09 July 2016


Sometimes when I have a day to myself I go to the local pet stores, just to look at stuff. I always check out the bettas and angelfish, of course, but I like to see the other fishes too. The eels intrigue me- there used to be a peacock eel at one store (I hope he got a good home!) and a few months ago there was some kind of saltwater eel or loach at another which crawled between the tanks over the rim. I saw him do it. I admire the little oscars and baby arowanas, though I know I don't have tank space for those guys. I like the brassy bronze-highlighted black of moor goldfish, although I don't care for their body type. Wish there was another fish with that particular hue. Today a school of scissortail rasbora caught my eye, and another group of brightly metallic rosy barbs. Tried to picture either of those in my tank, if I didn't have the cherry barbs. Maybe I should start taking photos of the fishes I admire, since I keep thinking about them!

Of course I won't get another betta until Oliver meets his old age, but I always look at what's there just to see if I were to pick a betta, who would it be. A month ago I saw a lovely blue-green plakat with a doubletail- he had the colors of Pinkie in Oliver's form! I don't usually care for the pink ones or the mottled types (called koi but I think of them as marbled) however last time I was in the store I saw a very nice pink plakat, with a sprinkling of blue scales. Today a metallic halfmoon plakat caught my eye, very striking with some black scales scattered across his sides among silver. There was a big purple and blue 'king' dragonscale that looked very healthy (reminded me of Flash). And I don't often go for the fancy long-finned bettas, but I saw the most lovely 'butterfly male.' In its tiny cup it rested continually on alert, all the fins spread out beautifully. It looked like something from a little girls fairy-tale dream- white and pale gray fading into pink and violet on the fins. With clean lines and perfectly pastel colors. When I looked close its eye shifted sideways to me and it didn't move but flared the beard and extended the pelvic fins. What a fine fish. Surely he will catch someone else's eye and go home soon.

Then I looked at the angelfishes. One tank had a good dozen young ones, about silver-dollar sized. Most were what seems to be popular now- veil fins, black or white marbled, koi types and some all over freckles like a dalmation molly. I don't like the extra long fins or the spotted patterns, I guess I'm old-fashioned, I always look for the old 'wild types' or at most a zebra or half-black. And today amongst those there were two I really liked. A standard wild-type with nice even striping, and a dark one with one wide black stripe against deep chocolate ground. I usually don't like the black ones either but this really was a handsome young fish. They both had nice body shapes, dorsal and anal fins clean edges, nothing ragged, just one with a slightly bent pelvic fin. I really wanted to bring those home. But I'm not ready to set up another QT yet... and three of the white veil angels in that tank had serious ich. It made me sad to leave them there, though.
So- I just got a plant.
I've been wanting to try a melon sword in my big tank- and I think that's what this is (not labeled). It might be another kind of Echinodorus- I'm trying to find out which so I know where to put it. If it gets really big, should go in the background. If it stays relatively small, I want to keep it up front.
Right now it's still in the pot (been rinsed) so I can move it. Already I like the roundness of its foliage in contrast to the other plants. Already I want to get another one so I can have one on each end of the tank. Flanking the driftwood in front of the watersprite would look great, I think.

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