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.
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.