Catfish Stocking

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by JGombs99, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Hello. In preparation of a tank upgrade that I'm working on, I just wanted to get some advice regarding these types of bottom dwelling species. Most importantly, I'd like some perspective on how hardy each is, compared to the others. I'm also lhoping to get some ideas on how well each would fit in with my current/planned stock.

    Cories: I currently have Emerald Green Cories. I like them, but they don't seem to be doing well, and I don't know why, exactly. Parameters don't seem to be a factor, and my thought is that I've had them for too long for it to have been as simple as I bought them sick, but not long enough for them to have died from old age (I've had them for several months). While aggression could always be a factor, I don't think this is my issue as I've never witnessed any other fish picking on my Cories. This leads me to wonder if they're simply not that hardy. I don't know, but any thoughts are appreciated.

    Hoplos and Pictus: I've never had either, but I like them both, and I'd like to learn more. With Pictus, I've heard everything from they're fine alone to they need to have a group of 6 or more. So, I'm curious to learn more about this, and again, just about any differences that exist, and which may be a better fit for me and my tank and why.

    This tank will be a 6' 100 gallon tank (upgrading from the 55 gallon I currently have set up)

    Planned stock: 3 Blood Parrots (currently have 1), 9 or so Nerite Snails (currently have 3), 10 Eastern Rainbowfish, 15 Congo Tetras, whatever I choose from the bottom dwellers list from above. I currently have 4 Emerald Green Cories, which is down from 8.

    So, my decision will be to rebuild my school of Cories (but I'm weary of this because they don't seem to be doing well), or to change to one of the bottom dwellers above, or some combination. Any and all recommendations and advice is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Mike1995

    Mike1995 Well Known Member Member

    i dont have much experience with the other two, but i do have a pictus cat i my 150 gallon with cichlids. from my experience they can be a little vulnerable to effects of bad water quality and bad water parameters.. which i experienced way back when i got into fish. they are mostly active at night though. but i've noticed with less aggressive fish they tend to be less shy. nothing picks on them either. be careful of smaller fish because they will like any cat eat whatever fits in their mouth once big enough. pictus cats are one of the smaller catfish available aside from otos and corys.
     
  3. JeffK

    JeffK Well Known Member Member

    I know @tyguy7760 has been keeping hoplos for awhile now. I'm sure he can share some info when he gets a chance.
     




  4. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks for the info!
     
  5. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    I had a similar issue when trying to keep corydoras. I couldn't keep them alive for very long and they would slowly die off. I never figured out what the issue was. At the time I assumed it was a mixture of me having them on the cheap aquarium gravel and it being an immature tank/still a novice fish keeper. I have not had the pleasure of keeping them since.

    I've never kept pictus but I know they can be territorial and predatory. The predatory part should not be an issue for you and the territorial part wouldn't be if you were not planning on keeping other bottom dwelling catfish. I've seen mixed reviews with folks keeping them with corydoras which would lead me to believe they probably would do similarly with keeping hoplos considering hoplos are very similar to corydoras as far as temperament goes.

    Hoplos, IME, are pretty much bulletproof. I've kept them in waters over 80 and as low as 74 and nothing seems to phase them. They eat anything and everything that hits the floor and are very peaceful. I've kept them with kuhli loaches so small that it would not have taken anything for them to gobble them up and, to my knowledge, they didn't predate on any of them. Occasionally the smaller one will give the larger one a chase. THey aren't as active as a cory IME but are more active than most of the larger catfish i've seen.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Very good info, thanks! I think the most important factors for me are hardiness, activity level (or at least visibility), and very far off in the distance is size (although Cories don't really have it, I generally like girthy fish).
     
  7. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Mike1995, I know you have the Pictus experience, and tyguy7760, I know you have the Hoplo and Cory experience. Do you guys know if sand is the substrate of choice for any of these, or is that more a Cory thing?

    I'll likely re-home the Cories, and try one of these other choices. I plan to go to the LFS today as they have both Hoplos and Pictus in stock. This way, I can see both options up close.
     
  8. Mike1995

    Mike1995 Well Known Member Member

    You can do sand with a pictus. What ive found works well is sort of a mix of sand and small river rocks or gravel. Gravel/rocks on top in places. They're native to a river environment so that seems to mimic a river. Also being that they are mostly nocturnal a darker or non white substrate is best and light that isn't too bright. It'll encourage them to be more active. As well for a visual look for you, pictus cats are lighter in color so they appear nice with darker tank setting.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks for the info! So, gravel is not ideal for pictus or any substrate will actually work well? You've mentioned a few times that they're more active at night, but you've also mentioned having only one. Most of what I've read suggests a group is better than a single specimen. I have to wonder if you'd see more activity with a group.
     
  10. Mike1995

    Mike1995 Well Known Member Member

    You can use gravel but it may be a little harder on them with feeding. They don't get too big. I've had a bunch of pictus over the years. It is actually very good to have multiples. Just be sure you have a good size tank. They can be territorial if cramped
     
  11. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks, Mike1995. I'm still trying to learn more about them, but I'm quite interested. Can you please tell me what would be the ideal number to have? I ask because I've read many different thoughts on numbers, but there doesn't seem to be any "rules" with them. Most of my reading has suggested groups are best, but nothing has referred to them as schooling fish, so I'm a bit confused.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    I'm getting very few replies in the catfish section, so I decided to post here, in hopes of getting more replies.

    I'm upgrading my 55 gallon aquarium to a 100. I'm not having a lot of luck with my Emerald Green Cories, so I'm considering going in another direction. What I'm looking for are opinions on what I should get. Biggest considerations are hearty/not difficult to keep alive, activity level (or at least something that will be visible often), and size (I generally prefer fish with some girth). An obvious consideration should also be something that will fit well in my tank, and with my current/planned stock. Species I'm most considering are Hoplos, Pictus, and Synodontis. Possibly different types of Plecos. More than one species would be ideal.

    Planned/Current Stocking: 3 Blood Parrots (have 1 currently), 9 Nerite Snails (have 3 currently), 10 Eastern Rainbowfish, 15 Congo Tetras, whatever I do with the bottom.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  13. Coradee

    Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Threads have been merged & moved, please only create one thread per topic
     
  14. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    I'd go with sand personally. No matter the bottom dweller. Some rocks/gravel is fine though like mike mentioned
     
  15. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks, tyguy7760! I think I'll most likely go with sand and some rocks. I'm still trying to get suggestions on bottom dwellers, though. So far, I'm leaning towards Pictus and Synodontis, but it seems this may not be the best choice for hardiness. So, I haven't quite arrived at a decision yet.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    This Pictus Cat research is getting difficult; so much conflicting info about them! I've read they're both peaceful and aggressive. I've read they like to shoal when they're young, and then become territorial as they get older. I even found an article that suggested one should be kept alone AND in a group!
     
  17. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Ok, now I believe I'm getting somewhere. I took a trip to the LFS earlier this evening, and saw some Featherfin catfish (Syno Euriptus), and they're a must! Now, to decide on how many and what to put with them, if anything, on the bottom of my tank.
     
  18. Anders247

    Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    Pictus would be aggressive if they were not being kept in a proper school or in a tank that's too small for them. Or to fish that are a lot smaller than them.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    J

    JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks, Anders247! In your estimation, what's a proper Pictus school? I ask because I've read so much conflicting info! Everything from they should be kept singly to at least 6. I've read 3-4 is a great number, and at least 5. I've read they shoal when young, and become species aggressive when they age a bit. So, as you can see, I've read enough to get quite confused!

    Also, what's your thoughts on the Featherfin, both with the Pictus, and not?
     
  20. Anders247

    Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    At least 5 in a group.
    A featherfin cat would be fine.
     




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