I’m now six weeks into my second attempt at keeping tropical fish. It’s going fairly well, or at least better than it did last time. There was a minor white spot outbreak. This common fish parasitic disease wiped out my first lot of fish so I was pretty panicked when I first spotted it. However, it appears this group is made of stronger stuff and I only lost one neon tetra. The rest are now entirely spot-free and have been so for about three weeks.
My favourite fish is definitely my Siamese Fighter, or Betta, called Obi. He’s a beautiful creature and very active. For this type of fish, he’s surprisingly relaxed and non-aggressive. Siamese Fighters are well known for ‘flaring’ (flaring out beard-like flaps just beneath their mouths) and attacking, or else hiding away and being very skittish. He’s neither. I haven’t seen him flare once and he quite happily swims around with my two platys. Unlike my previous Siamese Fighter, he spends very little time in his hiding place. He does like to hang around behind the filter sometimes but never for very long.
At first, I wrongly thought my Mickey Mouse Platy was female but, possibly due to growing up a bit more, it’s now pretty clear that he’s a boy. He’s called Chewie and my Blue Platy is called Han (anyone noticing a pattern?). There was a bit of aggression between these two for the first week or so but I haven’t noticed any nipping or chasing lately and they usually swim together. I haven’t yet made any firm decisions on adding to my aquarium but some more platys might be a good choice, I think.
My five neon tetras are simply called ‘The Jawas’. Since it’s impossible to tell them apart and they’re always in a shoal, I thought a group name made more sense. There were originally six but, as I said above, one was the only casualty of the white spot outbreak.
I haven’t really named my cherry shrimp. I originally had three but I haven’t seen more than two at any one time since their first day in the tank. When I do see them, they seem happy and healthy enough so I leave them to it.
All of the fish have come to recognise the sound of the cabinet beneath their tank opening as a sign that food is coming and all rush straight to the top. There’s the occasional awkward moment when the food doesn’t come, because I was actually retrieving or replacing something else. They tend to then hang about at the surface for a few minutes until giving up, except Obi, who will continue to stare at me through the glass for quite a while.
Unfortunately, getting photos of the fish is pretty difficult since they move so quickly, hence the photos I’ve included are pretty rubbish. However, I am putting together a video of them so I’ll post that in due course!