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Big Tank Diary: Power Sand.

Finally setting up the hardscape in the Big Tank (225L) after spending a fun weekend sawing driftwood and cutting egg crate.

It’s just Power Sand in the bottom at the moment. You know your dirt is fancy when it comes with its own instruction manual.

Next up is trying to find a decent source for some nice stones, then someone who’ll sell me some MC, DHG, and different varieties of mosses (thinking flame, Christmas, and weeping) for the dry start.

Overall, I’ll probably plant out the spur on the left with ferns, the open spaces at the right with the MC and DHG, and the back with maybe some swords. The left side of the tank is up against a bookcase, while the right is open to the kitchen, hence the left will be the “jungle” side while I’ll keep the right more open.

That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see how we go with it.

2016-05-07T10:56:57+10:0018th April, 2016|Tags: fish diary, planted tank|


I moved Red Betta’s quarantine tank out of the laundry and into my study. So now instead of the dryer, she gets to listen to me get rolled in WoW Battlegrounds. Unlike me, she’s much happier, except now I’m starting to want an actual proper tank in the space. Hmm…

Incidentally, the water is intentionally that colour: betta are blackwater fish, coming from heavily tannic rivers. Replicating that environment tends to calm them when I do stressful things to them, like move them into tiny, badly furnished quarantine tanks…

2016-05-07T13:25:00+10:002nd April, 2016|Tags: fish diary|

Fish Journal: Red Betta guilt party.

Red Betta is currently guilting me for moving her into the quarantine tank. She’s gone from such a vibrant, flaring colour that I thought she might’ve been male (q.v. previous post) to a dull, clamped, stress-striped brown. But I guess being moved from a ten-gallon overgrown with Java ferns into a little two-gallon with only a few hastily made moss balls will do that.

I keep trying to tell her it’s only temporary, only until I get the new tank bought and scaped and planted. Except, a) fish don’t speak English, so I’m not sure she understands, and b) it does kind of occur to me setting up the big tank is going to take, potentially, months, particularly if I dry start it like I want to.

“There are plenty of betta out there in worse conditions,” I tell her, mostly to try and talk myself out of rushing out to buy a new new tank. (One of those little Fluvals would just fit so nicely on my desk, and I’m sure I can sneak some Aqua Soil out of the big tank pile…)

Red Betta just stares at me, sadly dreaming of darting bright and powerful between the ferns.

2016-04-01T09:23:14+11:001st April, 2016|Tags: fish diary|

Is it moral to steal a fish?

Here’s a kind of modern Trolley Problem for you: is it moral to steal a dying fish from a pet store, in order to give that fish a betta (a-har) life?

On the one hand, I am extremely adverse to stealing–I’m That Person who pays their parking ticket even if the boom gate is up–but, on the other hand, I really, really love betta fish and seeing them suffer breaks my black little heart. And, on the other other hand, will stealing sick fish have an adverse impact on minimum wage pet store employees? If you want a quick introduction into the slippery path of utilitarianism and moral calculus, read the comments on this one.

For the record, this is my own betta tank:

Never. Using sand. Again.

Never. Using sand. Again.

No fish in it at the moment, since I’m waiting for the plants and the shrimp1 population to get more established first.

Basically: bettas, yay!

  1. Yes, I’m aware the betta will eat the shrimp. That’s kind of the point. []
2019-04-29T11:35:11+10:002nd June, 2015|Tags: fish diary|