I think I am classified as a fish newbie! Two weeks ago I bought a new thirty-gallon tank and all the neat little goodies that go with the pre-mentioned item. Anyway, they (fish salesman) blew some oxygen into the little bags for my two Oscars and for my two glass suckers (not sure of their official name), when I purchased them. They looked pretty dang happy the entire hundred and twenty-five mile trip home in my Jeep. PS, I refused the oxygen for myself. So at 2AM I had to fill the tank. I had run a garden hose from the front of the house (40 degrees outside) into my bedroom window through a crack in the window screen. This really sucks if you decide to do this. I tried to be quiet so Mom wouldn't wake up and find out I'd bought these stupid fish. I ran the garden hose through the window and to the new fish tank. I thought I'd fill about 3/4 with this water from garden hose (knowing the water might be a little cool), then use a big pot from kitchen to finish up with hot water. You’d think that would be perfect temperature for these spoiled little fish. So I stuck the hose nozzle in the tank and didn't turn the faucet on yet. So I ran outside (froze my bare feet off at 3 am) and just barely opened the faucet. I ran back inside and it was dribbling out REAL slow. That Kind of sucked I thought. I might be doing that all night. Two more trips outside proved about the same amount of flowage through the garden hose. Well "crap", so I stood there with the lit hood in one hand, fish panic juice in a bottle being squeezed from other hand, while holding the hose and reading the instruction book with my other 4 hands. Well, it turns out the temp outside was actually 30 degrees and there was a small blockage of ice in the hose. Hmmm, then all heck broke loose. The hose instantly starting pumping 2000 gallons per minute (slightly exaggerated). I dropped the hood on my bare cold foot and stuff started flying everywhere, water hit the ceiling, the bedroom door, and nearly filled up my bottom dresser drawer. Thank God I had some clothes in the drawers to soak up that 30-degree water that was now pumping like a fire hose. I quick took 5 large squirts of that fish panic stuff in a bottle and pumped directly into my mouth (wouldn't you if this happened to you?). I looked over at these Oscars, well you know they were laughing their little tails off at me. I thought I'd just let them (go). The cold water well soaked into the carpet by this time and made my toes squish as I walked. Another sixty minutes of cleaning up the evidence of the disaster and I started my bubble factory (filter system) spinning counterclockwise to the planet, and all appeared neat and normal. I added the panic disorder juice from the squeeze bottle, squeezed out some tap water conditioner (according to the destructions). Then I dipped the bags of fish in the water tank to let temp adjust (seemed like the right thing to do). Then I cut slits in the oxygen filled bags and took a deep breath of the leftover oxygen (for myself). They swam their little "butts" right out into the new life force evolving in my near naked tank of thirty gallons of water. 5a.m. They headed directly to the bottom and started shivering. I got real tired and went to bed. Well, sometime during the night (morning) one of the glass suckers had attached its lips to the water wheel (filter) system and when I pulled it up to add some even neater things for the fishies to swim around, it's lips must have came unglued from the filter device. Couldn't find that dang fish for days. Well, not to get too far off from my subject, he was found behind my fish tank stand (bedroom dresser) kind of crispy and dry. Ok so I killed one of my fish. I wasn't prepared to take it outside and throw it in the yard. PS, I know, I do feel real bad. The next day Oscar #1 had passed away to fishy heaven. He couldn't handle the stress maybe (can you blame him?). So I went to the local fish store and bought a “Jack Dempsey” which was just slightly bigger than the Oscars. Two days later Oscar #2 was lying on the bottom with both eyeballs missing. Talk about a donor card! Is it odd that my Jack Dempsey ate the eyeballs out of my last living Oscar? I really fed them good. I really want 2 neat fish to interact and live together. Anyone know what I can put in with this Jack Dempsey other than a plastic fish that will survive? Are there any naturally blind fish, or a fish that won't die if it is blind? My “Jack” Dempsey is really neat. He follows me around (to the limits of the glass). When I wave at him, it gets his attention and swims right over to the glass. Then I have this little laser pointer pen I shine all over the room. He loves chasing it. You think maybe he looks into my eyes and sees a big meal?
The two Jack Dempseys quickly outgrew my tank. I had seen at a local pet store some rather large Jacks. Knowing that there was no way I would keep two twelve inch fish in my twenty nine gallon tank with my pleco. I took them to a new fish store and done some trading. I now have four Cichlids. They should all stay under six inches. 1=Black/Blue 1=Orange 1=Yellow with black mustache 1=Gray/Black. They are all construction engineers, as they all seem to like moving gravel from where “I” put it to where “they” want it. I got rid of all the fake type structures (pre-molded) and the plastic plants too numerous to mention. I also got 3 danios that keep lots of tank activity, and 3 tiger barbs. Then just recently I got 2 small pleco type fish, not sure of the names, but they are supposed to grow to a maximum of 4 inches. Then just recently I ended up with 6 convicts from a spawning of a friend of mine tanks. Well, don’t be too concerned about the overpopulation of my tank because I have a plan. The 3 tiger barbs are wanted by a friend and his wife. The 3 danios are going to another good home. I’m waiting to tell the difference between the males and females of the convicts. They are about 1.5" long right now. I will keep 2 of them, and give away the other 4. I really need to get rid of the large pleco, but I hate to because I hand feed him zucini and tubeflex worms right now. Hehe. By the way, I also hand feed all the cichlids, the tiger barbs and the danios.
Soon I will have my 29 gallon tank with 4 cichlids, 2 small plecos and 2 small convicts. I have live plants in the front corners of the tank, a nice background, all real rocks and small tree stumps, A filter system that hangs over the back that was designed for a 125 gallon aquarium which has the 2 bio wheels, 2 carbon foam filters and 2 baskets of activated carbon. I’m not sure of the name of it. Then I also have the largest canister from Fluval which has 3 stages. The bio wheel blocks, the charcoal center and the double foam pads all built into the canister. p.s. I did get the one with the valves on it. I think my filtration is adequate for the fish I will end up with.