New 70 ga tank
I'm new at this whole fish keeping thing since I have inherited two tanks this week. I've got a 40 ga tank that belonged to my son that has three 4 inch red tailed tinfoil barbs and a 4 inch red tailed shark. I've also inherited a 70 ga tank that has what I think is 2 three inch green terrors and a 5 inch Jack Dempsey. Now the question I have is what do I do with all these guys. I currently have all the fish in the 70 ga tank while I got the 40 ready and the shark is terrorizing the barbs and the cichlids don't seem to bother anyone. What kind of rooming arrangements do you recommend?
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All of your fish, except for the red tailed shark, have the potential to get quite large. The red tailed tinfoil barbs can reach 8"; however, if they are the standard tinfoil barbs (which also have red tails) they could get to 12". The cichlids are all capable of reaching close to a foot. My suggestion would be to look at the fish profiles provided on the site (found green terror info on Wikipedia) and then decide which fish you want to keep. I realize that it's not always easy to find a new home for fish, but unless you are willing to get a much larger tank, that is the best route to take. Some LFS are willing to take fish and might even give you a store credit. The red tailed shark is just being a red tailed shark. The sharks typically don't add serenity to a tank. If you choose to keep any of the current fish, the 70 gallon should be their home. That leaves the 40 gallon as a new project for you to design for yourself.
Thanks I looked around and no one will take any of these fish. The pet shops around here want nothing to do with this size of fish. How long will it take before they reach that kind of size? I've had the barbs for a couple of years and they are still relatively small. The JD and GT have been in the 70Ga tank for a year and are still tiny. Hoping to buy some time before I change aquariums
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You probably have a reasonable amount of time before the situation gets critical. A lot depends on the conditions and feeding the fish have experienced and how big they were when they were purchased. The 70 gallon was actually pretty well suited for the cichlids. The 40 gallon, while large enough inch of fish per gallon wise, probably wasn't sufficient insofar as swimming area is concerned for the barbs and the shark. I'd be tempted to keep them as you have them. The red tailed shark harassing the tinfoil barbs is aggravating though. While I'd hate to see you tie up the forty just to get him away from the barbs, I'd put him there until a better solution comes up. Honestly, I'd use my wiggle room to rehome the fish you don't want, unless you are really interested in getting a larger tank.
I agree with what's been suggested long-term, but I am concerned over the immediate issue. You mention the shark being nasty (to put it mildly) towards the barbs. This is only going to get worse, and probably much worse, fast. This species (the red tail shark) is naturally hostile to substrate fish and frequently upper fish it takes a dislike to, often due to stripes I'm told. Whatever the reason, if the individual shark is now beginning to flex its muscles, it is not going to change, ever. And what this means is terror for the fish targeted, which causes stress and poor health, and quite likely early death. This sort of situation should never be allowed to continue.
As giving the fish away to anyone seems impossible, I would put the shark in the 40g on its own. My only reservatio here is that the barbs in the tank with the cichlids may well be targeted by them, so perhaps the barbs should be moved into the 40g.
Next issue to surface will be the behaviour of the green terrors and Jack Dempsey. Both fish have common names suggestive of their temperaments. This will soon become a problem too.
Of course one option which unfortunately is sometimes necessary, is to destroy the problem fish. You could try to find nearby aquarists who might want some of these, but if that is unsuccessful you need to do something or the fish will kill themselves anyway.
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