Robert Gentel’s Blog » Pets

Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

Two Betta fish in the same tank

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Ok, so I have two “Siamese Fighting Fish” (a.k.a. “Betta” fish) at the moment, and I had one in a community tank and the other in a large vase. The community tank is a bit aggressive, there is a Red-finned shark that harasses a lot of the other fish. He hasn’t injured any fish that I know of, but he chases them when they come near the bottom of the tank.

With a large Angelfish keeping the fish at the top of the tank in check I figured I may have the right kind of crowd to make for a tank that can house two Betas in one tank. See, everyone “knows” that you can’t do this. The conventional wisdom is that they will “fight to the death. But in the wild, that is just not true, the weaker fish will usually flee. However in a small tank there is no opportunity to flee so the Bettas can actually kill each other.

In any case, the experiment seems to be working. They have both been in the community tank for a week now and the larger one only chases the smaller one for a second or two and they’ve not even touched. It’s a tentative peace, based on the smaller one being afraid enough and the larger one being uncomfortable enough around the red-finned shark and the angelfish. I don’t recommend it for novice aquarium keepers but for those with experience with difficult fish pairings and with a large tank with the right crowding and enough places to hide this can be done. They will chase each other briefly at most and have not fought.

Mr Brooks and Shoes for Dogs

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

The girl and I went to the mall today and saw Mr. Brooks. It was only marginally interesting in that it is a decidedly different moral perspective on serial killers than usual Hollywood fare. They usually don’t portray a nuanced serial killer and it’s the first film I recall in which the serial killer’s struggle to control his urges are center stage. But enough about that, I have something more interesting: dog shoes.

My girlfriend bought shoes for Harry. They are little blue sneakers that lace up and I was sure he’d kill himself if he had to wear them. But he didn’t mind them much and ran around sounding like a horse. I’ll post a video of him and his new kicks when I get around to it but he’s more comfortable than I imagined he would be.

But as I expected, he’s too boisterous to keep them on, if he’s energetic he’ll run till one falls off and if not he’ll untie them all and knaw on them. My girlfriend says they are for his weekly outings to the park but I think I’d be mortified to walk a dog with shoes on in public, even if I think it’s very funny in private.

Pet Hotel

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Damn, I left Harry and Fiona at a pet hotel today, as we are leaving tomorrow to Nicaragua for a few days. I didn’t think I’d miss them but I’ve grown accustomed to Harry’s furry little face and have come to look forward to greeting him when I get home.

Coming home after dropping him off, I caught myself calling for him as I walked through the door. He looked so damned sad as I left him, probably more to do with having vomited from motion sickness than knowing that we were leaving him but that’s still the last I remember of the cute lil’ bastard.

I’m off to Nicaragua tomorrow, but can’t wait till it’s all over and we are all back home.

Prehistoric Dragon Goby, Ghost Glass Cat, and Large Female Guppies

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

I bought a Prehistoric Dragon Goby (see a picture of this freakish species here) from a store where I also found the first large female guppies for sale in Costa Rica.

The Dragon Goby is very interesting insofar as appearance but he spends all his time hiding in the dense plants I setup for small fish so I almost never see him. I may end up getting another so that the sightings are more common.

I also bought a Ghost Glass Cat from the same store, whose transparent body is very unique. I’ll probably get him some tank mates soon.

I setup a smaller tank with the new female guppies and 2 new male guppies and have started to breed them. I moved some of the larger fry from a fry tank into my community tank but my angelfish ate them because they refused to hide in any of the planted areas and just sat there waiting for him. I tried to get them to go toward any of the aquarium corners, where there are rocks and dense plants but these fry just didn’t seem to be afraid of big fish and were eaten one by one.

My kitten beats up my dog… more funny pet videos.

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Ok, so I became the doting pet owner/parent who can’t help but rant and rave about their kids/pets. So sue me, it’s my damn blog and here are more funny pet videos courtesy of the two lil’ furry bastards we feed: Harry and Fiona.

They are fighting again, and as per usual Fiona wins. This time Harry fell off the bed.

Harry is a selfish little bastard!

Friday, December 14th, 2007

We bought our puppy Harry first, and lavished him with more toys and gifts than we bought for ourselves and as can be expected, all that did is spoil him and convince him that the world revolves around him.

So when we bought a kitten, Fiona, he decided what was hers was now his and what was his she had frankly better not touch. So he began eating her food (you should have seen the poor cat eating the dog food after he polished off her dish) till we bought a cat house to put it out of his reach and he began to take anything she played with away from her and hide it in his house.

In this video you can see that he’ll take anything she plays with away from her and try to hide it in one of his play spots.

The pet store

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Pet stores to me are like a candy store to a kid. And like a lot of kids a lot of my money goes toward the friendly pet store owners, who must love me like their own children given how much I spend with them.

Anywho, today I went to the pet store and bought (among all the other junk):

- A new collar and engraved name tag for our dog Harry. No other collar had fit him well since he’s so small but this simple black nylon collar fit him perfectly and he’s not getting his paw stuck in it when he scratches his neck. The collar also has our phone numbers on it, which is important since he runs out the wrought iron garage gate whenever we open the door to see if he can befriend any strangers. He’s so friendly with strangers that we worry about him being stolen or lost and the engraved dog tag with our phone numbers is a small comfort.

- A cat house for our kitten Fiona. It’s an adorable house with two levels, the inside is carpeted and there is a nice cushioned balcony on the second level where her food bowl will now reside, thusly solving the problem of Harry eating her food, leaving her to eat his dog food. Harry has already made it abundantly clear that he’s moving into the first floor, which is fine since she likes being with him (she sleeps wherever he does) but the second story is nice, since there’s a built-in cat toy that is the first toy she has played with without Harry taking it from her and destroying. Our cat’s almost as excited as I am about her cat house!

- Last but not least, I bought a special fish hatchery with a built in fish nursery. I’ve now used every fish hatchery design I’ve seen. They are usually simple products that come in a few varieties, one is a net that basically just serves as a nursery, as if you put an adult fish in it will eat the fry. There are also plastic hatchery/nursery products that float in your tank separating the fry from your adult fish, they come with an internal separator(s) to separate the fry from the mother and the best designs comprise a V-shaped separator with a slot in the middle and the fry fall down through the V into the lower portion of the chamber. There are others with a grid-like separator but in my experience the fry swim up through those and get eaten more often.

The one I bought today has two separate chambers, and uses a standard air pump to draw water from one into the other, so the new fry are sucked into a separate compartment that can be easily separated to remove the fry.  I’ve only tested it briefly but it looks pretty good.

Lil’ Survivor Guppy

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

When I got my 50-gallon aquarium in November, I put all my fish in and left my mid-sized tank unplugged and sitting in a corner. Today I wanted to get it ready for some guppies that I want to breed and I cleaned it and set it up in my office when I noticed a baby guppy swimming around.  I unplugged the filter and stopped putting food in the tank almost two weeks ago and the lil’ bugger is still alive.

I quickly setup a filter and gave him a big meal (steak and eggs).

My new 50-gallon show tank

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

I have rekindled my interest in aquariums and within the last two months I’ve purchased two small tanks and started breeding guppies and platys. I’d been looking for a larger 50-70 gallon tank and yesterday I found a great deal on a 50-gallon aquarium and I bought it to use as my first show tank. I’ll still need to buy that huge 300-gallon tank I was eying one day but the two breeding tanks and the new show tank are going to keep me happy for a while (at least I have somewhere to put all my fry).

I’m using a Cascade internal filter, a heater keeping the water at 77 degrees (it’s been uncharacteristically cold in Costa Rica these days) and natural rocks and plants. The live plants are a first for me, as I’ve always used plastic aquarium plants. Now I’ll never go back, and even removed all plastic plants from my show tank as they look gaudily flourescent next to the live aquarium plants.

In the tank I have angelfish, mollies, platys, guppies, catfish, Cardinal Neons, Red Tail Sharks, Zebra Danios and, of course, guppies. I have a beautiful Beta as well and a very interesting “Blind Tetra” who has no eyes and swims around the tank bumping into everything.

I’ve moved some fry over inside plastic breeding tanks that float inside the show tank and though the water is a tad cloudy (I didn’t wash the silt out of the natural river rocks well enough) the aquarium is beautiful and I’ve spent hours looking at it already.

I am planning to add some additional tropical fish to the tank after it cycles and will also focus on breeding show guppies. One of which gave birth today, and now I have platy and guppy fry to raise, which is what I love the most about aquariums. Livebearers are easy to breed and guppies are a joy. I’ll post pictures and more about my aquarium setup as my hobby progresses.

Another stupid pet video

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Ok, I can’t resist. These furry bastards are funny.

This time they are having a fight, and I get to be the ref to make sure they don’t bite each other’s eyes.