How quickly will these TFBs grow? I have two of them in a 10 gal tank with 4 tigers and a RTS. I purposefully bought them small, as I'm aware of their potential size. I hope to have a tank large enough to house them later on, but how long do I have?
Yup sounds about right, up to 1" a month for the first 6 moths or so. Their growth kind of winds down after that. I have one that is 4 years old. He's about 11" from tip of fins to tip of nose. 10-15 inches is average though I have heard of larger 18" TFBs. They are voracious eaters and will gobble up as much food as they can fit in their mouths and keep trying for more especially when young and growing fast. I have 5. Four 3" and one 11". I feed them 3 or 4 times a day, for the little guys. Boy do they love earthworms too.
Having had my TFBs for 3 months, I've witnessed rapid growth. I bought them in April, when they were just over an inch long. They are now close to 3 inches, which is consistant with the 1 inch/ month rate. I have also noticed that they eat large amounts of food very quickly. I am relieved in a way to discover that this behavior is natural, and not just a "learned" behavior, as my redtail shark will chase the TFBs away from the bottom levels of the tank when there is food in the water. =) Does this mean I should feed them more than the recommended amount? I've had to cut back on feeding due to an ammonia problem in my 10 gal tank recently, so I cut back in both. I know the TFBs like bloodworms, but you say earthworms, huh? Might give that a try. How about bugs? (Ants, flies, etc)
I wouldn't feed them any thing from the wild, but I have fed mine a feeder cricket or two. Wild bugs can carry disease and pesticides. I must warn you of an important lesson I learned. I lost one of my older TFBs by feeding them mealworms. Mealworms are hardy and can do a lot of damage before they die if eaten alive. I almost lost both. Yes they love bloodworms, really they eat anything you put in there. I also recommend some romaine lettuce every once in awhile. I tie it to rock and sink it. They don't so much like it floating. The Oscar munches it too. I had an Albino Red Tail Shark for quite awhile. He was always fiesty with anyone that ventured to the bottom. lol I try to feed them a little bit at a time as often as possible lol. They eat so fast that the "all they can eat in five minutes" rule does not apply. My young TFBs can eat 3 or 4 worms if you give it to them. One 3 inch fish can eat a whole bloodworm gumdrop in one bite. I just sprinkle some pellets or drop a couple gumdrops in when I see them especially happy to see me. Just make sure they eat it all and you're not giving them so much they can't fit more in. Oh they'll do that. Sometimes one gets greedy and won't give up even though the food won't fit. They are great fish for when kids are around. Kids love to feed the fish. Give them a kid size pinch of pellets and fish go crazy. It all gets eaten and kids love the frenzy.
Good info G...although my RTS is like a cranky old woman, with the "Get off my lawn" personality. In fact, I've posthumously named her "Ramsey", after the actress Anne Ramsey, who played "Mama" in the 1987 movie, "Throw Mama From The Train". The TFBs are nearly indestinguishable from one another, but I'm toying with the names Rick and A.J.... The brothers Simon.
As far as they are concerned, I wil try to feed them as often as possible. I've considered adding maybe a 3rd TFB, to make the tank look more "full", but I'm already looking at 15 inches of fish in the 29 gal tank (4" RTS, and a 5 inch pleco). If they get to be 10-12 inches at some point, it'll look pretty full then...lol Good to know they are progressing at a normal rate.
They do like to be in groups of 3 or more, but you are gonna need more space eventually. Mine got to the 10" mark after about 2 years. The 2 TFBs will need more than 29 Gals. eventually. When fish get that big the 1" per Gallon method is kind of null. I go by this rule:
Tank size....4 times the length or you fish, and twice as tall and twice as deep as the length of your fish.
So 1 TFB at mature size needs 48" x 24" x 24".
They are kind of schooling so this could be a little smaller.
2years?...Plenty of time. I am planning on getting a 75 gal tank in the near future, housing 3-4 bala sharks, a pictus cat, and a couple small schools of smaller fish, but I suppose if I'm gonna go that far, I might as well get a 90+ and put the TFBs in there too.
With the Balas and TFBs I'd go as big as 120 or 150, at the least. Balas get pretty big themselves. 200 is a good round number. I have
1 8" Oscar
1 11" TFB
4 3" TFBs
1 7" Iridescent Shark
1 10" Iridescent Shark
in my 150. This tank is maxed out. As the little guys grow up the tank gets more and more crowded. In a year or so I hope to have two 150s. One for the TFBs alone.
I got my 150 at petco for $417 plus $200 for the stand. It included light, glass tops and an undergravel filter. Great deal. Just shop around. I'd go up slowly. Go 55 Gals. next then up again down the road. You can sell the previous setup to pay for the next bigger. Or, do what I did and turn the smaller into a SW. My 55 Saltwater used to be my TFB tank. If you plan for this, then I would definitely suggest 1 (and only 1) more TFB. The best thing to do is resist getting more than that. Let the ones you have grow to fill out the tank. And don't buy any other kinds of fish until you know what the largest setup you can achieve is. Keep it simple and take it slow, trust me it will pay off in the end. I know how hard it is to stop yourself.
Everytime I walk past the Walmart fish I want to buy them all to rescue them from the **** they are in. >
Oh and whatever you do, DO NOT BUY Iridescent Sharks. They are touchy when young and have the potential to grow larger than you want to have room for. In the wild Ir Sharks can reach 4 feet.