lookit them li’l doozers scoot!

We have a lot of tiny snails in the aquarium. The loaches are supposed to eat them, but the tank was snail-free for a long time, and I suspect the loaches have forgotten that these little nodules are tasty.

The snails don’t seem to move much; so little, in fact, that I was convinced that they just basked in the filter’s outflow, and let food come to them. To test this hypothesis, I set up a tripod, my trusty Canon PowerShot loaded with CHDK, and used an intervalometer to take an image every ten seconds for a total of a hundred images. Here’s the result, speeded up 100x:

Plain link (MPG): snails.

Those little dudes really do bop about, if you consider things from their timescale.

How I made this: I renamed the jpeg files 001.jpg … 100.jpg, then ran the command:

ffmpeg -f image2 -i %03d.jpg -r 10 -s vga -b 1200k snails.mp4

gerald, the tiny fish

Gerald, the Tiny Fish
Gerald, the Tiny Fish

No, he’s not dead. Quite the opposite. Gerald seems to spend a lot of his time lurking flat on the gravel. He was born this way. I think he wants to be a turbot when he grows up.

He spends most of the day hiding. Twice a day at feeding times, though, he’s front and centre – indeed, seeing his wee bright red form lets me know I need to feed the fish.

When he sees me coming near the tank, he starts revving up his stubby tail. When I open the lid, he jets vertically up to the surface (paying scant attention to obstacles and other fish) and frantically scoots around waiting for the flakes. After nomming far more food than such a small fish should really be able to eat, he sinks back down to one of his hiding places.

We’ve had other platies born with similar buoyancy defects, but they’ve never lived as long as Gerald. He seems as happy as a platy could be, and is the only fish that really responds to our presence. Go Gerald!

(and yes, the tank does need cleaning; limescale on the outside, algae on the inside. And it’s blurry, too – long exposure, moving fish, macro depth of field.)

when fish go bad

I don’t think even Odd-Fish would stoop this low:

Q: Why were the sardines angry?
A: Because they were brisling with indignation.

poor wee sole

I have an unwell platy. I think she has swim-bladder problems, as she can only scoot around with her front fins, and pretty much sinks when she stops. I put her in an isolation tank, but it’s not looking too good.

Yeah, I care about platys. I have hundreds of them. They make hundreds more on a monthly basis. They’re cheap. But they’re still animals.

a good day

Lots of walking today. Went to the Vancouver Aquarium – which is beyond nifty; they even had some Corys, even though I’m supposed to mention the sea otters and belugas. Then I took a long walk through town, ostensibly heading to MEC. The Van MEC is huge!

I walked about half the way back to the hotel. This was probably far. My feet hurt.

new greenery

Finatics were having their opening sale (yes, it seems that they were open before, but not officially) so I got a whole buncha plants to replace the rather gnawed/algaed ones I had.

The algae eaters were not pleased to have the tank delved about in, no sirree.

wily fish

I took ten of the small platys over to Mike’s store last night. Catching the wee things was hard; I doubt the expression as difficult as catching platys in a planted aquarium will ever catch on, it’s definitely true. Maybe I should have tried thinking like a platy. On second thoughts, maybe not; all our ones seem to do is ingest, excrete and procreate.

In order to replace our dear departed cory, I picked up a couple of tiny Oto cats. They’ve been happily smooching the algae from the rocks ever since they were released.

dead cat

We lost a cory the other night. There were no warning signs beforehand.

frying tonight!

We have 22 eentsy platy fry bopping around in the isolation tank. They may be small, but they’re crafty and difficult to net. There are about 3 I didn’t manage to catch, and they’re (figuratively) thumbing their noses at me from under floating fronds.

not the smartest loaches in the tank

Came home, said hello to the fish, and did a quick count; I was one loach down, and the CO2 generator had an orange tail …

Seems that one of the loaches had decided it was way cool to get wedged up the back of the gas generator, and couldn’t get back out. I gingerly pulled off the device from the side of the tank, and the loach fluttered off, a little dazed.

No sooner had I put the generator back did another loach zoom up and get jammed. It must’ve been told that you got a “wicked headrush, dude”.

And for this reason, loaches don’t rule the earth.


We have a couple of tiny platy fry in the tank now. I hope they make it.

icky poo

A couple of the clown loaches have a mild case of Ichthyophthirius, so I’ve had to dose the tank with formalin and malachite green. I hope the little guys get better soon.

clicking loaches!

Our little clown loaches were clicking like crazy after I fed them tonight. It sounds like tapping a tiny pebble against the glass. It was only today that I discovered where the noise was coming from!


We are troubled by water snails, so Mike at Finatics suggested some clown loaches. We now have four Chromobotia macracanthus zooming around, and they’re the only ones that’ll stand up to the algae eaters.

And I get to say loach again: loach!


We lost one of the platies last night. I couldn’t see anything wrong with it; its eyes and scales were still bright, but it was definitely dead. The water’s clean, and has very low nitrite and ammonia levels.

Poor wee fish.

say no to NO2

clean water, happy fish; checked the nitrite and ammonia levels, and they’re way low. The water’s sparkly clear, so I think things are slowly settling down in the tank.