Hello wonderful people and welcome to the Kyrenora Chronicles. These are the stories of my adventures in fish keeping.
The Back Story
My love for fish keeping came from my dad. He had a community tank while I was growing up, and I used to be allowed to pick out one fish to add every time we visited our LFS. When I was very little, I had two orange goldfish (Thing One and Thing Two) and one black one (Thing Three) up in my room. I was very good about feeding them, so after they all gradually passed, my dad allowed me to pick out my first betta. He was a male veil tail, and I had no idea what he really needed. I read online that they liked small, stagnant bowls of water, so that’s what I went with. Oh, the shame of it now that I know better!
I had five more over the years – two more veil tail males and three females. By that point, I had learned that they DID need a filter, but still did not understand how much space they needed. It was another few years until I started keeping fish again. At that point, my father was the one taking care of my remaining silver dollars. One of them is over sixteen years old now.
The Empty Fluval
For a while, my adopted companions were all furry friends – hamsters, bunnies, cats, and a dog. After coming out of remission from severe illness, I was no longer able to live on my own. I moved back into my parents house to recover. There, every day, I would walk numerous times past my sister’s old Fluval Edge 6-gallon. Aside from a few sad-looking bits of aquatic grass, it was empty and halfway evaporated. It just looked depressing. There used to be a betta and a rescued feeder guppy in there, but they had long since migrated to another tank and then passed away. The Fluval had been entirely unattended for many months, although the filter was still running.
It took quite a bit of time and elbow grease, but I got that grass and the tank itself looking happy again. However, it was still too sparse for my liking. On 3/10/17 I visited my LFS with the intent of getting some more plants and a betta. I left with the plants. (I got more of the same grass, some java moss, and a dwarf lily.) None of the bettas had called to me. Although they were all in 5 or ten gallon community tanks and healthy, I just didn’t feel the connection to any of them. I had recently seen some very healthy-looking bettas at my local PetSmart, so I decided to swing by there on the way home.
The betta shelves were empty. I asked one of the store personnel what had happened to them, and it turned out that they were simply having their water changed. He showed me where the water change cart was, and I got to look through far more than they had had on display only a few days prior. There were some gorgeous specimens, but there was one that called to me. I knew as soon as I lay eyes on him that he was meant to be mine. He was a very pale EE HM with a gorgeous shimmer to him. I named him Chalcedony because of that shine – Cal for short.
The New Home
Cal burst into color almost as soon as he hit the water in his new home. By the second day, he looked almost like a new fish. That’s the day we realized that the 25 watt heater was busted. It was producing no heat whatsoever, and the next few days were projected to be cold ones. As fast as I could, I went online and found a cheap heater on Craigslist. It was a 50 watt with an adjustable temperature setting, and it was perfect.
The seller had tanks too, so I ended up getting myself another ten gallon and a lid “just in case.” (HAHAHA) The new heater worked perfectly, and Cal’s colors became impossible to ignore. He was gorgeous. On day 3 I rearranged the plants a little, then tested the pH again and found it a little low, so I bumped it up a tiny bit.
I almost immediately started bidding on females on eBay. My sorority was set up by mid April of the same year. I got to a point where I snatched up every free and cheap tank that popped up on Craigslist and the FB Marketplace. As of today (1/2/18) I have five tanks in my room, and three downstairs – one of which is still awaiting setup.