Animal Stories - People Talking About Aquarium Tropical Fish


Animal-World info on Black Pacu
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Anonymous - 2012-01-25
Hi, my science teacher is giving me her red bellie pacu and I plan on keeping it in a 150 gallon tank with 3 senegal bichirs, 4 fire mouth cichlids, some kind of darter, some mosquito fish, and 4 feeder fish. I will introduce the fish thruogh out the period of 1-3 months. the pacu is presently 8-10 inches and blind in it's left eye. My teacher feeds it flakes and live fish from time to time. Are there any fish I could also put in the tank to keep the pacu away from the other fish and can I change its diet to mostly veggies and some meat, no live fish included. P.S., can you keep a pacu with piranhas?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-25
    It's great your science teacher is giving you a Pacu but is he giving you a tank to go with him?> A Pacu when an adult is going to go about 3/12 feet and weigh about 60 pounds. You need a thousand gallon tank. If it will fit in his mouth, he will eat it. Pacu with Piranhas - I guess it is whoever gets bigger first. Piranhas will eat anything. Did your science teacher ever read up on what he was doing?
  • Anonymous - 2012-01-26
    The store person said it wouldn't get bigger than its tank, the store person lied.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-27
    I don't know whether he store person 'lied' or just mis informed. Fish not out growing their tank is a myth - an old wives tale used to sell more fish. In any case he is not a good or reliable informtion source.
  • kye turnbull - 2013-05-13
    a fish will grow slower in a small tank but will still get big
  • Lola - 2014-01-11
    Hello...I have a black pacu and a red bellied pacu in a 150 gal. tank and they have busted the top canopy! You MUST have a very large tank for these fish. I am currently trying to relocate mine....really put thought into this before getting them. However they are wonderful pets...I hand feed and pet mine everyday, but I just can't house them anymore. I have had them 2 years and have went from about 3 inches and a few oz. up to 20 inches from nose to fin tip and 11 inches from belly to back and around 10 or 12 pounds.
  • Jim Sadler - 2014-02-05
    The Pacu can no longer be considered a safe fish. In New Guinea they have killed native people as well as threatening to exterminate the crocodile population. The black Pacu is doing well in South Florida fresh water canals and can be quite a shock when they strike a bait as they are strong. A 53 lb. black Pacu died when a cold spell hit and it got into the salt water rivers here. They are good news for fishermen and apparently reproducing well.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-06
    Fortunately, Pacu's kept in a very large aquarium are probably not going to be attacking anyone.
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Animal-World info on Spotted Raphael Catfish
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Candy - 2009-06-05
I had a similar experience as Freddie - My husband and I were moving and I cleaned out the fish tank and put all of my fish into a huge tote to transport them to our new house. I had a pyramid in my tank at the time and I forgot about my spotted (I never saw him eat EVER and I would only see him if i had the tank light off - he would come out of hiding.) I put all of my decorations into a garbage bag and my grandparents drve everything to my new house in their van. I started setting up the tank and had it filled aobut half way and I was cleaning off the plants a bit. I moved my plants and in the bottom of the bag was my spotted! I panicked a little bit but he had enough water in the bottom of the bag he survived and is at his 3rd home now! (I moved across the country and had to leave my fish with my parents) LOL! It was a crazy story I had to share!

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  • Anonymous - 2014-02-05
    That's awesome
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Animal-World info on Black Ghost Knife Fish
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Zoey - 2014-02-05
Please can some one help me my cousin got a angel fish 2day and her black knife keeps attacking it is this normal?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-05
    A Black Ghost Knife can get aggressive with its own or similar species, possibly like those nice flowing fins of the angel! Making sure the tank isn't too small, these guys reach 20' in length, and that there are plenty of hiding placed all around the tank can help.
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Animal-World info on Kissing Gourami
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bb - 2014-02-03
What can I do? My kissing gourami didn't eat and move for a week now. He just moved from the corner to another corner, but didn't eat.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-04
    It sounds like your fish is stressed. Gourami's don't always eat right away when you first get them due to stress, but other factors could be bullying, or your water parameters. If you determin he's not being bullied or intimidated by any other tank mates, try doing a partial water change and see if it helps.
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Animal-World info on Shubunkin Goldfish
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Sharon Jones - 2014-01-31
Hi I have a shubunkin colored blue background with different colour marks on it. It's about 6/7 inches...I would like to know what other fish can I put with it? It's in an about 90 litre tank with a phelc... I've tried another fish like a fantail, had to take it back to the shop because mine kept chasing it all the time...also had another white one nearly as big, the girl said it was the same as mine but again mine was chaseing it all the time...I would love another one or 2 but don't know what to do...please can you help me out...thank you so much...sharon...united kingdom...

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-31
    A couple of ideas... add 3 or more to cause distraction. Also, you can rearrange the tank when you add new fish, so that your Shubunkin has to get use to a 'new' home and so is not so bent on chasing new arrivals.
  • Sharon Jones - 2014-02-01
    HI clarice thankyou for your reply ...do you mean for me to put another shubunkin with mine or a different fish ?...they sell shubunkins in my pet shop but they are much smaller than mine...there is no where i no that has bigger ones,,,i see some ppl on here have certain fish with theres so i dont no what to do shall i try different fish which i have but i dont think it was happy with them lol xxx He/she eats well and seems happy its just me thinking another one would be nice
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-01
    These are very social fish, and do like company. But your Shubunkin is going to be around 4' when it grows up, and with your tank size that's really all the goldfish types it will be able to handle. (Goldfish put a heavy bioload on the tank.) Still its quite small right now, so perhaps you could try a few other relatively peaceful fish like mollies or guppies. (I say 'relatively peaceful' because you never know when you're going to get a jerk that doesn't follow the general behaviors for their species!)
  • Sharon Jones - 2014-02-02
    hi clarice thankyou for your reply ...my shubunkin is already about 7/8 inches could i still put the fish you said in with him/her and theyl be fine ...regards sharon
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Animal-World info on Comet Goldfish
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Diana - 2014-02-02
I have a thirty gallon tank in front of a kitchen window. I have seven comets ranging from an inch and a half to three inches. The last two that I bought were very small in hopes that they would grow up into bigger fish as the older ones pass. My question: Why would these two latest purchases be loosing their coloring? One was white with orange dots and the other was orange with black markings. Now the first is solid white and the black on the other is barely noticeable. I bought these fish for their markings and now the markings are gone.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-02
    Goldfish color changes are usually due to genetics, and they will often change colors within six months, or even years. But it can also be a sign of illness, so watch them closely. Parasites can be a cause of color change.
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Animal-World info on Ram Cichlid
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Jamie - 2014-02-01
I bought 2 German blue rams and was told they were a male and female. Turns out they are both female. Can I introduce a male?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-01
    See the 'Social Behaviors' section above, as it gives a pretty overview of this question, partially it's dependent on your tank size.
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Animal-World info on Red-tail Tinfoil Barb
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Bedeanne Marie Ogee - 2014-01-28
I have 4full grown tin foil barbs in a 120 gal tank with 1rope fish, 1eel,1cory cat and a archer. The barbs keep rubbing on the gravel and rock to the point of damaging their selves. They look like they have been descaled. I do a 50% tank change every two weeks . There is no ick and all the other fish are fine, oh and the tank is brackish . Anyone have any idea why they are doing this.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-28
    Sounds like a nice tank with some great fish. If your sure your Tin Foil Barbs don't have Ich, it could be another parasite or some other malady. 'Flashing' (scratching on rocks or gravel) is  usually caused by an irritation of the body, most often the result of  than optimal water quality. It's good that you are doing water changes. After doing 2 or 3 partial water changes over a week, see if they are still rubbing.  Interestingly, I've also read that rubbing on rocks may be an indication of indigestion. Some say it happens with the introduction of frozen fish foods.
  • Bedeanne Marie Ogee - 2014-02-01
    Funny you should say that about frozen foods, I feed frozen krill every 2 days to the eel and rope fish, and the barbs eat the left overs. Wonder if that could be the problem. I'll only put in enough just for the eel and rope fish and remove what they haven't eaten and see if that helps. Thanks for the reply.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-01
    I hope that helps! good luck.
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Animal-World info on Oscar
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Pascal - 2009-06-02
I have always loved oscars since I was a young boy. My first oscar was a wild one caught in Miami FL. I was fishing with my brother and I caught a two inch baby with a net. I yelled to my brother "I caught a Oscar" I didn't know they had them in cannals in DADE COUNTY in 1984. I kept it in a bucket till I was to return to New York two days later. To make a long story short. I kept Tucco for 12 year and he grew to thirteen inches and lived in a 29gl, 55gl, 75gl tank. He was not all that colorful but full of sponk. He never bit me nor did he have any tankmates but everyday after school and work he would be so happy to see me or the food I was to give him and this went on for years, even when I moved out of my parents home. He never got sick cause I never fed him live foods only cichlid pellets or sticks. Oscars are a wonderful pet if you are willing to give them what they need and don't fall for the "they got to eat gold fish" thing. Tell the truth I always wanted to give Tucco goldfish but I was always scared he would get some sickness and I would lose my pet. I would get teased by my brother about this but tucco was mine and I raised him and he was my responsibility. I chose to take Him from his home in FL and bring him to NYC in a cooler even though my Dad said "he would die before we even got to VA". Tucco proved him very wrong. All in All if you have the time to raise an Oscar, wild or store bought, do it right. Feed it, water changes, stay away from live foods. You will have a very healthy pet and one that will in my opinion love you dearly for it. Oh and Tucco never had HITHD or any other sickness. Just fat and happy. R.I.P. Tucco. you are truly missed buddy.

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  • Tom Odell - 2011-03-01
    Wow..... you are so lucky, living in the states. In the uk, we get carp, carp and you guessed it.... carp. I'd love to be able to catch fish and be able to take them home.
    Thanks'
    Tom :)
  • Carol Watch\r\n - 2011-07-18
    This piece of info is very useful for me, thank you!
  • ALEX - 2014-01-29
    A good real story to read I loss my first Oscar after he gone blind after few months I feed him than dies second Oscar is one year old and 8 inches when I bought only one inch are this right growth
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Animal-World info on Jaguar Cichlid
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Jennifer Nikki Duvall- Goretcki - 2014-01-23
I received a 12 inch jag off craigslist for free.  I have a 220 gallon established African and South American set up with several fish ranging from about 9inches to 2inches. When I got the fish he was thin. The jag did not eat and I began to worry. I think he gave my tank a parasite or the introduction of him may have added stress among the fish and allowed for a already existing parasite to flourish and be exacerbated. Several of the cichlids are 'flashing'. The jag still was not eating about nine days in, around the same time I noticed the flashing, and had been what seemed to be lethargic in a cave he had claimed as his. So, although I visibly saw now ich I treated for it for three days. Then changed half the water. I mixed Epsom salt and water and entubated him (stuck a tube down into his stomach) to try and rid any intestinal parasites. A couple days later I wetted some spectrum food and entubated him with that to try and boost his energy since he had not ate in about two weeks and was rarely moving, and showed no interest in is normal pellet food, nor freeze dried shrimp! He has finally started attempting to eat his food and is actually swallowing some rather than spitting it back out. Now my concern is what the heck this parasite could be. I checked the jags gills and they are a smooth red with no sight of manifestations of parasites and I also checked another large cichlid who has also been flashing and saw nothing on its gills. There are no white spots on the body either and the three day treatment with the common blue dye color ich treatment stuff didn't seem to ease anything. My ph, nitrate and ammonia levels are never off and I check them regularly. The flashing is not a show for dominance nor for breeding. They are twitching like they have a body tick and then flashing (what almost seems involuntarily at times) around the tank. The water change of almost half the tank has helped some and I plan on changing more water this weekend and continue to do so do rid as much of the parasites in the tank as possible. Anyone have any idea what it could be or had any similar experiences?  The jag still is not very active and lays in his cave a lot.  He still looks malnourished with a slightly sunken in stomach as well. Please help.... I don't want to lose any of my fish!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-24
    Your cichlid could have Hexamita, an intestinal flagellated protozoa that attack the lower intestine. Large cichlids are prone to this disease. A favorite  antibiotic for treating gastrointestinal diseases in cichlids is Metronidazole. It has no discernible side effects, doesn't kill fry or stress out other fish too much. And it is a moderately priced treatment when dosing the whole water volume. See more about it on our fish disease page here: Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatments: Hexamita
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