Hi, and thank you for accepting me to this group and forum. I am new to the fish keeping world with only experience with a goldfish my mother kept alive for me as a child. However, I have inherited an 33 gallon tank, I think that is the size, with fish included about 3 months ago. We were doing fine until a few weeks ago when the tank had to be temporarily moved in front of the door and the added sunshine started a green algae growing in the tank. The tank when I inherited it was pretty plain. There was a center strip of driftwood and live Wyndelov Java Fern growing from it going from one end of the tank to the other. The fish that I inherited are an angelfish and a bala shark, both of which are at least 8 years old, a bottom feeder plecostomus which is slightly younger, a siamese algae eater age unknown, about 8 zebra danios, and some small ramshorn snails. The bala shark is approx 6 inches long, the angelfish is about 4-5 inches, the plecos is about 6-8 inches and the SAE
is about 3 inches. Now, from what I have read both the bala and the angelfish should have companions and a bigger tank. I have removed about half of the java fern just because it was such a dull tank and it had overtaken so much we really couldn't even see the fish we had in the tank. In the ferns place I have added a couple of decorative ornaments that allow the SAE
to hide within them but adds some bright color and a couple of silk plants all of which allows us to enjoy the fish more. Also, the filter that was given to us was disgustingly filthy and quit working a few weeks ago. I also feel it was too small of a filter so I replaced it with a Marineland C-220. My concerns however, are that the tank is still too small for the fish that are in it. I would love to add some new fish but have been warned that both the bala and the angelfish would most likely kill whatever I put in with them. They do not seem to be aggressive but I have noticed they are somewhat territorial. So, I have decided to be content with the fish in the tank as they are. The tank itself is a long narrow and not real tall tank so I am contemplating getting a larger newer tank to replace this one with. This would allow the fish to have more room even though I fear their growth has already been stunted. I gather this because of the 12-13 inch average of a full grown bala and the 7-8 inch full grown growth of an angelfish. Being over 8 years old I would assume both fish have long since stopped growing at least in any great leaps and bounds. I feed the tank a good flake food and all of the fish seem to be healthy, although I have only seen the SAE
a half dozen times since I got the tank. I was wanting some opinions on whether or not a larger tank would be beneficial at this point and if so how to best get them acclimated to a larger tank. I could use the water from the old tank and my cannister filter so cycling the tank should not be too much of a problem but should I do it with the fish included from the beginning or should I set the tank up and let it cycle a few times before putting the fish in it? I really am limited on room so setting up and transferring the fish immediately would be ideal but I don't want to cause harm to the fish so I will do what is best for them. Also, the bottom of the tank is a black fine sand and I have been toying with the idea of adding a couple more live plants but something different from the java fern that is already in there, can someone give me some suggestions on what would be good to add and how best to do that also? I really appreciate any input and advice you are willing to give. I know only what I have read so far and what the person who gave me the tank has said. I'm afraid however, given the fact that there is only one bala and one angelfish, that this person did not know as much as I was led
to believe or they would not have had only one of each of these types of fish and that they would not have put fish with such a great potential to be large in such a small tank. PLease pour on the advice and ideas, I need all the help I can get!
Thanks again for welcoming me to your group and this forum.