Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Kaneatious 02-04-2007 11:24 AM

New to forum need help with Columbian Shark
I've had my 55 tank for over a year with great success. I got most of my info and help from Dr.s Foster and Smith as well as my equipment. So, my tank is generally in great shape, clean water, clean substrate, apparently happy fish.

In ignorence of compatability, I recently purchased a 6" Electric Catfish and placed him in my community tank, after being in an iso tank for a week. The next morning my normally VERY active pair of 7" Columbian Sharks (black-fins) were completely subdued and virtually immobile. One recovered fine, but the other appears to have a broken back. He wiggles his tail fins side to side but when he moves through the water (rare movement at best) he swims with a 30% arch in his midsection. Kind of banana shaped. Like his tail is only reacting to the muscle movement of his front half. This is going on 3 days now. I don't know if he'll recover, if he can survive this damage, what. Anyone have any advice?

Obviously, the Cat is now in his own tank as, I found through research, he is a fish best kept alone.

Lupin 02-04-2007 10:27 PM


Electric catfish should never have been sold to aquarists due to the potential dangers they can cause. The electric catfish may have delivered a strong electric shock which it uses to stun its predator or prey. It seems your fish is paralyzed. How many hours has it been like that since it was stunned?

Kaneatious 02-05-2007 05:55 AM

Today will be day 4 since it happened. He hasnt improved any further beyond his swimming description I stated. In minor defense of the LFS, the owner wasnt in when I bought the Cat. He had hired a new kid who basically knew nothing at all about the fish. The LFS in question sells odd and hard to find fish and I rarely have a chance to go home to research a particular fish and make it back before it's sold so I took a chance and snagged him while he was available. I'd never seen nor heard of them and, well, I wanted him. Since then, I've learned a great deal about the Electric Catfish and have given him his own home in a 20-long.

I'm not sure what to do at this point with the Col. Shark. His buddy is obviously upset, they usually spend all day swimming in vertical circles and figure-8's and since this happened he hasnt been doing much swimming. He obviously wants to, but is really not capable of swimming those antics anymore. I've had them both since the tank was first established and would hate to see him put down. At the very least I believe I may get another so his buddy will have a swim partner.

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