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Old 28th October 2015, 01:25   #1
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Default My Fishkeeping hobby

Here is a short fish review.

I have never written any blog or reviews earlier, hence pardon my writing style / flow.

As mentioned above I started my fishkeeping hobby 4 months ago, when I lost interest in cycling. I felt this was a hobby which will die pretty soon. But it evolved and I am getting more inclined to it. I feel this is going to be a longer hobby than I imagined.
Whatever data I have is just with my 4 months of experience and I could be wrong in many places. Please forgive if so.

(Pictures were taken at night, so kindly excuse the quality as some of them will be blurred and I couldn't get the perfect frame)

This is a very basic, cost-effective and budget setup. But, it is good for beginners and one can upgrade as and when the hobby becomes a passion.

I will explain the various fish I have and at the same time, brief you about the various options available now in India as well as the fish care and support systems required.

In earlier times, we had very few options such as Goldfish, Gaurami, Carp, Oscar, Parrot Fish, etc. But now, a lot of imported fish is available at every store with lot of variety inside the same breed / species.

The most common, colourful, exotic species which we can have in our house are Cichlid, Discus, Flowerhorn and Arowana. I am talking about the most affordable, entry level and easy to maintain breeds. I am not considering the salt water stunning, coloured fish and talking only about fresh water fish. And all the breeds mentioned above are group-oriented / territory-oriented breeds i.e. all these breeds (except for Discus) are very, very aggressive and will easily fight till death with each other if put together in the same tank.

But going against odds, I purchased Cichlid and Flowerhorn as well and made it a community tank (where different breeds / species co-exist). I introduced all the fish together when they were very small. It sort of worked. Even though initial fights were there and my Flowerhorn always sported “crew-cut” as its tail and fins were half bitten off, now all shout peace and harmony.
All these fish prefer normal fish food, live worms, dry worms, dry shrimps and will be very happy if we can feed them some life fish (which I don’t do).

I have a 3 ft x 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft tank (due to space constraints in my home), which houses approximately 180 litres of water.

In the Cichlid breed, these are the variants I currently have and my fish seller adds a different coloured one every month to his stock. So, there are lot of variants in Cichlids.

1) Electric yellow Cichlid

My Fishkeeping hobby-dsc_0520.jpg

My Fishkeeping hobby-dsc_0591.jpg

2) Red Jewel Cichlid

My Fishkeeping hobby-jewel.jpg

3) Frontossa Cichlid

My Fishkeeping hobby-frontossa.jpg

4) Electric blue Cichlid

My Fishkeeping hobby-blue.jpg

5) Giraffe Cichlid

My Fishkeeping hobby-girafe.jpg

6) Hybrid Cichlid

My Fishkeeping hobby-hyb1.jpg

My Fishkeeping hobby-hyb-2.jpg

My Fishkeeping hobby-hyb-3.jpg

I have one short-body Flowerhorn (normal version of Flowerhorn will grow up to 8 inch plus, whereas short body will not grow beyond 4 – 5 inches)

My Fishkeeping hobby-dsc_0543.jpg

Flowerhorns, if trained properly are the most entertaining and involving fish to be with. They have a huge hump on their head, which is made of fat. My Flowerhorn sometimes allows me to pat / touch on his head. The head is made of jelly-like fat and is very soft. So I ensure that I don’t press it, but touch it very, very gently.

This is my full tank set up.

My Fishkeeping hobby-full-1.jpg

My Fishkeeping hobby-full-2.jpg

My Fishkeeping hobby-full-3.jpg

My Fishkeeping hobby-full-4.jpg

Fish care / accessories and support system required:

We need to have strong filters if we are going for Cichlid as they are very messy fish and let out a lot of excreta. This is the water filter / pump. I went with what my fish seller told me and purchased this brand (SunSun). This has to be kept on 24x7 as long as the aquarium is there.

My Fishkeeping hobby-filter.jpg

Water will be taken through an inlet and pumped through these back into the tank, which also creates oxygen as it falls.

My Fishkeeping hobby-filter-2.jpg

Cichlid hate live plants and they will bite them off. So don’t keep any live plant inside a Cichlid tank. We can keep either a bare bottom (easy to maintain) or sand as substrate. I kept pebbles initially, but my Oscar fish (they died) in an attempt to lunge, smashed the pebble against the fish tank and it broke. So, I suggest not to keep pebbles in Cichlid tanks.

One heater is mandatory in winter times to maintain a constant temperature and has to be kept on during nights as too much of variation in temperature is not taken well by the fish.

My Fishkeeping hobby-heater.jpg

50% water is to be changed every 2 weeks and 80% every month. Put antibiotics / parasite syrups after every water change to avoid any sort of infection.

My Fishkeeping hobby-anti-bio-1.jpg

My Fishkeeping hobby-antio-bio2.jpg

Add one handful of rock salt every time you change the water as it has a lot of useful minerals / proteins required for the fish.

My Fishkeeping hobby-rock-salt.jpg

Put a light to keep the water illuminated. And last, keep one automatic feeder, which takes care of the food even if no one is there at home for weeks. It works on battery.

My Fishkeeping hobby-food-feeder.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 28th October 2015 at 17:40. Reason: Formatting.
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Old 28th October 2015, 09:03   #2
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Default Re: A new beginning

Is there any specific reasons you don't have any substrate at the bottom?

The soil / gravel media provides a very good medium for good bacteria to flourish. This will in turn help maintain the natural conversion of ammonia to nitrates and help the fish.

I have a similar tank, i started with gold fish and mollies. God, the mollies breed like mad. Now i have nearly 50 babies along with big fish. I will move them to my seller soon. :-)
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Old 28th October 2015, 09:17   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groom View Post
Is there any specific reasons you don't have any substrate at the bottom?

The soil / gravel media provides a very good medium for good bacteria to flourish. This will in turn help maintain the natural conversion of ammonia to nitrates and help the fish.

I have a similar tank, i started with gold fish and mollies. God, the mollies breed like mad. Now i have nearly 50 babies along with big fish. I will move them to my seller soon. :-)
Its good to have sand or any substrate because of the reasons you have mentioned. Only for having an easier maintenance I am not using any substrate now. Even pebbles pose difficult maintenance as the waste gets deposited in between the pebbles spacing and cannot be sucked in by the pump. May be when I reduce the number of fish, I will get sand. Already I am forced to change water in every 2 weeks.

50 mollies. Wow good.
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Old 28th October 2015, 11:14   #4
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Default Re: A new beginning

cool write up
intriguing to know about the aggressive territorial habits of the flowerhorn and the cichlids
and that you were able to sort out their differences!
+1 for your karma
cheers
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Old 28th October 2015, 13:54   #5
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Default Re: My Fishkeeping hobby

Mod Note: Thanks for sharing! Fishkeeping posts moved out to a new thread .
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Old 28th October 2015, 14:25   #6
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Default Re: My Fishkeeping hobby

A big Hello from my tank member. I usually keep Goldfish as they are robust. This time tank members are super active. Keeping fish since I was a kid.
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Old 28th October 2015, 14:41   #7
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Default Re: My Fishkeeping hobby

Was always interested in keeping fish, but wondered about the maintenance. By the way, I didn't know there was such a thing as an automatic fish feeder!

Some idea of the costs would have been nice.
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Old 28th October 2015, 14:45   #8
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Default Re: My Fishkeeping hobby

Quote:
Originally Posted by nowwhat? View Post
Was always interested in keeping fish, but wondered about the maintenance. By the way, I didn't know there was such a thing as an automatic fish feeder!

Some idea of the costs would have been nice.

there are two variants of the auto feeder. One that serves for a month and another that serves for six months.

I paid around 1000rs for both version together. They are operated by battery.
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Old 28th October 2015, 15:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groom View Post
there are two variants of the auto feeder. One that serves for a month and another that serves for six months.

I paid around 1000rs for both version together. They are operated by battery.
Thanks for your reply. I am totally smitten after seeing your thread and on hearing about the auto feeder as ever since we got a pug we realized we have limited mobility for longish (1-2 week) trips as there are only a few places one can take a dog.

In terms of costs, I look forward to knowing from you how much all of it (the tank, fish, water purifier, etc.) cost so that I get into this with my eyes open.
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Old 28th October 2015, 15:53   #10
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Default Re: My Fishkeeping hobby

Cichlids are my favourite too! I used to keep so many pairs at my hometown - even in cement tanks. Such a joy to watch them with their little ones - how the mother takes care of them!

Does the automatic feeder do a good job? I've always been worried of keeping fish here since I stay alone and might go away for weeks or so at a time.
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Old 28th October 2015, 16:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nowwhat? View Post
In terms of costs, I look forward to knowing from you how much all of it (the tank, fish, water purifier, etc.) cost so that I get into this with my eyes open.
Cost break up:
Tank 3ftx1.5ftx1.5ft tank with 10mm thick glass - 4000/- (Its locally made, you can get good finished ones from china starting from 10k till 20k for a 3 feet tank with stand)
Stand - 2500/- (locally procured).
Filter - SunSun 303 or 304 (I forgot model no) - 4000/-
Heater - 700/-
Automatic food feeder - 1000/-
Fish rates - Cichlids start from rs 300/- a pair like yellow cichlids, hybrids, red jewels, oscars, parrot fish, etc. and above 1200/- pair for breeds like frontossa. Flowerhorn - 2000/-
Driftwood, and some hideouts - 1000/-
Lights - 1000/-
Fish food, antibiotics, etc - 1000/-
So with a budget of 15k, this hobby can be started. Most important thing is that if you are planning for cichlids, do not go for a low end filter as it will be ineffective then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Does the automatic feeder do a good job? I've always been worried of keeping fish here since I stay alone and might go away for weeks or so at a time.
I like pets, but I do travel a lot for official purpose and many times the house will be vacant. This automatic food feeder is the only one reason for buying fish as it totally takes care of the fish when I am not there. Just buy a good quality one. And put some Duracell battery for a good life.
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Old 28th October 2015, 16:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritz3645 View Post
A big Hello from my tank member. I usually keep Goldfish as they are robust. This time tank members are super active. Keeping fish since I was a kid.
Its a nice big tank, there is a huge scope for keeping lot of exotic varieties in that. You can get some discus if ready for giving extra dedication or get some exotic cichlids. Or if you are interested only fish similar to Goldfish, you can include some Koi fish which can co-exist with gold fish without any issues.
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Old 28th October 2015, 17:15   #13
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Default Re: My Fishkeeping hobby

I have always been fond of this hobby but never went ahead with it, for Fish are the most delicate pets and require a lot of attention. And I would hate to see even one of them die due to my carelessness.
Also the chlorine added to the drinking water by the municipality is not constant and keeps fluctuating everyday and we need to negate that by adding some liquid. All in all, a very delicate hobby.

Nevertheless, the first thumb rule to follow for maintaining a healthy fish tank is the number of fishes in the tank. It is not a fixed number, but something like this.
The maximum of 1 inch of Fish per 4 liters (1 Gallon) of water.
So while buying a fish, take into account the maximum size it can grow. They tend to live longer when this rule is adhered to.

Also in a community tank, try to achieve a balance with the types of fish. Some fish are bottom dwellers (Eg: Cat fish), some top & some middle. Try to keep that balance.

PS: Personally I love the tetra's & mollies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrol_power View Post
Its a nice big tank, there is a huge scope for keeping lot of exotic varieties in that. You can get some discus if ready for giving extra dedication or get some exotic cichlids. Or if you are interested only fish similar to Goldfish, you can include some Koi fish which can co-exist with gold fish without any issues.
Discus needs a separate tank. It cannot co-survive with aggressive breeds. And for Koi, it can out grow the tank. I mean it can grow really really big. Best avoided unless you dedicate one big big tank for a couple of Koi. Essentially Koi is more of a Pond fish and is also very robust and lives quite long. These are the best if you have a pond or a big cement tank.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 28th October 2015 at 17:22.
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Old 28th October 2015, 21:14   #14
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Default Re: My Fishkeeping hobby

Right from the time I saw this thread, I knew something was fishy and voila it is indeed fishy.

Kudos for keeping such beautiful creatures as a passion and not merely as a hobby. It calls for generous amount of attending to when you have any pet, but the pictures are commendable and don't justify the experience until seen in the flesh

A nice detour from the usual talk we guys engage in on this forum. Keep up the good work.

Last edited by Raulspace999 : 28th October 2015 at 21:15. Reason: fresh spelling mistake changed to flesh
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Old 28th October 2015, 21:56   #15
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Default Re: My Fishkeeping hobby

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrol_power View Post
Cost break up:
Tank 3ftx1.5ftx1.5ft tank with 10mm thick glass - 4000/- (Its locally made, you can get good finished ones from china starting from 10k till 20k for a 3 feet tank with stand)
Stand - 2500/- (locally procured).
Filter - SunSun 303 or 304 (I forgot model no) - 4000/-
Heater - 700/-
Automatic food feeder - 1000/-
Fish rates - Cichlids start from rs 300/- a pair like yellow cichlids, hybrids, red jewels, oscars, parrot fish, etc. and above 1200/- pair for breeds like frontossa. Flowerhorn - 2000/-
Driftwood, and some hideouts - 1000/-
Lights - 1000/-
Fish food, antibiotics, etc - 1000/-
So with a budget of 15k, this hobby can be started. Most important thing is that if you are planning for cichlids, do not go for a low end filter as it will be ineffective then.



I like pets, but I do travel a lot for official purpose and many times the house will be vacant. This automatic food feeder is the only one reason for buying fish as it totally takes care of the fish when I am not there. Just buy a good quality one. And put some Duracell battery for a good life.
Oh Man !!
Bangalore is sure costly than up north !!

I have EXACTLY the same size tank - and following is the breakup of price -

Tank 3ftx1.5ftx1.5ft tank with 10mm thick glass - 2500/- ( Saint Gobain )
Filter - Submursible Filter - 2 in number, 350 each
Heater - 300/-
Automatic food feeder - 1000/- ** Dont have for now **
Driftwood, and some hideouts - under 500/-
Lights - 250/-
Fish food, antibiotics, etc - Tetra bits for 200, small floating one's are pretty cheap.
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