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This is a discussion on Howdy from Texas within the Introduce Yourself forums, part of the Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping category; --> About a couple of months ago I had purchased a male VT betta (betta splendens - nothing special) which could be best described as ...

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Old 09-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
 
Howdy from Texas

About a couple of months ago I had purchased a male VT betta (betta splendens - nothing special) which could be best described as a failed attempt at red cambodian coloring. He has a sea-green iridescence which blends well with the shocks of deep maroon in his fins and the pale-pink of his body. He looks as though he were carved from bi-color tourmaline. So, I purchased a 1 gallon fish bowl complete with rocks, plastic plant, food, and water conditioner.

And thus it began...

The betta enjoyed his larger enclosure, but it seemed to be a dismally solitary existence. So, I purchased a small "blue" mystery snail (species indeterminate - but seems to be male according to the diagrams) and an "Anacharis" (Egeria densa) - the snail as a quiet roommate and the plant as something much softer for him to use as a hammock. I discarded the Pond Snail (Lymnae sp?) hitchhikers in a humane and quick manner, since I didn't want them harm my plant and because I was unsure of the exact species, I didn't want to risk introducing an invasive species into the local lake.

A couple of weeks later, I purchased a 10 gallon aquarium tank with kit. For a few days my betta and snail had an incredibly vacant bachelor pad. He was unsure of the current at first, but eventually explored his new surroundings and claimed a small section as his own.

I purchased Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temminckii) which was about 3 inches in length, a Three Spot Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) and an Opaline variation - each nearly 2 1/2 inches in length, and some Hornwort (Trichogaster trichopterus) - bye bye to Pond Snail hitchhikers once again. The Kissing Gourami could be either gender as I have yet to learn of any outward sexual dimorphism. The other Gourami's however, were both male. Since all the fish arrived at once, and the aquarium landscape was altered - the betta became shy, the Kissing Gourami remained patient, and the two smaller Gouramis were tense until exploration turned to fin nipping and chasing.

After a couple of days of watching the little dispute between the Three Spot and the Opaline, it became apparent that the Three Spot was trying to establish dominance but couldn't darken enough to counter the Opaline's natural darker color variation. So, I removed the Opaline Gourami from the aquarium for a day, rearranged the tank once more, and let the Three Spot claim his territory. When I reintroduced the Opaline, the other one tolerated his presence and only nipped at him when he got too close. I suspected this truce of sorts wouldn't last forever, but it was encouraging nonetheless.

A few more days went by. The betta claimed two spots on opposite sides of the water current as his own but didn't hesitate to move out of the way when one of the larger fish arrived. He would reclaim such territory when they left though. For a betta, he is surprisingly relaxed. The Kissing Gourami seemed to take no notice of the blue gouramis. All sections of the aquarium he claimed as his own, but never made any aggressive stance. He would simply move into that area, and if you happened to be in the way... you were lightly bumped as he foraged. The blue gouramis had some peace as they foraged, separated by the plants, but the three spot would bumped the opaline if he happened to be in the way.

Two Golden Shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucas) were introduced after their time in quarantine and preventative ick and other protozoa treatment was finished. One is about 2 1/2 inches and the other is slightly smaller. I have been unable to determine their genders as of yet, but they seem content together or apart - although the smaller one is much more bold. The blue gouramis bumped them a few times and then ignored them when the fish made no effort to retaliate. The tank became quite peaceful. The betta and gouramis foraging for food along the bottom, and the minnows hiding in the plants, one occasionally swimming around.

Over the last couple of weeks I had quarantined, given preventative treatment, and examined for parasites (most notably the Big Red Worm - Eustrongylides ignotus and E. tubifex) in about 30 Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). A handful are close to their full size, while the rest range in size from 1/4 inch and larger. They were introduced a few at a time during feeding time so they could slip away when the larger fish were distracted.

So far, the Mosquitofish have made themselves at home. Initially they remained at the surface and scattered when startled. Now they move slightly when another fish nears them, reserving bursts of speed for real threats (or "amour" in the case of the males ;) ), and have ventured into the plants, foraging along the bottom infrequently. They school, disperse, and reform their ranks countless times throughout the day.

Overall the tank is quite peaceful. The two gouramis have paired up, and though they may nip at one another, such an occurrence is rare. They seem far too easily distracted by the smaller fish. The betta prefers the front of the tank, swimming from one side to the other, but he does explore elsewhere. The Golden Shiners swim in the open spaces provided for them when they "dance" before returning to the shade of the plants, meandering in and out of the branches (whether this is an aggressive act or some sort of mating act, I am unsure - fins are never nipped and scales are never lost). Everyone seems to generally ignore the Mosquitofish unless they are directly in the way - nobody sees them as a threat.

I have no plans to add anymore fish. When the gravid fish have fry, I plan on catching those I can and moving them to another tank. Those I miss, well, they'll probably become someone's snack- sad to say. I do intend to purchase a much larger tank in the future - perhaps 150 gal and move many of these fish over to that one.

I check the health of the fish everyday. No fins appear frayed - even on the tiny mosquitofish, no missing scales (or "pine cone" look), no distended abdomens, no labored breathing, no obvious signs of external parasites, no clamped fins, and their appetite is good.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:16 AM   #2
 
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Hello and welcome to TFK

Not to try to sound discouraging, but right now you have way too many fish in this 10 gallon, along with compatiblity issues, and some of these fish like the gourami need to have a larger aquarium. Also certain gouramis will not get along with other gouramis, those that are the same kind or different. I would suggest that you look at the fish profiles section here on the site to read about the different fish that you have, and what their requirements are. You can find the link to the profiles section at the top of the page second tab from the left, gouramis will be in the anabantids section.

This fish may seem healthy now, but stress from chemical phermones that are given off can cause health issues with your fish down the road. Also if the fish does not have adqueate space for growing, it may become stunted, the size of the fish will not change, but its internal organs continue to grow, again this can cause many issues for the fish. We can have plans to upgrade our tank size in the future, but sometimes things happen which keep us from doing what we may have intentionally planned to do. A good rule to go by is that when ever you buy a new fish make sure that you are properly able to supply the needs of the fish from the beginning.

Again I don't mean to sound like I am being judgemental or discouraging, but with the set up that you have right now problems are going to arise, which can make this fun hobby into something that becomes very stressful.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:53 AM   #3
 
Quote:
Not to try to sound discouraging, but right now you have way too many fish in this 10 gallon, along with compatiblity issues, and some of these fish like the gourami need to have a larger aquarium. Also certain gouramis will not get along with other gouramis, those that are the same kind or different. I would suggest that you look at the fish profiles section here on the site to read about the different fish that you have, and what their requirements are. You can find the link to the profiles section at the top of the page second tab from the left, gouramis will be in the anabantids section.
I'm aware of the nature of gourami's and other anabantoids. I understand their territorial nature. I'm also aware of cyprinids. The gourami's and the golden shiners will become much larger than they are now - this much was known prior. I've also kept these species of gourami's together in the past - albeit, in larger aquariums, with much success and for a very long time.

Quote:
This fish may seem healthy now, but stress from chemical phermones that are given off can cause health issues with your fish down the road. Also if the fish does not have adqueate space for growing, it may become stunted, the size of the fish will not change, but its internal organs continue to grow, again this can cause many issues for the fish. We can have plans to upgrade our tank size in the future, but sometimes things happen which keep us from doing what we may have intentionally planned to do. A good rule to go by is that when ever you buy a new fish make sure that you are properly able to supply the needs of the fish from the beginning.
There is also a reasonable amount of time afforded to me in which to provide an adequate sized aquarium for these fish. If you wish to discount me for that which has yet to or could or could not happen, then the same logic could be applied to much touchier subjects. Besides, having the fish wait an additional two weeks seems hardly torturous even by the most enthusiastic of "animal lovers."

Quote:
Again I don't mean to sound like I am being judgemental or discouraging, but with the set up that you have right now problems are going to arise, which can make this fun hobby into something that becomes very stressful.
I find it ironic that one uses this tone in regards to an introductory post, but there is cause for celebration when others have fish which breed in excess and the owner is forced to have to buy another tank. If a person buys live-bearing fish, does that mean they should purchase the largest aquarium available in anticipation of all possible offspring living? This would seem to follow the philosophy of making sure your are properly able to supply the needs of the fish from the beginning.

Aside from all of that, despite the best of intentions and the many assumptions in this reply, it is summarily dismissed how much effort was actually put into the care and maintenance of these fish in anticipation of a larger tank. The water has been checked daily to ensure its quality isn't becoming toxic for not only the fish, but the plants, and the snail as well - the snail being perhaps the most sensitive to ammonia levels. A 25% water change is done weekly with water that has been conditioned, and aged to match the same quality as the water that is in the tank in an effort to reduce shock. The majority of the fish prefer slow-moving to still water, and with the nature of the filter I have, that required a bit of ingenuity to slow the current down enough during the day. At night, the filter is turned off. Numerous hiding places have been provided for the fish, along with an open space in which they can come and go as they please. I've watched the behavior of the fish for any signs of aggression. Even the species of Mosquitofish I have is much milder in temperament and much smaller in size than it's more famous Gambusia affinis relative. The gourami's I picked were of the mildest temperament in comparison to the others available. Even the betta is unusually tolerant of other fish. My only regret is being sold two blue gourami "females" which turned out to be male.

I don't mean to sound discouraged and felt judged, but it certainly seems that way.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:57 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serico View Post
I'm aware of the nature of gourami's and other anabantoids. I understand their territorial nature. I'm also aware of cyprinids. The gourami's and the golden shiners will become much larger than they are now - this much was known prior. I've also kept these species of gourami's together in the past - albeit, in larger aquariums, with much success and for a very long time.

There is also a reasonable amount of time afforded to me in which to provide an adequate sized aquarium for these fish. If you wish to discount me for that which has yet to or could or could not happen, then the same logic could be applied to much touchier subjects. Besides, having the fish wait an additional two weeks seems hardly torturous even by the most enthusiastic of "animal lovers."

Aside from all of that, despite the best of intentions and the many assumptions in this reply, it is summarily dismissed how much effort was actually put into the care and maintenance of these fish in anticipation of a larger tank. The water has been checked daily to ensure its quality isn't becoming toxic for not only the fish, but the plants, and the snail as well - the snail being perhaps the most sensitive to ammonia levels. A 25% water change is done weekly with water that has been conditioned, and aged to match the same quality as the water that is in the tank in an effort to reduce shock. The majority of the fish prefer slow-moving to still water, and with the nature of the filter I have, that required a bit of ingenuity to slow the current down enough during the day. At night, the filter is turned off. Numerous hiding places have been provided for the fish, along with an open space in which they can come and go as they please. I've watched the behavior of the fish for any signs of aggression. Even the species of Mosquitofish I have is much milder in temperament and much smaller in size than it's more famous Gambusia affinis relative. The gourami's I picked were of the mildest temperament in comparison to the others available. Even the betta is unusually tolerant of other fish. My only regret is being sold two blue gourami "females" which turned out to be male.

I don't mean to sound discouraged and felt judged, but it certainly seems that way.
Welcome to the forum Serico!

With all due respect to you, tone is subjective and easy to misinterpret on the internet and I feel that you have done just that here. If you read any of Barbs posts, you will see that she is one of the most helpful, polite members here (everyone is actually) and would never intentionally be judgemental. Barb was only trying to advise/warn you of potential problems so that you could take steps to rectify them before they happened. Some of us may give advise in an introductory post if warranted and after just reading your long introduction, I thought to myself that this is a disaster waiting to happen and I would have said the same as Barb did. You are obviously an intelligent person and maybe one who is prepared to take risks where their fish are concerned, but to keep them all/that combination of fish in a 10 gallon tank is something I just don't understand. You may be very vigilant with your fish and have done research, but I would advise you to keep researching, as keeping the filter off at night is a sure way of causing health problems in your fish (even death).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serico View Post
I find it ironic that one uses this tone in regards to an introductory post, but there is cause for celebration when others have fish which breed in excess and the owner is forced to have to buy another tank. If a person buys live-bearing fish, does that mean they should purchase the largest aquarium available in anticipation of all possible offspring living? This would seem to follow the philosophy of making sure your are properly able to supply the needs of the fish from the beginning.
The philospghy of "making sure you can properly supply the needs of the fish from the beginning" is one that everyone should follow and abide by....Why would we not! The fish deserve that right and we as their care-givers have a responsibility to provide just that. They are trapped in that square box we call an aquarium and are at our mercy, if we are not prepared to do that, then we should not be keeping them at all. The majority of problems posted on forums, would not even arise if people researched more, were less impatient and supplied the appropriate sized tank in the first place.

I also do not mean to come across as judgemental, but I felt the tone of your previous post was rather uncalled for.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
 
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Wow. BarbH went out of his/her way to preface and end the post by saying that they were not trying to be judgemental or discouraging and then gave you some very good advice on your tank setup.

We're all here to learn and share our individual experiences. You might want to re-read the response to your post by BarbH and consider the context that it was posted in.

And Beaches is spot on here. BarbH is never rude, insulting or judgmental. I'm sorry you took it that way :(
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:50 AM   #6
 
No worries. I was able to sell the gourami's to "mom and pop" pet store. Gave the betta to a friend of mine, and the minnows I gave to a local bait and tackle, as Golden Shiners have no monetary significance to pet stores. As for the mosquitofish, I realize they have no real value either, but I was able to give the few males to a friend of mine as pets for her children. I made sure each fish had a gonopodium before I gave them to her. Now all that remains in the tank are the plants, the snail, and the female Mosquitofish.

I am beginning to realize that different sources will say different things about different species of fish and their requirements. Each contradicting the other, until all that is left to do is to leave the fish in the hands of those who would genuinely care to bother. I have invested a small sum - perhaps by aquarium hobbyist standards, and have gained no enjoyment. The only thing that forums pertaining to this subject have in common is the shared recommendation of 50 gallon tanks or larger for typically all species of fish sold in local pet stores. So, it is a hobby meant for those with the financial means and not really for the novice.

I'm tempted to sell the tank and with the remaining mosquitofish, snail, and plants included.

Yes, you are all polite, edifying, and undoubtedly correct. I am also intuitive enough to understand that a person such as myself doesn't meet the standards as a responsible aquarium hobbyist, and if I were to continue on this path, referring back to this forum and others like it with future reports of my endeavors I will be met with further disagreements and conflicting information. This is a field which has yet to be standardized, and with far too much disinformation clouding the issue. How could anyone possibly master such a hobby when you can never be sure that what you are told, what you read, and what you are instructed is accurate? Furthermore, how could anyone derive any sort of joy if you are fearful that the next bit of advice you take could lead to the death of a few fish or the entire collection?

Within this context, it can be rather easy to see how judgment was made, and I don't mean judgmental in the condescending tone - just observing that a person had made a judgment. It can furthermore be seen how I was discouraged - this tends to happen when not only is a mistake pointed out, but so many errors are shown that it becomes apparent that the entire endeavor can only be described as a failure.

I commend those who come to the aid of a fellow member's reputation, but it is unnecessary as I never referred to that person as being insulting, since I never felt insulted by them. Simply judged as inadequate, and discouraged to continue onward in my efforts. I've rectified this as they pointed out the possibility that I may not procure a tank of suitable size in a reasonable amount of time or not at all, by taking the only other option - disbanding my collection of fish into separate environments in which the appointed caregivers won't be overly taxed.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:50 AM   #7
 
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There are plenty of fish that are able to be kept within smaller tanks, 29 gallon, 20 gallon, 10 gallon, and with some you can even have a group in a 5 gallon. You might have to do additional research in finding fish that will suit your situation, but it is possible. With a 10 gallon there are several different choices, a few examples are mosquito rasbora, dwarf rasbora, ember tetra, emerald dwarf rasbora, dwarf cory, pygmy cory. By clicking on the highlighted name you can read more about these species of fish. Most of the fish profiles that are on this site have been written by Byron, who has been keeping fish for quite awhile now and the information provided is based on scientific research.

No one is saying that you can not be a "responsible aquarium hobbyist". We all have to start some where with this hobby, and unfortunately most of the time the advice given at most pet stores is incorrect. Sometimes you can find someone at the local pet store that knows their stuff or have a local fish store that will be able to advise you. Otherwise it is through forums like these that we try to help one another, and to help those who are new in the hobby, by sharing our experiences and knowledge.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:00 AM   #8
 
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[quote=Serico;828947]

I am beginning to realize that different sources will say different things about different species of fish and their requirements. Each contradicting the other, until all that is left to do is to leave the fish in the hands of those who would genuinely care to bother. I have invested a small sum - perhaps by aquarium hobbyist standards, and have gained no enjoyment. The only thing that forums pertaining to this subject have in common is the shared recommendation of 50 gallon tanks or larger for typically all species of fish sold in local pet stores. So, it is a hobby meant for those with the financial means and not really for the novice.

I'm tempted to sell the tank and with the remaining mosquitofish, snail, and plants included.


You're absolutely right about this. The hardest part of this hobby is doing the research to figure out how to keep the fish that you want in the best possible environment for them. It's hard to find a fish store that is passionate about the hobby and not just in it for profit. If you're lucky enough to find one, you're halfway there already.

I'm three years into my tanks and I went through a huge learning curve in the beginning. I'm not sure how successful I would have been without this forum and the internet. And not everyone has the best answer for you but if the majority of people say the same thing, I feel pretty comfortable that I have the answer or advice that I need at the time.

Finding the fish that are suited to the water paramaters out of your tap and making the decision of how much money you want to shell out for said fish is enough to make your head spin in the beginning. Not everyone has the room or the wallet size for a 100 gallon plus tank to house the number or size of fish they would like to have. Time and time again we see people who buy fish on impulse only to realize that they can't care for them properly. Kudos to you for re-homing the fish that won't work for you at this time.

Don't be discouraged if this is something you really want to pursue. After all of the research and cycling of your tank, it's only maintenance and monitoring after that and the rewards are worth it.

I thoroughly enjoy sitting back and watching my main tank every single day.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
 
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don't give up !
can't begin to remember how many fish died with my first aquarium,
i filled it to the brim with fish,then as it all went wrong i filled it again
with every lotion and fish potion i could find,fish died,water stunk and i didn't know
what to do.
walking is not an easy task,nor is the aquarium hobby,however it's worth it in the end
and with the right compatibility and space you can have a master piece in your home.
please give it another go,it really is worth it.
"pick your self up,dust your self off and start all over again " can't remember where that quote
came from though,
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