New Salt Water Tank

Our “new” fish tank has been sitting for a very long time – a whole 4 months without having any fish or coral in it! The reason of course is that we’ve been waiting to get the Nitrate level down to a livable level. So, the amount of time is actually pretty normal for properly setting up a salt water tank. But sometimes it’s hard to explain that to our visitors who are wanting to see fish. And it’s even harder to explain that to a 6 year-old!

Well, we finally got the Nitrate level down to a decent level. Ideally 0 ppm is desired, but 20ppm is certainly liveable for many fish and coral. So, the other day we made our first fish and coral purchase! Actually, we spent so much time deliberating on which fish to get that we had to come back the next day because we ran out of time. This worked to our advantage because we had time to come home and do a bit more research.

So, our first fish inhabitant’s name is Colorful and is a Six Line Wrasse!

“Colorful”, the Fish

We also picked up our first coral. It isn’t much to look at, but we really didn’t want to spend alot of money on a coral before our nitrate level is down, since their makup is mostly water. It is a small colony of polyps.

About a month ago, we purchased the “cleaner crew” to further develop the biological filter. We bought Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs, Blue Leg Crabs, Turbo Snails, Astrea Snails, and a Bumble Bee Snail.

Anna’s Dead Fish

Well, it happens. Fish die. As you know, Anna got a new fish tank. We’ve had a good time taking care of it.

But the other day we noticed one that wasn’t so healthy looking. Eventually it died and we had a funeral. After using the net to remove the dead fish from her tank, and flushing it down the toilet, Anna said, “Let’s get some more!” I think she’s taking the loss well.

Actually, I knew she wasn’t going to be too upset. When I told her about it, this is how I put it:
Me: Anna, I good news and I have bad news.
Anna: What?
Me: The bad news is that one of your fish has died.
Anna: (Exaggerated sad face) Oh, why?
Me: The good news is we get to use your pink net to get it out!
Anna: (Jumping from her seat and yelling) I can do it!

Anna Not-Too-Sad

In the Toilet

But even the death of a small fish gives us a chance to talk about our big God. After all was said and done Anna asked why her fish had died. We got to remind her that one day we will all die, but that death is not the end for believers in Jesus. We reminded her of her Papa (Grandpa Smith) and how he is in heaven partying with Jesus and the angels.

For more pictures, click here.

Anna’s New Fish Tank

Anna's Fish TankOn Thursday we went to a somewhat large market to buy some fruit and vegetables. At the same place, in the basement, we wanted to go look at the tropical/marine fish market. This is the place that I bought my saltwater fish tank. After looking at the fun corals, we started meandering around the market. They I got a brilliant idea. I said without consulting my wife, “Anna. Do you want to get your own fish tank?” Of course, Anna said emphatically, “Yes”.

We shopped around and found a hot pink one that she liked. We were sure to get all the supplies that we needed – most of which came with the tank.

Including all the setup equipment and fish, we spent a total of RMB 165 ($25). Not too bad, if I say so myself. (We later added two plants and more fish, adding to the total RMB 36 ($5).

Currently we have:
6 Neonfish; 6 Guppies (all boys – no babies, please), 2 Catfish (“Mousefish” in Chinese), and 1 Plecostomus

Enjoy the Slideshow:

[lg_slideshow folder=”annasfishtank”]

Sea Apple

We recently bought what we thought was a coral for our salt water fish tank. However, it turns out it is not only not a coral, but that it is a poisonous sea cucumber called a Sea Apple. The fish store owner apparently didn’t know too much about what she was selling. I asked her before I bought if it needed any special care, or if it could co-habit a tank with fish. She said no special care was needed and that being with fish was no problem. Right…

Video of the Sea Apple eating.
(Anna is jumping around in the background.)

When we got home we plopped it in the tank, got on the computer and started googling this awesome colorful “coral”. That was when we discovered it’s true poisonous nature. In addition, only experts are supposed to attempt raising these things. I am not an expert.

Nonetheless, it is the coolest thing that we’ve seen so far in the saltwater world and I wanted to share some pictures and video.


Opening up

Mouth is open

Insert food here

*Don’t worry, it’s only poisonous to the fish in the tank.