Well, here’s another hobby that I just accumulated.
As I was waiting for my wife while she was talking with a mechanic, I crossed the street to visit a little plant store that was just waiting for me. As soon as I walked inside I saw a vertical vase with an aquatic plant living in it and populated with little neon tetras.
Uho, I thought, that looks damn nice. I had visited my friend Adam a month or two before and he showed me his room which contained several of his tanks, which took me back to the time 10 years ago when I had a 100-gallon fish tank in my parents’ basement.
He noticed my interest and offered to give me some of his extra supplies to help get me started. I declined, stating that I already had enough hobbies and not enough room in my apartment.
Well, that vase in the plant shop didn’t take up much space, so I asked the owner for the price, just for fun.
Uho, I thought, that’s damn cheap. When Trinh met me up in the shop I showed her the vase and she immediately thought it looked nice. I asked her if she’d like to have it in our place, to which she said yes.
Flash-forward a few weeks later and I received a little wooden bench as the vase’s furniture, and Adam was back from a trip home and willing to take me to one of his local fish guys. Combined with the fact that I was dropping my bike at the same mechanic (facing the plant store, remember) I decided to go for it.
So, I purchased the vase (the tetras were now gone but I didn’t think much of it, not many people actually understand how to take care of fish), brought it home, did a water change and was then off to the fish stores with Adam.
I got myself three different guppies and two snails to populate the tank, forgetting about chemicals, cycles, bacteria, compatibility and all the rest.
When I got the vase I wasn’t intending to talk about aquariums on this blog but as you can expect, I’m already hooked, I already want a bigger, better tank, and most importantly I GOT BABY FISHES IN MY VASE!
Yesterday afternoon I noticed the tank had a lot of junk floating around so I took a closer look inside and to my absolute surprise, a dozen tiny cute little baby fish were zipping around in the plant.
I got worried about them FAST. Since I’ve had the thing for less than a week, if the ammonium spike kicks in, everything will die. The vase had been populated with the plant and other fish before though, so maybe there’s a bit of bacteria in the gravel, but I’m the one who got a filter going (generously donated by Adam) which is where the bacteria is usually housed, if I understand correctly.
I was watching DIY Fishkeeper when he suggested that to kick-start your tank, you can simply take the “gook” from another active filter, mix it with water and throw that into your new tank, and the good bacteria should – should – stick, helping skip the entire first cycle.
So within a day I was back at Adam’s talking about fish and picking up a water bottle full of gook. Mixed it with my water last night, all in the hopes of giving the newborn guppies a fighting chance.
I’ll keep this journal going, mostly for me.
Here’s what the possible future entails:
- If this vase’s population doesn’t survive, I’ll take the opportunity to learn to patiently monitor chemicals in the water and when everything settles down, get a betta or two and maybe learn about breeding them.
- I’m already planning to get a bigger tank as everything in Vietnam is about 30-50% cheaper than anything in Canada and heck – the fish are even up to 90% cheaper! I saw a few young Arowanas for as low as $50 and Oscars under $10.
- It’ll take me months to set up the bigger tank properly, the way I want it. Basically, I want neon tetras in a tank with black gravel and substrate, a black background, and to learn a bit about Iwagumi – aquascaping specializing in creating a sense of depth – to make the most of the tank’s size.
- Then, the scenescape. I’m into the scene as much as the fish, to be honest. It probably comes from my bulging love for miniatures. I’m torn between a fantasy setting and an underwater, shipwreck scene.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Here’s a quick view of the vase in question.