On Owning Fish

Do not let anyone tell you fish are easy to take care of. It took me 1 month to set up my tank, 1 month to cycle it, and the problems just keep coming.

If you think about it, it’s not the fish that are hard to care for, it’s the environment. You basically have to create a little habitat for them out of thin air. Also, they are really bloody hard to photograph.

In case you’re wondering, my little 10 gallon tank houses five male guppies (affectionally named Spicy Tuna Roll, Sushi, Wasabi, Fishstick, and Scallop). There were six but Imitation Crab Meat died of new tank syndrome (according to my local fish store, I blame me). My pH sits at 7.0, my temperature at 80F, I have a shiny new filter with a blinking light to tell me when to change it, and an ammonia level of 0.02ppm. I have a Java fern and Anuibas Nana, both on driftwood cause I have that crappy blue gravel.

Anyway, so far I’ve had the five fish for about 3 weeks. I’ve dealt with Ich/Ick, a moldy vacation feeder, cotton mouth, and snails. The Ich/Ick (white spots on the fish) was pretty easy to deal with. Lacking Aquarium Salt, I simply turned the temperature up to 82F for 2 weeks and crossed my fingers. I just turned it down to 80 today. I was away for one of those two weeks and while I did have a friend (who also has fish and knows more than me TBH) checking on them regularly, we figured it would be easier to get a vacation feeder. But as luck would have it, it went moldy and turned my water brown. We took all the ornaments out and scrubbed and boiled them to get rid of the thick coat of brown algae that the fish have enjoyed eating off my plants. I’ve been doing a 10% water change everyday since I got back to try to deal with that. As an added bonus Sushi has cottonmouth, and I have nothing to treat it with. I’ve upped the temperature to 82F and will be getting Aquarium Salt and a medicine type thing Friday. Any advice? Send it my way.

On the upside, the fish are really lovely to look at. I’m still a fan even if they are trying to stress me out.

Like what you read? Give Olivia Rose Wright a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.