Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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cammel 08-14-2008 06:21 PM

Help Please!!!
Hi we have a slight problem if anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.
We have purchased a 20 litre tank in which we decided to have tropical.
We originally had 4 guppy's, 1 Mono, 4 dwarf gourami's, 5 small sucking catfish
the tank has plenty of room. It's sitting on 25C or 77F.
In the last week we have lost 3 guppy's & 1 gourami's.
We purchased 2 Dwarf Gourami's from one shop & the next day got 2 more from another shop.
The Gourami's seem to be attacking each other & the guppy's, any idea on why they are doing this?
As i was told they were community fish.
The Ph level is normal.
They get feed 4 to 5 times a day so i thought it wouldn't be because they were hungry.
Is the temp ok?
Thanks in advance

qpc68 08-14-2008 07:46 PM

Google "Freshwater Aquarium Cycle" and do some research. Or, wait for someone to spell it all out for you on here.

iamntbatman 08-14-2008 08:40 PM

Yep...definitely do some research on the aquarium cycle. If you added all of those fish to a 20 liter tank that had just been set up, you've probably got huge amounts of ammonia in there. Get yourself a good liquid test kit (like the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, not the test strips). This will allow you to test the water to see when your ammonia (and eventually, your nitrite then your nitrate) become too high for your fish to bear. Since ammonia and nitrite are both highly toxic, you should do a water change every time either one goes above 0.25 ppm.

I'll be straightaway honest with you - you're going to have a lot of trouble with that stocking list in a tank as small as yours. The guppies are a good choice, as they stay pretty small. If you get mixed sex guppies, you can look forward to having tons of baby guppies to deal with in the future that will eventually overrun your tank unless you find someone else who wants some of them. The dwarf gouramis are very territorial fish. Almost all of the ones sold in stores are male and will not get along with one another. I wouldn't be surprised if they attacked other brightly colored fish, such as the guppies, either. The sucker catfish are also likely going to be a problem, unless they are oto catfish. Most other common "sucker" catfish (there are a huge variety, so a picture would be helpful) are either Chinese algae eaters, which get to be 6" long (although I've heard of them reaching a foot) and get very aggressive, or they're some sort of plecostomus. Even the smaller pleco species still reach 4-5" and will produce much more waste than your small tank can handle. Many plecos are just common plecos, which grow to at least 18" and need a 75 gallon tank. Your mono is a brackish water fish that can't survive in freshwater. It will also eventually reach 8" in size and need a fully saltwater tank.

Hate to rain on your parade like that, but whoever told you that those fish would all get along in a 20 liter tank was completely bonkers.

Ironteenrich 08-14-2008 08:57 PM

Isn't 20 ltr= ~5 gallons. Thats completely overstocked.

cammel 08-14-2008 09:33 PM

we were told the mono is freshwater (heated of course)
we are going to get a huge tank the beginning of next year.
will post pic tonight.
we were told to have more than 1 gourami as then they will chase each other & not bother with any other fish

iamntbatman 08-14-2008 09:57 PM

I'm not really sure why they told you that. Dwarf gouramis are generally pretty good community residents, but like I said, they really don't like the company of other dwarf gouramis. They may stress each other to death.

Do you have a picture of this mono, or could you describe it in detail? When I hear "mono", I think Monodactylus sebae, which are definitely brackish fish when young and saltwater fish when more mature.

cammel 08-14-2008 10:33 PM

the mono is silver body, top yellow fin, has 2 black strips and black bottom fin. the mono is an actual Australian Native.
So i think because i live in Australia maybe we have different fish, does anyone know of an Australian Tropical Fish Forum?

iamntbatman 08-15-2008 12:00 AM

Ah ok, that's Monodactylus argentus, which is native to the coastal areas of Australia. They stay a bit smaller than the mono sebaes, but still get to about six inches and are definitely a brackish water fish. Here's a link:

We have members from all over the world here on Fish Forum who keep a wide variety of fish, including many species native to Australia, so I think we've got you covered :wink:

KarlS 08-17-2008 10:21 AM

I was reading up on them and it does say they will need a salt water aquarium as they mature.. well basically here IS was what I found.. (copy pasted)

Monodactylus Argenteus is a very active, turbulent fish. Its silver body is in a triangular shape. Its fins are silver with yellow reflections and a black trim. Its eyes are relatively big and are crossed with a dark ray. A second ray goes from the top of its body to the opercules. This fish has very small scales and are very bright with good lighting.
Monos are fast swimmers and quite turbulents. Young, they are usually peaceful but become more agressive as they grow. They also loose their colors to become totally silver as they become older. Monos are voracious. They will eat most common commercial foods as well as algaes and vegetables. They will nibble on soft plants
It is recommended to keep these fish in schools of at least three. At least 55 gallon of water is required for this fish to develop and thrive. The tank should have roots and rocks to provide Monos with hidding areas. Some rooted plants are also appreciated from these fish (smaller, softer plants with no roots could be eaten). Plants will have to be ok with brackish water. A powerful filtration is also required as these fish get bigger.
Monodactylus Argenteus will require salt water as they grow. Youngs can be raised in freshwater but they usually do better in brackish then saltwater tanks. If kept in freshwater when adults, water will have to be very alkaline (ph over 8) for them to prosper. In the wild, Monos go up streams and rivers to spawn. The youngs then go down these streams and get used to saltier waters. At maturity, Monos are used to fully marine water and are found in the coastal areas of Africa, Asia and in Australia. In captivity, Monodactylus Argenteus can live up to 10 years.

On a side note they are a very nice lookng fish :)

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