The Book of the Aquarium/Part 1/Chapter 7

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2946228The Book of the Aquarium — Part 1, Chapter 7Shirley Hibberd



The first thing to guard against is over-stocking, the common error of all beginners; taking large fish with small, I think about two or three to every gallon of water is the utmost that should be attempted. For a vessel of twelve gallons, I should recommend the following, as giving great variety, with considerable safety:—Six Prussian carp, of various sizes, one at least of five inches in length; two small Crucian carp; two small perch; two small loach; two tench, of five or six inches; six or eight minnows; one small eel; a dozen Planorbis corneus; half-a-dozen Paludina vivipara; three or four fresh-water mussels; and a dozen of different sorts of newts.

A tank so stocked, will be well filled with life; and if the plants be sufficiently strong, and in a good light, all will go well.

Another, and to some perhaps, prettier selection, might be made thus:—Three gold carp, of various sizes; three Prussian carp; two perch; four large loach; a dozen minnows; half-a-dozen bleak; and two dozen planorbis.

If stocked with great care, with a bottom of pebbles only, this would do very well; and the sides would never want cleansing. For a smaller vessel, the same selection might be made, but with a proportionate reduction of the numbers.

Those who make their own selection, may choose from the following:—

Plants.—Vallisneria spiralis, Anacharis alsinastrum, Callitriche vernalis and autumnalis, Nuphar lutea, Potamogeton crispus, densus, and fluitans, Stratoides aloides, Ranunculus aquatalis (apt to foul the water in a north aspect), Myriophyllum spicatum, Myosotis palustris, (the real forget-me-not—it flowers above the surface), Butomus umbellatus (for the centre—it flowers above the surface), Lemna, Nitella, and Chara. For a list of suitable ferns and instructions on their culture I must refer the reader to my work entitled, “ Rustic Adornments for Homes of Taste,” where this department is amply treated.

Fishes.—Gold carp, British, Prussian, and Crucian carp, pike, perch, tench, minnows, chub, loach, gudgeon, bream, and in winter, roach, dace, and bleak.

Reptiles.—The smooth and warty newt, tadpoles, frogs.

Mollusks.—Univalves, Planorbis comeus, and carrinatus, Paludina vivipara, Lymnea stagnalis, putris, auriculata, and glutinosa, Physa fontinalis, Bythinia tentacula.

Bivalves.—Anodon cygneus, Unio pictorum, tumidus and margaritiferous, Dressinia polymorpha, Cyclas corneus.