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Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: archive: Mixing catfish

Laura W.

Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 03:45 pm
I was thinking of adding one Pimelodus Pictus-"Pim Pic" juvinelle and one Arius Seemani(Jordani) -"Shark Catfish" juvinelle to my 36g community tank along with 6 tiger barbs, 6 danios and 8 assorted Cory's.

Is it advisable to keep these types of catfish along with a mixed variety of growing cory cats? The smallest corys I have are three small Panda corys 1/2"-3/4". How likely is it that they will they become food for the Pim Pic or Shark Cat? Has anyone owned either of these catfish?



Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 04:55 pm
I have shark catfish along with the pictus cats in one tank. I don't have any cories, however, I really don't think the others will bother them. The two species I have swim and sleep together and really don't seem to bother any of my other fish, being tetras, clown loaches silver dollars and botias. The cories usually stay on the bottom and sometimes my cats do, but generally unless they are hiding or sleeping in the log, they usually swim in the middle of the tank. Unless someone else knows for sure, you might get a couple and try them with the understanding at the LPS that if they are not compatible, you can return them.


Laura W.

Friday, June 22, 2001 - 11:57 am
Thanks for your response, it is encouraging. I just wondered how big is your tank you are speaking of and how many Pictus and Shark cats do you have in there? Where's a good place to get a log for them to sleep in?

If anyone elese knows if corys can live with these other two cats please let me know. I'd like to give it a try, but I don't want it to upset my corys so they feel they have to hide. They are all quite active and swim about all day long.



Friday, June 22, 2001 - 05:24 pm
I have 4 altogether....2 sharks and 2 pictus. It is a 55 gallon community tank. The cats are somewhere over 3 years old. I found my "log" at one the pet stores that I frequent. It has been so long ago, that I really cannot remember which one it was. Looks like a hollowed out section of log and my loaches and cats love them.

Good luck if you attempt these guys. I hope it all works great for you.



Friday, June 22, 2001 - 06:45 pm
Your Pictus will give your Cory cats holy hell if you put them together. I had a friend who did this and with in a week his Pictus cats had the Cory cats so stressed that they either died or when moved to another tank never came out and died. Rose



Friday, June 22, 2001 - 06:48 pm
That is strange, Rose, but thanks for the input. My cats all appear very docile to the other fish in my tank. Must have something to do with different species of cats.



Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 11:55 am
I don't know what it is but that's what happend. We still can't figure out why. Oh well. Now we know not to do it. I guess that's the important thing. Rose


Laura W.

Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 03:12 pm
Rose- Oh No! That doesn't sound good at all! I've just gotten mixed opinions ranging from your's to Kick's. Of course the LPS says it's fine. It seems it just depends on their personalities and you don't know unless you try. You said by a week it got very bad, looking back were there any immediate behavioral changes in the cory's- Like oh *!@$ what the heck is that and they knew to go hide? Just curious do you remember how many cory cats your friend had and the size of the tank?



Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 02:52 am
On a related note, do the different kinds of small cory's shoal together?



Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 10:08 am
Laura, You are very right when you come to the conclusion that it all depends on the temperament of the fish. Rose's friend may have had bullies in the tank that just wouldn't tolerate the cories. Since you have heard different ideas on keeping the cories with other cats and if you trust your LPS person and want to "try" it, I would say go for it. Make arrangements with the LPS that if it does not work out, that you can return whoever is causing the trouble. Part of the fishkeeping hobby is trial and error anyway, and at least you would know for yourself if this mix would be successful.

Carlos, as I said before I don't have any cories, but I don't see why they would not shoal together, especially if they were relatively close in size. Good luck to both of you!



Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 01:12 pm
Trial and error is the name of the game when it comes to fish. I'm sorry I don't remember much else about that tank. I haven't been able to get ahold of my friend either to find out more. If you still want to know more I'll keep trying to find out for you.

Carlos as far as Cories schooling together they will. I have 7 in one tank. I have 2 Plateous, 2 Julies, 1 Aneus,1 Panda and 1 Peru Green Stripe. They live happily together. You very rarely see one with out the other six. Hope that helps. Rose


Laura W.

Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 01:33 pm
I thought I posted this earlier but I guess I didn't.

Carlos- Yes, they will shoal together. My bronze pair are by far the most active. They are inseparble. My corys also love to swim up and down in the bubble wall. Corys are COOL!

Kick- Still getting mixed opinions, so now my husband and I are thinking about getting a 55g tank! This is quickly turning into an obsession!
I've heard I should get two Pictus since they like a buddy? The Shark Cat seems to need salt and I've seen mixed opinions on this subject too. Since you have a pair of each of these how do you handle the salt need of the Shark without hurting the other fish? Some people say the other fish can't handle it and some say it's healthy for everyone. And if we do this who else would you recommend living with the two pictus and shark cat?

Rose- If you can find out anything that would be great.

Thanks to everyone for their input.



Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 03:45 pm
Uh Oh. I feel you are getting the bug. In that case, you cannot have too many tanks or fish. When you start rearranging the furniture in an odd manner to accommodate that "just one more tank" you are in big trouble, Girl!

I use the salt in all my tanks, only for the cats, I go about l/3 to l/2 strength. You need to be careful with cats as they are easily burned from too much. All get along fine in my tank, and I really think you should be okay.

I have loaches, silver dollars, tetras, a huge pleco and botias in with my sharks. Odd assortment, but they get along well, and my silver dollars and loaches are rather large and I don't want to overstock this tank. At least that gives you an idea.

Good luck on that new tank. I am sure you will enjoy it!


Laura W.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 02:03 pm
Oh yes, we are hooked and it's only been a few months. I love our fish and I can't stop thinking about that 55g. What type of filtration system do you recommend? I want to use an undergravel filter but should we use anything inconjuntion?
Also, at this time there's no need for odd furniture arrangements. I could see how it could progress over the years.



Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 09:38 pm
I have a 30 gallon freshwater tank that is about 2 years old. I have plastic plants and an undergravel filter system. I have about 15 fish (2 angels, 2 bala sharks, 2 tiger barbs, 5 neons, 1 chinese algae eater, 1 albino catfish and a couple of other small fish)in the tank, all of which have been in the tank for over a year. I have always had clear water, good health and good luck.

Over the last couple of months my water has become cloudy and I can't seem to fix it. I have added bacteria in both liquid(as directed) and granule (1/8 teaspoon per week) form. These are supposed to help the undergravel system operate at peak. I have also added chemicals that are supposed to coalesce the particles in the water and drop them to the bottom (to clear the water). So far nothing seems to work. I suction the gravel about once every 6 to 8 weeks. I have not lost any fish and they all appear to be healthy. Can anyone suggest something?



Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 07:13 am
Quit using the chemicals especially the bacteria. You have plenty of bacteria in a two year old tank without adding any more. I have added a hang on aquaclear filter to my 29gallon tank that is 5 years old since I am sure the undergravel is clogged by now. The addition of a hangon filter with a carbon insert should help clear up your water. Also suctioning the gravel 6-8 weeks is not enough. Try doing it every 2 weeks.


Laura W.

Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 11:10 am
Joyce- You mentioned that you a sure that your undergravel filter is probably clogged by now...What do you do then? Just add the type of filter you mentioned or do we eventually have to break the tank down and clean the undergravel filter? How can I tell when my undergravel filter becomes clogged? Are there any warning signs? My 30g tank has only been set up for a few months. Should I add one of those hang on filters now to help prolong the undergravel filter from becoming clogged or wait ?

Nicklink-I agree with Joyce, try doing a water changes more often. Even after a week you'll really be suprised how much junk has actually accumulated on the bottom. I do mine weekly to two weeks 20%-25% and the water has stayed really clear. I also notice the fish seemed "refreshed" afterwards like after a nice rain shower. Also, how big are your bala sharks?



Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 01:23 pm
Laura my tank that has the clogged UG is five years old. A few months should not clog the filter it usually takes years. This is why so many people object to using UG's even though they are pretty good filters. The higher fish load and less tank maintenance will make conditions deteriorate faster. The simplest solution is to add a hang on filter if you think it looks really dirty when you do the tank maintenance. I can see grunge coming up through my suction hose. If you tear down the tank it can get pretty messy since you end of stirring up a lot of trapped debris and can make the ammonia level rise. If I were to tear down I would save the water from the upper part of the tank and replace the water from about the bottom third. I would also wash the gravel in dechorinated water so as not to destroy the bacteria bed. Very messy project and a lot easier to add the extra filter!


Laura W.

Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 03:07 pm
Joyce- Yeah, I don't think it would be very fun to break a tank down just clean the UG filter and I think that would only need to be done in extreme conditions and years down the road (if you never have to move).

So anyway, should I add a hang on filter, now? Double the filter better the water quality? So better for the fish anyway?

And if I understand correctly the UG filter will inevitably become clogged anyway, with or without the extra filter?

BTW, when I do my weekly changes I get a fair amount of debris out, but I wouldn't say it looked extremely dirty though.



Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 08:15 pm
Laura it depends on your fish load and size tank on the water changes. However I try to do mine 7-10 days. The 55 gal I will usually let go 10days. I used to honestly do all mine 2 weeks apart, but everybody said how good the h20 changes are and I can say my tanks really look nice with the more fequent changes. The fish have been extremely healthy with the weekly water changes. Two of my large acrylic tanks actually came with the UG and Aquaclear hang ons, so I guess even the LFS store thought the tanks could also use the extra filtration. As long as you don't put too much current in the tank and knock your fish out of the water, you can add one anytime. They are also handy little things for cycling a new tank if you put 2 sponges in the media box instead of one and transfer one sponge to help cycle on the new tank. Go with the size of your tank if it is under 15 gallons I would just use an aquaclear mini..I am using the 150 aquaclear on my 29 with the UG. My 55 gal and 40 gal have aquaclear 300's and UG.



Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 07:26 am
Laura I just noticed you are thinking of a buying a new tank. Like Kick said go with a biowheel or canister rather than a UG if you haven't already setup yet. My last tank is a 29gal and since I did not get it as a package I selected my own filters. I use the aquaclear hob and a penguin biowheel. That's a lot of filtration, but African mbuna seem to prefer the higher oxygen and also you divert their aggression with a higher than normal fishload so filtration is a big plus in that tank. If I setup any more tanks I will not use the UG's.PS I really like my biowheel.


Laura W.

Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 11:47 am
Joyce- Thanks for the help. I agree the weekly water changes really keep the water looking good and the fish seem happier (and me too). I want my corys to have a nice clean substrate.
Where would your recommend looking on line for the Aquaclear filters and the Penguin biowheel?
If I added one to the 30g with the extra sponge as you mentioned, how long would it take to become established enough to put the extra filter in the new 55g? I also plan to add existing gravel to the new 55g to help jumpstart it. (fyi-I haven't purchased the tank yet) Thanks



Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 12:16 pm
Laura I would leave the extra sponge on as long as it takes to normally cycle the tanks. About 3-4 weeks to be safe. I did my mbuna tank that way and did not loose any fish. Using the old cycle tank method I always lost a couple.I buy all my expensive stuff from in Ohio. They have great service and have saved me tons of money!($50 for a python versus $65-75 in the LFS stores) They also have an 800 number listed so you can call if you don't want to order online. Seems like they are always open to me!
Try to purchase enough so you hit the shipping rate brackets...saves you a little that way.



Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 12:27 pm
Sorry to change the subject but I'm having trouble creating a new conversation so I'm just going to add onto the end of this conversation.
I have recently bought 3 Clown Loaches but they are very shy and are not often seen, is this normal, are they acting oddly or is this something which will fade when they are accustomed to their new surroundings? They otherwise appear to be happy and content.
Thanks, Hannah



Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 01:02 pm
hannah...the others my have trouble posting so I will help a experience with clown loaches(before plants)was great..they do tend to be shy or more likey seem to want to have hiding spots..then they come out a bit provide them with some spots and once they get used to their new home they will be happy and so will you..


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