Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vicki's Angelfish at 6 Weeks

Here's the last video I took of the latest batch of Vicki's Angelfish, named for a character in my Black Swamp Mysteries series.

They were 6 weeks old in this video. At 8-10 weeks, they are ready to go to the local pet shop. Shelli, one of the owners of Carroll's Pets in Lumberton, North Carolina, enjoys coming to my home and scooping out the angels herself. She gets to see the parents and the water conditions. She knows I clean all my tanks every weekend (one reason I am not checking emails over the weekend!) and I will not overcrowd my angels.

Overcrowding leads to angels that have squat bodies and short vertical fins. In severe overcrowding, their vertical fins can also be bent.

I tank-raise my angels, which allows me to monitor the water conditions. It also allows the fish to get accustomed to seeing humans and they come to equate humans with bearers of food.

In contrast, some large breeders have pond-raised angels. The water conditions are more natural, which can lead to big adjustments when the fish are sold to hobbyists intending to keep them in tanks. They are also frightened of humans, and spend more time hiding behind plants or turning their backs on anyone approaching the tank - they think if they can't see you, you can no longer see them.

If you buy a pond-raised angelfish, it really is imperative that you add amazon extract or blackwater extract to the tank. Without it, they often suffer vitamin deficiencies and shortened lives. They can get accustomed to humans but it's important not to frighten them and to approach the tank slowly until they get used to you. They always do better when placed with other angelfish who are already accustomed to humans; they learn faster that we will not harm them.