Senegal Bichir & African Knife
I just got a Senegal Bichir and a Brown African Knife this past week and had a few questions I was hoping people here might be able to answer.
First off, I'd like to thank everyone for all the information on this forum. I've already read every post that had to do with Bichirs and Knifes on here and learnt quit a bit.
Here're my questions:
1. Right now they're less than 3" long each and are in a 26 gallon bow front tank. I know I will need to upgrade the tank once they start getting bigger, so what would be an ideal sized tank to house both of them at full grown? That is assuming they can be housed together as they grow! Right now the Bichir seems to enjoy a massage, laying under the Knife's fin!
2. I've read a lot about their diet and have seen a lot of advise against live feeding, so I've decided not to do that (even though I was originally planning on feeding them some ghost shrimp every once in a while.) Currently they get shrimp pellets and I'm planning on getting the Hikari carnivore pellets tomorrow. I tried feeding them frozen plankton but it just floated on the surface and as soon as it sunk, it was sucked in by the filter! How am I supposed to feed them frozen food when it doesn't sink? And what frozen foods should I give them (I've read a lot about beef heart, just not sure where to get it from!)
3. While still on the food issue, what is the best way to remove uneaten pellets from the tank? I currently use a fishnet with a long handle but it's not very effective.
4. When is the ideal time to feed them? The Bichir seems pretty active and is out and about throughout the day. He does lay behind a castle ornament from time to time and will come over whenever he sees the pellets falling. The Knife on the other hand, will only come out when it's dark and even then, as soon as she sees somebody looking at her she runs and hides in the castle! I've seen her swimming around enough to know she's alive and healthy, just want to make sure she eats properly.
5. Considering the Knife doesn't come out to eat unless it's dark and there's nobody around, I have no way of know when she's out and when she's done eating, so what would be a good estimate of how much each one will eat so I don't have too much food left over for hours till morning when I can get them out?
6. Unfortunately, having had a sturdy pleco that lived a little over 3 years through cycling and all, I never knew about tank cycling before I got these guys. The tank is currently going through it's cycle and I've been using the Seachem Stability to kick start the bio filter. I've been testing the water religiously and the only issue is ammonia level of under .25 ppm according to my test kit (I also have the ammo-alert in the tank which seems to be a greenish tint slightly lighter than the alert state.) What should I do to make the cycling process less stressful on them? I have a bottle of Ammo Lock but haven't used any since I didn't know if it would affect the cycle, I just started adding Prime as recommended (every other day) and will be doing a 25% water change tonight.
Any other tips on how to care for them will also be greatly appreciated.