Little things going on…

Summer’s here!

I haven’t updated in a little while because I’ve had  a lot going on (and will continue to have a lot going on for the next few weeks), and most of it hasn’t been fish-related.  I do have a few bits of news to share, though.

Coming Soon:  Shrimp Tank!

wip fluval chiFirst, I’m in the process of setting up a new tank!  The $5.00 Fluval Chi I found at Goodwill is cycling.  I’m using a Hydor Slim Heater and a dual sponge filter.  Lighting is provided by a desk lamp attached to the fishroom shelves; obviously, this is a temporary measure until I get a more satisfactory solution set up.

I’ll be adding java moss tied to lava rocks when I get time to set that up.  I’m not planning to start the moss growing emersed, as I’m feeling a little impatient to get it actually in the tank.  I also had a little trouble with mold growing on the moss when I experimented with the emersed start.

The end result should be a nice environment for some red cherry shrimp!  I’ve been excited about setting up an RCS tank for a long time, and I’m glad it’s finally on the horizon.

(One note about the driftwood:  yes, it’s ridiculously large for the tank.  The shrimp won’t care, and eventually it’ll all be relocated to a 10-gallon tank anyway. )

FishLore Member Spotlight Article!

In other news, I was recently featured by FishLore’s Aquarium Magazine in a Member Spotlight!  This was a huge surprise for me, and very exciting.  I appreciate everyone at FishLore for their support and encouragement over the last three years!

Unfortunately, the rest of my news today is less cheerful…

Kuhli Tragedy

I posted recently about losing a kuhli loach to a filter accident.  After that happened, I made sure that every possible way for a kuhli to enter the filter’s impeller area was blocked off.

Or so I thought.

After doing a big water change on Wednesday, I fed the loaches and counted them to make sure they were all present and healthy.  They were.  Thursday night, when I went to feed them, I saw that they were definitely NOT healthy.  I could see two lying on their backs, alive but obviously dying.  I checked the filter and found that a loach had somehow gotten into the impeller cavity, died, and blocked nearly all the filter flow.  The resulting ammonia spike was killing the rest of the fish.  I did everything I could — cleared out the dead loach, dosed with Prime to detox the ammonia — but the other loaches were too far gone.  By this morning, they were all dead.

I don’t understand.  I went over that filter several times, carefully.  There should be no way that a loach could fit its skull through any of the openings into the impeller chamber.  I still don’t know how it happened, and I’m really upset by it.

As much as I loved these little guys, I don’t think I’ll be getting any more for a while… and when I do, it will be in a tank filtered only by an air-powered sponge filter.  I just can’t deal with them getting sucked into any form of power filter.

A last couple of photos I don’t think I ever shared: