came from the new fish I introduced or if it came from my embers. They were in the adoption tank and could have had something when I got them. That being said, I’m 90% sure it came from not quarantining Lane and Paris. I just wanted to end Rorys depression!
 

GuppyOverlord11

NOOO!!!!!! Lorelai! This is so sad!

I'm with corygal. Why is this so hooking?!?

Also, I love the pic with the snail on top of the mountian.
 

Corygal8857

NOOO!!!!!! Lorelai! This is so sad!

I'm with corygal. Why is this so hooking?!?

Also, I love the pic with the snail on top of the mountian.
Yeah losing Lorelai was rough. Rory was soooo sad. It broke my heart.
I’m so glad you love my Norman! He’s such a great snail.
 

TheAnglerAquarist

Rip Lorelai :(
At least the Cory buddies are staying strong and are still adorable!
 

Natalie666

yay an interesting new thread to read during work!
 

Corygal8857

“The Harbinger of Death”

So, this is a short side-track from the main plot of the Golden Girls Saga, but I had to share. After the loss of Lorelai and Rose, I think the girls blamed me. Every time I would walk by the tank, even if I was just passing through to make my coffee, they would swim off to the corner. I totally understood their fear. I was the crazy giant that would create earthquakes and always took away their dead before they could mourn. Of course, they feared me. Of course, they hated me, and of course, I took it personally.

Every time I would walk by and they would swim away, it was like a little bullet in my heart. But I pressed on. I was determined to win back their trust and show them that I bring them life and not just death. I switched up food more often, hoping it would create a more positive association. However, I made the mistake of telling my husband about my inner struggle and strategy.

Jo thought that the strategy was good and made sense, but he absolutely did not believe my fish were swimming away from me. So one day, he made me show him. I walked by the tank several times, and each time the Girls fled to the corner. My husband burst out laughing. I pouted. This was not funny; my fish hated me. This did not deter him. He said, “Wow! They really do hate you. They must think you are the devil or something. They see you coming and shriek ‘it’s the Harbinger of Death!’” Sufficed to say, I was not so happy with the new nickname but that did not stop my husband from calling me that everywhere we went. He even shortened it to the Harbinger to make it easier for himself.

I have a loving and supportive marriage, but sometimes I do wish I was the Harbinger of Death.
 

BigManAquatics

“The Harbinger of Death”

So, this is a short side-track from the main plot of the Golden Girls Saga, but I had to share. After the loss of Lorelai and Rose, I think the girls blamed me. Every time I would walk by the tank, even if I was just passing through to make my coffee, they would swim off to the corner. I totally understood their fear. I was the crazy giant that would create earthquakes and always took away their dead before they could mourn. Of course, they feared me. Of course, they hated me, and of course, I took it personally.

Every time I would walk by and they would swim away, it was like a little bullet in my heart. But I pressed on. I was determined to win back their trust and show them that I bring them life and not just death. I switched up food more often, hoping it would create a more positive association. However, I made the mistake of telling my husband about my inner struggle and strategy.

Jo thought that the strategy was good and made sense, but he absolutely did not believe my fish were swimming away from me. So one day, he made me show him. I walked by the tank several times, and each time the Girls fled to the corner. My husband burst out laughing. I pouted. This was not funny; my fish hated me. This did not deter him. He said, “Wow! They really do hate you. They must think you are the devil or something. They see you coming and shriek ‘it’s the Harbinger of Death!’” Sufficed to say, I was not so happy with the new nickname but that did not stop my husband from calling me that everywhere we went. He even shortened it to the Harbinger to make it easier for himself.

I have a loving and supportive marriage, but sometimes I do wish I was the Harbinger of Death.
We have a running joke between my wife and i that all the animals in any pet store/shelter whisper amongst themselves when they see my daughter, referring to her as the "Kiss of Death".
 

Corygal8857

We have a running joke between my wife and i that all the animals in any pet store/shelter whisper amongst themselves when they see my daughter, referring to her as the "Kiss of Death".
Love that!!!! That made me laugh so hard!
 

BigManAquatics

Love that!!!! That made me laugh so hard!
However, we refer to her as that because she just too lazy or uninterested in any pets she gets to take care of them. I took care of the hamsters because i thought they were cute. The rest, she 21, she can deal with the consequences.
 

Mhamilton0911

Your husband sounds like mine! Oooh, he'd make fun of me for so long, just like yours.
I have single shrimp I'm trying to save and he's all over that one!
 

BigManAquatics

Your husband sounds like mine! Oooh, he'd make fun of me for so long, just like yours.
I have single shrimp I'm trying to save and he's all over that one!
"Get a few more, we can have shrimp cocktail!"
 

Corygal8857

The Golden Girls Saga

Part 4: It’s about to get Icky!

Quick Recap! Two of my fish have died. I had just upgraded to a 5-gallon tank. The tank was just starting to balance out. Everything was calm. Everything was perfect…TOO perfect!

I woke up and checked on my tank. I was doing my count to make sure there weren’t any deaths overnight. My cories greeted me by zipping by me in opposite directions. Check and check. The girls of course had swum into the corner when I walked up, so I angled myself over to the side to get a view. All were alive. Yay! That’s when I noticed the white spots. They dotted the bodies and tails of my tetras in ornate patterns. I thought they looked quite beautiful. In my naivety and inexperience, I wanted to assume these white spots were something that developed when your fish began to adjust and feel more comfortable. However, my stomach knotted up and couldn’t shake this nagging feeling.

So, I hopped online and began by looking at pictures of tetras to see if the spots were normal. They were not. That’s when I googled “what are the white spots on my fish?” You know that music that plays in sitcoms and movies when the character is reading or seeing something horrifying, that’s what was playing in my head as I read about ich. I had no idea ich was a thing. While I knew I caught it early and could treat it, I still felt bad my fishies had evil little parasites in them. So, I impatiently waited for the pet stores to open to get my Ich treatment.

While I was there, I also picked up my first water test kit to check on my ph and nitrite levels. I bought the litmus strips, not fully understanding the importance of water testing yet.

When I got home I treated my fish immediately, I watched them carefully to make sure there were no signs of further distress. I used API Super Ick Cure. (I would definitely recommend this product btw.) This worked fast and effectively in my tank. By day two, the scabs had all fallen off, and the treatment was beginning to heal my fish. I followed the instructions and added my second dose 48 hours later.

Everything was fine initially. The fish were acting normal. But when I came home from work, I noticed that Sofia was at the top of the tank gasping for air. When I checked my temperature, the water was at 84 degrees. Yikes! I quickly increased the power of my filter to get more oxygen flow. I increased the intensity of my bubbler. I also floated ice cubes in a plastic bag to decrease the temperature in my tank. (While the high temperature definitely wasn’t a great thing, I think it worked out for me because it sped up the ick treatment.) A water change also seemed to help decrease her stress.

However, a couple days later Sofia was at it again. The temp was normal; all my other fish were unphased. But Sofia, who had been through three tank changes and fought off ich, had just gotten too weak. The next morning she was dead. I found her lifeless body in one of my plants. Poor dear! The Golden Girls were down to just Blanche and Dorothy.

However, there is good news because the ich treatment was successful, and the rest of the fish were on the mend.

In the next installment, prepare for the Massacre of the 20-Gallon.

Grab your tissues folks; it’s about to get really rough.

Thanks for reading!
 

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GuppyOverlord11

Patienty
ly waiting for the next installment. (PS-could it come today? Like at noon?
 

darkcat

Yes! I have been waiting for part 4! Like above said, can you make part 5 today?! I'm super excited to hear the story and cannot wait! Patience............
 

Corygal8857

Lol! I think I can post part 5 today! I do already have it written. Let me just do one more edit!
 

darkcat

Lol! I think I can post part 5 today! I do already have it written. Let me just do one more edit!
Yay!
 

Corygal8857

Part 5: The Final Installment of the Golden Girls Saga

As you have probably noticed, my 5-gallon tank was getting a bit crowded. I had 5 tetras, 2 cories, and a snail stuffed into my little 5-gallon. I had a sinking feeling my oxygen problems were not going to go away because my tank was overstocked. So, I began considering an upgrade. My hubby was getting a bit concerned about the ever-expanding cost, but my mom chipped in to help me get a newer, bigger tank. (My mom is the coolest. She has 6 hermit crabs that she’s had for 20 years. They are her pride and joy. She fully supports this hobby and enables me even though it drives my husband nuts. She also bought me 4 new Cories recently. They will be featured in journals to come.)

So, I went out and bought a 20-gallon tank. I bought gravel, plants (fake and real), a beautiful log with tons of hiding places, and a couple other hideouts. I beamed with pride as I looked upon the finished product. The tank looked amazing! I was unbelievably proud of it. It made me so excited! So excited I made a very fatal mistake. I put my fish in too soon.

When I added my fish, I thought everything would be okay. Cory was a bit freaked, but he is a nervous creature. He went and hit on the bottom of the tank. The Girls were nervous at first, but they seemed pretty comfortable by the time I went to sleep. But Pepper, he made himself right at home. He zipped from one end of the tank to the other in total bliss. He was having a blast swimming around, checking out all the little caves and hide outs. I was not worried about Pepper; he looked so unbelievably happy.

I had treated the water with API Quick Start and Stress Coat, but it wasn’t enough. My tank was not established enough. The morning after I added my fish. When I came to check on my fish, I shrieked with horror because Pepper was floating horizontally at the top on the tank. I thought for sure he was dead. But he snapped out of it and swam away when I went to remove the carcasses of the Girls from the filter. All my tetras were dead, and Pepper’s behavior was erratic and bizarre.

It was only after the massacre that I started to learn about the nitrogen cycle and how essential it is to have a cycled tank before you add fish. I just did what I had done before. When I moved them into the 5-gallon, everything was fine, but I didn’t account for the 15-gallon difference. I am still kicking myself. Cory seemed fine. He was stressed but okay. Unfortunately, I had to go to work, but I left my husband with instructions to keep an eye on them till I could come home at lunch.

When I came home, Pepper had gotten worse. He was barely swimming and floating at the top of the tank. When I finally made the determination that he was suffering too much and should probably euthanize, he didn’t even swim away from the net. He knew it was time. My husband had to take care of him for me because I was so crushed. Losing my tetras was sad but losing my Pepper was so much harder. Pepper was the sweetest fish. He was always so happy; he was Cory’s best friend. I felt so awful! I could not believe I had been so stupid. My impetuousness had killed my fish once again.

I hope I have finally learned my lesson. I hope will be more patient in the future. I hope you can learn from my mistakes, so you don’t lose your favorite fish.

Right after all this went down, I got on Fishlore, and the advice I’ve received has been invaluable. I was able to speed up the cycling process and allow my remaining fish to thrive. (Although, I am a bit worried about Cory. He has been pretty sluggish since this whole ordeal, but I guess I would be too if I watched my best friend die.) I have recently added a few fish too, but I will talk about that more in future posts.

So, thus ends the tragic Golden Girls Saga. In the next segment, I will discuss the biggest things I’ve learned so far. It’s been a wild ride and hope people can benefit from my experiences. I do not want people to make the same mistakes I did, as educational as those mistakes were.

Thanks for reading!
 

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darkcat

Wow! Thanks for writing! I hope pepper will recover! This is really sad, but it makes us learn some lessons!
 

Corygal8857

Wow! Thanks for writing! I hope pepper will recover! This is really sad, but it makes us learn some lessons!
Yeah I am still kicking myself, but this was also an invaluable learning experience. I just hope others don’t have to learn it the hard way like I did.
 

Mhamilton0911

Are you a professional writer/author? Or just a hobby? Your story is really well written, easy to follow, and leaves right at the best time for a cliffhanger. The content is sad, yes, but it's a great story! I'm really enjoying the read, and I'm so invested in your fish now, lol
 

TheAnglerAquarist

Patienty
ly waiting for the next installment. (PS-could it come today? Like at noon?
Yes
Part 5: The Final Installment of the Golden Girls Saga

As you have probably noticed, my 5-gallon tank was getting a bit crowded. I had 5 tetras, 2 cories, and a snail stuffed into my little 5-gallon. I had a sinking feeling my oxygen problems were not going to go away because my tank was overstocked. So, I began considering an upgrade. My hubby was getting a bit concerned about the ever-expanding cost, but my mom chipped in to help me get a newer, bigger tank. (My mom is the coolest. She has 6 hermit crabs that she’s had for 20 years. They are her pride and joy. She fully supports this hobby and enables me even though it drives my husband nuts. She also bought me 4 new Cories recently. They will be featured in journals to come.)

So, I went out and bought a 20-gallon tank. I bought gravel, plants (fake and real), a beautiful log with tons of hiding places, and a couple other hideouts. I beamed with pride as I looked upon the finished product. The tank looked amazing! I was unbelievably proud of it. It made me so excited! So excited I made a very fatal mistake. I put my fish in too soon.

When I added my fish, I thought everything would be okay. Cory was a bit freaked, but he is a nervous creature. He went and hit on the bottom of the tank. The Girls were nervous at first, but they seemed pretty comfortable by the time I went to sleep. But Pepper, he made himself right at home. He zipped from one end of the tank to the other in total bliss. He was having a blast swimming around, checking out all the little caves and hide outs. I was not worried about Pepper; he looked so unbelievably happy.

I had treated the water with API Quick Start and Stress Coat, but it wasn’t enough. My tank was not established enough. The morning after I added my fish. When I came to check on my fish, I shrieked with horror because Pepper was floating horizontally at the top on the tank. I thought for sure he was dead. But he snapped out of it and swam away when I went to remove the carcasses of the Girls from the filter. All my tetras were dead, and Pepper’s behavior was erratic and bizarre.

It was only after the massacre that I started to learn about the nitrogen cycle and how essential it is to have a cycled tank before you add fish. I just did what I had done before. When I moved them into the 5-gallon, everything was fine, but I didn’t account for the 15-gallon difference. I am still kicking myself. Cory seemed fine. He was stressed but okay. Unfortunately, I had to go to work, but I left my husband with instructions to keep an eye on them till I could come home at lunch.

When I came home, Pepper had gotten worse. He was barely swimming and floating at the top of the tank. When I finally made the determination that he was suffering too much and should probably euthanize, he didn’t even swim away from the net. He knew it was time. My husband had to take care of him for me because I was so crushed. Losing my tetras was sad but losing my Pepper was so much harder. Pepper was the sweetest fish. He was always so happy; he was Cory’s best friend. I felt so awful! I could not believe I had been so stupid. My impetuousness had killed my fish once again.

I hope I have finally learned my lesson. I hope will be more patient in the future. I hope you can learn from my mistakes, so you don’t lose your favorite fish.

Right after all this went down, I got on Fishlore, and the advice I’ve received has been invaluable. I was able to speed up the cycling process and allow my remaining fish to thrive. (Although, I am a bit worried about Cory. He has been pretty sluggish since this whole ordeal, but I guess I would be too if I watched my best friend die.) I have recently added a few fish too, but I will talk about that more in future posts.

So, thus ends the tragic Golden Girls Saga. In the next segment, I will discuss the biggest things I’ve learned so far. It’s been a wild ride and hope people can benefit from my experiences. I do not want people to make the same mistakes I did, as educational as those mistakes were.

Thanks for reading!
NOOOOOOOOOO! Not pepper! May they swim in peace :(
 

Corygal8857

Are you a professional writer/author? Or just a hobby? Your story is really well written, easy to follow, and leaves right at the best time for a cliffhanger. The content is sad, yes, but it's a great story! I'm really enjoying the read, and I'm so invested in your fish now, lol
Thank you so much! I so appreciate the compliment. I love writing! Right now, it’s a hobby, but I would absolutely love to write professionally one day. I’ve been published in some local magazines. But nothing major. I am so glad you are loving this as much as I am! I have been having so much fun!
 

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