Need Advice Urgently

ChristaCat

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I took an hour drive to go to a pet store since there's really not any in my particular area. The guys who worked there claimed to be experts at keeping fish and guided me. Except now I regret listening to them...

I told them I wanted fish for my betta community tank which had
1 male betta
4 albino cory cats
1 mystery snail

I told him we wanted a small, colorful, schooling fish like cherry barbs he said cherry barbs were far to agressive to be with a betta and led me to the dwarf neon rainbowfish. I asked him how many we should get and he bagged up two, a male and female, without even asking if thats what we wanted. I tried to tell him I wasnt sure I wanted them but he bagged them up anyways.

So I saw a ropefish and asked what size tank it needed and he said it would do great in my 20gal. I said really? He explained that they're very peaceful and would be an excellent addition and began bagging him up before even said anything else. I didnt realize until after I got home how big they got...

I also wanted 2 more cory cats but there's were very expensive and the place I got mine from was way cheaper so I just skipped on those for the time being.

Then, I mentioned I wanted dwarf puffers for my old 6.5 gallon and he charged me for two but only bagged one up for me! They also told me they'd eat shrimp pellets but mine hasnt and since I'm in a very rural area I cant quickly get snails for it, Id have to order them and only after I get paid in like a week.. I wasnt too worried then because they assured me the food I had was fine. Also, he doesn't look so good...

I did get some mystery snails though, no problem. But they told me they were asexual and Im pretty surw mystery snails are one of the only ones that arent actually? So idk if he knew what he was talking about.

So now my 20gal tank has
1 betta
4 cory cats
2 mystery snails
1 ropefish
2 dwarf neon rainbowfish

And my dwarf puffer is currently being held in a 1 gallon, only temporarily until I figure out what to do.. he's a juvenile, not even as big as a pencil eraser. He's so small he's hard to see.

What should I do?
Returning them would be difficult, I had to get my boyfriends brother to take us out there since our car is in repair. So I currently dont have reliable transportation.
 

Adrian Burke

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Sounds like a pretty bad “expert” lol. Nobody really does returns on live animals, but sometimes people do refunds. Go back and ask! And at least get compensated for the extra charged dwarf puffer. I would not go there again. Are there any alternative stores?
 

Floundering_Around

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How long of a return policy do they guarantee? I would take them back as soon as you can.
If you can upgrade the tank over time to a fifty gallon, you'll be able to keep the ropefish, but if not you should immediately return it. The rainbowfish should be kept in groups, with more females than males to avoid aggression. They'll be fine in the twenty-gallon tank, but if you want your betta to be the centerpiece they'll detract from that.
If you have a spare tank and some pest snails in any of your tanks, you'll have more snails than you know what to do with.
 
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ChristaCat

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Adrian Burke said:
Sounds like a pretty bad “expert” lol. Nobody really does returns on live animals, but sometimes people do refunds. Go back and ask! And at least get compensated for the extra charged dwarf puffer. I would not go there again. Are there any alternative stores?
No, there is only a chain store and a small local store near me (I use the term "near" loosely, theyre just not an hour away like this one) that both only care very common fish. No puffers, rainbowfish, or ropefish.

Ive tried to call to get a refund for the puffer ( I paid with a card) but no ones answered and now they're closed so I'll try again in the morning.
 

Dch48

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Yeah, that ropefish gets way too big for a 20 gallon. The others seem okay
 

FishGirl38

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Feeding pea puffers can be difficult, I've had two and they can be finicky. I was able to get mine to nibble on flake (I would recommend a saltwater flake w/ garlic infused if they won't eat regular freshwater flake). I spoiled mine with live and frozen brine shirmp/blood worms as well if you can find those. The frozen last quite awhile with those little guys. You could try crushing the pellets up into smaller granuals, they may be a little more encouraged to eat them? I housed my puffers with breeding guppies, occasionally they would catch a fry.

If you do decide to return the ropefish (and considering what you have, and what he would require you to change with your tank, it'd be less hassle for you to return him) you could consider kuhli loaches, dojo loaches, or another 'eel like' left-over-food-eater to add to the tank. They'd get along fine with the cories. You'd have to supply hide outs for both bottom feeders, but they're neat.

ropefish are semi-territorial scavenger types. They're kinda like a bichir or palmas. They'll start to prey on anything they can catch and swallow once they get to a certain size and age. They're not aggressive, so killing other fish isn't their main priority, but if they're hungry and the opportunity presents itself, you may be down a fish or two in the future. I wouldn't worry though, they usually keep to themselves along the bottom of the tank and really only come out to eat. Unless you have an uber active one, which I have seen. They're usually kinda shy.
 
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ChristaCat

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FishGirl38 said:
Feeding pea puffers can be difficult, I've had two and they can be finicky. I was able to get mine to nibble on flake (I would recommend a saltwater flake w/ garlic infused if they won't eat regular freshwater flake). I spoiled mine with live and frozen brine shirmp/blood worms as well if you can find those. The frozen last quite awhile with those little guys. You could try crushing the pellets up into smaller granuals, they may be a little more encouraged to eat them? I housed my puffers with breeding guppies, occasionally they would catch a fry.

If you do decide to return the ropefish (and considering what you have, and what he would require you to change with your tank, it'd be less hassle for you to return him) you could consider kuhli loaches, dojo loaches, or another 'eel like' left-over-food-eater to add to the tank. They'd get along fine with the cories. You'd have to supply hide outs for both bottom feeders, but they're neat.

ropefish are semi-territorial scavenger types. They're kinda like a bichir or palmas. They'll start to prey on anything they can catch and swallow once they get to a certain size and age. They're not aggressive, so killing other fish isn't their main priority, but if they're hungry and the opportunity presents itself, you may be down a fish or two in the future. I wouldn't worry though, they usually keep to themselves along the bottom of the tank and really only come out to eat. Unless you have an uber active one, which I have seen. They're usually kinda shy.
I honestly am so stressed about the puffer and ropefish that it's taken the joy out of keeping fish. I want my fish to be ok but I'm not sure what to do with the ropefish, exactly. I also wish I could just return this puffer.. there's only one when there was supposed to be 2, will it not get lonely? Also I was charged so much for all this but they assured the food I had was fine but apparently not...

Also, they didnt even have the tetras or barbs I was looking to add... say I returned or rehomed my ropefish, would I have enough space to add a small school of cardinal tetras or something?
 

Floundering_Around

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ChristaCat said:
I honestly am so stressed about the puffer and ropefish that it's taken the joy out of keeping fish. I want my fish to be ok but I'm not sure what to do with the ropefish, exactly. I also wish I could just return this puffer.. there's only one when there was supposed to be 2, will it not get lonely? Also I was charged so much for all this but they assured the food I had was fine but apparently not...
Just call the store back tomorrow morning. I woulndn't worry about feeding the fish if you just got them; fish may take a few days to settle into the tank.
If the store doesn't allow returns, try to rehome the fish. The ropefish should be fine in the twenty gallon tank for a few months to a year (maybe even longer)
As for the puffer, they're almost as territorial as bettas. Having just the two may have led to them fighting to the death anyways. Three to five or more would be better.
 
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ChristaCat

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Floundering_Around said:
Just call the store back tomorrow morning. I woulndn't worry about feeding the fish if you just got them; fish may take a few days to settle into the tank.
If the store doesn't allow returns, try to rehome the fish. The ropefish should be fine in the twenty gallon tank for a few months to a year (maybe even longer)
As for the puffer, they're almost as territorial as bettas. Having just the two may have led to them fighting to the death anyways. Three to five or more would be better.
Ok.. this makes me feel better. Is my 20gal overstocked? Could I continue with a small school like I wanted to add originally?
 

FishGirl38

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ChristaCat said:
I honestly am so stressed about the puffer and ropefish that it's taken the joy out of keeping fish. I want my fish to be ok but I'm not sure what to do with the ropefish, exactly. I also wish I could just return this puffer.. there's only one when there was supposed to be 2, will it not get lonely? Also I was charged so much for all this but they assured the food I had was fine but apparently not...
It's really bothersome, and I'm sorry about the hassle it's caused already. I agree, I would call in the morning.

And I think so yeah, if you got rid of the puffer and the ropefish, you could probably add 9 cardinal tetra. Though, neon tetra stay slightly smaller and are a similar look. Have you considered ember or kerri tetra? There is also a 'gold neon' tetra that's like a white neon tetra. just spit-balling idea's for you. If you return, get the stores number/card, and ask for the day's that they receive freshwater shipments. Call on those days or when you can get up there and ask if they have the fish type you're looking for. They may put you on hold to go check but they should let you know if they have them or not.

Edit: I'm imagining a 20L...but I personally would do it. If you're playing it safe then maybe just do 6 but...you could add another filter or buy a larger filter and a think a school of smaller dwarf schoolers would be okay.
 

Floundering_Around

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in the event that you can't "return" the fish, ask if you can "donate" them. However, at that point, you may not get a refund. Really push the fact that the surface was subpar and the informatoin you were given was unreliable and you would like to return the fish
 
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ChristaCat

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Thank you guys, I appreciate the help.

I think what I'll do is just get my refund for the puffer and try to return the one I have.

Ill keep my 20gal going with what I have and Ill add 6 tetra. Either cardinals or neon, whatever is in my area.

Eventually, Ill upgrade my tank entirely and get maybe a 25 or 29.

Does this sound ok?

FishGirl38 said:
It's really bothersome, and I'm sorry about the hassle it's caused already. I agree, I would call in the morning.

And I think so yeah, if you got rid of the puffer and the ropefish, you could probably add 9 cardinal tetra. Though, neon tetra stay slightly smaller and are a similar look. Have you considered ember or kerri tetra? There is also a 'gold neon' tetra that's like a white neon tetra. just spit-balling idea's for you. If you return, get the stores number/card, and ask for the day's that they receive freshwater shipments. Call on those days or when you can get up there and ask if they have the fish type you're looking for. They may put you on hold to go check but they should let you know if they have them or not.

Edit: I'm imagining a 20L...but I personally would do it. If you're playing it safe then maybe just do 6 but...you could add another filter or buy a larger filter and a think a school of smaller dwarf schoolers would be okay.
Thank you

You think its ok to keep my 20gal going with what I have and still add 6 tetra?

Eventually, Ill upgrade my tank entirely and get maybe a 25 or 29.
 

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Sorry, just joining in on this thread.

Do you mean, keeping the rope fish? Or are you rehoming it?
If you rehome it, I would up that cories to 6-8 and add in 6-8 cardinal tetras, not neons, because they aren’t temp compatable with the betta.

I’m sorry that you are in this situation
 

NYFishGuy

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ChristaCat said:
I asked him how many we should get and he bagged up two, a male and female, without even asking if thats what we wanted. I tried to tell him I wasnt sure I wanted them but he bagged them up anyways.

He explained that they're very peaceful and would be an excellent addition and began bagging him up before even said anything else.
I've never had to deal with any pushy fish sales men but they can be handled the same way.
No one has ever started taking fish and putting into bags for me unless i say" Hi, I want to buy some fish can someone get them for me"
If your just asking questions about the fish... tell them you're not ready to buy but have questions.
If they start bagging them up ... again tell them you haven't decided yet and are just asking questions.
Don't be afraid to say "No". It's easier to change your mind later then it is to say no after already agreeing to something.
 
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ChristaCat

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emmysjj said:
Sorry, just joining in on this thread.

Do you mean, keeping the rope fish? Or are you rehoming it?
If you rehome it, I would up that cories to 6-8 and add in 6-8 cardinal tetras, not neons, because they aren’t temp compatable with the betta.

I’m sorry that you are in this situation
Yes I meant if I rehome it! Thank you for your advice!
 
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