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Discussion Starter #1
I seem to have acquired an addiction to buying the newest, most attractive arrivals to my local fish store. the problem is I might have over stocked my tank with what I was told were all "community" fish. Here's what I have so far:
1 Black Ghost Knife Fish - 5 in.
1 Glass Knife Fish - 2 in.
1 Albino Rainbow Shark - 3 in.
1 Redtail Shark - 1 in.
2 Blue Rams - 1 in. each
3 Angelfish - 1 in. each
1 Loricaria Catfish - 3 in.
1 Farlowella Catfish - 3 in.
1 Striped Raphael Catfish - 2 in.
1 Leopard Pleco - 2 in.
1 Clown Pleco - 1 in.

I have a 30 gallon freshwater tank set up with multiple caves, plants, and rocks for hiding spots. I purchased the 2 rams together hoping they would only fight each other because I know they get territorial but they're still very little so I thought it wouldn't happen for a while. Same with the sharks. I had neons but the BGKF seems to have eaten them because they're all gone. My main concern is my angels because they are the ones getting ripped up...fins all mangled and one lost an eye. Is there any one specific problem I have or am I overstocked?

Thanks for any help you can give me!
 

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The BGK, both sharks, the leopard pleco get too big for that tank. You need to get a MUCH bigger tank or take them back. The 30gal is still over stocked, you have alot of fish in there that will hit 6-7" (all the catfish, the clown pleco, and the glass knife fish). Generally the for beginners it is suggested 1" of fish per gallon. You count the adult lenght not the current lenght.

Also, as you have found. there are going to be aggresion problems in your tank with the fish you have. Many will get eaten as some of your monsters grow. The BGK is probably eyeing your angles, rams, and the other 1" fish.... Don't be too suprised if you turn on the lights one morning and some are missing.
 

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Definitely agree with the above advice, though I'm not sure sure about the 1" per gallon rule, a lot more things should be taken into account then just size such as activity level and aggression. Especially in a beginners case.

Both Knife Fish will get much to big for your current tank and I believe require something along the lines of a 75+ gallon tank, not to mention they're aggressive. Also, two sharks shouldn't be kept in the same aquarium period, and they require 50+ gallons. Unless you plan to upgrade in the VERY near future, I'd take both back and if I were you definitely take both Knife Fish.
Rams also require very different conditions from what I have read and understand and are VERY sensitive to water parameters, not recommended for beginners or new aquariums. And two males will fight. I'd take them both back as well.
Also, what are your tank demotions? Angels need taller tanks as opposed to longer and if you don't end up with a pair.....well, come breeding age it'll be very bad. Even if you do have a pair the odd one out will get picked on and likely die. If you plan to upgrade to a 40-50 gallon at some point, I's keep just one Angel and take the others back.......unless your keen on babies. Then you should upgrade to a 55 gallon, see if any pair off, return the odd one out, and then prepare for many little Angels. If no upgrading but REALLY like your Angels....pick your favorite and return the other two, but plan for a home when your last one starts getting too big.
I don't know much about catfish, but it looks like all save for the clown pleco will get too large, so I'd return them too....
Now your practically starting over again fish-wise, but its for the best. If I were you I'd now go to the magic google machine and begin researching some smaller, more peaceful community fish. I'd probably go with a single centerpiece fish, something like a Dwarf gourami(permitted all three Angels go, if not this skip this)that max out at around 3"(love those guys and kept one per tank are usually very peaceful)and then a small school of some sort of tetra, 6-7 would do I think for a 30 gallon. And remember, research and don't listen to the people at pet stores. 9/10 times they're very wrong ;)
If you can't take your fish back, Craigslist is always an option. You can sell or give them away, but they should go.

I hope this helps, anyone is welcome to correct any info I've got wrong here xD
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks guys for the quick responses and i have a response for your very valuable info...

i was fully aware that the fish i purchased will get big. i do plan on upgrading to a 55 or ideally a 75 gallon tank around september. this is why i wasn't necessarily concerned of the size of the fish for right now. the mixture of types is more what i'm concerned about. everyone told me the blue rams were peaceful but it seems like they're the most aggressive fish i have (with the exception of the BGKF which i knew would eat the tetras but i was ok with it).

my albino has been with my angels since they were all introduced together and they never fought. but it does have its cat and mouse games with the redtail. i'm going to the pet store today to buy some more plants. i'm hoping this will give another territory for them to share to cut down on chasing.

i also have a 45 gallon hexagon tank with some cichlids in it so if the cats get too big for my other tank i'm going to let them possibly share that space or trade them in but they're way too small for me to even think about that now.

plus correct me if i'm wrong but if i have bottom feeders, they won't really bother with the middle and top feeders right? my whiptails are never in anyone's way and the striped raphael hides all day. the plecos suck on the glass and rocks all day...really i think all i have to worry about is the sharks, angels, rams, and ghosts....
 

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Ahh, I see. Good to know you plan on upgrading, so then comes down to the mix as you are asking which isn't so great IMO. Blue Rams, from what I've heard, are peaceful but the males tend to get aggressive and territorial with one another and sometimes other tank mates. Never had them, but this is what I've heard. I'd still take them back though.

I'd still take back the BGKF as well if I were you and wouldn't put the cats in the 45 hex, not enough room for a large bottom dweller at all IMO. If you end up going for the 55, I would take back the Raphael if I were you. Thats quite a few bottom dwellers. If your going for the 75 then I think you'd probably be OK, but I still think that you have a few too many bottom dwellers.
When moving I'd probably leave the Clown Pleco in the 30 gallon, but thats just me.

No matter what, pick your fav of the two sharks and take the other one back. I did a lot of research on this back when I was thinking about getting one, two in any tank is a disaster waiting to happen. They're small now, but when they reach maturity there will be a lot more then just chasing. They are also likely to become aggressive towards your other bottom dwellers, hints why I say I think you may have a few to many. I wouldn't really worry too much about them with Angels though, as the Shark is more of a bottom level while an Angel is a topish dweller.

Most bottom feeders won't bother your other fish, there are a few that can get aggressive though apart from the Sharks, from my understanding, you should be okay aggression-wise. The big issue really I think is floor space and such.
 

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the current tank they are in is just to small for even all the bottom feeders and thats if you get rid of the fish fore mentioned in earlier posts.......Its just a wrong combination of fish for the size tank and the species you are keeping...Adding plants wil be good for your water parameters, but its not gonna stop aggression in a 30 gallon.....you need to rehome ALOT of these fish or step up to a 100 or larger and waiting till September isnt gonna be an option....Some of these fish wont be around if you wait till September
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ammonia, nitrites, nitrates etc. are all healthy and under control; i do 20-25% water changes weekly religiously; stress coat and new tropical fish salt every water change. temp i keep at 80-82; i have a bubble wall to keep the water oxygenated; so from what everyone is telling me, if i had to get rid of a few, i would let the clown pleco go and the loricaria whiptail go. i can't see myself parting with the others...they really set a great diversity in the community. i really wanna believe you tell me this size tank won't last a few months but from my experience in the past 6 months of having these fish, they haven't grown dramatically. it might be just the life stage they're in but i really see them making it a few months with the size tank i have them in right now. will adding a bunch of new hiding places and rearranging the tank every week solve my aggression problem till i upgrade to the bigger tank?
 

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I still stand by my previous advice and the advice of Fishin Pole and Mikaila31, up to you whether you want to follow it or not but your combo of fish just won't work. You've already witnessed some aggression, this will only escalate with time and you'll likely end up loosing most of these fish in the end, and probably a few before you get a chance to upgrade if you don't take action now.
Its computability you should be worried about, not dramatic fish growth within a few months time, and again its just not a very good combo. :/
 

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ammonia, nitrites, nitrates etc. are all healthy and under control; i do 20-25% water changes weekly religiously; stress coat and new tropical fish salt every water change. temp i keep at 80-82; i have a bubble wall to keep the water oxygenated; so from what everyone is telling me, if i had to get rid of a few, i would let the clown pleco go and the loricaria whiptail go. i can't see myself parting with the others...they really set a great diversity in the community. i really wanna believe you tell me this size tank won't last a few months but from my experience in the past 6 months of having these fish, they haven't grown dramatically. it might be just the life stage they're in but i really see them making it a few months with the size tank i have them in right now. will adding a bunch of new hiding places and rearranging the tank every week solve my aggression problem till i upgrade to the bigger tank?
I'm just telling you how to keep your fish healthy and happy. It seems like you only want to keep them (and forgo proper care) because they make the tank look nice:|. A lot of your fish are young given there size. You do realize that in six months many of them should of grown quite a bit. For example, I bought a bunch of German blue rams at an auction about 6 months ago they were fry at .25", currently they are almost 1.75" long and have bred already. The fact that your fish are not growning shows something is wrong. Fish kept in tank that is too small or too crowded will not grow properly, it is called stunting. Stunting causes internal problems and stresses the fish, it shortens there lifespan a great deal and makes them susceptible to illness. You have semi-agressive fish. They NEED room. In such a small tank territories are going to be tight, so they will be constantly bickering and harassing each other. This adds more stress and a greater chance of disease. Sure they may live till you upgrade the tank, but they will have a shorter life to live out in it.

Also from the care you gave me (not much) there are a lot of things you need to change. First, what are water par., "healthy and under control" does not mean anything. What are they in PPM? Also STOP using the salt and do some more research on proper care, 1/2 the fish you have are sensitive to salt or should just not be kept with it. Turn the temp down, again compatibility comes into play. The plecos, cats, and knife should be kept 76-78 IMO. The rams and angles should be closer to 80-82.

As with dragonfish, I stand by what I previously said. Get rid of most of them, get a 75gal tank, then go buy some of the same species.
 

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Personally I feel the fish are not particularly pleased with the enviornment they are in but hey,, They didn't have any say in the matter. The whiptail, Farlowella,striped raphael,Angelfish,rams,and plecos will all suffer with weekly addition of aquarium salt. They may not show symptoms of suffering for some time, but eventually the salt content of the water will affect their osmoregulatory functions. Salt does not evaporate or dissipate in the aquarium and with weekly addition of salt, well,,, there will be no need for worry about the fish getting too large for I suspect many will become sick and perhaps die as a result. None of the fish mentioned tolerate salt for any prolonged period of time,and some of them ,, not at all.

I see Mikaila, has beaten me to the punch in regards to use of salt .
 

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Just adding my two cents, I've got an African Knife fish and discovered through research that many knife fish produce a very very weak electrical current that they use to locate their prey, similar to a bat's echo location and as such, two knife fish shouldn't be kept together because they will confuse each other's "sonar" if you will. Now I may be wrong about the GKF but if it is a true knife fish then it should follow that same pattern. If you notice, that's what those two 'feeler' like projections on the front of their mouth are for.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ok so i took out the glass knife and a ram. it looks like my angels haven't gotten kicked around since. i guess i can part with the clown pleco and the loricaria since those are my least favorite. also, just a question, but i've heard that slight overcrowding could cut down on aggression. obviously that could be the root to my problem so was i just missinformed?

as far as the salt is concerned, i only use the recommended dosage to keep a healthy status and only add the equivalent to the amount of new water i add during the water changes so the salt level is never going up or down
 

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overstocking to cut down on aggression was mainly for african cichlid tanks...........After raising them for close to 20 years, i think that overcrowding for aggression is a crock...............IMO, all that does is stress the fish out even more and lead me to believe the more docile fish will still get picked on............Overcrowding a tank leads to more water issues and more frequent water changes

You said about the recommended dosage of salt.....Who is recommending you put salt in your tank?.........Brackish tanks require salt, but putting it in a freshwater tank for no reason isnt wise in my opinion.........IMO, salt should only be used as a medication aid for ich..............Even for some species with ich, its still very harmful to their internal organs............


Your opening title for this thread was" Help!, my fish are getting beat up".........a bunch of very knowledgable members gave you good advice on what you need to do to combat the situation your tank is in........I'm sorry if the info provided wasnt wht you wanted to hear, but they are correct in their thinking......We gave you info to stop the aggression in your tank...........
 

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Your on the right track, but I would still get rid of a lot more then that, including(thought not limited to)the other ram, your BGKF, and one of your sharks. The Clown Pleco is actually the one that I would keep if I were you and perhaps one more bottom dweller, probably the Loricaria even. Again, standing by my previous advice.
I'm a fan of under stocking, so don't have experience in the over stocking area....

I agree totally and fully with the what others said as well, especially Mikaila31. I cannot add anything to the stunting advice as I am unfamiliar experience-wise with the growth rate of the species of fish you have apart from the Angels. But what size were the Angels when you purchased them? My Angel I got around....oh, 3 months ago at about 2" and since then he as at least doubled in size. Since most angels I see are sold, at their smallest, around dime sized, this worries me that in 6 months they haven't grown very much at all. I don't know, perhaps mine was a quick grower or its just to stage of life he is is, but none the less....

As for the salt, I definitely agree it shouldn't be added. Instead, get yourself some water conditioner(someone else can recommend a good brand). Catfish and Plecos especially will greatly suffer with the addition of any salt. IMO, Salt shouldn't be added to any fresh water aquarium(they aren't called 'Fresh Water' for nothing ;-) ) unless your treating for something like Ich and even then I'd look up every other alternative.
 

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ok so i took out the glass knife and a ram. it looks like my angels haven't gotten kicked around since. i guess i can part with the clown pleco and the loricaria since those are my least favorite. also, just a question, but i've heard that slight overcrowding could cut down on aggression. obviously that could be the root to my problem so was i just missinformed?

as far as the salt is concerned, i only use the recommended dosage to keep a healthy status and only add the equivalent to the amount of new water i add during the water changes so the salt level is never going up or down
On the overcrowding/aggression issue, previous replies have been completely accurate--overcrowding does absolutely nothing good but plenty bad. In your defence, perhaps you were thinking of shoaling fish that have bullying behaviours; it is true that when kept in larger groups these behaviours are lessened from what they can be with one or two or three fish. But this is not overcrowding, it is keeping a more-natural number of the particular species together in a shoal and in a properly-sized aquarium. When this is done, agression or bullying among the males is often lessened.

On the salt, again the others are correct. There was an excellent article by Laura Muha in the December 2006 issue of TFH that dealt with tanks size vs growth rate in freshwater tropical fish, and she conferred with a number of leading ichthyologists, biiologists and experienced aquarists across America in collecting the scientifically-proven facts she presents in that article. I'm not going into the specifics that salt and overcrowding cause, but both are highly detrimental and the source of a number of internal diseases, other health issues and even behavioural problems. Don't use salt, period.

A successful community aquarium--and successful means the fish are healthy, free of stress and exhibiting their natural colours and behaviours as best as possible--requires that the fish in the tank have basically the same requirements concerning water parameters (temperature, pH, hardness, salnity) and their environment (plants, wood, rock, caves...whatever) and have compatible behaviours. When the fishes preferred environment is provided, they will have much less stress and practically no health issues and reward the keeper with fascinating behaviours according to their biological programming. All of us have a responsibility to provide this for the fish.
 

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WOW...... After watching the video of this tank in another thread, it appears all your tanks are just as badly stocked as this one if not worse.

You wrote this as your stocking about 2 weeks ago.... all your tanks need some drastic upgrades and reorganizing if you want the majority of these fish to live for any extended time. Edit: I'm also guessing you don't test the water, since you are not posting stats.

30 Gallon:
1 Black Ghost Knife Fish
1 Glass Knife Fish
1 Albino Rainbow Shark
3 Assorted Veil Tail Angelfish
2 German Blue Ram Cichlids
1 Neon Tetra
1 Loricaria Whiptail Catfish
1 Farlowella Whiptail Catfish
1 Clown Pleco
1 Striped Raphael Catfish

45 Gallon Hexagon:
1 Venustus
1 Kenyi
1 Red Zebra
1 White Zebra
1 Aulonocara Blue Gold
1 Electric Blue
1 Melanochromis Auratus
1 Hi Fin Butterfly Catfish
1 Spotted Raphael Pleco

10 Gallon:
1 Calico Fantail Goldfish
1 Calico Ryukin Goldfish
1 Black Moor Goldfish
1 Red/White Ryukin
1 Angelfish
1 Rainbow Shark
1 Black Mollie
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ok i've got a lot of responses.....

the salt is definitely out from now on. thank you all. i only added it with water changes because it says on the box "maintains healthy aquarium and prevents disease and sickness". i thought a small recommended dosage was recommended. also the overcrowding advice is very helpful. again, thanks.

as far as not checking my water conditions, you assumed, and you assumed wrong. i check my water conditions weekly. i'm sorry i may not be as seasoned to fish care as you "professionals" but i feel i do the best i can and i am constantly trying to learn something i don't know about (the salt) so don't come at me like i'm an ignorant abusive fish owner.

the cichlid tank i bought entirely AS IS and the previous owner said all those fish lived together all their lives and were happy together. the 10 gallon tank, all those fish are very small and i'm still working on moving them around.

and yes i did title the thread "help my fish are getting beat up" and yes i'm taking all the advice i get. however i hate to buy fish just to return them. i really like the fish i got and enjoy watching them and plus i would lose all that money bc the store won't give me jack sh*t for them. so if i could avoid losing the money and keeping the fish that i bought bc i wanted them, then it's gonna take me an extra day or so to think it over. thanks

to all that are posting positive advice and supportive criticism, thank you and i'm listening and trying to do the best to provide good homes for my fish
 

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and yes i did title the thread "help my fish are getting beat up" and yes i'm taking all the advice i get. however i hate to buy fish just to return them. i really like the fish i got and enjoy watching them and plus i would lose all that money bc the store won't give me jack sh*t for them. so if i could avoid losing the money and keeping the fish that i bought bc i wanted them, then it's gonna take me an extra day or so to think it over. thanks

to all that are posting positive advice and supportive criticism, thank you and i'm listening and trying to do the best to provide good homes for my fish
Before you buy any fish the number one thing is that you need to research it. This solves many problems before they happen. Also don't take LFS advice.

The only option you have is looking for a 100gal + tank if you want to keep those fish, and you need to do it sooner than September. You may not get any $ for the fish if you give them back to the store. But you may still lose them anyway, so the best thing for the fish is to give them up. Also Have you asked the store? If you tell them the bad advice they gave you and you want to return the fish, they may let you. If not b*tch at them and don't go back to that store as they are clearly in it only for profit. Also some stores take fish in at a fraction of what they sell them. Most of the ones around here give 1/3 the cost of retail, at least that way you can get some of your cash back.
 
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