Hello green people :)
This blog is a bit longer than usual but please do bear with me as this might also help you in terms of good fish keeping.
We just got him yesterday. Someone handed him over to my partner because he was the only ‘nice’ fish left. Red, was all I saw for a couple of minutes. He was making a lot of movements in the plastic bag. Jade and I, being law student, we picked a law related name. She thought of a term we had learned earlier in one of our subjects. He word ‘Rex’ meaning King in Latin. I must admit, I wanted I much more delicate name but I liked it. He was really red so we decided to merge it into the name. Yes, that’s the inspiration behind the name.
Red-Rex, Jade and I placed him in the jar for the first time together. We didn’t use any water treatment. We simply scooped him into a bowl with enough of his old water. We then drained all the water in the jar, making sure that none of the substrate escapes. We then poured fresh water In the jar, and waited for the soil to settle as it was bit cloudy. As soon as that happened we carefully placed Red-Rex back in the water. We expected him to give us some trouble because of the change in environment, from such a small bag to the huge jar with a plant and sand. He didn’t go into any kind of shock; He immediately swam all the way around and then surveyed the plant. From that moment onwards, we know we had a fighter, he’s not going to die, he’s happy in his new home.
Jade took him to her house because it was March holidays and I had to go back home in Limpopo. I didn’t want to expose him to the risk of maybe travelling long hours with the jar and I was scared of dropping it due to my heavy luggage. I got regular feedback from her while I was at home, she talked me through the feeding habits. We feed Red-Rex once a day and that happens a seven in the morning. We stuck to the diet given to us by Mr knight, haven’t tried different foods with him because we thought it was too much of a risk although a friend of ours did give us her fish food. Red-Rex seems to be quite adventurous he does a lot of movement and eats a lot, at first I thought maybe its cause we didn’t give him enough food but now I know that its normal for a healthy fish to do that. We feed him with just enough, measuring using his eye, so as not to overfeed him
I decided to buy a new fish to make friends for Red-Rex but before doing that I went to do research and found out a couple of things about putting two betta fish in one bowl. I found out that betta male fish are very competitive with each other and if they are placed in one bowl they may start attacking each other. This might happen at the fins, you might start noticing a bit of shredded parts of a fin although two females may still agree and live together. With that, I realised how little I knew about fish and this experience could have all turned out wrong. The food I was given were flakes and with that I also discovered that betta fish were not a fan of such food. Red-Rex seems quite content with his current food and i will only change it if something better was prescribed to me at the petshop. In the following I will mention the types of behaviours I might’ve gotten from him, during my time with him
Red-rex sleeps at the bottom of the jar, he sleeps on top of the plant, I heard that this is normal behaviour as Siamese or betta fish love live plant in the jar, it is healthy for them. They like to resting on the leaves and we try to ensure that the plant does not take all Rex’s space, though. When necessary we trim it down if it gets too big. If leaves, rot I remove them, as they will pollute my water. Substrate accumulates lots of debris which is why we do a lot of water changes, in order to prevent Red-Rex from getting sick.
Red rex like swimming up and down and does not swim in circles, he is a very attentive fish and if my partner or I move towards the jar to try to make contact, he also swims up the glass to stare at me. This is quite exciting, as you can imagine because then we both feel as though we have established a relationship with the fish. He is very aggressive and research says that it is most likely behaviour from a red Siamese fighter with a colour s such. He’s grills to move a lot when he’s breathing, Red-Rex does not waste time in gulping food down his throat when we give him food. He’s deep red colour is much brighter during the day and can thus be confused for an orange but it becomes real dark at night when he’s sleeping.
If you place a mirror near Red-Rex, He becomes very aggressive because he thinks he is seeing another male. We then remove the mirror after a while as out makes him very tired. There was never a time he went without food for a day because we thought he might die if we did that but research show that it is good to skip a day to let his digestive system clean itself out a bit. Over feeding him will mean that his belly will be swollen a bit beneath the fin. This is bad because he might start floating a bit and will need to take some time in order to recover. This means that more food will be floating on the water as well and this is bad because when it starts rotting it pollutes the water and bacteria will start making the fish sick .We never tried any form of medicine for him, and if it ever got to that point we’d have to enquire from the petshop.
In the future wed both like change his diet by changing his food. Research shows that Red-Rex will love live freezed dried brine shrimp or blood worms or any other foods in store for Siamese fighters. He won’t like freeze dried worm cubes, though. If fed live food, we need to make sure to rinse it well and only give it to him if it is alive and clean. Frozen is more expensive, but cleaner and less likely to make Red-Rex sick. Frozen, it will keep for a long time unlike live food. Unfreeze small portion and feed. Like every living being, Red-Rex did grow a couple of inches over the past weeks.
Males sometimes blow a whole bunch of bubbles on the surface of the jar. This is seen as normal behaviour. It is called a bubble nest, although our fish doesn’t do this is a good sign because it shows that the fish is healthy, so we won’t panic if Red-Rex started doing that. It would be a sign of our good fish keeping skills rather. We haven’t began on our quest to clean his jar, because it didn’t show that it needed much cleaning but research shows me that we will need to start doing that since he has no filtration system.
Red-Rex’s jar will have to be washed using tap water and nothing else because any chemical could harm him later when we put him back inside the jar. This duty was supposed to be a weekly thing but only after a lot of research did we realise we did not once was his jar. This matter is concerning, thus it has to be done no later than this week. We will need to get aquarium salt, novaqua and amquel to remove chlorine. The water will have to be at room temperature when we don't with the cleaning of the jar and Red-Rex will return to his home thereafter.
This experience is such an eye opener...i know more about fish keeping then i did at the beggining of this course :)