Stocking ideas with Pictus Cats?
So I've been planning to start up my first aquarium this summer after I get moved in and settled in my apartment. I'm the type of person that likes to plan things out so that once I get what I need I can just crank it out. So I'm wanting to figure out my substrate, my plants, rocks/driftwood, etc. AND... my fish.
So, the main fish I'm getting is my Pictus Cats. They're a part of my childhood and so they are very important to me. I understand this fish is hard to pair off with tank-mates so I wouldn't be surprised if people start going off saying "____ &____ &____ fish won't work at all".
I've done the base research for compatible fish but I want professional opinions on what fish should be kept with the cats. I'm wanting colorful fish to really make my tank sparkle like Edward Collins (that was a sarcastic reference LOL just for humor... I hate those movies...) So the fish I've chosen are really colorful P: Or.. I've tried to make them anyways heh.
Pictus Catfish (of course)
x3-4 (this just depends on the tank I get. It'll be 55g or more, depends on what Craigslist offers me or if I can get to Petco on their $1 per gallon sale)
x4 (I'm in love with the Koi's and I figure they can also be the center fish too, thoughts?)
x? (not concerned with fry... since I'm sure my other fish will eat them, I'm cruel I know)
x? (the larger kind, forget their names)
x? (again, not concerned with fry)
I'm also kind of wanting a center fish or two so I've found some I like:
x1-2? (I love the Oscars but unsure how these will go with the other smaller fish)
x1-2? (preferably the bigger ones, but not the Blues since I've been told they're territorial and turds, same with the dwarfs even though they're pretty)
Obviously I won't have all these fish haha, its just a huge match-up list. P: Thoughts? Suggestions?
First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:-D
Second, as you are new, I'll mention our fish and plant profiles section under the second heading from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. For each species you will find data on numbers, compatibility issues, tank sizes, etc. If the name is used in a post identical to the name in the profile, it will shade, as Pictus Catfish, and you can click that for the profile.
I won't repeat all that is in the profile for the fish mentioned, so please have a read there. You will narrow your list down a bit after that.;-) Notice the comments on fish activity levels and not mixing active fish (like Pictus) with sedate fish (like angelfish), as this is an important criteria for a successful community aquarium that many fail to understand.
Any questions that arise, just ask.
Oh isn't that nifty, very nifty. Thank you for pointing that out to me. Was curious as to why there were two grey-highlighted names in my post.
Anywho, really... the only thing for fish I have to work with here is Petsmart (not sure if we have a petco... google maps says we do here in missoula... but I'm getting nothing but a dot in the middle of nowhere on the map) which even narrows down my choices more. Our LFS here has had very bad reputation in the past... if you're curious... read the reviews here:
There are mixed reviews, but the ones that are very poor frighten me off... there was one review from a customer that said they had DEAD ANIMALS ON THE FLOOR in the back of the building. Uhg....
Also... being a college student ordering fish from a breeder is out of the question, its just way too expensive for me and too much of a hassle even though I know it's worth it all in the end.
Rainbowfish aren't bad... but the comparison between their tiny little heads and their huge oval-like body is a bit off-putting to me.. love the colors though.
Are these the ONLY fish that I can work with? Or will other 'similar' fish within their same species? Are none of the fish I listed above compatible with the Pictus?
In our profiles, there are quite a number of characins (under that heading). Just off the top of my head, Bleeding Heart Tetra would work, and there are many others. The barbs and danios are other groups, these are under cyprinids. Just avoid the tiny ones.
yeah i typed them in on this website and got the long list, just briefly went though the list mainly just looking at the size. I only saw a few, but again... I don't know how many of these tetras that I actually like are in the store. which is why the list i have are what I KNOW is in the store. Obviously Angelfish, Gourami's, and Cichlids are out now P:
Heh... I never did well in high school when it came to scientific names, I don't recognize them, understand them.... I don't even bother to learn them now since the common name is... just so much more simpler (to me anyways) so when ya'll start using scientific names i'm like... "Uhhh.... what was that?" lol
This may sound silly to a lot of you, but I like being thorough and detailed so I went through the list of fish... ALL OF THEM, and i scanned over them briefly, enough to get an idea of their compatibility, group size, dispositions (such as fin nipping) their 'personality' as in how active they are, how big the fish get, and their water parameters. (i also did the same with the plants I want to put in the tank)
I've wanted to find fish that don't need a large amount of light and do well in dimmer light quality (plants as well) so that my catfish will be more active. Also stuck to fish that wanted soft to medium hard water (though unsure how I can make my water softer if it gets too hard...) and a more acidic side to the pH. I know fish can adjust well to both pH and temperature, but I want the community to be as equal as possible so I found fish that did well in slightly cooler water (75-ish or lower) I also only chose fish that were AT LEAST 2" in length, but I'm unsure just how big is "big enough" to prevent my catfish from eating them
Bare with on this long list, the reason why i'm listing out all the fish is because this gives me more options in case the store doesn't have one or the other. So of course this list with thin down either by compatibility issues or the fact that the fish may not be carried by the store and need to be ordered. This is where your input is nice since I'm unsure how "rare" some of the fish may be and if the only way I can find them would be to order them.
Anyways... sorry rambling here, but here is the list:
Black Widow Tetra
False Rummy Nose Tetra
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Spotted Driftwood Catfish
Lots of Tetras, yes, but I looked through them specifically for the ones I liked since I wanted color in my tank aside from the plants and props. I also wanted schooling fish.
I'm unsure about the Cory's since I'm not quite sure if they'd be able to coexist along side the pictus at the bottom of the tank. I've seen a few people with the two mixed and they seemed fine but I want experienced answers instead of just my assumptions P:
I chose fish that were as close as possible, like stated earlier, in pH, temperature, and water softness. Some of the tetras I noticed did better in warmer water, and yeah I know fish adapt, but I want to provide the most exact environment I can for my fishy pals, hence why I made the fish choices I did.
So to sum this block of text down, the main question I'm asking is:
What fish can I have/would do best?
Are there ones I should stay away from or ones that would require ordering rather than going to the pet store to pick them up?
As this is a 55g and the Pictus need a group, I would tend not to have other substrate fish (corys) with them. The activity level of the Pictus will generate enough interest down there, and corys are not all that happy with bustling activity around them.
Similar thought for a couple of the tetra. Good upper fish with active substrate fish are barbs and danio, and some of the tetra.
A comment on temperature; fish are actually not that adaptable because being "cold blooded" the temperature of the environment has a significant impact on their physiology. Generally speaking, fish should be kept somewhere in the middle of their preferred ranges. The higher the temperature, the harder the fish must work just to maintain the normal functions. I was reading an interesting article the other day where the author was suggesting that most of us would possibly have healthier fish without any heaters, assuming the ambient room temperature remains around 70-75 and the nights do not get too cold. I'm not suggesting this, certainly not for all fish, but it is an interesting idea.
i've been told that barbs are pretty turdy though. and by turdy I mean they nip and such. My guess is it's because there aren't enough of their numbers, but wasn't sure if it was just the slower moving fish that got picked on or if it was the fancy finned fish (prob both) wasn't sure if the pictus would be safe from them even though they aren't fancy with fins and are really active, I was worried mainly about their whiskers P:
K so i'll definitely remove the cories from the list. and yeah I know that most of the fish are seasonal, but that isn't a problem to me. I can easily ask the store if they get this fish, and when they get it. I think our petsmart here will order fish for you or 'put them on hold' I guess, though... obviously will cost more. I'll just have to talk to them about it.
Ah, so then what i've been hearing from other fishkeepers have been false, somewhat, anyways. I've always read fish can adapt to a wide range of temperatures and pH levels, but... I know fish strive in their NATURAL water parameters, so I did my best to pick fish that all fell within the 70ish range
I'll look into the barbs though P: I was just worried about my cat's whiskers since I know they're tempting to ME to play with (would never do it but ya know LOL)
Fish adaptability is in my opinion something of a myth, at least when it comes to the environment. And by this I mean GH, pH, temperature, and "decor" in the aquascape. We tend to forget that each species has evolved over thousands of years to function best in a very specific environment. The connection between the fish and its environment (water) is much more significant than it is for terrestrial animals because so much of the fish's physiology interacts directly with water passing into the fish through all the cells. You might find my article on stress enlightening, as I set out the significant health issues caused by straying too far from the "norm" for a species.
i actually did just find the Black Ruby Barb, very pretty. I appreciate your help :) You gave me so much information and your article was very informative, definitely something to earn a place in my bookmarks and will certainly refer other people to it that need the info.
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