Fishkeeping Tips 1- Setting Up
 

    Few aquarium sites provide a broad menu of concise, accurate, and simple fishkeeping information to help
    anyone involved in the hobby. On this site I hope to provide as many helpful bits of information as I can from 40
    years of fishkeeping. If there is information you are looking for that has not been addressed, please drop me a
    line at selectaquatics@gmail.com. Please also check the Free Downloads page for more info on husbandry.

   
The Tank- A larger tank is generally easier to care for than a smaller one, and better for the fish. Larger tanks
    (30 gallons plus) are more stable biologically and less prone to ammonia spikes when a fish dies or someone
    overfeeds. It is also best to create as natural an environment as possible, with swimming and hiding room, for
    both adults and fry. I nearly always provide live plants, and even plastic plants are better than none at all, with
    care that you can always see the fish to keep an eye on their health and condition. The tank should be set up
    away from vents and sunny windows, to prevent uncontrolled temperature swings or algea growth. I provide 
    covers for new fish or known jumpers, but generally do not cover my more heavily planted tanks. I use the 
    plastic "honeycomb" light fixture covering that I have cut to size for the tanks, available at any home
    improvement store. All my tanks are also bare-bottom- for reasons gone into further below, with plants    
    that are potted, or that naturally float on the surface. The size of the tank has nothing to do with the size
    of the fish raised in it. A tank space less than that required by a fish will simply result in a short, 
    stunted life for the fish. See population density for the best size tank for the fish you want to keep.

    Repairing a leaking Tank- Tanks kept in operation can easily last 30 years without developing 
    a leak. When leaks occur it is often because a tank was stored for long periods where it was exposed empty to
    wide swings in temperature, and rarely, when it wasn't made well initially. Tanks up to 50 gallons generally repair
    relatively easily, and a good resealing can put an old tank into nearly new condition, lasting you for another
    30 years. When a tank develops a leak, you must drain it and dry it thoroughly, then use a one sided
    razor blade to remove all of the old silicone by cutting, then scraping away as much of the old silicone as
    possible. The glass must be cleaned of the old silicone, as silicone will not stick to itself. A slim film left
    on the glass will provide a pathway for a new leak to develop. This is not as tough as it sounds- by "polishing"
    the old glass with the razor blade the old silicone can be removed fairly easily.

    Any old silicone won't work. Many have additives that are toxic to fish, and buying silicone labeled "Aquarium safe"
    is the first important step. When fixing a tank smaller than 29 gallons, the cheaper aquarium safe silicone available
    at many home improvement stores will do the job. However, with larger tanks, a better quality silicone is needed as
    the cheaper stuff isn't as easy to work with with, and air pockets can develop, and it will often crack or lose its 
    integrity in a way that better silicones, made specifically for aquarium use won't. Those are available online only,
    and are slightly more expensive. A caulking tube of the better stuff will run about $11-12, plus shipping.

    Be careful when handling the tank as the glass plates are then only loosely connected to one another. Then lay a
    generous bead down over where the plates meet, trying not to break the stream of silicone from corner to corner,
    careful to lay it in so that air pockets are not created under the silicone bead where the two plates meet. Do
    around the bottom first. Then, with your finger, carefully run your fingertip along the joint to seat the silicone
    into the junction where the plates meet. Do not push down to the glass, you are forming the silicone down into the
    corner where the plates meet. Then repeat with each upright corner, careful not to create an air pocket where the
    new bead lays over the silicone already in place on the bottom. The entire process must be done on all seams in
    about 10-15 minutes, or the silicone will begin to dry. Use good quality, aquarium safe silicone- cheap silicone
    will crack, could give off fumes that are toxic to fish, and will not be as smooth and easy to work with. You want
    to have it work first time. Let tank dry for 24-48 hours then slowly add water to test it. If it continues to leak,
    then you have to do the entire process over again. Larger tanks of 50 gallons and over are less successfully sealed
    first time that way, and I will often have 1" glass strips cut to stack 3 deep along the bottom seams to seal a
    larger tank most successfully.

    Replacing a broken side can be done, but the expense of the glass, the silicone and time required can surpass
    the cost of a new aquarium. Tanks are generally about $2 a gallon (when buying just the tank), but dollar per
    gallon sales occur occasionally, and used tanks are often available through Pennysaver type publications,
    classified ads, and particularly if you seek out and join a local aquarium society.

    See the article "Repairing / Sealing Aquariums."

    Gravel- We all start off keeping tanks with gravel, which serves a number of purposes. However, with the
    exception of fish that require it to breed, thick layers of gravel on the bottom are not used. However, gravel
    is occasionally used this way: When spread lightly (1-3 particles deep), it can be a productive source of
    surface area for bacteria to colonize and help maintain a tank's stability, or to help cure a tank with
    cloudy water issues. It won't be deep enough to collect decaying organic matter, contributing to disease,
    but it provides enough increased surface area to assist water quality maintenance and provide a distinct
    bottom for the fish, and only 1/3rd to 1/2 of the bottom needs to be covered.

   
For Rooted Plants- A soil mix can be used, but it must be changed yearly- for it can cause sickness
    if too old. I pot plants in clay pots that can be removed easily, with the roots growing in pre-soaked peat (be sure
    the peat is fully soaked before preparing to put it into the aquarium- or it may float up and cause a substantial
    fouling of the water). For photos and text of how plants are used by Select Aquatics, see Plants. The peat is
    then covered with a layer of gravel or sand to keep the peat in the pot. I recommend floating plants such as
    Java fern, Java moss, riccia, duckweed, and water lettuce. Except for a very thin layer for looks, or to assist
    biological filtration, the extra maintenance needed to keep a tank healthy containing a thick layer of gravel was 
    time and effort better spent on other aspects of the aquarium's care. Keep in mind that if you plan on keeping
    larger fish that will dig into the soil, you my want to avoid using peat, and put plants into plain gravel, and I always
    use plant fertilizer.  For an inexpensive and easy alternative to standard aquarium plant fertilizers,
    see Keeping Plants.

    To even better accommodate the fish to a tank without gravel, I will often set the tank up on a dark surface,
    paint the bottom glass or tape black plastic (such as used in garbage bags) to the bottom of the tank to provide
    the sense of a boundary for the fish and to bring out their color. The Odessa barbs require this.

    Choice of Fish- The choice of fish you keep contributes greatly to how well your fish will do. Whether they
    will grow to their maximum, live comfortably and breed begins with your choice of species and how they are put
    together. Which tankmates will simply torment one another, leading to an early and and possibly expensive demise
    for one of them?. Well, When a fish meets another fish for the first time, roughly three thoughts cross their mind:

    1. Will you eat me?
    2. Can I eat you?, and
    3. Can I mate with you?

    For fish to live at their best health, stress must be kept to a minimum, meaning that predator / prey behavior needs
    to be prevented. With many fish, swordtails are one, some minor bullying is normal and keeps their lives within
    an organization they prefer. This is totally different than a natural predator kept in that same community, whose
    instincts are to dominate those it comes in contact. Many fish will harrass tankmates, the goal is to put together
    a tank where any minor aggression between species is never a problem. Predators can be kept, but they may 
    need to be kept in a tank of like sized tankmates. Whenever bullying or nipping is seen, remove the fish being 
    picked on and let it recover on its own for a few days, then carefully reintroduce it. When choosing what to keep, 
    there are a few options available to you:

   The Community Tank- This is any size tank, generally with a catfish of some sort, and a collection 
    of species that do well together. Some choose a centerpiece fish- such as a pair of angels- and then keep other
    species that will get along well with them. Fish act fairly predictably, so a fish that is known to eat anything that it
    can fit into its mouth, will. Watch stocking levels and be careful to avoid fish commonly sold that will outgrow your
    aquarium.

    The Colony Tank- This is any size tank, also with a catfish or other type of fish that will work to keep the 
    tank clean, with only one other species that the tank is being maintained for. This single population may be allowed to
    breed in a group where young that survive add to the population, or where females are routinely moved to have their
    young so they can be saved, to another smaller tank. Aggression is minimal.

    Species Only Tank- This is a tank of any size where only one species is kept. Some catfish will eat fry, 
    so catfish are not used. With this tank the focus is on the fish, and may be bare bottom. Breeding is a priority, 
    so the tank is kept simple, so that it stays clean, consistent and easy to maintain.

    Use of Salt- Salt is a great, simple and generally effective treatment for simple maladies. The "medicinal dose" 
    is generally 1 tablespoon for every 5 gallons of water, and when certain fish, especially livebearers, are prone to
    getting fungal or other outbreaks (fancy guppies, for example), routine use of salt is often done. There have been
    stores that treated all their freshwater tanks with salt and recommended their customers do so as well, though this
    is not advised for some scaleless fishes (certain types of catfish, for example). Better ways to fend off diseases are
    to maintain a relatively clean tank, and possibly dose with a disease prophylactic (such as Aquarisol), which works
    well at recommended dosages. However, diseases can be kept at bay with consistent care of the aquarium and
    following basic advice regarding water changes, not overcrowding or overfeeding, and keeping diseased fish away
    from your fishroom. Most fishkeepers, when acquiring a new fish, will keep it in a small quarantine tank for up to a
    month to ensure that nothing is being introduced to their other fish.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   
Population Density- I strive to create an environment for the under 3" fish where they do not feel 
    particularly confined, and make an effort to hold down the overall density whenever possible. Some fish tolerate
    crowding better than others, but the basic rule of an inch of fish per gallon of water for fish under 3 inches 
    works fairly well. The issues to be considered when overcrowding are these:

    -Water will be need to be changed more frequently as the amount of waste organics in the tank (fish waste and
    excess food) will increase, stimulating biological activity, which decreases the amount of available oxygen in
    the water.

    -The greater competition for resources and lower oxygen levels contributes to an overall decline in the immune
    system responses and health of the fish, leading to disease outbreaks, which then spreads quickly to the other
    equally stressed fish in the tank.

    - From dealing with fighting the reduction of resources, the overall growth of the fish in a crowded environment
    is compromised, leading to undersized fish, particularly with the swordtails.

    - Breeding also slows down, and those that do breed will find that their young are quickly eaten by tankmates that
    are hungrier than they would normally be, and the young will find it more difficult to hide in a crowded tank

    - Lastly, when an incident occurs- a power outage or a a time when a day or two must be spent away from home 
    when the fish are not taken care of as they would normally be, a crowded tank may not have the flexibility to deal 
    with the change in routine, leading to deaths. This can then trigger an "ammonia bloom", wiping out the tank..

    I also keep generally "species only" tanks- one species per tank, with cleaner shrimp or a catfish, which reduces
    bullying and the consumption of fry.

    Breeding- Many fish will breed readily in the home aquarium, and fish exist at every level of difficulty,
    including many that have still to be bred in captivity. Having your fish breed for you, and then successfully
    raise the fry, particularly if the fish is challenging for any number of reasons, is probably the most satisfying
    thing you can do as a fishkeeper. The livebearers are considered some of the easier fish to breed and raise
    their fry. Egg layers are generally considered to be more difficult (and most are). See the essays on breeding 
    the livebearers and egg layers (Puntius padamya- the Odessa Barb) Here.

   
Fry and Fry Eating- A full, busy tank makes the survival of fry, any fry, nearly impossible. All fish will eat 
    fry, some less enthusiastically than others. Many goodeids, because of the large size of their fry, will bother them 
    less, but others still eat them routinely. Some people claim that fish don't eat fry when well fed. My experience is that
    most fish will eat fewer fry when well fed, but young will still be eaten. Remove fry when you see them. Some female
    guppies are good about not eating their fry, but if the young are released into a tank with other adult guppies,
    their numbers will dwindle quickly and disappear in about 2-3 days.

    Your success at keeping any fish that you hope to breed comes down to your success at raising fry. Though they don't
    look like much, and are so damn tiny, your care of those new young the first couple weeks will dictate the size, color
    and overall health of the adults they will grow into. You cannot raise the adults and fry the same way. I will sometimes
    move females to have their fry into 2 gallon containers, with some Java moss. After the fry are born and the female is
    removed, I will feed the young lightly twice a day with baby brine shrimp, changing 50-70% of the water every day for
    the first two weeks. If possible, after the 3rd or 4th day I'll put them in their own 10 gallon filtered tank, or into
    a net hang-in-the-tank breeder until big enough to be let go on their own. Fry also do best when raised separately at
    slightly warmer temps than the adults. Baby brine shrimp is essential, though finely ground flake food or one of the BBS
    (baby brine shrimp) substitutes available online (such as "Golden Pearls" from Brine Shrimp Direct) will generally keep
    them going. New livebearer young do best with a particle size of about 200 microns. Raising fry comes down to water
    quality, enough food, and slightly warmer temperature. Be careful not to release fry in with the adults too soon, as they
    may still be eaten.

    Feeding- A wide variety of foods are available now in dry and frozen formats, dry foods available as flake,
    pellet (floating and sinking), claiming to be made specifically for all fish, or guppies, cichlids, angels and catfish,
    sold both at local stores and online. More information is at FT3 Brine Shrimp and Foods, but essentially you want
    to buy 1. a variety (don't neglect to feed vegetable based foods to many fish that require it), 2. Food that is fresh
    (Don't buy even a name brand from the neglected pet aisle of a local grocery store, where the food may have sat
    for 6 months), and 3. Quality (Pick up what the fish need. Standard Goldfish food, for example, is barely adequate
    for most goldfish, and never tropicals.) Most foods today, when bought fresh are the best they have ever been,
    and all fish greatly benefit from occasional feeding of live or frozen foods. Like some cars that require premium
    gas to run well, some species require live food, but today the quality of the dry foods is so good that many species
    will survive and breed on dry food alone. If at all possible, store dry foods in teh refrigerator, or freezer when not

    being used. 


   
Water- The single most important rule in fishkeeping is to choose and keep fish that will do well in your water.
    It is both expensive and does not always work to create water for certain fish simply because you wish to keep
    them by adding buffers and chemicals that will alter the pH coming from your tap. Frequent water changes with 
    appropriate feeding are essential for fish to grow to their full size with best color, and that will breed as
    soon as they are able. Constantly tinkering with the water is expensive and difficult when changing the water
    correctly, and the fish will respond negatively to the inconsistencies. I have tried to create water for many
    species over the years, and today would never consider it from past experience. Yes, there are certain fish I
    will never be able to keep and breed, but the fish have evolved from environments with specific water qualities.
    We have to respect that.

    I test my tap water seasonally to keep an eye on any changes to the pH and hardness, and test water that fish
    arrive in from other sources to acclimate them appropriately. Species kept here are those that do well in this
    water, and species that require hard, alkaline or acidic water (as my water is 7.4 and soft- 100ppm) are avoided.
    Many fish here (The livebearers) might prefer slightly harder water than I can provide, but they have adapted
    and do well since their preferences are close enough that they live well and breed normally. If your water is
    slightly harder, they may do even better for you than they do here. Many species sold in pet stores, though
    evolved from different water conditions, have been adapted by the wholesaler or fish store to your local water.
    Be sure to ask the dealer when buying new fish what the pH and hardness are that the fish are being kept in,
    knowing what your own pH and hardness are, so that you can determine whether the fish will do well for you.
    Though they may thrive in the altered conditions, they will rarely breed well, and if they do, the young may
    not respond well to the water. Many fish found in pet stores are expected to simply adapt, and they do.
    The issue becomes important when you try to breed them, particularly when you want fish that consistently
    feel and look their best.

    Information on maintaining optimal water quality is covered more completely at FT Filtration and Water Quality.

    Diseases- Preventing disease is an important task, not because fish are always on the verge of getting sick, 
    but because neglect, poor maintenance or introducing sick fish to a healthy tank will easily create disease, which
    can then wipe out the fish. Getting a disease in your tank is not inevitable, though chances are you will encounter
    something. I keep more than 120 tanks and over the past 10 years have had to treat something three times, on
    only a couple fish. I have been lucky. When disease occurs,  it is generally caused by stress to the fish through
    a number of well defined, well understood variables. These can be narrowed down to:
___________________________________________________________________

    Temperature that swings or is inappropriate for the species,

    Water that has become too rich in ammonia, nitrates and nitrates (easily kept at bay
    with regular water changes and care not to overfeed or overstock the aquarium).

    Less than adequate aeration and/or water movement,

    Injuries and bullying from other fish, or inappropriate items causing injury in the tank,

    An introduction of a sick fish to a tank, particularly if the other fish in the tank are already stressed,

    Inconsistent or poor feeding.

____________________________________________________________________

    When disease occurs, I always choose the mildest treatment for the circumstance, and you must act when
    the problem is discovered, for most diseases spread quickly. Simply raising the temperature to 82-84 degrees
    will often cure ich (sometimes called "white spot disease), and the addition of salt (1 tbl. per 5 gallons) is often
    enough to bring fish around when they are not acting normally. I treat with Aquarisol for fungus and things I
    might run across. When you do see a diseased fish, isolate the sick individual(s) to its own container, then
    decide how you will treat it.

    There is one disease that has been running through the hobby for at least 10 years. Not understood the first
    few years, it was vaguely called "The livebearer disease", a name that stays with it today. Better understood,
    it is a parasite that feeds on the skin of the fish, gradually weakening the fish until it succumbs. A thinning
    appearance and gradually increasing lethargy identify this affliction. Anecdotal stories insist the parasite may
    hide or hibernate when fish are healthy and doing well, but reproduce and feed when the fish are stressed.
    However, if you have not had the organism introduced to your tank you do not have it. I have seen it in tanks
    in different parts of the country, and have had customers send me fish that were infected. See pics of it Here.

    There is one medication that will kill the parasite immediately, as most available medications have little effect 
    on it. That medication is Levamisole. It is the treatment of choice for this condition, but it can be difficult to obtain.
    After a long search to locate it (to treat the fish from the customers I just mentioned), I have purchased a supply
    of it and am offering it for sale Here.


    Be careful when seeking out an appropriate medication, for some of the routine medications commonly
    available can become very expensive, particularly if you are trying to treat a 30 or 50 gallon aquarium. Check
    dosage in package against number of days for recommended treatment. If the medication you use recommends
    removing the plants, do so, but do not then put those plants into a tank with other fish, as you will transfer any
    biological activity that may be contributing to the problem. Then correct, if possible, whatever it was that caused
    the stress triggering the onset of disease, to spare the other fish in the tank. Most disease organisms exist in
    any tank, a compromise or weakness in the fish's immune system allows for disease to occur. Be aware that
    the best you may be able to do is catch the outbreak early, remove the sick individual(s), and add salt or
    medication as a preventative from further damage to the other fish in the tank. But you may lose the fish that
    had initially become sick.

___________________________________________________________________________ 

  

                     How to Keep the "Harder to Keep" Fish

    - Obtain as many as you can- For me, 2 males and 3 females is what I often start my lines with.
      More than 4 pair and it would be best to create two setups and try to get fry from two environments,
      increasing your odds for success.

    - Provide a tank with few variables that can get "out of control" - a very thin layer of gravel and
      a filter that can be easily maintained and kept so that any changes in filter quality can be quickly
      spotted and remedied. Follow guidelines above. Provide some plants and places to hide for security.

     - Make sure your pH and hardness are within the range of that species. Crushed coral or calcium
      carbonate can be used to raise pH and hardness if necessary. Carefully consider using buffers
      to raise or lower pH- it can get expensive, it restricts the ease of doing water changes, and
      they add an inconsistency to water quality that may be more than challenging species can handle.
      There are some species you simply may not be able to keep given the water coming from your tap,
      without tremendous expense and effort. Using an RO system can circumvent this, but now you must
      create all the water the fish require, and the fish may not survive away from your RO system.

    - Appropriate amount of aeration and water movement are provided based on the species kept.

    - Lift up plants every couple days and clean up any accumulated mulm and debris.
      Pockets of organic waste that accumulate unseen are probably the single most common source of
      overall tank water quality deterioration.

    - This sounds obvious, but provide a top to prevent this rare, hard to keep fish from jumping out! 
      The worst way to lose a fish, as it can be so easily prevented.

    - Keep this hard to keep fish in a species only tank. Carefully considered tankmates such as a catfish
      may be provided, but interactions with other species- until this new fish has adapted well and
      numbers are up- this fish should stay by itself.

    - Keep in mind that fragile and hard to keep fish better adapt to your water conditions over many
      generations. It may be to the third generation before you have truly healthy, vigorous fish of
      some more sensitive species. and until then, you may have what appear to be less than ideal
      specimens that do not live full lives. But the goal is to get them to produce fry born in your
      water. Once that happens the fish will do better with each generation.

    - Seeking guidance from others in never a bad idea. However, a friend that seems to easily
      keep and breed a species that has been difficult for you may indicate many other variables that
      are not connected to your efforts, and that you may not have control over. Your friend's tap water
      may be different than yours, proximity to natural light may play a factor (With natural light they
      may breed seasonally), as well as room temperature, exact feeding schedule and foods, amount of
      foot traffic past the aquarium, type of light and intensity as well as duration... the list goes
      on and on. Your success will depend on weeding through those variables, when and if necessary, by
      observation to determine what will bring success. They may do well for you with consistent
      appropriate care, or you may spend years getting the variables sorted out, depending on the species
      you choose (and it's lifespan).

    - Temperature is kept within the parameters best for the species.

    - Appropriate light is provided - 10-14 hrs per day to support plants and maintain necessary
      levels of biological activity.

    - Water changes are done consistently of generally at least 50% per week for more sensitive species,
      best done in 2 installments, rather than done all at once. Up to 20% per day can be done without
      harm, but sharing fish with friends may not go well, unless they are doing a similar schedule.

    - With more sensitive species, it is sometimes a good idea to use only clean aged aquarium water
      from another nearby tank for water changes, and do not use water directly from the tap.

    - A variety of good quality foods are provided, with occasional live or frozen food, appropriate
      for the species. Some fish require a strong vegetable component, and may even bloat if given too
      much protein. Some eat only live food (Belonosox belizanus).

    - Keep stocking levels low, and such that you can always see each fish easily to keep an eye on
      them. An unwatched fish, particularly a challenging one to keep, will not last long if you don't
      keep a close eye on it to address issues if they arise.

    - When issues arise, address them immediately. Where a bout of cloudy water may be tolerated by
      some fish, a spike in ammonia or nitrates may outright kill the fish, or weaken them such that
      they do not survive long after the incident.

    - Lastly, as part of the observation process, you may notice that an individual is being
      particularly aggressive in these new surroundings, or is causing trouble for other tankmates.
      Separate aggressive individuals as necessary, but remember that the aggressive fish may be the
      healthiest and the one best suited to propagate your line. As well, the next sized up male may
      walk into the dominant role and be just as aggressive as the male you had just removed. You
      must do your best to provide adequate accommodation for all fish so that you get that first batch
      of fry born in your water. Take just as good care of all the fish, regardless of the behavior of
      any individual, as you want to preserve the best health of every fish. Livebearers are less
      prone to aggression that say Cichlids or Killies, but close observation is essential.

    - So... I you were to obtain a hard to breed fish, took great care of it, bred it, raised the spawn,
      then gave some of the F1s (First generation) to a friend, would he then have to go through the same
      acclimation and learning curve to get them to breed for him? The answer is yes, but it is possible
      to raise fish so that your friend will have a better chance of doing well with them, and it will be
      easier for him than it had been for you, even when he has different water quality.

     Here's how that works:

      Most fish bought from a pet store, and even the common auction sites are fish that had been at the
      seller's tanks and his water quality for less than a generation. The person ordered them from
      somewhere else with different water qualities (such as the local pet store that gets their fish from
      Florida or Singapore), or they bought a few pair from the same auction site and are now selling fry
      they had just produced. Within a generation there will have been 3 dramatic changes in water quality
      (The seller's, the buyer's and yours).

      When you first obtain these fish with that history, finding how they do best to breed them can be
      challenging. In fact, though the fish may look good, they are not going to be as well adapted
      to your water as they could be, a state that isn't achieved until the second or third generation in the
      same water. Through some self selection through survival of fry there may be a genetic component,
      but it would be small. Essentially fish need water stability over generations to reach their potential,
      generally expressed in overall size and vigor.

      When you obtain your fish, it will be 2-3 years, into their 3rd generation, for the fish you then share
      with a friend to be best suited to adjust to new water parameters, as it will be a healthy, having
      come from long term stable conditions. Obviously, when looking for stock to begin with, a line
      kept healthy in the same conditions for many years is preferable than any other alternative.

      This has been a big part of why Select Aquatics fish have been doing so well in customer's tanks.
      All of the lines here, with just a few exceptions, have been here for at least 7 years, and most have
      been here since first adapting to Colorado water when I first moved here in 2000.

      Currently I have been breeding out Xiphophorus clemenciae (Rio Carolina), a particularly pretty
      but difficult swordtail that is rarely seen in the hobby. It is now in it's third generation, and
      finally breeding and producing consistently, and will likely be introduced for sale at some point
      in the next year. But because they have been a challenging fish to begin with, it will take nearly
      4 years to get them to a point where they are breeding at their potential and producing larger,
      fully healthy adults.

      Not all fish need to go through this when in new conditions- I have been sending out P. velifera that
      were obtained under a year ago as of this writing, but given the proper conditions, they are very
      hardy, and it should not be an issue. But most of the goodeids that can sometimes be tricky were
      in their third or 4th generation before being offered for sale. However, I will not expect fully sized
      velifera stock, grown in my tanks, for another 3-4 years.
 

    - And luck shouldn't play a role, but sometimes it certainly helps. Good luck!

 

 

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