Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Gibbons 04-09-2010 10:56 PM

Planaria Question
I believe I have Planaria in my one tank. The tank has a Piranha and I occasionally feed him Rosies that I get at Petsmart. So my first fear was that it was a parasite from the Rosies. I also added slate recently but I poured boiling water on them a number of times, which I read here that you shouldn't boil them. There are also two plants one grown from a seed I think its a type of lily, and a water wysteria that I bought a while ago. I do a 20% - 30% water change once a week and a use a gravel vac. I read that they show up when the gravel is dirty with uneaten food. But the piranha usually eats them whole, so I'm not sure why there would be uneaten food. I guess fecal material could support them or algae. The Nitrates are low so I was surprised to hear it was dirty. Reading I've seen that cleaning the gravel more and water changes will get rid of them but was wondering what else is helpful. Salt apparently should be added but I don't want to put stress on the Piranha at all.

My major question, though is where did they come from. I'm assuming they didn't spontaneously generate, but they could be everywhere maybe but almost microscopic, or was it the Rosies. I use them because I heard they are cleaner than goldfish.

iamntbatman 04-10-2010 04:07 AM

They can come from pretty much anything you add to the tank but large numbers of them are usually indicative of overfeeding. If scales and things like that get spread throughout your tank during feeding, that could be a contributing factor. Stepping up on your gravel vacs should be helpful.

Are live feeders all you feed him? I would suggest offering your fish a more varied diet. It can be difficult acclimating piranhas to prepared foods but it would be great if you did. They'll eat all sorts of frozen meaty foods, though. I would also try to stop using rosy reds. Aside from the obvious risk of introducing disease to your fish via feeders from the store, there are other health risks associated with feeding coldwater fish like goldfish and rosy reds to tropical species. If you want to have feeders be a part of your piranha's diet, I suggest setting up a second tank and using that to breed your own livebearers.

aunt kymmie 04-10-2010 09:26 AM

+1 to Batman's advice. Do you have any pics of your piranha to share??

Gibbons 04-10-2010 10:26 PM

I've heard mixed things about the Rosies. I suppose I will stop feeding them altogether since it is not worth the risk. I do feed him shrimp pellets and can get him to eat flake food sometimes. I don't know if they are the best for him but it's the only thing besides live food I can get him to eat. I heard beef heart isn't good because it has fat and apparently its bad for fish.

The Piranha used to be my brother's but I began taking care of him because was staying up north a lot and couldn't himself. My father had a Piranha back in the day and all he fed him was goldfish and he lived for a long time and seemed healthy.

The parameters of his tank were always great, better than I could ever get my community tank. He always seems happy and healthy so I thought I was doing a good job. There are a lot of myths about Piranhas and a lot of false information about them so its stressing me out a bit. I just want to do whats best for him.

I took some pics too. Not sure how to post them though...

iamntbatman 04-11-2010 03:23 AM

Nice looking fish!

Have you tried frozen foods? Things like brine shrimp and bloodworms are probably too small to really be worth trying but he'll probably like stuff like mysis shrimp, krill and silversides. Beefheart is ok to feed but only in moderation (maybe once every two weeks).

I'll have to find the article again but I've read reports that a certain type of fat in the coldwater fish can't be easily broken up by the digestive systems of tropical fish which leads to liver damage over time.

Ah, here we go:

In fact just about any other live food is preferable to feeder goldfish, as besides the before mentioned disease issues goldfish feeders contain the enzyme thaimase which breaks down thiamine. Thiamine is an important vitamin and if you use feeders as a large portion of your fish’s diet it will develop a thiamine deficiency

Gibbons 04-15-2010 03:30 PM

Petsmart does offer frozen silversides, but to feed them you defrost them, I'm assuming. What is the best way to do that?

Also I heard splashing them around will make the transition from live to frozen foods easier. Are there any other ways to do that? I suppose if he gets hungry enough he'll eat them.

What about ghost shrimp, the Petsmart near me gets them sometimes? The Petsmart near me is kept well and I've never had a problem with them so far.

Also What is a good way to raise my own live food?

Last of all, he does seem happy with Omega One Shrimp Pellets. I just fed him them the other night and he ate them quickly. Does this mean he is more willing to accept frozen foods? And is that a good addition to his diet?

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