Mini-monster fish for a 22 gallon? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 01:43 PM
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Small (under 5" TL), predatory and pike-like would include the genera Aplocheilus and Epiplatys killifish. One of the most personable is Aplocheilus lineatus, which is a big & beautiful species. Anything small enough to fit in their capacious mouth will disappear. In an emergent aqua-terrarium situation, they will jump to ingest crickets. They will also take chunks of prepared dry and gel foods and are incessant beggars.
A trio or quad would be suitable for your tank dimensions - a FULL cover is required as the fish are notable jumpers.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 02:30 PM
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The op tank is 26” by 12” . A chalceus will slowly grow to 10”. In comparison to a 24” arowana in a 6’ by 2’ tank, there is more width for the chalceus to turn around. The width of the tank, rather than the length, is the deciding factor on the maximum size of fish that can fit. Even though a 10” fish sounds big for a 20g, chalceus is only 1” tall, so volume wise, it’s about the same as a 6” by 6” angle fish commonly kept in a 20g. Both fish stay at the surface. Aro cruises back and forth non stop; in contrast, Chalceus stays motionless like gar, so there is relatively less maneuverable room for an aro in a 200g than chalceus in a 20g. Both fish are jumper, so need tight tank top. The op tank is planted, which is needed to calm chalceus which is a skittish fish and can easily be startled and dashes madly. In contrast, aro needs open space to cruise around, and need no plants for obstruction. By definition, a monster fish ought to be relatively large for the tank to house it, and look predatory. So chalceus fits the image of a mini monster in a small tank.
Lol, umm, okay. That is some acrobatic reasoning. But, kudos for the attempt.

You might want to read up about this fish a little more. In the article I linked Chalceus macrolepidotus requires, and I quote:

An aquarium that is "48″ x 18″ x 18″ (120cm x 45cm x 45cm) – 240 litres should be the smallest tank considered. It’s capable of a real turn of speed and can injure itself quite easily in small tanks."


As far as maintaining in aquarium it requires:


"It requires a lot of swimming space, so decor is not really critical, although a sandy substrate with some beech branches and floating plants looks very effective, and mimics many of its natural biotopes. The floating cover will also help to reduce bouts of skittishness, to which it is prone. Some water movement is also appreciated. Make sure the tank cover is very well-fitting, as it is a renowned jumper."

https://www.seriouslyfish.com/specie...acrolepidotus/

I can give several more references stating the same thing, can you direct me to one that states that the conditions the OP has are sufficient?
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 04:07 PM
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Iím speaking from personal experience keeping chalceus, so I donít need to read the profile. I keep two species of chalceus, erythrurus and macrolepidotus, solo in my 125g and 75g cichlid planted tanks. I grew them out in a 20g, at separate time,, for over a year to reach 6 inch size before introducing to my 125 and 75. A solo chalceus doesnít swim much and stays motionless like gar except during feeding time. If you keep a school, you do need more swimming room as they will engage in territory battle with one another constantly. They are not schooling fish per se and are happier alone.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 04:54 PM
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Iím speaking from personal experience keeping chalceus, so I donít need to read the profile. I keep two species of chalceus, erythrurus and macrolepidotus, solo in my 125g and 75g cichlid planted tanks. I grew them out in a 20g, at separate time,, for over a year to reach 6 inch size before introducing to my 125 and 75. A solo chalceus doesnít swim much and stays motionless like gar except during feeding time. If you keep a school, you do need more swimming room as they will engage in territory battle with one another constantly. They are not schooling fish per se and are happier alone.
Just wow! Hope the OP does not take your experience as a guide to stocking their own tank.


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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 05:21 PM
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Just wow! Hope the OP does not take your experience as a guide to stocking their own tank.
Profile narratives donít always match personal experience. I raised the chalceus in my 20g grow out tank for a year and see that he is comfortable to live there for life, provided he has company of other fish to calm him down. A solitary chalceus is a nervous chalceus and will likely hurt himself banging glass.
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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First of all, thanks for all the input guys - I'm not used to such active forums like this and really appreciate it. Regarding Chalceus/ pike killifish, I'm quite meticulous as to what goes in to the tank and for now they don't match my criterias appearance-wise. I'm no stranger to keeping monster fish and having grow-outs. This time around I don't foresee any tank upgrades in a short horizon so I'm gonna stick to slightly smaller species. Another thing I'm considering is the sense of scale, and even though a larger fish can be kept in my tank it may not be what I want as it'll make the rest of the tank look smaller.

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I'm not sure how suitable for your tank they are, but in addition to the banjo cats, I've always liked the farlowella cats. I know there are a few at least that will stay small.
The farlowella looks interesting, can be a nice addition with a single specimen for diversity.

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I'll throw in a second for pea puffers. I've got a single male in a 10 gallon high tech planted. It's him, an Otocinclus, and whatever snails manage to escape his voracious appetite. Pond snails, ramshorn, bladder snails, they all get destroyed very quickly. The only snails that have any longevity in the tank are Malaysian trumpet snails since they spend a lot of time in the substrate.

My male puffer has shared his tank with a large amano and large nerites, both were left alone. Amano died after a large water change, nerites got pulled because they poop too much. Occasionally, I'll see him chase the Oto around the tank, but he's never nipped at him and the Oto is in great health. For the most part, they leave each other alone. In a 20 gallon, you could do several pea puffers, but keeping snails stocked will be a challenge.

They're darn cute those midget puffers! I was looking at them a few years ago as well, for a nano tank. They are on the shortlist for this upcoming community tank.

Many thanks for that link to MFK, it's a practical goldmine with plenty of reading for me!

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Small (under 5" TL), predatory and pike-like would include the genera Aplocheilus and Epiplatys killifish. One of the most personable is Aplocheilus lineatus, which is a big & beautiful species. Anything small enough to fit in their capacious mouth will disappear. In an emergent aqua-terrarium situation, they will jump to ingest crickets. They will also take chunks of prepared dry and gel foods and are incessant beggars.
A trio or quad would be suitable for your tank dimensions - a FULL cover is required as the fish are notable jumpers.
I never explored the killifish before, but you're making some good points as to why I should - still I'm hesitant around jumping fish as I plan for parts of my scape to break the water surface. I could get lids cut-out to fit, but I'll face light losses amongst other cons. Still, for the right fish I may do it.
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 04:53 AM
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Microctenopoma ansorgii is a good one! Smaller version of the related Ctenopoma acutirostre (African leaf fish or leopard bush fish) which gets reasonably large and is predatory. Attractively colored and small, but only predatory on tiny things. Kind of like a Betta. Mine spends a lot of time hanging out in a little cave.

Microctenopoma ansorgii by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 03:17 AM
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How about a pair of betta macrostoma or fundulopanchax sjoestedti(killifish)? Both pretty bad a$$...
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Microctenopoma ansorgii is a good one! Smaller version of the related Ctenopoma acutirostre (African leaf fish or leopard bush fish) which gets reasonably large and is predatory. Attractively colored and small, but only predatory on tiny things. Kind of like a Betta. Mine spends a lot of time hanging out in a little cave.
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How about a pair of betta macrostoma or fundulopanchax sjoestedti(killifish)? Both pretty bad a$$...
Both really good suggestions, thanks for that and apologies for late reply. Probably bettas are the closes I'll come to a true snakehead, with more suitable size and less issues in a community tank.
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