Originally Posted by 150EH
They are very nice tanks, I never see any Butterfly fish but the reflection really looks like a butterfly, they are a strange looking fish. I was wondering about those little Tom's filters after seeing them advertised, do they work well?
How big and how long do the sea monsters live?
The TOM filters are pretty nice... my only gripe is that they are kind of a pain to maintenance because you have to pull the intake and spray bar out of the tank and take the whole thing to the sink/bucket. Although maybe this is how all small canisters are I don't know- I've been spoiled by years of using larger filters (like the Fluval 204/304s) that detach from their tubing so you can tote just the canister away for cleaning. I do suppose though that a large part of the annoyance I have is due to how it is set up on my particular tank- it is hanging off the back of the lower tank, so I really have to crawl around on the floor and squeeze behind the stand a bit to get it off.
Aside from that though its been a pretty good little filter, it moves a lot of water and doesn't clog real easy, although if it did you couldn't break it down to get at the impeller like you can other filters. But I haven't really had any problems with it so I would recommend it to anyone who couldn't afford to fork over the $50-60 for one of the higher end brands.
As for my 'sea monsters'
Nessie is about 8 years old and she was probably under a year old when I got her... I'm not really quite sure how long they live on average, but I would not be surprised if she is around for years to come. She reached her current size (probably about 11 or 12 inches) after about 2 years and hasn't grown much since. Her mate, Ogopogo was a little longer but thinner through the belly. He died in 2009, I think he choked on a piece of gravel... I saw it happen, it was pretty terrible
There is more information on them here: Polypterus Senegalus
There are a number of other species as well, Polypteridae
, and some of them can get quite large. I would recommend keeping a lone Polypterus senegalus in no less than a 30 gallon tank, and when picking out tankmates you should consider at least 10 of those gallons reserved for the bioload of the polypterus alone. They are super messy fish, they eat alot, prefer live foods, and make A LOT of poop... hence, the multiple filters on my tank. I love them though, they are hands down my favorite aquarium fish