hey everyone! My partner (Alia Arnold) and I recieved our substrate a week after everyone received theirs, meaning by the time we recieved our fish we had to put Ashley(fish) in a seperate tank with water only in it. We did that in order for the water to clear first before we could add the plant and the fish. This was very interesting, because we were able to see the difference in his behaviour. While he was in the separate tank with water only, he was not very active. He remained at the bottom of the tank and only came to the top of the tank when I fed him. He remained in this tank for seven days and then the other tank (with the substrate and plant) became clear and then i was able to put him in his new environment. Immediately it was evident that his behaviour came across as much more active. Swimming in all sorts of directions and even rising to the top of the tank everytime I open the lid. My partner and I do the monitoring at my house, because she has a cat and we do not want to risk anything happening to Ashley now do we? I feed him once a day bearing in mind that his stomach is as big as his eye. Changing of fresh water occurs once a week where three quarters of the water is taken out via a plastic hose. I use the same method when returning fresh clean water into the tank, but in order to not upset or disrupt the substrate I place the tip of the hose on the side of the tip of the tank so that he water can flow along the glass into the tank. This causes the water not to be milky while the fish is in the tank and also reduces the chance of the fish experiencing stress. At first we use to just pour in the water by hand via a jar and it caused the substrate to move and the water became very milky.
Once a month we take out 90% of the water out and we noticed that as the water level drops closer to the bottom of the soil the fish starts to panic. That is why we decided to not remove too much water while the fish is still in the tank, we rather take him out.