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Fish questions

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Slamatrix, Dec 6, 2017 at 4:58 AM.

  1. Slamatrix

    Slamatrix New Member

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    Hi all!!

    First off, sorry if i port in the wrong section or anything, new to the forum kinda things.

    Big noob when it comes to fish keeping. Always wanted a tank and when my sister moved house i inherited hers. Its a 64L tank. It came with two little mollies (she thought there was only one so shows you it wasnt really taken care off before i rescued them lol). At this point i didnt realise how much work and research was necessary. So after making the little mollies happier, by giving the tank a good clean and adding some new plants and a few ornaments, i decided to added a few fish. Again, i didnt do research etc, and i brought a few things i liked. I got an upside down catfish, a few guppies and a dwarf gourami. I didnt get them all at one! Over a few weeks. This has now been set up for a few months.

    My biggest question is around my upside down catfish, it spend most of the time just sitting on the bottom of my filter. Occasionally i will get lucky and see it swimming around. But as soon as it sees me it goes back to the filter. Will it always be shy? Why does it go to the filter? I have tried to give it a few hidding places (but again not being very knowledgable, i might not have given it the best). But its not interest in staying anywhere else but the filter. I have attached a photo of my tank so you can see. I put the flat bit of slate cause i thought it might like that but its not interested. Also because i never see it really out and about, i never see it eating. As its been in there for a few months, i assume it is eating? But i worry if its that shy does it choose hiding from me, or other fish, over eating?

    Nothing in my tank seems aggressive.

    Sorry this got a little lengthy. i have so many questions but trying to do research instead of asking them all first! lol.

    Thanks for any advice!! Matt

    upload_2017-12-6_10-58-24.png

     
  2. thrujenseyes

    thrujenseyes Member

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    Hello there!
    You did a nice job cleaning up the tank.

    First thing to do is test the water (if you don't have kits, purchase them but in meanwhile take a sample of your water to a local fish store for them to test).

    You need to know what your parameters are and that they are ok for the fish that you have which a hard water fish...
    although the catfish probably enjoys softer water, so that could be an issue.
    Also, I think the catfish you have like to be in groups? But someone that knows more about them can probably answer better.

    Also make sure you only have males as the tank size will not be enough to hold the millions of babies that happen very quickly with live bearing fish (which you have).

    Start there, with water testing.
    Then we can move on :)
     
  3. Slamatrix

    Slamatrix New Member

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    Thank you :) Its not as perfect as i want it but its better than not having a tank!!

    I have brought a proper water testing kit, should hopefully turn up in a couple of days, in the mean time i have just been using test strips to make sure everything is ok.

    Might sound silly, but when you say in groups do you mean with the same species so get a few more upside down catfish? And what might you recommend, 2 or 3 more?
    If they are like a shoaling fish, would it be ok to get other shoaling fish, like tetras or corys or something to help it out?

    Ahhh yes, someone i knew had guppies and they were having babies like mad. So pretty much everything i got is male. The only one i'm not sure about is the catfish! lol.
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Fish that must live in groups of their own species are termed shoaling fish (sometimes schooling fish is used, though that technically is a bit misleading). There are minimum numbers for shoaling species suggested by most of us, but one should remember that more of them is almost always better, so the minimum somewhat depends upon the tank size (if it can handle the number) and species. There are some species that manage with fewer, but others need larger groups.

    Your upside down catfish is presumably the species Synodontis nigriventris, and while a single fish sometimes seems to manage it really would be better in a small group. However, this is not really a small fish, as it should reach 4 inches (10 cm), but your tank is only 64 liters (= 17 US gallons) so this is tricky. You don't have space for this species to be in a group, so if re-homing it (will the store take it? or another aquarist?) is not possible, let's hope for the best. Provide him with some chunks of wood, this is important and may help to settle it. You can buy wood in fish stores; the dark brown Malaysian Driftwood is ideal, especially a piece with tunnels and crevices. [Photos of this species attached for reference.]

    We need to know the water parameters, being hardness (GH is general or total hardness) and pH, and carbonate hardness (KH or Alkalinity) is worth knowing too. You might find these numbers on the website of your municipal water authority.

    If the mollies are male, they will easily outgrow this tank, as they should attain 4-5 inches. I certainly would not get any more fish until we sort out the parameters and any issues that may occur from that.

    Byron.
     

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  5. Slamatrix

    Slamatrix New Member

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    Hi Byron,

    Thanks for the info,
    Ok that makes sense, its a shame i didnt do research before i really got anything, i was just excited to have a tank and saw a cool fish! The plan is to get a new tank in the new year obviously i wont buy any more fish now for future plans, but if when i get a bigger tank i introduced a couple/ few more upside down catfish would my current one then get along fine or would it be dominant/ territorial?

    Ok i will definitely get some of the wood, i think that looks really nice anyway. Just wanted to do more research before i just brought stuff again, already made that mistake lol!
    The pictures you attached are my exact fish :)

    As i said above i have brought i full test, but yesterday i used the dipping test strips and these are my results:
    general hardness - 180
    Carbonate Hardness - 120
    pH - 7
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - 20.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Matt
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Mollies should have harder water, but it is sort of borderline. But they do outgrow this tank, so it is not the best fish on both counts. Your hardness is moderately hard, so that is OK for many fish.

    There shouldn't bee a problem adding more upside down catfish in a larger tank.
     

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