Originally Posted by fishheads
I'm so bad at this.
Any advice would be nice about the forearms. We just got a tank. It's a fifty five gallon and we want to fill it with carnivores. I'm thinking oscars, gars, fish like that. Ideally we'd like to get a separate ten gallon tank for feeder fish.
I've had them in the past. I'm just really attached to them and hate when they die.
Oscars and Gar are cute at four to six inches. as most often offered for sale in pet stores but with proper care,they should grow at a rate of about one inch per month ,and in a little over eight months,,the fishes should be close to twelve inches long depending on how small they are at purchase.
55 gallons is only twelve inches from front to back ,and would be way too small a tank to support these fishes as adults.
You ideally would need a tank of at least 125 gallons with filter(s) capable of filtering six to eight times the volume of water the tank holds each hour. (ie) 55x 8 = 440 gallons per hour.
Unless you are raising your own feeder fishes, offering store bought feeders is a very good way to introduce disease to your fish. Feeders at store are often ,(nearly always) kept in crowded, poorly maintained tanks ,and all it takes is one sick feeder fish to infect the whole tank of feeders and then any disease is then transferred to your tank and fish. Feeder fish should only be offered as occasional treat ,and frozen foods such as shrimp,chopped perch,krill,earthworms,along with prepared foods such as pellet foods with needed vitamins and vegetable matter(oscars),should be offered as staple ,lest the fishes refuse anything other than feeders which are poor nutritonally compared with prepared foods offered today.
Many are those who promise that larger tanks will be provided as these fish grow ,but few people keep that promise. As a result ,the fishes become stunted and sickly due poor water conditions,poor maint,poor filtration, poor diets,stress,and aggression from being kept in too small of tanks.
These fish then either slowly die from disease, or are turned loose when they grow too large for owner's small tanks. Is how they wind up in lakes and streams where they create direct competition for native species for food.
Would consider larger tank from the outset if these fish are being considered or re-think the species of fish you wish to keep. Plenty of smaller cichlids (carnivorous), that would be better suited for the 55 gal.
Research the fish that interest you and study their requirements with respect to proper sized aquarium,foods,compatibility with other fishes,adult size,and water chemistry.