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My fish keeping story

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My fish keeping story

Post  Rich47 on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 12:17

Hi everyone,

I introduced myself yesterday and thought you might be interested in my fish keeping history. I have been keeping tropical fish since I was at school and started with a 15 gallon tank in my bedroom and it was in that tank that I bought my first two angelfish, they were only 1" long but grew into fine specimens of the traditional (scalare/eimekei) strain. My parents were keen aquarists and when my Dad left the ambulance service in 1968, he opened a shop in East Grinstead selling pet foods and tropical and cold water fish until he retired. I think the shop is still there but not selling fish because 'The World of Fish' opened at the other end of the town, taking away the trade. So you can see the hobby in our family was well rooted. In my last year of secondary school I welded up an angle iron tank with a 40 gallon capacity and that tank lasted until the 1990's. I've now got a 6ft long 70 gallon tank with a pair of pearl gourami's, a pair of keyhole cichlids, 6 cory's and a dozen harlequins. But as I said in my introduction I want to get a couple/four good quality Angels. My local shop said they are much more difficult to get now because of all the different colour strains which are more popular these days. You might be able to point me in the right direction for the angels. I tried keeping Ram dwarf cichlids without much success, then tried Agazziss and they didn't fair much better but the keyholes are doing fine and they are very dosile. I thought of trying Discus but with track record with the rams and agazziss I thought better of it. The tap water in Bognor is hard so I use rain water from a clean water butt for my water changes but can't run to the expence of full water treatment system.

Hope I haven't bored you all too much

Regards Rich
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Pterophyllum on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 15:19

It's always nice to hear a little bit about our members, and the fishkeeping journeys that brought them to this site.

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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Akasha on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 15:44

a nice read Rich and I hope you manage to find the angels you are looking for.

I looked at the keyhole cichlid as my first taste of cichlids as I wanted a cichlid that wasn't aggressive. Research suggested the keyhole as being one of the main shy, placid dwarfs but in the end I got a pair of Laetacara curvicep dwarfs instead and they are similar in temprement to the keyhole - quite shy and easy going. I only got to see aggression when they bred and even then it was tame aggression - no one got hurt. I kept a pair of Bolivian rams at the same time and they were also quite laid back. I still have my male curviceps - I lost my female recently when she jumped out of the tank when I wasn't around! If you like easy going cichlids then I'd recommend curviceps to anyone ... they can be a bit of a rarity though. I've never seen them again since getting my pair 3 or 4 years ago

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Curviceps

Post  Rich47 on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 16:20

Hi,

I think have curviceps before and I think they were also known as flag cichlids.
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Akasha on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 16:41

yeah, they've been re-named a lot over the years

This is my male



and the pair with their wrigglers



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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Deans_Angels on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 17:37

Hi Rich -

I also came to this site looking for some angels. Now I have some bounce

Most of my angels have been purchased within a 30 mile radius. A treasure hunt wouldn't be fun without the hunt and that's worth bearing in mind because it can take a while and a lot of effort to get the fish you want.

Dean

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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Rich47 on Fri 31 Jul 2015, 12:52

Hi,

I am very picky when it comes to the angels I want. I'm not as knowlegable as some of you guys on this site but I know what i'm looking for, just like the type shown in my profile picture which I down loaded from the internet. I want nice straight fins, four bold black lines on a silver body with a nice red eye. I'm not sure about buying fish on line without seeing them first. At the moment my search has been around my local area stockists. I'm patient enough to wait for the right ones to come along.

Rich
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Deans_Angels on Fri 31 Jul 2015, 19:01

There's nothing wrong with 'picky' when it comes to stocking your angelfish tank. No shame in walking away from angels which don't fit your requirements. I do it very often. I will admit that now that I am more into breeding, I do take a 2nd look to consider the genetics of a fish and (although it may not be 'perfect') I consider what 'it' crossed with another fish could produce. As an example:

A couple of fairly reasonable looking smokies that I have, if crossed, will produce a new phenotype 'chocolate'. Some offspring might be substandard, but some will be amazing. I'll keep the amazing ones for myself. So, as you see, I try to look at the next generation. A bit like flour, eggs, butter and sugar may not be that exciting on their own, but mixed... cake yum yum!

If yours is a 'show tank' then you don't really have the option of 'next generation', you want your cake now!

The picture in your profile (can't see as I type, but from memory) is that of a domesticated wild silver with standard length fins (no veil or super veil fins). In its most simplest form it has no fancy genetics, it's just wild, its genotype is simply: +/+

Breeders might call these 'silvers' others will say they're 'wild' or 'wild type', I've even seen them described as 'zebra' or 'altums' (which they are not).

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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Rich47 on Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:25

I'm thinking that on this site you are calling the type of angelfish I'm looking for as 'wild'. But my local shop said they are very expensive and not so easy to keep as the tank raised ones. So I will continue to look and hopefully find some tank raised angels. I suppose I'm a bit old fashioned and only like the standard 'wild' type angel. The 'wild' ones must be as difficult as discus to keep!!!

Rich
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Akasha on Fri 07 Aug 2015, 11:59

I have heard that the wild type can be challenging but I think the most challenging part is having the right kind of water. Wild angels come from an area where the pH can be as low as 5 and that's difficult to achieve in captivity and I think that's where the myth of being difficult to keep comes from. The same applies for Discus. Years ago the Discus you saw in store were wild caught and so providing the water they needed was hard. These days all the Discus we see in stores are tank bred and so are much more adaptable to our water supplies.

I know someone from another forum who has some wild altums and has done for quite some time. I believe they have also bred for him. It was from him that I got instructions on how to turn my tank into a blackwater tank using tea. I'm very lucky and have naturally soft acidic water anyway and so my angels (and all my other stock which are all amazonian) are happy in the tap water. They do seem to prefer the stained water though. Since adding the roibois tea all my fish seem much more relaxed
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Rich47 on Fri 07 Aug 2015, 12:58

The water in Bognor Regis, West Sussex is very hard. I use rain water from my water butts and only use a bit of tap water from the kettle to warm it up. I've not heard of using tea to stain the water, but I do have aquatic soil in nylon tights under the gravel which seems to help the plants grow well.

rich
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Deans_Angels on Fri 07 Aug 2015, 17:14

Hi Rich,

'wild' angelfish aren't necessarily directly from the wild.

The terms 'Wild', 'Wild Type' and 'Silver' are used interchangeably and all suggest that the fish carries wild genes on the the dark locus. Genotype: +/+

The dark locus is where 4 new mutations (which still exist) have been discovered: gold, gold marble, marble and dark. A wild angel (which also looks wild) normally has none of these new mutations. The exception to this is that quite often a domestic angel (not wild caught) will carry a single hidden 'gold' gene, but you wouldn't be able to tell the difference by looking at it. (Unless it was only a few weeks old). Genotype: +/g

So in terms of 'wild' angelfish, there is a distinction to be made between:

1) WC - Wild Caught - Expensive maybe 100 pounds per fish. For example, P.Altum and P.Leopoldi.

2) F1 - Filial 1 - The son or daughter of a WC - Perhaps 15 pounds per fish. For example a Peruvian Angel.

3) F2 - Filial 2 - The grand son or grand daughter of a WC - Most likely won't be labeled in the shop as F2, regular price depending on size.

* Of course there are F3's, F4's and so on and so forth, each increment shows an extra generation, the higher the 'F' number the more domesticated an angelfish becomes and those which survive are the ones which are more adaptable to tank conditions.

4) Any fish which has the silver/wild phenotype and genotype: +/+ or +/g (e.g. many P.Scalare like the one in your profile pic)

Also...

Although some breeders would be able to trace back 10 generations and maybe more, there are ways to bring new blood into the line. You can always cross an F10 with an F1. If the F1 was for example a Manacaparu (it's 100% Mana from its WC parents), then I suppose you'd have 'F2's that are 50% Manacaparus' and genetically, they'd have 50% wild Manacaparu genes (becuase they carry one copy from mum and one from dad).

You're probably looking for F1's or F2's and not WC.

Rob did mention that it was his new year resolution to look into posting fish, but many people are reluctant to sell that way and many people are reluctant to buy that way. APC did suspend their fish delivery and I think they were introducing a code of conduct for sellers, but I have no idea what came of all that. I would have thought that Rob would have wild angels coming out of his ears after seeing the pictures posted on here.

Hopefully that will help you to understand that when people say 'wild', it can mean many things!

Dean

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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Akasha on Fri 07 Aug 2015, 18:08

I have nothing to add regarding the genetics - Dean is the man for that. But as I'd mentioned staining the water with tea I thought I'd better expand on a little so there's no misunderstandings.

To stain tank water using tea you need pure Roibois (red bush) tea. It needs to be free of any additives or flavourings so you'll need to read the packet well before contemplating adding it.

Roibois tea is completely natural and has many helpful properties for the fish. The two main things are that it is a natural anti-biotic and it's a natural stress reliever too. My fish seem to really like it. When my angels are in breeding mode and their antics are stressing the other fish out a bit the tea seems to calm them

For my 240 litre tank I add 4 tea bags to a clean jug, add boiling water and leave it to stand for about 5-10 minutes. I then gently squeeze the tea bags out into the jug, disguard the bags and the tea stained water is added a bit at a time to each bucket of clean water. This gives a nice lightly stained effect.

The good thing about doing it this way is that you are only one large water change away from removing it if you decide you don't like the effect so it's not perminant Smile
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Deans_Angels on Fri 07 Aug 2015, 18:34

Film, East is East: I'll have half a cup Razz

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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Akasha on Fri 07 Aug 2015, 18:47

not seen that film Dean so that went over my head lol
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Rich47 on Mon 10 Aug 2015, 12:20

Thanks Dean, your knowledge is amazing, where will i see angels listed with the F1 or F2 label? my local shops just call them angels. I need to find a specialist breeder.

On another subject my keyholes have spawned again and they went white again so now I'm sure they must be both females.

Rich
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Deans_Angels on Mon 10 Aug 2015, 19:55

Hi Rich,

I thought all that stuff was common knowledge, just that no one ever got around to typing it Smile

Another aspect which I haven't mentioned, but found quite interesting at the time of discovery is:
Crossing a 50% Manacaparu with a WC (100% Manacaparu) produces offspring with 75% Manacaparu.

You could take that a step further:
Cross that 75% with a WC (100% Manacaparu) produces offspring with 87.5% Mancaparu.

And yes, you can take it further and further each generation, but mathematically, you'd never reach 100%.

There is no 'One Stop Shop' for angelfish, so it's a network of overseas exporters / wholesale importers / retailers / fishkeeper breeders (licensed or otherwise).

How many are you looking for?

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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Rich47 on Tue 11 Aug 2015, 10:38

Hi Dean,

I was thinking of 4 or 6 youngsters so they could pair up and in that way be sure of getting a mixture of male and females. As I said before I've got a 6 ft tank with a 70 gallon (300 litre) capacity with a large Ehiem external filter. The tank is mainly for community fish but I do have another large tank I could get up and running if a pair spawned.

From what I'm reading on this site it does seem there are more angel specialists up North, so maybe I'll have to take a trip up North to see whats available.

Rich
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Deans_Angels on Wed 12 Aug 2015, 00:00

I think you need to be talking to Rob (Pterophyllum on this forum) if Gloucester is in reach (no need to venture into the real north lol) I'm sure he'd be happy to send you photos of any stock he has, in advance.

Sorry if there's anyone on here closer, speak now or forever hold your peace!

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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Rich47 on Wed 12 Aug 2015, 10:13

Thanks Dean,

Your're right, Gloucester is nearer.

Rich
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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Deans_Angels on Wed 12 Aug 2015, 21:58

It's also nice to meet people who share your passion.

I don't know if Rob is a bit reluctant to let others know what's available, but I see it as a good thing and if he's starting to post fish, it will be a very good thing in my opinion because there's nothing wrong with improving the distribution and availability of angelfish in the UK, which is a bit lacking at the moment imho.

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Re: My fish keeping story

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 12 Aug 2015, 23:30

To be honest, I'd much rather people come & choose, I usually find they go home with something slightly different from what they thought they wanted. The best photograph in the world is a poor substitute for seeing things in the flesh, so if you come & choose you know exactly what's going to end up in your tanks. Add to that the fish arrive in your tank within an hour or so, not 12 - 24 hours that it takes the courier.

That said, we're now all geared up to ship, and will be able to do so from early next month (September).

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