Fish: The Michael Style Cat Post

So I got a new tank the other day. I'd been intending on waiting for PetCo to have another dollar a gallon sale but I was at the goodwill (and ooh, another story to tell; next post) looking for av cables, old video games, and such when I saw this 29 gallon tall tank sitting there for 20 bucks. Well, I bought it. Rule one for buying used tanks? What you are really buying is the glass and the plastic forms around the tank. The first thing you should do with any used tank is grab your razor and remove all of the sealant. Then you pull out your handy tube of aquarium sealant (which really should come in a caulk gun type tube...) and rebuild your tank. I know this rule. I usually live this rule.
If you aren't going to recaulk your used tank then at the least you should always set it up in the kitchen or somewhere so that you can check for leaks.

I know these rules, and I usually use them. This time I was in a hurry to get to work.
I tore my tank down into my emergency tank system and set up the new tank on the stand in my room. I filled it with water and went to the pet shop to grab some gravel and some new fishes.

I came back to find that an entire seam was blown. It dropped 3-4 gallons into my room in forty five minutes. So I tore it down and resetup my old tank. Then I went to work (and was about 10 minutes late. Not that anyone noticed, and I'm more likely to be yelled at for the overtime I have than being late... So need a different job...)

Got home, searched for my sealant, stripped down the tank and sealed it. I let it cure overnight then filled it full of water in the kitchen and let it sit over another night. No leaks, so I set it up in my room.

Over the last week or so I've added several fish to it, going from my lone pleco to the pleco, 4 blue gourami (either 3 blue spotted and one opaline or 2 and 2. All advertised as opalines and they are the same species anyway), 4 spotted corys, and a female beta.

fish tank new
Notice the 30-60 filter in the back... I tend to over filter. That was my 10 gallon's filter.

The blue tube in front of the tank is my first fruit fly ( d. hydei instead of d. melanogaster which I really would have preferred. I bought my two larger gourami because none of my fish were big enough to eat the larger flies, though everyone likes the maggots. The big gourami are less adventurous than the little ones and don't seem to be redily taking the flies either.) The mason jar contains my new colony. We'll see if my growth medium works well for fruit flies. (Cornmeal, molasses, agar, apple cider vinegar, and table sugar.)

I've got better pictures of the other things in the tank. I'll talk about them when it becomes relevant.

whole tank 2

Here's a somewhat blurry picture mostly of the pleco. The big white sheet of plastic was initially from my 10 gallon tank to provide the beta with a good place to sit outside of the current since she was spending a lot of time behind the lip of my filter. When I added the larger gourami I returned the plastic to the tank so that there would be something to break line of sight up in the top of the tank so that aggressive behaviors don't build up too much.
Notice the black strip in the back? That's the thermometer that came with the tank. I forgot to remove it, and I prefer my submerged thermometer anyway.

the beast

That is my pleco. (S)he's a big one. Of course, it has jumped out of the tank twice, both of which times it was all dry and stationary by the time I found it. Of course, as an armored cat, it both breathes air directly and it doesn't lose too much water through its scales, so I popped it back into the tank each time and it was fine. My working theory is that it is afraid of the corys.

whole tank 3

The whole tank from a better angle. I so need to get a power cord or better batteries for my camera so I can take more time with my pictures.
The dark fish shaped thing at the bottom is actually one of my dad's clay fish. I put it in there to help break up low area LOS for anyone who decides to spend time down low. (The corys sleep at the bottom, the gourami sometimes search the gravel for food, and the beta doesn't seem to prefer any level of the tank.)

All four of the corys with the pleco looming in the backrground. I've also transferred one of my dracoliches to the tank. Aquarium decorations on the scale a tank this size needs are expensive. (I've got a few I want, all of which are in the $40-$50 range except for a smallish tori gate structure that wouldn't do too much for anyone but the corys who don't seem to really care about hiding as they spend most of their time in the water column.)


With the exception of the corys, my beta moves around more than any of my other fish (she moves more continuously, they are more frantic about it) so she was hard to photograph mostly. The lighting is due to where the sun was when I took this shot. She's much prettier than most of the other betas that the shop had. Female or standard male. Female betas behave a lot like female guppies. Which is understandable since they fill similar niches. She is less aggressive than guppies which would already be trying to eat my fingers if I stuck them in the water.)


My first attempt to get a decent picture of the gourami.

stage hog

Second attempt. Foreground? The beta. She darted into the frame as I was taking the shot.


Finally all four of them, though not at the best possible angles...

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