Thursday, May 04, 2006

Battle Of The Tank

My MSN nick read - 'my cichlids ate my oscar'.

I keep an aquarium of cichlids. Cichlids are usually African or South American, a bit wild and territorial, and come in pretty colours and markings. I have had my setup for sometime now, so my fish have all grown used to each other, marking their territories and so on. On Monday evening, I decided to get a new fish from the petshop and add it to the tank, after three years of no new fishes.

I was describing what happened next to a female classmate who had just come online.
FF (female friend): What do you mean they ate the oscar?

Me: Well, after I had floated the bag containing the oscar ...

FF: Oscar is a fish, right?

Me: Yes. So, I took the oscar out from the bag with my net and placed it into the tank.

FF: And next morning you saw the fish dead?

Me: No, no. I placed the oscar into the tank, and then watched as six cichlids attacked it, completely eating it live in three minutes.

FF: Gross!

Me: I wish I had taped it - it was like National Geographic.

FF: Wait wait. You lost a fish, and your ... sole ... regret is you didn't tape it?

Me: Well, I did spend 10 bucks on the oscar ....

FF signs off and may not reply because her status has changed to Offline.

So, I now have a problem - how to introduce new fish into an established tank of cichlids. I thought with the oscar's reputation for being tough it would be OK but apparently they are not very communal fish, and slow to move. All of which the salesman tells me later.

The advises I got are conflicting.

1. Add a fish that is twice as large as the largest fish in the tank. No one will dare attack it and it can take on all comers.
2. Add a fish half as small as the smallest fish. No fish will see it as a threat and ignore it.

Please feel free to add to that list.

Cichlids can be beautiful and fun fish to keep.



Anonymous said...

Umm...I would say add one large fish and one small tiny fish and then see what happens. This would be the most-watched eposide of the "SURVIVOR - AQUARIUM"

- Behbood

NAB said...

That was just...disturbing. Reminds me to be thankful that I don't have brothers - guys have a twisted sense of fun. :P

mezba said...

I have decided to get a few decorations and change the inner layout slightly.

As well do what Behbood suggests, get a FEW large ones and FEW small ones and let them sort it out. I heard the older fish would be more distracted to fight, and the new ones would be shy. Will update on how this theory works out.