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Old 08-14-2007, 09:37 PM   #1
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Proper habitat settings for a Ghost Knife

I know they are carnivorous, and nocturnal, but what other things do I need to know to keep one? I have a 55 gallon tank currently, and the way things are going, it will likely be either fishless, or full of bottom dwellers soon. I would like to get one, but if I am unable to provide the best possible habitat for him, he will hafta stay at the LFS. If I get him, it will be after the tank stablizes, and can support life again so it may be a while. What kind of hiding spots are good for them, rocks, rock made caves? What other fish would be good for them as tank mates? Currently, I have a common pleco, a spotted sail fin gibbi pleco, some misc community fish (platy's and the like), and some dojo and khuli loaches. Would these be an issue with the BGK?

Thank you for all help and advice,

Bear
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:54 PM   #2
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I have a slate cave for mine and the only time he shows aggression is when the pictus cats or pleco venture into his cave. Then he gets rather annoyed and runs them out. I would be concerned that with that many bottom dwellers, they would try to get into his area and you would then have problems. Mine is in a 150 gallon and it still occasionally has a conflict or two.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:56 PM   #3
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man, what I wouldnt give for a 180 gallon tank right about now...LOL

Thank you for the reply
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:43 AM   #4
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as "hara" mentioned - don't have too many bottom feeders.
From experience, the less bottom feeders, the more happy your ghost knife will be.
Lots of fish bother and stress the ghost knife. And will cause him to hide alot.
black ghost knife don't really like competing for food. They are also pretty slow to find food.

BGK love bloodworms. Also feed sinking pellets.
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Old 08-17-2007, 04:28 AM   #5
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I've done some research on the BGK since my first failed attempt

I've read that once they are accustomed to their tank, some can be hand fed, anyone on here have that kind of luck? I know that if I get the bgk, I will need more hiding spots, what kind of hiding spots do they like? Caves, little holes in rock piles, which would be better suited for this fish? is 8 bottom feeders too many for a bgk in a 55 gallon tank? I wont get rid of any of my current stock just to get him, and I dont want to get him just to have him stressed all the time.

I appreciate all the help, and thanks in advance,

Bear
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by papa_bear_21
I've read that once they are accustomed to their tank, some can be hand fed, anyone on here have that kind of luck?
I hand-feed mine almost daily. He often comes to the surface looking for me. I started with freeze-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp. He now even eats flakes occasionally.

I tried one of those 'ghost houses', but he never used it. It also looked funky in my scaping. Mine snuggles up with the java fern on a big piece of driftwood during most of the day.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by papa_bear_21
I've read that once they are accustomed to their tank, some can be hand fed, anyone on here have that kind of luck?
Yeah, I hand feed mine occasionally (frozen bloodworms).
Black Ghost knife are relatively shy and only come out during the night (lights off) and feeding time.
But after a few weeks, most BGK will be happy and come out during the day and not be scared at all.
Mine swims around during the day with the lights on!!! its pretty cool (but it takes a few weeks for this to happen)

Quote:
I will need more hiding spots, what kind of hiding spots do they like? Caves, little holes in rock piles, which would be better suited for this fish?
Any type of hiding spots are good - caves, tunnels, logs, tall plants.
They don't have to be sealed hiding places
They don't have to be dark hiding places (a clear tube will still work)
Basically any type of ornament will work.
Just make sure you have many hiding places because the ghost knife will choose which one he wants.

Quote:
is 8 bottom feeders too many for a bgk in a 55 gallon tank? I wont get rid of any of my current stock just to get him, and I dont want to get him just to have him stressed all the time.
Yes 8 bottom feeders is plenty !! That's a good size.

Also check that you don't have lots of fast fish in the tank.
Ghost knife seem to do better with slower fish. I've noticed ghost knife run away when another fish bumps into them.

hope that helps.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:30 PM   #8
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Well, I think I have finally settled all my main issues thus far. I asked about the bottom feeders, as I have 2 pleco's, 3 dojo loaches, 3 khuli loaches, for bottom feeders. I intend to get no more than 2 more pleco's, the dwarf kind, and possibly a dragon goby. Given this info, would a bgk be a good choice for this tank or no? I have some fast fish, but only at feeding time mainly, and the bgk will likely become a hand fed fish. Again, I appreciate all the help and advice, it really helps in the decision making process having advice from folks who have kept this fish.

Bear
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by papa_bear_21
Well, I think I have finally settled all my main issues thus far. I asked about the bottom feeders, as I have 2 pleco's, 3 dojo loaches, 3 khuli loaches, for bottom feeders. I intend to get no more than 2 more pleco's, the dwarf kind, and possibly a dragon goby.
2 plecos = safe
3 dojo loaches = MAYBE (they are coldwater fish....they shouldn't be there, but they are also known as weather loaches and adjust to different temperatures)
3 kuhli loaches = NO (they will be eaten by the ghost knife and dragon goby)

If I was you, I would remove the kuhli loaches and dojo loaches. And replace them with the dragon goby.
So you will have....
2 plecos
1 black ghost knife
1 dragon goby
(that should be sufficient to keep the bottom clean)



Quote:
Given this info, would a bgk be a good choice for this tank or no? I have some fast fish, but only at feeding time mainly, and the bgk will likely become a hand fed fish. Again, I appreciate all the help and advice, it really helps in the decision making process having advice from folks who have kept this fish.

Bear
what other fish do u have?
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Old 08-18-2007, 03:02 PM   #10
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I have to hand feed mine. I started hand feeding him from the day I got him. He eats bloodworms (live, frozen, freeze dried), beef heart, ghost shrimp, red cherry shrimp (live and learn), and he loves earthworms. Everytime it rains he gets a good lunch.

The only problem I have with him, since he is hand feed, is he will scare the stuff out of you when you least expect it. Every time I put my hand in the tank he comes looking for food.

I think a 55 gallon tank is a little on the small size for a BGK. They grow quite fast if feed properly. My 75 is getting pretty small for mine now that he is about 8" long and he has a ways to go still.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubble_B0y
Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_bear_21
Well, I think I have finally settled all my main issues thus far. I asked about the bottom feeders, as I have 2 pleco's, 3 dojo loaches, 3 khuli loaches, for bottom feeders. I intend to get no more than 2 more pleco's, the dwarf kind, and possibly a dragon goby.
2 plecos = safe
3 dojo loaches = MAYBE (they are coldwater fish....they shouldn't be there, but they are also known as weather loaches and adjust to different temperatures)
3 kuhli loaches = NO (they will be eaten by the ghost knife and dragon goby)

If I was you, I would remove the kuhli loaches and dojo loaches. And replace them with the dragon goby.
So you will have....
2 plecos
1 black ghost knife
1 dragon goby
(that should be sufficient to keep the bottom clean)



Quote:
Given this info, would a bgk be a good choice for this tank or no? I have some fast fish, but only at feeding time mainly, and the bgk will likely become a hand fed fish. Again, I appreciate all the help and advice, it really helps in the decision making process having advice from folks who have kept this fish.

Bear
what other fish do u have?
We have 2 black skirt tetra, 2 harlequin rasbora and 1 striped rasbora, 3 platys, and 2 glass cats. I believe that is everyone, its been hard to keep track, as we've been having some major issues with keeping fish alive . But that will ALL be solved before anymore fish are added, especially one like the BGK.

You say 2 pleco's are good, would the addition of a dwarf pleco such as the L05 be ok, or should we add that one in with the Dojo's and khuli's?

The dragon goby will likely be added after the bgk, so will I be able to leave all the loaches in until I get their tank setup? Would they be ok to leave in indeffinately if the dragon is not added? As mentioned, if I can not properly care for this fish, he will not be purchased. I have had to many of my lovely fish die to let another one go just because of an improper home.

Thank you to all,

Bear
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:04 PM   #12
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I hand feed mine frozen bloodworms . He is in a 125 planted community with an eclectic group of angels , dollars , tetra (blackskrit and neon) , bala , GBR, pleco(foot long) , featherfin cat , cories and SAE . He spends time in a driftwood cave (tried glass cave and stone cave never took to either) or around the bottoms of plants - but will come out a few times a day (besides feeding ) and frequenty at nite . Only is I noticed was with a ID shark the BGK picked on him alot , and a few neons went missing (not blaming the BGK could have been anyone ) He doesn't spoke easy and will come up and rub my hand when I'm cleaning the tank and even shares spots sometimes with cories or the featherfin .

I believe dragon gobies prefer brackish water when the get larger, so he would be better left out .
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:59 PM   #13
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My BGK experiences have varied wildly from fish to fish.

I have had 5 over the years.

Some were very shy and nocturnal, some were downright jovial and would come up to the glass like goldfish whenever i was near. One would even eat out of my hand and let me hold him. Some were great in a community tank with neon tetras, completely ignoring guppy fry in favor of algae discs, others had to have a tank all their own or with only larger, semi aggressive fish.

Some were very hardy, others very sickly.

In my experience, they were a crapshoot, kind of like raising iguanas...it really seemed to be a 50-50 shot on what I got.

My best suggestion that I can offer is buy one that is younger for a 55 and plan to get a larger tank in the future. Once they reach the 6 inch mark, start looking for a tank with a wider side footprint. They will need more room to turn corners than the 13 inches a 55 offers, as they can get to be a foot long or more. You will enjoy the fish so much more in a larger tank, where they can really show off their beauty when they swim. Provide nighttime lighting that is unobtrusive so you can see them, but they aren't intimidated. Provide some hiding that is see thru and some that isn't. They love plants and driftwood and rocks. mine also liked floating toys for some reason, so i provided the occasional plastic bottle cap or styrofoam peanut for him to play with.

While they are meat eaters, I had a few that went bananas for veggie wafers and even veggies on clips.
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Old 08-19-2007, 12:54 AM   #14
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While they are meat eaters, I had a few that went bananas for veggie wafers and even veggies on clips.
Good point mine loves zucinni - eats more then the pleco.
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #15
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Ok, so the plan thus far is to move my loaches into a 29 gallon tank, to keep them safe and keep the bgk as stressfree as possible. Get the bgk, and get him acclimated, and good to go. Once he is good, I will start trying to find the dragon goby, could I have 2 dragons like a male female couple? Or would one be a better idea?primary concern is the well being of everyone, secondary concern is the potential for breeding. If I were to get baby ghosts or dragons, that would be a plus, but my intentions at this moment is not to breed them at the moment. The pair of dragons will start as one, just like the bgk will. Could I put 2 bgk's in 1 tank, or should I wait for a bigger tank?
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:46 PM   #16
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Most will say that only one ghost per tank - unless 180+ gals . the reason is they can interfere with each others sonar . It is recomended to only keep one electric fish in a tank . That being said some keep multipe BGK in a single tank and seem to have no problem . I don't think the dragons would be good in there as they will prefer brackish water when grown.
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:53 PM   #17
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What other goby/loach/eel could I keep in this tank, I would like a nice centerpiece eel/goby/loach to bring some excitement and difference in the tank.

I am going to be removing my khuli/dojo's to a different tank, to keep the stress down, but would like to add one to keep my pleco's company. I cant remove my pleco's as I will need a bigger tank anyway, I want something that will be compatible with the bgk and pleco's but that wont outgrow my tank.

I am practicing hand feeding with my dojo's, they're crazy, they lay in my hand and attack me more than the food...LOL
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:20 PM   #18
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secondary concern is the potential for breeding. If I were to get baby ghosts or dragons, that would be a plus, but my intentions at this moment is not to breed them at the moment. The pair of dragons will start as one, just like the bgk will. Could I put 2 bgk's in 1 tank, or should I wait for a bigger tank?
1) Breeding BGK and dragon gobies is almost impossible and definitely won't occur in a small 55gallon tank.
So forget about breeding.

2) a 55gallon tank is too small for 2 BGK or 2 gobies.



After reading your posts, it sounds like you want an *active* community tank.

If I was you, I would do the following.....

1 Black Ghost Knife - this will be your centerpiece oddball nocturnal/
night-time fish

6-9 cories - this will be your schooling active daytime fish. This will give the bottom of the tank movement and make it look busy and exciting.

1 pleco - this will be your algae/glass cleaning fish.

So forget about the dragon goby (they do *prefer* a bit of salt, which is NOT compatible with most of the fish you have)
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:23 PM   #19
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You need to install hiding places for your BGK fish, also, if you want your BGK fish to come out from its hiding place don't use bright light in your aquarium. Moreover, do not add any small fish to the tank where you have your BGK fish cause it might accidentally kill them like mine did.
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