New blood, fresh fish, etc.
Howdy. I'm the Wyrm, and I've come to infest your forum for a time.
Really I'm here out of a sort of desperation. I'm not as good a fish-tender as I feel I could or should be, and things keep happening that I'm not sure how to resolve.
Few things rankle at me like being told "It's only a fish." I won't get into the comparisons that run through my mind, but regardless of how short-lived or easily-bred these creatures are, they're living beings, and their lives are my responsibility.
It kills me inside to watch one of my fishy "wards" lose his appetite, or to test the water a day after a change only to find the ammonia spiking again, or to be unable to determine if those are bald patches from fighting or if it's fungus, or to wake up and find one of my favourites lying on his side, unmoving.
My longest-lived fish is Felix, my grouchy, murder-dancing betta, who lunges at my spouse when his tank's open and uses fake plants as a couch. He'll be three this summer. While he isn't as active as he used to be, he still has a temper, and he's still my "happy thought" [hence the name].
Now my 23-gallon tank, that's the problem child. I'll get to that in another thread, though. Currently I'm watching my partial-albino long-finned zebra danio, named Goldshire, go from fighting the current to plant her bum on the gravel, to flailing around on her side, to zipping around the tank at a speed I've never seen her attain before, to getting herded around the sword plant by Tag the male LF zebra per normal. I'm still plagued by the question of what exactly that is on her mouth and how to treat it – the very question that brought me here. It seems every time I turn around the ammonia's climbing back up to dangerous levels.
Just a few days ago we lost our pleco Garrosh after a few days of uncharacteristic shyness and loss of appetite – a terrible blow considering how much personality that mean little fish had, how much my mate and I adored him. A week or two before that we lost yet another dwarf gourami – a woefully-long procession of wonderful gouramis we've lost to these sudden turns – after a battle with the usual listlessness, shyness, loss of appetite...but his fins were splitting as well. Thinking it was fin rot, I treated the tank with anti-fungal medication, but we lost him anyway.
The gouramis have utterly destroyed every plant we've had save this big sword plant in which the danios are currently frolicking, and the last time I tried to grow some more plants from bulbs, Garrosh systematically devoured every little shot and sprout they tried to put out. They can be pests but I adore them...and I want to help them live long, happy, healthy lives.
And that is why I've sought out this community.
I suppose I should have said something about my own interests or hobbies or ambitions or identity, or why my fish have names like Felix, Adonis, Ath, Nibbler, Garrosh, and Silvermoon. But really that would have all been beside the point....
...Because I'm here for their sake, not mine.