Out of Control: Trog and Other Animals

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Our local aquarium happily traded in our goldfish and in their place we bought 2 red and black Oscars,  3 Angel Fish in a variety of colours and a number of red and blue neon tetras. It did not take long to discover that a three-foot tank was not big enough to cope with the aggression that the oscars showed the other fish, the tetras having been eaten early in the piece.

Easily fixed. We bought a 6 foot tank and put it in the lounge room and put the three-foot one in the dining room. Thinking that 6 foot would be big enough we bought some gouramis and convict cichlids to put in the smaller tank. Still the oscars and the angel fish did not get on. The oscars were constantly attacking the fins and trailing bits of the angel fish.

The solution: put another 6 foot tank in the bedroom. This housed the angel fish and we added to this tank five discus, a disc shaped cichlid of extreme beauty.

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This worked well for a while until we came across another six-foot tank that was being sold very cheaply. It would replace the three-foot tank we thought, but, of course we made the mistake of buying yet more fish. All the fish we bought were cichlids, some fire mouths, one Jack Demspey and some jewel cichlids. Before long aggression was rampant in this tank not only between species but amongst their own as they started to pair off.

The three-foot tank was recommissioned in the garage along with a four-foot tank and another 6 foot tank. Our fish keeping had got totally out of control. Paul wasn’t working and he could have done the water changes and other maintenance whilst I was at work but he waited until I was there to help him. It started to become a real chore although watching the fish was a joy.

Cichlids have real personality and I struck up a real friendship with our oscar who had by this stage grown large. I would come home from an evening shift, exhausted and flop on the lounge, the only light being that on the fish tank. Oscar would come down the end near me and in my weary state I convinced myself  hewanted to play and communicate with me.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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10 Responses to Out of Control: Trog and Other Animals

  1. Cassie says:

    Oh this I so get. Tank after tank until you are almost not sure who is where. Lovely fish 🙂 It was such a toss up for me when I decided to do fish again after six month break. I was jumping between Oscar, Angels, Discus, and Jack Dempseys, I love me my Ciclids. I am only allowed one of my tanks set up at this time, so I really did have to decide. I settled on the risk of two Angels. and build a small community around them. Oscars and Angelfish are so aware of outside the tank, I get the friendship part with your Oscar, I have that with my Angels.


    • Nice to have someone understand how it can get out of control. I’m sure most people I tell simply don’t believe me. I have just had some angel fish with silver dollars and I noticed they had a similar trait of watching what you were doing. Unortunately I had a very large upside down catfish in with them and it attacked their fins and I wasn’t quick enough to save them. I thought it was the gouramis I also had in there and moved them out.


  2. Cassie says:

    How do Angels and Discus get on in your experience?


  3. We had 5 discus and 3 angel fish so 2 and 2 in a 4 foot tank if you put in heaps of plants you may get away with it. Discus do like to be in a group to really thrive.


  4. fictionfitz says:

    Now this I loved and believe!


  5. Pingback: Dealing With Discus Fish Disease | Aquarium Fish Diseases and Health

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