by Megan Gallagher, uploaded June 22, 2012
I purchased a second hand 55 gallon tank online in late January 2012. It was fully equipped and had been running for around four years. The previous owner, to the best of my knowledge, never really cleaned the tank or filter. I wasn’t planning to keep any of the fish that he had in the tank, but I was persuaded to take the Dojo Loach, Clown Loach, and the two Asian Bumblebee Catfish, Pseudomystus siamensis. So, I headed out, picked up the tank and hurried home to set it up again as quickly as possible to get the fish back in.
The tank came with lots of old, soft driftwood. I used this in combination with some large fake cloth plants to decorate and create hiding for all the fishes. I didn't want to shock the tank too much by replacing the filter media immediately after a large move. I left it alone for the better part of a month and a half. Water parameters were stable, with a slightly high nitrate reading. During that time I introduced two juvenile Oscars as these were the fish I had purchased the tank for. After everyone had settled in nicely and I felt the tank had enough time to re-establish itself I decided to clean the filter.
The filter is a Fluval 404 power filter. I took it to the tub and began dismantling it. Let me tell you, I have never seen a more scuzzy, nasty, smelly filter in my life. Pulled the first two baskets out and then began pouring the water down the drain to reach the last two. It was so gross I couldn’t bear to put my hand in there without emptying it.
As I am going about my business, out of the corner of my eye I see something move. I froze and stared at the bottom of the tub. Something moved again. I must admit that I freaked out a bit about something being alive in that mess. Once I gathered my wits, I grabbed a net and a cup of water from the main tank. Low and behold it is a tiny Asian Bumblebee Catfish! What a discovery! I took a few quick pictures of him and then ran around getting the filter back together, checked for more fish, and then finished cleaning the big tank.
All I had to put him in was a small breeder/emergency basket. He was so small I worried about him slipping through the cracks at the bottom, so I filled the bottom with gravel. Gave him some of the scuzz covered plant chunks he had in the filter, and made a cave for him to hide in from broken off chunks of driftwood. I placed an air stone below his basket for water circulation.
Ph - 6.8
Ammonia/Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 40 ppm
Temp - 76-78°F
I had two gallon tank lying around so I eventually used that to set up a home for him. Got him his own tiny heater, filter, and driftwood. I feed him bits of blood worm and the occasional shrimp pellets, but to be honest with you I have no idea what he is actually eating in there. He appears to be heathy and growing.