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Keeg's Fish: Journal


Keeg
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It's about time I started a journal. Thank you to @Streetwise for the help of starting this.

Im gonna start this off with my favorite fish of all time: (Mini) Bob the spotted congo puffer

Named after Mr. Bob Steenfott. From this point forward, Bob is the pufferfish and Mr. Steenfott is Mr. Steenfott. When I broke my leg, Mr. Steenfott and my friend/coach/teacher Hutch planned a day where we all went to the co-op for fun. At the end, Mr. Steenfott got me this fish under one condition, it had to be named Bob. This was in 2018. You might think it is weird that a teacher took me on this trip, but Hutch is more of a family member because my entire family has known him for a very long time even before this trip.  In the photo of the yellow background is the very first time I saw Bob, I sent a picture to my family because this was my dream fish and had never seen one in person before. He was such a skinny lad. After a couple months from the start of the pandemic (June 2020) I upgraded him from an anubias only 20g with a hang on the back filter to a 40g with a canister filter, sand, multiple drift wood pieces, and a plethora of different plant species. On December 16, 2020 Hutch passed away unexpectedly which broke my community's hearts and still leaves a scar. But I have Bob to remind me of all the good times and one of the best days of my life. Today, Bob lives happily in the 40g where he gets to hunt guppies, shrimp, earthworms, bloodworms, snails, clams, and pogostemon stellatus stems.

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On 8/25/2021 at 4:42 PM, Nooby said:

Always wanted a puffer @Keeg been eying pea puffers since forever are they considered easy?

I had some pea puffers, they were really cool and fun. But in the end, they died unfortunately. I think they need more than bloodworms and baby snails. Maybe live food like brine shrimp. So they're kind of easy and kind of hard in my experience. I feel like the medium sized puffers are way easier to care for. 

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On 8/25/2021 at 4:52 PM, Nooby said:

@Keeg then I can’t have puffers I don’t have a tank big enough 😢

Make it a goal! I never would have thought I would have a 40g jungle, but over time I worked up to it very slowly. Plus you can always get a juvenile puffer and that way you can slowly upgrade over time rather than all at once. This is what I did, the 20g tank was previously only guppies. 

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Awhile ago I bred my super red plakat betta with a red crown tail in hopes of a red crowntail plakat. They're still pretty young but I'll be updating their progress on this journal. I dont have any great photos of the female, and she had a large tumor grow on her shortly after breeding which she died from. But here's the male, definitely one of the most beautiful bettas I've owned 

bright red babies.jpg

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On 8/26/2021 at 12:13 AM, Nooby said:

@Keegwhat beginner puffer would you recommend?, so far I only bred tiger barbs

To be honest, puffers aren't a beginner's fish. I started out with a figure 8 puffer as an impulse buy, I didn't even know they were brackish until keeping it for a few years. You can always start with a dwarf puffer, but know they need a hearty varied diet. I would say spotted congo puffers are the best but they're rare and expensive. Expensive to buy and maintain, like I have a snail farm just for him to chow down that crashed multiple times. Pea puffers only need 5 gallons for one of them. I know you mentioned you couldn't keep a bigger tank at the moment, and that's okay. Start with a pea puffer to see if you like them and wish to proceed to a bigger species. I guess I'm trying to say is, everyone will have their own opinion and judgement on what's best for beginners. People will say amazon puffers but their teeth grow like crazy, others will say hairy puffers but they dont look like a classic puffer people expect. So start with a pea puffer, maybe you'll have better luck than I did 😊

Hope this helps and if you ever need help with puffer questions, please feel free to message me anytime

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On 8/26/2021 at 9:35 AM, Keeg said:

It's about time I started a journal. Thank you to @Streetwise for the help of starting this.

Im gonna start this off with my favorite fish of all time: (Mini) Bob the spotted congo puffer

Named after Mr. Bob Steenfott. From this point forward, Bob is the pufferfish and Mr. Steenfott is Mr. Steenfott. When I broke my leg, Mr. Steenfott and my friend/coach/teacher Hutch planned a day where we all went to the co-op for fun. At the end, Mr. Steenfott got me this fish under one condition, it had to be named Bob. This was in 2018. You might think it is weird that a teacher took me on this trip, but Hutch is more of a family member because my entire family has known him for a very long time even before this trip.  In the photo of the yellow background is the very first time I saw Bob, I sent a picture to my family because this was my dream fish and had never seen one in person before. He was such a skinny lad. After a couple months from the start of the pandemic (June 2020) I upgraded him from an anubias only 20g with a hang on the back filter to a 40g with a canister filter, sand, multiple drift wood pieces, and a plethora of different plant species. On December 16, 2020 Hutch passed away unexpectedly which broke my community's hearts and still leaves a scar. But I have Bob to remind me of all the good times and one of the best days of my life. Today, Bob lives happily in the 40g where he gets to hunt guppies, shrimp, earthworms, bloodworms, snails, clams, and pogostemon stellatus stems.

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This is a really touching, wonderful story, and you have a really wonderful fish there keegs. He looks like a very happy little fellow, that Bob. And I’m sorry for your loss, it sounds like Hutch was a really kind man.

Your bettas are really beautiful too. That male is fantastic. I’m not big on single-coloured bettas, but a good red on a plakat or halfmoon plakat? That’s awesome. I’ve also tried breeding bettas and failed, so you’ve got my respect for succeeding 😂

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On 8/26/2021 at 2:49 AM, Crabby said:

but a good red on a plakat or halfmoon plakat? That’s awesome. I’ve also tried breeding bettas and failed, so you’ve got my respect for succeeding 😂

I wish he was a half-moon plakat like the female, maybe his children. Im going to make a post on this journal to breed bettas soon so stay tuned!

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My desk tank:

Around two years ago my parents got me a little desk tank for my birthday. It is one of my favorite tanks as these tanks were my first experience with plants outside of anubias. It used to be stocked with only guppies, then no guppies, then a pea puffer, then the pea puffer caused a massive bloom of green hair algae, then guppies again and a scarlet badis, and now guppies, badis, and a baby gourami that will probably be removed because she is getting aggressive. 

But this tank had a great start then one of the worst ones I've ever had. I originally got 2 male and 4 female endlers (from co-op) thinking that they were small and would breed easy. That went great for the first week. I used substrate with bacteria already in it so I didn't have to cycle (rookie move but I had that gut feeling, it worked out anyways). After the first week, everyone was going great, then my dad thought it needed some color so he got some orange mosaic male guppies from a chain store and a few sunset females. While they were beautiful, they ended up spreading a disease so fast that I expected to pick out a new fish every morning. This sucked because this tank was going great and this kind of ruined it. The guppies would get a white coat over their whole body within a couple hours and then drop. Nearly all the females gave birth right before death and that was sad because I couldn't move them anywhere because I needed to contain the disease. Anyways, two weeks go by and this fact acting disease wiped out all of the adult guppies, but the babies weren't affected. It was weird but I was grateful. So I really started this tank with 12 guppy fry, some of the genes you can see in the photos because I moved them as adults and moved some fry back. Flash forward to today, guppies are doing great, a large variety of plants thrive and its perfectly balanced. IMG_1697.PNG.ac0c2ca3c0b77aabae9b22aa85041517.PNG

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Continuing this journal I thought I would share how I was able to breed bettas my own way and 100% success so far. In the past I tried practically every way to breed bettas on the Internet with no success. When I did it my own way, bam, tons of babies.

Materials:

  • 5 or more gallon tank 
  • 2-5 gallon fish gallon tank 
  • 1 male and 1 female betta of your choosing provided they are good breeding age and male is bigger than female 
  • a plastic bottle with smooth sides and you are willing to ruin (I used a Propel bottle)
  • | tannin water (I used left over water from boiling wood)
  • A grow out tank with microorganisms (I used my 10g snail farm tank) 
  • Pogostemon Stellatus octopus plant clippings
  • 2sq inches of bubble wrap/ Indian almond leaf 
  • Plastic wrap 
  • A dim light/ lamp

Optional but slightly encouraged:

  • Wood
  • Broad leafed plants like anubias
  • A little bit of floating plants (I like giant duckweed)
  • Black sand
  • Heater (I breed them during the summer so no need for a heater) 
  • Floating isolation box 

Start with your 5 gallon tank, decorate it however you want, you can even keep it bare. Now throw some octopus plant clipping in the tank, do enough where it seems like you may be doing too much. You want a jungle with it being hard for fish to chase each other. Now add you female and male to the tank. They should be able to touch each other, but if the female swims away, your male should not be able to catch her because of the plants. Now feed them hearty and nutritious foods like blood worms or mosquito larva, for 2-3 weeks. They should grow accustomed to each other, I saw flaring maybe once a day but no chasing or swimming away with all the different females. Keep the tank slightly light for the normal amount every day. When those weeks are up, take the 2-5 gallon tank (not the same one they're in) and add the black sand (only black because eggs are white) or not I did both, same results. I used a 2.5 gallon fish tank because this is for breeding and not raising the fry. You want your water to be around 1/6 tannin water and the rest regular dechlorinated water (6inches of water tall). Add the wood and other plants, you want enough plants where the female can hide but the male can also catch her and swim around her. I used around 12, 5 inch clippings planted or floating works. I added wood for a hiding space but you don't have to. Then add your male. I dont know which temperature it was exactly but the room was 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the male get established into the new tank for a few hours. In the meantime, take your smooth sided plastic bottle and heat up a knife or metal pick over a flame and melt holes into the bottle from the inside out leaving the bottom two inches of the bottle untouched. Make the holes smooth as to not hurt he fish when they shimmy. Once that's done and clean, you can scoop up the female using it and put it with the male into the breeding tank. Then you can add the bubble wrap/ almond leaf to the tank and keep covered with plastic wrap until removing fry. Now leave them alone with the light on until night, turn off the light at night and on in the morning. If the male has built a nest by morning, release the female and leave them alone (there will be aggression). You should have the breeding tank in a calm area with none to little movement, it could take a couple days. Once they are done breeding, the male will chase her away and stop dancing for her, now keep the light on 24/7 until removing the male. Thats when you take the female back and provide her with a nice tank. Now feed the male betta some hearty dead food one last time as this is the last time you feed him until the fry are free-swimming horizontally. When that happens, remove the male. Now you can turn the light off at night once again. After another 2-3 weeks of baby fish in the breeding tank, you can move them to the grow out tank, I used my snail tank because there are lots of microorganisms for them to chow down on. The baby fry in the breeding tank should have a food source, since I used wood, it grew some infusoria on it and they munched on that until I moved them. It doesn't take long before they can eat baby brine shrimp. When they're in the grow out tank, they should have lots of feedings, 2-3 times a day. I also keep flame moss with the newborn fry because the moss holds a lot of food for them to eat. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/26/2021 at 2:14 PM, Streetwise said:

Let’s see if @Bob has any anecdotes about this!

It was one of the best experiences i've gotten from this hobby/youtube. I have a hard time watching the video these days as Hutch was my best friend. However, in time i'll be forever grateful that it was documented and ill be able to watch it long after my memory has faded. 

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I forgot to do a post on my gourami, Debra. I have looked for a female gourami for awhile, but then gave up because you have to order them online usually as chain stores never sell them. Debra was an impulse buy and no regrets, I love how the females are short bodied and how their top fin is curvy. Powder blues are definitely the best in my opinion. She is currently in a newly and heavily planted tank. She's pretty young which is nice and she's going with me to college. 

Impulsively bought at the co-op, had a small nip in her tail when I got her. It hasn't healed and I dont think it will but I think it gives her character. 

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Edited by Keeg
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On 9/10/2021 at 5:02 PM, Nooby said:

@Keeg that’s why I decided to go with a honey, didn’t want to risk getting a aggressive one

For me, behavior with fish isnt a problem. If I feel like this fish will be happier with my care and I want to enjoy its presence, I work around it. All fish are practically like puppies where you can change their behavior with time and effort. 

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Bob update!

I cut away the pogo octopus plants in the left corner and started to grow it more on the right to get a slope. The amazon swords are in need of more ferts than easy green so I will probably pick up some root tabs soon. And the giant duck weed is growing out of control, covering most of the surface, gonna give it to some friends if they want it. 

Bob is doing just fine, happily snacking on snails, clams, shrimp, and guppies. 

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Batch 1 ctpk betta fry update:

They're slowly growing, some have finally started to grow color on their bodies. They no longer need to eat live food too, they're chowing down on soggy flakes now so I dont have to worry about the brine shrimp hatchery being low for all the babies. They got a water change 2 days ago and that went smoothly for them. Theres some minor aggression, only a matter of time before I have to jar some 😞

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You're definitely going to have some Bettas ready to find new homes soon, the look like they are getting to the right size for sorting and selling (if that's your plan.) Great work! 

Not sure if what I'm seeing, but is this a mixed fry tank? In one area where there is that bright object in the picture it looks to be perfectly illuminating some baby.

If you plan on doing more Betta's in the long run, you might want to consider an auto water change system/sump for the jar setups. I've seen a few when I was overseas that were simple. When I was in the Philippines a store had the males on jars/vases on a rack of egg crate that had a gutter system below it. From there the jars were fed water from a sump or source (couldn't exactly remember) and then would slowly overflow into the gutter system. From there you could route the gutter to a sump or drain. 

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