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How much is too much?
Hello forum friends! Clearly my first post means a few questions. I have at the moment your standard 55g. My GPH turn over rate is 670 and I'm in the middle of cycling. When this tank becomes cycled, I plan on adding a baby/juvenile*black ghost knife. NOW BEFORE EVERYONE FREAKS, I'm aware they can get up to 20' in length and require a huge tank. I've done plenty of research, and have come up with the decision that I will upgrade to a larger thank when the time comes. He should be perfectly fine for a period of time in a 55. But back on subject. I would like to add other fish to this tank. I was reading and a lot of people add Clown loaches, larger barbs, discus and angels. This is my first tropical tank. I did have fancy goldfish in an old 55, and they go by 10 g for every fish after the first one. How does the tropical fish work. I know most are schooling fish, and they like to have companions. The question is I guess, how do you know if you are over stocked or getting close? I don't want to get that close. Clearly the clown loaches and other fish will grow to a larger size as well, so all these fish will be small when put into the 55g keep in mind that I will upgrade to a larger tank when I see growth in the tank.
Welcome to the forum
Unfortunately you may not like my answer, but keeping fish in the tank that will outgrow the tank is overstocking, and it's hard to make suggestions for stock under those circumstances.
Now I agree, that the 55 will be fine for the ghost knife while it grows out. To what are you planning on upgrading?
I'm talking 150 at least. 125 at the smallest.
The only difference between the 150 and 125 is a few inches of height. A 180 would be the next step up, being 24 inches wide versus the 18 of the 125/150.
To help you, have a read of our profiles for some of the fish you are considering. Second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Minimum tank sizes, compatibility, and other info is in the profile. A BGK is a beautiful fish, but one that needs a very unique aquascape that does not suit a lot of other fish. The profile will detail this.
And jaysee is correct on fish growing, this occurs all their lives and they must be in sufficient water space to develop properly, internally and externally. Other fish in the tank also impact this, so compatibility is also important.
So the 180-200 range is better. The tank size isn't the problem. I can get whatever size tank is needed. Are you suggesting that he be the only thing in the tank? I've seen lots of videos where people keep them in tanks with other fish, and all seems well. Not saying that it is of course, but I feel as if it can be done. It says angels, discus and South American chilids. Which ones are those? Do you want peaceful fish or aggressive fish with him? The whole point I'm making is I'm building a tank around the BGK.
Some of the South and Central American cichlids are also good companions. Some of the larger but peaceful Loricariidae, such as the Whiptail-type. Brochis cats (these are larger than the corydoras species).
There are aquarists out there who maintain fish inappropriately. The fact that something "works" (this is a matter of opinion, if it really does "work" or not, long-term) does not mean it is the best for the fish. Many fish kept in such inappropriate environments never reach their normal lifespan, solely due to the stress they face every single day. Normal behaviour in a fish is the sign that it is in the proper environment. Responsible fishkeeping means we aim for the best environment, and sometimes this takes a bit of effort. It is first and foremost what the fish needs, not what the aquarist wants, that is important.
BTW, forgot earlier, welcome to TFK forum.:-D
I agree 100%. Thats why I want to fully understand what needs to be done before I get any kind of fish in this tank. I try to do as much research as possible on things like animals because like your signature says, they were probably happier before we had them. Discus and angels i dont see as a problem. Im jus a little unsure about the S.A.chiclids. What kinds are those? Clearly they would need to be peaceful, and Im thinking Oscars are SA but the arent so peaceful.
Thinking about this, i just realized that discus might not be the best tankmates due to the temperature. Knifefish are best around 77F which is much too low for discus. Tank raised angels would be ideal though.
I have previously mentioned the BGK display at the Vancouver Aquarium and Marine Science Centre in Vancouver where I live. It shows exactly how this fish should be maintained. The display tank is about 8 feet high and several feet in depth front to back, built into the wall from the floor up, and is very dimly lit. You have to stand in front of the tank for several moments to let your eyes adjust so you can even see the fish. But then a magnificent wonder of the fish world is revealed. The silky shimmering form of the black ghost knifefish with its white lateral line gently floating through the tank, close to the sides and back which are built to mimic a rock wall with many crevices and outcrops, and some large branches. There are about half a dozen knifefish. More obvious at first is the group of a dozen or so angelfish, that cluster around a tree trunk and branch, just as they do in the wild. The males challenging each other, but in such space never coming to actual physical contact. Of course one can hardly have this at home, but in a 6-7 foot tank that is 2 feet in depth and width, with lots of branches, sand substrate, dim lighting, floating plants--the knifefish would be in its element.
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