Hey Look, an update! I told myself I wasn't going to be one of "those people"
who start a journal and never return. But alas, I am...I mean, I was.
Anyway, the point is I've returned with updates! And new pictures!
A lot of changes have occurred to this tank since I started the journal. I mean it'll seem like a lot in this post, but really the changes occurred over the last 6 months, so it didn't seem like a lot to me.
First off I actually did get a Betta. His name is ... um.... Mr.Pickles. Yeah, that's it. Honestly I just made that up. The poor fish is nameless. I'm awful with remembering the names I give my fish. But Mr.Pickles is actually pretty cute, so maybe it'll stick this time.
Meet the formally nameless, Mr.Pickles!
And this picture is my favourite.
He's the king of the aquarium, mostly because he is the only fishy in there, and snails can't really be kings. But he rules with an IRON FIST!
I'm pretty sure he's just a veil tail, but he might be some kind of mutt, because he does have some crowntail characteristics in his dorsal fin. He was in pretty rough shape when I got him from shudder
. He had tears in his fins, and looked more like a crowntail then he does now. Even then he had the nicest green sheen over his blue. I picked him for his colour and his fightin' spirit. He was one of the most alert and rowdy Bettas they had.
And since this is a planted aquarium I should probably mention the plants. Some have been doing very well, and some not to well. First, here's a front tanks shot.
This tank is seriously low maintenance. We're talking forget about it all the time low maintenance. Literally water changes and fish feeding. I haven't ever fertilized the thing, well maybe once.
The anubias has done very well. A new leaf every 1 or 2 weeks. And it sticks to the driftwood without a rubber band now.
The Lindernia rotundifolia has done much better then I expected. I was under the impression is was a higher light plant, but it's grown amazingly well. It's kind of a mess though, a total rats nest, with roots everywhere.
It's rats nest nature does keep Mr.Pickles out of the filter intake though. It creates a type of natural fence to keep him out of harm's way. I mean he could get to it if he wanted to, and sometimes he tries, but I've always seen him get lazy and give up.
The crypts have actually been disappointing. I thought they would do better then they have. It's not that they've done badly, they just haven't done...anything. They look exactly the same as when I started the tank 6 months ago.
Seriously, compare the crypts in the picture above (which I took today), to this picture from 6 months ago.
Exactly the same.
I also added a filter to the tank. I realized shortly after adding Mr.Pickles that I really didn't have the energy to do the water changes he would require in an unfiltered tank. Literally after the first water change I said "Um...that was a lot of work. How can I do less of this?" The good news was, I already had a mini canister filter that had been on my shrimp tank. I stole it and put on this tank. I put the shrimp in my main tank...which is a whole other story.
Here's my DIY mini canister.
Ignore the book the canister is sitting on, it was a gag gift. The filter has to sit on that book, because otherwise the noise from the filter vibration on the hardwood floor would drive me nuts. I actually found the tutorial to make that little canister filter on this website. It's worked perfectly for over 2 years now, and if you're thinking of a canister filter for a nano I would recommend this set-up. I've included the link if you're interested.
Also, because I added the filter, I had to move the tank. It was originally in my bedroom, on my dresser, but now sits on my desk in the office. It's quite relaxing, to watch the fishy, while doing a hard day of office work. Work like browsing the internet, and Facebook stalking.
Also, the non-adjustable betta heater has worked out pretty well. It was literally unplugged all summer because we don't have air conditioning and the temp started to get to high. In the fall there was a couple of weeks where it got cold, and the landlord hadn't turned the heat on yet. It went down to about 19' in poor Mr.Pickles tank, and he got pretty listless. I shudder to think about what it would have been like for him without the heater. If your house/apartment has wild temperature swings, I wouldn't recommend this type of heater. It's really only for supplementing your room temperature. But, if unlike my apartment, you have control over the heat and it doesn't go down to 14'C/57'F inside, then I would recommend it.
Overall, I love the look of this low maintenance, low tech tank. It's not perfect, and there's definitely algae, but it never gets out of control, and kind of adds to the overall ambiance. I've done the high tech, high maintenance, tank and it was never as relaxing to watch as this little tank. I think it's because there was always something that could be done to improve the high maintenance tank, and with this tank it's content to just be.
Which is why with a heavy heart I must tell you that I'm going to tear this tank down. Why you may ask? Because I think poor Mr.Pickles is out growing his 2.5 gallon. He seems restless, and eager for more space. So I'm giving him his own 10 gallon. I already have pretty much everything I need to set it up, because when you've been keeping fish for 10 years you acquire things. Lots of things. Things that sit in boxes in your storage space that you can't get rid of because "What if I ever need that?!?".
I also think it's a good idea to give Mr.Pickles more room because he got himself stuck on something the other day and did some damage to his caudal fin. You can see the damage here pretty well.
I'm not sure what he got stuck on. he was fine in the morning, and then in the afternoon, a big tear. But it's healing up nicely, it's already about half the size that it was a week ago.
I'll definitely post photos of the 10 gallon set-up process. I had planned to do it this weekend but I have an equipment issue that needs sorting out first.
See I don't have a lid for the 10 gallon, and it's winter... in Canada... in the prairies. Which, if you live somewhere warm so don't know how winter works, means IT'S FREAKIN' DRY. Cold air doesn't hold moisture, which means the water is ripped from your skin (and everything else) leaving you pretty much a frozen, dessicated, meat popsicle. Which means if I leave the tank open topped the water will evaporate like nobody's business. And remember that part up top where I think to myself "how can we do less of this work thing?", that becomes a big factor in requiring a lid.
So by now your thinking, "I get it winter = dry, buy a lid". Which wouldn't you know it, I tried. I've been to EVERY pet store in town (which is actually not an exaggeration). And for some reason no one has those basic glass lids for a 10 gallon. There must have been a huge 10 gallon sale or something because there is not a single glass lid to be found. I don't want to buy a hood either, because I already have a light (see accumulated crap in storage) which is designed to sit over a glass lid. So I'm stuck ordering a glass lid online and waiting for shipping.
Also, I'm as a rule pretty lazy. I have these great plans and ideas, but then discover Star Trek; The Next Generation is on Netflix. And 6 months later, I remember my plans and write a pretty awesome journal update.
So, if I don't discover any amazing tv, or books, or win the lottery, expect a journal update in regards to Mr.Pickles 10 gallon move within the next month.