Today I found a new fish store in town – well, new to me at least. I was very excited because just a few dollars to get a couple new fish. My tank should be finished cycling by now, and all water tests have remained stable, even after I made some improvements and stirred things up. I’ve even increased my feeding just a bit – but as of this morning, all readings were great.
I did have to get ready to add a bunch of tiny fish. I was going for a couple of fancy guppies – I can’t add too much because it’s only a 10 gallon tank, but the way the pump was set up they could be sucked right in. The inlet was close to the floor of the tank, then surrounded by lava rock. I’m sure this mountain was growing a large population of bacteria, and kept the goldfish out, but I needed something better. I got my hands on a block of plastic pre-filter, and cut it down to a much smaller brick. Just big enough to cover the inlet, but still allow for good flow through without blocking.
I set that up a few days ago. Today I came home with Elodea, 2 cherry shrimp & 4 fancy guppies. My hopes were to increase the load on the tank…since the cycling should be complete…and see how the system reacts. This is an experiment after all. My hopes are the increased fish load will further fertilize the plants that I have added. I feel like growth has slowed down a bit since the initial take off – and I think it may be because the tank has stabilized.
This is one of the two cherry shrimp I have. After about half an hour in the tank…they learned that my goldfish are annoying, but not NEARLY as fast as them…the shrimp have now started swimming all over the tank instead of scurrying about the bottom. I got the Cherries because their red color is very close to the lava rock & I figured the goldfish would have a hard time seeing them, plus there are a ton of small crevices they can get into and hide if scared.
One reason I wanted the shrimp was for a scavenger. The goldfish actually do a ton of digging in the gravel, but I wanted these guys to start eating the smaller, fine bits in the tank and help break things down further. Within about 10 minutes, they already found and looked very happy feeding off the prefilter I cut to put on the pump. If these guys survive well, I may actually get a few more to help scour things. I haven’t had any algae yet, but they are great algae feeders if any does show up.
The new fish and plants add some nice life (and function) to my system. The fancy guppies are also live breeders, plus the females I got look prego already. If any of the fry survive (they have lots of hiding places) I should have some gorgeous offspring soon.