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Anyone Got Elephant Noses And Can Advise

BarrierReef

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Ive today bought 2 Elephant noses. I did the research first, but the guy in my LFS [large independent store with 3 branches] told me to ignore 'that rubbish' about buying 1 or 'many' and advised me to get 2 which i did. Ive got a large 350 ltr Juwel Trigon which has cave systems around both back/sides which my current community dwellers love swimming in and around exploring. I put my elephant noses in about 6 hours ago, mid afternoon straight from a very brightly lit tank in my LFS, but theyve straight away disappeared into the caves and havent been seen since. Once it started to get dark late afternoon i put my blue moonlight lights on hoping that they might venture out, but have stayed hidden. I know that its a new home to them, what im worried about is that when i feed its a real feeding frenzy as i have several dozen, mostly small barb & tetra type fish. Im now worried that if my Elephant noses are hiding in the cave system they will miss out on food. Am i being overly worried? Thanks for any advice 8-]
 
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BarrierReef

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Day 2 and both Elephant noses have this evening continually ventured in and out of the caves exploring around the main tank dipping their snouts in the sand, even with my main lights still on. Im hopeful if they will do this in bright light, they should be even more adventurous in moonlight mode or in the dark. Fed my other fish first and thought they were full, but when i added thawed bloodworm 15 minutes later for the Elephants, there was another frenzy as the other fish went mad over the bloodworm, the Elephants got scared and took off back to the caves! So i left it 15 minutes, then turned off the lights and buried some still frozen food in the sand where the other fish couldnt get it...and hopefully the Elephant noses will sniff it out as it defrosts and get something to eat. I even tried squashing some bloodworm to make it sink and then dropping it above the heads of the Elephants. Problem is they seem to stay at the bottom and the food gets picked off before it reaches them. Ive also just raised some live micro-worms, and ive added a lot of those. They are only tiny, but there are literally thousands, so hopefully some will make it to the bottom to get eaten by the Elephants. Any other thoughts would be appreciated. Been all over the net, but there is so much conflicting advice. I have to trust the advice of my LFS who has been successfully running 3 stores for several years, and his advice was "2 together will be fine in a large tank with plenty of plants and hiding places, fed at night with frozen or live food."
 

N0body Of The Goat

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I'm a big fan of African riverine fish, but I would not touch Elephant Nose species with a barge pole!

They are easily outcompeted for food so tankmates need to be calm feeders and also not too "zippy" (do well in an "African oddball" tank with African Butterfly Fish; Congo Tetras; Leopard Bushfish; {true} Upside Down Synodontis; African Brown Knife Fish etc.), they are supposed to be extremely sensitive to medication and rarely make it to adult sizes beyond 30cm (in fact rarely live more than a few months).

My understanding is that two Elephant Nose is a bad number, one will be bullied by the other (just as the case would be with gourami, bushfish, garra etc.), which may well involve electrical "interferrance" as it does in Black Ghose Knife Fish (they fire electrical signals from their snout to find food).

Quarantining new fish is always a good idea, but with something as delicate as Elephant Noses, I would consider it essential. It is not just about making sure the fish are disease free for several weeks after purchase beofer adding them to your main tank, it is also about ensuring that the new fish get a chance to eat well after usually a period of time in the fish trade with considerably insufficient food portions .

A beautiful unique oddball family of fish, but some fish are simply not suitable for the hobby.
 

thereverendturtle

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Use a clean turkey baster to get the food on to the sand and in the caves for them. Frozen blood worms and brine shrimp are.good. A good live food is blackworms, not to be confused with tubifex worms.
 
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BarrierReef

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Im onto day 4 now and both seem to be doing ok, and are out in the main part of the tank as much as the other inhabitants, though to be honest i still dont know if they are eating or not due to the strange positioning of their mouths and the frenzy that is normal in my tank at feeding time. Its easy to watch a normal fish eat as you can see the mouth right at the front but not as easy with the Elephants. Ive tried feeding the other fish first, but they just come back for more later. Today ive bought live food and in the last hour ive buried bloodworms in the sand in several places, turned out all the lights and left them to it hoping the other fish wont be able to root it out. Tomorrow evening i will experiment again with live food but this time try it with the moonlight lights on and discreetly try to see if they bury their noses in the sand and get any. The next night i will use the live brine shrimp, though thats going to be impossible to bury, but i'll keep experimenting until im sure they are eating. I did try holding the wriggling worms in my fingers tonight, but they just got scared and swam off. Will keep trying. I tried the turkey baster but the other fish arent afraid of it and sucked the worms off the end! Thanks for the comments, i'll keep trying ! Cant see much in the way of bullying. The larger of the two does seem to push the other out of the way if it gets near it, but theres no fighting and theres no more in the way of pushing than i get with some of my other species, so im happy that one is not getting bullied.
 

always4lora

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i had one a couple of years back and it went crazy for bloodworm, you should be able to see it eat if you watch caefully enough.
 
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BarrierReef

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Its not easy though. I have nearly 60 small fish and its a real frenzy. Really difficult to see if the Elephant Noses actually get any or not...its a real melee! Only the Rummie noses and Glowlights keep out of the way. Im going to stick with the live food buried in the sand for a few days.....though to be honest ive been watching them tonight in the dark as best i could and my Melon Barbs have a really good sense of smell as their heads were really going deep into the sand to get at the live bloodworms which i buried 1/4- 1/2 " deep. Ive fed with the lights completely off for an hour, though the thought that the greedy barbs might be half asleep didnt work. Im probably being over cautious, but better to be that way than to just throw stuff in and hope for the best?
 

N0body Of The Goat

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So you have 60+ fish in a 350l, with two Elephant Noses that are easily outcompeted for food? Complete list of fish and rough sizes please excluding their tail fin, this tank already sounds overstocked. Tanks should be stocked based on the adult size of the fish, not the babies bought at the store and I will be very surprised if the average adult size of this community is in the ballpak of ~180cm of adult size fish. For example, a group of 6 Melon Barbs should be ~25% of this tank's community.
 

Greer

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I have a young elephant with two ghost knife's of the same size, they eat frozen bloodworms from my hand, they are a bit startled if you move too quickly or other fish come close while their feeding, but otherwise get stuck into the bloodworms! (make sure hands are completely clean) I feed my other fish first so they are preoccupied, but sometimes have to shoo away my dominant gourami.

My elephant nose & ghost knifes are often playing around under some big leaves, although they do dissapear into their tunnels aswell.
 

aether.ed

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Sounds to me that your set up is far from ideal for elephantnose however you could argue mine is also not right in an overstocked tank with 6 giant featherfin cats and 30 voracious congo tetras for competition (not to mention the knife fish, mbu puffer and 3 large ctenopoma) but on the contary to what everyone else says these fish are tough little buggers from my experience. ive had mine for 4 years and he is the most boistrous and agressive fish I have, he outright bullies any fish bigger that him, chasing and bashing the big catfish. To ensure he gets enough food i overfeed like mad feeding huge amount of bloodworm every 2 days. (he will not eat anything other than bloodworm) defrosting in a cup of water then useing a turkey baster to squirt em into the tank.
 
With his relentless bullying he has come off quite bad with some quite scary looking injuries (which he undoubtly deserved, he really is a terror!), chunks of flesh and skin hangin off him but he heals up and looks as good as new in a day! I just wish he left my cats alone, the elephant nose is the only one that disrupts an otherwise peaceful tank. When i get my 10ft tank I will have 10 or so elephantnoses in there and hopefully they will just keep themselves to themselves and leave the syno cats alone! With 2 elephantnoses i can imagine one harrassing the other to death, they really are that badly behaved in that respect.
 
My maintenence routine is basic, 1/4 waterchange a week or 1/2 a fortnight and a filter clean twice a year if that! It has been no harder to keep than any other fish i have kept, just gotta get the diet right!
 
For the first year i barely saw the little guy, now he rushes up and down the tank trying to get my attention regardless of the light being on, he is the boss of that tank and the other fish sure know it! I have him in a 540ltr aquarium.
 
Hope this helps get an idea of what its like to keep these little monsters!
 
edit: I feed my tank around 1kilo of bloodworm a month thats 15 or so feedings from a slab of bloodworm, overkill maybe but i think it may be the key to my successful elephantnose keeping!
 
If your interested you can see my elephantnose here (he blends into the shadows well tho!)....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsU-xDYBqSc
 

Esfa

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My elephant nose used to go crazy at feeding time. Pushing plecs, corys, and congo tetras out the way and inhaling blocks of bloodworm! let them settle in and see what happens.
 

jwalser18

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Sounds like your elephants are opening up! I was considering getting one, very difficult to raise?
 

sawickib

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You shouldnt really keep just 2 elephant nose fish and black ghost knifes generally should be housed alone, not with the same species i mean. Elephant nose need quite a bit of care in terms of feeding and keeping the tank very clean.
 
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