Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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rye 05-19-2008 11:14 AM

plant compatability
hi, new to the forum and had a question...Not sure if this should be in the plant or fish forum.

i recently bought my son a 75 gal aquarium and we are working on filling it. Right now it has only filtration and rosy reds in it to get the bio filter going. As far as fish, substrate, and plants it is still a blank slate, still in the planning phase, it will be a freshwater tank. I have always used artificial plants, but would like to give live plants a try. I have researched and found several live plants that I feel we are capable of keeping up and that are available at the LFS

My problem is that my son wants "fish that eat other fish" in the aquarium, he enjoys watching predatory fish eat ghost shrimp and feeders. I have looked around and am having a hard time finding predatory fish that he can feed live food to, but that will not uproot or eat the live plants.

Someone suggested needlefish, which sounds like a good option to me, but I would like to give my son a list of several fish and show him pictures so that he could choose which fish he wants.

Also I thought about some of the predatory catfish or knives, but I do not think he would like the fact that they are mainly active at night.

So does anyone have any suggestions for a predatory fish that will leave my plants in peace and be fairly active during the day? Thank you in advance.

jeaninel 05-19-2008 12:11 PM

One fish that comes to mind is the Ctenopoma Acutirostre (aka: African Leaf Fish, Bush fish, Spotted Climbing Perch). I have no experience with them but they have always intruiged me. I occasionally see them for sale at Petsmart and other lfs as African Leaf Fish. I believe there are a few members on here that keep them so maybe they can give you more info on them. Here's some links I found:

rye 05-19-2008 12:32 PM

those look great! Thank you for the info, any other suggestions?

okiemavis 05-19-2008 04:29 PM

Well, the only problem with leaf fish is that they are best kept in a species-only tank with very low light. They're skittish fish and you'll see very little of them if they aren't comfortable in their surroundings.

Some fish that may do well are:
-puffer fish (true freshwater, as brackish fish and plants don't mix well)
-african butterfly fish
-black ghost knife fish
-dwarf pike (Crenicichla compressiceps)

I also have two other suggestions for you. It's usually best to keep a bunch of fish from the same region so that you can fulfill their water parameter requirements. Also, if you're planning on feeding live fish, you should be prepared to begin breeding fish for food. Feeder fish from your LFS will be extremely disease and parasite ridden and your fish will almost definitely catch something. Inverts are fine to buy and feed, but other fish definitely need to be bred by you or quarantined for a minimum of 3 weeks.

iamntbatman 05-19-2008 09:01 PM

In reference to your son not enjoying the nocturnal fish (such as the black ghost knife) I definitely suggest considering getting special lighting. Moon lights or red tubes will have the effect of the fish thinking that it's night and thus it will be active in the tank while allowing you to view it. Not to mention that these types of lighting look pretty cool. Also, many fish can be adapted to daytime activity if they are fed primarily during the day. I wouldn't rule this out for something like a black ghost knife, as these fish seem to be one of the smarter fish out there and are easily trained to do things like eat from your hand.

rye 05-21-2008 03:08 PM

Thank you for your suggestions.

I have talked to him about the feasibility of it, and I have kept fish quite a bit, this will just be the first planted tank, so understand the issues with live food. After taking him to the pet store (the only fish from the suggestion pool they had was a black ghost knife) and letting him look around, I gave him the choice of no live plants or no predatory fish. He decided that it was fair to go with plants and more peaceful fish (the tank was both our birthday presents and he knew I was looking forward to starting up some live plants). He likes the clown loaches and we'll get him some smaller barbs, danios, or tetras or something that will be plant safe and do well in the loach's PH range.

So now that that's out of the way...I have started looking at live plants and am realizing that I have stepped into more than I thought I was getting into...i will make another thread for my newbie plant questions. Thank you.

GeegaFish 05-21-2008 03:31 PM

I have lots of guppies that sometimes eat their own fry. That can be intriguing and simultaneously appalling to watch. :shock:

I have also kept guppies in the 46 gallon community tank and have watched with the same horror/fascination combo as everything in the tank goes after the fry!

Any pregnant live bearer will do , if this helps. :?

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