Hi all. I am a new aquarium owner. This is my first time to try an aquarium. It all started earlier this year when my daughter moved into a new apartment on Galveston Island. There is a small in land salt water pond next to the apartment and as I was walking along the wall I could see lots of fish right next to the wall. Being a fisherman, I got my pole and caught one. I had never seen a fish like this before and did not know what it was. After some research I found out that it was a, Rio Grande Cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus). It amazed me that this freshwater fish could survive and thrive in a saltwater pond. I caught some pretty big ones in the 2 pound range too. Here is one.
So, I was talking to a friend and he said he wanted some small ones for his 50 gallon aquarium. So I caught him some and took them to him to put in his tank.
He really likes them and I once I saw them in his tank, I started wanting to get a tank and I told me friend this. About a week later my friend found a 50 gallon tank at Goodwill for $35 dollars and bought it for me. After I leak tested it for a week outdoors, I cleaned it up and set it up for fish and filled it with 50 gallons of RO
water (I live in the country and my well has hardness rating of 900 ppm
). I treated it with Prime and let it sit for a few days to get it started. I bought an Aqueon QuietFlow 55/75 Power Filter, a Aqua Culture 20-60 air pump for it with two 5 inch stone bars, and some plants and structures. I live 400 miles from Galveston so it will be a while before I can get some of those Rio Grande Cichlids, so I decided to put some sunfish in it for the time being. I went to the lake and caught two Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) and three Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) and put them in. They were really hard to get to eat fish food and still don't like it that much. I have to go down to the creek and net some little pot belly minnows (Gambusia affinis, also called Mosquitofish) for them every few days. They love those! My wife bought a couple small Oscars to put in with them and they seem to be doing alright too. Here are some pics.
It has been almost two weeks now and they are all doing fine. This weekend I caught a 3" Warmouth Sunfish (Lepomis gulosus) (My first one ever!). I just had to try him out in the Aquarium.
Anyway, I am now wondering just how many fish my tank and system can handle. As this is totally new to me, I am worried that I am screwing up royally somehow. So far so good, but I worried about a lot of things. Like, do I need an algae eater, will my sunfish eat the algae eater, is there some type of poop eater like a shrimp I can put in to help dispose of waste (maybe a crawdad?), ect, ect, ect. I can find little professional info on the keeping of sunfish as it appears that it is not a common practice (I guess it the old mentality of, "If it can be had for free, it is not worth having"). Anyway, any advice from experienced knowledgeable aquarium owners on this subject would be greatly appreciated. TIA