I still can’t take good pictures of my fish. Whether in daylight or at night time, there are a) too many reflections to deal with and b) they never stop moving. Honestly don’t know how other people do it.

Spent the majority of today setting up my youngest Bettas new tank. He was in an undersized 12L so I knew he needed to be rehomed in a 20L+ at some point, like my other Betta, but for cost and laziness reasons I have been putting it off. Well, I figured a long weekend is the perfect time to move him over.

I bought the tank last weekend, bought the gravel after work on Friday, and I thought I was all set up. I soaked some spare wood I had yesterday, and then today I began to put the tank together. Only to realise I didn’t have enough gravel. At 3.45pm on a Sunday. Sunday trading laws in the UK mean most shops close 4:00pm-5:00pm. So, thank everything I have a car. I rushed out to the pet shop and got there half an hour before it closed, picked up gravel and a background, because why order from Amazon if I’m already at the pet shop and they have them, and then tried to rush back but got stuck in traffic and yeah. It was a bit stressful. But gravel acquired I could carry on. I took my fish out his tank and placed him in a bucket (with a brief interlude where I held up to my other Betta to see what would happen. My other Betta caught on quickly and began to flare and display. Unfortunately the Betta I was moving was a bit frantic after being caught so didn’t realise what was going on. Note- I only showed them to each other very briefly, probably 30s to a minute! I wasn’t being cruel about my curiosity…) (Note 2 I don’t move my bettas using a net due to their long fins. I scoop them up in a jug instead! So my little betta was in a jug with some water when I was showing him to my other betta…)

Then I disassembled his tank and began to combine the old with the new. I had to use some of the old gravel, because I needed, well, the waste caught up in it (the gravel/tank base is an important part of the biological filter) but it didn’t match the new color scheme, hence why I needed lots of new gravel. So I used just a tiny bit of the old gravel and then covered it up with the new gravel. I planted the fake plants, and then moved the tank into position before adding the wood, filter, heater and beginning to fill it up with a combo of new water and the water from the old tank. (I also moved half the old filter media to the new filter – old gravel, old water and old filter media should mean the tank doesn’t cycle again and the biological filter should be in place from the get go!)

Finally, the fish could go in. But of course he was wise to my tricks and it took me ages to catch him again (fish are so quick!) I got him in the new tank eventually. There’s no baffle on the filter in the new tank yet which he definitely doesn’t like, but I think he has been enjoying exploring his new space? Mostly he seems a bit confused by it all. I hope I didn’t stress him out too much with the whole thing :/ he wasn’t in the bucket long and I tried to keep all the various waters he was experiencing at similar temperatures…. It would be a shame for him to get sick when he is finally in a proper sized tank….

My sister’s cat

It’s coming up to the one year anniversary since my cat died. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. It’s embarrassing to admit that I’m still really sad about it. I went home this weekend and I brought some roses with me to place on her grave. I thought maybe it would provide some comfort. But it didn’t. I still ache. I still can’t accept it. I look at her grave and it just doesn’t make sense.

My parents are looking after my sister’s cat right now. So she was there when I was. My father kept calling my sister’s cat by our old cats name and it’s hard to say anything when he does it, because it’s awkward, and it’s sad.

My sister’s cat is a delight. She was a little wary of me on Saturday, but then on Sunday she crawled into my lap and passed out there. Several hours passed and my legs went numb but it was perfect, to feel her warmth and her weight. I kept following her around all weekend, pestering her to allow me to cuddle her and pet her, because I miss it. I miss my cat. I miss having a cat.

For a time the neighbours cat was here, but he did move away. And I know it’s for the best, he was getting too clingy, but I do miss his presence. He was a good substitute. It was good to have his company, his warmth.

I tell myself she was just a cat, but it doesn’t quite work.

I’ve felt lonely since she died.

I now have three running aquariums. D:

I went to the pet shop today to buy some plants for my 120l tank. I went in and they had kittens in stock. The one kitten came up to the glass and started to meow at me, reaching out with a tiny paw to push at the glass between us at the same time. I nearly walked away with them but barely managed to resist. I then went to the aquatics section and I managed to walk past the Betta section, because I know better than to look, and I looked at the plants and I looked at the fish and then I saw him.

He was in a tank with a bunch of platys. He was white and blue and pink and purple. Every time he moved the light caught a different color. He was swimming up against the glass and I looked at him and I looked at him and I fell in love. I asked one of the staff if it was ok to keep a Betta with other fish like that, and the staff member explained as long as the Betta was put in with fish that didn’t have flowing fins like it he wouldn’t attack it. And as long as the Betta fish wasn’t put in a tank with nippy fish then the Betta wouldn’t be attacked. Are minnows and danios ok? I asked. Minnows, yes. My heart sang. Danios, no. Then quickly I deflated. Could I try it? Maybe… I continued to look at the fish. I had a 12l spare, I had gravel, I had rocks and wood. I could buy a heater and a plant. I didn’t even know where I would put the 12l and I later realized I forgot to buy a thermometer, or factor in that it would be another mouth to feed and tank to monitor when I was away. I had resisted the other temptations (THAT KITTEN!) (all the other Bettas!) (a beautiful black axolotl!)

And I had completely fallen for the little guy.

I got him.

I took him home.

I got his tank set up. It’s very simple at the moment. Since this picture was taken I’ve got the filter in. I’ll soak some of my spare wood to build up the tank a bit. He is a bit shy and fussy right now, as would be expected. He picked at his supper – kept spitting it out – and goes to the back of the tank when I come close.

I hope he is gonna settle in. He was more expensive than my other Betta fish, probably because he is fancier (my other Betta fish was glaring at me as I fawned over the new Betta. Or at least I felt like it. I may feel slightly guilty to my Betta for finding the new guy…a little prettier… :| )

And yes, I did buy the plants too! Gave the big tank a good tidy and put in the new plants. Getting very heavily planted in there and it’s beautiful. My first Betta tank is doing well and it would have been a year since I got my first Betta at the end of this month. I’m placing my original Betta at a year and a half years old, which is kind of awesome.

I’m definitely getting a little too into this fish keeping hobby. I can’t believe I have three tanks. I hope this won’t affect my electricity bills too much :/

I started out with two shrimps, attempted to have four shrimps, failed, and somehow decided to buy more shrimps. All in all I have now bought 6 shrimps, and yet just like my last post, I still only have one. For a time, I definitely had two. I saw my red one around and sometimes I saw one of the latest two I’d bought, a small yellow cherry type. I’d bought a pair of yellow ones as I thought they’d blend in better, therefore reducing chances of getting eaten. And one of the pair disappeared, but there was one left that I could spot now and again. It seemed utterly fine. On Tuesday night it was swimming around and it came to the front of the tank for the very first time, allowing me to take some pictures of it.

On Wednesday morning I looked into the tank and it was dead. It didn’t seem like it had been attacked, there was no sign of damage, no sign of disease. It was just….dead. I was hurt and confused. How could it just die like that, overnight? It was ok. And then it was dead.

I’d had a danio death just on Monday so this was a bit of a blow. But I know my tank is clean and stable so I’m mostly confused. The shrimp seemed too young to pass of old age. I think I need to test the water for copper? That could be a reason. (But the other one is fine so you’d think they’d both be in trouble if there was something anti shrimp in the water… ) The only other thing could be stress from the water change I carried out on Tuesday, but I didn’t cause a massive flux in tank temperature. I did gravel clean, maybe it was too disruptive?

I thought shrimp were meant to be easy. But I’ve definitely lost two, probably lost another, and I’m missing another two.

The real question is – how is that one red shrimp thriving still when all its mates have died? I look at it and I’m amazed at it’s resilience. It swims about the tank amongst the fish without fear (perhaps trying to blend in to prevent attack?) And it’s big and healthy…

These creatures baffle me. I need to resist buying more…it’s just expensive fish food by this point (I left the yellow shrimp in the tank on Wednesday just in case I was wrong but of course all that happened was my fish ate it. Partially. So I had to take out the remains…. )

Checked on my fish tanks this morning to find that my Betta fish had built a huge bubble nest. Overnight. It certainly wasn’t there last night….But look at it now! He has sort of built these nests in his old tank but never at this scale- it was usually nothing more than a small clump of bubbles. Look at this thing though! I’m a little taken aback by the size of this, and the timescale of it (overnight!!). I’m taking this as a sign he really likes his new tank.

(Technically this is a breeding behaviour ingrained into the fish. They build these nests to keep the eggs in and keep said eggs oxygenated – yes, the males look after the eggs. According to some websites, Bettas will build these even in sub par conditions as it is such an instinctive behaviour. But then other websites say they’ll only build them if comfortable and happy. So who knows, really…the internet is a confusing place for research. I should probably buy a book or go the library…easier to Google though! 😅 )