Little fishes

January 8, 2008

The big gift from my parents to the half-dozen Hobnottle children was a  complete aquarium kit – tank, stand, heater, filter, hood and a few odd vials of water treatment chemicals, food samples and the like. On the heels of Epiphany (in fact, on Epiphany) we played a little Tetris with our living room floorplan and managed to clear enough space to situate the tank away from windows, near an outlet, &c.

We went out and bought gravel, live plants and a few other odds and ends, then spent the evening setting things up. The whole process went pretty smoothly, except that the filter had a bad impeller and sounded a box full of stones. The local Big Box Pet Store graciously exchanged it and we’re in business. There aren’t any fish in it yet, as we’re waiting for the tank to cycle for a few days. The older kids have been tasked with learning about the Nitrogen Cycle, and the oldest will be taught to conduct the water tests, starting tonight. First fish go in this weekend, and we’ll probably keep things pretty simple – tetras, corys and maybe some barbs. I’ll try to get some pictures up shortly.

I’d intended to try to build a biotope tank, where all the tank contents would be plants and animals that could occur naturally together. The intent is to try to replicate (as closely as possible) a particular place in nature – “still creek in Thailand,” for example. This guides your livestock selections and gives you something to aim for chemistry-wise.  But, then again, this is supposed to be for the kids and not my thing, so I’ve let go. For now. I’ve only submitted three rules for the tank:

  1. Live plants, not plastic
  2. No diving dogs, animated skeletons or treasure chests
  3. Cory cats somewhere in the population

All have agreed.

In the meanwhile, I’ve begun to give serious consideration to a reef tank. The wonderful DIY sump systems alone have me dying to start planning and setting one up. A former co-worker points out, the slippey-slope nature of them, so at least I’ve been fairly warned. We just need to get rid of either the piano or the couch. Simple!

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4 Responses to “Little fishes”

  1. ezmerelda Says:

    We could put it in our bedroom. We’d just have to get rid of the king sized bed, buy a twin for me, and you could sleep on the floor next to your tank. Problem solved!

  2. v Says:

    Bedroom + aquariums = bad feng shui. Even a pretty planted discus tank. Take it from one who had a year of dealing with tubes stretched from the tank to the sink and constantly loud and broken filter.

    And if you DIY sump, please make me one, too! =D

  3. fosco Says:

    Yeah, the noise and humidity would probably not be A Good Thing. The sump…I explored one for our 29g, but decided the space inside the stand couldn’t accommodate one well enough, and the prevailing opinion is that freshwater tanks don’t gain a whole lot unless you plan to heavily bio-load (an overstocked cichlid tank, for example). Not our bag….yet.


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