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AustinC 12-11-2010 09:12 AM

Temperature fluctuation question
 
Hi everyone,

I have recently started my first tropical fish tank (almost 7 weeks old) and am having some problems with temperature fluctuations in the tank.

I have noticed that during the day the temperature in my tank can average 29 and reach almost 31 degrees Celsius some days. I have read that tropical fish can usually adapt to higher temperatures as long as the range between the min and max temperatures are not too extreme. (I have set my heater to 26 degrees to raise the min temp)

However, my question is, how much do the temperature fluctuations actually affect my fish? I know that it can cause them unnecessary stress and affect digestive patterns, but how long can my fish survive in these conditions? It has been almost 4 days with an average of 29 degrees in my tank (fish seem to be OK thou, eating normally and still active).

My tank (120L, roughly 31 gallons) at the moment has:

3 Angelfish
3 Bristlenose catfish
8 Black Phantom tetras
6 Neon Tetras
1 Yo-yo Loach
3 Clown Loaches (I only found out after I bought them that they will need more space so i am planning on moving them to my dads 350L tank once they grow larger)

For a long term solution i am looking at installing air-con in my room, but for now a short term solution is that i have positioned a fan in front of the tank to aid evaporation (doesn't seem to be very effective thou).

Thanks for any help and advice!

bettababy 12-13-2010 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 532004)
Hi everyone,

I have recently started my first tropical fish tank (almost 7 weeks old) and am having some problems with temperature fluctuations in the tank.

I have noticed that during the day the temperature in my tank can average 29 and reach almost 31 degrees Celsius some days. I have read that tropical fish can usually adapt to higher temperatures as long as the range between the min and max temperatures are not too extreme. (I have set my heater to 26 degrees to raise the min temp)

However, my question is, how much do the temperature fluctuations actually affect my fish? I know that it can cause them unnecessary stress and affect digestive patterns, but how long can my fish survive in these conditions? It has been almost 4 days with an average of 29 degrees in my tank (fish seem to be OK thou, eating normally and still active).

My tank (120L, roughly 31 gallons) at the moment has:

3 Angelfish
3 Bristlenose catfish
8 Black Phantom tetras
6 Neon Tetras
1 Yo-yo Loach
3 Clown Loaches (I only found out after I bought them that they will need more space so i am planning on moving them to my dads 350L tank once they grow larger)

For a long term solution i am looking at installing air-con in my room, but for now a short term solution is that i have positioned a fan in front of the tank to aid evaporation (doesn't seem to be very effective thou).

Thanks for any help and advice!

First of all, that is a lot of fish in that size of a tank, even without the clown loaches. Expect the 3 angelfish to need a much larger tank very soon (I am assuming they are very small at this time). That tank is also not large enough for 3 adult bristlenose, so those should be rehomed to a larger tank once they are about 3 inches each. Bristlenose require a large amount of food, so be sure to feed them and not rely on natural food supply... that tank is not large enough to provide ample natural food supply for even 3 juveniles.
Another concern with temp and population is oxygen content in the water. Warmer water contains less oxygen. An easy way to deal with uncontrollable warmer temps such as you are experiencing is to under stock the number of fish in the tank so ensure there is plenty of oxygen content for them.

Do you have an air stone or bubble wall running in this tank? That would help to cool the water temp a bit and at the same time assist in some level of oxygenation with the surface agitation it will create. Is your tank covered? Opening the cover during the warmest part of the day will allow ventilation, thus will help to decrease the water temp. If the temp is still too high, you can use a small tabletop fan that blows across the surface of the water, this also will help to cool water temp.

The other suggestion I have for you would be to raise your heater setting to 28 instead of 26, which will decrease the jumps/dips in temp when it fluctuates. 28C (roughly 82F) is tolerable for those species of fish, even if not ideal. A steady 28 would be healthier and safer than daily jumps from 26 - 31. If you raise the heater setting and work with some of the above suggestions to cool the tank temp, there is no reason it can't balance out for you.

AustinC 12-13-2010 08:40 AM

Thanks for your reply.

With regards to the stock of the tank, I have been following the "general 1 inch per gallon rule" of thumb (so 31 inches of fish).

I have been told that bristlenose catfish grow to about 8-10 cm (4 inches max, so 8 inches total), phantoms grow to 1.75 inches (14 inches), the yoyo can grow to be 4 inches, and that the angels will on average max out at 4-6 inches in captivity so 18 inches?. I know that has is already 44 inches and i am 13 inches over (once everything reaches adult that is, several years down the track?). Before stocking my tank I ran over this with a guy from a local pet store and he said that that will be fine for my tank, suggesting that neons don't add much to the bio load and will have lived past their average life expectancy (they are already adult) before the angels will even reach full size... freeing up room for the angels?

Researching fish, as i have found, gives very conflicting information so i am hoping to get some more stable info. Internet says 1 inch per gallon, fish expert (?) at the fish store says my stock is fine. So i am very confused.

Like i mentioned earlier, i was misinformed about the clown loaches but now i have means to rectify the situation. So, if there is any problem with overstocking i am fine to move the fish to another tank. It is just very conflicting evidence.

Also, sorry if i left out any information earlier, but yes my tank does have a stable oxygen supply. At the moment my oxygen is being pumped into two corner filters (1 with extra carbon and the other with some extra bio balls) (two filters because the air pump was too strong so i had to split it up into 2 filters, and also using them because i don't like the idea of eroding air stones). The main filter is an aqua one hang on filter that is doing 800L/h which almost cycles 6.7 times my tank capacity. (This may be another reason the fish store guy said it was fine?)

My tank is moderately planted, but i am not expecting my bristlenoses to sustain themselves on this. I feed regular algae pellets and occasionally slices of zucchini for them to snack on.

Now as for the temp problem, i am starting to believe that it can be sustained. Although i know that the temps are well above the ideal conditions, all my fish seem to be fine; eating well and bright colors (even the clown loaches are bright orange and very active, even thou i have read are really sensitive to water parameters? is that right?

So, if these conditions were to persist without me interfering too much, how long can my fish remain healthy? I have read that fish deaths can be very sudden, so i do not want to be taking chances with this.

Thanks in advance.

SinCrisis 12-13-2010 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 533471)
With regards to the stock of the tank, I have been following the "general 1 inch per gallon rule" of thumb (so 31 inches of fish).

This rule is false. plecos produce more waste than the average fish, if you want a rule to go by, plecos of 4" should be counted at 8" of fish.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 533471)
I have been told that bristlenose catfish grow to about 8-10 cm (4 inches max, so 8 inches total), phantoms grow to 1.75 inches (14 inches), the yoyo can grow to be 4 inches, and that the angels will on average max out at 4-6 inches in captivity so 18 inches?. I know that has is already 44 inches and i am 13 inches over (once everything reaches adult that is, several years down the track?). Before stocking my tank I ran over this with a guy from a local pet store and he said that that will be fine for my tank, suggesting that neons don't add much to the bio load and will have lived past their average life expectancy (they are already adult) before the angels will even reach full size... freeing up room for the angels?

If you have a second tank already and know u have space to rehome, temporary overstocking with juvenile fish is ok. Just make sure you have space to move them when the time comes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 533471)
Researching fish, as i have found, gives very conflicting information so i am hoping to get some more stable info. Internet says 1 inch per gallon, fish expert (?) at the fish store says my stock is fine. So i am very confused.

The one inch per gallon rule is not a good rule to follow. If you think about it logically, a big fat cichlid of 4 inches is bound to produce more waste than thinner and long yoyo loach, so why would they be measured as producing the same amount of waste?

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 533471)
Also, sorry if i left out any information earlier, but yes my tank does have a stable oxygen supply. At the moment my oxygen is being pumped into two corner filters (1 with extra carbon and the other with some extra bio balls) (two filters because the air pump was too strong so i had to split it up into 2 filters, and also using them because i don't like the idea of eroding air stones). The main filter is an aqua one hang on filter that is doing 800L/h which almost cycles 6.7 times my tank capacity. (This may be another reason the fish store guy said it was fine?)

Extra cycles of water is fine, the general rule is to turn the water in your tank 5 times per hour, many hobbyists do more with less fish to "polish" the water for extra clarity and better parameters.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 533471)
My tank is moderately planted, but i am not expecting my bristlenoses to sustain themselves on this. I feed regular algae pellets and occasionally slices of zucchini for them to snack on.

GOOD!

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 533471)
Now as for the temp problem, i am starting to believe that it can be sustained. Although i know that the temps are well above the ideal conditions, all my fish seem to be fine; eating well and bright colors (even the clown loaches are bright orange and very active, even thou i have read are really sensitive to water parameters? is that right?

Temp fluctuations are ok as long as the temp of the tank is not changing instantly. If its a gradual cooldown and heat-up, the fish will be fine.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 533471)
So, if these conditions were to persist without me interfering too much, how long can my fish remain healthy? I have read that fish deaths can be very sudden, so i do not want to be taking chances with this.

I think your tank will be fine, keep an eye on fish behavior as that is usually the best indication of if something is wrong. Just make sure to move the fish when they get big.

bettababy 12-13-2010 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinC (Post 533471)
Thanks for your reply.

You're welcome. I will do my best to break this down for you so it is easy to understand.

With regards to the stock of the tank, I have been following the "general 1 inch per gallon rule" of thumb (so 31 inches of fish).

"The rule" for stocking a tank can be very misleading and is not an accurate way to judge stock in an aquarium. This rule does not take into account the various species of fish and their individual habits and needs, especially territory and aggression levels.

I have been told that bristlenose catfish grow to about 8-10 cm (4 inches max, so 8 inches total),

A healthy adult bristlenose can easily reach 6 - 7 inches, though I have seen many who end up 8 - 9 inches. Key words here, "healthy adult".

phantoms grow to 1.75 inches (14 inches),

Healthy black phantoms can easily make it to 2 inches. Yes, I know this for sure as I have kept many over the years and seldom did I have one that didn't reach a full 2 inches.

the yoyo can grow to be 4 inches,

A healthy adult, 4 - 6 inches is average.

and that the angels will on average max out at 4-6 inches in captivity so 18 inches?

Depending on their breeding, angels can average 5 - 10 inches. Altums and scalare angels are the largest, and even captive bred can reach 10 inches by adulthood. Angels can also pair up and begin spawning by the time they are 3 inches and about a year old. This is important information that pertains to the size and type of environment they need.

. I know that has is already 44 inches and i am 13 inches over (once everything reaches adult that is, several years down the track?).

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but most fish species grow rapidly. Angelfish that start out dime size can easily reach 3 - 4 inches within the first year and progress from there. YoYo loach expect adult size within the first 1 - 2 yrs. Black phantom tetras should achieve adult size within 8 - 10 months on average. Bristlenose can also achieve adult size within the first 1 - 2 yrs. Neon tetras typically achieve adult size within 6 - 8 months.

Before stocking my tank I ran over this with a guy from a local pet store and he said that that will be fine for my tank,

I'm sure he told you a lot of things that likely aren't accurate. It is very important to remember that when you deal with any lfs, their primary function is to make money. A tank that has problems tends to make more money because the customer comes back repeatedly to resolve each problem... at which time there is always a product on the shelf to sell them as a quick fix. The only "training" most lfs's provide for their staff is about how to sell the various items and animals you see in the store. There are many things that go on behind the scenes at a lfs that the general public is not made aware of. It is rule of thumb when you work in a lfs you just don't tell the customers you're there to take as much money from them as possible each time they walk in the door, but that is the overall goal. Without that money the store cannot afford to operate and keep its doors open.

suggesting that neons don't add much to the bio load and will have lived past their average life expectancy (they are already adult) before the angels will even reach full size... freeing up room for the angels?

Not if the fish are healthy. The average lifespan of a neon tetra is 4 - 5 yrs, however, they can live up to 7+. Again, I say this because I have kept them this long myself, this is not just taking someone's word for it. I have been working in this industry for the past 20+ yrs now and am quite familiar with most of the common species found in lfs's and many others that are not so common. Between myself and my husband we have raised, spawned, nursed, and kept long term most of the fish you can find in any lfs and then some. Angels should achieve adult size by the age of 3 in most cases. I wonder if the lfs guy also bothered to tell you that angels are famous for eating neons? (yes, even the adults)

Researching fish, as i have found, gives very conflicting information so i am hoping to get some more stable info. Internet says 1 inch per gallon, fish expert (?) at the fish store says my stock is fine. So i am very confused.

This is a common problem in the fish/aquarium hobby, especially since the internet was created. There are many self proclaimed experts out there. Websites are built by children as well as adults and it can be impossible to tell the difference. Forums are swarming with children who love to give advice based on something they were told by someone else... no idea if its true or reliable or not. The anonymity of the internet makes it a scary place. This is one reason I always use my real name and my job title when I visit a forum or am offering advice to anyone about their fish/aquariums. I have been told that it helps to reassure people of who I am and that I have the experience, training, and education to offer such advice. I have a resume that is available when someone requests it, along with references. Here on FF its easy to see my track record just by reading through the many posts I have contributed to.

What I tell most people is to find 3 different sources for information and compare them. The more sources you compare the easier it is to see a general outline of accurate information. Internet is 1 source that many choose, and if looking in the right places, can be very helpful. Seek out website url's that end with .edu and .org. These tend to be the most accurate and informative, especially for basic info such as size, wild habitat, etc.

Books are another source, and again, if you are selective, there are some wonderful books out there. An aquatic vet is a good source that many people skip or forget. Breeders are another wonderful source and tend to be more detailed because many breeders focus on just a few specific species of fish. (Breeders do not include someone who has kept 1 tank and was lucky enough to get breeding fish... when searching for a breeder seek those who sell their fish retail and in bulk, these are the people with the most experience with those species).


Like i mentioned earlier, i was misinformed about the clown loaches but now i have means to rectify the situation.

Thats great!

So, if there is any problem with overstocking i am fine to move the fish to another tank. It is just very conflicting evidence.

Again, I understand the conflict... but keep reading. I will explain more as we continue.

Also, sorry if i left out any information earlier, but yes my tank does have a stable oxygen supply. At the moment my oxygen is being pumped into two corner filters (1 with extra carbon and the other with some extra bio balls) (two filters because the air pump was too strong so i had to split it up into 2 filters, and also using them because i don't like the idea of eroding air stones). The main filter is an aqua one hang on filter that is doing 800L/h which almost cycles 6.7 times my tank capacity. (This may be another reason the fish store guy said it was fine?)

The extra filtration certainly won't hurt the situation, however, as mentioned earlier, this only covers the issue of waste levels. Let me offer you an example:

One of my customers a number of years ago brought us a beautiful jack dempsey cichlid because he could no longer afford to care for it. The fish was a healthy 8 inches in length and about 2 yrs old. The colors were as vivid as I have ever seen in a jack dempsey. Upon dropping off the fish this customer willingly answered all of our questions about how the fish had been kept, where it had been kept, feedings/food options, etc. so we would know what to expect in caring for this fish and finding it a good home.
This customer went on to tell us that he raised this fish in a 10 gallon tank. (10 inches of fish for 10 gallons of water, right?) The fish was almost the same length as the 10 gallon and did not have enough room to turn around, so it sat in the tank without swimming for 2 yrs. The reason this was possible was because water changes were 75% daily for the entire time the fish was in this tank... about 2 yrs. Only the best foods were offered, so nutritional needs were met.

After the customer left we acclimated the fish to a 40 breeder tank, which was much more appropriate for this 1 fish as a quarantine situation. Once in the tank we watched as the fish slowly slid onto its side and remained there, laying at the bottom, not moving. At feeding time this fish ate willingly everything that fell within its reach without moving and while laying on the bottom of the tank. The spine of this fish was "kinked" most of the length of it, and the fish had no ability to swim. Try as we might to help it, there was simply nothing we could do... a fish that cannot swim is a dead fish no matter how you look at it. Within a few days this beautiful fish died and we were helpless to stop it.

Does that offer new insight to the 1 inch of fish per gallon rule?

My tank is moderately planted, but i am not expecting my bristlenoses to sustain themselves on this. I feed regular algae pellets and occasionally slices of zucchini for them to snack on.

This is good also, however, the more plants and decor in your tank the longer these fish can remain together safely... so I would strongly urge you to decorate and get as much in there as is possible.

Thanks in advance.

I will continue in another post due to the size limit of each post.

bettababy 12-13-2010 10:06 AM

Quote:

Now as for the temp problem, i am starting to believe that it can be sustained. Although i know that the temps are well above the ideal conditions, all my fish seem to be fine; eating well and bright colors (even the clown loaches are bright orange and very active, even thou i have read are really sensitive to water parameters? is that right?

Yes and no. Clown loaches are extremely sensitive to water chemistry but can thrive in mid 80F temp quite easily as long as there is enough oxygen in the water and their other needs are met. Some of the other fish, such as the neons and bristlenose... the high temp in your tank (84F - 86F) is pushing the upper limit for what they can tolerate long term without causing damage to organs, which can ultimately shorten life span.

The biggest problem with the temp isn't that its so high, its the constant fluctuation back and forth that creates the danger. A fish's body needs time to adjust to a given temp. Constant temp changes can damage vital organs and weaken the immune system, which leaves the fish open to a wide range of illness and disease.
Constantly changing temps can also fluctuate water chemistry, and for sensitive fish, that can mean trouble. I will stand on what I suggested about temp control.

So, if these conditions were to persist without me interfering too much, how long can my fish remain healthy?

That is impossible to predict because there are too many factors that determine such a thing, including the genetics of the fish. What I can tell you is that if this remains a long term condition it will likely shorten the lifespan of your fish... by yrs.

I have read that fish deaths can be very sudden, so i do not want to be taking chances with this.

Also correct. When dealing with fish it is best to avoid the issues because by the time they are noticeable to us it is often too late to save them. There is no way to monitor organ damage or other internal damage that can happen gradually due to poor conditions. Some illnesses and diseases are not detectable until they are in their final stages. For these reasons it is best to avoid poor conditions whenever possible and to resolve them quickly if they do occur.

Before I finish my reply there is the issue of territory and aggression to touch on. Angelfish in particular of the species you are keeping are well noted for being very territorial and quite aggressive as they mature. Simply put, they need plenty of space and plenty of decor to keep them peaceful, not just with tank mates but amongst themselves as well. It is the angels in your tank that concern me most.

When angels pair up and decide to spawn this aggression and territorial nature multiplies 10 fold.
Another example for you:
I currently have 5 angels, 2 spawning pairs and a large male who lost his female partner over the summer. When I first got these angels less than 2 yrs ago they were dime sized and were put into a 65 gallon planted tank. Within 6 months they were too big for the 65 gallon tank, average of 2 1/2 - 3 inches each. Territory was becoming an issue and they were fighting amongst themselves so I moved them to the 90 gallon where they settled in comfortably for the next 2 months. The first pair formed and began to spawn, claiming more than 1/2 of a fully planted 90 gallon tank for their own. Any fish that crossed the boundary was sure to be attacked by 1 or both of the parent fish, and within 3 wks as the other 2 pairs formed and spawned, a 90 gallon fully planted tank became a war zone. The fish did a lot of damage to each other and the only solution was to separate them by pair. Now one pair is back in the 65 gallon, 1 pair stayed in the 90 gallon, and the other moved to another 65 gallon where the male still lives with a small school of white clouds and 2 very old leopard cats.

This type of aggression is normal. During the 3 wks of fighting in the 90 gallon I lost 2 celebese rainbows, a few older swordtails and a cherry barb... all fatally injured by the adult angels.

Even without breeding/spawning, angelfish aggression is something that cannot be ignored. The smaller the tank the more aggression you will have to deal with. Neons and black phantom tetras will be helpless against an angel in attack mode because its space is being invaded.

Every species of fish has its own level of aggression that is normal, but crowded situations can turn peaceful fish into aggressive fish quickly.

The final decision of what to do is entirely up to you, this is your tank... but now you have some more in depth information to help you decide how to proceed. You seem to really care about the well being of your fish, I would hate to see you lose fish and run into issues with your tank if it can be avoided.
I am happy to answer as many questions as you feel the need to ask, so fire away. My biggest concern is always for the animals. I have nothing to lose or gain by your success or failure, but it does break my heart every time I hear about another lost life that could easily have been prevented.

Best of luck to you!

AustinC 12-13-2010 10:44 AM

Thank you very much for your reply!

Your insight and breakdown of my questions was very thorough and very helpful; i will definitely take on much of your advice.

I have always doubted the logic behind the "1 inch rule" but trusted the expertise of the local fish store assuming they had expertise (but now even that is very doubtful). What you said about the money orientation of the fish store is very true, to one of the owners i talked to, the fish are "stock" that needs a high turnover. But i would assume to many of us owning the "stock" would be a more of a passion than just owning stock... which i guess leaves a weakness for the "experts" to exploit haha...

I'm very glad I have come to the right place for advice. I am considering relocating the angel fish to a bigger tank once aggression is notable. However, in many of the pet shops i have noticed that they have display tanks that are similar size to mine, that are moderately planted and decorated, keeping a lot of large angelfish (6 or more large ones) with many other small fish (guppies, mollies, tetras). How is it that the angelfish can live in these.. overly stocked conditions? I would think that the aggression is dispersed among the angels but after reading your example of the angels i am finding it difficult to believe that they can cram so many angels into small tanks.

Are community tanks like these very rare... or have the shops hit the golden ratio of fish keeping in their crammed tanks?

Anyway the angelfish questions are just out of personal interest.. but thank you for your advice! I will definitely take a lot of it on board and try to give my fish a better environment.

ginagv 12-13-2010 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bettababy (Post 533501)
One of my customers a number of years ago brought us a beautiful Jack Dempsey cichlid because he could no longer afford to care for it. The fish was a healthy 8 inches in length and about 2 yrs old. The colors were as vivid as I have ever seen in a Jack Dempsey. Upon dropping off the fish this customer willingly answered all of our questions about how the fish had been kept, where it had been kept, feedings/food options, etc. so we would know what to expect in caring for this fish and finding it a good home.
This customer went on to tell us that he raised this fish in a 10 gallon tank. (10 inches of fish for 10 gallons of water, right?) The fish was almost the same length as the 10 gallon and did not have enough room to turn around, so it sat in the tank without swimming for 2 yrs. The reason this was possible was because water changes were 75% daily for the entire time the fish was in this tank... about 2 yrs. Only the best foods were offered, so nutritional needs were met.


Read more: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...#ixzz180pFnjxv

.

That has to be one of the saddest stories I've read in a while :cry: . And YES quite a vivid argument for the misleading 1 inch per gallon "rule".

Gina

bettababy 12-13-2010 11:11 AM

Pet stores work very different than a home aquarium. The first thing to take note of is the exact fish in their tanks and how long those same exact fish stay in those tanks together. Pet stores are notorious for high death rates in fish, it is considered an occupational hazard. In a store environment it is exactly the 'stock' mentality that rules, so if something dies you charge more for something else to make up the money you lost and you order another one and hope to sell it before it dies too. If its something that dies frequently, money is lost often, then the store tends to stop ordering it and will add it to their "special order" list, and typically special orders need to be paid for up front and pick up arrangements need to be made so the store is not stuck housing it.

Store tanks should be considered holding tanks. Many things can be made to work on a temporary basis that just don't work long term. The store's goal with any animal is to get it in and out as quickly as possible. The faster they sell it the more money they make from it, and in most stores, even the animals in the display tanks have a price on them.

Filtration in a store tends to differ greatly from a home situation as well. This is not necessarily a good thing, and often it is intended to get the job done as inexpensively as possible.

One of the first things I have always taught my customers was not to use a store tank as an example of stocking a home aquarium. Stores need to order as many fish as they can fit into a tank in order to have enough stock to supply the customer demand. I have yet to find a store that does not do this. An empty tank does not draw customers.

Then there is the almighty stress factor. Stress levels in a pet store are very different than those in a home environment. Imagine how skittish and preoccupied any fish would be if after traveling on a plane or in a car for days at a time there were people banging on the glass for 8 - 10 hrs/day, hands in and out of the tank 100 times/day, and the constant traffic around the tank. Move those same fish to a quiet home environment where they are healthy, feel good, and are well cared for and you will see an entirely different behavior pattern.

And, I often ask my customers with questions like yours, how often have you really stood in front of a store tank and examined what is going on in it? When in the stores I will lead someone to a tank and stand there with them for 15 minutes or more as we discuss what is happening inside the tank. There is a lot that an inexperienced eye never sees. Fish that are stressed and/or sick will not show their full aggression potential, but most often people simply overlook the obvious until they know what they are looking for.

The next time you go into your lfs, take some extra time to walk through and just stop and spend 10 - 15 minutes studying intently what is happening in any given tank full of fish. Look for signs of fin damage on any of the fish, look for signs of fungal or bacterial infections, red blotches, open sores, tumors, deformities, injured mouths, bodies, eyes... water clarity, how much "dirt/waste" is down in the gravel substrate or laying on the bare bottom, are there fish laying on the bottom that should be up swimming... are the fish hiding... are they fighting amongst themselves...? The list goes on and on. After you have done that, then go home and study your tank just as intently, watch how your fish behave in their home environment. If your fish are healthy and in proper environment, there should be a noticeable difference. (knowing what normal behavior is for any given species helps a lot before you go into the lfs to check out the tanks & fish)

There are so many things I can teach about what goes on in a pet store, there just isn't enough space on this forum for all that info, lol. If you have more specific questions I am always happy to answer them as thoroughly as possible.

Byron 12-13-2010 07:54 PM

This thread is a mine of information on the extremely important issues of species and numbers involved in selecting fish for an aquarium. Thank you indeed, Dawn.

Byron.


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