The Weald Aquatics Blog - Don't ignore the ugly ducklings - they may turn into beautiful swans! - another blog post from Weald Aquatics | Aquarium & Pond Fish Shop in Kent

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Don't ignore the ugly ducklings - they may turn into beautiful swans!

Blog post written by Andy | 25 November 2016 | Category: General fishy ramblings
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We often say it in the shop and I am sure customers don’t always believe us but sometimes you're buying a fish “for 6 months time.” You would be amazed at how many fish will change colour dramatically when they get to adulthood. We tend to sell juvenile fish in the shop which means we can sell them at a much better price than other shops (which I am constantly told - thank you I do try!). But it also means you get to enjoy a fish for a much longer period of time and get to see all the dramatic changes a fish can go through on its way to becoming an adult.

Some of the most amazing looking fish are often overlooked in the shop because, as juveniles, they are very drab silver or brown, but given the right environment and care they'll transform into something special.

Most Cichlids will start out as very boring looking fish. Adam, Jack and I can all testify to the importance of giving that “ugly duckling” time to colour up. I have a group of eight Rainbow Cichlids (which I will write about in my next post because they are amazing) which all started off grey and blotchy but are now the brightest yellow you have ever seen.

There are a couple of things you can do to bring out the colours of fish. A well-balanced and varied diet will always help fish grow and condition them to breeding size faster. Frozen food is a great way of replicating a more natural diet and can dramatically improve the colouring of fish.

It also sounds silly, but a happy fish will always look brighter in colour. Good water quality, the right set-up in terms of planting, flow and lighting and the right ratio of males and females will again increase the chances for fish to colour up.

It's important to ask about these 'dull looking fish' that you may see dotted around our shop. Trust me, no-one wants boring looking fish in their aquarium, so if we are selling something pretty underwhelming, there is method to our madness!

 

Juvenile Boesemani Rainbow
The juvenile Boesemani Rainbow is a drab looking creature...
Juvenile Ram Cichlid
...as is the juvenile Ram Cichlid

 

Adult Boesemani Rainbow
But looks what happens to the Boesemani Rainbow when it gets to adulthood!

 

Ember Tetras
Likewise the Ram Cichlid gradually turns from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan!

Related blog posts

Boesemani Rainbow (Melanotaenia Boesemani)