Something Fishy

on Oct 17, 2022 by Michael Rupured

The water in my little fountain/pond turned green a few weeks ago — not slimy, mossy algae but
particles suspended in the water. The algae bloom hid the fish from view. Something had to give.

Wrapping the pump in filter media and stuffing it in a flower pot was semi-functional until changing the filter media made no difference. Siphoning about half the water out and replacing it with fresh didn’t help either. I decided to break it down to start over next year with a real filtration system and more distance between the levels for bigger waterfalls.

First, I needed an aquarium for the inhabitants. Figuring out the best spot held me up. Tootsie’s stuff and my seed-starting setup left few options. I finally rearranged the living room. Part of me wanted a big, honking 55-gallon aquarium, but I settled on a 29-gallon tank.

Keeping tropical fish has been a hobby on and off since childhood. I’ve missed having an aquarium and have wanted another for some time. Cleaning out the pond provided an opportunity for something I’ve thought about having for years: A tank devoted to goldfish.

The pump made draining the system easy. When the water was just a few inches deep, I caught the fish and moved them to the new tank. Bandit (a mostly orange calico) was nowhere to be found. After two summers outside, the survivors (Larry, Curly, Moesha and Smokey) had more than doubled in size.

Viewing the fish from above was the only option in the pond. Seeing them from the side, it’s clear the limited perspective didn’t do them justice. They’re beautiful! They changed a bit too. Moesha lost her black extensions. Curly gained an orange spot. I put some platies in the pond earlier — all but one were swept over the side and the sole survivor turned out to be a swordtail rather than a platy.

Bandit’s disappearance is a mystery. Herons have cleaned out ponds I’ve had in the past, but I haven’t seen any. They also tend to leave nothing behind. My best guess: “escaping” via the overflow from rain a few weeks ago.

The gang enjoying its new abode

I’m happy to have an aquarium again and even happier its devoted to goldfish. They did well in the pond, but seem happier in the tank. They tend to hang together as they swim around the tank and can be seen from across the room. I want to add a few more goldfish, a catfish or two, and a male swordtail. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for stopping by!

2 Comments

  1. We had tropical fish in New Orleans. We came home from work one day and the entire side of the tank had popped off. There were no survivors.

    Later in DC, our partner Ron brought tropical fish with him when we moved in together. Big tank, lots of fish, which were donated to a dentist’s office when we moved to Seattle. I loved watching the fish.

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