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Fish friends update

WELL- it’s Lockdown 5.0 here in Victoria.

So while we are once again all staying at home and trying to avoid death by plague, I thought I’d post a little update on how the fish are going.

First of all- all fish are currently alive and well.

Hoover, our newest addition, is busily hoovering around the tank on a day to day basis. The danios don’t seem to give it too much grief, which is nice.

But the anxiety remains in that- I’m worried I’m not giving the fish the best environment possible.

And the main reason is space.

After setting up the above tank, I’ve read countless articles that talk about how tank size matters, if you prioritise the fish’s well-being first.

The above tank is 29L, but being more realistic, it’s probably only around 20L, given the substrate/gravel, plants and other decorations in place.

Most sites recommend a minimum of 10 gallons (38 litres) of water to start with, for only a handful of fish. With this in mind, my tank is quite obviously too small.

I can’t be bothered going into the exact theory of how many fish to stock per litre of water- there are plenty of articles online that go into great depth about the logistics- but it really comes down to providing the best environment overall for the health of the fish. The larger the water and space available (relative to fish numbers and size), the better.

Now, the idea that I might be slowly torturing the fish just weighed on me heavily, especially given our poor Miele. I have no idea why Miele died so suddenly- it might not have been my fault at all. But, regardless of the cause of death- I just didn’t want to risk anything.

So I decided to upgrade the tank.

As my partner says, ‘there’s no kill like overkill’-

So when left with the option to pick either a 52 litre or 76 litre tank…

Naturally there was only one answer.

Hopefully you can appreciate the size difference. That’s the same spot where the other tank was.

Apparently 76 litres is around 20 gallons, so I think that might be enough space to make myself feel less anxious.

I still need to cycle this new tank, so the fish are still in their old tank.

In the mean time, I’ve gone ahead and put in some decorative items…

… and also tried to jumpstart the cycling process by adding microbes in every way shape or form. I’ve got the plants for one thing, but there’s also the old filter from the preexisting tank, the water from the preexisting tank, and the bottled microbes you can buy at the pet shop.

Some might say I’m heavily invested in microbes… 👀

And yes, the giant pebbles might not be the best when it comes to keeping the tank clean (debris can fall between the cracks), but Hoover loves to eat things on the surface of decorations, so I figured that a bunch of smooth pebbles might be good. If it’s not working out, though, I’ll change it up.

This brings us to the other thing that’s being weighing heavily on my mind.

Danios are a schooling fish.

Three’s a crowd, not a school.

Now, it’s impossible to really have a school of fish in a tank, but I can at least add a few more to the mix to make them feel a little more like a ‘school’. So, once the fish are transferred into the new tank, and things settle down, I’ll add maybe three more danios. Given they’re a smaller, thinner fish, it shouldn’t put too much stress on the system.

But after that- I’ll be able to just enjoy cultivating the plants in the tank. Not whether I have an inadequate tank setup. 😮‍💨

So, I’ll continue to add water from the old tank, while topping it up with a bit of fresh water, until the new tank is closer to being full. At the moment the trickling water is somewhat soothing, but sometimes it can be quite noisy.

I really hope I’m on the right track here, and I’m really looking forward to moving the fish out of their small tank.

Stay safe, stay home, and please, if you are eligible, get vaccinated. It might not stop transmission, but it will certainly help prevent hospitalisation in the vast majority of cases.

🐟 🌱 🪨

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A Ph. D graduate in Microbiology, residing in Victoria, Australia. Currently working in multiple locations but still in the STEM field. 👀 🦠 🧫 🧬

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