Friday, January 6, 2012

Too Many Fishes?

Enantiopus sp "Kilesa"

Although the name of my blog is "Gone To The Dogs or Something's Fishy", the fish seem to get short changed here.  I need to remedy that!  I've been putting a lot of time and effort into the fish tanks for the past month, and everything is looking good.  If you maintain a tank (with gravel vacuuming and partial water changes) you almost never have to take down and redo a tank - unless you want to.  Maintenance is the key to keeping the work manageable too, and a regular schedule of water changes keep the fish and tank healthy.   Most of my tanks have at least floating plants, which also helps with water quality, but of course requires some lighting.  Many of my tanks have rooted plants although none of my tanks are as beautiful planted and maintained as those of the hobbyists who are into landscape gardening.  I don't have any high output lighting and I don't use CO2 in my tanks. 

Someone asked me at the fish club meeting last night how many tanks I had.  I wasn't exactly sure as I have tanks set up all over the basement, but only one upstairs in the kitchen.  Although I have a heated fishroom (so the tanks there don't require auxilary heating) many of the tanks have overflowed into the rest of the basement!  When I counted this morning I discovered that I had 46 tanks set up, although 2 do not yet have fish in them.  They range in size from the 2.5 gallon tank that houses the newest babies - the Haps whose mouthbrooder mother was recently removed to rejoin her fellows in a larger tank, to the 55 that contains a family of Thorichthys meeki (Firemouth Cichlids).  Several tanks have just one fish, as my my Puffer Edd, the surviving Ctenopoma, and the largest Purple Gudgeon live alone, and one of the Labidochromis caerulus "Yellow Lab" females is in a tank by herself with a mouthful of eggs or fry (see yesterday's post).    Most of the tanks hold breeding groups of fish I hope to spawn or family groups with adults and fry, while others hold "retired" fish that I have spawned or given up on.  Two tanks are "widow tanks" with a mixture of fish, often retirees.  I keep my fish as long as they are healthy, and have a lot of elderly fish still taking up tank space.  I consider them pets, although only the elderly Puffer Edd has a name.

The fish pictured above are amongst my favorites.  I am growing out three youngsters and was fortunate enough to obtain two more from their breeder last night, so I will have a nice colony.  Hopefully they will spawn for me.  More on them later.

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