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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Compatble Fish

I'm fairly new to aquarium ownership, so I asked the advice of a pet store associate (of course a bad idea). I got my water tested and everything seemed average. So I bought a couple different types of fish that are "compatable".

My boyfriend definitely wanted silver tipped sharks or columbian sharks. So we based what types of fish we got around them. We got a Dinosaur eel, 3 gold gouramis, 6 tiger barbs, 2 small angelfish, and a pleco.

I have been reading that the sharks are brackish water fish. Just wondering if adding aquarium salt would hurt my other fish. I put them in the tank about 8hours ago and the sharks are swimming near the top of the tank (which I know isnt normal).

Sorry for the long post but I'd like to have the average ideal environment for all my fish.

Thanks!

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Mini Donkey: Letty
Potbelly Pig: Bubbles
Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Tidy Whitey, Josie, Elroy
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 07:28 PM
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What size tank is this?

I'm sorry to say that it would be completely impossible to keep all those fish together long-term. You're going to have to pick which species to keep and return the others.

Once I know the size of the aquarium I can help .




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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its a 40 gallon bow front aquarium. We plan on moving the sharks to a bigger one in the future.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 07:52 PM
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Ok.

So...I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I'm going to have to say it .

The Colombian Sharks are not only brackish (and do best in full marine when adults) but are also extremely predatory (just recently someone on a different forum posted about their tiger barbs being eaten and I had one eat TWO full-grown rainbow fish). In addition, they will outgrow the 40-gallon within months (provided you have babies...if not, they've already outgrown it). They grow quickly in the first year or two and then growth tapers off slowly and they seem to gain about an inch a year after that.

Colombian Sharks also have venomous spines so I urge you to be especially cautious. They should never be netted nor should you handle them without gloves. Watch them closely when you maintain the tank, they get spooked easily and may crash into you by accident.

They're also jumpers. The tank needs to be completely covered, there can't even be a gap where the filter goes otherwise they WILL escape.

I love the species (and have three myself!) but they're definitely bad fish for beginners. My advice would be to take them back to the store. Otherwise be prepared to set them up in their own brackish, well-filtered tank of at least 50-gallons and be prepared to upgrade them to a 75-gallon or larger within a year. If that's the plan then be aware that you need MARINE (not "aquarium salt") salt and no, you can't add it to the current tank (the others can't tolerate it).

The pleco is probably a Common Pleco and believe it or not, he'll outgrow your set-up. They get HUGE, Google it. You'd be better off swapping him for a smaller, more peaceful species. A Bristlenose Pleco would be perfect .

The Gouramis and Angelfish should be OK together. Both species enjoy having acidic to neutral tank conditions and lots of plants to hide in (live plants being ideal). The Tiger Barbs are hit or miss, they can get nippy with slow-moving fish like the aforementioned species. Just keep an eye on them.

The "dinosaur eel" isn't an eel but actually a Bichir (that may be useful to know when looking up info). They'll swallow any fish they can fit in their mouths so make sure none of your fish are that small. Your tank isn't really ideal for a Bichir and I'd consider returning him and getting some Kuhli Loaches instead. They have that same eel look but are hardier, easier to feed (Bichirs are all wild-caught and are generally very stressed and prone to hunger strikes), and do better in a new aquarium. Bichirs do best when introduced to a mature tank that's been running for a while. If you keep him, provide lots of live plants. Honestly, though, your tank sounds like it's more tall than shallow which isn't great for an air-breathing bottom-dwelling fish like the Bichir. Long, shallow tanks are better for them.

Whatever you decide to do, act quickly. You're right, the Colombian Sharks are not acting normal.

EDIT: I also want to add that the Bichir is an escape artist. They may not be eels but they escape just as easily as eels! ALL openings need to be completely covered.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Stephanie,

Thank you very much for your advice it was exactly what I was looking for. I will return the sharks and probably the dinosaur bichir to the store (they have a guarantee) I hope that I can get another type of fish.

So for the remaining fish I have (and I do have a bristlenose pleco) on average what kind of pH dH etc should my tank have (ideally).

What other kinds of fish would be suitable for my remaining fish? I'd like to get compatible fish THIS time instead of listening to the store associate.

Mini Horse: Moose
Mini Donkey: Letty
Potbelly Pig: Bubbles
Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Tidy Whitey, Josie, Elroy
Miniature Schnauzer: Leelo
German Wirehaired Pointer: Cricket
Human: Katie

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 08:06 PM
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No problem. I actually find it ridiculous that Colombian Sharks are being sold everywhere now. I doubt 99.9% of people who buy them happen to have a 75-gallon brackish aquarium with a filter rated for double the tank volume . It's especially concerning because they're not informing people that they're venomous. There haven't been any stings reported in captivity yet but with so many being sold, it's bound to happen soon.

What are your current parameters such as pH? I wouldn't mess with it unless it's way off so you might not need to do anything . Since you live in NY, your water probably isn't THAT hard.

Look into the various Corydoras catfish species. A school of those would look nice and add some activity to the lower levels of the tank. They're peaceful, enjoy the same conditions as the other fish, and are hardy. They have great personalities! Many of the smaller loaches would also work. Either way, stick to fish that hang out more towards the bottom since you have the top and middle covered (best way to avoid conflicts is to stock fish who occupy different areas).

Was the aquarium cycled already? If the person at the store sold you all of those random fish they may not have mentioned cycling .




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Yes we cycled the aquarium, the PH was at 7.0 exactly. Thanks for the specie suggestion. I love to know stuff like that from people who actually know what they're talking about. And I agree with the shark thing! The other sharks they were selling (bala sharks and others) get HUUUUUUGEEE if you don't do any research on them you wouldn't know and the average person doesn't have a 75 gallon plus tank.

I'm still a bit confused on cycling since I didn't hear it directly from the source. Would you mind giving me your side on cycling?

Mini Horse: Moose
Mini Donkey: Letty
Potbelly Pig: Bubbles
Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Tidy Whitey, Josie, Elroy
Miniature Schnauzer: Leelo
German Wirehaired Pointer: Cricket
Human: Katie

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Actually sorry! I saw your thread on fresh water cycling on the top of the board. No need to elaborate and write everything twice. Any other beginner tips for me on any of the remaining fish species?

Mini Horse: Moose
Mini Donkey: Letty
Potbelly Pig: Bubbles
Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Tidy Whitey, Josie, Elroy
Miniature Schnauzer: Leelo
German Wirehaired Pointer: Cricket
Human: Katie

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 08:16 PM
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That's perfect, gotta love NY water, very easy to use in aquariums!

http://www.paw-talk.net/forums/f77/c...ium-43789.html

I wrote the above article a few years ago. Bio-Spira, as mentioned in it, is now called Tetra SafeStart, though. I'll have to go fix that.

EDIT: No problem! My only other advice would be to take things slowly. Even a cycled aquarium needs to be stocked carefully at first. So even though you can add a few more fish (like Corydoras), I would wait at least a few weeks. And if you can, get some live plants. Hardy plants like java ferns and anubias require no special care and really improve water quality.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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awesome advice thank you very much. Now I have one more question:

I have a beta, can I pour some of her water into my new aquarium to up the bacteria level? It seems good but just for future reference.

Also, since we're on the beta subject. Is it possible to keep my female beta in the same tank with my tropical fresh waters; or is my female beta still too aggressive for the other fish?

Mini Horse: Moose
Mini Donkey: Letty
Potbelly Pig: Bubbles
Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Tidy Whitey, Josie, Elroy
Miniature Schnauzer: Leelo
German Wirehaired Pointer: Cricket
Human: Katie

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 08:53 PM
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Yup, you can use water from your betta tank. But I would instead use filter media or some gravel, you'll get a lot more bacteria.

Adding the betta is kind of hit or miss, they have really different personalities. Just watch her carefully. And for future reference, a male betta wouldn't work because his long fins would get nipped. The female has short fins so that's why it's possible .




~Stephanie

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Okay great that's what I thought. I would love for her to have some more swimming room since shes in a smaller thank by herself. I will let the tank cycle a little bit more, then I will add her since I know shes healthy, then I will get some other compatible fish probably for the bottom; have them quarantined and add them in a couple of weeks.

whats a good temperature for all of them? I've been keeping it at about 75/76F is that acceptable? They seem to be okay with it (so far).

And I do have some aquarium salt. Whats the purpose of that? Should I keep it for my gourami/tiger barb/angelfish or do they have no need for it?

Mini Horse: Moose
Mini Donkey: Letty
Potbelly Pig: Bubbles
Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Tidy Whitey, Josie, Elroy
Miniature Schnauzer: Leelo
German Wirehaired Pointer: Cricket
Human: Katie

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 09:57 PM
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Yup, that temperature is fine.

The aquarium salt can be used to treat fish for some parasites (like Ich) as well as help prevent infections (if a fish gets injured or something). It's handy to have around but shouldn't be added to the aquarium unless you're using it for treatment.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Great! Thanks so much for the advice!

Mini Horse: Moose
Mini Donkey: Letty
Potbelly Pig: Bubbles
Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Tidy Whitey, Josie, Elroy
Miniature Schnauzer: Leelo
German Wirehaired Pointer: Cricket
Human: Katie

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 03:42 AM
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Wow. I just found this on on Google and thought I would share. It's basically the opposite of everything you just said, regarding tank mates. It won't help you in any way but I really can't believe the kind of advice people give out without knowing what they're talking about.

http://www.peteducation.com/article....+1919&aid=2447
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