Keeping Track Of Fish

sleow

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This may seem like a silly question... but how do you all keep track of your fish? Do you count them all regularly to make sure they're still there and accounted for? This is my first time with a tank over 10g, so naturally my schools are bigger, there are more hides, and I have more fish. I try to count them every day but they're so fast and constantly swimming around thinking I'm going to feed them that I rarely get an accurate count. I have 12 kuhli loaches in my tank and I've only ever counted 10 out at one time, but they're notorious hiders. I've seen all of them out at different times so I'm not worried right now, just curious how you all put your fish parent minds at ease knowing your fish are all home.

How do you all with 50-100+ gallon tanks account for all of your fish??
 

fjh

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I dony keep amu loaches (which are supposed to be one if the best at hiding, second only to eels) but you begin to see different color patterns or personalities in your fish. That way even if they are not all out at once you can still account for the individual fish.
Otherwise, yeah its hard haha
 

Jessica J

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We count ours like someone tryi ng to steal them lol. But me and my wife love to watch them swim and have alot of different color fish, we always try to buy the strange colors or patterns. I guess you would find them as you are cleaning or doing a water change. We got a black loach to see how it would do but it found its way in to our foam pad behind the filter and got stuck in it, not sure if it was sucked in or was trying to eat the plant matter on it. The black loach are more of a eel shaped loach too.
 

wodesorel

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I am currently at or just shy of two dozen kuhli (black and possibly cinnamon), and have always had 8+ in my tank.

Feeding time gives me a good idea of how many there are as they all come out. I have also found that they do not eat their own dead, so on the extremely rare occasion one has passed (only a handful of times in 14 years) the body shows up within a few days. I also end up stripping my tank down to remodel it every two or three years and I do a complete headcount then to make sure they have all survived and are looking good.

It was rough the first few years before I figured them out and just got to the point where I could relax and enjoy. I am a little unsure of accurate numbers right now as I more than doubled the school two years ago but haven't done a tear down to do a headcount since to see if they all made it. I think they did though, and we will be moving within a year and I'll do the headcount then when I have to net them anyway!
 

Platyarelife

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I use to do that too, count my fish every day cuz I was worried something will happen. What I did to ease the worry was go threw my tank and make sure there is no way for anything to jump out/escape, checked the filter to make sure nothing would fit in there, make sure there's nothing sharp or anything a fish could get hurt on, and make sure everyone in the tank was 100% compatible. Once my tank was stabilized and I made sure all of the above was checked I just took care of them normally and worked on relaxing. Being a fish parent is hard and worry-some. Just watch them for a bit at feeding time and make sure their getting food. Counting so many fish especially in large tanks can get tiresome and since most fish swim fast it's easy to miscount. When you clean your tank poke around a bit and see what you can find.
 

snowballPLECO

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It's normal to make sure your fish are alive, but as long as you keep your tank clean, parameters on point and the fish compatibility are 100% then you shouldn't have an issue. I have a snowball pleco whom I rarely get to see and a rainbow shark who hates the light
 

MikeRad89

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I don’t. I have so many tanks and so many fish I expect losses here and there. If I have breeding colonies of certain species I won’t notice. If a large cichlid is missing I’ll obviously see it.
 

david1978

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its tough in a heavily planted tank. I gave up trying to count exact numbers long ago. Although when i had my oscar that tank was easy to count. Yep were good hes still there. When i had guppies that broke me of trying to count fish.
 

Cardeater

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Upside down cat discovered:
I had an upside down Catfish about ten years ago that I thought had died until I had to tear down the tank to move. It was a pleasant surprise to see him. Sadly he died a few years later.
I should consider getting them again, but this time get a small group like I know more is better. I read they can also live 20 years like my Loaches. Ill probably have to wait for a tank upgrade unless I change my stocking plans.

Easy until the near future:
It has been easy the last 7-8 years as I lost interest in the hobby and didn't restock my tank (125g). Ive had three clown Loaches and one hypostomus. It was easy to check if everyone was around.

That was all I did with the tank for years. I dropped some food and made sure there were no dead fish. I barely looked at the tank.

I'm in the process of restocking now that I developed an new found obsession with the hobby. It's easy to check on the QT. It'll still be easy when they move over as there will only be 8 more fish. I imagine the 4 medium clown Loaches will still be active (unlike my old ones that hide in a specific fake driftwood when the lights are on).

Not sure if ill want so many fish that it's hard to count:
I've been watching two different videos of clown Loach tanks (the Aquarium Coop 800g and Joey DIYs 375 clown Loach and cichlid tank).

I love these tanks as I love clown Loaches but I'm not sure if I'd want so many that it's hard to count them all.

I'm hoping to upgrade to a bigger tank than my 125g but I think I'd only want to expand my Loach school a little bit. I'd still want to be able to discern individual fish.

My current stocking plan for the 125g calls for fish that shouldn't really hide much (except maybe additional Loaches) so counting shouldn't be that hard.
 

Hunter1

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Small scale answer.

My 36 bf has 5 guppies (easy to count), 2 male mollies (easier to count), 2 male red wag platys (easy to count) 2 honey gouramis (easy to see except one stays at the back and occasionally I see s gold Mystery snail and I think it’s her).

The 7 pepper corys are a chore. I have to put my glasses on and really look since they are so active.

The 2 gold mystery snails are easy, the zebra nerites are impossible.

I have gold bristle nose pleco that i’ve only seen twice in 5 months.

I count my fish nightly except for the corys and pleco.
 
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sleow

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Platyarelife said:
I use to do that too, count my fish every day cuz I was worried something will happen. What I did to ease the worry was go threw my tank and make sure there is no way for anything to jump out/escape, checked the filter to make sure nothing would fit in there, make sure there's nothing sharp or anything a fish could get hurt on, and make sure everyone in the tank was 100% compatible. Once my tank was stabilized and I made sure all of the above was checked I just took care of them normally and worked on relaxing. Being a fish parent is hard and worry-some. Just watch them for a bit at feeding time and make sure their getting food. Counting so many fish especially in large tanks can get tiresome and since most fish swim fast it's easy to miscount. When you clean your tank poke around a bit and see what you can find.
I watch them eat every night before I go to bed. With so many bottom feeders, it's the best time for me to make sure everyone is getting enough food and lets me enjoy them as well. I try to get a head count while I'm watching, but maybe tonight I'll just sit back and enjoy the scene.

Cardeater said:
Upside down cat discovered:
I had an upside down Catfish about ten years ago that I thought had died until I had to tear down the tank to move. It was a pleasant surprise to see him. Sadly he died a few years later.
I should consider getting them again, but this time get a small group like I know more is better. I read they can also live 20 years like my Loaches. Ill probably have to wait for a tank upgrade unless I change my stocking plans.

Easy until the near future:
It has been easy the last 7-8 years as I lost interest in the hobby and didn't restock my tank (125g). Ive had three clown Loaches and one hypostomus. It was easy to check if everyone was around.

That was all I did with the tank for years. I dropped some food and made sure there were no dead fish. I barely looked at the tank.

I'm in the process of restocking now that I developed an new found obsession with the hobby. It's easy to check on the QT. It'll still be easy when they move over as there will only be 8 more fish. I imagine the 4 medium clown Loaches will still be active (unlike my old ones that hide in a specific fake driftwood when the lights are on).

Not sure if ill want so many fish that it's hard to count:
I've been watching two different videos of clown Loach tanks (the Aquarium Coop 800g and Joey DIYs 375 clown Loach and cichlid tank).

I love these tanks as I love clown Loaches but I'm not sure if I'd want so many that it's hard to count them all.

I'm hoping to upgrade to a bigger tank than my 125g but I think I'd only want to expand my Loach school a little bit. I'd still want to be able to discern individual fish.

My current stocking plan for the 125g calls for fish that shouldn't really hide much (except maybe additional Loaches) so counting shouldn't be that hard.
Welcome back to the hobby! It's so easy to fall back with love with, isn't it?

I had a similar experience with finding a rogue otocinclus when cleaning out a smaller tank. I thought all of the fish were out of the tank or dead but as I was cleaning and moving decor around I saw a quick flash of silver and was able to track down a very confused oto. I'm glad I didn't just empty the tank!

I've heard kuhlis can have a nice long life so I'm hoping to be able to calm down and just enjoy them now that they've settled into the tank. I'm fairly certain I've seen all 12 swimming around during feeding time so they're all eating at least!
 

Seasoldier

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As you said it's hard to count them when they're constantly on the move but what I do for a general check (it's still not 100% accurate) is to take a photo with my phone once a week & then compare them on my computer, I never get everything on one shot but over a few weeks you get to see them all & can hopefully notice if anything is missing.
 

Thunder_o_b

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I am in our aquariums everyday. As the above posts said you get to know the fish. With the school fish I do a head count. As for the others, they all show up for blood worm day

Moon lights help with finding the nocturnal fish.
 

Kjdts3

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I'm new to the hobby and obsessively count my fish. And right now I have 3wk old apisto fry so I'm counting multiple times a day to try and figure out how many remain. I had only been able to count 3-4 fry for over a week... yesterday 10! I have no idea how many are in there... but it looks like I'm going to need another tank. Lol
 

live4wetsleeves

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For right now, my biggest tank is a 55g and I count them all out every time I walk up to the tank. There are some that I care about more than others so they're usually the first ones to get checked off.
 
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sleow

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live4wetsleeves said:
For right now, my biggest tank is a 55g and I count them all out every time I walk up to the tank. There are some that I care about more than others so they're usually the first ones to get checked off.
Ha I know what you mean! I love all my fish but I definitely check on my betta sorority before I try to count the others.
 

angelfishguppie

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I don't count them anymore. I always make sure I can see my biggest fish, those that would cause a serious ammonia spike if they died.

Otherwise I try to enjoy the ones I see when I feed them and try not to think about what the cory cats and MTS would do if there were a dead body in the tank.

I did purposely get both albino and standard sterbai cories as well as standard and albino aeneus cories so I have a fighting chance of identifying them all.
 
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