Black Ghost Knife Fish Tips

kieper

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Hey guys I was just wondering if anyone has any tips on training a BGK to be more active in the day time and to bring out their personalities. Thanks!
 

CandyCane701

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What size is the tank, and how much coverage is there?
 

kieper

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What size is the tank, and how much coverage is there?
Its 55 gallons. I know I'll have to upgrade when he grows which will not be an issue. I'm just finishing my basement so I'm going to put a custom set up down there. I have a couple java fern, a couple amazon sword, and some grasses along with a rock cave and driftwood. I read that adding frog bit will make them feel more comfortable so I'll probably be adding that too.
 

CandyCane701

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How big is he/she currently? Your setup sounds very good. I'm just trying to get an idea of how it feels in the tank currently.
 

aussieJJDude

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Could you get a pic of the setup?

As a general rule, the more cover/hiding places they have, the more likely they are to come out...
 

MTV'sKribs

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@kieper I have never kept a BGK, but I currently have a Chocolate Ghost Knife (Apteronotus leptorhynchus). He is probably around 8 inches now and I’ve had him for about a year and a half. For the first six months, he stayed in his pleco cave and only came out when I turned the lights off. After that he began to venture out when I would feed in the morning but is still very shy.

My best advice is to find out what his favorite food may be and earn his trust through it. I know it sounds simple, but making him as comfortable as possible is the best way to do it. Also, as everyone else mentioned, provide plenty of cover!
 

Coptapia

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A pipe is the best thing for them to live/sleep in. If you’re interested in keeping it properly, they come from very fast flowing streams and so would be best with a strong flow in a “river-tank”.
You’ll need a much bigger tank quite soon... they grow quickly up to about 8-10”, then slow down. They’re not a very bendy fish so need a large tank to move around in. My 16” one was getting very cramped in a 180g.
 

kieper

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Thanks for the input so far! All the plants are pretty new and it's my first planted tank so hopefully I can keep them alive. I have fluval stratum under the gravel. I use flourish and flourish excel from seachem. I think I'll be adding frog bit and some more amazon sword. (Or if anyone has any other recommendations) I am going to give him a pipe to hang out in although he found a nice cozy spot under some of the driftwood.
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kieper

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A pipe is the best thing for them to live/sleep in. If you’re interested in keeping it properly, they come from very fast flowing streams and so would be best with a strong flow in a “river-tank”.
You’ll need a much bigger tank quite soon... they grow quickly up to about 8-10”, then slow down. They’re not a very bendy fish so need a large tank to move around in. My 16” one was getting very cramped in a 180g.
Okay so you would recommend adding a powerhead of some sort? I will go and pick up some pipe today too. I'm planning on setting up a 250 in my basement in about a month so I'm going to move him once I get that established.
 

kieper

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@kieper I have never kept a BGK, but I currently have a Chocolate Ghost Knife (Apteronotus leptorhynchus). He is probably around 8 inches now and I’ve had him for about a year and a half. For the first six months, he stayed in his pleco cave and only came out when I turned the lights off. After that he began to venture out when I would feed in the morning but is still very shy.

My best advice is to find out what his favorite food may be and earn his trust through it. I know it sounds simple, but making him as comfortable as possible is the best way to do it. Also, as everyone else mentioned, provide plenty of cover!
I gave him freezedried blood worms this morning and he came up and ate them and swam around for a while! I was pretty stoked as I just got him on friday
 

Coptapia

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Some of them will eat from your hand, especially when young.
Yes I would add a power head to give some flow. If you add tankmates, no cichlids, or the BG might never come out again in daylight. And nothing that will argue over hiding places, as BGs are very easily scratched, and there aren’t many disease treatments that are safe to use with them.
 

Jellibeen

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You could definitely add a lot more cover for him to feel safer. As far as pipes go, you can get something clear so you can see him better. They sense their surroundings using electricity so he will still feel safe in it even though it is transparent.
 

wd67

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Beautiful. Plan on having another again. They will let you hand feed. Try bloodworms they should warm right up to you in a few days. Some will take cichlid sticks and pellets. I even fed them peas. Pleco tablets. Give them a veried diet and enough space and they will love you forever.
As to them living with cichlids, i had mine in a tank with a oscar, a jack dempsey a jaguar cichlid and a rather large pleco. Everyone got along swiminley. Its a **** shoot because you have to try it. In my case. I had my baby oscar, (12in.), with the black ghost. When my oscar died, only had black ghost. I bought the new oscar at about 3 inches and about the same sizes of my firemouth, and the other three. They never bothered him and one time i saw him take on the firemouth! He won!! Anyway, you just never know. Just my two cents.
 
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