Sunday, March 17, 2013

Novice Aquarist's

I love fish.  Tanner loves fish.  We stole my dad's saltwater aquarium book for dummies quite some time ago and talked about getting an aquarium here and there since then.  Well, obviously that has never happened.  We didn't want to commit to anything while we were still so transient.  Last Friday Tanner said we should get A fish.  One.  So Saturday we went to Walmart to buy a bowl and pick out our fish.  We wandered over to the bustling fish aisle and then I heard Tanner say - we should get an aquarium and the whole shebang - or something like that.  And then I heard myself say -  okay!  And basically the next thing I knew we were throwing aquarium kits and heaters and filters and plants and rocks and gravel into our shopping cart.  We were trying to get info from a couple of the workers.  That was probably not our smartest move ever.  B.O. Moe and Butt Crack Jack were NOT the resident experts on fish.  They basically just read the labels of everything to us.  I think they meant well and did try but we sure didn't gain any valuable information from them.  Except that we needed to set up our aquarium and let it sit for about 24 hours before adding fish.

I had to sell my exercise rower to make room for it.  I actually was rather sad about that, but considering I have been using it about twice a month if that, it probably was fine to not be taking up room in our tiny living room anymore.  The gym has a couple anyway - I'll probably be okay.

So after the allotted tank equilibrating time had passed, it was time to add the fishies.  We went back to Walmart for our first batch.  Apparently you are only supposed to add a few at a time and then wait a week before adding more.  We got ten.  Six glo-tetra's and 4 neon tetra's.  Cute little things.  We also started our fish log that day to keep track of all the goings on of our new ecosystem.

We got 2 orange, 2 yellow and 2 blue.  Funny enough, I don't have any pictures of our little neon tetras.  I'll have to get some more.  It's been fun trying out some settings on my camera in attempts to capture them.

So they all seemed so very happy and all got along so great and we were happy every time we came home and no one had died.  We were starting to think we were maybe a step up from the "novice aquarist's" we once were.  Thursday we figured it was time to get some more fish. So we went to the pet store in town and picked up a few more tetra's - 4 candy cane's.  And 2 dalmatian molly's.  Apparently they are all good co-habitators and mellow fish.

Super cool.  But we noticed the candy cane's (like 2-3 times as big as all our other fish) seemed to be a tad bit aggressive.  Chasing the smaller ones around and acting like they owned the place.  Later that afternoon we came home and found one of our yellow glo's dead.  Stuck in one of the plants.  We thought maybe it had just got stuck there and died.  But then in the morning when one of our orange ones had COMPLETELY disappeared, we started thinking something was fishy.  Literally.  I had to work the next day but we decided it was time to get rid of the big ones.  The pet store said they'd take them back - but there was a miscommunication with the worker and the owner, so they didn't - so Tanner had to just flush them.  Tanner told me also that he found the mysterious missing orange fish.  Must have been stuck in the alligator mouth or something.  I don't know if the bigger fish stressed the little ones out or if they actually physically did something to them.  Either way - we didn't want all our cute little fish dying off - even if the bigger ones were super cool.  The dalmatian ones - which we have named Salt and Pepper - have been awesome.  They like to come look at your face when you get close to the tank.  They mind their own business and have been way fun.

After the flushing episode, Tanner went back to Walmart and picked up crabs.  Of the Crustacean variety, not the STD variety, which is also available at our Williston Walmart.   He got 2 crabs and a few more neon tetras that sneaked into the bag because the qualified Walmart Pet Department hadn't ever used a fish net before.  Score for us.  And also a Pleco - a cleaning sucker fish.  So all of those are now living in perfect, beautiful, happy harmony.  Our crabs are Sarge and Herm.  The Pleco is Larry. We can't tell the 8 neons apart so they don't get named.  We're still trying to remember the glo's names.  We'll get them straight eventually.

 It was funny though because when we woke up this morning we could NOT find one of the crabs.  We started thinking he had climbed up the tubing we have going into the tank and gotten out.  I grabbed a flashlight and started looking on the floor and all over the place.  Nowhere to be found.  We gave up and then  hours later he showed up.  Guess he has just found a sweet hiding spot under the ship.  Those crabs are awesome though.  They are super active and climb all over the plants and when they drop off the top they wiggle their little legs till they land.  They're all over the place.  It's just SO awesome to sit and watch them all interact and move and eat.  Relaxing and fascinating.  Such a fun new addition. We are pretty much set on our collection for now.   Hopefully we don't have any more incidents for awhile.  We do have a few books coming in the mail so we probably are going to be professional aquarists here pretty soon. Tanner even checked the water last night and after a week and several fish changes and additions and deaths - everything is still in balance.  Man we're good. 


  1. These are great pictures! Which aisle are the STD variety of crabs on? I would like to avoid those, please.

  2. We had crabs in our tank. We thought they had climbed out and died somewhere and the dogs had eaten them. A week or so later when Sean cleaned the tank he found them living in the filter. They were a lot of fun :)

    1. That's awesome. Do you still have a tank? We are lovin' it!

  3. beautiful! I'd like to look at that every day!

  4. Awesome! I had no idea you had a fish-thumb. (it's like a green thumb, but for fish.) I don't have or I guess I will have to find some other uses for my thumbs. I love your fishies! Maybe I can meet them someday. And also, I am so very glad that Tanner did not get the STD kind of crabs...I almost peed when I read that part! You are hilarious. Love you!

  5. Relaxing and fascinating.....I'd have to agree. Love the names. VERY original. ;)

  6. Wow that just made my Friday night!! You are too funny! Ya know, I'm pretty sure I've met B.O. Moe and Butt Crack Jack.... :) oh wait... Maybe not as there are many of them.... :) good luck with the fishies and the crabs!!