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fishfreak2009 07-08-2010 06:57 PM

tankmates in a 180 gallon
I am redoing my 180 gallon again. I have some fish and want to add some others. This is what is in there.

8 Angelfish
8 Australian Rainbowfish
1 Peacock Eel

This is what I know I'm adding.

1 Black Ghost Knifefish
2 Peacock Eel (Making a trio)
2 Reticulated Stingray (had thema while ago, I know they fit in this size tank)
3 Electric Blue Jack Dempsey (Very peaceful, not at all like regular dempseys)

Any other suggestions? Or does the tank sound pretty full. By the way, the tank has a 50 gallon sump, so it's got extra water capacity.

Inga 07-08-2010 08:03 PM

I can't give you any advice as I am a newbie to fish but I just had to say that I can't wait to see your electric blue Jack Dempsey's. That is what I wanted to have in my tank until I found out that a 60 gallon tank is too small for them. :-( I think they are lovely little fish and I really enjoyed watching them in the store. I hope you will post pictures of yours when you get them.

redchigh 07-08-2010 08:29 PM

My brain has trouble comprehending a tank that large...

I'd say it's full though-
Not for the bioload, as much as the territories....

Want some Green Terrors for that tank?
I have some to get rid of...
Pretty small, but probably fast enough to avoid being food for a while.

fishfreak2009 07-10-2010 01:32 PM

Well, I decided I will add more fish to the tank than what I listed but I will thin them out if problems arise and as they grow. I am adding a thermometer knifefish and a group of trumpet (ossa) knifefish, as well as upping the number of ghost knives to 4. The thermometer and trumpet knives are schooling species that are peaceful and I have found that ghost knives do not squabble when kept in larger groups. I might also add an African Knifefish.

Is it apparent yet that I like knifefish... ;-)

Byron 07-11-2010 10:21 AM

I must caution you on so many knifefishes. In my opinion this is asking for trouble, primarily in the health of the fish. Not only can they be aggressive--and with no disrespect, whatever our past experience may indicate with this or that species, the natural instincts of any species is engrained into that species and may be exhibited differently from fish to fish but the potential is nonetheless there and should be carefully considered. But also knifefish have an electronic field that they use as you undoubtedly know from your past experiences with them; kept more than one fish to an aquarium can cause considerable stress to the fish from the disruption to their electronic field by another knifefish.

Jeff Howe, who has degrees in biiology and marine biology and work experience at the Smithsonian, wrote an article on these fish in the May 2010 issue of AFI. He points out the above and recommends only one knifefish per aquarium, up to a 300g.


fishfreak2009 07-12-2010 02:20 PM

By further research, most of the knifefish, Aba Aba knife aside, are highly compatible with one another, in fact are schooling species that do better with companions. The ossa knife and thermometer knife are perfect examples. Also, I will probably be getting one black ghost knife the thermometer knife and the group of ossa knifefish, and as I said if problems arise I will separate them. At 16 tanks, I'm not at a loss for tanks to move animals. I had 2 black ghost knives for quite a while before and had them growing extremely fast (2 inches a month!). They were together in this tank. I ended up selling them at $75 each, and each knifefish was over a foot long. They had no compatability problems as long as each had a hiding spot. Morymids are very aggressive with one another, but even they get along well as long as they are kept in a school of at least 5, and the school is in a 6 foot tank.

As for AFI, I used to like that magazine when I was younger, but as I gained experience I have found that many of the articles are written by people who have less experience than me, and I have found a lot of faults over the years with the articles in that magazine. I have found TFH to be a much better magazine, both for accuracy and for more advanced hobbyists. don't get me wrong, AFI is great for beginners, but for an advanced freshwater hobbyist, TFH is the way to go.

Byron 07-12-2010 03:40 PM

I also get TFH and I read Practical Fishkeeping which is also highly recommended. I also spend much of my day researching online sites written by highly qualified biologists and ichthyologists. Jeff Howe knows what he is talking about.

If you are going to dismiss offhand what knowledgeable individuals write in magazines or what those of us with considerable experience in fish offer as help for the sake of your fish, there is no point in asking. But before I end my time in this thread, a couple of things to consider.

The fact that a few juvenile fish appear OK to you (or me) does not mean they are, nor does it mean they should be together at all. Fish confined to an aquarium, however large it may be, are still confined to a very small volume of water compared to anything they would encounter in nature, and they are affected in many ways (internally, stress, pheromones, pathogens) and far greater in the aquarium. And they have no escape, so the stress builds. Some individual fish react to this with increased aggression, some quite the opposite. You have no more idea than I do what the fish are thinking or feeling. I am not an aquarist who experiments with the lives of my fish in order to find out this or that. One assured road to successful healthy fish is to provide what they require. This or that species that shoal (not school by the way) together is fine; mixing such species is something completely different. And the BGK should not have other knifefish species in the same aquarium.

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