Tropical Fish Keeping 6 Years on…

We have been the proud owners of a tropical fish tank for six years now. I can date this thanks to this blog post where I detailed the difficulties of novice first time fish tank ownership. Its been an interesting journey, we have experienced reproductions, death and frustration. We’ve fallen in love with certain breeds of fish and discovered that Neon Tetra are the least hardy fish in the world and that catfish can live in all conditions.

At 6 years old our fish tank was starting to look a little bit worse for wear. After a while the algae can sort of get ingrained into the glass and since you cant really use chemicals and things its hard to get rid of. We have also found that its really hard to maintain a cycle if your filtration system isn’t brilliant. Although our fish are hardy it can be very frustrating.

Therefore when Swell UK offered to send me a new tank I was thrilled. I’ve had my eye on a new design classic Fluvial Edge tank for a while. Fluvial Edge tanks are brilliant in that they have glass on all sides including the top, one of the best filtration systems you can get and they have an inbuilt LED lighting system. They are reasonably priced, look good and although you cant keep quite as many fish in them as you would a conventional tank with the same litreage, the benefits of being able to see the fish easily and have a nice looking tank outweigh those of having more fish. Sometimes less really is more.

Now, I have to be honest here, I was going to do a before and after picture. Except I got so excited and carried away with my new tank that I forgot to take a before picture. I’ve been searching through my photographs to try and find one but its a bit elusive. Anyway, here is my sad old tank as it is now. I’m thinking of re purposing it for stick insects.

Transferring tropical fish into a new tank is quite a complicated procedure, especially should you ant to position your new tank where your old tank is. I didn’t want to have 2 tanks running whilst I set up a biological cycle in the new tank because I don’t have the space and so I needed to think quite carefully how to approach the exercise. In the end, I decided to use my old filter medium in the new filter and use new boiled but cooled water and de-chlorinator for the water.  I gamely decided to do this whilst looking after three children and cooking our evening dinner.

Fantastic new Fluvial Edge tank

The hardest part of the whole exercise is trying to make sure that the water quality is not so dramatically different that your fish all pop their clogs. For us, there was also the small matter of working with 60 litres of water and a cream carpet. Nonetheless the job was done fairly swiftly, overall I think it took me about 2 hours to do it all properly and then another hour or so to condition the new heater to the water. Unfortunately there was one fish death, in a spectacular episode he jumped out of his bowl and onto the carpet behind my bookshelves. By the time I got there it was too late, which was a bit sad as I can’t imagine it was suicidal about its new home.

The hardest customer to please in our house is Killer our geriatric catfish (who incidentally is very hard and spiky when you have to manhandle him). He likes to eat a bit of algae so I’m trying to move him over to a new diet slowly so we don’t have to have any algae in the tank. Fluvial Edge tank filters actually have algae inhibitors which you can put in the tank. A brilliant idea, unless you are a catfish!

Spot Killer!

Its been nearly a week now since we moved the fish and they seem happy in their new home, in particular they seem to like swimming in the lovely new plants that Swell UK also provided us with. I’m happier than I’ve ever been with a fish tank, it was easy to set up and seems easy to maintain, it also makes a really nice feature in our living room rather than an eyesore. I’m really pleased with the whole set up now and I’m so glad I’ve found somewhere where I can buy my fish supplies from easily!

Tropical fish make great pets for small children, all of my children and their friends have had a lot of fun watching them swimming about over the years. My children are all very attached to our longest living fish (killer the catfish) who has been a feature of their lives. Tropical fish keeping is a lot more work than we ever anticipated and does take time and consideration, it is also a lot more messy than you would imagine. However, once you start its very easy to get hooked and I cant imagine our life without our fish!

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