Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Shopping Spree 2

Finally done with the Taipei installments. :) No pictures today… That’ll have to be another day!

Did a shopping spree... again... This was done last Saturday... I started after noon at Jurong West, collecting a Venus Flytrap that I had ordered for my vivarium. I then decided to proceed to C328 to sell some of my Java Moss that I had harvested when I tear down my moss tank.

At C328, I bought myself 3 wild bettas that Auntie just recieved and 2 snails whose shells look like some UFOs... Rather cute looking... I also picked up an impeller for my Ehiem external filter that broke down earlier on (making me feel quite distressed as I was also rather sick then)... and a digital thermometer for my vivarium tank.

After almost an hour at the shop, I proceeded to KS situated at Havelock Rd. It was my second visit to this LFS. The first being just the night before! And just before their closing time some more. :) I was pleasantly surprised at the plant and shrimp stock that they had and bought myself some bee shrimps and a sparkling gourami. I bought myself some rocks too… Will be using them in a 1ft cube shrimp tank that I had intended to place in my new office. The staff are friendly and I think I will be back… They have nice crypts on sale too… And APP too! Keke…

I walked down the block and saw another LFS. It looked rather new and it must be a new kid on the block… Good luck to the shop as new LFS doesn’t seem to do very well these couple of years… The shop looks clean and it carries several different fish that one will seldom see in other shops. I couldn’t resist and bought myself 2 Dario Dario and 9 pygmy corys. The corys are very cute! Now I know why so many people in the forums love them! :)

Carrying all those bags of water, I made my way north to TPY, where I will be meeting a friend who’s giving me his fish as he is concentrating on Endler’s Livebearers now… After dinner, I was carrying so many bags of fish, shrimps, plants, aquarium accessories and decorative pieces that I look like a mobile fish shop!!

Thinking whether I should be returning home, I suddenly thought that since I am at TPY, I might as well visit the 2 shops at Balestier… So I made my way to NA and Colourful Tropical Aquarium (CTA). I saw the sparkling gouramis flare at each other at CTA and I immediately regret not buying 1 more at KS. Uncle at CTA says his sparklings not for sale as the tank they are in are too densely planted. True lah... I wouldn't want to destroy the plants by chasing the fish with a net!

Ended up buying red-nose shrimps, zebra shrimps, Malayan shrimps and a block of pelia on wood! I was so tempted to buy the green red-nose that NA was carrying… Uncle showed me the shrimps, proudly stating that they are the only ones carrying it. The shrimps look pretty and not that expensive… But my shrimp tank is already going to be over loaded with shrimps and fish! (Yes… Will have fish in my shrimp tank as no other places for them… Yet, that is! Until I find time to re-scape my 4ft tank…)

So, by the time I really make my way home, it was almost 8pm! I had spent almost 8 hours shopping for fish! And I had spent so much money… And I had to spend a couple of hours when I returned home to put the plants and animals in place!

Worse thing is? My BIG newt decided that the new guppy and wild betta were food for her! They disappeared over night! Now she is residing in a separate tank… alone with a yamato shrimp that I think she had had for dinner liao by now… *Sigh*… But now that she’s out of the vivarium, my other smaller newts are more daring to move in the water… My job now is to find her a new responsible owner…

Ok ok… Enough of my mumblings. Next postings should be on my new tanks and updates of the old tanks! See ya! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Taipei - Part 5 (Final)

Hmm... Should this be the last installment? :)

When I was in Taipei, I like to use their MRT to move around, the people seem to be very polite when using public transport, like using one side of the escalators, waiting for people to alight from the trains before getting on it... Little gestures we don't see here...

But this time, I was even more delighted. :) There were 2 6ft-planted tanks being displayed at Taipei Main Station! One is a planted tank with angelfish and the other a nana-planted tank for Malawi cichlids... Very nice... Seems like the planted scene is really growing in Taiwan...

Nice? :)

Too bad I don't have the chance to see the LFSs at Taipei! Think will see more stuff! Maybe I'd make the effort to look see the next time I am there...

Ok, I promised to talk about fake aquatic creatures, right? Keke... Saw these at Ximen Ding, the hip place of Taipei... Think they are direct imports from Japan, very cute and cool at the same time. The fish tanks are actually candles!

Oh, this entry will take a long time to publish! Haha... Wanna make this the last Taipei installment. :)

At Ximen Ding, there is a teahouse named 'Yu Wo', or Fish Nest... Don't have the chance to check the place out... Hopefully I can pop by the next time I visit the city... :) Hopefully, there will be fish tanks inside! Keke...

Lastly, I just wanna post this pic... It's a crayfish... But not in a tank, but in a hotpot! I think I will just keep the crayfish as an aquatic pet... It really dun taste good!

Ok! That wraps up my 'report' of my aquatic encounters at Taipei! :)

Friday, August 26, 2005


Taipei - Part 4

Ahem... Feeling slightly better... At least not so drowsy... :)

Part 4... Hmm... Remember I was talking about my hermit crab kicking its bucket before I fly to Taipei? Well, went to Huasi Street Night Market and saw PLENTY of hermit crabs on sale at one of the stalls!

The stall owner is a young couple and they are rather friendlyt and knowledgeable. They talked to me and showed me all the different types of land hermits they have and how to keep them properly. They taught me how to feed them, how to keep them, what they like and dislike etc... And then they listened to how I was keeping my hermit and diagnosed the possible cause of death of my hermit...

Their hermits very pretty, they have big ones, small ones, red ones, purple ones (several types), white ones (very rare) and the more commonly seen grey ones. The shells they have for the hermits are also very beautiful. Worth a trip there! Hey, I got me-self a free lesson. :) They even have a website... But, now, where did I place their address... Oh, well, will post it next time when I find it. :)

So, it turns out that the hermit crab is a land based animal that basically likes its environment to be humid but not wet. It will die if kept in a vivarium... A terrarium (land with plants) would be better but then again, the crabs will damage the plants!

I have 5 at home now, in a 2ft tank with some driftwood for them to climb. Mine mine, they DO like to climb... I then added some airplants and emersed java moss to beautify the tank. They seem to love the forage among the moss... My friend reported that his crabs ended up eating his moss! Realised that besides climbing, they also love to burrow... Hmm... Time to thicken my tank substrate... And have to plant all plants that I want in pots liao... They sure like to dig around... And they love apples... :)

So, these fellas are not aquatic at all... They dun even like to have their feet constantly wet! So, these are the near-aquatic critters I was talking about. :) Next installments, tanks at train stations and fake aquatic creatures. :)


Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Taipei - Part 3

Still not recovered... Feeling drowsy... Side effect of medication... Haha... typing very slowly now cos have alot of typos! :)

Hmm... my 3rd installment of my Taipei trip... Let me stick to aquatic stuff first... On my way to the night markets and the areas of sight seeing, the cabs and buses pass by several LFS there. Looks impressive from the shop front. No chance to stop and step inside. Maybe I can do that during my next trip there. But my family and friends will say I am 'siao' one. Keke...

So, I did not managed to see the real local LFS, but I get to see an 'aquatic outlet' at a shopping center. Yup, there is a counter inside one big shopping center in Taipei (The Shin Kong Mitsukoshi opposite Taipei Main Train Station) selling live fish, plants, tanks and accessories as well as fish food! Now, I had never seen live ornamental fish being sold inside a superstore... So I find it very interesting...

The aquatic layouts were apparently being done by the salegirls and from their conversations with their customers, they sell the whole setup, plants and fish inclusive. I am impressed with these salegirls! Keke... Didn't bother to ask the price... I'd rather set up my own tanks...! Haha... why should I buy a tank from Taiwan and then fly it back here??

One thing I dun like is their emphasis on the new technology that will allow them to 'never' change the tank water. 'Just top up', that's what they say... Oh well, they might be right... But I'll always do water changes, always notice the plants and fish do better after that...

Oh, they have GM zebra danios on sale... These creatures are banned here... But dun think we will eat them or they will grow to become monsters if let loose...

Ok, pictures... Next time, tanks at train stations, near-aquatic critters and fake aquatic creatures... :)

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Taipei - Part 2

I am not feeling very well... Dun think will post daily for the next few days...

Anyway, this is part 2 of my Taipei 'installment'... Keke... Ok, where was I... I mentioned Huasi Street Night Market... Since I am not feeling very well and dun wanna type too much, let's talk about another night market, the RaoHe Night Market.

The RaoHe Night Market is almost similar to the Huasi Street... minus the porn, that is! Haha... But there are also aquatic creatures on sale here... along side small mammals like hamsters and rabbits. I also saw pythons on sale! *Yikes!* The fish stall looks more 'professional' than the ones at Huasi Street... But it is still very simple as they are mobile (the owners have to shift EVERYTHING home (or to a warehouse) when the night mart closes and then shift everything back when the night mart starts around 5-6pm). They also have a 'fish-a-terrapin' game... Think you get to keep the terrapins you fish up... Like the fishing game we saw at Huasi Street Night Market.

Also saw another aqautic creature on sale... But it is more unfortunate... It is deep fried when on sale! Keke... The special there seems to be deep fried crab and crab legs... They are not found anywhere else...

Ok, really not feeling well, going to sleep liao. Pics:

Friday, August 19, 2005


Taipei - Part 1

Hmm... How should I start...

When you are at Taipei, I guess you will do the same as you would if you are at Hong Kong. That'll be going shopping at the MANY night markets available. The most famous night market of Taipei is probably the Shilin Night Market. But it is famous more for the food (i.e. the chicken chop, tian bu la etc). I thought all the night markets would be the same and never gave much thought about finding anything special elsewhere. Until, I visited other night markets, of course...

Ok, enough of no head no tail, mindless and meaningless mumblings... :) To cut story short, I went to another night market, one that is near to the hotel that I was putting up at, the Huasi (HuaXi) Street Night Market. When you first make your way in, you might felt that it is no different from the other night marts, but then you will realise that there are some stuff that is only available at this night market. Foodwise, they have the grilled squid, cuttlefish and hujiao bing (pepper cake - stuffed full with moist meat but... no taste of pepper leh). As I walked on, I also realised this night market has a lot of porn on sale!! Haha... In the mid-section, almost every store you see sells porn/sex toys etc... Quite funnie... Actually, to them, its nothing... Once you are used to seeing them, it is nothing special...

Then as I walked on, I found this stall... Selling fish! The auntie also operates a fishing game and children are paying to catch fish. Very cute to watch them as they struggle to catch the fish they like. The fish available are the usual fare, goldfish, mollies, platies etc... Auntie is so busy, packing the fish that they caught, doing normal sales... Fish on sale include bettas too. Oh, they have pretty nice looking black mollies... :) Terrapins and hermit crabs are also common...

I cannot imagine auntie carrying all these stuff to and from home and the night market! Think we are too comfortable seeing them inside a shop and not being mobile. But then again, there is not much variety at such stalls... Cannot compare to shops lah. After seeing that stall, I became always on the lookout for aquatic scenes throughout the rest of the trip! Keke...

Ok, enough talking, pictures of the stall at Huasi Street Night Market:

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I am back!

If you had guessed right, I was at Taipei, Taiwan. Or as some people might say, Taipei, ROC.

Anyway, no chance to download my pics... Reached Changi almost midnight and had to go to work today. So, will post something about my holiday some other day. Of course, they will be of aquatic stuff... :)

Maybe some updates then... Most of the aquatic life is well, despite my missing for 5 days. As my colleague put it, so much for loyal pets, they dun even show any signs of missing me!! Haha...

However, there ARE some casualties... The swordtails with my Ikan Jelawat (sultan fish) were all gone... Dunno why... None survived! Hmm... No, dun think the sultans ate the swordtails... The cardinals are still affected by the ich and the cherry barb population seemed to have decreased... Plants are doing fine, though... Even the Hygrophila Diformis in the sultan fish tank! Now that's rare... :)

Ok, enough of boring yadas... Will try to download the pics today and then post on my holiday after that!

See you then! :)

Friday, August 12, 2005


Holiday time!

Will be going for a short holiday from tomorrow on... Will not be posting stuff till I return. Will see if I have pics of aqautic stuff to post from my holiday! :) Where am I going?... Hmm... See if you can guess from the pics of these poor aquatic creatures that I took the last time I was there...

See ya next week! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Black and Red

Let's take a look at my Betta tanks today! :)

Currently, I am looking after 2 bettas at my office. 1 of them is red and I had him for more than 2 years. The other is black and I had been for more than a year.

Currently, Red is housed in a candy bowl and Black is housed in a half-footer that I bought at one petshow @Expo (not Aquarama!). The candy bowl was bought from a shop that is closing down.

No filtration and no water changes. Only natural nutrient absorbers used in the form of houseplants, Hygrophila sp. and algae. The bettas are fed Tetra's BettaMin once a day or 2. Sometimes on long weekends, they are not fed for 3-4 days! However, if I am on holiday, I will teach my colleague how much to feed them. :)

Will be giving Black away soon as I might not have place to keep both tanks soon... Hope he will like the new owner... Will be conducting lessons on how to keep him alive and happy soon! :)

Ok, enough words for today... Pictures:

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Ikan Jelawat - The Sultan Fish

Recently, things doesn't seem to work quite well... After 2 weeks of reservist and no changing water and TLC, my cardinals in my 4ft tank were down with ich, the whitespot disease... Soon, I realised that my cherry barbs and Yoyo Loaches were also scratching their bodies on the sword leaves! *Sigh*... I can't treat the tank cos of the plants, Yamato shrimps, decorative snails and the loaches...

Oh well, on the bright side, if they were to perish, that will make the job of rescaping the tank MUCH easier... Just let my SAE survive!... *Pray hard*... :)

Ok, since the tank is sick, may be I should do an intro of another tank instead... This is a 2.5ft tank, sitting now in the service balcony. It recieves the evening sun direct and the water temperature can be rather high. There is no lighting, except for natural daylight. The filtration is an overhead filter and I am currently using an emersed pennywort as a nutrient absorber.

If you noticed, the tank floor is littered with 'rubbish', clothes pegs, used clay pots, plastic pipes, drift wood, etc... I meant to keep it that way... Looks like a river bed... Keke... Anyway, as the tank is in the service balcony, where we hang clothes to dry, clothes pegs keep dropping in! As the tank is tall, 2ft deep, and the fish is jittery, it is better to leave the fallen stuff inside. :)

The plants inside the tank? Only Java Fern managed to survive... Trying Java Moss now. I have A LOT from my 18" moss tank. So, if it succeeded in suriving in this tank, I will introduce more. :) The tank also has a lot of Hygrophila sp., H. polysperma and H. difformis. The H. Polysperma, surprisingly, is not doing well at all! I think the fish is getting to it. I am hoping the H. difformis will make it. They are all previous cuttings from the 4ft tank. No other plants can survive in this tank.

The fish inside the tank includes 8 Ikan Jelawat, Leptobarbus hoeveni, the Sultan Fish, a food fish from the Malay Peninsular, said to be able to reach 2ft long! They had stayed at 6-8" for 2 years liao... A lone goldfish joins them as a companion. There used to be more goldfish, all transferred to this tank from the 4ft tank when I converted it to a planted tropical tank.

In fact, all the fish in this tank were from the 4ft tank. The Sultan Fish were transferred here cos they grew too big in the 4ft for comfort! I tot they were red-lined rasbora (Rasbora borapetensis) but they keep growing and eating up my plants!

Anyway, they are too jittery for their own good. They are easily scared and when scared, they are powerful jumpers and you can often hear them hot themselves on the glass! There are only 8 in my tank now... 3 jumped out of the tank and straight down 14 floors!! *Yikes*

I recently bought some swordtails to keep with them, thinking that with some ditter fish around, they might calm down... Mistake! The swords were so scared, they hid most of the time! Now I am wondering if the swords will survive at all! Think will get a pl*co and some grass (feeder) shrimps for these fish...

I am now looking at improving their environment... Will try to drill some holes in the area meant originally for a florescent tube. Water form the overhanging filter gets in the area, anyway, causing current leaks often when there was lighting. I am intending to direct the flow of the water from the overhanging filter to this compartment and then plant this compartment to use it as a nutrient absorber. A natural filter! :) Hope it works!

Ok, pictures:

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Sad day... :(

After almost 6 months, my hermit decided to call it a day and kick its small bucket last night... *Sigh*... :(

Now inhabiting the tank are 2 newts only. My frogs are still in the 'frog hostel'... I will get them back after my holiday next week. Oh well... All good things must come to an end... Maybe I can find another hermit during my holiday... That'll be something to look out for... :)

Ok, as promised, more pics of the 18" vivarium/terrarium...

One of the 2 very curious newts absolutely love water while the other absolutely hates water... Cute... :)

Monday, August 08, 2005


Hermit Crab Tank

First day in office after 2 weeks away... Man! Really tiring... :)

Ok, searched my picture folder, have some pictures to share again. This time is my hermit crab tank. It is a 16" (hmm... or is it 18"??) tank that I had created a land area and a small pool. At first I had 8 crabs but it was gradually reduced to only 1! Seems they fight over shells... Mind you, I had plenty of empty shells for them but they still pull each other out of their shells... Maybe they are territorial... Can't seem to upload the pics of the older tank setup... Dunno why...

Anyway, there is no water filtration and I had been unsuccessful in introducing fish... Bettas died, Darios died... I gave up!... In the end, tubifex worms and cyclops (or are they daphnia??) took over the water area... In fact think my betta was scared to death by the hermit suddenly moving into the water!!

The hermits (now 1 hermit only) dun like the water and struggle to climb up as soon as they accidentally hit the water (They test the water first with their feet and then plunge in! Ok, they dun plunge, they climb in... :p). The hermit now spends 99% of its time on land. It will climb to as high and dry a place as it can! Sometimes, it can be found on the plants... Currently, I have nanas and crypts emersed and an algae ball submersed. Also have a couple of small terrestrial plants but they are not doing very well! :p

I feed it the Hikari crab cruisine... It seems to love it. Said to be vegetarian, it never touch the green peas and cabbage leaf I left in the tank... After a while, some small flies start to grow from no where! I now swear by cooking veges thoroughly before eating! :)

After a while the flies are getting VERY irritating to view and I introduced 3 frogs in the tank. Rescued the frogs from the feeder frogs in some shop. The flies were gone but the biggest frog also ate the smallest!! *Yikes!!* They are now at a 'Frog Hostel' temporarily when I was at reservist They are waiting for me to pick them back soon. :) Heard they had put on weight and grown! Ahh!! I actually didn't get to see them grow up!... *Sob!* No pictures of them taken yet! Will do so when I get them back from the 'hostel'! :p

Accompanying the animals are a couple of newts! They are absolutely cute! Had a hard time coaxing them to eat... Took pics but canot download them from my digital cam at the moment... Something is wrong with my laptop and I dunno where I place the software to download the pics...

Anyway, more pictures of the tank a couple of months back:

Enjoy! :)

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