Friday, March 30, 2012

Newest Additions

In my last post I dropped some hints as to what has been going on lately around our little apartment. It's not been anything major, but still, the little changes all add up and put smiles on our faces. Since I'm still waiting on the hubby to write his post about his new toy, I figured I'd introduce you guys to the newest members of our little family.

Yep, we got some fish! Eight to be exact. We bought 6 guppies - 2 blue, 2 red, and 2 yellow - and 2 albino corys. We've been planning on buying fish for a while now, and we're so happy we finally got everything into place to make it happen.

What had been delaying us? Well, first of all, I've had this fish tank since I first moved out of my parents' house. It's a hexagonal, 35-gallon tank and solid wood stand (you can see it in the pictures below). The hubby and I dream of one day turning it into a salt water tank. But we're both know realistically, a salt water tank while still living in a temporary place is crazy. So, we decided that we didn't want to look at an empty fish tank anymore and started buying supplies little by little to turn it into a full fledged fish tank.

Even though we had the tank (which is the most expensive part), we still had to buy our filter, bubblier, thermometer, gravel, and aquarium decorations. We bought these one at a time each weekend over the course of a month. Then it was finally time to fill it up with water and see it in action.

Problem! Turns out the tap water around here is not only really hard (which we already knew based on the hard water stains on all of our dishes), but it also runs high in pH. Normally we wouldn't worry about it, but when we consulted with the fish store, they said that there was too much of a difference between our pH levels and the pH levels that they had in the store. To put it simply, it would more than likely send any fish we brought home into shock.

So, we babied our fish-less tank for a few weeks waiting for the pH to drop lower through the use of both chemicals and occasionally swapping out the water. Once we got the levels as low as we thought we could get them (which was still relatively high), we figured we'd go ahead and risk bringing home some fish.

I've always been drawn to the pretty color of guppies. Sure, they are a little more expensive then buying neons (which always seem to be on sale for $1) at $2.79 a pop, but we loved the unique characteristics of each of the fish. As for the corys, well, we knew we needed some ground feeder fish, and these guys were on sale for $1, down from $4 a piece. Score! A lot of people purchase those black sucker fish (sorry, I don't know the name off the top of my head), but we feared that he would get too big for our narrowly tall tank.

We've had the fish for almost a week now, and we think they've adjusted well. We did have 1 causality less than 24 hours after we first brought them home from the pet store, but we took him back and exchanged it out. Who knew that fish stores did that? I wonder what they do with the dead fish? Do they flush them down a toilet too? But the girl at the pet store said that it probably wasn't our water. In fact, she said it was probably because the fish had been transported to their store the day before, so because the fish had gone between 3 different tanks in less than 48 hours, it had probably died from shock.

Now that I've rambled on way too long about our fishy adventure, I think I'll leave you with how our other "children" feel about their new house mates.

When we showed Periwinkle the fish, she didn't seem too interested. Every so often I'll catch her staring at the tank, but for the most part, she doesn't seem to care one way or the other about what's happening in the tank.

Cruz on the other hand is a different story...

Yep, he stretches up big and tall to get a better look at the fish. If he's not staring out the office window or bugging us to pick up his wand and play with him, you can usually find him trying to catch the fish. He's done it before - he killed the beta fish that I had at my last apartment. But this time, the tank has a lid! Good luck getting these fish Cruz!

We so happy to have a little more "life" in our apartment. We're constantly going over there to check on them and count them to make sure their all there. In a couple weeks we're talking about adding a few more fish to the tank. The guppies tend to stay near the top of the tank, so we're going to see what fish we can get that swim near the middle to lower portions of the tank.

Any one else out there with fishy adventures? What is your go-to fish for your home aquarium? Any tricks on how to keep it super clean? So far so good, but we know it's bound to get dirty.

P.S. There's a little glimpse of what I've been working on in the dining room in the photos above. I can't wait to share those pics with you guys soon!

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