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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, If I already have two baby ornate bichirs, can I add two small oscars? I have a 60 gallon tank. Would like to stock it with the two bichirs, two oscars, and a pleco. I know its over stocked but with minimal decorations (literally just the gravel and maybe some plants) with a high filtration canister. Would it be possible? (by the way I'm only planning on feeding them carnivore pellets, heard it was cleaner and healthier for the fish) Ideas please!
 

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Hey guys, If I already have two baby ornate bichirs, can I add two small oscars? I have a 60 gallon tank. Would like to stock it with the two bichirs, two oscars, and a pleco. I know its over stocked but with minimal decorations (literally just the gravel and maybe some plants) with a high filtration canister. Would it be possible? (by the way I'm only planning on feeding them carnivore pellets, heard it was cleaner and healthier for the fish) Ideas please!
It is not possible. Ornate bichirs alone need a 6 foot by 2 ft tank (180 gallons) and that's for one.... Oscars need 75 gallons for one, 120 gallons for two. The pleco is just an all around bad idea and needs 120 gallons to accomidate. No matter how much over-filtration you provide, you will stunt your fish in this tank, even with just a single ornate.

I suggest you find the ornate's a new home and get a single oscar if you want an oscar.
 

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You're assuming that the pleco is a common pleco, but there are many species that will work in a tank of that size.

I agree that the tank will ultimately not be large enough to accommodate them.
 

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I'd only do this if you have the money to move them to a 200+ gallon tank and if you want to keep your 2 ornates ( I freakin adore those fish!) then you'll need to scrap the pleco and still be sure you can afford the 200+ gallon.
How big is everyone at the moment ? That'll help me tell you how much time you have ..
Btw ornates do like private retreats in the tank throughout the day at times . Plants can work just make sure there's at least one area of thick tall stems for your ornates .
I raised my teeny baby male ornate bichir in 75g but no other huge fish . Mostly angels balas and DGs .. And all the time from when he was 2-3inches I had already planned on a 240g to accommodate him by the time he reached no more then 9-10 inches


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You're assuming that the pleco is a common pleco, but there are many species that will work in a tank of that size.

I agree that the tank will ultimately not be large enough to accommodate them.
Yes, but not with oscars and ornates, those are live, dangerous snacks. Aside from Agent's weirdo, haha.
 

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Oscars aren't as "bad" as many people think they are. They get a bad rep because people improperly keep them, but they aren't the psycho killers that many think they are. That being said, I wouldn't keep an oscar in a 60.

A 60 (assumed 4 ft long) can accommodate a pleco of 8-9 inches, not exactly a snack.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I decided not to get the Oscars. I had 2 ornates about 6 inches long now with 2 blue gouramis, 2 gold gouramis, 1 redtailed shark, 1 pleco and 6 tbarbs. It really doesnt seem overcrowded for the smaller fish, might be for the bichir but as of now at the size they are, they seemed fine... UP UNTIL LAST NIGHT... :cry: so I was sitting at my desk when I heard a thump and something flopping behind the tank! I have a glass cover but left the back area open instead of attaching the black plastic cover because I liked the idea of the water evaporating and filling it up from time to time which would help with the water quality since I only do water changes once a month. Soon as he jumped out I scooped him up with my net and put him back in and he seemed fine like it never even happened. I was planning on getting the plastic piece the next morning and assumed that it wouldn't jump out again during the night since it hasn't ever until last night... I WAS SO WRONG. I woke up this morning and turned the lights on and was getting ready to feed them. I had a weird feeling and right away searched for my 2 bichirs and one of them was not in its original spot! :cry: I slowly looked over to the floor behind my tank and sure enough it was laying there, dried out, lifeless... I've had them for about 3 months now and they were my favorite fish. I feel like such an idiot. I do have a cover on it now. Any ideas on why it jumped out?? I can not invest in anything else for a few years now but I really do like my bichir and would like to keep it. Is it SO bad that I keep him in the 60 gallon along with my other fish? I wanna do right by the fish and keep them happy.
 

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Topping off evaporation makes your water quality worse. Ammonia, nitrates and nitrates don't evaporate so they just get more concentrated in the tank. Monthly WC on a tank with messy bichir is a bit of a scary thought. Do you have a liquid test kit?
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I am wondering water your water quality was .. Like flint said .. Topping off only makes things worse not better.
I really think at their lengths and being 2 of them ( the bichirs) you were pushing the limits for what they prefer for tank size. Could have been territory disputes being in confined space or water quality .

My single one is moving to his 225 in the next couple weeks. They are large territorial fish needing space.. And they do have high bioloads so a good water change schedule and proper filtration are important .


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Plecos and bichirs don't work.The pleco ,if big enough not to be eaten, will harass the bichir by trying to suck the slimecoat off of it.You said you want to do right by the fish so either buy a six foot long tank or give the fish to someone who can properly care for it.
 

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Plecos and bichirs can work.. In my case extremely oddly well lol. Only thing I'd worry about is if they were too small the bichir might try to eat it. Bichirs are very fast to react and fast to show displeasure with another fish ... It wouldn't stand for a fish eating it's slime coat.
Ornates are beautiful fish and worth the investment of a large tank .


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I agree. I think in many cases of plecos sucking on slime coats of ANY fish, there's an issue with the plecos diet.
 

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I agree Ornates are great fish... for the right person. The slimecoat issue may come down to different fish temperaments.Pleco's aren't my thing so I have no first hand experience but I did have to remove a kissing gourami from my bichir's tank for trying to eat the slimecoat off of it.My Senegal is about 11 inches long and ,I guess,should have been able to defend herself but would allow herself to be chased by the smaller gourami
 

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In my experience bichirs aren't good at defending themselves against aggressive fish, and I think that a pleco that's turned to slime coat would be considered aggressive. But I don't consider plecos to be aggressive generally speaking.
 

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It's true of every other type of fish so no reason it's not true of bichirs :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks for the advice. I didn't know that plecos would suck the slime coat off of the bichir... That's a scary thought. As for the water top off, I make sure that it is treated first with the conditioner. As for the space I know I need a bigger tank... eventually I might have to just forfeit the bichir and sell it or give it away.. which makes me so sad! I should probably look into getting a smaller breed of bichir. Are there any that would be OKAY for a 60 gallon? I wish I could just own a 1000 gallon tank! :|
 

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Even though you treat the water doesn't mean the tank water has less ammonia in it. Do you have a liquid test kit?

I think rehoming the bichir to someone that can house and care for him properly is a wise decision. I believe sengal bichirs stay small but need a 75 gal?
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with that tank do a 40-50% water change per WEEK NOT PER MONTH. topping it off doesn't help, anyone who did basic science at school knows that when water evaporates it leaves all additives in the remaing water, making the nitrates, nitrites and ammonia even more toxic, as they r more concentrated.
 

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Yes senegals and most other species stay smaller, in the 10-15 inch range.


with that tank do a 40-50% water change per WEEK NOT PER MONTH. topping it off doesn't help, anyone who did basic science at school knows that when water evaporates it leaves all additives in the remaing water, making the nitrates, nitrites and ammonia even more toxic, as they r more concentrated.

Ammonia and nitrite won't become more toxic from evaporation because they are continuously consumed. They remain at 0 as water evaporates. Of course I am assuming a cycled tank. Nitrates, salt, and other things that exist and/or are added to the water do in fact become more concentrated. I agree I think that's something that everyone knows, but knowledge isn't always applied to real world scenarios.
 
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