First planted tank setup: The Lair (Beware 56K) [Update 13Dec07] - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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First planted tank setup: The Lair (Beware 56K) [Update 13Dec07]

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This is my first attempt at a planted tank. I have some hair grass, blxya(?), amazon swords and some stem plants of which I don't know the name. My only hardscape is a small log for my catfish. The catfish likes to burrow the log out of the SMS to where it sits on the glass bottom. The SMS it spits out on top of the log and around the aquarium, usually on my plants. My setup is hard to work on because the catfish attacks my arm if I try to scape. She doesn't dig up the plants unless they are close to the log.

Cliff notes: I could really use some tips.


Equipment:
55gal AGA
Pressurized CO2 with PVC reactor
Filstar XP3
Coralife Moonlight 2x65w with 6700k freshwater bulbs
SMS

Inhabitants:
Electric catfish
Lots of snails




The fish eating a cricket:





Front right:




Front left:





Side left:


Last edited by krylon; 12-14-2007 at 04:00 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 11:47 PM
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I have a cave shaped piece of wood and a pleco that did the same thing. I attached a flat piece of slate to the bottom of the wood and the issue stopped. Otherwise, sounds like maybe you need to trade in the crazy catfish, lol.

Nice tank. Seems like you got more than the usual red chips of SMS.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 12:38 AM
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Looks very nice. And green.
I believe the stem plants you have are hygrophilia sp.
It sucks that the catfish digs, he looks cool.
Maybe do what jaidexl suggested, or I was thinking wait till he digs it out to his liking, then line the bottom of the cave with some sort of larger rocks that the fish cant move.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 01:50 AM
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That too, I had larger gravel before switching to sand, the pleco didn't mess with the gravel too much.

That's funny how the catfish is covering the wood with SMS Maybe he's trying to hide out better. You might like what you see if you look around for threads on DIY caves. basically buried PVC with substrate coating the plastic rim. They can get pretty elaborate depending on the number of 45 and 90 degree couplings used. Maybe your cat would stay put during planting time if he had something more substantial like that to hide in.

Fish with that much 'tude are just too cool to trade in. My plec was blasting sand and attacking tank mates with a hatred, what did do? Pondered getting rid of him, instead, gave him the solid bottom he was asking for and removed the annoying livestock, and now he's one of the coolest fish I have, finally happy and crawls on the front glass to greet me, displays himself on top of his wood rather than hiding out all day only to dart out once in awhile to claim territory.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Slate under the log house sounds like good place to start. I am going to order a large center piece driftwood soon and rearrange everything. I am also going to break up my hairgrass into small pieces and replant.

Everything in my aquarium is very light green. How can I darken it up? Are the plants lacking iron?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Rearranged everything. I'm having an issue where my plants don't want to pearl now even though the only thing I changed was moving plants around?
Only my big amazon sends up a stream of bubbles from damage.

Left side





Right side



And another shot of the fish. It hurt pretty bad actually.



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Whats the best way to keep the hardness?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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Beautiful electric catfish! I have a small group of 6 and they are all about 3-4 inches, very cool catfish to keep! As of now, they do hand feed, and produce only a tingle, but adults can easily bring down a full grown man! The tank looks great too!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 04:31 AM
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lol i woulnt lie, if i had an electric catfish i would probably see how much it hurt too. nice tank!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Did some pruning and removing. Here is a terrible stitched picture. Click on it for a larger version.



The water is all cloudy because I was impatient and took a shot right after my handywork.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-15-2007, 12:13 AM
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I hope you're aware that those can grow to be really large. Four feet according to what I've read. Not really suitable for the casual hobbyist.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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I hope you're aware that those can grow to be really large. Four feet according to what I've read. Not really suitable for the casual hobbyist.
I too have read 4 feet, but in the wild. In captivity, they remain 12 inches or less. The LFS I bought it from had one about a foot long that finally died of age. Very ugly looking thing. Hope my cute fish doesn't get hit with the ugly stick (or log) as it ages, but it is inevitiable.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 05:52 PM
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I too have read 4 feet, but in the wild. In captivity, they remain 12 inches or less. The LFS I bought it from had one about a foot long that finally died of age.
To the first statement (12 inches or less in captivity): Nope.
To the second (it died of old age): I doubt it.

When I was about 10 years old, I bought one about 4 inches long. No surprise but I didn't know much about fishkeeping in general or the species in particular at the time. Mine grew to about 20 inches in a 55 gallon. And I'm sure it died of poor living conditions, not old age. They can live for 25-50 years; mine only lived 5. They're pretty sedentary fish, but even if it had stayed at 12 inches, it still would have been too large for a 55. A 12 inch fish really doesn't have room to turn around in a 12 inch wide tank. Mine had to swim up toward the surface to turn around.

They are really interesting fish and very personable. But be prepared that if you want to keep this fish in a humane way, you're going to have to buy a larger tank down the road. Eventually, it will need at least a 180, possibly even some kind of indoor pond if it lives long enough.

Electric cats are on my list of fish that your average store really shouldn't sell because of their size.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the insight Canoe2Can. Before buying this gem of a fish, this is the type of information I searched long and hard for but never found on the internet. The LFS had little information. I will have to look into finding a future larger home for my fish or find someone that does have a large tank or pond that will take her.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 08:49 PM
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Usually large fish don't reach their natural size in captivity because of two main reasons, stunting and improper husbandry. Stunting is basically the reality of the old saying, "they will only get as big as their holding tank", which is true but their insides continue to grow like as in dwarfism, and then rupture and fail under pressure, usually bringing on stress and disease first. Improper husbandry isn't to say they're not being cared for in a good way, fed and given water changes etc, it's just any situation where we can't duplicate the details of their habitat, whatever it may be, usually a combo of many things, all adding up to a shorter lifespan.

There are plenty of experienced keepers of payara, for example, but I don't think anyone's gotten one to grow past a foot in captivity, I believe they get well over two feet in the wild. If memory serves me, some of these specimens were given ample room to grow, so it would be an issue of not being able to duplicate ideal environment that the fish and it's lifespan agrees with.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krylon View Post
Thank you for the insight Canoe2Can. Before buying this gem of a fish, this is the type of information I searched long and hard for but never found on the internet. The LFS had little information. I will have to look into finding a future larger home for my fish or find someone that does have a large tank or pond that will take her.
How hard did you search? Because I just typed Electric Catfish into Google and the first search result said that adults come in at 44 pounds and 39 inches long. Even without clicking the first search result, Google showed me three pictures of a fish that was obviously far too large for any normal aquarium.


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