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An Empty Tank & Aquarist Phases

Fish Folk

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A couple years ago, I was at the phase of calling every big aquarium box store begging for tips on when the next dollar-per-gallon sale would kick off. Now, things have found a sort of balance. And I find myself mulling over something different.

I’ve just freed up a 20 gal. long that had been... let’s see... a German Blue Ram grow out, then a Brilliant Rasbora grow out, then an Apistogramma Bitaeniata F0 breeding setup attempt (mostly fail), and more recently, an Emerald Killifish grow out. Now it’s empty.


The ever-eager-breeder in me wants to try Apistogramma Borrelli.


I’d add oak leaves, alder cones, tannin from Rooibos tea, a second cave, some pencil fish as dithers.... I can see it top to bottom in my imagination...

But I’m pausing to think: what about all the guppies in outdoor tubs? Where will Rams grow out if that is a successful project? Where better could I place a harassed fish (or some bully) if I needed a solo space? What about my  C.A.R.E.S. Xenotoca doadrioi I’m getting too crowded with — wouldn’t this be a  good option?

It’s a tricky spot to manage... that place where some shred of common sense breaks in on total hobby enthusiasm.

Irene made a great video awhile back before starting at the CoOp about why you should join a fish club. It was funny how spot on she was about phases in early aquarists’ experiences. In the end, the Fish Club sure resolves a lot of red hot excitement.

But the next leg of the journey is interesting too. The mellowing, settling phase...

Edited by Fish Folk
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So, I noticed what appears to be a newer generation U. S. native Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish fry in their cold water tank this morning.


I know there’s at least 6x older OPS in there already. I’ve heard that adults will definitely predate on fry. So... I’m thinking of turning off heat in the 20 gal long, and moving adults there to give fry time to grow. Who knows? Maybe OPS BAP?


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