Greetings fellow fish lovers. First a little about me. I have a small pond my hubby and I built over 10 yrs ago. It is a very successful and healthy pond... approx somewhere between 600 and 800 gallons.
I currently have a 16 gallon bow tank. Tank usually houses a goldfish, until I buy a baby koi then I quarantine them in the tank before I add it to my pond population.
I went to a pond supply shop I have dealt with in the past as I wanted a new fishie for my pond. They had these beautiful baby Hi Fin Banded sharks. I asked the owner of the shop all the important questions: temperature range, hardiness, minimum pond size, minimum aquarium size, life span, basic personality. I forgot to ask about food though.
He tells me he is hardy in our zone if pond is 3 feet deep. Mine is in one small spot. He also said he would be fine in my 16 gallon aquarium if I decided to keep him there.
So I take him home, acclimate him to the aquarium, and in he goes. Then I realize I didnt ask about food. So I hopped online to look it up.
WHAT DO I FIND OUT? This fish cannot handle temperatures below 40 degrees and absolutely smallest aquarium size should be 125 gallons!!! besides which it is a RIVER dwelling fish and water quality must be perfect (highly oxygenated, fast currents, perfect ph, no ammonia...ever, etc). Not really for the typical backyard koi pond. The problem is he will get much bigger in th epond, wont last through the winter, and be too big to put in the aquarium to over winter him there.
So now the shop wont take him back since he was in my aquarium, and I feel I may not be experienced enough to keep him, besides my tank and pond not being the right environment.
I do have a friend in the fish tank maintenance business, hopefully he can help me find him a home. In the meantime, I want practical expert advice on how to keep this beauty happy and alive as long as possible.
SO I head to the local pet store and bought an API master water test kit and I also have a seachem ammonia alert badge hanging in the tank. There are 2 live plants, a good plant bulb, fake plants and rocks, and my filter is for a 20 gallon tank, so water movement and filtration I think is pretty good.
I also bought him 2 types of algea eater pellets, and plan on feeding him only a couple times a week, as I read over feeding can be bad in this situation.
I also read they like to "shoal" and can get stressed when alone. While I know my set up is not the best for him, I was wondering if I should get another one just so he isnt alone. Even though that would mean 2 fish is less than optimum conditions. I mean would you rather be in prison alone or have a buddy?
Any advice on how to keep this beauty alive and healthy? Should I add another just so he isnt lonely?
I know it sounds silly, but I even printed out some photos of Hi Fin Banded sharks and taped them in various spots on the back and sides of the tank hoping he would see them and well, maybe not feel lonely. Its ok, my hubby thinks I am nuts too
opinions, advice, thoughts etc are appreciated.