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Beginner Fish

Contents:

  1. AQUARIA FAQ: Good (and Bad) First Fish (6/9)
    by joshua-at-veritas.com (Joshua Levy) (28 Jun 1995)
  2. AQUARIA FAQ: Good (and Bad) First Fish (6/9)
    by dwheeler-at-leland.Stanford.EDU (David Brockman Wheeler) (28 Jun 1995)

AQUARIA FAQ: Good (and Bad) First Fish (6/9)

by joshua-at-veritas.com (Joshua Levy)
Date: 28 Jun 1995
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria

Erik Olson writes:
>
>                       FAQ: GOOD (AND BAD) BEGINNER FISH

>     * Good First Fish:
>       cymprinids, Corydorus catfish and rainbowfish.

I would add Xiphophorus livebearers (platies and swordtails) to the list 
above, for reasons described below:

>  LIVEBEARERS
>  
>   [discussing why they have been left off the "first fish" list.]
>   For one thing, many
>   livebearers need high level of salt in their water to be healthy -
>   making them incompatible with many other aquarium fish. 

Although mollies do require high levels of salt to be happy, other livebearers
do not.  

>   Many common livebearers also are overbred, resulting in fish not 
>   nearly as healthy as those kept by aquarists of previous generations 
>   (or by the authors of most books). 

I've found livebearers to be quite hardy.  Even "store bought" ones, although
I have less experiance with them.

>   Some are not even able to reproduce without human intervention. 

This is not true of typical fish bought in stores, the fish novices are
likely to buy.  All such fish can reproduce without human intervention.
   
>   
>   The well-known Guppy ....

In my experiance guppies often breed themselves to death, by filling a 
tank with fish until the biological filter breaks down and the nitrate 
or nitrite kills the fish.  This is a good reason for NOT keeping guppies,
and I would add it to the FAQ.  The "requirement" for salt is not a good
reason; guppies can live very happily in many different tape waters, and
require no salt at all.

>   Closely related, Swordtails - Xiphophorus helleri and Platies -
>   Xiphophorus maculatus are also popular fish. A number of color and
>   finnage varieties are available of each with some of the Platies also
>   referred to as ``Moons''. These fish need at least a teaspoon of salt
>   per 5 gallons of water to be healthy. 

This is just untrue.  I have kept lots of Xiphophorus fish without adding
any salt (or having especially hard water).  When travelling in Belize I
collected X. helleri from streams which had no salt in them, and quite
soft waters. 

One thing to be careful of, is that some swordtails jump.  

I think that platies make ideal starter fish, and swordtails make good
starter fish.  A trio of swords or two trios of platies (or a trio of 
platies and 2 or 3 corys) make a great 10 gallon "starter pack". 

Joshua Levy <joshua-at-centerline.com>



AQUARIA FAQ: Good (and Bad) First Fish (6/9)

by dwheeler-at-leland.Stanford.EDU (David Brockman Wheeler)
Date: 28 Jun 1995
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria

In article <3sspgb$53k-at-fever.veritas.com>,
Joshua Levy <joshua-at-veritas.com> wrote:

>I think that platies make ideal starter fish, and swordtails make good
>starter fish.  A trio of swords or two trios of platies (or a trio of 
>platies and 2 or 3 corys) make a great 10 gallon "starter pack". 

Joshua,

I agree with most eveything you said about livebearers, other than
mollies and guppies, making good/great starter fish.  But I think 3
swords or 6 platies are simply too many fish to cycle a 10 gallon
aquarium...personally, I believe 1-2 is a better number.  Also, I
strongly disagree that corys can be introduced during the
cycle...these, and most other, catfish are exquisitely sensitive to
ammonia and nitrite.  I base this assertion upon personal experience,
frequent complaints from fish store customers that the corys in the
new tank all died, and general reading of catfish literature
(popular).  Thus, unless the tank is HEAVILY planted, I usually advise
strongly against the use of corys for cycling.


David Wheeler





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