Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fish love

14 liter - this is now a nursery
I wanted a cat. But hubby didn't. Admittedly for good reasons.
One day he asked if he could adopt 3 fishies looking for a new home...

It may sound strange, but I knew that once we would have those 3, it would only be the beginning. I knew his love for fishies and maybe that is why he asked my approval, so I said "I don't know where this will bring us, but it's OK, as long as you don't ask me to care for them." (He's had fishies when he was a kid, and loves water; I actually don't like water that much)

60 liter for the 3 adopted fishes,
now he shrimps and 2 little baby GF 
are living in this one
 They arrived in a 14 liter aquarium, far too small. We bought a 60 liter. That was too small too, they grew so fast! and the pump was not ok. Needed a new pump. We wanted nice plants, I love greenery. Search for a big tank began. I think that he would have bought far more if I hadn't said stop at a certain point... Gold Fishies are to my hubby what beads are to me.
60 liter - first home of the
Ancistrus, this is now a 'Medical' (empty)
tank (filled only in case of need)

With the big tank a couple of Ancistrus also came along... they now are in a 100 liter in the living room and have had 4 reproductions and dad ancistrus is taking care of his 5th nest... They are so many, I can't even count them. We are trying to find the right filtration system for them... have tried a few pumps already. Don't believe what is written on the box, if it says 700 liter, it makes you think that it will filter 700l. per hour. that is a lie. Grand maximum will be the half, and most of the time only a quarter of that.
100 liter tank with Ancistrus, hiding
in the decor. The babies are not
present in this picture - it is now
strongly overpopulated...

We hope to be able to differentiate the young males and females soon, to sell or give them. If we can't find a home for them, we'll need to separate the female from the male... Which would sadden me, because they are so cute when they 'date'.

New friends arrived (more GF). Shrimps too, which were supposed to be in the same tank but the GF were too much after them... So they now live in the 60 liter tank. We regularly bought new plants, some are constantly eaten by the fishies, some not and become  bushy...

400 liter, planted, before introduction of GF
It is between me and hubby in our 'studio'
That's 3 tanks + 2 tiny tanks for reproduction and 1 'medical tank' - the last fishes which arrived had to stay in there for observation. And we did well, they had to have a treatment against a nasty parasite... Nothing enters the tank without treatment (plants) or observation and eventually medication (fish) anymore.

Because our last Christmas was horrible. All our fishies became terribly sick and 9 out of 10 died.

We did everything we could to save them. I cried everyday for another one, or sometimes two, passing away. It litterally broke my heart. That's when I realized that I loved my fishes and that there is nothing I could do to help them, and that in our country we don't have access to the right medication for fishies, because of legislation, only very mild products. We could not even find something to ease their suffering.

Surprisingly, one survived, bravely, all alone. A chocolate Gold fish (the brown, 'wild' variety). It took him some time to eat again, but real appetite didn't seem to come back. If we hadn't had two babies in a little nursery, I guess that we would have given him to another fish lover. The two babies gave us the courage to start the tank over. Cleaned everything and introduced new sand, new plants, and new fishies, because gold fishies need to live in groups. The veteran is the biggest fish in the tank now, strong and always hungry. It is wonderful to see him like that again, after weeks of no eating at all...

This video is not the best quality. Will do better for the newbies next time... But it is worth watching, because you can see the parents laying eggs... those eggs which gave birth to our two little babies.


A well-known philosopher said: "To really love, you've got to have your heart broken". I believe that it is true. I now love those fishies more than I could have imagined. It may sound incredible but those little fellows in the water are really good at 'communicating' with us. They do the 'belly dance' to say hello and ask for food. Hubby talks to them all the time... 

It's a strange world. 

Filled with love.


  1. You do sound like you love them, it comes through in your writing. I would love to see a video of the "dating" ancistrus! Or would I even notice? Do you only notice their behavior because you're around them so much?

  2. Most people believe that it is the male who wants the female to lay eggs and that he is the one blocking her in a dark corner, but it is actually always she who approaches him to come in his grotto. She has a girly attitude when she comes. He is always busy showing how good he can ventilate his 'house' (he ventilates the eggs until hatching, and after that he cares for the babies until they are autonomous)... It is not easy to make a video: they are brown, and the hole in the brown wood is the grotto. So they are not easy to see.
    He does not accept the presence of other adults, only female fish who are ready to lay eggs.
    I read somewhere that adult ancistrus breed 2 to 4 times per year. bwahahaha. This girl is so fertile, that as soon as he has finished with the latest nest, she wants to go back to him for the next. that means every 3 weeks. She has even tried to enter the grotto whilst there were alreay eggs in there... it's a wonderful world :D

  3. That is so interesting! I thought seahorses were the only ones where the male raised the babies.

    It's easy to see why you've become captivated by the fishies. (especially if hubby keeps his promise not to make you care for them)

    1. I feed them. I also cook zucchinis and cucumber and lettice for them - they love veggies :D HoweverI don't change the water and don't do the tests of the water to see if it is nitrate-free.


Your comments are welcome!