Jaws and Sugar have been in their new tank for about a week now, where my nightstand used to be. :) I picked a 150L bowfront
from Aquaera, which seems to have gone up in price since my order. Since I set up a small one for guppy boys, I've become rather fond of bowfronts. This one is even better, with the seamless curved front corners. A used tank was tempting for the cost savings, but this one was easier to find, and fit well into the space available. (Yeah, clearing out some junk might be a good plan!) My usual anticonsumerist urges tend to fly out the window where pet stuff is concerned, anyway.
I'd definitely recommend Aquaera. They were initially appealing because of the prices, apparently trying to break into the UK aquarium market. The tank and components seem to be good quality; my only complaint is that the built-in filter's pump doesn't move as much water as messy goldfish need, but I knew that I'd need to add another filter going in. A bigger model of pump should work OK later, if required. The customer service was pretty impressive. When I ordered, they apparently needed to substitute trim/cabinet colors, but I didn't think to check the spamtrap for mail from them. That weekend, there was a knock on the door, and who was there? A little Chinese guy with a couple of huge boxes! Instead of using a courier and saying "to hell with it if she ignores three e-mails", somebody drove the tank to Romford and made sure the color substitution was OK. I was pretty embarrassed, but you can't beat that customer service.
I miss having somewhere to set things like drinks and books--will have to come up with something--but the fishies are a lot more interesting to look at. *g* One side is just a few inches from my head, and the Mini Fiends have been enjoying dancing there for attention and food, of course. They also love zooming up and down with their noses in the curved front corners, for the funhouse effect. It's pretty hilarious to watch.
The biggest drawback at the moment is that we have both large tanks trying to cycle. After Cucumber died of that parasite, I've been a little hypervigilant, and managed to kill off most of the filter bacteria in the Big Fiend tank with medication which was probably unnecessary, in retrospect. Then we set up the new tank. I think the heavy planting was taking care of most of the waste, when it was just the two Mini Fiends in there, but Lobsterback had to move in temporarily. He was just getting too rambunctious, trying to convince Skate to spawn until she went into a headstand in the corner and played dead, so he gets to stay with the young 'uns for a while. Talk about turnabout: Sugar keeps chasing him around. :)
I hoped that having only one goldie churning out ammonia in the old tank might help, too, but it hasn't much. I am considering taking out the gravel, which might be trapping gunk in spite of weekly vaccuuming--yet another useful thing I picked up on The GAB
. The new tank is set up bare bottom, with potted plants, and it's living up to its promise of being easier to keep clean so far. Especially with messy, plant-ravaging carp in there. The new Mini Fiend tank is starting into a nitrite spike, so things should be OK pretty soon. As it is, I'm going to have to order more Seachem Safe (powdered Prime, and much cheaper) to help keep the ammonia detoxed, in addition to the water changes and the zeolite in Skate's filter. I may try reseeding both tanks with gunge from one of the other filters; it couldn't hurt.
The multiple 50-75% water changes a day on biggish tanks have really been fun, with my shoulders and pectorals acting up. We do have a coil hose for refilling, which has come in super handy, but it's a small enough diameter that siphoning enough water out takes a couple of hours. Yesterday I set Skate's water emptying before a Tesco trip, and it was a little less than half emptied by the time I got home. There's also no way to attach a gravel vac to that hose, for more thorough cleaning, so I'm schlepping a lot
of buckets. And needing rather a lot of painkillers afterward, but it needs to be done. :/
Instead of caving and buying a Python
for a higher price in GBP than in USD (like a lot of fish and other hobby stuff, gallingly), I'm going to get some brewing tubing of a diameter to fit the larger gravel vac. Like the Python, that should run to a bathroom drain or out the window to water and fertilize plants. Now I just need to remember to confirm with vatine
how long a length should do the job!
Good thing the fish are worth it, inconvenient though they can be at times. Sort of like sick cats or children, and with about the same sense of timing. As has also come up on The GAB more than once, I'm very glad Ingvar hasn't once expressed amazement because "it's just a fish". Skate has been living here for a little over four years now, since a few days after I moved in. My mom actually let out a surprised "You mean Skate's still around?!" last year. Goldfish will live for 20+ years with good care, and the general level of knowledge about taking care of them is just sad. The common unrepentant ignorance on this, as well as so many other subjects, makes me upset; it's not as if decent information is hard to find. To me, not thinking it's worth learning about shows a lack of empathy.
I was just thinking again a little while ago, as she nibbled on my arm while I was cleaning her gravel, what a generally neat person Skate is, and how many people wouldn't (or couldn't) pay attention to the way she interacts with us finless. If she didn't live in a glass box, she'd be crawling up in the bed with us, like the cats. It's amazing--and not a little frightening--that so many people don't seem to have much empathy, not considering someone who lives a very different life in a different environment even to be a person. Yeah, various nasty -isms are really popular because of this, but it still dumbfounds me sometimes. Other people have acted as if I showed way too much empathy at times, as if it were an obstacle in their zero-sum version of Real Life. I suspect it is seen that way, in a lot of cases. And folks on the autistic spectrum are popularly imagined not to have much in the way of empathy. Grrr.