Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fish husbandry

Earlier this year I bought a porcupine puffer fish for my home fish tank. I got the fish from the local Petco rather than Adam's Aquatics. Petco is much cheaper, although their selection is poor.

Well, the Petco fish had "Ich", or something similar. I should have put the fish in a quarantine tank before putting it in my main tank, because soon all my fish got it. My Regal Tang really got hit.

I set up a 55 gal tank in the basement, and moved all the fish to it. Then I added copper sulfate, available as some kind of snail killing product in the fish store. That cleared the ich up in a couple weeks. Unfortunately the Regal Tang continued to fair poorly.

After five and a half weeks, I moved all the fish back to the main tank, in hopes to get the Regal Tang feeling better. Unfortunately I lost that fish, and the ich came back. I should have waited longer to break the parasite's cycle.

Now "Dory" rests in peace, buried in our garden. She has her own sign, courtesy of my daughter. The other fish are back in the quarantine tank, and the ich appears to be clearing up. This time I'll probably wait eight weeks.

The fish tank I maintain at Simpson has had serious problems with red slime. That tank doesn't have a protein skimmer, which is one of the best defenses against it. I finally tried Chemi-Clean. I don't know what is in it, but it did manage to clear up most of the red slime after a couple treatments. I didn't lose any fish or snails either, which is good.

Later this summer, I should be upgrading that tank to one with an in-tank overflow, and a protein skimmer in the sump.