New Fish – Oscars!

With the recent changes in my life, comes a difference in opinion on what ‘cool’ fish are. Me, I love watching dozens of Neon Tetras schooling from one side of a large tank to the other. I’ve been told that little fish are boring, and that the tank in the living room needs fish big enough to see.

We found some Tiger Oscars this weekend.

I’ve never been a ‘big’ fish aquarist, so I hadn’t read too terribly much up on them. The 75 gallon tank came with Jack Dempseys, so I have done a little research into non-community fish. No serious research though.

I knew Oscars got big. I have seen good sized ones. I guess I didn’t realize how big. 16 inches long and over 2lbs in the wild. In most fish tanks, only a foot long.

My new baby Oscars

I got 3 of them. My thoughts being, that it would be cool to get a breeding pair, and getting 3 vs. 2 doubles my chance at getting at least one male and female. A little research shows that 3 is exactly the wrong number to get. If 2 pair up, the 3rd one will get harassed something fierce.

My 75 gallon tank isn’t big enough. It can comfortably handle 1 Oscar, but it too small for 2 of them, much less three. Luckily I have the 110 gallon tank which will work for 2 of them. I will just need to find a new home for one of the Oscars in about a year. Likely, 2 will go in the 110, and one will stay in the 75 gallon tank when I get the 110 set up (when I am out of the apartment).

Moving the Oscars into their new home Because the 75 gallon tank is in the main living area, it is used as a display stand, including a fish tank on top – so it’s a bit of a pain to tear it down to open the lid.
I had to evict the nocturnal Jack Dempsey from the 75 to relocate her into the 45 I recently set up in the other room. That was a pain trying to chase her down. I hope she will like the other, smaller tank. Less light, more cozy. There is a big temperature difference between the two tanks, so I had to take my time and acclimate her on the temperature differences.
I have had a Platy in the 45 gallon tank for probably close to a month to cycle that tank up. So, that platy needed to be moved to – into the little tank that sits on top of the 75 least it be eaten by the Jack Dempsey. Most people aren’t patient enough when starting new tanks. I would have liked to move a few more Platys into the 45 for another month to get the tank used to the mass of fish that the Jack Dempsey is. I will just need to watch the 45 gallon tank for about 2 weeks to a month to make sure that it can cope with the Jack’s size.
I am not too worried about it, I tend to be over-cautious with moving fish around.

Wonderfalls large aquarium volcano I had seen one of these volcano aquarium decorations set up and running in a pet store years and years ago. I had always wanted one. Badly.
I am not much of one for candy-colored tank decorations, moving divers, opening treasure chests, etc. I just love this volcano for some reason.
I found this Wonderfalls Large Aquarium Decoration in a little whole-in-the-wall pet store in Fort Lauderdale a few years ago. The owner was re-arranging the store a bit, and I spotted this gem on the bottom shelf, hidden behind other merchandise. I offered to take the thing off the guys hands as I wiped the dust off the price tag so I could read it. $149.99!
I paid $30-40 for it. Whatever I had for cash on me at the time. I had been in there a few times before and bought fish. I think he was happy to be rid of it.

He said that they where nothing but trouble. The sand got everywhere in the tank. It plugged up with crud and quit working. Basically the thing would make a mess of your tank, and wouldn’t work past a week without constant fiddling.
I still love the dumb thing. This is the first I have been able to use it. I haven’t had a tank tall enough for this thing. The pump that came with it is worthless, so I put one of my sump pumps on it.

It looks wicked cool sitting behind my castle. In about a year or so when the volcano algie’s up to match the castle, they will make an awesome looking set.

I also like the coloration as it matches and compliments the Oscars.

I am thinking of setting the volcano up on a timer so it goes on/off/on/off frequently during the day. It seems wasteful to run that pump at night when nobody can see it. I may hook it up to a red LED and run it a few hours into the ‘night’ after the lights go off just for effect. Tank lights off is about 10pm or so, so running it until midnight light up might be pretty cool.

Upside down Aquarium

You would think, with all the water I have had on the floor in the last week, that I would not want to try something as crazy as an
upside down fish tank.

Uh-huh. Not me.

Yesterday, during lunch break, I slapped together an inverted tank to put into my nanotank.

You see, upside down fish tank is only telling half the story, you need a regular side up tank as well to make them work. Have you ever done dishes, and pulled a glass out of the dishwater upside down? Notice how the glass stayed full right up until you pulled it out of the water? This fish tank works the same way. You put the upside down tank into another container of water, and suck all the air out of it.

Brilliantly simple, really. I saw it on YouTube.

Upside down aquarium
Upside down aquarium

This is what the upside down tank looks like right after I made it. Notice the two open areas on each end. This allows the fish to swim into it.

Inverted Aquarium in my nano-tank
Inverted aquarium in my nano-tank

Looking down the length of my nano-tank (nanotank means VERY small fish tank – mine’s 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 feet) you can see the inverted tank at the far end. It’s just a tad on the wide side, so didn’t want to go in on one side. I guess my home-made aquarium isn’t perfectly square. I cut the end pieces myself.

Upside down Aquarium in a regular Aquarium
See the 2 platys in the lower right?

Here is the inverted aquarium looking at it from how you would normally see it. There are two fish in it here, you can kinda pick them out against the busy backdrop.

My upside down tank in my nano tank on my 75 gallon aquarium
My upside down tank in my nano tank on my 75 gallon aquarium

The whole mess sits on top of my 75 gallon tank, and is actually functionally part of the 75 gallon tank.

You see, Nano-tanks can be VERY difficult to manage do to their extreme small size. They don’t have any thermal mass, the water can go bad in a matter of hours if something starts to decompose in them. Just fussy tanks all the way around. I cheat, I have a 75 gallon ‘buffer’ tank to act as a filter for my nano tank. Yeah, Yeah, I know. I cheat.

The inverted fish tank is just a prototype. I will probably only keep running it for a few weeks until I make the next version of it (read that as Months or Years).

Not quite as impressive as it sounds, is it?

What do you think?