Potential problem fish

Blub
  • #1
Hi!

I decided that FishLore needed a list of 'problem fish' - so newbies can make an educated decision on which fish to buy, or rather which fish not to buy! I'll start with a few, and you can post me a new fish, and I can put it into the big post.

Common Pleco

This fish is very peaceful, and when sold in stores often very small. However, you must be cautious with this fish as it grows very big - around 60cm to be precise! 55gal is absolute minimal, but 75gal or up is best.
- HatchetHaven

Goldfish
The reason this much-loved classic is on this list is that most stores will regularly sell you them for a tropical tank set-up. What you must realise is that, although they will survive in tropical temperatures, they won't thrive. They are 'Temperate water' fish, meaning that most of the time they live in 16-18C, but the temperature can rise to tropical temperatures for a short period of time. It also grows to around 20cm - with Fancy variety's getting a little smaller. Goldfish also create a huge Bio-load! A full grown Goldfish will eat most small fish like Minnows, so therefore is best suited to species aquariums - not your Community tank! For a species aquarium, it's best to have 20gal for the first goldfish and 10gal for every goldfish after that.
- HatchetHaven

Chinese Algae eater (CAE)
Chinese Algae Eaters - big problem fish. Also commonly called Sucking Catfish or a Sucking Loach. Easily mistaken as otos. Horrid disposition, aggressive, once they get big, which is very quickly. They stop eating algae as they mature, and develop an unhealthy taste for the slime of other fish. Have been known to literally suck other fish dry. Stay away.
- AggieYen

Please be aware that, given lots of space this fish can be relatively peaceful. But, I mean LOTS of space!

Pacu
I would like to advise people against buying pacus. Many stores such as PetSmart sell them. They grow to be 2 feet long and they are a schooling fish. They are wonderful peaceful fish, but unless a person has several hundred gallons of water to house a school of them in, they will not be successful with these fish.
- newbeefishlover

Clown Loach
This fish is often sold to people who do not know about it's full grown size of 12" and gregarious nature. I would recommend a minimal of 125gal for 3 of these fish - as they are large, schooling and active fish who need their space. If you have this space - they are a great fish, but not for your average sized tank.
- HatchetHaven

 
finmama
  • #2
That's a good idea!!
You have a typo under pleco, says 0cm. Maybe you could add a warning about livebearers breeding?
 
Blub
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
That's a good idea!!
You have a typo under pleco, says 0cm. Maybe you could add a warning about livebearers breeding?
Hi!

Typo fixed... My 6, 4 and 3 keys don't work, and I have to use the 'Num lock' keys. It reallt doesn't get along with my 'semi-touch typing'!ops:

Livebearers and breeding are good. Maybe you could write that yourself?

 
finmama
  • #4
ok I will type something up shortly about the livebearers. Haha that must be annoying about your numbers.
 
Angela_96
  • #5
I'm glad to see that post! I get on to my mother in law every time I go over to her house she has 3 little gold fish in a 1/2 gallon gold fish bowl and yea she has a filter in it but they are cramping me up just looking at them! I told her she needs to get a bigger tank for them!! its just cruel! (btw my common pleco is in a 55 gallon I wouldn't dare put him in a smaller tank)
 
AggieYen
  • #6
Chinese Algae Eaters - big problem fish. Also commonly called Sucking Catfish or a Sucking Loach. Easily mistaken as otos. Horrid disposition, aggressive, once they get big, which is very quickly. They stop eating algae as they mature, and develop an unhealthy taste for the slime of other fish. Have been known to literally suck other fish dry. Stay away.
 
gremlin
  • #7
I disagree on the chinese algae eaters - I have had several and as long as they have LOTS of room, and at least 3 hidey holes per algae eater, and LOTS of moss to eat, they are very peaceful, at least for me. anytime I hear of one that is not eating moss and is aggressive, it is usually in a smaller tank (less than 40 gallons per algae eater is really too small) or doesn't have enough hidey holes to move in, or not enough moss. They really do prefer actual green growing moss as opposed to algae wafers. One algae eater will completely clean a 12 inch by 8 inch by 4 - 5 inch thick rock of moss in one night. If they are going after the slime coat of the other fish in the tank, they are not getting enough to eat. They do better if the moss is at least 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. I think it makes it easier for them to eat, but they will scrape it off the rocks completely. I love my three algae eaters (and my baby pleco) even though I don't get to see them too often (they live in my outdoor pond - approx 150 gallons). They do a good job at keeping the moss down, and they leave my goldfish and mosquito fish alone.
 
MissMTS
  • #8
I would like to advise people against buying pacus. Many stores such as petsmart sell them. They grow to be 2 feet long and they are a schooling fish. They are wonderful peaceful fish, but unless a person has several hundred gallons of water to house a school of them in, they will not be sucessful with these fish.
 
MissMTS
  • #9
I don't necessarily think that Bettas should be listed as a problem fish, but I definetly think that newbies should know the following things about them:

1. They cannot live in small glass bowls or jars. This is an old wives tail. They ideally need a 5 gallon tank with a filter.

2. Bettas need to have a heater in their tanks and need to be kept in water between 78 and 80 degrees.

3. Male bettas should be kept alone or with a school of cories or otos only. They are not community fish.

4. Female bettas can be kept in community tanks, but not with other female bettas.

5. Bettas should have rocks in their tank that have no sharp edges that could tear their fins. They should also have tall plants and pleanty of resting places as their fins can get heavy.

To many people buy bettas and keep them in unheated tiny fish bowls or vases and this is inhumane and cruel. Any beginners should research the needs of bettas before they buy them so that they can give their betta a propper home.
 
Blub
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Hi!

List edited - we now have 2 more fish! Kate - I was going to write about Male Bettas being a problem in community tanks, and a little bit about what they really need, and how they aren't problem fish if you provide the right conditions. I've seen a lot of attempts to put them in community tanks recently!

 
Blub
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Hi!

I have updated the list again - now we have Clown loach! Kate, I am thinking about putting your post on Bettas on the list, as I believe it conveys the message that Bettas should be kept in proper conditions - otherwise they are problem fish. Hence - potential problem fish.

 
SereneReyn
  • #12
i've seen an awful lot of people try to keep large fish in teeny tanks. oscars are a prime example - they're usually so small at the LFS. also various sharks... they need a lot more room than the local fish 'expert' would have you believe.
 
Lucy
  • #13
Although I do think this is a good idea. Isn't 'problem fish' rather subjective?
 
Blub
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Although I do think this is a good idea. Isn't 'problem fish' rather subjective?
Hi!

Well, 'potential problem fish', really like fish who don't go in most begginer's tanks/communitys and anything under 75gal I guess.

 
Evelyn1919
  • #15
oh my god! I think what I have is a Chinese Algae eater. I went and googled it and they look just like the ones my dad just bought me. right now they are about 3''. should I just bring them back to the store then????
 
COBettaCouple
  • #16
I think you'd have room for them in the bioload, but they might take out the other fish in the tank. I'd return them.
 
Blub
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
oh my god! I think what I have is a Chinese Algae eater. I went and googled it and they look just like the ones my dad just bought me. right now they are about 3''. should I just bring them back to the store then????
Hi!

No wonder we couldn't find out what kind of pleco they where! They weren't plecos at all! Yes, your best bet is to take them back as they will really disturb your tank.

 
goggles
  • #18
I don't necessarily think that Bettas should be listed as a problem fish, but I definetly think that newbies should know the following things about them:

1. They cannot live in small glass bowls or jars. This is an old wives tail. They ideally need a 5 gallon tank with a filter.

2. Bettas need to have a heater in their tanks and need to be kept in water between 78 and 80 degrees.

3. Male bettas should be kept alone or with a school of cories or otos only. They are not community fish.

4. Female bettas can be kept in community tanks, but not with other female bettas.

5. Bettas should have rocks in their tank that have no sharp edges that could tear their fins. They should also have tall plants and pleanty of resting places as their fins can get heavy.

To many people buy bettas and keep them in unheated tiny fish bowls or vases and this is inhumane and cruel. Any beginners should research the needs of bettas before they buy them so that they can give their betta a propper home.

I keep a male betta in a 120 liter community tank and he is very happy and even commands his own teritory. fish behave how they wish to and you can't pigeon hole the same breed in the same little box.
 
sirdarksol
  • #19
Goggles, the reason that most of us will say that bettas are not community fish is that most of the time, keeping a betta in a community doesn't work. It may work for a month, or three months, or six months, or a year, but usually a betta will end up attacking other fish, as they are territorial, or being attacked by fin nippers, because they have such large fins and move slowly compared to most fin nippers.
It is unlikely that your betta and guorami are actually happy in that setup. Both are labyrinth fish, and see each other as threats. So far, every member here who has kept that particular combination has come back at some point looking for help treating ripped fins or, worse, lamenting that they have lost one fish or the other. There is a miniscule possibility that they will live their entire lives without getting into it, but it's not a bet I'd be willing to make with a pet's life.
Bettas, in the wild, are solitary animals. They own their little waterways. Unlike most community fish, they don't have much in the way of similar-sized neighbors. They are almost always better off on their own.
 
Angela_96
  • #20
I completly agree! I have read over and over about bettas being actually the ones getting attacked in community tanks. My mother is into bettas and I just bought her a big book on bettas, its at my house so I got bored and read it over the past couple days.
 
Angela_96
  • #21
ah.. I just read the other post.. the chinese algae eater.. I was sold one and told it was such a great fish to go w/ my guppy fry of coarse it was sold to me as an "oto"... in a 1 GALLON TANK!!!!!
This was the disappering fish.. I'm glad that it got gone! (this was months and months ago, I don't even have that tank anymore).
 
capekate
  • #22
Goggles, the reason that most of us will say that bettas are not community fish is that most of the time, keeping a betta in a community doesn't work. It may work for a month, or three months, or six months, or a year, but usually a betta will end up attacking other fish, as they are territorial, or being attacked by fin nippers, because they have such large fins and move slowly compared to most fin nippers.
It is unlikely that your betta and guorami are actually happy in that setup. Both are labyrinth fish, and see each other as threats. So far, every member here who has kept that particular combination has come back at some point looking for help treating ripped fins or, worse, lamenting that they have lost one fish or the other. There is a miniscule possibility that they will live their entire lives without getting into it, but it's not a bet I'd be willing to make with a pet's life.
Bettas, in the wild, are solitary animals. They own their little waterways. Unlike most community fish, they don't have much in the way of similar-sized neighbors. They are almost always better off on their own.
I was one of those folks that had a betta male with gourmai's. I even have a youtube video of the fighting that happened when the two were kept together. I moved the betta out right away... There is no way that these two species will get along for very long, its only a matter of time.
 
goggles
  • #23
ok thanks for the info on the betta and gourami situation.I will keep my eye on them anf if they fight I do have two other tanks,one is a 60 liter breeding tank and the other is a 28 liter tank I use incase I get anyt sick fish. which do you think would be the better home for the betta?
 
sirdarksol
  • #24
I would suggest the smaller. As bettas are carnivorous, your betta might eat any fry/eggs that end up in the breeding tank.
 
goggles
  • #25
I would suggest the smaller. As bettas are carnivorous, your betta might eat any fry/eggs that end up in the breeding tank.

lol. thanks,but I wouldn't put him with fry I would breed in the smaller one.
 
sirdarksol
  • #26
Well, in that case, I'd still suggest the smaller one. Leave you with more space for fry to grow if you get a particularly large clutch of eggs.
 
Petey&PattyFan
  • #27
Just a story to tell about the pacus, my friend bought a baby one(First born, like 2 cence at the p-store) and she put it into a 1 gallon fish bowl, on her night stand. About 4 months later fish isn't really moving anymore, because it doesn't have any room! She thought everything was okay, and that it was normal for a 2 foot fish to just sit there in a tank the size of it! So one morning she wakes up, and the bowl is broken! Water was everywhere!!! And of coarse the fish is on the ground, but that brings a point to the fact that they DO NEED BIG TANKS!
 

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