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Monday, January 19, 2009

Starting a Fresh Water Aquarium

We were blessed with a free fish tank and all the add-ons needed to start a fresh water aquarium. I have put off setting it up for almost 3 months! This is due to hesitation on my part. I just wasn't sure I could cope with one more commitment. And all this time my boys have been begging me to buy fishes.

We finally did buy. 22 to be exact. That looked like quite many at first, but when we emptied them into our large tank, they hardly filled the tank!

Excitement was in the air. During the first few days, we spent many hours watching our fishes. I was glad we bought a variety of fishes as they each had their own characteristics and thus interesting to observe. They were rather therapeutic to watch.

We bought guppies, Neon Tetras, Mollies, and some others unknown fishes. The aquatic plants I chose without thought turned out to be rather hardy water plants. They are the Java Fern and Malayan Aqua Fern.

Within 2 weeks of setting up the tank, we discovered that our female guppy delivered 6 guppy fry. B described our experience in his blog. I read up more about pregnant female guppies here and gathered some other information for D to read and answer a few pertinent questions. He documented his "findings" in his blog too.

We learned about the gravid spot in females. This is a dark spot on the rear end of the abdomen of female guppies. The gravid spots are actually the eyes of the baby fry! Nearing delivery time, this spot becomes very dark. In the photograph above, you can see the distinct gravid spot of the female guppy below as compared to none observable in the female guppies above (although they were all obviously pregnant).

Our guppy fish fry were at first about 0.6mm long. They were almost transparent except for their large black eyes. They knew well enough to hide safely under rocks and amongst the leaves of the water plants in the tank.

Now after almost 3 weeks, they have grown to about 1.2 cm and have turned opaque and more brown. They have become bolder and were spied swimming fearlessly with the larger fishes.

It was not all well and good. We had many casualties to the point that my boys were making guesses as to which fish will die next! We found guppies rather vulnerable in general. However, thankfully, of the 6 guppy fry we discovered, 5 are still alive today. I hope we can be able to at least see ONE of them through to adulthood.

1 comment:

  1. Do you think our fishes are beautiful?


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