New Lionhead Goldfish

Introducing my new lionhead!! Ramen (blue calica sakura) because he is just one big mash up of goodness and who doesn't love Ramen?!!; Pocky (middle sized) because of his little pockets and Japanese inspired foods seemed to be my theme; and... the smallest one is Sumo because he tends to be a bit of a brute "although I am but tiny I am mighty".
The little lionheads (estimated to be 1.5 inches in length) had their first weigh-in the day after pigging out on frozen bloodworms the night I got them. The smallest lionhead was at 4 grams, the middle at 5 grams, and the biggest at 6 grams. Based on my ranchu's growth rates vs. age I can hopefully assume that when these lionhead average 30g they will be close to 5 months in age, but I feel like they should be near that weight in a month or two since I believe they develop their colors right before 4 months of age. I do feel like my lionhead may be very underweight if that's the case but we'll see how much weight they put on over the next few weeks.
Unfortunately most US pet stores do not often take the best care of their fish and I found these fish do currently have a few imperfections. The gray looking lionhead I believe to be a blue calico sakura appears to have damage to a pelvic fin as it looks stumpy (I don't believe this will affect his overall health as some fancy goldfish may only be born with one or no pelvic fin/s but generally they have 2), but this lil fishy is the most friendly of the 3 here and is definitely a lil piggy at meal time. The two orange, red and white lionheads are shy and currently very pushy, but I am hoping with scheduled feedings and such that they will become more gentle. The smallest of lionhead is probably the nicest looking in terms of body shape but often sits at a bit of an angle (much like my ranchu Bumblez did). All these fish currently have fin splits on all their fins (probably due to rapid water parameter changes) so I am dosing the tank water with some API Melafix to hopefully help speed the fin repair along, and I should hopefully see results over the next 2 weeks.


Aquarium Light Stand - DIY

I have honestly been looking for a similar way to DIY one of those pricey new aquarium lighting hoods that attach to the top outer edge of the aquarium. Low and behold I found this idea to create something a little similar to one. I mostly like the fact that the light is up away from the aquarium lid because when water builds under the glass tank lid and the light is on, it tends to get hot and almost burn the water onto the lid (which looks dirty and gross), thus allowing less light to shine into the tank overtime.
Items Needed
-Glass Aquarium Hood (or an acrylic tank if you have one will work on its own)
-Clear Aquarium Silicon (or epoxy)
-Aquarium Light Fixture
-Knob Pulls, or handles (or similar.. like candle holders)

Attach the knob pulls (the ones in the photo are the SATTA acrylic knobs from IKEA) to the light fixture using the silicon and allow to dry. Place the fixture on-top a flat glass top aquarium lid or an acrylic tank. For the blue-ish glowing effect you'll want an LED aquarium light fixture, otherwise try a light fixture that takes regular aquarium bulbs and opt for the color coated ones (blue, red, etc).

A few handle options... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Ranchu Mishap

For those that follow me on Twitter here you probably read that my two adorable ranchu (Bumblez and Oakki) have since passed away, which is partially why I have had a bit of a hiatus on here lately. There are a few possibilities which I feel may have contributed to the death of my ranchu which I am going to share with you now...

#1 The first issue being that the hardwood floors got refinished downstairs (which is why I have some unknowns as to what happened in my ranchu aquarium while I wasn't home), and although my bedroom upstairs where my fish reside were left with a closed bedroom door the dust from the downstairs floor still managed to seep into my room... hence wood dust getting into the aquarium. Not to mention the fumes throughout the house from the staining process and such may have also been a contributing factor.

#2 The power had apparently gone out at some point during this process... for how long exactly I am uncertain but I believe this may have contributed to problem #3.

#3 Filter failure which may have happened due to the power going out and it's honestly the first time this unit has failed in my tank. For goldfish, having water movement and constant filtration is basically a total must have since goldfish create a lot of waste, but wait... I have an air filter as well, which brings me to issue #4.

#4 Some where along the lines of doing regular tank maintenance (honestly this next part is a total mystery) but some how my air check valve was going in the wrong direction and hence no oxygen was actually going into the tank from the air pump (which explains the lack of bubbles being produced after I cleaned the decor).

#5 It could also be that once all the filtration had failed it caused the water parameters to drastically change, which in itself could have eliminated the ranchu. However I did perform a 50% water change before I left the fish to fend for themselves for 2 days (they did have an auto-feeder so food was not an issue, and there was uneaten food in this gravel-less setup when I did return), but it's a little hard to believe that even with the filter failure the fish didn't survive those short few days (I mean they did survive being shipped to my house in breathable bags for a few days).

So while my ranchu have passed on to the big fish bowl in the sky... my albino bristlenose pleco 'Eval' that also lived in the aquarium with them... had survived. I already knew why it survived and that's because pleco's have an additional set of lungs allowing them to breathe differently than say... ranchu. My betta whom is kept in a smaller tank in my room had also survived but betta's also breathe differently than say... ranchu, as betta's are labyrinth breathers which allows them to breathe out of water for a period of time.


New Fish at Walmart

Of course I am merely browsing through the fish at Walmart where aquariums are mis-marked and inaccurate fish information is provided.. when I come across a tank that states it has 'Silver Dollars' in it (and no the tank isn't filled with large silver coins). Myself having a rough idea of what the typical Silver Dollar fish looks like glanced into the tank not seeing any of these. I did however notice an interesting freckled specimen that I don't recall ever seeing before, so having little information about what fish are actually in this tank I did my best to research Silver Dollars. As luck would have it, it turns out it is not the typical Silver Dollar but what I believe to be fairly lackluster looking 'Spotted Silver Dollars' (apparently there are even 'Striped Silver Dollars' and a few other varieties you may came across in the Silver Dollar world).
Spotted Silver Dollars
The Spotted Silver Dollar is a fish native to the Brazilian Amazon and rivers in the French Guiana, and it can reach up to 13cm in length, but I have read some people claiming to have typical Silver Dollars which can apparently reach around 9in in length. I did find it peculiar that these fish almost mimic the ever-so popular Piranha or even the Pacu which are all Amazonian fish, and as it turns out they are actually closely related although these fish are mainly vegetarian with the exception of eating a few insects and possibly tiny fish that can fit in there mouths. Silver Dollars can apparently live up to 10 years, are a schooling species that's semi-aggressive, live in weedy dimly lit rivers, prefer a pH level of 5-7, like a water hardness level of 8-15dgh, and temperatures around 75-82°F (although 80°F seems ideal for both fry and adults).
Giant Silver Dollars
As luck would have it I did unknowingly photograph some Giant Silver Dollars while in the Amazon area at the Baltimore Aquarium!