My basic ten gallon tank had become the repository for fish that I couldn’t bring myself to bring back to the store. It had been my first tank, originally overstocked with platies and a pleco on the advice of a fish store salesperson. This is the tank I learned my first, brutal lessons on fish tank cycling, handling livebearers who just keep on making fry, and keeping proper ratios of male to female fish who get aggressive when wanting to mate.
Anyhow, this ten gallon recently saw the passing of the bright yellow betta who had been living there. He jumped out of the tank in the middle of the night, only to be found crunchy on the floor the next morning. This has been the only way I’ve ever lost a betta – they manage to find any small holes in a tank’s cover if they really feel like jumping. Here’s the tank and the betta:
What remains are the eight black neon tetras and three microglanis iheringi, aka South American Bumblebee catfish. I’ve never been a huge fan of smaller schooling tetras beyond using them for aesthetics, but I absolutely love my little catfish! There isn’t a whole lot of information on these little micro cats, which is a large part of what has inspired me to begin planning my first biotope tank around their natural habitat. I tried getting some pictures of them this morning, but these little guys are ridiculously fast. I didn’t think to grab the camera until after their initial feeding, and then not even some defrosted blood worms could tempt them from their hiding spots:
So instead, here is a photo from this site to give you an idea of what these guys actually look like:
I love watching them come out to chomp down on food, frantically swimming around through all of the nooks and crannies in the wood and through all of the bottom plants to suck in a mouthful of food. Yet the most comprehensive source I can find on this species is from fishbase.com, located here. They’re originally from the “Turmero River Basin.” Yet every website that contains similar phrases is either about this exact species or about the pollution of that waterway. The Turmero river flows into Lake Valencia, located in north-eastern Venezuela, South America. I plan on making this location my first biotope.
If you have any information on Venezuelen fish species that might be available and be okay in a smaller tank (I’m thinking a 20 gallon long – with high flow to make a river type system), let me know! For now, there seem to be many options for guppies, tetras, or killies, and it would be nice to have the bumblebee cats to keep the fry levels in check!
There are also many other options I’ve been considering with the new tank spot I could have now, maybe a Scarlet badis (dario dario) tank? Peacock Gudgeons? American native darters? Killifish breeding? White Clouds? Furcata Rainbows? Gurtrudae Rainbows? Can’t wait to find out.