Friday, January 16, 2009

Fish Aquarium

For my birthday, Amy surprised me with a sixty gallon aquarium for fish. I've been mentioning it here and there for some time now, and sometime around Amy's birthday, I mentioned that I would find one to be a good gift. Fish were one of my hobbies growing up. For many years I maintained a 30 gallon tank with a variety of fish, usually centered around a pair or two of angel fish. I'm really not sure why I didn't move the tank when we moved, or even take it when Steve, my stepfather, didn't want it anymore either. I told him to give it away! I do hope that whoever got it was starting out and is now enjoying the great hobby.

Tonight was setup night. I had actually started filling it yesterday, and added the gravel, but tonight, I setup the filter and heater, finished filling it, and placed the decorations, rocks and fake plants. It looks pretty good, but one of the fluorescent bulbs on the cover doesn't seem to want to light. The water needs to settle and let some bacteria develop before I add some fish, but it won't be long. I should be able to add a few small fish in three or four days. I'm not sure what to add though. I'm thinking of rosy barbs or tiger barbs. As tropical fish go, they are virtual indestructible or at least the most resilient for a new tank.

In the coming weeks, I want to add a couple of loaches for bottom feeding, a school of neons or other tetras, eventually leading up to four or so angel fish. Before introducing the angel fish, I want the smaller fish to be well established in the tank, and grown a little from their pet store size. Angel fish can bully and even kill smaller fish in the tank, and this introduction method will give the smaller fish the upper hand.

Much later, I would like to work on a more complete ecosystem. I had a lot of trouble with this when I was a kid, but I think I have more patients now, and even then I understood that my 30 gallon tank was a little small for that. With the right balance of different types of fish and plants, and proper water filtration, you get a balanced ecosystem that requires less overall maintenance. The trick is getting the right balance! We'll see, first, I have to keep the first few fish alive!

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