Water, chemicals, filters, heaters, gravel, plants, and little cave-y places for fish to hide...and then, you wait a week—an entire week!—before you can buy a fish.
A fish. One. Singular. A zebra danio, a hearty little thing that swims around and stinks up the tank until there is a proper balance of pH, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites.
I named my zebra danio Eleanor, after my mother, Eleanor.
Eleanor and I are having quite a difficult time getting our water in proper balance so that she might be joined by other fishy friends.
I've been schlepping sample water into The Sailfin petstore every 3-4 days for the last month. Every time, I wait, thinking THIS might be the day I get to take home some fish!
No. First, I was feeding her too much, and Eleanor pee'd up the water, raising the ammonia levels. She's barely the size of an almond; her bladder can be no larger than a sesame seed, and STILL she contaminates 20-gallons of water! You GO, girl.
So, some water changes were in order, which only served to clean out all the good bacterial gook that's supposed to be building, and then some ammonia remover-er, and as of Saturday, we've pulled out all the stops:
1) turn up the heat (to make good bacteria grow)
2) turn off the tank lights (which kill the good guys)
3) remove some of the water (to keep the water bubbling and aerating while we do all of the other harsh steps; and
4) put Eleanor on a diet.
2 more days, and I get to schlep back for more water testing. Wish me luck, that I'll be bringing home 2 or 3 new beauties to keep
Click to enlarge. She's smiling.