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Discussion Starter #1
Hi: I have a 46 gallon freshwater aquarium with one fish - a pristella teta. She was 7 years old and died last night. I know I've got to get more fish to keep the filter healthy, but I want to completely redo the aquarium with large rocks, etc. and get new fish that like that environment. My question is, how long do I have to do the research and buy the supplies before the filter starts going bad? It's due for a vacuuming now, and I guess the leftover food would help keep the filter okay for a day or two, no?

Also, I would like to add a lot of colorful fish, both large and small, but they need to get along and have different territories (top, bottom, mid tank)? I like the cichlids, but I understand that you have to very careful in your choice of those. Maybe some schooling fish too? I have no clue. My setup is a 46 gallon with the large Emperor filter that hangs on the back, and a uv sterilizer. Standard light for daytime and a moonlight for nightime.

Any help would be appreciated on what fish I should choose and how quickly I should get them in there to protect the filter would be appreciated. Thank, Cheryl:roll:
 

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Keep adding small amounts of food to keep the filter and surfaces healthy with the bacteria and you will be fine. As long as you keep an ammonia producing agent in the tank it will keep the bacteria alive. Remember to add fish slowly so that you don't have an ammonia spike.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. Now I can relax and do some research on which fish are compatible, and buy the supplies for the new setup. :)
 

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Sorry to hear about your tetra, and best of luck with your new setup. Any ideas as to any of the type of fish you fancy getting in the future?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I haven't set my mind on any specific type of fish yet, but I do want some colorful ones. I saw a blood parrot once and thought I'd get one when Cochise passed away, but then I learned how controversial they are so that's out. I'm really open to anything as long as they're colorful and are happy with each other.

I made a bad choice with my first fish. One had babies and the neon tetras ate them. As time went on I was left with just Cochise. I've come to the conclusion that I need ALOT of fish, so when that happens I'll have so many I probably won't even notice. LOL It's just nature I know, but it broke my heart to see the little ones gulped up.

Any ideas?
 

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There are so many different types of fish, it's really impossible to give you ideas. I recommend looking at a list of different types of fish to get an idea of ones you'd like to have. Then, you could ask us here which ones would be appropriate for your tank and we can give you some feedback. Here are some good pages which give info on all sorts of fish:

Freshwater Fish: Freshwater Tropical Fish Species for Tropical Fish Tanks (Different categories of fish are listed on the right hand side)
Tropical Fish Profiles, covering the care and upkeep of many aquarium tropical freshwater fish
Aqualand Pets Plus (fish are listed on the right hand side)

Before you go looking, here's some general info on the types of fish:
African Rift Lake Cichlids: These aggressive fish come from the rift lakes of eastern Africa and have very particular water chemistry requirements (although they are mostly hardy fish). They are best kept with only other fish from these lakes.
American cichlids: Some of these can grow very big, aggressive, and predatory and thus aren't good community residents and many grow too large for your tank. There are some smaller species that would work, though.
Dwarf cichlids: most dwarf cichlids are less aggressive than the bigger cichlids and many can usually be safely kept in a community tank (although they can be aggressive towards one another)
Barbs: most barbs are schooling fish. Some get very large, and many can be fin-nippers so caution must be exercised when putting them in community tanks.
Tetras: tetras are usually schooling fish. Most are peaceful but some can be nippy. They usually stay fairly small.
Loaches: many loaches are schooling fish, but many also grow fairly large and some can be aggressive. There are several that would work well in your tank, though.
Plecos: many of these get very large, but there are several types that stay small enough for your tank.
Cory catfish: there are many species, but all of them are schooling bottom feeders that are good community fish
Livebearers: guppies, mollies, platies, swordtails and others - all of these fish breed like crazy so you'll need other fish to control the fry population. You could also keep only males to avoid the breeding issue. Not schooling fish so smaller numbers can be kept.
Danios: peaceful schooling fish.
Rasboras: similar to danios
Rainbows: active schooling fish, these can sometimes get fairly large but there are many that would work in your tank.
Anabantids: includes bettas and gouramis, among others - many of these fish are aggressive with their own species but can be good community residents. You'll want to avoid nippy fish if you're keeping anabantids.

Then, of course, there are all kinds of oddball fish that don't fit into these categories, so have a look at them, too!
 

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You can just use some PURE ammonia instead of fish food. It makes a LOT less mess, so it will be easier for you when you get the tank ready for more fish :-D.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, problem solved! The night after I posted my question, in walks my 12 year old granddaughter with two huge bags of fish. They were the most colorful fish I've ever seen. Green, orange and red. In the other bag there was this huge, black, strange-looking fish. Turns out the colored ones are glow fish, and the black is a ghost-knife fish. My ex-daughter-in-law had talked with a fish guy she knew, explained my setup and he told her that, with the moon light, the glow fish would be awesome. Boy is he right! They are absolutely gorgeous, playful and friendly. I read up on them and supposedly they injected the eggs with a gene from a jellyfish to give them their color. They soak in the light in the daytime, then glow at night like little Christmas lights when the moon light is turned on!

The big black fish is really shy. His face looks like a seal, and his fins run the length of his body, on the bottom. Then the tail is like a striped stick. Strangest thing I've even seen. Had to do some research on him for sure. He likes bloodworms. Bought some frozen bloodworms and he loved them. Got him a huge castle to hide in, as well as a couple of other hiding places. He doesn't come out at all when the daylight light is on, but as soon as I turn the moon light on and the bubbles full force, out he comes to eat. He is an electrified fish. He can give you a jolt if you're not careful. I don't know if he does it with his tail or what. That hasn't happened to me yet but I'm sure it will eventually. I don't care - I love the little guy! (Could be a girl though...don't know... LOL)

Supposedly, I can expect a lot of babies with the glow fish. I'll have to put something in there for them to hide in. Don't know if Mr. Ghost (black fish) will eat them or not. Anyway, thank you so very much for your suggestions and advice. If you know about these fish, I would love to hear advice on caring for them too. I'll try to get a picture posted, but I'll have to figure out how first.

Thanks, Cheryl
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Pictures :-D

Pictures? :D
Here is a link to some pictures of the glow fish. I couldn't get a clear picture of the orange and green ones though.

I'm reading more and more about Mr. Black and now I'm worried. He may eat my glow fish. I really don't want to give him up though...:cry:

Image of Yellow Glow Fish - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Image of Red Glow Fish - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Image of Whole tank - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
 

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although they are small fish, (glow lights) I would keep an eye on the water parameters in your tank. Adding large numbers of fish to a tank that housed only one fish previously will no doubt cause an ammonia spike which could kill your new pets. It is ALWAYS best to add fish slowly. If you don;t have a test kit to measure ammonia levels get one. API freshwater master kit is used by most. Were it me and I did not have a test kit I would feed these fish sparingly once per day and perform 20 percent water changes every other day until I got the test kit mentioned.;-)
 

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Two huge bags of fish added to a tank that housed only one fish previously will cause an ammomia spike which could kill your new pets. ALWAYS best to add fish a few at a time. I know you had no control over this but I would monitor the water closely for ammonia starting now. You will need a test kit such as API freshwater master kit to detect the ammonia. In the meantime feed these fish sparingly once a day and change out 20 percent of the water every other day to every two days with dechlorinated new water that is close to same temp. as tank Until you get the test kit if you don't have one. Don't overfeed and the ammonia spike may be small given that the fish are small.
 

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:twisted::twisted::twisted: OOPS! Didn't want to double post.
 

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:twisted::twisted::twisted: OOPS! Didn't want to double post.
Oh, I agree 100%, and believe me it was my intention to start slowly, but my granddaughter didn't understand what's involved. She just thought she was making her Nana happy (and she DID!!). I have a kit and do small water changes every Sunday, but I will definitely test more often until it is stable again.

My bigger worry is that the Black Knife fish will eat the Glow Fish. The more I read, the more anxious I get. My ex-daughter-in-law said that the man told her that the Black only eats leftover food at the bottom of the tank, and would not eat the Glow Fish. I think he either lied to her or just wasn't knowlegeable on this fish. Do you know if I have a problem on my hands?

I hate the thought of giving him up, not just because he's so cute, but also because he will probably be thrust into a brightly lighted tank and put on display again, and it will upset my granddaughter. I can't afford a second tank. :-( I'm worried sick about this. Help! Cheryl
 

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I believe you already have discovered your answer.:cry:
 

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I believe you already have discovered your answer.:cry:
Yes, you're right of course. I talked to my ex-daughter-in-law and explained the situation. She called the pet shop and they are going to send someone out this afternoon to get him. :-( Oh well, live and learn.

She feels terrible about it. She asked her fish friend and he was adamant that it was a bad match with Glow Fish. She said my granddaughter insisted on getting it, so it was actually her gift to me. So I am going to take Sidney to a different pet shop tonight and have her pick me out another fish, a cleaner fish like a catfish or something that doesn't eat other fish. :evil:

Would you happen to know of a good one? One that you can pretty much count on being in stock? Think we'll go to PetSmart, as Pet Supermarket was the store that caused this problem in the first place. They'll never see another dime from me! :evil: Thanks, Cheryl
 

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Hold off on the cleaner fish for a little while. Often times they are more secceptible to ammonia than others. Also, there is really no such thing as a true "cleaner fish". They all produce waste and none I know of will really eat fish waste.

For your tank size a smaller pleco would work fine. BN pleco are a good choice. Just make sure to provide the fish with the right foods. Some driftwood and some roughage, zucchini works well for them as well as a good algae wafer.
 

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I agree with fish4all . you have increased the bioload for your tank considerably and I would wait until it has stabilized before adding ANY more fish. A bristlenose would be a good choice and i would suggest researching them while you are waiting for the tank to stabilize. A good place for info on all things catfish is. www.planetcatfish.com A shoal of corycats could also work but again, I would wait until the tank has matured some.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Will do. I'm keeping a close watch and haven't detected any ammonia yet, but I know it's coming. Instead of going to the pet shop, I'll just have Sidney research the fish you suggest on the internet, so she can choose one when the time comes. Just pulled out some of the hiding places for Mr. Ghost so the guy won't have too much trouble catching him. I don't have a net large enough! It's a shame though. I'll miss his little head sticking out of that hole in the castle. He's an oddball fish. Guess that's why I like him so much. I'm a bit of an oddball myself. LOL!

Thanks so much for you advice. Before I make any other changes in the future, I'll check this board first. :) Cheryl
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I just said my farewells to Mr. Ghost. The young guy who came to pick him up from Pet Supermarket (Asst. Mgr) didn't even know he was an electric fish. I failed to mention to you all that, when I first put them all in the tank, the Glow Fish were all over him. Every single one of them. Guess they were attracted to his "electrical" impulse or something. So if any of you plan to get a Black Knife Fish, look out for that to happen.

I looked up the fish you suggested. I like the Albino Bristlenose Pleco. :) But, that will have to wait for later. Cheryl
 
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