First and foremost I'm living out a childhood dream hobby. I've always wanted a pond since I was small.
something about it just jives with me.
It's just a 32 gallon tub pond but it's still a pond of sorts. I have 8 Rosy Reds / fathead minnows and 1 Koi.
Also I've discovered something that instantly pushes my buttons. The source being my older brother's ignorance, complete lack of responsibility, and mistreatment of the fish he bought. And when I try to explain to him about what is wrong, he tells me I'm wrong, paranoid, and obsessed. >:C
He pretty much did every possible thing wrong.
it started out with some cheap fish he put in the 32 gal rain bucket that collects water that comes from the roof and gutters.
He didn't attempt to clean it or check what was in it.
He insisted they were fine, without food, filtration, aeration and oxygenation, water changes, removal of any wood, pine cones & pine needles, rocks with questionable mineral content, cleaning of any sort, and to top it all off he wanted more so then overcrowding is added to the list.
The water was an amber, yellowish green,
So Stepped up and took over care.
I tried to save as many as I could before they all started dieing off.
while at the same time doing some crash studying on the subject of taking care of fish. Even after taking all out to clean the barrel, the torment followed as fungus started killing them off here and there. Out of the original 28 only the strongest have survived the hell my brother put them through leaving only 8 minnows left. For F*%K sake!
I'm pleased to say that the 8 left are healthy and happy, the tub has been thoroughly cleaned, brought to specs on quality living conditions for the fish. the bottom has marbles and round granite stones. I've become very strict on their care. I won't allow anything in their water unless I know if it safe. My brother still doesn't do his "homework" on the subject and suggests getting more Koi without any upgrades to filtration or providing the minnows with an aquarium of their own. "AHHHH" he hasn't learned from his past mistake. he may have bought the fish, but I'm not letting him kill the remaining fish and beautiful new Koi. It irritates me when he thinks things are ok without even checking.
Brother: "this clam shell is perfect"
Me: "NO, shells break down over time, dissolving into the water lowering the pH"
Brother: "how about this piece of wood, yeah this would work perfectly for a hiding place"
Me: "Uugghh, No, wood releases tannins" *CORRECTION* (I previously said that "tannins" are poisionious to fish, that is incorrect I was misinformed.) Tannins are not toxic to fish, but instead effect the pH of the water as well as the color, turning it a brownish color
Brother: "he's Yellow I'm calling him banana" which then became Pineapple Express
Me: *Face Palm* "that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. They don't stay the same color, Koi change color as they mature and You're not going to call a fish that can live past 50 something as stupid as that" "Also see how the pectoral fins are rounded at the edges and are opaque, that means it's a she."
Brother: "A GIRL?" sounding disappointed...
Anyways She's a beautiful specimen, with yellow fins and head, with blue on her sides and dorsal, with a dark spot on her head.
Since she's a Japanese fish I want to give her cute Japanese name. I decided on Nami which means "wave". and when Nami is repeated like Nami Nami Nami, it sounds like a cute version of saying Om nom nom nom, which goes with how Koi are excited eaters. She is very shy and cautious, staying under cover most of the day. I finally saw her eating tonight, (I was concerned that she wasn't eating because we got some food just for her and she wouldn't come out of hiding to eat and never coming up to the surface) I find it cute how she hesitates and checks to make sure it's all safe before coming up to gobble the food and some Duckweed.
I figured out all the mathematics for gallons per fish is required. I've gone on "adventures" to collect things that will benefit the tub garden down at the local pond and creek. I managed to get my hands on a marginal/bog plant Golden dwarf sweet flag Japanese Rush, some aquatic live plants Hornwort, Duckweed, and possibly Java Moss or Christmas Moss, Some Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Tubifex worms for food.
I've made some DIY filters making use of the whisper air pump I managed to find in the garage and an aqua pump, but I still want to do more and plan to install another filter for good measure as soon as I get another air pump. If I don't at least I'll have an extra air pump for the 10 gal aquarium I found in the storage room. that way I can have a much better quarantine tank. I'm going to get my water quality checked tomorrow, and pick up some supplies. My brother wants to get a male Koi for her to mate with. I think she may be a little lonely so I'm liking the idea, Still I would love to have a bigger container for them.
I want them to give them the best care I can so that they can thrive.
-- --(UPDATE)-- --
I've started collecting things (from my adventures) to make my own aquascape for my 10 gal tank.
I haven't come up with how the Aquascape is going to look yet, so I'll have to draw some concepts. I had a really cool idea, for a Haunted Graveyard themed tank I could sculpt a realistic spooky looking mini tree next to a mausoleum on a mossy hill that has little tombstones scattered about, and to top it all off; put ghost fish (transparent fish that have a visible skeleton) in there, so it looks like a bunch of skeletal ghosts floating around a graveyard. Awesome huh?
Also I found the craziest thing as I made my way down the creek, a Gas Mask filter. My older brother said that it could have been from someone that had a meth lab, which actually sounds like a logical conclusion.
I've been putting together ideas and designs to attempt to create the most powerful biological filter, combining a number of filter types into one super filter. My design makes use of these filter types: a sponge, undergravel, moving bed, and finally multiple kinds of filter media. I have some activated carbon, so I could come up with an attachment of some sort if I really want to go the extra mile.