today i found my guppies all huddled together in the corner on the surface of the aquarium. i'm not quite sure what the reason was, since a few days ago they were quite active swimming around the tank. maybe they were just waiting for food and when i dropped some crushed fish flakes, there was almost a feeding frenzy, as guppies, barb, and a few tetras got in on the action.
my father came by around noontime to drop off some homemade noodles. we got to talking about some computer upgrades and by the time he left i'd ordered a SATA PCI 2-port adapter card. i knew SATA drives were fast but i didn't realize just how fast they were.
checking out the aquarium, i was distressed to see the cherry barb harassing the guppies, which could explain why they were all huddled together. the barb would spent a great deal of time pushing the guppies around, and would also chase them from one side of the tank to other. sensing some incompatibility issues, i decided to return the cherry barb to its original 2 gallon hexagon tank. the problem was since that tank isn't heated, transferring the barb from a heated tank (a lovely 74 degrees) back to a cold tank (60 degrees) might kill it. i decided i had to buy a heater and retrofit it some how into the smaller tank.
luckily for me my father had some free time and drove me down to the galleria petco, where we were just yesterday. i'd already seen the heater i wanted, a small all-glass brand (7"), just the right size for the 2 gallon hexagon. this is a new product, because when i first set up the tank 3 years ago, i bought an underwater heater but it was too long and i couldn't find any short enough to put inside the old aquarium (until now). this heater was kind of expensive, $30, probably the most expensive hardware in the aquarium (a 10 gallon fishtank costs just $10), but i figured i could reuse it when and if this cherry barb dies (even though they live a long time, 5-7 years) and i want to set up a bigger aquarium (a 50 watt heater is good up to 15 gallons). i also picked up a package of airstones to replace the one in the hexagon's under-gravel filtration system (the previous stone was so old it crumbled when i disassembled the unit). i got an elodea (anacharis, $2) as well for the old tank since i'd already put all the old plants into the new tank.
fishing the cherry barb out of the aquarium was easier than i thought. expecting to be fed, the guppies as well as the barb were thrashing about the surface of the water. it only took a deft swipe of the net to capture the barb and transfer it back to its original home, now with heat. i feel sort of bad returning the barb to a life of solitude, but it just wasn't getting along with the other fishes, the same problem i had with the danios. hopefully the heater can make up for it somewhat, and i'm looking to replace the 5watt light bulb with something less sickly (right now it's a non-flattering yellow bulb).
back at the 7 gallon minibow, the guppies were still huddled together, not yet realizing that the bully fish had been removed. maybe guppies just like to hang out near the water's surface. i did have a theory that maybe there's not enough oxygen in the water, but the neon tetras seem to be doing fine. or maybe the guppies are just tired from all that chasing they were doing a few days ago. the plus side of the guppies seemingly hiding out is that they no longer chase after the babies, and i saw the fries come out to the center of the tank, out of danger at least for now. the tetras don't seem to bother the babies, it's only the adult guppies. my CO2 injector is working great now: the inverted bottle is now completely full of CO2, so much so that every few minutes a large air bubble will leak out and float to the surface. i guess the trick was to leave as little air pocket in the 2 liter soda bottle (the CO2 generator). the way i had it before, there was so much space the gas was having a hard time pushing all the way out. i also added another ring of caulk around the bottle cap nozzle though, that might've helped too.
after dinner (some microwaved indian food i got from trader joe's last night), i feel asleep on the couch. i woke up 2 hours later around midnight, with a slight dehydration headache. can't believe the week is almost over! no work to show for it, but plenty of fish drama.