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Old 01-31-2007, 09:08 PM   #1
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Boring Tank

I have a small tank for the moment, a 15gal. All my fish seem a bit bored and lazy, thusly A few questions:

I have a small hi fin pleco, small Angel, and red tailed shark. Is the bioload such that it may be able to support a few more active fish?

If so, what fish would help make the tank more interesting, and help entertain the fish already there?

Anyone have any deco ideas?

Soon I will be getting a 30-40gal, and moving the shark, angel and pleco to the larger one, using the 15gal for puffers.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:35 PM   #2
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with my experience with red tail sharks, they do love dense spots of plants ( fake or real ) and they love driftwood, rocks, caves, etc. they become extremly active when they can swim around all stealth liek in the plants and what not. they do get aggressive so you may wanna watch how he treats the angel. the angel is going to get rather big itself so the sooner the better on the bigger tank, it also enjoys the same deco as the red tail. the pleco, well its a pleco, it enjoys anything it can hide in or under, but truely loves to eat off driftwood. if you go to walmart or any place with gardening stuff, you can buy some of those brownish clay pots and put them in your tank for caves, most fish loves them. just be sure to give the pleco and red tial a place of ther eown to hide.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:45 PM   #3
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Yeah, the pleco and shark have both found their favorite spots within a large lava rock. It's got lots of nooks an crannies for them. The shark does pick on the angel every now and then, the angel loves to snuggle up to the shark, but he's not for it usually. Any possible other tank mates that may be able to work out ok prior to Feb 10th or so when I go get the larger tank and until after the cycle? Or should I just wait on that and add a few plants for them?
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:18 AM   #4
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I really would think your tank is actually a bit overstocked as it is right now, so adding more fish would probably be the last thing I'd do personally.

The RTBS will get to 6" (or should, if he's given the proper conditions). He'll eventually need a bigger home like the 30G you're getting.

I'm guessing your hi fin pleco is actually Hypostomus plecostomus aka a common plec, and these fish grow to around 60cm long (that's 2 foot / 24"). This fish is going to be too large even for a 30G...unless it's bigger than 4' long...! Why not trade him back in at the store? That would probably be the best choice in the long run.

HTH! Sorry it may not be what you were hoping to hear though
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:03 AM   #5
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I agree with coldmachineUK. The pleco should go back and you should find a smaller species like a Bristle-Nose Pleco (BN pleco for short). These guys don't get much longer than 4" or so and are very interesting critters. I have 1 in my 20 gallon and he loves it.

Can you take a pic of the tank? It would help us with suggesting decoration ideas.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:27 AM   #6
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Tank size/bio-load not withstanding, I'm a believer in having at least pairs of fish of any type. Red tails love to chase each other, and angels like to hang out together too.

As for something to liven things up in a small tank like that, 3 or 4 zebra danios would liven up any tank. I bought a few on a suggestion here and am quite happy I did. These guys are seemingly unable to swim slow for any length of time. They seem to get the rest of the tank moving too. I suspect that unless you have some place for the angels to hide like plants, the fast movement of the zebras might stress them out though.

I assume you are thinking of dwarf puffers?
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:38 AM   #7
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Unfortunately red tailed black sharks need to be kept alone or you'll end up with one dead and one badly injured. They will fight until one has been killed. Red finned sharks can, I believe, be kept together successfully provided there's plenty of hiding places and lots of space I've never kept the red finned, only the red tailed, so I wouldn't be able to guarantee that but I do know that RTBS are not a social fish at all. Mine even beat up on my eight ps. saulosi cichlids I stupidly once tried to house him with... :O
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-------------------------------------------------------
36 Gal: Malawi Cichlids | 36 Gal: Brackish Puffer | 58 Gal: FW Community | 20 Gal: FW RTBS Shark | 10 Gal: FW Breeder
Spares: 20 Gal: Former River Conditions | 8 Gal: Former Fry Tank | 32G: Former Community Tank
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:42 PM   #8
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Yeah, my RTBS picks on the angel a little, not too bad though. Just enough to chase him away from the RTBS's favorite hole. I decided to add a few plants to the aquarium, I just need to go look and figure out what kinds.

The plants will be good for the puffer too. I'm thinking of either dwarf puffers or figure 8, thought I could only have 1 figure 8 I believe.

--edit-- I took some pictures, I don't care for the substrate, it'll make good seed material, but I'd like to switch to pool sand.

I tried to take a picture of the pleco, it just kept coming out so blurry.
Here's the boring ugly tank!
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:50 PM   #9
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15 gallons, even 30 gallons is really too small for any of the fish you have. The RTS might be ok in a 30, but the angel needs at least one companion until it pairs off (preferrably 3-4, til a pair forms) and the pleco will get enormous.

See if you can upsize to a 55.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:57 PM   #10
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I will do that, I would definately love to have at least a 55 gal. I'm patrolling Craig's list and whatnot hoping to find a good deal.
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:38 PM   #11
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Beserkr, if you go for a figure 8 (F8 ) puffer your tank would be ok if on the 'minimum' recommended size side of things, but you'd need to turn the whole thing into a brackish water setup and that's not as easy as it might sound.
Here are some points:

1. You need marine salt to create brackish water.
2. You need a refractometer to measure the salinity of the water, aiming for 1.005 S.G. eventually once the puffer reaches maturity, increasing salinity gradually over time.
3. You won't be able to keep any live plants in the tank: the salt will cause them to rot, unfortunately. This means:
4. You have to be a very good housekeeper! You'll need to manually clean any algae you experience, since you won't be able to house other fish with the puffer in that size setup even if you could find brackish-tolerant species (very unlikely). Shrimp & co., which might otherwise work, are a no-no because they'll be eaten by the puffer in all likelihood.
5. Feeding puffers is a messy chore! They need a diet of bloodworm and crustaceans like mussels, cockles, and so on (I sometimes feed clams but the puffers don't always 'bite'!). This is food which will rapidly decay and cause problems if you leave anything uneaten in the tank for too long. Snails are also vital for filing down the puffer's teeth: if you let the teeth grow, you're in for DIY surgery and it's not a pleasant experience! The diet regime is also a little bit more difficult to manage than with other fish: how much and how often you feed a puffer depends on how old it is. The older it is, the less it needs to be fed (and the less often). E.g. for an F8 that's 1-2", I'd be feeding once a day. If it's 3"+ I'd feed once every other day.

I'm offering this info in advance, before you set your heart on one (because trust me, I know it's impossible to walk past a puffer in the store, they're just too darn cute!). That is, you may want to set up a nice community tank and get settled into that before you venture down the puffer fish route. They're not an impossible fish to keep by any means, but they may just be a little bit more challenging that you might be prepared for!

Very cute though, like I said

Dwarf puffers (DPs), however, are freshwater fish so you'd have no problems housing 2-3 in your tank (again, on their own really: puffers may look sweet but they can be mean little things, even DPs!).
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For expert advice check out these great sites:
The Puffer Forum: http://www.thepufferforum.com | The Cichlid Forum: http://www.cichlid-forum.com | Cichlid Room Companion Forum: http://www.cichlidae.com | Planet Catfish: http://www.planetcatfish.com | PlecoFanatics: http://www.plecofanatics.com | Gobioid Research Institite: http://www.gobiidae.com | Fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org
-------------------------------------------------------
36 Gal: Malawi Cichlids | 36 Gal: Brackish Puffer | 58 Gal: FW Community | 20 Gal: FW RTBS Shark | 10 Gal: FW Breeder
Spares: 20 Gal: Former River Conditions | 8 Gal: Former Fry Tank | 32G: Former Community Tank
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:40 AM   #12
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thanks coldmachine! with the research I've been doing, I didn't think there'd really be too much problem with a Figure 8, other than the hassle of turning the water to brackish. Alot of people do like DP's and since they seem to be quite ferocious, maybe I'll go with them since it will be easier to stay with freshwater. I also may have lucked out on a large tank, but I'll post another thread as I have some questions!
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