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Water garden with some tame wildlife :D


So I’ve been really busy and part of what with is this:

My new aquarium with 5 fishies:

The fish I wanted the most was a male betta, here he is:

His name is Laurie.

I wanted to get just a few other fish to make it more interesting, but they had to be ones that Laurie wouldn’t kill!

After lots of research, I had decided to get 4 female platys.

So after getting the aquarium set up and the water safe etc I went shopping for my friends (including Laurie)

Got them home – called the girls Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy.

Here they are:

Jo (the silvery one) and Amy (the little one):



Well, a week after that there were 8 fishies in the tank! Someone had had 3 babies, but I never found out who mum was. Unfortunately after a few days 2 of the babies disappeared and then a couple of days later the last one disappeared.

I had known of the possibility of bringing home a pregnant platy and wasn’t too worried as there was room and I was thinking free food for the betta! But actually it was Jo who appeared to be the most cannibalistic – I saw one baby have 2 extremely narrow escapes. But by the time the last one disappeared I was quite disappointed. I had been doing a head count 3 times a day and hoping for survival after all. And I had found out where I could take surplus fishies for rehoming if necessary to keep the population down in my aquarium.

But all is not lost, as a few days after that I noticed that Beth was behaving in an extremely unladylike manner, and on close inspection it turns out that Beth is a boy! :D

Oh wow! How fun! :D

Amy looks like she would be the most receptive to his advances but she is only about half Beth’s size and he is not showing any interest in her so I think she needs to grow up a bit more. Jo is definitely not at all interested and Meg is teasing him. Once he chases her she turns away! Naughty girl, Meg!

It has been fun getting plants established in there. I still have to replant one or two occasionally but it was the first day trying to get 25 planted in there that took all day right until 10pm! I would get to the last few or even the last one, and then one or more of the previous ones would be floated back up! :D Funny now, but was actually quite frustrating by the evening and I was relieved to get them done finally.

I am enjoying having the aquarium and talk to all my fishies. Laurie is having a bit of a problem with his top fin but hopefully that will improve with the steps I have taken, or there is something else I know to try if I have to but will be patient and hope that the current remedies will work.

So that is one reason why I have not been around here for so long again.

I hope you enjoyed meeting my new friends.

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That's a nice big tank, PA. My OH has always had tropical fish and we have noticed that lately there seem to be fewer brightly-coloured fish. I like Guppies as they have nicely-coloured tails and I believe are in the same family as Platys. (spelling?)

Your fish are freshwater fish, aren't they, so you won't have the bother of heating the water etc.
Platy are livebearers so you could place the fry in a large jar and float it in the water. Catching them isn't that easy but can be done!!! When they are big enough they can be allowed back in the main tank.

I've just re-read your post and realised that your Betta is a Siamese fighting fish so you do have warm water! We have kept these fish in the past but on their own as they are not sociable but like to "fight" We had two once separated in the tank by a glass panel so they used to show off like mad.

I look forward to seeing more images, especially of Laurie.

13 Nov, 2017


What a beautifully set up aquarium Pamela - its so attractive. Laurie is amazing - he looks as though he's lost the back end! I love their names - but where is Marmee?
(I thought Jo was a girl???) Good luck with the plans for babies!

13 Nov, 2017


Thank you for the kind comments you both :)

Yes, Jo is a girl - I didn't write that paragraph very well. Meg is teasing Beth. Beth then chases Meg who turns away. Beth also likes Jo a lot, but Jo is not interested in him.

It's nice you recognise where the names come from, Stera :)

Laurie is really good - I think the platys bother him more than him bothering them, but they are all really good together so I'm pleased I did the research.

I do think the shop assistant who assured me those platys were all girls needs some better training though. Once I figured out what I was looking at, it is really easy to tell, but when I was buying them I didn't know what I was looking at even though I had looked it up, had not seen for myself to know. I will always know now that I have seen for myself.

And it took me over 200 snaps with the camera to get those images which were the best of them. Lots of them were just blurs or no fish in them... so difficult with moving objects and through water and reflective whatever the tank is made of (it's not a glass one it's the other stuff that is used) I love trying to get good photos though and it was a very exciting challenge. Although it was a bit heavy on the camera batteries - I think I changed them 2 or even 3 times!

I had planned for so long and finally knew where I could have it after a friend came round and suggested there, and then I went for a browse and there just happened to be a one-off super bargain tank so I grabbed it as I knew what a good deal it was from the research I had been doing. It is a 45 litre one.

13 Nov, 2017


Last year we gave away our very large tank on the local Freecycle and bought a smaller one. The former weighed a ton, empty, and we emphasised this, saying it would need two strong persons to carry it. First "visitor" hobbled out of the car, on his own, then proceeded to get a crutch out so he could walk down the drive!
Another hopeful stated she was a Primary school teacher and wanted it so she could carry it, with tadpoles, from classroom to classroom. Unbelievable! It did go in the end and was carried out by two Arnie types!

PamelaAnn: Do you have a local Freecycle? They often give away plants and/or fish.

14 Nov, 2017


Aquariums are so fascinating. I could sit and watch them for ages :)

14 Nov, 2017


Jo looked to be the pregnant one. she has a dark patch just in front of her anal fin. This is called the gravid spot, fish being pregnant is also called being gravid.
You can get a net 'tank' or a plastic inner breeding tank that fits in the main tank and when the babies are born they are kept safely in there.

yes Beth is a boy. His anal fin is now a longer thinner fin, called the gonopodium, this is how he fertilizes the female.
As a teenager I worked for an aquarist and my main job was checking the live bearers and isolating the gravid females. the commonest ones were guppies, mollies, platys and swordtails. paid well too. I also had to keep inferior males away from the good females.

modern guppies seem much smaller and less pretty.

14 Nov, 2017


Eirlys - yes we have a freecycle and there is another scheme too called preloved (also linked with freeloved) which in my area is better than freecycle.

Seaburngirl - That's interesting you worked in an aquaria place, I bet that was nice to do. Yes Jo looks like she is full of babies, but that dark spot has been the same since I got her, I think it's her colouring like the patch at the base of her tail. It's her shape that makes me think she is about to multiply as she looks like a tank! She is also prone to eating absolutely anything that she can get in her mouth, including the baby snails (which is probably a good thing as they seem to have no difficulty multiplying)

Any babies are going to have to take their chance as I wasn't intending to breed specifically. If there are lots there will probably be a few survivors and that will be enough. With all the plants in there they have lots of places to hide.

Those 3 though, I didn't expect them to, at first, then once they got through a whole day, and then a few more, I got hopeful. So I was disappointed by the time the last one disappeared.

I've been trying to get hold of some live daphnia but so far no luck anywhere but I will keep on asking every time I am in a shop that gets it.

I didn't want guppies because of their reputation for breeding, for one thing, but that was before I knew how fun it was to see. And I have seen some very pretty ones. But I wanted the betta so badly and I had to get the most compatible fish to be with him, so after lots of research that's why I went for the platys.

15 Nov, 2017


Just got back from an evening out, fed my fishies then had a look at them and immediately saw more babies - there are at least 3 and maybe more to come. If I see a birth I'll know who mum is. I wonder if mum is being clever and making sure she has some food for tomorrow as I don't feed them on Sundays to make sure they don't get bloat, as bloat from overfeeding can kill them. It would be nice to see a better survival rate this time round, but will let nature take its course. Good luck babies!

18 Nov, 2017

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