Funny Diaries of a North Dakota Tank - Page 2

Coradee

This is a fabulous read, one of the best journals I’ve read in a very long time...I’m hooked!
Looking forward to the next instalment :)
 

Corygal8857

Brief Departure from our Regularly Scheduled Program

So, I need to stop and take a break in my fishkeeping story. I’ll write about my danios in the next couple days, but I just really need to be honest with where I am at. I'm feeling pretty discouraged. The past week has been pretty tough. I lost two fish, both cories. I am really starting to regret this 20-gallon tank. I know it’ll be great in the long run, and my fish needed more space, but I am just feeling really discouraged. I keep making water changes, and I feel like I am doing everything I can.

I lost Cory and one my new peppered cories, Cayenne. I am feeling really bummed and are having some regrets. My husband is away at army training, so I don’t have him to tell me everything is okay. I was hoping my fish would help me cope, but I just feel like I am failing fish. In my head, I know I am doing what I can, but losing my cories this week really sucked.

I am starting to question and rethink everything I am doing. I am so attached to my fish. I hate feeling like I am hurting them. I miss my hubby, and things just don’t seem to be going well in my tank. I am just feeling really down. I love this hobby and my fish, but it’s been hard the last couple days.
This is a fabulous read, one of the best journals I’ve read in a very long time...I’m hooked!
Looking forward to the next instalment :)
Thank you! I am so glad you are enjoying my stories!
 

LHAquatics

Brief Departure from our Regularly Scheduled Program

So, I need to stop and take a break in my fishkeeping story. I’ll write about my danios in the next couple days, but I just really need to be honest with where I am at. I'm feeling pretty discouraged. The past week has been pretty tough. I lost two fish, both cories. I am really starting to regret this 20-gallon tank. I know it’ll be great in the long run, and my fish needed more space, but I am just feeling really discouraged. I keep making water changes, and I feel like I am doing everything I can.

I lost Cory and one my new peppered cories, Cayenne. I am feeling really bummed and are having some regrets. My husband is away at army training, so I don’t have him to tell me everything is okay. I was hoping my fish would help me cope, but I just feel like I am failing fish. In my head, I know I am doing what I can, but losing my cories this week really sucked.

I am starting to question and rethink everything I am doing. I am so attached to my fish. I hate feeling like I am hurting them. I miss my hubby, and things just don’t seem to be going well in my tank. I am just feeling really down. I love this hobby and my fish, but it’s been hard the last couple days.

Thank you! I am so glad you are enjoying my stories!
I promise you that there isn't a fishkeeper who hasn't had fish die on him/her. Fish will die and that is the sad thing. Keep doing what you were, do more research, trust god and I am sure things will go fine.
 

Corygal8857

I promise you that there isn't a fishkeeper who hasn't had fish die on him/her. Fish will die and that is the sad thing. Keep doing what you were, do more research, trust god and I am sure things will go fine.
Thank you!
 

Mhamilton0911

Like I mentioned earlier, I had 4 cories die on me and my last 2 on the way out before I realized it was my gravel. I did save the last 2, and thier barbells grew back, but it was still heartbreaking seeing them suffer, then realizing it was totally my fault. So hang in there hun, big hugs, we're here for you. Feel free to PM if you need to talk more than this as well <3
 

mattgirl

This truly is the heartbreaking part of this hobby. Hopefully it will make you feel a bit better knowing that we all experience losses from time to time. We have to depend on the fish we buy to have been treated well before we got them.

I started with 3 albino, 3 bronze and 5 false julii corys. That was all the store had at the time. Within the first couple of months I lost 3 of the false julii's. Here it is now 6 years later and the remaining 2 false julii's are alive and well. I lost my female albino a couple of years ago but the 2 male albinos are alive and well. The albino female blessed me with lots of eggs before she swam under the rainbow bridge. I collected a lot of the eggs and hatched them. Some even hatched in the tank but most of the eggs if left in the tank will be eaten.

I now have more bronze corys than I can count since they move to fast to get an accurate head count. I am guessing at least 25 though. With corys this is something you can look forward to. It is so much fun to collect the eggs, watch them hatch and watch the fry grow. I am looking forward to the journal entry about your cory eggs hatching.

Hopefully you will soon be able to put this rough patch behind you. Please know that we are here for you. I don't think there is one among us that hasn't gone through this at one time or another so we understand where you are coming from.
 

Corygal8857

The One with the Danios

Before I get into the story of my leopard danios, I want to thank everyone for the encouragement after my last post. I so appreciate everyone’s love and advice. It really did make a big difference. I’m so glad I found this community of crazy, wonderful fish lovers. So, thank you again.

Now on with the story. Once Cory and Julie began their sweet little friendship, the entire top half of my tank felt crazy empty. Cory and Julie would stroll along the bottom together, but aside from the occasional glass surfing escapade, the cories seemed uninterested in the top areas of the tank. So, I started researching hearty fish that enjoy being on top. (LOL!)

I thought about getting some tetras again. There are so many fun kinds: neons, cardinals, and costello. But I wanted something I hadn’t tried before. I also considered Harlequin Rasboras (still plan to get some of those eventually. I want to name them after Shakespeare characters.) While I loved the idea of Harlequins, I eventually decided on leopard danios because there were some in stock at Petco. I got 6 leopards: 3 yellow and 3 blue. I named them after the cast of Friends. Ross, Joey, and Chandler are my blue danios, and Monica, Rachel and Phoebe are my yellow ones.

My danios are so much fun! They have so much energy. They are such playful fish. The Friends made themselves right at home in their new tank. They swam around the large log and explored their new environment with avid curiosity. I was so grateful that they loved their new home.

I watched as they acquainted themselves to the new tank, and as they, finally, interacted with Cory and Julie. They all seemed to get along fine until the danios started to nip at Julie’s fins. I got very upset and started yelling at them to leave Julie alone. This prompted a series of laughs from the living room. My husband could hear me and couldn’t stop laughing at how I yelled at my fish, even though they can’t understand what I’m saying. Eventually, Monica realized Julie didn’t want to play and left her alone. I was grateful they weren’t trying to bully her.

I decided I’d try to feed the danios since they seemed so at home. The moment the food hit the water, the danios attacked it with ferocity. They nibbled and gobbled up nearly every piece of food that hit the water. It was a frenzy, but as the food disappeared, the fish calmed down again. Then I threw in an algae wafer to feed my cories, the danios attacked that too and stuffed themselves. The little gluttons feasted until they looked like they’d nearly pop. I learned a valuable lesson that danios are not picky. They will eat anything at any time. They also have absolutely no self-control. My cories were still able to eat, but I was shocked that the danios went after those algae wafers.

My danios are little piglets, but I absolutely love watching them. They play tag and chase each other all day long. They do well with my cories. But they really are their own tight, little group. They have absolutely no self-control. Oh…My…God!

Next time, I’ll introduce you to my man, Marshall.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Corygal8857

How I Met My Marshall…

As my 20-gallon tank became more established, it began developing some brown algae. I looked into ways to manage it and found that otocinculus catfish are great algae eaters. My love of catfish and need for cleaner fish took me back to Petco to see if they had any oto cats available.

When I walked in, I headed straight for the tanks. I scoured each one looking for my prize, and fortunately, I found my lovely, little Marshall. He was diligently cleaning the store’s tank surround by guppies. He is striped and marbled with black and brown and had some subtle white speckles. He was not as colorful or overactive as the guppies that surrounded him, but his sweet, shy nature stuck out to me. Marshall’s quiet, bashfulness won me over.

When I asked for help getting Marshall out of the tank, Violet, the Petco employee I see all too frequently because of my obsession, showed me some little baby snails that had only been born a week before. They were tiny. Their little shells were smaller than my pinkie nail. They were so cute; I had to get a few of them too.

Violet bagged up my snails and my oto, and we headed home. I float acclimated my little guys to the tank and let them join my little fish family. Marshall headed straight to the back of the tank, hiding in my plants. The snails made themselves right at home, eating away instantaneously. They were an excellent addition to my tank.

Marshall eventually settled in and became bolder. He would latch himself to the front glass pane, gently scrubbing it clean. He still spooks easily, but he loves all the hiding places that I have for him. Marshall is sweet and gentle. He gets along so well with my cories and danios. Although, I think the danios do make him nervous sometimes. They are a bit much, but he tolerates them beautifully. He is a kind and gracious soul, so pure and lovely. I am looking forward to getting a couple more otos in the near future. Marshall deserves friends. He deserves to have a little oto clan.

Next time…I will share about the amazing local fish shop that I found, and my adorable spice rack of cories.

Thanks so much for reading!
 

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Corygal8857

Exploring the Benefits of a Local Fish Shoppe

I went to Petsmart to pick up supplies and food after work one day. While I was browsing the aisle, a girl came up to me and asked me if I’d used API Quick Start. This began an amazing conversation about our tanks and fish. I had so much fun talking to this random stranger and hearing about her experiences. Fish people are the friendliest!

During this conversation, she mentioned The Tropical Fish Shoppe, a local place. I had no idea Fargo had any mom and pop fish shops. I live in the largest city in North Dakota, Fargo, but being the largest city in North Dakota doesn’t mean a lot. Fargo has about 250,000 people, so I was so excited that our community had a local place to shop. I never expected it.

So, my mom, Jo, and I all went off to check out the shoppe a few days later. The Tropical Shoppe is situated in a more industrial area of Fargo. It’s tucked away between two auto shops. It’s unassuming store front hides the jewel that lies beneath.

As we walked in, I was overwhelmed by their large tanks filled with plants. There were so many different varieties. They were so bright, vibrant, and healthy. I couldn’t believe how many choices I had. I couldn’t wait to explore more. I browsed the aisles and admired some lovely driftwood pieces. It gave me all kinds of ideas.

The front of the shop was great, but the real treat was in hidden in the fish room. Their tanks were immaculate. Full of fun and unique fish. I saw my first dwarf pea puffer there. It was so cute! It lolled around the tank. It was such a laid-back fish. But I was not ready for a more difficult fish, so I simply admired from afar. Their algae eaters and plecos were incredible. Their tanks were densely green, and the little guys were all munching away. I was so excited to see such a wide variety of algae eaters.

Then I spotted the cory tank. They had a whole tank full of adorable peppered cories. I fell in love, and my mom offered to buy me a few. So, I got four peppered cories: Cardamon, Caraway, Clove, and Cayenne.

They are my sweet, little spice rack, and they made my tank more-lively. They energized all the other fish. How could I not fall head over heels for them? My cories all bring me so much joy, but these guys are the sweetest. I love watching them glass surf together and seeing them cuddle up. Every fish has its own unique personality, and it’s so fun to get to know them. My little spices have become the spice of my life.

Next time…an update on Flora and why she’s a beast!

Thanks for reading!
 

BigManAquatics

Exploring the Benefits of a Local Fish Shoppe

I went to Petsmart to pick up supplies and food after work one day. While I was browsing the aisle, a girl came up to me and asked me if I’d used API Quick Start. This began an amazing conversation about our tanks and fish. I had so much fun talking to this random stranger and hearing about her experiences. Fish people are the friendliest!

During this conversation, she mentioned The Tropical Fish Shoppe, a local place. I had no idea Fargo had any mom and pop fish shops. I live in the largest city in North Dakota, Fargo, but being the largest city in North Dakota doesn’t mean a lot. Fargo has about 250,000 people, so I was so excited that our community had a local place to shop. I never expected it.

So, my mom, Jo, and I all went off to check out the shoppe a few days later. The Tropical Shoppe is situated in a more industrial area of Fargo. It’s tucked away between two auto shops. It’s unassuming store front hides the jewel that lies beneath.

As we walked in, I was overwhelmed by their large tanks filled with plants. There were so many different varieties. They were so bright, vibrant, and healthy. I couldn’t believe how many choices I had. I couldn’t wait to explore more. I browsed the aisles and admired some lovely driftwood pieces. It gave me all kinds of ideas.

The front of the shop was great, but the real treat was in hidden in the fish room. Their tanks were immaculate. Full of fun and unique fish. I saw my first dwarf pea puffer there. It was so cute! It lolled around the tank. It was such a laid-back fish. But I was not ready for a more difficult fish, so I simply admired from afar. Their algae eaters and plecos were incredible. Their tanks were densely green, and the little guys were all munching away. I was so excited to see such a wide variety of algae eaters.

Then I spotted the cory tank. They had a whole tank full of adorable peppered cories. I fell in love, and my mom offered to buy me a few. So, I got four peppered cories: Cardamon, Caraway, Clove, and Cayenne.

They are my sweet, little spice rack, and they made my tank more-lively. They energized all the other fish. How could I not fall head over heels for them? My cories all bring me so much joy, but these guys are the sweetest. I love watching them glass surf together and seeing them cuddle up. Every fish has its own unique personality, and it’s so fun to get to know them. My little spices have become the spice of my life.

Next time…an update on Flora and why she’s a beast!

Thanks for reading!
Fish stores are so much fun!! And so much trouble.. either because i spend lots of money there or because i get new ideas on how to spend lots of money there!
 

TheAnglerAquarist

Exploring the Benefits of a Local Fish Shoppe

I went to Petsmart to pick up supplies and food after work one day. While I was browsing the aisle, a girl came up to me and asked me if I’d used API Quick Start. This began an amazing conversation about our tanks and fish. I had so much fun talking to this random stranger and hearing about her experiences. Fish people are the friendliest!

During this conversation, she mentioned The Tropical Fish Shoppe, a local place. I had no idea Fargo had any mom and pop fish shops. I live in the largest city in North Dakota, Fargo, but being the largest city in North Dakota doesn’t mean a lot. Fargo has about 250,000 people, so I was so excited that our community had a local place to shop. I never expected it.

So, my mom, Jo, and I all went off to check out the shoppe a few days later. The Tropical Shoppe is situated in a more industrial area of Fargo. It’s tucked away between two auto shops. It’s unassuming store front hides the jewel that lies beneath.

As we walked in, I was overwhelmed by their large tanks filled with plants. There were so many different varieties. They were so bright, vibrant, and healthy. I couldn’t believe how many choices I had. I couldn’t wait to explore more. I browsed the aisles and admired some lovely driftwood pieces. It gave me all kinds of ideas.

The front of the shop was great, but the real treat was in hidden in the fish room. Their tanks were immaculate. Full of fun and unique fish. I saw my first dwarf pea puffer there. It was so cute! It lolled around the tank. It was such a laid-back fish. But I was not ready for a more difficult fish, so I simply admired from afar. Their algae eaters and plecos were incredible. Their tanks were densely green, and the little guys were all munching away. I was so excited to see such a wide variety of algae eaters.

Then I spotted the cory tank. They had a whole tank full of adorable peppered cories. I fell in love, and my mom offered to buy me a few. So, I got four peppered cories: Cardamon, Caraway, Clove, and Cayenne.

They are my sweet, little spice rack, and they made my tank more-lively. They energized all the other fish. How could I not fall head over heels for them? My cories all bring me so much joy, but these guys are the sweetest. I love watching them glass surf together and seeing them cuddle up. Every fish has its own unique personality, and it’s so fun to get to know them. My little spices have become the spice of my life.

Next time…an update on Flora and why she’s a beast!

Thanks for reading!
As long as you get two more peppered cories, you are golden
 

Corygal8857

Flora of Fury

Flora’s transition into the 5-gallon was seamless. She thrived. The tank handled her bio-load easily, so easily that algae began to grow quickly. The glass of my tank was soon covered in the slimy film. I scrubbed it clean but began looking into getting a snail to help with the maintenance. I decided against buying a new snail and moved Norman over from the 20-gallon.

As you remember, Flora is an aggressive child. She attacked sweet, little Ulysses. So, I hoped Norman’s thick shell would protect him and eventually she would learn to ignore him. The move went smoothly enough. I pulled Norman off the glass gently and transferred him to the floor of the 5-gallon tank. I watched carefully as he adjusted to the new tank. He gingerly slipped his slender antae out of his shell, getting a sense of the water. Over the course of a few minutes, he’d meandered his way over to the glass.

Flora was prowling around on the other side of the tank. Flora along with being aggressive is also extremely self-absorbed. She spends most of her time trying to fight her reflection on the side of the tank. She is constantly flared. I thought this would work to my advantage. She would be so consumed with herself that, even if she came in contact with Norman, she would get distracted by herself and leave him alone. While I was fairly confident this pairing would work, I kept a close eye out on the two to make sure my little Florie didn’t do something rash.

Day one was good. The two ignored each other. Norman cleaned and ate. He seemed a bit nervous, but overall he was fine. Flora spent a lot of time on the other side of the tank. When she did come near Norman it was only to chase herself and assert dominance over her reflection. Day one was a success.

Day two made me a bit concerned. Norman had not moved from the same glass pane. He did not seem to be eating. Flora’s behavior was the same, but she did seem to spend a bit more time on Norman’s side of the tank. I was beginning to worry and consider moving him back to the 20-gallon but decided to give it one more day. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one more day.

Day three. I woke up and checked on Flora’s tank right away. There at the bottom of the tank laid Norman’s shell upside down; Flora floated triumphantly above him, pacing over her conquest with pride. My heart broke. Poor little Norman tormented by the beautiful yet temperamental Flora. I had been optimistic, but unfortunately, my little beastie claimed an innocent victim. She couldn’t have been prouder. As I silently shed a tear for even tempered, humble Norman, Flora took her victory lap around the tank. She had won. I finally learned my lesson. Flora needs to be alone; she’s a beast.

Next time…my adventures in aquascaping!

Thanks for reading!
 

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MyFishAddiction

Soo... not be pushy or anything, but, when's that next installment coming out?
 

JLAquatics

Next time…my adventures in aquascaping!

Did eye spy the word aquascaping in your last post? Now I got to personally tune in to see where your adventure heads next. ;)


you have a great thread by the way, I enjoyed all your posts albeit a bit sad at times. I wish you the best for your fish in the days ahead. :)
 

Corygal8857

Sorry guys! It's been a crazy couple weeks! I have had no time to write. Don't worry I will definitely update soon with my aquascaping post. My plants have really grown in the last week and a half so I will have more stories to share.
 

Corygal8857

Adventures in Aquascaping

Hello my lovely, fish friends! I’m so sorry it’s been so long since I wrote, but it’s been a crazy time. Work has been extremely busy, and my free time has been spent outside. Summer up here in ND lasts all of five minutes, so I’ve been spending a lot of my free time taking care of my outdoor patio garden and other plant projects. But now that smoke from the Canadian wildfires has driven me indoors, I am here to craft this installment.

My journey down the rabbit-hole of aquascaping was rapid. I instantly fell in love with the live plants, rocks, and driftwood. As you all know, when I began fishkeeping I knew less than nothing. My first little betta bowl had just a little house and some pretty pebbles, far from the ideal environment for any fish.

When I upgraded to my five-gallon, it was initially pretty sparse as well. However, the more I began to research the more I realized live plants greatly increase the quality of life for your fish. So, I went out to Petco and bought my first Java Ferns. Their soft forest greens brightened my tank, and their broader leaves provided amazing shelter for The Girls. They loved swimming in and out of the leaves, bless their tiny, little souls. I began adding a couple more plants here and there. Each time my fish got more and more active. They made my fish feel more secure. They had safe place to hide. Not to mention, it helped keep the water clean and my ammonia levels low. But cleaning my tank and rescaping was such a hassle, I would always end up uprooting plants and have trouble replanting them.

When I got my 20-gallon tank, I initially filled it with fake plants and a large, fake piece of driftwood. The set up was so simple. I was able to get the exact look I wanted with very little effort. It looked amazing, but one day as I observed my fish, I noticed they seemed very irritated every time they brushed up against the plastic plants. I could just feel the itchy, harsh poking sensation I’m sure my fish experienced, so I set out to transform the 20-gallon into a live plant oasis.

So, I got some very cool bamboo like plants to anchor the tank in the corners. They were tall, light colored, and easy to plant. I got some anubias, which I initially planted in substrate but have since moved. They provided incredible cover, and my cories loved to hide underneath it. I planted Giant Corkscrew along the sides of my tank. It’s starting to sprout up and add thicker cover. It has been so fun to watch it expand.

I added some Monte Carlo in the foreground of my tank. This frothy plant is just starting to expand and blanket my tank. Crypt Becketti was the next plant I fell in love with. The subtle plum color provided a lovely contrast to the greens in my tank. Java Ferns and a Ludwigia Peruensis rounded out the plants in my tank. They added filler and more color variation. They made my tank a lush forest with plenty of hiding places for my cories, danios, and otos.

While the live plants definitely helped my tank, as I began putting together my new 5-gallon tank I started to consider décor that would help keep the ph balanced. I found a lovely large piece of driftwood to serve as a center piece and some carbonate rocks, which I nestled at the bottom of the tank. The driftwood releases tannins that help soften the water and provide a bit of acidity, while the carbonate rocks also work to soften the water and release a bit of alkalinity. All in all, I hope these pieces will help create a balanced tank environment for my sweet baby betta, Aurora, once she gets bigger.

I also added some Frog Bit to the top of the tank. It looks great! Floating plants are a lovely way add oxygen and keep ammonia levels low if your tank is taller and you have limited space on the tank floor. I used fake plants on the bottom, so the lack of light would not be an issue.

Fun fact: I also grew a couple of the plants in my tank from seed, and they are thriving. I might have to do another post on growing those from seed.

All décor, fake and real, have their place in aquascaping, but it just depends on your fish and your tank. Each tank will require different things based on bio-load, the types of fish inhabiting the tank, and the tank itself. You have to research and make decisions about what you think is best for both the plants and the fish.

That being said, I do think that live plants are absolutely essential to any tank, even if it’s just smaller floating plants. Your fish can only benefit from live plants. I am still pretty new to the aquascaping world, so please add any advice, insight, or experience you have in the thread. It’s always great to learn something new.

Next time…you all get to meet Aurora, my Baby!!!

She is so sweet and so little and sooooo sneaky. You will just love her!

Thanks for reading guys! I always love hearing from you, so please feel free to comment below any time.
 

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Corygal8857

The Enchanting Escapades of Baby Aurora

After my new five-gallon tank cycled, I began wondering what type of fish would suit the environment well. The tank is kind of a blackwater tank right now. The large piece of driftwood is releasing lots of tannins into the water. So, I researched fish that do well in tannin rich waters. I considered gold neon tetra quite seriously for a while. They are gorgeous, and my LFS had quite a large school. I kept seeing this vision in my head of those tiny light-colored tetras brightening up the dark waters of my tank. However, I decided against tetras because my tank is tall and narrow. I feared their swimming patterns would be thrown off or that I would overstock my tank trying to make sure that no one was lonely (I’m trying to learn from my mistakes). So, I decided on getting another betta.

Flora has really grown on me since she murdered Norman. We have a healthy respect for each other now. I no longer try to force her to have friends, and she...well I guess she didn’t really have to compromise on anything. She’s just happy to be alone. I find myself watching her tank more and more. She is beautiful and super weird. I see her do the most random things and cannot help but laugh. But more Flora stories later, this is about Aurora. All in all after the shock of Flora violence wore off, I felt a betta was the best option for my new tank.

The next Saturday I began my search. I went to Petco, but their bettas were all packed away in a shopping cart. So, I wasn’t sure if there were for sale yet, not mention I did not have my rom com moment with any of those fish. I left the store feeling a bit disappointed, but hopeful that Petsmart would have the fish for me.

As I perused my options there, I felt insurmountable pity. These poor babies looked miserable. They barely moved and you could see the life slowly draining from their eyes. My heart broke for them, but none of them were my fish. I left, my heart aching, feeling guilty for leaving them all behind.

As I pulled out of the Petsmart parking lot, my mom called. She wanted me to come home for the day. I pondered my options. I had done my tank maintenance. My fish wouldn’t need to be fed till that evening, and I had watered all my plants. This was also an opportunity to see what the Petco and Petsmart in Grand Forks had to offer for fish. So, I headed north toward Grand Forks, my hometown. It’s the longest hour drive you will ever experience. There is not much to look at other than completely flat fields and shelterbelts.

When I got home, I did the typical family stuff. I hung out with my sister, my dad and mom. Mom showed me her garden which is always unique each year. She loves to be creative with her plants. Then mom and I ran some errands. After that, I asked if we could go to the pet stores. She agreed, and we stopped at Petsmart first. I rushed over to the bettas. There were some really pretty ones, but some seemed like tortured souls. They had flung themselves onto the side of their little container and were hanging outside of the water. Is this normal? Multiple bettas I saw that day were doing that. I have not seen it before or since.

I did make a connection with a male betta. We locked eyes, and he seemed keenly aware of me. He was a half-moon betta, mostly white with yellow and blue marbling. He was so handsome, but he looked pretty large. I didn’t want to confine him to such a small tank. While I did not take him home, I do hope he found a good home. He seemed like a special fish.

We went to Petco after leaving Petsmart empty handed. I looked at the bettas. Honestly, I’m sorry this is kind of depressing, but oh my goodness, those poor bettas! I feel so bad from them. They are confined to such small spaces for so long. No wonder they look so sad and sickly! It just breaks my heart.

But I was able to rescue one that day: sweet, lovely Aurora. She was with the other babies, such a tiny thing. I fell for her instantly. She was about two weeks old at the time. She was white with soft pink fins (her color is starting to change now which is super fun to watch). Her eyes are surrounded by a circle of pale blue. I took her back to my parents place and worked to get her prepped for the hour drive back to Fargo.

I ended up setting her on the center consul, so I could stabilize her if need be. The drive back was pretty uneventful actually. I talked to Aurora, and she patiently listened and looked up at me. I did my best to drive smoothly and tried to steady her if we did hit a bump. She was unphased by it all. She embraced the challenge, and we both made it home in one piece that night.

Since she was so tiny, I turned off the filter before acclimating and adding her to the five-gallon tank. When I released her into her new home, she curiously surveyed it all. Aurora seemed to love that she had places to explore and more room to swim freely. I left out a sigh of relief. She was going to be okay. We survived the drive home; we could survive anything.

Boy that was helpful to remember about two weeks later...more on that next time in Diaries of a North Dakota Tank.

Thanks for reading! Happy Saturday!
 

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Corygal8857

The Enchanting Escapades of Aurora: Part 2

Once upon a time, there was a sweet, baby fish princess named Aurora. Her palace was a tall, five-gallon aquarium. The princess ruled over her kingdom with meek, gentle wisdom, always exploring. She loved to roam through the tall plants the far end of the kingdom. She also enjoyed following the ghost near that lingered at the kingdom’s edge; there was something so familiar about her. Then one day as the princess passed one of the tall plants, she noticed a narrow cave. A chill ran up her spine. There was something spooky and mysterious about it. Something drew her to this cave. So, she gingerly squeezed in, and the princess was never seen again, forever consumed by the darkness…

JK! Aurora is fine. So, here’s the story. Aurora was doing great in the five-gallon tank I put her in. She was swimming and exploring. She would swim to me whenever I came near the glass. (We really bonded during that hour drive home.) She was eating and seemed to enjoy all the extra space to swim around. However, one thing worried me: the filter intake.

Even though the crevices that made up the filter intake were small, they were just large enough for my tiny, little girl to fit through. I feared that she would swim back there, and she’d be trapped. It eased my concern that the filter was off. At least if she did get back there, she would be able to swim freely and not get caught in anything. While I knew she would be okay, I was still worried. And of course, one day my worst fear came true.

About a month ago, we were all getting together at my place for a birthday celebration. My mom and sister came by before to hang out, and of course, I showed off my fish. Flora proudly presented herself to us and flared. She engaged for a moment and then caught sight of herself and swam off.

We moved into the fish room. The 20-gallon was a buzz with activity. The danios rushed back and forth chasing each other. The cories danced in the bubbler at the back of the tank. My otos diligently ate at the algae on the sides of the tank. I was so proud! Then I went to show them my most precious possession, my Aurora. (I have gotten very bad about playing favorites lately. I love all my fish, but Aurora is special.)

When I walked up to her tank, she didn’t swim up to the glass. My mom and I angled ourselves and scoured the tank looking for her. But there was no sign of her, so I took a deep breath. And shakily I said, “Mom, we have to check the filter.”

We opened the plastic lid gingerly. The entire back of the tank is the filtration chamber. It is a long, narrow rectangle full of water with an oily fluid coating it. I held my flashlight over the dingy water. I couldn’t see a thing. It was so dark, even with the light. Then a little white figure emerged from the darkness and swam toward the surface. I sighed in relief, but my anxiety spiked at the same time. How do we get her out of here?

My mom and I spent several minutes trying to lure her out the holes she entered through, but she couldn’t seem to make it through or didn’t understand how to angle herself back out. So, we moved on to Plan B. We tried to corner her with a net and pull her out. The narrow filter shaft made this difficult. It was deep with lots of obstacles. The net would catch on a piece of plastic, and Aurora would swim away. We tried a million times, but it didn’t seem to work.

While Mom worked on netting Aurora, I made sure my one-gallon emergency tank was ready for a resident. I wanted to get Aurora into a smaller tank until she got a bit bigger and could handle the filter. Not to mention, I did not want her getting stuck in the filter again.

Mom had left the net still in the water. She lulled Aurora into a false sense of security and swiftly scooped her up and moved her into the one-gallon tank. Finally, we got her out! I scolded Aurora firmly and placed her tank in the living room. My anger quickly turned to relief. You really can’t be mad at her sweet face for too long.

Aurora has really become my best buddy. She lives in my living room now. She loves it! She greets me with a happy dance every day when I come home and when I come out of my bedroom. She watches TV with me. Aurora is so much more social than Flora. She seems genuinely interested in me. It’s crazy how close I’ve gotten to her. She’s kind of become a therapy animal for me. Aurora makes coming home every day so much better. She is still in the one-gallon, but once she gets big enough, she will be moving back to her little kingdom. No more cave diving though!

Next time…devastation reigns in the 20-gallon when columnaris comes to visit.

Thanks for reading!
 

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StarGirl

OMG I love your stories! I think everyone who has read them loves little Aurora, Flora and the others as much as you! :)
 

Corygal8857

OMG I love your stories! I think everyone who has read them loves little Aurora, Flora and the others as much as you! :)
Thanks so much! I love my fishies! I'm so glad you guys enjoy their adventures too.:)
 

Corygal8857

The Carnage of Columnaris

This is a tragic tale, full of loss and confusion. It’s the story of a girl who loves her fish losing them all, yet again. Prepare yourself for anguish. Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, but this is not a happy story. Be prepared for death and lots of it.

So several weeks ago, I was feeding the fish in my 20 gallon, and I noticed one of my danios acting strangely. He paced restlessly in the corner and didn’t even attempt to eat. He looked emaciated. He stayed in his little corner circling the leaves of a bamboo plant. I assumed the other danios were bullying him. The danios would always work themselves into a tizzy whenever I fed them. They would attack the food with ferocity, nipping at each other and fighting here and there to get the best piece. Some of the danios were jerks even when they weren’t being fed, so I thought they were being mean to him and assumed that’s why he avoided them and eating. I tried to put food in his corner, but the danios swarmed the area. I did see him eat a bit though and that made me feel better.

The next day, I checked on the fish. Everyone seemed fine. My little danio was still hiding out in his corner. But everyone else looked normal, the danios were chasing each other all over the tank. The cories lounged at the bottom, and my otos gingerly ate at the algae forming on the leaves of my plants. It looked the picture of health and peace. So, I went to work and didn’t give it a second thought. Although, I did start researching what to do if you think one fish is being bullied.

I came home later that night and what I saw horrified me. All the danios were acting off. They were sluggish and seemed to be shedding a white fuzzy coating. It was late, and I wasn’t fully processing the information. I didn’t have the energy to do a bunch of research. I saw the white fuzz and assumed it was fungal. I assumed I had time. I added the appropriate dose of API Pimafix before heading to sleep.

The next morning I woke up refreshed and ready to deal with my problem. I beelined for the 20 gallon and found three danios floating in a clump in the corner. I was sad, but it wasn’t totally unexpected. I removed the carcasses and continued to survey the tank. I saw a tail wedged behind part of the filter. I used my net to try and push the body out. When it finally came loose, I shrieked in horror! It was Cardamom one of my Peppered Cories. I burst into tears. The cories had seemed fine. They didn’t seem sick at all, and now Cardamom was dead. Then I saw Julie’s body settled into the plants and Java’s in the corner. It was a blood bath! I cried and cried as I removed the bodies of all my fish. My heart ached. I couldn’t understand how it happened so fast. I had misread all the signs.

After the fish died, it looked like my plants were even starting to get diseased, so I started removing them. I found my snail dead under one of the plants. Literally, nothing survived. I removed everything and emptied the tank. So, it’s now sitting pathetically in the fish room, mocking me.

But at least, I have Flora and Aurora. That helped ease the loss of my sweet, lovely cories and my gentle, little otos. The danios were kind of mean and gluttonous, so I don’t feel quite so bad about them. But I never want fish in my care to die, even if they can be jerks.

I honestly don’t know what I could have done to prevent this. I do a 25-50% water change weekly. I test my water regularly. All my parameters were good. My water was a bit hard, so I guess that could be improved (since that does seem to be a factor in columnaris).

After my initial shock wore off, I spent quite a bit of time researching what happened. I was convinced it was fungal, but the timing of it was off. Then I started reading about columnaris, and I’m pretty sure that’s what wiped out my tank. It happened so fast, and the symptoms seem to line up.

It was a really crappy week after that, but I am moving forward. I’m going to let the 20 gallon stay empty for a while and focus on my bettas. I just need a break from the heart ache. I don’t seem to have much luck in that 20 gallon. Hopefully when I get it set up again and re-cycled, I will have better luck.

As always, thanks for reading!

Tune in next time for my attempt at Betta Training!
 

Corygal8857

Betta Luck Next Time!

Life has been pretty boring on the fish front in the best way. The girls have been doing great. No deaths, no illnesses, no drama. So, there haven’t been many stories. But we have been doing a little training. However, it was not been as fruitful as I’d hoped.

A few months ago, I saw videos of the Betta Olympics that took place during the heart of the pandemic. It inspired me. I wanted to teach my girls some new tricks. I figured it’d be a fun addition to my fishkeeping experience and a great way to get closer to my fish. I had high hopes, since I do believe my girls to be intellectuals. But I may have been blinded by motherly love.

I started out by buying a wheel of treats: blood worms, mysis, and daphnia. I wanted to make sure that there would be a fun reward for the girls if they followed the red spoon. We were starting very, very small. My goal was to have the girls follow my spoon, and then we’d move on to other tricks.

So, I settled in one Saturday and began working with Flora. I hovered the red spoon full of yummy snacks on top of the water. I waited excitedly for her to begin chasing after her treats. However, nothing happened. Flora ignored me. She continued to chase her reflection in the side of the tank. She wouldn’t tear herself away even for the food. I was shocked. So, I began moving the spoon directly over her. Nothing. I even dipped the spoon down deeper into the water, but nothing could draw her away. Her self-absorption knows no bounds. So after a few hours, I gave up and decided to try to play with Aurora.

Aurora’s infectious curiosity and enthusiasm abounded. When I approached her tank, she swam right over to greet me. She wiggled herself excitedly. I placed the empty red spoon on the top of the water. She instantly swam toward it, and in her infinite boldness, she tried to take a large bite. I laughed. My fish could not be more different. Aurora didn’t even need the food to motivate her. She just wanted to explore and learn. We spent a lot of time playing. It’s funny how much my fish’s company soothes me. It was a lovely afternoon of goofing around with Aurora, swirling my little red spoon as she wriggled after it in delight. She reminds me so much of a little dog sometimes.

While I have not trained my girls much since then, I love playing with them and seeing their unique and different personalities. My fish are so different, yet they’re both so fun in their own ways. Flora may be more aloof, but she just enjoys her space. She marches to the beat of her own drum, taking orders from no one. Aurora is curious and fearless! She wants to learn and experience new things every day.

As I said before, things have been very chill here. No drama = no stories. So, this is probably my last story for a while, but when I have more, I will share it. Thanks for reading this journal and giving me feedback on my writing. It’s been so fun and so encouraging. Also thank you for the amazing advice and for teaching me so much.
 

StarGirl

Betta Luck Next Time!

Life has been pretty boring on the fish front in the best way. The girls have been doing great. No deaths, no illnesses, no drama. So, there haven’t been many stories. But we have been doing a little training. However, it was not been as fruitful as I’d hoped.

A few months ago, I saw videos of the Betta Olympics that took place during the heart of the pandemic. It inspired me. I wanted to teach my girls some new tricks. I figured it’d be a fun addition to my fishkeeping experience and a great way to get closer to my fish. I had high hopes, since I do believe my girls to be intellectuals. But I may have been blinded by motherly love.

I started out by buying a wheel of treats: blood worms, mysis, and daphnia. I wanted to make sure that there would be a fun reward for the girls if they followed the red spoon. We were starting very, very small. My goal was to have the girls follow my spoon, and then we’d move on to other tricks.

So, I settled in one Saturday and began working with Flora. I hovered the red spoon full of yummy snacks on top of the water. I waited excitedly for her to begin chasing after her treats. However, nothing happened. Flora ignored me. She continued to chase her reflection in the side of the tank. She wouldn’t tear herself away even for the food. I was shocked. So, I began moving the spoon directly over her. Nothing. I even dipped the spoon down deeper into the water, but nothing could draw her away. Her self-absorption knows no bounds. So after a few hours, I gave up and decided to try to play with Aurora.

Aurora’s infectious curiosity and enthusiasm abounded. When I approached her tank, she swam right over to greet me. She wiggled herself excitedly. I placed the empty red spoon on the top of the water. She instantly swam toward it, and in her infinite boldness, she tried to take a large bite. I laughed. My fish could not be more different. Aurora didn’t even need the food to motivate her. She just wanted to explore and learn. We spent a lot of time playing. It’s funny how much my fish’s company soothes me. It was a lovely afternoon of goofing around with Aurora, swirling my little red spoon as she wriggled after it in delight. She reminds me so much of a little dog sometimes.

While I have not trained my girls much since then, I love playing with them and seeing their unique and different personalities. My fish are so different, yet they’re both so fun in their own ways. Flora may be more aloof, but she just enjoys her space. She marches to the beat of her own drum, taking orders from no one. Aurora is curious and fearless! She wants to learn and experience new things every day.

As I said before, things have been very chill here. No drama = no stories. So, this is probably my last story for a while, but when I have more, I will share it. Thanks for reading this journal and giving me feedback on my writing. It’s been so fun and so encouraging. Also thank you for the amazing advice and for teaching me so much.
Im so glad everything is chill and going well. :) Even your story of boring was good! ;)
 

Corygal8857

Hello my friends! Long time no see!

A new story coming soon. Flora's Great Cross Country Adventure! We moved to Georgia from ND at the beginning of the year and had to share the trials and tribulations of moving a fish across country. Story is in the works. I hope to post it soon!

Hope all is well. I've missed this lovable, little community!
 

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