03-22-2010, 12:00 PM
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Okay first, be sure to do water changes religiously in the 10g or they will get stunted. Basically how stunting works is that the fish secretes a hormone that prevents skeletal growth. The more of this hormone (from itself or other fish) it senses in the water, the less it grows. Which is great in nature where in a crowded pond the very LAST thing you want is a huge, bulky body to feed when competition for food is already tight. But in aquaria since no matter what size tank it will always be WAYYY smaller than what nature provides for these fish, stunting can get very severe.
So basically by doing maybe 2x the water changes you would normally do, you are removing this hormone from the water which tells the fish 'All clear- keep growing'.
Flakes I am not a fan of, few people are these days. Not only do they cost more pound for pound, they swell up to 2 or 3 times their size in the fish's gut when they get waterlogged. Since they are not preferred by dedicated aquarists, they are also basically on the market for newbs and therefore fish food companies don't waste any money on quality ingredients or nutritional value. Annnnd they make a massive mess when they hit the filter and get blown to oblivion. I recommend a sinking pellet instead... Hikari, New Life Spectrum and Omega One are all AWESOME brands.
Bloodworms are a great protein source but don't forget the veggies! Boiled Kale, spinach and cucumbers are all great sources of nutrients for both the balas and the pleco.
ETA: If you don't already, aim to keep your balas in a group of at least 3... they are schooling fish(like neons and rasboras) and therefore very skittish when kept in ones, twos or even threes. Which is not good for a 12" fish, I have heard of them getting startled and thudding into the sides of the tank when people walk by. Which is a VERY good way to break the tank :O
Last edited by kelly528; 03-22-2010 at 12:06 PM..