Different Colour Fish

Byron

Supporting Member
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
19,122
Reaction score
11,026
Location
CA
You cannot get hung up on numbers. We are dealing with living creatures, not inanimate objects (though I sadly admit there are too many people keeping fish who do not seem to recognize this distinction. There are no numbers but there is factual evidence that too few do cause significant problems for shoaling fish. [Shoaling is the term I use rather than schooling, though neither is specifically defined anywhere so far as I know.] All species of tetra for example live in shoals/groups of hundreds. The need for a group of their own species is programmed into their genetic code or DNA. We know from studies by scientists that a group of ten will be much better adjusted than a group of five or three; this means they will be healthier, less stressed. The group of five will be under stress, leading to other issues like a weakened immune system, more aggressive, and be reticent to even feed. You canot say that 7 fish will be stressed but 8 will not. We only know that the more there are the better, and there is definitive evidence than ten will be better off than five.

Every aquarist has a responsibility to understand the needs of the fish species he/she maintains, and that means knowing that a shoaling species needs ten or more. That seems pretty simple to me. There are some species that do need more than 10. Reliable sources like Seriously Fish include such data in their profiles.

Are we as individuals really able to tell from the behaviour of a fish if it is happy, after all my mollies, platies and phantom tetras all seem very happy but within this post I have been told that my water is not suitable?

No one can be certain that any fish is "happy," simply because we cannot talk to them. And what exactly does "happy" mean to a fish to begin with? Another discussion, but I'll stay with the term for whatever meaning it may have. Experienced aquarists can detect whether or not a fish is likely to be happy, but often it is impossible to tell externally if something is or is not affecting the fish. And that is where we come to water parameters. Each species of freshwater fish has evolved over thousands of years to function in very specific water when it comes to GH, pH and temperature. Fish do not adapt to significant deviances from the habitat water. A study from 1985 examined the lifespan of cardinal tetras as it relates to the hardness of the water, and found that the harder the water, and the longer the fish was forced to live in it, the shorter the lifespan. No external signs at all. The fish just died. A necropsy of each showed calcium blockage of the kidneys due to the calcium in the hard water. Hard water fish like mollies must have this calcium in order for their physiology to function well.
 

emeraldking

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
3,118
Reaction score
4,629
Location
NL
I find it very difficult to believe that there could not be some form of figure based on what is known
Well, it's hard to make a generalization for all fish that can be kept in fishtanks. It depends on the kind of fish with regards to their behavior, size and the open space of a fish tank to make a distinction of how many fish we should keep. Does not mean right away that those will be happy when we stick to these rules. It would say more about their physical wellbeing.
No one can be certain that any fish is "happy
I've got to agree with this...
 
OP
OP
S

sparkypenguin

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Jan 2, 2022
Messages
89
Reaction score
31
Location
County Durham
OK, so it looks like my mistake, and probably the mistake of many, is a lack of detailed research and therefore good knowledge of fish keeping before setting up my tank. I have tried to do the right thing but over the course of the last year and despite my best efforts I have made mistakes and I am now left with a tank of potentially unsuitable fish. I will be posting another thread later as to how to correct this.

However, given the fact that most casual fish keepers will not go far beyond their LFS for knowledge then surely this must be a very common situation and will continue to happen unless all sellers of fish are not only required to provide more information but are also required to ascertain the potential buyers level of knowledge, tank conditions etc before selling a fish? i.e. regulation of some sort? Now this may already happen in certain countries but not in the UK. In the UK many LFS do not even have the basic of water parameters on their tanks and I have never, ever, been given any form of pamphlet giving any advice of any fish I have bought. If we look at dogs for example, a good breeder will only sell the puppies once they have established that the potential owner will give the puppy what it needs, whereas a puppy farm will sell to anyone and not give a toss about where the puppy ends up. Sad but true :( .

This regulation would then surely require a database of the most up to date knowledge of all species of fish. This would include water parameters, minimum tank sizes, water flow rates, tank mates, minimum shoal sizes etc. Obviously like any science it would never be 100% correct as it would only be based on what is known / thought at that moment in time. So ignoring the regulation bit for now I am very surprised that such a database has not already been set up by the community? :confused:. But apparently not.

Now I know there are several "good" websites that do some provide information, however these are the type of sites that I used when planning my tank and now I find myself with the wrong fish. For example I was thinking about getting some Khuli Loaches, and on the back of our discussions I have used 3 sites that I believe are reputable sites to try and establish if they would be suitable for my tank. The results below speak for themselves...
pH of 3.5 to 7.0
Temp 21 to 26c
Hardness 143ppm

pH of 5.5 to 6.5
Temp 24 to 30c
Hardness dH ? to 5 (? to 89ppm)

pH of 5.5 to 7.5
Temp 24 to 28c
Hardness vs,s,m

So depending on how we interpret the above we could take it that a tank running at a pH of 7.5, 21c and a dH of 8 is OK.
Or tank running at a pH of 3.5, 30c and a dH of very soft is also OK.
Now given the fact that most buyers will be probably be only checking 1 website and given the fact that your LFS is likely going to sell you any amount of these with little examination of what your water conditions etc are then how does a buyer know what to do, which site to trust etc...??

Mark.
 

Byron

Supporting Member
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
19,122
Reaction score
11,026
Location
CA
You are getting hung up on numbers again. Think of it in more general terms. Taking the three examples of data on kuhlii loaches, all three cited sites have agreement on the water parameters being soft, the pH being on the acidic side (below 7.0), and the temperature in the mid-20's C.
 

emeraldking

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
3,118
Reaction score
4,629
Location
NL
In the UK many LFS do not even have the basic of water parameters on their tanks and I have never
This doesn't just go for the UK. There are world wide stores that just don't have the right knowledge to pass on to the customer. There are a lot of good stores world wide. But it's already known that a lot of stores are lacking knowledge and sales seems to be more important to them than giving the correct information that someone needs. Especially, those who call themselves a specialist.

No matter what kind of site on the internet you'll dig in, different info will always be found. It's better to ask someone personally who has kept specific fish for numerous years of good experience. And just be aware that a lot of information about fish on the internet is coming from copied texts of commercial aquarium books. Which ain't always a good source.
 
OP
OP
S

sparkypenguin

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Jan 2, 2022
Messages
89
Reaction score
31
Location
County Durham
You are getting hung up on numbers again. Think of it in more general terms. Taking the three examples of data on kuhlii loaches, all three cited sites have agreement on the water parameters being soft, the pH being on the acidic side (below 7.0), and the temperature in the mid-20's C.
I have always been a very logical person and hence it is quite confusing to me that the numbers that are published cannot be used to give a definite answer as to whether a fish is suitable for an aquarium but I do think I understand what you are saying.

No matter what kind of site on the internet you'll dig in, different info will always be found. It's better to ask someone personally who has kept specific fish for numerous years of good experience. And just be aware that a lot of information about fish on the internet is coming from copied texts of commercial aquarium books. Which ain't always a good source.
It is frustrating that the internet / books cannot be trusted but I do understand what you are saying about discussing with people who have kept specific fish for numerous years, however surely then you are relying on 1 or 2 peoples experience which is an extremely small sample size.

Anyway I think that we have well and truly answered my OP and would like to thank everyone who has posted in this thread as it has helped greatly in my overall understanding. :thanks:
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Top