Monday, October 22, 2012

My tanks: 22 Oct Update

So while it has been a few months since my last update not much has changed in my tanks except with the goldfish.

I completely redid the aquascape. I removed the gravel once and for all and replaced it with aragonite sand to aid me in hardening the water. I figured out my light is too dim for most plants to grow in the substrate, so I opted for fake plants. I think they look realistic, and I like the cover they give to the fish.

If you can spot him, he's in the bottom right corner!

The fake plants I have are Marineland jumbo bamboo which is floating while the live floating plants--which the goldfish seem to leave alone--fill in, the Marineland A-size multipack that includes red ludwigia, rotala, and moneywort (but I only used to two tallest plants in the center and right), and the  Aqueon Begonia plastic plant 16" on the left. My live plants (most of which are floating and out of view) are hornwort, water sprite, and anarcharis. I also have that one little marimo ball on to bottom, too.

Unfortunately, right after I completed the re-'scape, I lost my two oldest goldfish within a week of each other. They had been with me for six years. I'm not positive on what caused either of their demises, but I am keeping a close eye on my remaining goldfish.

Seaking on left, Goldeen on right. Together in life and together in death.

I also know I owe you guys some up close pictures of my newest (well relatively) goldfish. I'm fairly certain he is male as I've seen some breeding stars on his pectorals, but only time will tell. He's still pretty small. No bigger than 3 inches on body!

Here he is sitting next to his "mirror buddy." Since goldfish enjoy company,
this will be his best friend until I can find another goldfish
and put him through a QT process.

He's still a little shy!

Here is a pretty good image to give you a size comparison.
He's grown a lot since I brought him home.

While it hasn't been getting that cold at night and the leaves haven't changed that much, I went ahead and put the net over my pond. It's been decent weather, and I wanted to make sure it was done right. There have been a few years where I was putting the net out when it was rainy, cold, and almost dark. Plus, I catch more leave if I put the net up before the they all start coming down.

It's still warm enough that the koi are happily swimming around under the net.

And everyone got new lights. I noticed I needed new lights because I began to see an abundance of brown algae growing on the walls as well as some of the lower plants. Bulbs don't last more than a year, and the deeper the tank, the more often they have to be replaced. I probably could have gotten another few months from my betta tank bulbs, but I like doing them all at once. You might not notice a difference, but the plants do! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Little things

Yesterday when I was finishing up with my work, I walked over to our local butterfly garden. It's a very nice little garden where my local science center hatches and grows native butterflies.  In the back of the garden, they have a nice little goldfish pond. It's probably about 300 gallons or so. While I was sitting by it and trying to snap photographs of the butterflies that danced by, I noticed a white goldfish with a red splotch on his head, and he looked familiar.

Some of the flowers and butterflies in the garden

A few years past the butterfly garden was the subject of vandalism when some punks broke in and killed a handful of the goldfish. A year or so before then I had donated comet goldfish with a red splotch on his head to them, but I thought him lost in the raid as he is a very recognizable fish.

On my way out of the garden, I asked the attendant who had worked there for a while how long that particular goldfish with the red splotch on his head had been there. She told me as long as she could remember, and then proceeded to tell me that the vandals only took the largest goldfish which would not have included my little comet. I came to the conclusion that the unique goldfish in the pond was the little comet, who I had named Tancho, that I'd released there years ago! The attendant was just as shocked as I was and even more so when I told her he could easily live another 10 years there.

The only photo I have of Tancho.
Taken in summer 2007.

I spent the next 30 minutes by the side of the pond watching him. His markings have changed a lot. Instead of a neat, almost circular mark, it's spread down to his cheeks. But the rest of his body is still as white as a cloud. And while I did spend a lot of time there, I never managed to get a picture of my goldfish who I'd named Tancho. But it made my day to be able to see him again, so strong and so healthy.

The pond where Tancho now lives. He shares
it with three other orange-red goldfish.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Goldfish Salvation

I don't often talk about fish art because there simply isn't a lot of it, but the other day I found an artist who deserves recognition. Riusuke Fukahori was a struggling artist who found inspiration in his pet goldfish. These beautiful works resulted from his chubby, golden muses.

Photo of Riusuke Fukahori's work displayed at

It looks real, doesn't it? It's all done in resin. He makes these 3D painting by pouring layers of resin on top of paint in a similar manner as a 3D printer. Watch a video of him working here:

Beautiful works inspired by beautiful fish. If you look in the background of the video, you can get a quick glimpse of his fish comfortably living in a 50 gallon tank.

Photo of Riusuke Fukahori's work displayed at

You can find more photos from his ICN gallery expo here: Goldfish Salvation by Riusuke Fukahori at the ICN gallery.