After having gone without an aquarium for a year, I have finally resurrected my old ten gallon tank. I got it set up originally for a baby painted turtle my fiancee and I adopted and named Lando.
All was going pretty well for a while. Lando would relax on his basking rock for a few hours at a time, and then would get feisty and go after the feeder guppies in the water. At the time, the tank contained one male beta, ten feeder guppies, and one dwarf gourami. It was something beautiful.
Enter the Wal-Mart 28 cent goldfish from hell. There were six of them, and I was against putting them in the tank to start, but my housemate insisted we put them in. Immediately one of them died. Then another. All of them swam a little off kilter, and several had some green discoloration around their pelvic fins. It was hazardous from the start.
One of the discolored goldfish died, and was eaten away by the turtle before I could remove the body. The next morning, at about 5am, I found the turtle drowned on the bottom of the tank. I pulled him out, preformed essentially turtle CPR (no, not mouth to mouth
)and got him back moving and eating a little. I went to bed then, and when I woke, Lando had drowned again, but this time there was no saving him
The death of Lando caused my one housemate to feel guilty. Lando was a connection between me and my fiancee, something more than a pet, and she knew that her bringing in the goldfish was the cause of our loss. As a result, she drove out fifteen miles to the local aquarium shop and picked up another couple of feeder guppies and a tiger Oscar. Due to the Wal-Mart fish, we had all sorts of diseases floating around, and I truly did not want to waste her money by putting the fish in the tank, but she did. They all died.
So, what I am left with now is three feeder guppies and a ten gallon tank. the water has been replaced, and I have gathered materials from waters around the local copper mines that led to the development of this region. The substrate is essentially stamp sand (the remainder material from crushing mine rock), and all that I have for plants is some hornwort, water primrose, and what I suspect to be some sort of vallisneria. It is definitely not something to be proud of at this point in time.
The end goal I have in mind is to create a 10 gallon, fully planted tank, using mine rocks and byproducts as decor and substrate. The copper mining industry, while civilizing and developing the region, devastated the local waters in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan in the mid to late 19th century, and only today are we fully recovering from the actions of the mining companies (one of the larger lakes, Torch Lake, was just removed from the Superfund Site list in the past month or so). It is a very symbolic idea I have in mind, and it may or may not work. I am also a college student who is planning a wedding for next summer, so I am trying to keep it relatively cheap to free/DIY
I have no pictures tonight (aside from the ones of Lando), only the backstory, as my camera has died, but I will upload and edit them in tomorrow afternoon.