Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Rise of the Angelfish

And you were starting to think this was a blog about knitting only! OK, that was a fair assumption considering my lack of updates. However, I will try to post more about my fish operation since it is starting to pick up quite a bit.

The saga of my baby bettas continues. Almost none (!) of them have died in the last few months and I have split them up between the new barracks system I built (see picture) and the 20 gallon community tank.

The barracks system is capable of holding 100 bettas (although it only holds about 50 now) and is complete with biological and ultraviolet filtration. One reason it has worked so well is the many lessons I carried over from the smaller system I constructed a year ago. I have also learned that bettas grow at a PAINFULLY slow rate after the first two months. It is one reason why I have shifted my focus to another graceful fish that occupies my fishroom in ever growing numbers: angelfish.

When I say growing numbers, I mean it. Back in January and February I had a total of six (three pairs) of angels occupying three separate ten gallon tanks in the fishroom. Now I have no less than 11 tanks with a combined 160 gallons and, including juveniles and fry, at least 150 angels. This remarkable transformation was sparked when one of the pairs started to spawn consistently every few weeks.

I then invested in two pairs of Koi angels (see picture). One pair has been productive while the other has yet to spawn. I am still learning the best methods of hatching and raising the fry. Often the mature pair will lay 150-200 eggs. Out of those I have been lucky if 20 survive infancy. However, with ever-improving techniques I am having luck raising the mortality rate considerably.

Besides the two strains I have been maintaining (wild/black and silver stripes, and koi) I have been trying to add a black strain and a gold strain. I purchased ten juveniles of each strain and am hoping to get two spawning pairs from each. As you can see from the pictures, I have also dedicated myself to making the aquariums more aesthetically pleasant.

The benefits of this include better water quality (the plants soak up pollutants), a better environment for the fish to frolic in, and it also makes walking into the fishroom a relaxing experience that re-creates an aquatic experience like Shedd Aquarium in which the natural environment is simulated as much as possible.

In upcoming posts I will detail the life of a baby angelfish and the struggles associated with growing them to healthy juveniles.


  1. Those are a lot of fish tanks to clean! My bf and I have one hexagonal 10 gallon tank that is now 5 years old...and we used to have about 5 neons and 4 tetras (the original set up) and are now only down to one neon and one tetra (it's kind of like the Hunger Games, I guess). My bf is waiting for them to die off so we can get rid of the tank, but they are very hardy (a 5 yo neon and tetra seems rare). But, I digress, I was going to say that we have trouble cleaning just one tank (perhaps algae is beneficial to fish life) so I am quite envious of your fish tanks!

  2. haha yeah they are quite a handful!

    Tetras and neons are pretty hardy fish but 5 years is pushing it for any species of household fish!

  3. Beautiful angelfish! I just met the man who developed and named the Koi angelfish, wonderful person! He's doing black ones now.

    Our angelfish eggs are always eaten - by snails or the cories or the angels, we don't know. No time to pamper eggs, tho so we let it happen so far.

    What do you do with all the female bettas? I breed them and last time I donated TONS of them to "That Fish Place" so they got sold all over the US. I've given them to high school biology teachers, too, to raise in the classroom then let the kids take home.

  4. I'm hanging on to them, I may try to breed some of them. There are only about 30 so it isn't too big of a deal to keep them.

    That's very interesting you met the guy who developed them. I can't say I even know who that is.


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