That Fish Bug!
October 14, 2009
Oh, my goodness! I see you’ve been bitten by the fish bug, too! I loved the pics of your aquariums and reading your adventures raising Angelfish. It sounds like you’re learning well and are quickly finding out the addictive power of the phrase, “Just one more tank….” (haha)
A quick note on cycling: once you have _established bacteria colonies_ in your filters, you can quickly cycle new tanks in the house by squeezing some of that filter media into the new tank (before adding fish) and letting the new filter suck it all in. This colonizes your filter media and gets you jump-started so you won’t go through so much of the new cycling headache/heartache.
Also–there is far less need to change filter media than those selling you the media make you think. The important thing is the _bacteria:_ not what it’s growing on. Some rinsing in old tank water to remove detritus is usually all that’s necessary unless/until the media seems to be falling apart.
You’re like me: anxious to fill that new tank with fish! I had to smile.
Also like me–there’s a bit of a tendency to overload the tank. I counted about 34 fish listed in your 40 gallon–not counting fry. With much respect, I offer the counsel that even with live plants, that may be far too many fish…. The rule of thumb is not 1 gallon per fish, but 1 gallon per *body inch* of fish: meaning, don’t count fins, but measuring from nose to the end of the body (beginning of the caudal fin). Most of the Tetras you listed reach about 2″ in length as adults. Adult size should be considered when stocking the tank as well (or…. you can always buy another tank! or trade back in–it sounds like you have a terrific local fish store there).
Also, some fish, like plecos, goldfish, and Oscars, are considered “messy” fish due to their high waste output, and “count” as more than 1 gallon per “fish inch.” An Oscar, for example, rates as taking up 50-75 gallons of “tank space” even though they are 12″ fish.
That said, you sound on top of your game with waterchanges and testing, and fish care in general–and live plants can and do help with the fish load. Frequent waterchanges can also do the trick. But overloading does make the fishkeeping more difficult overall, in case you miss a change or a water test.
I’m raising Betta fish at my house. My first fry are entering a show this weekend, and my second set are a week old–they look a lot like the Angel fry when they begin to be freeswimming, only, much smaller.
I just wanted to share my thumbs-up.
Your tanks are beautiful, and it was fun to read through your adventures!
Thanks for your comments Linda,
WE are actually pretty careful with our tank population. Right now, the original community aquarium has a pair of Angelfish (Boris and Media Luna) that spawn every few weeks, 6 Rams, 7 Cardinal Tetras, 5 False Emperor Tetras and 4 Black Phantom Tetras. The grow out 40 gallon aquarium has about 60 angelfish fry, 9 rummy nose tetras, 1 platy and 1 cory cat. Another 29 gallon aquarium has a pair of Angelfish (Lefty and Digitalis) that spawn less frequently since we let them raise their own fry for about 6 weeks.
I must have read further back (earlier on in the blog) or added fish up incorrectly. My apologies. I think where I was reading and adding was with the first tank during the initial cycling period or right after, possibly.
I can tell you are excellent and caring fishkeepers – and what amazing luck to buy 4 grown Angels and have 2 pair!
Enjoy! Very nice to meet you!!
I just meant that, it is soooooo easy to fall in love and bring them home!
Aren’t they wonderful?!