Lionhead Progress (3rd Month)

After another month (30 days) the lionhead goldfish are still gaining weight. I did get concerned with Pocky's dramatic color change this month so I put them on a strict pellet diet for the most part. I was a bit lazy doing water changes this month as every week I usually change out 25% of the water, but this week it turned into 25-50% water changes every 10-14 days. I think it basically averaged out in the end but the lionhead do seem to get a bit irritable when I wait too long to do a water change (as they'll act skittish and hide).
Sumo, Pocky, and Ramen (left to right)
This month Sumo is still the slimmest at 34g, which is a 10g gain from last month. Ramen weighed in at 37g which is a 12g gain from last month. Pocky weighed in at 41g which is a 13g gain from last month showing that he is in fact still one healthy goldfish. Which means on average these fish gained around 0.39g daily this month which is significantly less than last months at 0.52g, and shows me why Ramen has been looking straight up at the waters surface for more food lately. In terms of weight gain for the past 3 months these fish are averaging 8-9g every 30 days.

Although my lionhead are still rapidly gaining weight it seems I should probably up their food intake for the month ahead.. or I could choose to lower the water temperature (the tank is usually kept at 78F) a bit and put them into a mild winter fasting which may be the natural solution for them. Judging by their weight in comparison to my ranchu's when I got them I would now estimate that my lionhead are around 7-8 months old (almost nisai time for all 2014 goldfish!).


Who's the New Fish?

It's Pocky!
Recently one of my lionhead goldfish starting going through a dramatic change which happened in under 2 weeks (mostly within a week).
Before and After
My fastest growing lionhead 'Pocky' has rapidly lost his orange coloring. Overall Pocky's behavior has not changed and none of the other lionheads have yet to show any dramatic color changes. I can not pin-point the exact cause of Pocky's change although it could be due to... a lack of light (so I started leaving the light on at night where-as before I didn't really use it), low acidic pH (I have fairly high pH at 7.4+ which makes my water alkaline), food (I had started mixing in OmegaOne pellets last month which could be a possible cause), disease (so I treated the tank as a preventative), or age (I have had these lionhead for under 3 months now).
Before and After (mid transformation)
Whatever the case may be.. at least it is easier to distinguish Pocky from Sumo currently as it's almost like I have an entirely new fish. The little bit of orange that is currently left on Pocky is still rapidly disappearing so, we shall see what happens with Pocky over the next few weeks but I honestly feel this may only be age or gene related (which may perhaps mean that one of Pocky's parents was of the lemonhead variety, and if that's the case I believe Sumo is its sibling so I would perhaps anticipate Sumo changing colors as well). 


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 went by the Beijing Noodle No. 9 restaurant. First off, Caesars has pretty much always had big elaborate aquatic setups throughout but I was surprised to find a goldfish setup this time around.
All the goldfish appeared to be red fantails.
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.
The filtration for these tanks appeared to have built-in mirrored filter boxes centered within the tanks themselves where the water appeared to flow under the box, which probably went into a hidden filtration system down into the white contemporary aquarium stands. Thus the water would then be pushed back up through the top of the box (not sure why they didn't try to hide the black outtake hoses).


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.

Future Plans...
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.


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.


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.
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.

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).

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.

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.


Bristlenose Pleco - Diet

My Bristlenose Pleco "Eval"
TetraVeggie-Tropical Algae Wafers (Wal-Mart for $3.79)
My bristlenose pleco (whom I have had for several years now) seems to love TetraVeggie algae wafers. I've had guppies and goldfish also nibble away on this. I usually drop in half a wafer in my tank every other day (not daily because I still want my pleco to keep any possible algae growth obsolete).

Cucumber and Squash
To prepare cucumber I start by washing the cucumber off in hot water (you can go the organic route if you prefer to be on the safe side), peel off the outer skin (as the skin tends to go uneaten),  slice the cucumber in 1/2in thick cuts (or you can slice it long ways) and try to pick off any seeds, and then soak the cucumber in a container of water in the fridge for several hours (this helps the cucumber slice sink to the bottom). Or you can boil the slices which may soften the vegetable quicker and allow the fish to more easily eat it. A single slice can generally feed a bristlenose for a good week (although you may want to remove the slice after several hours as to not pollute the tank).

Brown and Green Algae
This generally occurs naturally in an aquarium with too much lighting (the reason I bought my pleco to begin with) and my pleco is always in search of this as she is consistently cleaning (and she does a great job of keeping the algae at bay).

Pellet Food
I have recently found that bristlenose may be attracted to certain pellet foods as mine has recently been seen eating some OmegaOne goldfish pellets which I recently purchased, so perhaps there's an ingredient in certain pellet foods which attracts them as my bristlenose does not go for my tanks usual goldfish pellet food (NLS).

Side Notes: Among other things I have read people feed bristlenose frozen bloodworms, but I have never seen her eat that or show any interest in them. I also find not all algae wafers seem to interest algae bottom feeders. Some say bristlenose need driftwood in the tank to help their digestive system and provide them with more fiber in their diet, but I have not found it to be necessary... although they do seem to like having adequate dark hiding places (caves, pots, etc) and I believe this is because they generally breed in dark areas. My bristlenose does get a little territorial over her wafer until she has had her fill to eat (she kind of darts at other fish to chase them off her food.. nothing that causes any real harm though).


Lionhead Progress (1-Month)

During the first week of having my lionhead they gained 1-2 grams (Ramen was the only one that gained 2g), they were timid of my aquarium lighting but as soon as I put up a black background and added an additional fake small plant they were no longer scared to swim around with the aquarium light on. On occasion they still get a little temid of the aquarium light but usually a bit of food persuades them to come out, and then all is good in the tank.

Around the time of the 2nd-3rd week I setup a new filter and ended up having a nitrite scare right before heading out of town, but luckily a few big water changes and 5x the amount of Seachem Prime helped control the nitrite and kept all my fish alive.

After a months time (exactly 30 days) these fish have tripled in weight as Sumo now weighs 12g which is an 8g gain, Pocky is now 16g which is an 11g gain, and Ramen now weighs 18g which is a 12g gain. Ramen is a very hefty fish as you can tell, Pocky has actually more than tripled in weight compared to the others, and I am pretty certain Pocky is Sumo's sibbling so I hope Sumo catches up in weight. At times I wish I could separate them to insure they all weighed the same but overall they seem happy, gaining, and perhaps the tides will change in terms of weight gain months from now. My ranchu from before would average somewhere around 0.22 grams a day so, these 3 lionhead are definitely bulking up quickly at around an average of 0.34 grams a day, but then again I think they were perhaps underweight for their age when I got them so I am kind of hoping by next month Ramen will reach at least 28-30g (think he can do it?).
Sumo, Pocky, and Ramen (left to right)
Now that I have officially had my lionheads for a month I will share with you their current diet. They've mainly been on a diet of New Life Spectrum goldfish pellets (daily), Hikari frozen bloodworms (generally every other day), a little Hikari Lionhead and Jungle Anti-Parasite pellets (daily), and Earthworm Flakes (as a treat once in awhile). They've also had some steamed spinach and nori at least twice this month, and they will eat a bit of TetraVeggie Algae Wafer which I feed to my bristlenose in the aquarium (half a wafer every other day). I do use a FishMate F14 feeder to feed my fish daily which allows my fish to gradually be fed throughout the entire day (that's how I set mine up anyhow). All together they currently get a little over 1/3 tsp of a mixture of the pellet type food throughout a 24hr period which feeds all 3 lionhead. They also get several drops of VitaChem weekly after their water change.


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!


Ranchu Birthday Weigh-In

Looks like its been around 2 months since the ranchu's last weigh-in and this time they have officially turned 1 year old. Last time Oakki weighed in at 51g and he now weighs 64g, a gain of 13g. Bumblez was 42g last time and now weighs 59g, a gain of 17g (Way to go Bumblez!). Although Bumblez put on the most weight he is still 5g behind Oakki.
Oakki (left), and Bumblez (right)
Do you remember my new years resolution for them?

"I think my goal for Bumblez right now is to have him be at least 50g by the end March, as it will mark them turning 1 year (12 months) old. Do you think Bumblez can do it? I bet Oakki will be at least 60g by the end of March, what ya think?"

Guess what... it happened!!


Baltimore Aquarium

This past week I went to the Baltimore Aquarium over at Maryland's Inner Harbor and I wanted to share a glimpse of some of the photos I took there. If you're interested in going it's cheaper after 5pm on the weekdays ($12) and the parking garage had cost us over $20 (I believe there is cheaper parking available if you go to the Aquariums webpage). It was pretty busy when we went (the dolphin show got cancelled that day too) but you basically wait in line to purchase your ticket/s and then you have to wait in another line before they call your tickets group number outside the building.
Click to enlarge
I realize these thumbnails are on the small side, but if there's any image you'd like to see up-close just leave me a comment below describing which image/s you'd like to see and I'll add it onto this post.


Sweet Baked Swai - Recipe

I figured it was only a matter of time before I posted up a fish recipe on here (no I won't be cooking up my pet fish, sillies) and I happened to come across some frozen fillets of Swai (at Target of all places). Personally I had never heard of Swai before this week and I had no clue what it would even taste like, but it really didn't taste like anything as it's just a basic white meat type fish much like cod or catfish (fairly inexpensive), although not fishy and hence very mild in terms of flavor (You could probably season this any way you'd like. I think next time I'm going to try combining a little sriracha and sweet chili sauce together to make this, yum). The fish are from Vietnam and apparently Vietnamese prefer a similar fish called Basa (the two are almost commonly mistaken for one another), and Vietnam sends the least desired swai to be consumed in US (gee, middle class fish status eh??). Thus, swai will generally always be found frozen in the US and not fresh (which is a little disappointing since.. I actually liked it). I got this original recipe concept off of AllRecipes but I did make a few changes to my recipe here (since I can't eat citrus).
Swai served with a side of butternut squash.
4 Fillets - Swai
1/4 Cup - Honey
3 Tbsp - Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp - Olive Oil
2 Tbsp - Dijon Mustard
2 Pinches - Himalayan Pink Salt, fine ground (or Sea Salt)
2 Pinches - Chinese Ginger, ground
1 Pinch - Black Pepper, ground *Optional*

Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Mix all the ingredients together except for the swai in a bowl. Place each fillet on a separate sheet of aluminum foil. Use up half of the mixture in total to drizzle over each fillet. Gently wrap the foil around each coated fillet, crimping the foil together over the top to seal in the fillet. Bake fillets in the preheated oven until fish flakes easily with a fork, around 15 minutes. Remove fillet from the foil, place on a serving plate, and top fillets with the leftover mixture.

Believe it or not, Swai are part of the fish keeping community!

I also did this post so I could share with you the new blog I started this year on eating healthy, click Real Phat to check it out, thanks everyone!


Ranchu Weigh-In

It's been a little over a month since the ranchu's last weigh-in and I have basically halved their food intake, which will continue until March... call it winter fasting if you must. They both put on 4 grams of weight which is practically nothing compared to before so Oakki (black metallic) is still bigger than Bumblez (sakura). I'm hoping this winter fasting can increase their lifespan and help them to become more lean rather than super tubby.
Bumblez (left) at 42g, and Oakki (right) at 51g
As for other ranchu tank updates it took my new aquarium about a month to cycle after I set it up and it wasn't a fish-less cycle (nitrite overload, uck) so, I feel that may be why my ranchu have a few fin-splits currently. I'm hoping their fins will mend back together now that the water has cycled, and I'm currently dosing them with some Melafix as that's usually a quick remedy for fin splits I've dealt with in the past. I've also noticed that cycling an aquarium for goldfish is much more tedious and important than with small tropicals, and I suppose it's due to the bigger bio-load that goldfish have.


Fish World News

Lately I've seen lots of cool and interesting things in this big fish world of ours and decided to share it on here for those that may not know. If you have any cool 'fish world news' you'd like to share then drop me a comment below.

-New Batumi aquarium to be built in Georgia. I would love to go to the grand opening in 2015!

-Axolotls are living gremlins that are not only capable of regenerating body parts...

-Some amazingly large and old fish, I had no idea fish could live so long!

-What is harming starfish in this Starfish Horror Story video?

-Can you believe that a shrimp has the worlds fastest punch?

-Which is the stronger competitor.. a shark or an octopus? I got the answer.

-Although this wheeled prototype appears to stress-out fish I think it's an interesting concept.


Aquarium Water 'Top Off'

I have noticed a lot of people asking about 'topping off' aquarium water. This means that typically over a short period of time you may notice your aquariums water level going down from the water gradually evaporating into the air. Some people have the impression that you aren't suppose to replace that water in the aquarium, and that's actually not true. If you didn't replace that evaporated water than overtime your aquarium wouldn't have any or enough water in it to sustain its inhabitants. However, you do not want to consider topping off your aquarium water as a type of 'water change' because technically you wouldn't be changing any water.

So now you may be wondering what to do in this matter. Well, you can top off the aquarium water all you like to keep the aquarium from emptying out, but I'd suggest to do a partial water change at this time by emptying out some of the current aquarium water, and then replace that removed water and top off the aquarium in the process. If you happen to notice any of your water parameters (nitrite, ammonia, pH, etc.) aren't where you'd like them to be after testing the water then it may require more additional water changes. Be sure the new water you add into your aquarium is the same temperature or within 3-5°F of the current aquarium waters temperature (or you may risk getting your fish sick with things like ich).

A few ways you can try to reduce aquarium water from evaporating quickly is by keeping a lid on the aquarium, although you still want some openings on your lid so that the aquarium gets proper air and water exchange so that the tank can cycle naturally without causing toxic CO2 buildup. Another thing you can do is try to lower the aquariums water temperature if you do have an aquarium heater, or try adding in an air diffuser to reduce heat. Also insure you don't have any leaks in your aquarium or filtration, and that any air pump tubes used have working check valves on them. If you do run an air diffuser it may make water gradually splash/bubble out of the aquarium if you don't have an aquarium lid.


Happy Nisai

The 1st of January marked my ranchu turning into Nisai so, what better way to start the new year than with another ranchu weigh-in! Also, if you didn't catch it on my Twitter earlier they will be moving into a bigger tank very soon.
Bumblez (left) and Oakki (right)
The last ranchu weigh-in was 3 weeks ago and Bumblez is now 38g, with a 3g gain from the last weigh-in. Bumblez is actually showing his gain for once but unfortunately its not as huge a gain as Oakki. It's no joke, Oakki is almost 10g bigger than Bumblez now which is pretty crazy. Even Oakki's top-view shape seems to be changing more around the sides of his head. So now that Oakki is weighing 47g today, its a 7g gain since their last weigh-in.

I think my goal for Bumblez right now is to have him be at least 50g by the end March, as it will mark them turning 1 year (12 months) old. Do you think Bumblez can do it? I bet Oakki will be at least 60g by the end of March, what ya think?

What's Nisai? Any ranchu born the previous calendar year (making the next year there 2nd year, but not meaning they are 2 years/24 months of age) regardless of what time of month the ranchu was born during that year (yes, even December). Nisai in Japanese means "two year old", but don't let that confuse you!