Thursday, May 5, 2011

First week with our fish: Intlanzi

Preparation: Once we received our fish and tank exactly a week ago, we first sterilised the tank and plastic fauna with hot water. The transfer from the bag to tank went very well. Firstly, we boiled tap water and left it to cool for 6 hours. When it reached room temperature, we added the crystals, Indian almond leaf and plastic fauna. Thereafter, we suspended the bag, with the fish still inside, in the tank so that bag water can reach the same temperature as the tank. After 2 hours we punctured the bag and mixed the water - the fish was now in its new home. We observed the fish's reaction to its new environment and it seemed happy and healthy: it was swimming around and exploring the tank and it was nor particularly hyper energetic or lethargic. The tank was placed in a sunny room, but not in direct sunlight. This procedure ended a 00h10 on Thursday, the 28th April.

Feeding: At 14h00 the next day we fed the fish a pinch of the freeze-dried tubifex fish food. Initially, we crumbled the fish food assuming the fish would be able to eat it easier, but she gulped the food and spat it out. The fish food also started floating on the water service, which we removed after a few hours. After two days we fed our fish again and this time I took the advice of a person who works in the aquarium section of the pet shop: I took slightly bigger pieces of food and dipped it in the water for a while and then let it sink slowly. The fish seemed to enjoy this method of eating more and took regular bites between 5 minute intervals. Some food sunk to the bottom onto the almond leaf. The next day it gone – it must have been eaten since it is nowhere in the tank. We proceed to feed the fish every third day and there has been not problems so far with feeding and eating.

On Wednesday, the 04th May, I added some fresh water, which I left out the night before to remove the chlorine. There was still space in the tank so I did not remove water at this point. The fish’s energy levels spiked and she spent more time swimming at the top of the tank more often. The almond leaf sunk to the bottom after a few days and now serves as a kind of canopy, which the fish seldom hides under and I have to look for her.

Observations: The water took on a greenish tint after two days but the tank was free of waste so the other reasons could be too much sunlight and or the PH level altered as a result of mixing the different water and almond leave. In other words the water acidity increased. We moved the fish into a place with less sunlight, but algae growth is possibly not the reason since the water tank was only two days old. It must be the PH level but this did not affect the fish negatively. Also, the plastic fauna is green and the tank is plastic. All these factors contribute to a greenish tint.

Other observations are that the fishes colour is becoming more intense as the days progress and that our fish spends more time closer the surface just after I do a water change. Internet Q&A’s suggests that the intensity of hue in the fish is a sign of good health. The swimming at the surface after a water change is also an indication that the fish may prefer water cycling. Our tank is large enough so I will explore this option. Secondly, the fish often blows bubbles in the tank and this too is a sign of happiness as per internet forums:
Some internet research shows that we may be have a juvenile male instead of a female considering the colour change and bubble blowing. The colour may just be as a result of a warmer room temperature. We will observe this more closely from now on.

We will continue observing for an hour every day.

Zusiphe Kapa and Damian Samuels
3133678 and 3101072
05 May 2011 07:00:00 by Damian Samuels Delete

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