Thursday, April 05, 2007


So I have a fishtank. With fish in it.

Sure, I've had bettas before. But now I have a ten-gallon. Why? Because I kept being haunted by the images of Howie's at the pirate parties, a nice 10-gallon tank sitting there, where a betta was living peacefully with other fish. I decided, I had to try it. After some careful reading of about 20 different sites, I decided the ONLY consistency I was finding was that neon tetras and bottom-feeders will generally not be harmed by the betta, nor will they attack his fins. So, that's what I chose. I now have 5 neons (1 died on the way home by flinging himself against the bag.... not the brightest bulb in the box, that one), one male Betta splendens (who was aggression-tested before we left the store - though his scales and fins were in perfect shape, he didn't flare even at other bettas), and one golden dojo loach.

I also have a handful of live plants - jungle val and anacharis. Which, as I am told, puts me at risk for snails since I wasn't warned that even store-bought live plants where they do not keep snails to sell will have snail eggs. But the advantage I have is that loaches are egg-eaters. Even if the dojo is not as active as people claim that species is, and sits on the bottom all day until he sees food float by.

Well, the other day, I did indeed come home to eggs.

After posting to a fish forum, it appears that they were not snail eggs as I feared, but fish eggs! Whoops, guess I shoulda posted before feeding them to the loach. Oh well, with luck it will happen again. I have determined they probably belong to the tetras, though I don't know if the loach is a male or a female. But supposedly loach eggs are red. Those are definitely not red, and one of my tetras looks "fat" (compare the one on the far right to the others - you'll have to click on the pic and view the full size to notice the difference probably, but the ones to the left are more streamlined):

Also, notice the bubbles in the egg picture. There were many more of them when I looked at the tank again this afternoon, just before I knocked the eggs down for the dojo to eat. After a bit of poking around, my suspicion was confirmed. My betta apparently decided if there are eggs, they must belong to him, so he made a nest for them. Shame I don't have a breeding setup just now. It'd be nice to get a female and see how he does raising his own spawn.

But in any case, if those are, in fact, tetra eggs (I don't have an extra tank to move them to at the moment, so the fry will probably be eaten before they get big enough to tell for sure - though I guess if they hatch at all they're the tetras, since I doubt the loach can fertilize its own eggs), I am way luckier with fish than I thought. Why? Well, everything I've heard about neon tetras says they're nearly impossible to breed in an aquarium PERIOD, and especially not in a community tank with other species.

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