February 9, 2011

Fish Update

Were you waiting for a fish update? THEN YOU ARE IN LUCK.

Especially because I can't remember where I left off. Let's see: we have a 14-gallon tank and it had two rosy-red minnows ("look just like goldfish but don't grow as big") in it, and then we bought five twin-bar platys ("yellow fish with black tail stripes"), and one was a little sickly from the beginning (bitten-looking tail, clamped fins, keeping to the top or else the bottom, not swimming with the others) and eventually died. We bought three more platys, all female because we read that it's best to have 1 male to 3 females or else the males can chase the females to literal death, which made me hate men for a moment. Then one of the new platys died, too. So now we have six platys, four females and two males, which is not perfect but it seems like it's working okay.

We'd thought the minnows would enjoy the company and stop hiding so much, but instead they hid even more than before. So we moved them back to the 2.5-gallon coldwater tank, and we bought three long-finned zebra danios ("stripey grey fish") for the 14-gallon tank. One of the danios died. Fish are tricky business.

So. We have six platys and two danios in a 14-gallon tank, and two rosy red minnows in a 2.5-gallon tank.

Actually, the "six platys" count is not accurate, because one of the platys had babies awhile back, and we've seen up to three baby platys at a time, but we're not sure we still have three because for awhile we've seen only one at a time. I tried to catch the babies with a net, but I was unsuccessful: they are SO TINY, and so good at hiding.

Baby platy, tiny, in front of T-Rex decoration.
Compare to gravel for scale.



We also bought a little "fish nursery": a small box made of plastic sticks and netting, which fits inside the main tank. I got it because one of the platys looks pretty clearly pregnant, and what you're supposed to do is put the platy in the sub-tank, then after her babies are born take HER out, and then the babies are safe in the sub-tank. But it's been, like, 2 weeks, and a platy pregnancy is only 4 weeks, so I'm starting to feel like this is going to end that she's not pregnant at all but just a little plump (and pissed with us for rushing her to the maternity ward when she'd just had an extra fish flake or two), so we'll see.

17 comments:

JEN said...

What a great picture of the little baby fish!

Mrs. Irritation said...

My kid has been begging for a fish tank. Just a little something to keep on the kitchen counter to entertain her (apparently 2 dogs and 2 cats are not enough). I wouldn't mind doing it except your fish tales have scared me.

Swistle said...

Mrs. I-- The minnows have been super-easy so far. They don't need a heater, and they are living through EVERYTHING, even getting transferred around and being in brand new non-established tanks. And they were 13 cents each! They look like goldfish (we have one orange and one grey), but they only grow to 3 inches instead of 12 inches.

Stimey said...

You do know that you're not supposed to ask a fish if she's pregnant unless you actually see her giving birth. Jeez.

I don't know that I could hack having fish. They seem really difficult. You, however, are doing an excellent job.

Devan said...

The fish we've had the best luck are the plain goldfish that you can buy for about .35 cents at walmart. We have a 30ish gallon tank and we have 4 of those plus one of the bigger, bulgy eyed black goldfish that one of the children bought with his Christmas money.
Thank goodness ours have never had babies, I would not know what to do! I am very impressed you got a picture of that TEEEENY little baby!

Misty said...

Ha! @ hating fishy 'men'. Oh those selfish genes. :)

I have a job that would lend itself very well to misandry. I take deep breaths everyday and remember the good men in the world. :)

Superjules said...

At my previous workplace we had guppies and I was in charge of them. And OMG they had BABIES and I had to catch them and put them in the nursery thingy. And I was cleaning the tank one time and BARELY caught one of the babies as it was about to go down the drain. Aaaack.
And I also burned my hand on the heater once (when my coworker took it out of the tank and left it on the counter-- WHY?) and I kept having to make trips to the pet store to have them test the water and tell me what to do about the babies and so forth. It was a surprising amount of bother for a few fish.

Jen said...

Just to make things extra fun and frustrating, if you put your pregnant fish in the nursery too soon she can miscarry or stay pregnant forever. FISH ARE SO FUN!

I'm just bitter because my fish are currently dealing with every fish illness known to man and I'm ready to throw the entire thing in the trash and buy a cat. And I hate cats but I'm pretty sure they don't poop out intestinal worms all day long and I really enjoy that in a pet.

Swistle said...

Jen- WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. Tell me more! I am certain I put her in there too soon! Should I let her out?? ACK!

Carolyn said...

I think platys ALWAYS look pregnant (they just have weird, bulbous tummies!) so I'm not saying that yours ISN'T pregnant, just that it is freaking hard to tell with fish, and maybe it's not worth the effort when platys cost so little ;)

Christina said...

I have to say that your fish tank pics w/ paint-drawn arrows and words are FAR MORE entertaining than Perez Hilton's.

Also - WTF on them deciding to stay pregnant forever???? Poor mama fish, she's gonna hate you Swistle!!!

TinaNZ said...

I had tropical fish for several years, and the main thing I learned was that they die. Also, the chance of dying seems to increase in direct proportion to the cost of the fish. Your 13c minnows will live forever. Guppies are also very good value; dead cheap, breed like crazy, very hardy and quite decorative.

Jen said...

I would let her out but I am not an expert. I do think some fish just look pregnant all the time. I have a platy that looks really pregnant but I know she's not so maybe your platy is just curvy like mine.

Lindsay said...

Ha! Jen, when I got my cat, he totally pooped intestinal worms. It was not awesome.briumpt

Lindsay said...

Whoops! duh. excuse my last comment. "briumpt" was my word verification.

Kelsey said...

Matt really wants a fish tank and has promised the children we'll get one when the dog is no longer with us - prompting Harper to say, "When Rebound dies I can get fish!" Nice.

Your posts are making me realize that I might not be up for the fish thing yet!

Kami said...

LOL @ the curvy fish comment, it made me laugh! Swistle you crack me up and you definitely have more patience than me! I think your fish tank looks nice :)