The surprise of the evening: The cats don't seem to care about the fish. They've both sat at the aquarium and watched them swim, but after a couple of minutes they get bored and walk away. No pawing, tank-climbing, meowing, or anything. Just a 'huh, weird, don't care'.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Last night I went to the pet store to buy the first batch of fish for the aquarium. I had planned on getting 6 Zebra Danios to start with. They’re fish that I want there longterm (as opposed to sacrifice for cycling* the tank), and are tough enough to endure the low-grade ammonia spiking that will occur while the tank cycles.
Unfortunately they were quarantined, so the fish guy suggested Dwarf Spotted Danios instead. Pretty similar, but with a line of spots below the stripe. And just as suitable for cycling the tank. So I picked up a half-dozen of those.
While the bag of fish was floating in the aquarium to get the temperatures to match, I re-tested the water. In fact, I read the instructions on how to test the water. It turns out that I’ve been doing it wrong, which explains why I wasn’t able to cycle the aquarium without fish. It turns out that I put the fish in after the ammonia had started to cycle the tank. OOPS. Oh well, it really just means that I’ll swap out a little more water than expected, a little more often than expected, for the next few days.
After researching online today, it seems that the Dwarf Spotted Danio likes to jump occasionally. I’m a little nervous. Maybe 5% of the tank is uncovered, where the filters hang into the aquarium. I don’t THINK they’ll unconsciously aim for that spot, but you never know. I made a point this morning of counting to ensure all 6 were still there. Maybe that will have to become a habit.
*cycling the tank: fish excrete ammonia, which is poisonous. Bacteria is automatically created that erases the ammonia. This bacteria creates nitrites. Bacteria is automatically created that erases the nitrites. This bacteria creates nitrates, which are okay in small doses. Once the nitrates appear, there should never be ammonia or nitrites. This tank is now cycled and stable.