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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Default Selecting my ideal catfish


    0 Not allowed!
    Hello all. Brief description of what I am looking for and why:

    I have a 75g tank that currently is home to, among a few other young fish, 3 small Senegal Bichir, all around the 4 inch mark. I absolutely love the bichir, and were the main reason for me getting the tank. But there's just one problem; they're exceptionally messy eaters. They've really taken a liking to Omega One Shrimp Pellets, as well as and somewhat surprisingly, Omega One Veggie Rounds. As they chow down on their pellets, they tend to leave behind smaller debris from their food, which they don't really ever seen to have any interest in eating.

    I do regular weekly water changes as well as vacuum the sand, but the food bits tend to accumulate fairly rapidly throughout the week. So I decided to look into getting a compatible species of catfish that would help in between cleanings. I have a bit of criteria for what I want, though

    1. Something that'll get somewhere between 5-7 inches in size, big enough for the bichirs not to eventually look at as food
    2. Something that will actively root around and help keep the substrate cleaner between vacuuming
    3. Something that is at least somewhat active
    4. Won't eat my snails, which eliminated most Loach species from the table

    My first thoughts were Pictus cats; they fit the size and activity requirements, and I've always liked the look of them in general. But I haven't kept them before, so I am unsure if they would be content cleaning up as I am hoping for. Obviously, that wouldn't be the only source of food for any catfish or bottom dweller I get.

    Suggestions and recommendations are more than welcome.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    How often and how much do you feed?
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

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  3. #3

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    Feb 2018
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I currently am feeding twice a day, a small amount in the morning and a slightly larger amount at night when I turn off the lights. There's little to no actual food left over, just remnants of what was eaten, the 'debris' as I put it earlier. I can increase the amount fed with no problems, should the catfish require such. Water parameters are all at ideal and acceptable levels and are steady; no fluctuations in ammonia or anything else. PH is slightly below 7 intentionally.

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Is the tank planted?

    Generally, and depending on the fish you have, once a day feeding is plenty, many here only feed once a day every other day, including myself.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    It is planted, yes. Java ferns, hornwort, and a multitude of floating plants.

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Pictus cats should be fine, as long as they are big enough when bought so that the bichirs can't eat them.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I know what you mean by messy eaters. I'm not sure if the pictus cats will eat the leftovers like you want them to or not, but they seem like they would be a nice tankmate addition regardless though.

    I would try reducing the amount of shrimp pellets you feed at one feeding. Maybe even try breaking the pellets into smaller mouth-sized pieces?

    What type of snail do you have? I was going to suggest snails as your cleanup crew, but didn't know if your brichirs would eat them.

    I don't know how well this would work with large fish, but in smaller tanks with shrimp I've seen feeding dishes. I wonder if something larger scale like a large Pyrex dish would work?
    Last edited by angelcraze2; 04-08-2018 at 05:48 PM.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
    -Kat

  8. #8

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    Feb 2018
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm keeping a wide variety of snails. I have a decent contingent of mystery snails of various color types (purchased as a 25 pack of "b-grade" snails which varied from dime to silver dollar coin sizes), and have intentionally introduced ramshorn, bladder, and malaysian trumpet snails which my fiance and I keep in our 55 community and 10 gallon cherry shrimp tanks. It was only a few of each originally, but I'm sure they've multiplied at this point so getting an exact number is probably not possible. The bichirs have shown no interest in eating any of them regardless of size, but the one albino bichir seems to really enjoy knocking the larger mystery snails off the glass when it gets a chance to. Even if, when they get larger, the bichirs did decide to eat some of the smaller species of snails from time to time, I wouldn't really mind at all. It'd just be an additional food source and unlikely they would wipe the snails out to any significant extent.

    I considered a feeding dish of some sort, but wasn't sure it would work out. The bichirs seem pretty clumsy when it comes to eating, so it may take them longer to find the food and therefore it breaking apart more being in the tank longer. And even if that isn't the case, removing the dish post-feeding might cause the leftovers and remains to just overflow out as the dish is pulled from the water, effectively negating the purpose of it.

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Synodontis species like eupterus or angelicus, or the Asian upside-down catfish would be good.

    ^^^Please click the eggs/dragons, thanks...^^^

  10. #10

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    The active catfish will outcompete the bichirs so you will have to spot feed the bichirs, you've seen how slow they eat, or not get the catfish and just up the gravel vacuum.

    The smaller debris are best eaten by either cories, smaller loaches, or ideally sandsifters like geophagus. The problem with geophagus is that they can uproot plants as a result of sifting the sand.

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