on fishkeeping

We’ve had our fish tank for just over two months now – so worth an update.

It was super exciting the first time lady guppy gave birth – we weren’t really expecting it and were delighted to discover a single tiny wee baby fish darting about one day. It was amazing and cute watching him grow up and then, after about a month – dead. Poor baby fishy.

vale baby fish

Then the next day – excitement! Lady Guppy gave birth again! I came down in the morning and there were at least twenty very tiny babies in the tank – then I watched in horror as she chased some down and gobbled them up! We’re now calling her Medea.

Fortunately some babies survived the feeding frenzy and provided more joy – until I watched one being sucked into the filter when trying to escape from Hungry Medea. Luckily it passed straight through without being turned to slurry, but on rescuing found a couple more less lucky babies that must have been sucked up earlier. So then I was on Filter Watch until I found a solution (InformationSuperhighway to the rescue again).

tiny fish at about 10 o’clock

So we were left with 8 babies – who are growing nicely! Until yesterday when yet another died. Apparently this is pretty common with babies, but ugh!

guppy family – babies totes looking like Mum

Now Medea is knocked up again and is about to drop more babies at any minute – and I’m rapidly running out of space. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a larger volume tank with the idea that it would be kinder to the fish and maybe less work? But maybe it would increase the workload, and we don’t really have an ideal place to put it.

I kept fish – both tropical and marine – back in the early 1990s, but I’d not remembered it being so challenging and requiring so much attention!

I don’t know whether it is because our tank is on the small side, but there is a LOT of stuff required. I’m forever measuring water levels (science!), doing endless water changes, endless filter cleanings (being careful to retain the beneficial bacteria), reading hundreds of forum posts, watching youtube videos and general fussing about.


There’s a huge difference between fishy advice on the internet and in the fish store. This is one of those rare instances where the InformationSuperhighway has been proved right over and over again! Things I have learned which are contrary to what various fishy shops have advised – I should not have introduced fish so quickly, the original catfish I bought were not really suitable for a new set-up, I am way (way) overstocked. In short, I am a MONSTER.

I’d expected this to be a relatively relaxing endeavour – giving minimal attention and being rewarded with soothing fishiness. Instead it plays into all my insecurities and obsessive tendencies and amplifies them. There’s really very little that is soothing going on.


Body Count:
– 2 x original oto catfish | 1 x yellow male guppy | 1 x white cloud | 2 x bristlenose catfish | 2 x 1 month old guppy babies – all to Mystery causes
– 6 very tiny babies – to filter
– unknown number of very tiny babies – to ravenous mother

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