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Albert Jr.
06-26-2013, 03:36 AM
Hi guys, my name is Albert and I'm a new member here.
I'm a 19 y/o from the island Curacao and naturally, I love the ocean.

I saw a TV program on TLC called tanked which made me want to get my own small aquarium or tank.

I like sharks but I'm still new so I've started looking for freshwater fish.

I came across a fish called the Pictus Catfish so with this I want to ask.

What is the perfect tank for this fish ?
What do I need to set it up right ?
What other type fish (preferably small) can I put with this catfish ?

Thanks in advance and regards,
Albert Jr.

Ps: I have some left over glass sheets laying in the garage and my uncle can make aquariums.
Can I use them and what specs are needed for the aquarium that I need ?

Greentoads41
06-26-2013, 03:54 AM
Welcome to the forum! And I think it is great for you to have a fish you want in mind and be willing to build a tank around it. More often it is the other way around, with fish being pushed into tanks not suitable for them.
Now, about the pictus cat. I've never had one myself, but they are pretty cool looking and I've heard a bit about them. Firstly, that they require a pretty sizable tank. Probably around 70 gallons or so. Since it is a bottom dweller, they would need lots of floor space as well.
Secondly, they can be pretty active sometimes, so suitable tankmates would be some larger tetras or characins such as the giant danio perhaps, and rainbowfish may also be an option as well to keep with them. That's pretty much al I know, check out these links for more information.
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/pimelodus-pictus/
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fish/pictuscatfish.php
Good luck!

Albert Jr.
06-26-2013, 04:00 AM
Welcome to the forum! And I think it is great for you to have a fish you want in mind and be willing to build a tank around it. More often it is the other way around, with fish being pushed into tanks not suitable for them.
Now, about the pictus cat. I've never had one myself, but they are pretty cool looking and I've heard a bit about them. Firstly, that they require a pretty sizable tank. Probably around 70 gallons or so. Since it is a bottom dweller, they would need lots of floor space as well.
Secondly, they can be pretty active sometimes, so suitable tankmates would be some larger tetras or characins such as the giant danio perhaps, and rainbowfish may also be an option as well to keep with them. That's pretty much al I know, check out these links for more information.
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/pimelodus-pictus/
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fish/pictuscatfish.php
Good luck!

Alright thanks.
I made some measurements in my sleeping room which I hope won't be too cold.
Pet smart (overview of fish) said that a 20 gallon would be fine which is why I was thinking about a 30 gallon tank.
One thing I do worry about is the weight. (Measurements taken we're meant for a 40 gallon tank)

Greentoads41
06-26-2013, 04:12 AM
Alright thanks.
I made some measurements in my sleeping room which I hope won't be too cold.
Pet smart said that a 20 gallon would be fine which is why I was thinking about a 30 gallon tank.
One thing I do worry about is the weight. (

A couple things to probably know....
1. Petsmart and petco workers are, for the most part, very unreliable. They are there to sell you stuff, not tell you what is best for you. TO find out what IS best, is your job. Surfing the web is a great way to find the information you need: for example, this forum. We are all pretty knowledgeable and will be brutally honest sometimes but we preach truth from experience and being around fish.
Now, about the tank size, I don't know if a pictus cat could be in a tank that small. Not 100% sure on that, but just look around the web and see what others say about the pictus cat. An informed fishkeeper is a good fishkeeper.
2. Fishkeeping can get a little expensive sometimes. It is always better to buy quality equipment and have a plan in mind than to trod along a little where you please. Having a plan will help cut these costs in the long run. That being said, you might want to invest in a good fish tank stand. Or, you could make your own. there is some good info on how to do that as well.
Good luck!

><))>WBW<((><
06-26-2013, 04:16 AM
Never trusts Petsmarts recommendations they are almost always to small(do your own research). Pictus should be kept in groups when younger and will eventually become less social with age, I would recommend at least a 75 gallon tank also.
They WILL most likely eat any small fish you put with them, they have pretty large mouths.

Albert Jr.
06-26-2013, 04:27 AM
A couple things to probably know....
1. Petsmart and petco workers are, for the most part, very unreliable. They are there to sell you stuff, not tell you what is best for you. TO find out what IS best, is your job. Surfing the web is a great way to find the information you need: for example, this forum. We are all pretty knowledgeable and will be brutally honest sometimes but we preach truth from experience and being around fish.
Now, about the tank size, I don't know if a pictus cat could be in a tank that small. Not 100% sure on that, but just look around the web and see what others say about the pictus cat. An informed fishkeeper is a good fishkeeper.
2. Fishkeeping can get a little expensive sometimes. It is always better to buy quality equipment and have a plan in mind than to trod along a little where you please. Having a plan will help cut these costs in the long run. That being said, you might want to invest in a good fish tank stand. Or, you could make your own. there is some good info on how to do that as well.
Good luck!

Understood.
I feel the Pictus is than a bit to much for me right now.
I do understand that it can get expensive and I am open to all opinions
(especially of those from people with experience)


Never trusts Petsmarts recommendations they are almost always to small(do your own research). Pictus should be kept in groups when younger and will eventually become less social with age, I would recommend at least a 75 gallon tank also.
They WILL most likely eat any small fish you put with them, they have pretty large mouths.

A tank that size right now will be too big.
I am finishing my undergraduate school in 3 years and hopefully, I'll than be studying in America .
(not such a big fan of the Dutch culture even though I'm part Dutch)

So, I'm searching for something small that I can enjoy for those few
years.(Something that my family won't have a problem with maintaining when I'm studying)

Now for a 30 gallon tank, which fish species would you recommend ?
(I have no problem going for a smaller tank)

Greentoads41
06-26-2013, 04:34 AM
Glad you asked! I too have a 30 gallon tank, and I love it. It's got live plants (the key to growing them is a good light; a lot of research is needed to find a good one) and some small tetras. With a 30 gal, you have a lot of options. It is always better to do 1, 2, or 3 small schools of fish (around 6-12 individuals) in a tank than putting say a pair of fish in here and a pair of fish in there. Almost all tetra species 2 inches and under will be compatible with each other and will fit a small school in a 30 gallon tank. Look around on aquabid.com and see what you like (don't buy anything yet lol, that's a ways down the road). Then research their habitat and compatibility and build the tank around your future stock. Research is key.

talldutchie
06-26-2013, 07:37 AM
[QUOTE=Albert Jr.;1162100

A tank that size right now will be too big.
I am finishing my undergraduate school in 3 years and hopefully, I'll than be studying in America .
(not such a big fan of the Dutch culture even though I'm part Dutch) )[/QUOTE]

I can understand that. :)

Hmm... isn't a simple marine system easier for you? Getting sea water and live rock should be easy enough.

If you go for a catfish of any kind and treat it properly it will live far longer than 3 years. Perhaps do some research into killifish?

Albert Jr.
06-26-2013, 11:51 AM
I can understand that. :)

Hmm... isn't a simple marine system easier for you? Getting sea water and live rock should be easy enough.

If you go for a catfish of any kind and treat it properly it will live far longer than 3 years. Perhaps do some research into killifish?

Remember that I'm still just a beginner.
I've never owned any aquarium and I have no idea what live rock is.

><))>WBW<((><
06-26-2013, 12:25 PM
For a catfish that could do well in a 30gallon a bristlenose pleco could work.

Albert Jr.
06-26-2013, 12:38 PM
For a catfish that could do well in a 30gallon a bristlenose pleco could work.

I thought it would be something similar to this species...
Truth is that I don't really like it that much.

I'm not going to say that this fish is ugly but I'll say that it doesn't attract me as much.

Albert Jr.
06-26-2013, 01:05 PM
Ok so I looked at some species on liveaquaria.com (I hope this is a good site) and I've found 4 species.

- The Celestial Pearl Danio (I like it because is has a trout like look)
- The Snakeskin Barb (it looks like a clown loach but it's smaller)
- The Penguin Tetra (a peaceful bigger (3'') fish that looks like a predator)
- The True Rummynose Tetra (it looks like one of my fishing lures)

Now with the info given on the website, the only fish that doesn't have similar requirements is the Celestial Pearl Danio which has a KH of 8 - 12

They say that the minimum tank size should be 30 gallons which worries me.

Should I get a bigger tank ?
What does KH stand for ?
Are these species a good choice ?

talldutchie
06-26-2013, 03:38 PM
KH means carbonate hardness, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KH_%28hardness%29

CPD like their water a bit harder and very clean. It's a small fish that looks best in a carefully planted tank and needs a decent sized group. Mixing them with bigger fish can make them look a bit "lost". A 60cm long tank is already quite enough for them. You might want to use www.seriouslyfish.com for your research.

What's tap water like on the island?

Stlouisfish
06-26-2013, 04:44 PM
BTW, CPD is shorthand for the celestial pearl danio and a "planted tank" just means you put live aquatic plants into the tank (either burying roots into the gravel or other "substrate" or tying a plant down to a decoration in the tank).

You will learn about "water parameters" and "cycling" - both very important! There are articles regarding just about everything you'd need to know right here on the forum.

Albert Jr.
06-26-2013, 09:28 PM
BTW, CPD is shorthand for the celestial pearl danio and a "planted tank" just means you put live aquatic plants into the tank (either burying roots into the gravel or other "substrate" or tying a plant down to a decoration in the tank).

You will learn about "water parameters" and "cycling" - both very important! There are articles regarding just about everything you'd need to know right here on the forum.

Ok, thanks.


KH means carbonate hardness, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KH_%28hardness%29

CPD like their water a bit harder and very clean. It's a small fish that looks best in a carefully planted tank and needs a decent sized group. Mixing them with bigger fish can make them look a bit "lost". A 60cm long tank is already quite enough for them. You might want to use www.seriouslyfish.com for your research.

What's tap water like on the island?

Ok ok. I kinda multi-threaded this thread and I've taken the CPD and the Barb off the list.

The tap water is one of the cleanest available, chlorine free but insanely expensive.

Longshot
06-26-2013, 10:04 PM
I think Dutchie was inquiring m0re ab0ut the parameters 0f the water, such as the pH and KH, etc. Cycling was menti0ned ab0ve already, and this is a great place t0 start after y0ur st0cking list and aquarium build are ready.
There als0 0ther smaller plec0s available that are m0re attractive than the BN, n0t 100% sure but I think the cl0wn plec0 and g0ld nugget plec0 are 2 0f them. S0unds like y0u certainly 0ff t0 a g00d start with y0ur research- y0u will make a g00d fish 0wner at this rate, g00d luck!

Albert Jr.
06-27-2013, 12:41 AM
I think Dutchie was inquiring m0re ab0ut the parameters 0f the water, such as the pH and KH, etc. Cycling was menti0ned ab0ve already, and this is a great place t0 start after y0ur st0cking list and aquarium build are ready.
There als0 0ther smaller plec0s available that are m0re attractive than the BN, n0t 100% sure but I think the cl0wn plec0 and g0ld nugget plec0 are 2 0f them. S0unds like y0u certainly 0ff t0 a g00d start with y0ur research- y0u will make a g00d fish 0wner at this rate, g00d luck!

Thanks, I don't know the ph nor kh levels but my uncle works at the water company so maybe I can ask him tomorrow.

I've looked at some videos and there is a man on youtube who says that a fish called the siamese algae eater cleans
better than any catfish.

Does any of you know if this is true ?

><))>WBW<((><
06-27-2013, 02:32 AM
From what I have heard siamese algae eaters can get big and mean. Another small catfish is some type of corydoras. There are many different species and they are pretty active.

Albert Jr.
06-27-2013, 02:53 AM
From what I have heard siamese algae eaters can get big and mean. Another small catfish is some type of corydoras. There are many different species and they are pretty active.

Understood.

Greentoads41
06-27-2013, 03:38 AM
Woah woah, Siamese algae eaters are great at cleaning, and not mean at all. CHINESE algae eaters, however, get flat out evil when they grow large. Make sure the fish you buy is siamese, and it is the way to go. Good luck!

talldutchie
06-27-2013, 04:58 AM
There's several hunderd species of catfish in the hobby only a very few eat enough algae to make any impression. Even those that do need a proper diet and cannot exist on algae alone.

Ask your uncle, probably the water is from a desalination plant and therefore about neutral ph and very soft. If that's true then you can keep just about anything with only a few small adjustments.

A simple tank, assuming you could get the bits and pieces of course could look something like this:
40-60cm wide, 30 deep, 30 high, that's about 15 gallons I think. Get a single T5 fixture onto that.
10 ember tetras for the middle water layer
7 pygmy cories for the bottom.

Use a coarse sand for the bottom, find a nice piece of driftwood and soak well so it sinks and loses the salt. Tie some java fern and anubias nanae onto it, plant around it with vallisneria, bacopa or even eloda at the back, Cryptocoryne wendtii or pogestemon helferi or Rotala rotundifolia (does require frequent pruning) in the foreground to soften up the transition to the wood a bit. Find a few pebbles that don't react when exposed to vinegar and place those where you like.

An alternative, get some wood and a few pebbles and just get amazonian frogbit.

Albert Jr.
06-27-2013, 12:35 PM
There's several hunderd species of catfish in the hobby only a very few eat enough algae to make any impression. Even those that do need a proper diet and cannot exist on algae alone.

Ask your uncle, probably the water is from a desalination plant and therefore about neutral ph and very soft. If that's true then you can keep just about anything with only a few small adjustments.

A simple tank, assuming you could get the bits and pieces of course could look something like this:
40-60cm wide, 30 deep, 30 high, that's about 15 gallons I think. Get a single T5 fixture onto that.
10 ember tetras for the middle water layer
7 pygmy cories for the bottom.

Use a coarse sand for the bottom, find a nice piece of driftwood and soak well so it sinks and loses the salt. Tie some java fern and anubias nanae onto it, plant around it with vallisneria, bacopa or even eloda at the back, Cryptocoryne wendtii or pogestemon helferi or Rotala rotundifolia (does require frequent pruning) in the foreground to soften up the transition to the wood a bit. Find a few pebbles that don't react when exposed to vinegar and place those where you like.

An alternative, get some wood and a few pebbles and just get amazonian frogbit.

Yes, the water is from a desalination plant.
I appreciate all the help and I can't wait to start.

I think I've made a small mistake though.
I named the fish that I really like but non of them are available at my LPS (local pet store)

I can order and ship them ofcourse but I worry that they'll die.
I'm thinking that today I'll go to the store and write the species that they have.

Longshot
06-27-2013, 12:50 PM
If p0ssible, ask the LPS clerk if they have a master 0rder list f0r the fish they are willing t0 0rder, take a c0py 0f it and g0 fr0m there.

Stlouisfish
06-27-2013, 12:55 PM
A seller with a good reputation will know how to properly ship and offer a DOA (dead on arrival) policy. People on this forum order fish all the time from aquabid, from breeders who don't live near them and some fish are transported to America from overseas.

Very often people are interested in fish not found in their LFS - if you are willing to pay shipping, it's done all the time.

Albert Jr.
06-27-2013, 01:17 PM
A seller with a good reputation will know how to properly ship and offer a DOA (dead on arrival) policy. People on this forum order fish all the time from aquabid, from breeders who don't live near them and some fish are transported to America from overseas.

Very often people are interested in fish not found in their LFS - if you are willing to pay shipping, it's done all the time.

Oh ok and how much is shipping estimated ?


If p0ssible, ask the LPS clerk if they have a master 0rder list f0r the fish they are willing t0 0rder, take a c0py 0f it and g0 fr0m there.

Thats a good idea, never thought about it.. thanks.