Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Questions all over. Lighting? Food? Crazy Behavior? More fish? (

sports10121 10-23-2009 02:56 PM

Questions all over. Lighting? Food? Crazy Behavior? More fish?
I have a 45 gallon take with 2 bala sharks, 3 red tailed sharks, 1 pleco, and 1 blue lobster. When passed down to me (school theatre aquarium) I was told to keep the light on 24/7 and feed them (Tropical Flakes) once every day, and not to worry about weekends. I'm all new to this and I have no clue what I'm doing. Does that sound right? I did a little research and saw that some people turn the light off for a certain number of hours each day and feed twice daily. I also saw that some people had a lot more fish in their tank than that. Should I add more? I was thinking otto catfish.

On a different note, the 2 bala sharks have been acting crazily for a while. I look through the window of the office and they are swimming around fine, but as soon as I open the door, turn the light on, and walk near them they dash around the tank and smack against the walls. One day about 6 months ago, I walked in to something flopping around on the ground. I saved the bala and put him back into the tank, not sure of how long it was out. Did that insident that long ago cause this behavior? The other bala is doing the same what's going on?

I'm so confused and overwhelmed about this.

Please help!!

molliefan09 10-23-2009 03:07 PM

Questions everywhere! Crazy behavior? More fish? Light?
i do know bala sharks can get rather large and will out grow that tank and they are also known for slamming into the side of the tank when they are freaked out. Also if the lights are off and then you flick them on you could very well startle the fish and cause them to spaz. lights should not be kept on 24/7 they need a rest period....also feeding once daily is fine....the pleco if it is a common pleco will also out grow this tank

sports10121 10-23-2009 03:47 PM

How long do you think the rest should be? just overnight?

Jack Middleton 10-23-2009 03:48 PM


Originally Posted by sports10121 (Post 262458)
How long do you think the rest should be? just overnight?

the lights should be on no longer than 10 hours or you may get algae problems.

Twistersmom 10-23-2009 08:03 PM

Agree with jack about turning out the lights, but not just for algae problems. I try to keep things natural for my fish. In the wild, there would be night time and many fish sleep during this time.
My balas still move around some at night, but at a slower rate. LED moonlight, although not necessary, is more natural for your fish. Moon light would naturally light a body of water. My balas are less startled when I turn out the lights, with the help of the moon lighting.
Bala sharks will grow to large for a 45 gal tank. Mine are close to 8 inches long, but in the wild they can grow to over a foot. They are also schooling fish. They should be kept in groups of 6 plus, but most home aquariums can not accommodate to their needs. They can be quite flighty if not kept in large groups, I believe that is what you are seeing.

sports10121 10-23-2009 08:54 PM

What do you think about more fish? I realize that the balas and the pleco will grow out of it, but because of having the light on I have been noticing a lot of algea on the inside of the aquarium walls. I looked around a little and saw that a few otto catfish may come in handy, but I'm not really sure about it.

MoneyMitch 10-24-2009 12:04 AM

they are going crazy from all the light and no sleep time,

First things first switch your light schedule to a 12/12 on/off schedule. Fish are like us and need there sleep time just like us. Do you have any water test kits, or have you heard of the nitrogen cycle?

What part of Columbus are you in? im about 25 mins away from there and am originally from north side (Weber rd hudson area)

jeaninel 10-24-2009 02:51 AM

I've never kept Balas but I do know that they are very skittish fish and need large tanks not only because they grow big but also because they need lots of swimming area. You'll eventually need at least a 6 foot tank for them. Also they like to be in groups.

Twistersmom 10-24-2009 09:31 AM

I am not sure if the ottos would do well with the red tailed sharks or lobster.
I would just scrape the algae off, on water change days.

wumpus 10-24-2009 09:41 AM

I have three balas and they can be skittish. I think it helps to keep them in larger groups but in your case the tank you have may just be too small for them. You probably also need a tighter fitting hood if they're jumping out. As for the light, definatly turn it off for the night. I don't know if this is a problem, but I've heard that redtail sharks can be aggressvie with each other and other bottom dwelling sharks.

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