An introduction, some pictures and advice requested!
My names Jono, I have 63L Aquarium with a lovely Angelfish called Ralph. I've had him since he was tiny, got him on Christmas Eve 2011, so he's roughly 6 months old. In his time I've tried out having a few other Angelfishes, but they unfortunately died within a few days of getting.
I firstly had him with a Platinum white Angel called Harold, he was a lot bigger than Ralph, but he was always lingering at the back and rarely ate, or moved. Despite much attempts to diagnose the problem I think he was just stressed and he died in about 7 days from purchase. A few months later I tried out a smalled all black Angelfish I called Hooch, he was a lot smaller than Ralph as Ralph had grown since then, and he passed away within a few days. I rang the Aquarium in attempts to get some help but they just said that some fish were 'weak' so there wasn't much I could do. Since then I've left him on his own, excluding a brief amount of time spent with a friends Betta fish. Thinking that Ralph would be dominant due to size I was proven wrong when the Betta was nipping at Ralphs fins. Luckily I had been closely watching since introducing the Betta, so he was removed quite quickly and Ralphs fins returned to normal.
Ralph is pretty healthy I think. Generally active except when the aquarium is cold (unfortunately the Aqua One heater is pretty goddamn terrible, I definitely do not recommend them) and has grown quite a lot!
I have added some pictures of the aquarium for you to all see! Please note that they're taken on an iPhone though, so they're not amazing quality! But I think that you "get the picture" (harhar) from them.
This is the tank currently: Only recent changes have been moving the two large rocks in the middle, to the middle. Originally they were on either side of the tank leaving a kind of dip in the middle.
This is what the tank looked like a few months ago: Not much different except placement of ornaments. I also had some real hair grass plants but they died out as my light isn't plant-life it's just a regular bulb, though they're not in this picture anyway!
This is Ralph up close!
I also have a question! I really would like to get Ralph a tank mate, but I am incredibly reluctant to as I don't want him to become stressed and such, but I also don't want him to get bored and lonely. I really like Discus fish, and I don't mind the look of Silver Dollars. I also wouldn't mind getting another Angelfish, but I think I would have to get one similar sizing as if it was much smaller I'm sure Ralph would harass it. At the same time I don't want Ralph being harassed at all.
I know that I may have missed my chance anyway, because if you introduce fish all at once they are more likely to form a social structure because there is no "newbie".
But either way, let me know what you think of potential tank mates and what you think of my set up etc. Happy to chat!
Hi Jono! First off, a 16 gallon tank is a bit too small for Angelfish. Sorry. Discus require a minimum tank size of 40-50 gallons (190 litres).
As for live plants, Hornwort and Cabomba will both live and grow without full spectrum lighting.
Yeah I wasn't very hopeful about the Discus, thought I might ask anyway!
He seems pretty happy at the minute, but I don't want to stunt his growth or anything like that.
Thanks for the plant advice too! I'll look into that.
What filter do you have on the tank? I am not seeing one in your pictures?
Did you cycle the tank when you first got it?..I suspect this was the was cause of the deaths if you did not.
Also agree that the tank is a bit too small for Angelfish, they should be kept in larger tanks in groups. It will be very difficult to introduce another Angelfish as it may cause aggression issues.
Perhaps a small bottom feeder such as a small catfish would be a good addition. I will let other members also offer suggestions but the tank is really quite small to add anything else.
You absolutely need to get a heater that works, if the water drops below 75F (24°C) it can kill the Angelfish quickly. They need stable temperatures.
I seriously would NOT start cycling the tank now, as it will have already begun / ended with the addition of the angelfish.
It takes fish waste and food leftovers to start the cycle (unless done at the start of the tank - fishless) and was as I mentioned the likely cause of the deaths when the other fish were added. Starting it now will ALMOST CERTAINLY kill the Angelfish.
The issue of an angelfish alone in this tank is not easy to answer at this stage. Our profile will explain this more, click on the shaded name Pterophyllum scalare.
Thanks for your responses guys.
I am really on the fence about cycling or anything. Obviously this is my first tank, I've only ever had friends with 20/25L tanks with Bettas, so this was a big tank for me. I was told by the Petstore Clerk that it was 80-100L, so I thought that I was fine for the Angelfish, but it was just the other week when I browsing other tanks and reading up on sizes that I became sceptical at the size of my tank (so I measured it). Now looking back it seems ridiculous that he advised me to get a 55W heater hey...
Yes Bryon I do have a filter, it's suited to an 80L aquarium so it's adequate. I haven't had any problems with it at all, I clean the filter tube and pour out the yucky water every few times I clean the tank. Don't panic, I don't scrub the carbon filter I did read through those instructions :)
When I first bought the tank I wasn't very educated with cycling, to be honest I'm still not greatly educated on the matter, as I have never performed one myself only read up on it in theory, but I think it's something I could do. If Ralph passes, or if I start up another aquarium I will most certainly cycle it.
I did however "run in" the tank, which I thought was cycling it. I bought everything but the fish and let it all run for a week prior to getting fish. I got Ralph, and he was fine, then roughly a week later I bought Harold who died. Then possibly about a month after that I got Hooch who passed away. And the Betta I temporarily homed was somewhere in between those two, and the Betta was fine and is still quite healthy at a friends house.
I know it's a bit of a pickle because he is clearly already established in the tank, and he roams the whole thing. But I hope you guys don't look down on me for having him in there, I assure you that I didn't do anything like this to stunt his growth or anything and being my first proper fish and having survived for a long time (in my eyes) I am incredibly attached to him. So I want only the best for him. But it does seem to me that he is quite happy and healthy, excluding the colder days when he hangs around the filter, he is quite active and gets very excited at feeding times, and when I sit on my computer (next to the tank) he kind of swims around calmly, but when I turn to look at him he swims up to the front excited.
Anyway I'm rambling again!
We all started out somewhere and made some mistakes. I would be happy to enjoy him and the cat fish and leave it at that for now, the chances of messing the tank up now he is established there is quite high. There is nothing stopping him living him a good healthy life in your tank for years to come.
No one will ever put you down for what you do, we offer suggestion and try to rectify problems encountered, not everyone can go out and just buy another tank, obviously the younger members on this forum who dont work, this can take a very long time to achieve or parental consent being required.
I am going to post an excellent article which you can read up on and save for future reference. Do not act on it though as it concerns cycling, your tank will have the bacteria need to cope with the fish waste now, adding anything will temporarily affect that until the bacteria "catch up" with the added bioload of another fish.
Here is the article : A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle.
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