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Stupid Fish ?
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Are Tropical Fish Stupid? NAY I SAY



When I first left home I decided that I wanted to have some sort of pet and thought that fish would be the answer. After all you never have to take them out. All you need to do is feed them, change some of the water every once in a while and clean the filters once a month or so.

I proceeded to buy a twenty gallon tank 4 Angel fish, 2 Corydoras catfish, 6 Neon Tetras and 6 Swordtails.

After a couple of weeks enjoying this community tank I noticed that 2 of the Angel fish were beating the daylights out of all the other fish in the tank. After an in depth scrutiny I noticed about 200 Angel fish eggs had been laid on the aquarium heater. This was the beginning of a 30 year hobby.

angel fish

I went and purchased another tank to put all of the other fish in so that the 2 Angels could remain with their spawn and be unmolested by any other fish. The eggs hatched in 6 days and remained attached to the heater for a short time until the parents dug a hole in the gravel and put the wriggling mass of jelly in it. The small fry remain attached to the egg yolk until they completely absorb it. They try to swim but the weight of the yolk won't allow them to, thus the look of a mass of wriggling jelly.

 Spawning tropical fish was easy. Growing live water plants, well that's a different story.

 The next thing that I did was to build an extensive library and obtain more aquariums. I eventually had 24 aquariums on the go at one time. There was a Zellers store that was closing down it's fish operation and I obtained two of those 6 tank racks that they had. This score also included pumps, filters, heaters, food, fish bags, etc.

 It used to take 2 hours to feed them all. I ran out of time in the evenings and had to cut back. I sold fish, I gave them away. They still kept spawning.

 I've had Oscars, Scats, Gobis, Eels, Butterfly fish, Tetras, Barbs, Flounder, Bristlenoses, Betas, Sunfish, Bass, Pike, Channel cats, Swords, Guppies, Platys, Plecostomuses, Banjo cats, Badis badis and the last type has been Cichlids, both from South America and Africa.

Blue Cichlid

                                                                                         Yellow Zebra

 In the store we presently have a 115 gallon tank with about 50 African Cichlids in it. These guys are neat in that they are mouth brooders. They lay their eggs on a stone, with much fanfare such as shimmying, shaking and swimming backwards. Then the female picks them up and keeps them in her mouth until they are fully developed, a period of about 3 weeks. The female does not eat during this time and the buccal cavity in her mouth swells as the fry, of which there may be up to 50, grow. At this point she spits them out into the tank and for a few minutes there is a feeding frenzy. Some always survive. They are hand fed and believe me they know the hand that feeds them. When I approach they ball up in front of me and follow me from side to side. If you are in the area drop in for the show, have a coffee and sit awhile. I have attached a few pictures of my wee charges. Enjoy.


Mike Whitehead




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Monday, December 01, 2003