Shy fish... really shy... what can i do for it??! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-30-2011, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question Shy fish... really shy... what can i do for it??!

I got a black ghost knife fish in my 50 gallon tank with a sailfin pleco and an angelfish... the tank has a plant and many caves for the bgkf to go in, but it is all day and all night in this cave.. i have tried to make the environment more familiar to it, but there is no good result... :/... any ideas to make it more outgoing??? Thanks
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-30-2011, 02:09 PM
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Knifefish are nocturnal, so coaxing it out during daylight is not easy. A very dimly-lit tank (lots of floating plants help here) plus not too bright a light usually work, at least once the fish is settled. They are very shy fish by nature. A dark substrate also helps. And lots of bogwood and branches in the tank. Given the minimal light needed, floating plants will usually be all that will thrive in such dim light, so lower down lots of wood and branches will add some interest. These conditions will also suit the angelfish and pleco. so that is a bonus. They also come from very dark waters.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-30-2011, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Knifefish are nocturnal, so coaxing it out during daylight is not easy. A very dimly-lit tank (lots of floating plants help here) plus not too bright a light usually work, at least once the fish is settled. They are very shy fish by nature. A dark substrate also helps. And lots of bogwood and branches in the tank. Given the minimal light needed, floating plants will usually be all that will thrive in such dim light, so lower down lots of wood and branches will add some interest. These conditions will also suit the angelfish and pleco. so that is a bonus. They also come from very dark waters.
thanks, but floating plants, won't add really much algae in the tank?? also i have 2 strong lamps built in the covering cup of the tank... 39W T5 2 lamps... how can i have a dim light tank? my substrate is grey,brown,white and black... i think that it is OK.. should i add real wood in it?? thanks!!!
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-30-2011, 05:38 PM
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thanks, but floating plants, won't add really much algae in the tank?? also i have 2 strong lamps built in the covering cup of the tank... 39W T5 2 lamps... how can i have a dim light tank? my substrate is grey,brown,white and black... i think that it is OK.. should i add real wood in it?? thanks!!!
I think you need to decide on where this tank will go. If you want the knifefish, then you need to provide it with a suitable environment, and that means dim light, lots of hiding spots [which you have with the pipe]. With that he will likely be out more in the day; but he is a nocturnal fish, so the trick is to convince him it is twilight. Floating plants help, but different overhead light would be necessary.

The angelfish might be trouble, with nipping at the knifefish, especially on its own (the angel) as this is a shoaling fish that like to be in a group. Just a caution.

Substrate sounds fine; and yes, real wood is OK. If you buy it in a fish store, or online, it should be safe. Collecting natural wood outdoors can be done but does have some risks. Not all wood is safe as wood [don't ask which, because I've no idea what trees may occur in Greece], plus there are pathogens and parasites.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-30-2011, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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I think you need to decide on where this tank will go. If you want the knifefish, then you need to provide it with a suitable environment, and that means dim light, lots of hiding spots [which you have with the pipe]. With that he will likely be out more in the day; but he is a nocturnal fish, so the trick is to convince him it is twilight. Floating plants help, but different overhead light would be necessary.

The angelfish might be trouble, with nipping at the knifefish, especially on its own (the angel) as this is a shoaling fish that like to be in a group. Just a caution.

Substrate sounds fine; and yes, real wood is OK. If you buy it in a fish store, or online, it should be safe. Collecting natural wood outdoors can be done but does have some risks. Not all wood is safe as wood [don't ask which, because I've no idea what trees may occur in Greece], plus there are pathogens and parasites.
oh thank you so much!! i will do my best.. another question : will my sailfin pleco destroy my melon sword, or eat it when he grows up? now he is about 2,5 inches!
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-31-2011, 10:11 AM
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oh thank you so much!! i will do my best.. another question : will my sailfin pleco destroy my melon sword, or eat it when he grows up? now he is about 2,5 inches!
I've not heard of sailfins eating plants. But bear in mind, it will attain 1.6 feet and need much larger quarters before long, and at that size it might uproot plants. Swords if left undisturbed will established extensive root systems, but it still might get dug up.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-31-2011, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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I've not heard of sailfins eating plants. But bear in mind, it will attain 1.6 feet and need much larger quarters before long, and at that size it might uproot plants. Swords if left undisturbed will established extensive root systems, but it still might get dug up.
thx about all this info!
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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thx about all this info!
another question !! :P.... will a blue gourami (three spot) suit my tank.. or will it bully my angelfish?
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 10:26 AM
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It is not recommended to keep Gouramis and Angelfish together.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 10:33 AM
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Agree with Barb. And I have already noted that you have an inappropriate selection of fish now, I would not add more but sort out the present stock.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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