Wednesday, 4 March 2009

The Sirens Tank

At the start of this year id decided it was time to get a larger fish tank. My current tank is actually only about 5 gallons in size, and was home until very recently to a pair of Lesser Sirens (Siren intermedia) and one plucky Zebra Danio.

Sirens are amphibians that look like a cross between and eel and an axolotl. They breathe through gills which are on the sides of their heads, and only have front legs and no back legs. Id never seen them for sale before- so when i saw them for sale back in early 2008 i jumped at them- but they werent to everyones taste in the house!

But i think they were really cool! :)

They eat blood worm and frozen lance fish and seem to locate their food through smell rather than sight. Unfortunately before I realised what was going on I also discovered that they also are caperble of eating Danios. There were originally 4 Danios in the tank aswell however the Sirens obviously decided they looked too much like a snack to them! The one Danio that remained has lived with the fish for about 7 months now and seems to know he is pretty safe with them as often tries to take food from the sirens mouth once they have grabbed it!

I've always wanted to get a larger tank for the lounge with more fish in it- and decided that the Sirens would have to find a new home as I didn't want them to think they could eat all the new fish! So they went to live with a guy who already had a female Siren and was planning to breed them.

Then the chickens got in the way and I decided to put the larger tank on hold for a while until I could save up for the larger tank.

So now Siren-less and with only 1 Danio in the tank I decided to get a few more fish to keep him company, as Danios are naturally schooling fish- I hadn’t bought any more previously as I didn't want them to get eaten. So I went to Crews Hill in Enfield and bought 6 GlowLight Danios, 4 Pencilfish, 3 Otocinclus and 2 Corydoras. These fish all occupy different levels in the tank so do not crowd each other. The Corydoras live on the bottom hunting around the plants and gravel for food. The Ottocinclus feed on algae so spend all their time on the glass walls or on the plants. The Pencil fish are midwater swimmers, and the Danios are Upper Level swimmers.

I also have in the tank 6 Cherry Shrimp- these small invertebrates would be lunch for larger fish but the fish I have are all peaceful and would not consider an adult shrimp as food. They are bright red in colour and also feed on algae like the Otocinclus and any left over food they find. These are beautiful creatures and I have high hopes they will breed in my tank - most shrimp species have a planktonic larval stage where the young just float around in the currents- in an aquariumt hese would soon be sucked intot he filter and killer- but Cherry Shrimps hatch into miniature adults so imediately cling to plants and wont get sucked into the filter. However the little shrimps will have to be quick witted as the fish in the tank will probably consider them as a snack!


  1. Those sirens are amazing. Really unusual. I used to work in a lab where they had a population of caecilians, which look like blind, legless salamanders.

    You want to get one of these new types of zebrafish. They'd fight back!

  2. My 1st and only experience with the Sirens was when I was a kid. We left a restaurant after a heavy rain and discovered dozens of Sirens being washed across the parking lot in the runoff.

    What a shock it was to me. Took one to school to identify it.


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