Tank roll call..
When you have a lot of fish in a well planted tank, how do you keep track? I thought I had 4 Pygmy gourami left but today I saw 6 out at once. I obviously don't know what's hiding in there and I sorta want to "take inventory " of the fish.. Has anyone done this and how?
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I use feeding time to count fish that are difficult to see. I always sound the meal gong when I feed...tapping very lightly on the tank frame; the fish very quickly learn this is a sign of food arriving, and some of my fish that I may never otherwise see will always scamper out within seconds. I use this particularly for my corys and loaches that I never see except at feeding time, but it is useful for other fish too. If you sit very still after feeding, you should be able to count everyone.
Aside from that, it is interesting how one can assume fish have died because you only see "x" number, and then days or even weeks later you will see them. At least that is a pleasant surprise.:-)
It's very common for fish to reappear weeks, even months after disappearing, especially in heavily planted tanks. A buddy at work has a 12g reef tank with only a couple fish, and he told me about how one of his fish disappeared for several months and he considered him dead until one day he just popped up again. Very strange but it does happen. I'd say if you look at your tank everyday, just look around for a body if you believe a fish has died, otherwise you never know. I'm always monitoring my fish and plants throughout the tank to make sure everyone is looking healthy.
I will have to try that I suppose. If something dies in the plants it's hopeless though. A fish died in the front of the tank (and don't need to be told this is a bad thing) I left it in there, all the flesh gone in under 12 hours and the skeleton in 24. Busy busy snails.
The loaches are an issue too. And they go nuts at feeding time and are very hard to count. :-( I'll have to sit down this weekend and figure out my numbers.
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What confuses me slightly is....... why have fish that you will never see bar feeding time? And some that even then you never know....
Doesn't it defy the point slightly of having a fish tank/the fish?
If I wanted a fish I'd never see......I'd leave it in the lfs and see it once a week ^^
Nilet, I think what O is saying is that not all of the fish are out and about at the same time. I have groups of fish that number in 8 or 9 but I might only see 4 or 5 of them at one time. When you have a lot of plants, it's hard to find every singe fish at the same time to count them.
I do roll call at feeding time too. As for fish that might be dead in a plant, try using the siphon gently during water changes to get into the middle of the most dense plants to see if you can find a carcass. It sounds like your snails are getting there before you though :)
It is to be expected that a fish will die once in a while. If I see it--which usually means it is floating or perhaps in a front corner--I net it out. But I know fish have died and I've never found them. Not a problem, as you say, the scavengers (snails, nocturnal catfish, almost any fish really) will deal with it pretty fast.
I only worry over this if there is clearly a disease or protozoan that is contagious, that is a very different thing. Dead fish should be immediately removed when this is going on.
Oddly, my tanks started out as amazon biotopes that sort of got overgrown so as someone commented, i will see the odd fish come out once.
You have to factor the individual behavior and temperment of the individual species to truly appreciate them. for example, all the tetras, cpds and endlers come out for each feeding, the SAE will do their sharkey patrol of the grounds once they sense the food and the plecos will sort of stirr a bit but dont really do much until after dark. The hillstream loaches also do most of their activites at night. The cory's come running in like kids after recess bell so this is really part of the adventure in the hobby.
In my shrimp tank with h.formosas (lesser Kilis), micro rasboras (chilis, phoenix, sparrow), panda cory juvies and 50 Crystal red, 20 crystal black and various cherry and fire red shrimp, no one really comes out regardless of how much food is dropped. it isnt until 20 minutes later that you see everyone group feed.
I stopped keeping tabs on individual counts but only watch for newly added tank members for the first week ...
I love feeding everyone and keeping jungle tanks. they are what i love in this hobby. I recently took out dozens of stems to sell and found a pair of scarlet badis (dario dario) that i had forgotten were in the large fish tank. talk about a sight for sore eyes :)
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