11.26.2014

Goldfish in Vegas

Click to Enlarge
While in Las Vegas, NV this year I ventured into none-other than Caesars Palace (hotel and casino), and came across the Beijing Noodle No. 9 restaurant. Caesars has pretty much always had big elaborate aquatic setups throughout but I was surprised to find a goldfish setup this time and wanted to share a few photos of it. I believe all the goldfish were red fantails, and as for the filtration the tanks appeared to have built-in mirrored filter boxes centered within the tanks them self and the water would flow under the box which probably led into a hidden filtration system down into the white contemporary aquarium stands (the water looks pretty clean right?!) and then pushed the water back up through the top of the box (not sure why they didn't try to hide the black hoses). The tanks had no decor inside but on outside you can see chain curtains separating the tanks (I believe there were 2 rows of 6 tanks total), mirrors throughout, and the filigree design coming into the background on some of the tanks.



11.11.2014

Lionhead Progress (2nd Month)

This month (exactly 30 days) I basically did the same feeding method as the previous month, the only thing that really changed at first was 1 week I had started giving them a cube of Hikari's tubifex worms once a day, as well as a small piece of Omega One freeze-dried brine shrimp (personally I do like Hikari's freeze-dried brine shrimp better) although I ran out of tubifex worms the last week or two. On Halloween I did give my fish a thick slice of boiled squash which my bristlenose did seem to enjoy. So, the lionhead have initially been given more food this month and I have added in a few new variables compared to the previous month.

Another thing I did was add in some of McCormick's organic ground garlic into the bag of nori I was giving them because before it seemed like they enjoyed pulling it apart more than eating it so, I wanted to see if this would make it more palatable for them (which it didn't seem to make a huge difference). Keep in mind that the garlic powder does not really stick to the dry nori in the bag, but garlic being strong in scent I figured after a few weeks the odor would add to the flavor of the nori regardless. Garlic also gets added to a lot of fish food in general to make it more palatable for fish which is how I figured it would be okay for them.

During the last 2 weeks I wasn't too impressed with the visual size of my goldfish and I also managed to drop my FishMate feeder into the aquarium which initially broke the device and delayed regular feedings from happening for my fish, but I am glad I kept an eye on the device after that to see that it was no longer feeding my fish due to the water damage. That being said the past 4 days I decided to double their pellet food and brine shrimp intake just to see if I could plump them up a bit more before weigh day, and also to see if they were capable of eating more as they have been increasing in size as we saw the past month and they have been looking a bit hungrier lately (which is also why I have been giving them an increased amount of Earthworm Flakes as a treat this month).

One more thing I changed was purchasing some Omega One Goldfish pellets, so for the past 2 weeks or so I have replaced half of their pellet food mix with the Omega One as I am hoping this stuff can help increase head-growth (and oddly enough my bristlenose also likes these and she rarely eats anything other than Tetra Veggie wafers and some vegetables on occasion).
Sumo, Ramen, and Pocky (left to right)
A surprising turn of events happened in terms of my lionheads weight during this month. Sumo is at 24g now (a 12g gain since a month ago) which means he doubled in weight, while Ramen was barely reaching 25g this month making it a near tie-breaker with lil Sumo (only an 8g gain since a month ago), and Pocky surprisingly surpassed Ramen in terms of weight at 28g (with the same 12g as Sumo) although didn't quite double in weight this month as with Sumo. This means on average my fish have gained 0.86g a day this month, which puts Ramen closest to the average amount gained. Last month the lionhead averaged 0.34g a month, which means with a slight food increase and some changes in food the lionhead gained an extra 0.52g.

Plans for next month...
I want to see if an increase in water changes and the amount of water changed actually has a significant effect on the size/weight/growth of goldfish, and try to compare that to these past two months of growth.

11.09.2014

Free... Water?

This week I discovered an interesting local treasure about an hour away from my place. Located in Berkeley Springs, WV lies what is known as George Washington's bathtub.. which was apparently his favorite spot to bathe. Not only does there appear to be what looks like guppies swimming in this outdoor area (I think you can actually fish them out with a net as the museum gift shop sells fish nets) but there is also free water available coming from two different outdoor units. This water also gets filtered 1,000 times per minute.. which puts most any hobbyist aquarium filter to shame (hah). Upon talking to a few other people one lady from Bethesda, MD actual drives nearly 2 hours to fill several 5 gallon jugs (she does this every 2 months) of this natural spring water, and I mean who doesn't like free water? Okay okay.. if you come here before 5pm and it isn't a Sunday or holiday than you will possibly spend $0.25 to pay the meter to park long enough to get some of this water... otherwise it's free (and there really wasn't any lines to get this).
Berkeley Springs, WV
So, I quickly had the idea of dumping out a perfectly fine small bottle of Deer Park water to refill it with this water which seemed to be considered "special" by its regulars (so maybe they're a bit on the "hippie" side, hehe). I took a drink and although the water wasn't cold (and it didn't immediately kill me) and it did have a very slight smell, I knew my main reason for taking it was to actually test the quality of water using my API water test strips back home (and yes, I have fish on the brain, haha). The test strip readings came back as the following...

NO3 (Nitrate): 1 (est.) Safe
NO2 (Nitrite): 0 Safe
GH (Hardness): 150 Hard
Cl (Chlorine): 0 Safe
KH (Alkalinity): 120 Ideal
pH (Potential of Hydrogen): 7.0 Neutral
Temperature: 74°F/23°C

After these test results I had my lovely assistant Meko (my betta fish) take a sip... and he's still doing fine. Honestly I'm not sure what would be "super" about this water after seeing these results, but it obviously has minerals in it based on it being 'Hard', which I know all too well that hard water generally adds annoying mineral deposits onto aquarium surfaces. I actually think what I am smelling in this water may be Iodine which is generally used in outdoor hand pump type water devices (which in this decade you may have seen around camp/hike sites), and Iodine is not something that everyone should consume (such as those with overactive thyroids) but I have heard crustacean types often require a bit of this to keep their shells hardened. Upon taking an up-close look at the clear water it does appear to have a few very tiny/fine dust-like looking particles floating about. The most interesting thing to myself about this water test was probably the fact the nitrate readings are barely existent from this fresh spring water, but perhaps it's due to the water being filtered 1000 times per minute. Another interesting thing about this water is that it runs around 74 degrees Fahrenheit (I am assuming that's year round based upon nearby signs), which may be how a scant amount of guppies are capable of surviving in these waters (which I am also curious about acquiring a few of these fish in the future) as I am not sure how well they would survive in freezing temperatures.

11.04.2014

Hikari Lionhead - Review

I have been using the Hikari Lionhead pellets on my fancy goldfish for around a year now on various goldfish and I just wanted to give a quick review on what I think about this fish food.
Size
These Hikari Lionhead pellets are relatively big as they're around 1mm in size, and one of these pellets equals about 4-6 pellets of 'New Life Spectrum for Goldfish' so, you probably wouldn't want to use these for fry/young goldfish, or small mouthed/throat-ed fish. Also these pellets tend to dissolve pretty quick in water, if left uneaten they will basically expand to about 2-3 times their originally size in the water and thus dirty your water pretty quick overtime.

Smell
I noticed that these pellets have a very strong smell and can easily stink up an indoor aquarium. That being said I'd say these are more ideal to use for outdoor ponds because it can smell up a room in your house through the aquarium water. For myself, I'd only feed this as a small treat once in awhile if kept indoors, or in small quantities with other pellet food daily.

Fecal Matter
These can possibly make your fish have thicker fecal matter, and generally the fecal matter is very dark brown in color when only fed this so, I do worry about constipation becoming an issue. This could perhaps be beneficial for awhile if your fish is perhaps having very stringy looking poop.

Head Growth
I really haven't noticed an increase in head growth and such with this, but based on how my fish look and other fish I've seen that eat this it seems to possibly help develop a higher arched back closest to the head of the fish (although the higher backs may come with age and eating in general more so than with this food).

Taste
Some goldfish may not be overly into this food as one of my ranchu appeared to like it more than the other, and the one that liked it the most had grown to be about 10 grams bigger than the one that didn't. Which could perhaps be useful if you're trying to quickly grow out certain goldfish.

Overall
I did not find my fancy goldfish had gained any real head growth from consuming this product over the course of several months, which was the main reason I bought this to begin with. Feeding this as a daily diet would also not work for myself as the food has too strong of a smell for indoor use in my opinion, and I worry about fish constipation with this product. On a scale of 1 to 5 I might give this a 3 at best.