Is it big enough?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Tank Equipment' started by severage, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. severageValued MemberMember

    I have a ropefish, around 8 inches long, but the tank is around 3x his length and much larger than his height. Is this tank large enough for him to be happy, as there is foliage for him to hide in.
  2. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    Oh, I had not realized that the tank was so small! Ropefish grow very long, and they need a minimum of 55 gallons, more if possible. (from what I've been able to research)

  3. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Sever and welcome!!!

    Ropefish can get up to about 16" long.. they like worms, beefheart and other carnivorous type foods. He will also eat any fish in the tank that can fit in his mouth, yet doesn't do so good with larger aggressive fish, so you will want to watch what his tank mates are.

    A 55gallon tank should be ok for one.. maybe 2 of them. I did a search on them and found that information.. I had bowed to my son's begging and once had one, he was cool.

    Mine was kept in a 110g tank and with proper care and food, they can be somewhat interactive with their pet humans. ;)

  4. severageValued MemberMember

    Thanks all. The problem is my parents don't see the point in spending hundreds of dollars when the tank looks large enough for him, and I just feel awful about it. As I speak, he is lively and (for the first time in days) swimming to the surface all happily looking, but I just dont think his tank is large enough. He is the only fish in there however. Would an upgrade to a 20 gallon, or even a 30 gallon tank, be sufficient?

  5. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    Only for a short time, and it would be an even bigger waste of money to buy a 30g, when you'll HAVE to get a 55g to keep him in the long run anyway. Tell your parents to look on craiglist, they have great deals on 55g tanks and you can get one a lot cheaper than store bought.
  6. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with Mrs Price, that's a great place to check for a tank, and often people will want to sell off the stand, lights, and possibly filter equipment with the tank.

    Be sure to prepare for needing to get him some quality foods.. most fish stores will have beefheart and I've often gotten nightcrawlers at walmart for around $2 a dozen. He also will need heated water, if you're lucky, you may find a nearly complete setup on Craigslist... just be sure to clean everything thoroughly.. you never know what problems the former owners may have had.
  7. severageValued MemberMember

    Hi again. My mom told me a rule of thumb for ropefish is, if the tank is atleast as deep as he is long, the tank is sufficient in size. Is there any truth to this? If so, the tank is of sufficient size. She promised me that if he grows we will upgrade.

    EDIT: I also found this the One Inch Per Gallon Rule, which would also allow my tank to be large enough. I AM planning on upgrading soon, so don't think I'll let Ching Chong stay cooped up in a small tank for long. Keep in mind he is the only fish in there and he has plenty of foliage.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  8. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    That rule is not true... and you shouldn't trust in it. 55 minimum for a ropefish... the 1 inch per gallon is basically an old wives tale.... foliage only lessons the room he has. I wouldn't lie to you...
  9. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    The one inch per gallon rule has its place, but it has its obvious limitations as well. The bigger the fish, the less it applies. It's good for people new to the hobby, since it gets them thinking about limitations. The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step, and in this hobby the inch per gallon is that step. It's a rite of passage - to break away from that line of thinking.

    Rope fish are very social and do best in a group. However, many times I have seen someone call their bichir a rope fish. They are similar, but different.

    I would not keep them in less than a 90. You DON'T want to to be able to stand on its tail, because it will escape. It's important to have the height, and the extra width.
  10. severageValued MemberMember

    Ok. I really am going to upgrade soon, but the tank honestly doesn't look particularly small for him atm, since he isn't nearly as long as they grow to be. Could someone please just reassure me that he isn't miserable? Mrs. Price, you've seen all of my posts, from where he had red gills and I thought he wasn't going to make it, to now, where he is swimming at a nice pace around the tank. It actually took me hours to sleep last night worrying about this, and I woke up with only about 5 hours of sleep. I have never actually put this much thought into a fish before, and the guilt is eating away at me.
  11. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    I am sorry, but if the only answer you want to hear is that the tank is big enough then you should not be asking this question on fishlore. People here will give you the answer which they think is best for the fish.

    That said fish can and regularly do survive in a tank that is not big enough temporarily. The point is that it has to be temporary, and it won't do to wait until the fish outgrows the tank because at that point the tank will be too small for the fish. Fish often grow much more rapidly than expected, and if you do not plan ahead, you may not be in the position to upgrade the tank when it is really necessary. Furthermore, there is a known phenomenon of fish with stunted growth: fish that do not grow properly because they are in tanks that are too small for them, and then these fish are unhealthy and die earlier.

    Your fish will probably not suffer and die from spending another night in this tank, so you can sleep at night. However, during the daytime you should figure out how to plan for the future. If you cannot provide a large enough tank for this fish, maybe you should find someone who can, and get yourself a fish that can comfortable live in the size of tank that you can provide.
  12. shelliecaValued MemberMember

    When planning an aquarium & what to stock you need to consider the tank size needs of the adult sized fish NOT the infant or juvenile sized fish. You're getting good advice from experienced people so please take it to heart.
  13. severageValued MemberMember

    Ok. I really am just trying to convince myself that he is happy. I will upgrade, I will. His current length is about 1/2 the length of the tank and about .8x the heighth of the tank.
  14. severageValued MemberMember

    Ok everyone. I have some good news. My mom promised that we will get a much larger tank within a year, since at the moment, the ropefish is still basically a juvenile and is only about 2/5 the tank length. Also, he is much more lively than he has been, for the first time he actually ate a bloodworm a gave him that was at the top of the tank. Thank you all for your help.
  15. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Make sure the top is VERY well secured and that there is no place for it to escape. All eel like fish are excellent escape artists, especially if they can use their tail to push off of something.

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