is this normal!? Question

  1. binskiboi Member Member

    over the past few days my two blackfin catfish have been swimming highmiddle to the top of the aquarium, my water params are fine! I'm not sure hwo to sex one, is this typical mating behavior? they are acting fine, i just always thought catfish should swim on the bottom of the tank! Help please :) Thanks lots

  2. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    no its not normal for them to hang out at the top you know they can get over a foot long? unless they are not blackfins(aka Columbian sharks) and are something else....what were your readings for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates the last time you took them? what size are they now? 20gs isnt big enough :(
  3. btate617 Well Known Member Member

    By blackfin catfish you mean the fish fish as the Colombian shark yes?

    If so I remember reading a long time ago they require lots of salt in the tank, very close to what a marine tank would have, to breed. And most you buy are wild as they don't breed them in home tanks because of this. I have also seen groups of them in tanks in some shops where in groups they do use all of the tank swimming around, and often hanging out near the top in groups. hope that helps some.
    I don't have time to look it up right now but will later if noone else has an answer for you.

  4. binskiboi Member Member

    ammonia is 0 and nitrates are 6-10. I got them due to LFS advice as some of my first fish before i found this forum . and have grown very attached to their personalities! They aren't in a 20 gallon they are in a 35gallon, and are 4 inches long at the moment. Sorry h aven't updated my different tanks in a while ill do that now while getting a rsponse

    no blackfin highfin catfish (some say blackfin sharks) they are pure freshwater
  5. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    they are the columbians :( and need brackish water..and get over a foot long as brian said...can you get us a pic to be sure?...gotta love fish stores with lousy advice....whats your nitrite readings?
  6. btate617 Well Known Member Member

    Do you know their scientific name or have a pic of one, so I know exactly what fish you are talking about.

    I didn't say they were not fresh water, I said they need a very high level of salt in the water to breed since you asked if their behavoir could be due to breeding.

  7. TedsTank Well Known Member Member

    Shawnie seems to be correct (no surprise)!!! They spawn in fresh water and the juveniles are sold as freshwater catfish where they growup....but.... Eventually they will need at least brackish water and get quite large for the average home aquarium.
  8. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    :;nwthanks ted! but im just going on what a buddy of mine has not from knowledge of raising them..but I do know they wont spawn(or no proof they will) in fresh water as brian said ...:(
  9. binskiboi Member Member

    WOW! my electric thermometer said 79 degrees but i noticed the clock stopped, so i took the classic thermometer out of my 10 gallon, put it in my 35 and its only 70 degrees! I just did a water change with warm water, took it up to 75 and turned my heater up. And a pic of my fish is here

    EDIT: nitrates at about 0.024, i believe, sorry trying to learn how to read this kit!

    Attached Files:

  10. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    yep thats gonna be a big boy! the fishstore misled you :( sorry
  11. binskiboi Member Member

    :(! so why are they swimming at the top then? I know they have plently of room to swim now. I am going to return them but want to find out whats wrong still
  12. binskiboi Member Member

    discovered the problem! the filter wasn't creating enough water agitation, so I put a fan over my aquarium and they are staying at the bottom again! I thought about this when i noticed they were constantly breathing air.
  13. btate617 Well Known Member Member

    As I was saying , again I do not mean those fish, which are Colombian sharks by the way, need to be kept in salt water. You asked, ( I'm not sure hwo to sex one, is this typical mating behavior?) I brought up the fact about needing a high level of salt to breed meaning I doubt yours would be showing breeding behavoir as they need almost a marine set up to achieve this.

    If your tank params are ok I wouldn't worry about them swimming around the top. As long as they aren't just sitting at the top like say behind your filter uplift tube, and are actively moving around and swimming just at the upper levels of the tank I wouldn't be too concerned.

    Here is a cut and paste from another site talking about the same thing I mentioned with breeding and salt water.
    Blackfin Catfish (Also called Colombian Sharks, White-Tipped Catfish, Silver-Tipped Catfish and TeTe Cats,) are not usually bred in captivity. They are mouthbrooders and their water needs aquarium salt to get them to spawn, in the range of seawater. They also get to be over a foot long. I would think you need a pretty big tank to even try to get them to breed.


    edit....well there ya go you seemed to have fixed your problem.

    Also here is where the cut and paste came from.....
  14. mathas Well Known Member Member

    Every reputable site I've read about this fish on agrees with the idea of increasing salinity as the fish ages. They may be fine in freshwater as juveniles, but don't expect that to continue to be appropriate as they get older.