Alexander Foreman's page

1,000 litre Amazon theme tank - my pride and joy

 

 

Concept:

Amazon theme

Aggressive fish to entertain the boys and me

Colourful fish to entertain the girls

Background that simulates the natural environment

Modern fasionable finish

No noise

 

 Red Oscars 

As close to a perfect fish as I have ever raised. It took a lot of love and careful fishkeeping to get these animals to this condition.

 

Achievements:

Ranked 22nd best freshwater aquarium worldwide 2007 by ratemyfishtank.com

 My Oscar "Rusty" is ranked in the top 4.5% of freshwater fish woldwide 2009 by ratemyfishtank.com (ranked against 5,986 other fish)

 

Earth eater

The stars:

High quality Red Oscars imported from singapore (feature fish)

Pink giant gourami

Earth eater cichlid

Black belt cichlid

Jaguar chichlid

Texas cichlid

Parrot cichlid

Blue acara chichlid

Golden severum cichlid

Tinfoil barbs (target fish)


 Pink Giant Gourami

 

Big and well behaved (compared to the other fish). I call my GG Casper. He loves eating broccoli and breathing air.

 

Technical details:

2100mm x 600mm x 750mm, 12mm glass tank with steel frame

1000 litre (265 gallon) capacity

Custom 2 pak white cabinet and hood

 Home made internal 3d background

Home made 4000 litre/hour recirculation jets

Homemade surface and bottom draw overflow with silencer

Mostly home made 300 litre sump baffle filter with 4000 litre/hour pump

4 x 4' flouro lights and 4 x 2' flouro lights

 

Black Belt 

A beautiful fish but he doesn't get along with the Texans

 

The fishy social dynamic of violence:

This aquarium mainly houses fish from the Amazon River and other American freshwater systems

These types of fish are large, colourful and hardy. In my experience they are also violent, territorial and predatory! You can't blame them really, in their native waters they have to live with piranhas and giant parisites! I'd be angry too!

Keeping groups of these types of fish always leads to aggression and bullying problems. Fish are often injured and stressed. Sometimes fish are murdered by their tank mates!

To reduce this problem I drew on the knowledge of people who breed very aggressive Australian grunters. From their ideas I developed a plan to regulate the social dynamic of my tank:

The biggest fish is non-violent

The Giant Gourami is far larger than any other fish in this tank, yet it is fairly placid. The other fish like to eat each other, but the Giant Gourami prefers to munch on bananna and broccoli. Because he is much bigger than the other fish he prevents any of them assuming the dominant position. This tank has a benevolant leader.

The angry fish are kept in groups

1 angry fish will attack other fish.

2 angry fish of the same species will fight each other until one dies and then the survivor will attack other fish.

4 or more angry fish of the same species will try to fight with each other, fail (because there are too many to fight) and leave other fish alone. They must also watch their own butt all the time in case they are attacked by one of their own.

In my experience this system works without fail to reduce violence. I keep all my nasties in groups of 4 or more. If violence persists then I just increase numbers.

Fish that are stupid, fast and tough make great targets for aggression

 Target fish are used to keep the nasties from thinking about bullying each other over territory.

I love stupid fish, and they don't come much dumber than cypranids (like goldfish, carp and tinfoil barbs). My 3 big tinfoil barbs are glorified beautiful idiots. No matter how many times they swim into another fish's territory and get attacked they never learn. Fortunately they are also fast and tough so when they are attacked they can survive the chomp and escape quickly (to do it all over again).

The big nasties find the tinfoil barbs so annoying that they become distracted from fighting with each other. It makes it difficult for a territory to be formed when it is never respected no matter how hard it is defended!

The proof is in the pudding - evil is tamed

When I have guests come over they have no idea about the nature of the fish in my tank. They comment on how tranquil the aquarium is. I particularly enjoy the look of shock on their faces at feeding time :)

 

Tinfoil Barbs 

Beautiful, big, and very stupid. I love them!

 

Texas Cichlid

These are very angry fish. This one is about 10cm and loves to raise hell.

 

Jaguar Cichlid

 

Blue Acara

 

 
Click the image to open in full size.

Blue Acara being eaten by Jag, RIP

 

Parrot Cichlid (juvanile)

 

Oscar eggs

Spawn 1

 

 Spawn 2

Eating own eggs

 

 

Want more?

Check out the Amazon tank setup and DIY background page