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Hello!!


Welcome to our page. I have been keeping marine and fresh water aquariums for over 20 years off and on. We try to provide lots of up to date articles on maintaining an aquarium. We also have many awesome links on the right side bar to all things both Fresh Water and Salt Water Aquarium related. Things like Medicines, diagnosis charts, Fish Identification Databases, DIY Projects, Just to name a few. Quick Links to our tank Journals there as well.

Around here we like Salt Water Aquariums just as much as Fresh water aquariums. We don't mind although they must be "OddBall", "Predatory", or "Monster" Fish and when they are all three we are most happy!! So stay a while, poke around a bit and look through our collection of Angler Fish, Bala Sharks, Snoflake Eel, Plecostomos, Spotted Gar, Volitans Lion Fish, Polypterus, Damsels, and many assorted others...

We will be posting comments and pics here all related to keeping our fish. We hope you enjoy your visit.

Any posts I copy from another site will include the URL I got it from and the person who posted it. I don't just post links because often sites disappear and leave you with dead links. If you find one of your posts on these pages and wish to amend it or have it removed completely please just comment on the post and include your contact information and I will be glad to assist you in your wishes.


Enjoy our tanks!!!

Links to tank Journals (CLICK LINKS BELOW):

47 g allon FOWLR Pred. SW Tank = http://tanks4thememories.blogspot.com/2010/04/47-gallon-xt-sw-fowlr-predator-tank.html

Tanksfor Thememories

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135 Gallon Fresh Water Preditor (Monster Fish) tank

135 Gallon Fresh Water  Preditor (Monster Fish) tank
 


I'm getting the 135 for a steal. Running out of space for tanks so im not sure when I can get another after this 135. But I want to keep the fish and I don't have room to build a new tank. I do think I can get away with 6 months if I put the smaller fish in another tank till I get the final tank.

About Our Tanks - P02
Name: P02
Start Date: Tuesday September 09, 2008
Status: Established - Instant Cycle (Moved FX5 to this tank)

Tank: 135 gal
Deminsions: 72 x 18 x 25 Tall = 135 US gallons
Water Type: Freshwater

Average Water Condition:
Temperature: 82 deg. F
Amonia: 0.0 ppm
Nitrites: 0.0 ppm
Nitrates: 0.0 ppm
PH: 7.2
PH TOD (Time of Day for test): 10:02 PM
Hardness:
Hardness (GH): 5.0
Hardness (KH): 4.0

Softening agents:
Driftwood
Live Plants

Hardening agents:
None

Lighting: Natural indirect sunlight + 2 flourescents in Hoods.

Filtration: (1) Fluval fx5,(all trays stocked with bio-balls & Fluval Bio-Media), (1) CORALIFE Turbo-Twist 3X 9 Watt UV steralizer (requires 100 - 200 GPH flow rate) Powered by Beckett G535AG20 550 GPH @ 1' Lift Large Pond Pump (Submersable) with DIY hose assembly including flow control valve assembly.
(1) Tetratec PF501 (HOB) all 4 slots stocked with Tetratec Pro II dual densityFilter Cartridges Pn# 26045, (1) in filter Heater option module installed.

Heating: N/A

Cooling: Large room fan pointed at the tanks and air conditioning in the room.

Airation: (2) Circular air rings fed by a Wisper SN 600

Substrate: 150 Lbs "Mystic White" Pool Filter Sand

Decoration: Mostly Low light Plants, Rocks found outside and treated to be placed in aquarium, Extra large driftwood shaped like an arch.

Current Stock:
(1) Jardini Arowana (Scleropages jardinii),
(1) Endlicheri Birchir (Polypterus endlicheri endlicheri)
(1) Chocolate Pleco (Pterygoplichthys pardalis),
(1) Common Pleco,
(3) Bala Sharks (Balantiocheilos melanopterus),
(1) Electric cat (Malapterurus electricus),
(1) Mystery Snail.

Maintanance:
Feedings schedule: Twice a day once in AM and once in the late PM
Water Change Schedule: 25% Once a week.

1st step - Disinfecting the tank and equiptment.


Used 135 & all equipment Getting a nice 24 Hr 10% bleach bath... 
2nd Step - Rinse, Dechlorinate & Rinse some more...


All Dechlorinated, Rinsed out, and Cleaned UP almost SHOW TIME!!!
3rd Step - Hooked up Fluval FX5 from established 55 gallon


Put in Gravel, Hooked up FX5 from established 55 gallon tank, Moved in fish!!!

"GoT MoNsTeR FiSh?" ....Darn skippy we do....they..baby monsters though...lol
4th Step - Let water settle


Waiting for the dust to clear....


Still waiting...wasnt totally happy with look but still had plants to do anyway.

5th Step - Moved FX5 to permanant position underneath tank.


Mr Fluval Handling his business...

Step 6 - Once water cleared Took some Pic's


"Rambo" - Endlcheri Birchir


"Jaws" - Jardini Being mean as always...lol


Tradjedy Strikes...:(

"Jaws" being his usual excitable self bursts his jaw wide open trying to catch minnows and misses and hits sharp gravel!!!
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=29689

I get Pissed (Arowana's are my fav fish) and decide to switch to sand substrate.

Immediately start researching sand.

Get awesome feed back from both here and Monster.
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=29702

http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/fo...d.php?t=172567


Step 7 - Took all gravel out of tank to prep for sand. Put Jaws in Hospital

Took all gravel out of tank to prep for sand.

Put Jaws in the 10 Gallon Hospital tank
82 Deg temp
Filled up the wisper HOB filter with a bag of ammo chips and a bag of nitrasorb.
Dosed the tank with 14 tsp of table salt (Non-Iodized) - Anti Infection, eases oxygen assimilation from water.
Dosed the tank with a 5 day regimen of (1) pkt of Maracyn-TC per day.- anti Infection
Dosed the tank with a 5 day regimen of (2) drops Liquid B-complex vitimins every 2 days. - Stress relief
25% water change every other day.

Sorry no pics wasn't really thinking bout pics while he was sick...:( 
Step 8 - Last Night went and got "Mystic White" swimming pool sand.

"Mystic white" Pool filter sand by U.S. Silica 1-800-258-2500 it is inert and very pretty. See if you can get the large size I got standard and I like it but I think bigger grains would have been better as an after thought.

I originally wanted Black and especially the "Color Quarts" made by 3M, but it was just taking too long to track down a distributor in my area.

Last night I went and got 150 Lbs of "Mystic White" Swimming Pool Sand. I love it!!!!

While I was out I went ahead and got the plumbing and pump needed to hook up the UV sterilizer.

Set it all up over night and here is the outcome:

Very cloudy but I love the color!!! 
Step 9 - Cranked up the uv Placed a few plants and graded sand.


Put Plants in & redid rocks, graded sand. Finally a little clear!!!


Right Side


Middle


Left Side
 Step 10 - UV Connect


CORALIFE Turbo-Twist 3X 9 Watt UV steralizer (requires 100 - 200 GPH flow rate)


Beckett G535AG20 550 GPH @ 1' Lift Large Pond Pump (Submersable) with DIY hose assembly including flow control valve assembly to Power UV.
Jaws Doing Better

Jawse is better. He still has a open wound on tip of his lower jaw. It seems to be healing well, It is defiantly much better than the original wound. Put him back in the main tank. He ate 6 large Crickets today you can tell it still hurts though cause he chews them carefully and also spits them out more often than usual before getting them lined up to swallow...lol
135 at night with "Moon Lights"


View of tank when it was bare bottom. "Moon Lights" on.


Peek under the hood - "Moon Lights"

Just a cheapo set of LED Portrait highlights came (3) in a pack came with power adapter and remote switch. - Home Depot. Then Brought some colored Plastic Gift bags from dollar store - .99 cents...lol Cut the plastic into folded squares as thick as desired. The thicker you leave it (More you fold it) the darker the light).


LED and DIY colored Gel Lense....lol

Be carefull the next part is highly technical.....


"Moon Light" assembled...man that was difficult...lol 
Now time for the pay off - Fish Pics...Whooohoooo!!!


Even "Jaws" seems more relaxed...(He took his Prozac today)....hehehe


I can not take any credit.
Question: when is a fish not a fish?
Answer:When it is a "Ham".
When the flash starts going in our tank they practically line up to get their pics and look at the camera as long as I am still with the camera they all come and look at me as if I am their pet. "Hey Jaws, watch me make him take another pic"....lol


"Rambo" loves the sand!!!! 
Now im just tweaking systems - UV checkup

Well the UV is working (I see the light) the DIY plumbing is working (Turn the valve and it adjusts the flow).
Problem is how do I know the actual flow rate I'm getting?
Do I trust the manufacturers rating of the submersible pump?
Too fast and the water isn't getting sterilized.
Too slow and it is practically useless with low tank volume "turn Over"

Ok well I dusted off my research and gave my DIY UV system a basic checkup.

Here are my considerations:
All Glass Claims that my tank is a 135 Gallon tank but if you check thier fine print it says something like "Actual volume may be different"
Sure enough if I go to our tank volume calculator: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/conv...calculator.php And plop in my tank measurements (72 x 18 x 25) it says I have a 134.65 gallon tank!!

But wait a minute!!!

I'm putting the water inside my tank not outside of it so I measure the inside of my tank and I find (71.25 X 17.25 X 19.25) I go back to our handy dandy calculator and find I only have 102.42 US gallons of water available in my empty tank.

But Wait another minute!!!

My tank was full of water and I removed all of the rocks, decorations, gravel and driftwood and the water level dropped about 11%. 11% of 102.42 = @ 12 gallons 102.42 - 12 = 90.42 Add back the 12 or so gallons in my HOB and FX5 and it is a wash I end up back at 102.42 USABLE US GALLONS!!!!



Why is this important? Well in rating pumps it is best to completely "turn the water" at least 2x per hour. (This means in 1 hours time the pump that you have connected to it has processed every drop of water in your tank at least twice).

Ok all that having been said lets look at my DIY UV output.

The factory says my pump that is connected to the UV is rated at 550 GPH @ 1" Lift. What does that mean? Well when you speak of pumps you also have to speak of "Head" In the world of pumps "Head" is basically everything that is connected to the pump that creates resistance thus slowing the water flow down. So EVERYTHING between your pump outlet and the final place where the water empty's into your tank or pond is considered "Head" Gravity will slow water down if you try to pump it up into the air through a tube and the longer the length of tube the more resistance both the tube, the weight of the water and gravity will provide this is where "Lift" comes in. But as you may have noticed in the explanation of "Head" "lift" is basically a factor in calculating "Head". Why is this important? My UV sterilizer states that it needs anywhere from 100 to 200 GPH to be effective remember - "Too fast and the water isn't getting sterilized.
Too slow and it is practically useless with low tank volume "turn Over". ".
It would be nice to sit down with my pen and paper and calculate tube diameters and valve flow and gravity...but hey this isn't rocket science there is an easier way. I knew this information in the back of my mind when I chose my pump for the UV (which is why I chose one that was a lot higher than the volume of my tank) now lets see if I estimated it correctly in real life. I took a 1 gallon bucket and a stop watch. I opened up my homemade valve assembly on the UV to full throttle. Then I moved the out put hose to the bucket as I started the stop watch. When I had poured 1 gallon I stopped the watch and placed the hose back in the tank. I kept doing this and adjusting the valve until I got a number I was satisfied with.
Here is the math:
The final result is with the valve just slightly adjusted from full open it took 23.44 seconds to pump 1 gallon of water into my bucket.
1) (Divide that into 60 seconds to get the amount pumped in 1 minute) 60 Divided by 23.44 seconds = 2.55 Gallons Per minute.

2) (Multiply the amount of gallons per minute by 60 minutes to get the GPH) 2.25 X 60 = 135 Gallons Per Hour (GPH).

3) (to check how many times this rate completely "turns" the water in my tank - we Divide the GPH into the actual volume of my tank) 135 divided by 102.42 = 1.31 times per hour. This number is lower than I would normally like but it is within the specification of the UV plus it keeps the water in front of the UV radiation for a longer period of time.
Very good article on often overlooked benefit of UV:

http://americanaquariumproducts.com/...Potential.html
By Carl Strohmeyer
Updated 9/13/08

Quote from article above:
"(2) As to Reduction as also stated in the opening section: “reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4)”, this describes the de-nitrification of nitrate as it reduces to nitrogen. This process is more common in Marine tanks but can take place in freshwater in certain places where methane production is not an issue such as filters with anaerobic filtration that allow methane to escape (volcanic rock, Bio Home provide a good place for this process). Also the growth of plants, especially with strong roots in a sandy substrate allows for de-nitrification/Redox reduction. This is an area where Veggie Filters in Ponds shine in their ability to maintain excellent bio parameters. This also to a lesser degree shows where some green algae growth is not all that bad.
All this said as to Reduction, generally de-nitrification processes CANNOT keep up with oxidation processes which is why help is needed via water changes, mineralization, UV Sterilization, etc! "

Additional Article on UV Sterilization and Maintenance
http://www.peteducation.com/article....articleid=2855

Well Thanx for reading this far, I hope I did not bore you too badly!!! 
 Water changes on the 135

Just did WC and Filter cleanings. Took pics of the Snowball last night also:


Snowball Pleco


"Rambo" again (Just for perspective - That is a real "Cobble Stone" behind him..lol)


"Blackie" finally let me take a decent pic of his belly...whooohooo!!!


"Snowball" & "Chocolate" catch up on old times 
Tank finally settled into carpet...

Tank finally settled into carpet, found it was about 1/2" pitched to the right.

Broke out the hammer and the level and some homade shims and went to leveling...lol


Back Shim


Front Shim


Better in the front..:)


Better from the side..:)

All better now...:) 
  Hmmm 1st hit!!!

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaver...snail_faq.html

And I quote:

"Here is a partial list of some fish that are reported to eat snails in no particular order. This list was compiled from various sources including books, magazine articles, Usenet, web pages, and reports from other aquarists. I only have first hand knowledge with Clown Loaches and Bettas from this list. Others surely exist and if anyone would like to add to this list, please email me with the details.

BAA#:### = Baensch Aquarium Atlas volume #: page ### (Tetra Press editions)

* Clown Loaches (Botia macracantha) notes: community fish, schooling. BAA1:370
* Skunk Loach (Botia morleti, formerly Botia horae) (some say better than the Clown L.) BAA1:368
* Puffers (Tetraodon species) notes: aggressive, keep alone.
* Banjo catfish (Bunocephalus species)
* Malawi Cichlids (Pseudotropheus & Melanochromis)
* African Butterfly or Thomas' Cichlid (Anomalochromis thomasi). BAA1:748
* Malawi Cichlids (Pseudotropheus & Melanochromis species)
* Yellow Labs, Electric Yellow (Labidochromis caeruleus) (Malawi Cichlid)
* Chocolate Cichlid (Cichlasoma coryphaenoides / C. hellabruni)
* Asian Bumblebee catfish (Leiocassis siamensis) BAA2:450
* Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy) notes: VERY large, not recommended!
* Betta/Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) notes: some do, some don't. BAA1:632
* Keyhole cichlid (Aequidens maronii). BAA1:668.
* Black ghost knifefish (Gymnotidae family)
* various Lake Tanganyika Synodontis catfish species
* Red Devil Cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus) (C.America)
* Slender Bumphead Cichlid (Steatocranus gibbiceps) (Tanganyika)
* Black-Banded Leporinus (Leporinus fasciatus) S. American, large, may eat smaller fish. " 
Update

Still researching the "critter sand stirring issue"

Also dis a new post on our blog section  about the tank in general and specifically our elec Cat..

Guess that is all for now if you visit our blog please leave comments..
Rare Group Photo


adds new meaning to "All You Can Eat Catfish Buffet"...
yet another buffet pic..lol

09-25-2008, 03:14 PM  - Malasian Trumpet nails Arrived today!!!

I found this guy on Aquarium Central selling MTS basically for the cost of shipping + Packaging. here is the link if you want some http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...93&postcount=1

These are useful if you have sand as your substrate in a FW tank because they help stir the gravel releasing bad gases before they can build up.
All was as promised he is a good seller.
Ploped them all into tank. They all were fine except 1 hasn't opened yet. No biggie I think 24 of them is plenty to get colony established.

http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...4&postcount=17
 09-25-2008, 11:55 PM -  Well ok so now that all of the.......

Well ok now that all of the creatures in this tank are scientifically IDed. Back to the snail issue. and a strange twist of fate...lol

I am finding I should take my own advice.
You know how my sig says "Mother Nature is amazing, Give her time and opportunity and she will always excede your expectations."
Well I've been so worried about these MTS taking over my tank once I got them in but it turns out to be the opposite. My Balas LOVE baby MTS...lol
I may have trouble even getting a MTS colony started...rotfl!!!!
I put the 24 live MTS in this morning and as I was feeding the tank just a few hours ago I witnessed the Bala Sharks knocking off 3 MTS already, shell and all...lol Oh and they also stole a large cricket from the Jardini...lol Man since I put them in this larger tank they are living up to their name "2 LiVe CrEw"
I tell you mother nature.

Oh in other news I have decided to change the snowball pleco's name from "SnowBall" (very original I know) to "Dorothy" Aka "DOT" (equally imaginative..lol) It just fits her better she is quite shy and very "darty"....

"Dorothy" Aka "DOT" - The fish formerly known as "SnowBall"...lol


I just measured "Luke" the largest of the Balas and he is just under 6' man they grow fast!!!


"Luke" - Bala Shark (Bottom Right)trying to see if "Jaws"- Jardini (Top Left)leaves any scraps from Cricket chomping

Sharks Circling for Scraps!!


"2 LiVe CrEw" - The Bala Sharks featering: Luke Skyywalker Aka "Luke" (is the largest one in the middle with his tail towards us, "Fresh Kid Ice" Aka "KI" is on the right he is next largest one), "Mr. Mixx" Aka "Mixx" (is on the left.) They are all circling "Jaws" - Jardini Aro for cricket scraps!! "Jaws" (is on the extreme left)

What can I say about my three Bala Sharks (Balantiocheilos melanopterus), also called Tri-Color Sharks?
I originally named them the "2 LiVe CrEw" because they are a shoal, also because of their crazy antics around the tank. It is very interesting to watch them Shoal it isn't the type of thing where they are right on top of each other as one might expect. It is a very loose formation occasionally as much as half a tank between them but usually not more than a foot apart. They chase each other, they zoom around tank at speeds hard to follow without getting whiplash then instantly stop on a dime. My favorite feature of these fish is the way they "Hover" like a helicopter. When so inclined they can float in one spot regardless of water currents making only the tiniest of individual fast, short fin adjustments it looks like they are twitching. They predominately occupy the middle strata of the tank but they will eat from the bottom, the middle and the top. They love vegetables and small worms and will also pick through the substrate for food bits between feedings. As they grow, they become increasingly omnivorous.


"Mixx" Working on whats left of a Live cricket he plucked from the surface.
**Mixx once had a run in with Jaws where Jaws caused major damage to his right rear area by biting him. I didn't get to see the actual aggression but it created a horizontal line of hemorrhage from the top of Mixx to the bottom. It made him swim as if his tail was paralyzed.
It took him 2 weeks in the hospital tank (Increased temp, salt, Antibiotics & Anti stress vitamins) before he could return to the tank and another Month to recover completely from the injury (he still swims with a slight "limp" if there is such a thing..lol. "Mixx" is now completely aware of the dual nature of Jaws. He never lets Jaws close enough to catch him anymore.

More on Bala Sharks

Common name:
Bala shark, Tri-Color Shark, silver shark, shark minnow,

Fish name:
Balantiocheilos melanopterus

Name Origin:
“Bala” comes from the first part of their scientific name (Balantiocheilos).
“Shark” comes from their high dorsal fin that makes them look like a saltwater shark.
(Melanopterus) in their scientific name means black fins.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Balantiocheilos
Species: B. melanopterus

Maximum size (min-max):
11.8 - 15.7 in (30.0 - 40.0 cm)

PH of water:
5.8 - 7.9

Water hardness (dGH):
dGH 4.0 - 12.0 N

Recommended temperature:
22.0 - 29.0 C ( 71.6 - 84.2 F)

Feeding:
In the wild: they can feed on phytoplankton, but mostly on small crustaceans, rotifers, and insects and their larvae. In the Aquarium: Bala sharks eagerly eat whatever you feed them. They need foods with algae in them. Balas also love live foods and frozen foods. Color enhancing foods will also make them turn darker.

Place in the aquarium (Strata):
All, but mostly Middle levels for swimming.

Social Info:
Temperament to its family:
peaceful

Temperament to other fish species:
peaceful - Should be kept in shoals of 4 or more.

The way of breeding:
Spawning
An Egg scatterer

Disease:
Baby bala sharks catch “ich” easily. Adults are less prone to the disease but still succeptable.
As a preventative you can use an "ich" cure at half strength in your quarantine tank or when you add new bala sharks to your main tank (especially the smaller ones).

Fish origin:
East Asia
Sumatra, Thailand, Borneo and Malaysia

Suggested Tank Mates:
Angel fish. Gouramis, Any of the other barbs.
Take extreme care if mixing them with with large, rough fish such as cichlids. Balas are very fast and can out run just about any fish but not forever.

Additional Info:
**WARNING** THIS FISH GROWS VERY LARGE AND IS A N EXTREMELY ACTIVE SWIMMER PLAN TO HAVE A LARGE TANK OR TRADE IT LATER ON IN ITS ADULTHOOD OR SIMPLY CONCIDER A DIFFERENT SPECIES. a 500 GALLON TANK FOR FINAL ADULT SIZED (15") FISH IS NOT UNCOMMON.
This fish is also known as Silver shark, Tri Color Shark.
They are actually Minnows!!
Very fast and Great jumpers!!
Make sure tank is well covered.
The larger they grow the slower they grow.
The Bala shark prefers be kept in groups of five or more specimens (although they can survive alone).
B. melanopterus is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List. It has become rare or extinct in many river basins of its native range. In Danau Sentarum (Borneo), fishermen already reported in 1993 and 1995 that the populations have decreased dramatically after 1975, for no clear reason. Fishermen mentioned overfishing for the aquarium-fish trade or forest fires in 1975 and the resulting pollution as possible causes. The species is apparently extirpated in the Batang Hari basin (Sumatra) and it seems that all individuals of B. melanopterus exported from Indonesia and Thailand by the aquarium-fish trade are captive bred. 
Bala Article with pic



Common name:
Bala shark, Tri-Color Shark, silver shark, shark minnow,

Fish name:
Balantiocheilos melanopterus

Name Origin:
“Bala” comes from the first part of their scientific name (Balantiocheilos).
“Shark” comes from their high dorsal fin that makes them look like a saltwater shark.
(Melanopterus) in their scientific name means black fins.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Balantiocheilos
Species: B. melanopterus

Maximum size (min-max):
11.8 - 15.7 in (30.0 - 40.0 cm)

PH of water:
5.8 - 7.9

Water hardness (dGH):
dGH 4.0 - 12.0 N

Recommended temperature:
22.0 - 29.0 C ( 71.6 - 84.2 F)

Feeding:
In the wild: they can feed on phytoplankton, but mostly on small crustaceans, rotifers, and insects and their larvae. In the Aquarium: Bala sharks eagerly eat whatever you feed them. They need foods with algae in them. Balas also love live foods and frozen foods. Color enhancing foods will also make them turn darker.

Place in the aquarium (Strata):
All, but mostly Middle levels for swimming.

Social Info:
Temperament to its family:
peaceful

Temperament to other fish species:
peaceful - Should be kept in shoals of 4 or more.

The way of breeding:
Spawning
An Egg scatterer

Disease:
Baby bala sharks catch “ich” easily. Adults are less prone to the disease but still succeptable.
As a preventative you can use an "ich" cure at half strength in your quarantine tank or when you add new bala sharks to your main tank (especially the smaller ones).

Fish origin:
East Asia
Sumatra, Thailand, Borneo and Malaysia

Suggested Tank Mates:
Angel fish. Gouramis, Any of the other barbs.
Take extreme care if mixing them with with large, rough fish such as cichlids. Balas are very fast and can out run just about any fish but not forever.

Additional Info:
**WARNING** THIS FISH GROWS VERY LARGE AND IS A N EXTREMELY ACTIVE SWIMMER PLAN TO HAVE A LARGE TANK OR TRADE IT LATER ON IN ITS ADULTHOOD OR SIMPLY CONCIDER A DIFFERENT SPECIES. a 500 GALLON TANK FOR FINAL ADULT SIZED (15") FISH IS NOT UNCOMMON.
This fish is also known as Silver shark, Tri Color Shark.
They are actually Minnows!!
Very fast and Great jumpers!!
Make sure tank is well covered.
The larger they grow the slower they grow.
The Bala shark prefers be kept in groups of five or more specimens (although they can survive alone).
B. melanopterus is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List. It has become rare or extinct in many river basins of its native range. In Danau Sentarum (Borneo), fishermen already reported in 1993 and 1995 that the populations have decreased dramatically after 1975, for no clear reason. Fishermen mentioned overfishing for the aquarium-fish trade or forest fires in 1975 and the resulting pollution as possible causes. The species is apparently extirpated in the Batang Hari basin (Sumatra) and it seems that all individuals of B. melanopterus exported from Indonesia and Thailand by the aquarium-fish trade are captive bred.
03-07-2010, 01:25 PM  - Teaser

Ok while I'm dusting off the camera I figured id wet your taste buds...:)

Over the next few months ill be adding fish (yes I will get a new arowana...lol) and pics.

As stated earlier a lot has changed. Everything not listed was sold and I gave away most of the plants. To my surprise I basically have just a few hardy plants left. Here are my tanks and their stocking:

135 Gal
(1) Polypterus endlicheri endlicheri - @ 14"
(1) Alligator Gar - @ 13"


55 Gal
(10) Bala Sharks @ 3-5" each
(2) Polypterus delhezi @ 7' each

45 Gal Tall

Empty awaiting salt setup.
FInaly a Pic of my GAR!!

I think He is Spotted Gar.
Rambo is growing!!!

Wow this guy is getting bigger

More recent pic of Rambo!!!


Rambo Next to one of my favorite CD's for scale reference...lol 
"Rambo" & GarFace" In the same shot!!


"Rambo" & GarFace" In the same shot!! 
New Pic


Feeding Day - 135 G Tank with lights off in room and no flash.
Rambo Crusin'


01/25/10 - Rambo Crusin' after a busy night of munching and pooping (Look at that fat little belly)...lol

ALL of the goldfish (about 15-20) you see in the pic above are now gone!!! 
New Monster!! Latest addition!!

Well I went to the LFS to exchange a defective FrogFish (long story its in my blog..lol), while we were picking out the replacements, we ran across this guy on sale from a trade-in. Been looking for one of these that Rambo couldn't gulp down so here he is!!!


10" Monster Pleco!!
Scientific Name : Hypostomus plecostomus
Common Names : Suckerfish, Suckermouth Catfish
Care Level : Easy to moderate
Size : Up to 18 inches (46 cm)
pH : 6.5 - 7.5
Temperature : 73°F - 82°F (23°C - 28°C)
Water Hardness : 5° to 19° dH,
Lifespan : 10 - 15 years
Origin / Habitat : South America
Temperament / Behavior : Generally peaceful, but can be aggressive toward others of the same species.
Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : It can be very difficult to breed them in a home aquarium.
Tank Size : Depends on the type, but a 55 gallon minimum for the common pleco given its large adult size.
Compatible Tank Mates : Many, given the mostly peaceful nature of this fish.

Sorry I will get some better pics when he settles down. Didn't want to disturb his wall sucking session...lol 
He looks small in the pic till you realize that is a 300 watt heater next to him...hehehe. As long as he stays too big to fit into Rambos mouth its all good to me. TY for the ID. I was gonna put him on planet catfish later in the week. They are so hard for me to ID...lol
Heres the belly


I tried Squash and tilapia he didn't seem interested. I'm not sure what his previous owners were feeding him. Plus he is new to tank so we will see. Ill try pellets and wafers tomorrow, I sure hope he isn't hooked on algae wafers at his size...lol  

Currently he is pretty stress free just cautious since it is new tank. Yes Ive kept a lot of Plecos in the past. I sold most of them when I had to go off on a long term assignment then it turned out to be shorter. The joys of consulting...lol

Back further in this journal you will see some pretty kewl Plecos. There is an awesome feeding shot back there of them all chowing down on veggies. But anyway, I keep babbling about Rambo eating Plecos because he has done this in the past...lol and as you see he is still alive. He has also eaten a fairly large Senegal Birchir. These have been un-photographed fish and events due to being busy and the short time span of the event... also I often don't take pics of new fish because I like to make sure they are sticking around before I get too attached and start naming them and all that. For posterity, I decided recently I would document all events and occupants as things occur (as best as possible). In the past short lived events typically didn't warrant an entry.

He has eaten 2 pretty large Plecos (around 6-8 inches) to date. So this time around I was waiting to find the perfect size at the perfect price. He likes bottom feeding fish, in fact he invites them to lunch at every opportunity..lol Basically he will eat any fish that fits in his mouth and stays still long enough to be caught. He is an ambush hunter which leaves smaller bottom feeding fish very vulnerable to this type of predation. It is very deceiving how large his mouth can expand to. It really gives insight into why Birchirs are often referred to as "Armored" fish. Due to their prehistoric origins they are extremely sturdy, very laid back, also great towards their owners, basically the "rottweilers" of the FW hobby..lol
04-30-2010, 08:49 AM  - hmm I just realized Rambo has grown 6" in the last 2 yrs...lol


New pic of "Garface"
More Pics!!!


05/06/10 - Night time Group Shot!!

All in all I am very pleased with the character of this Pleco. Here are the reasons:
1) So far he isn't the type to suck on polypterus for slime coat protein. - Rambo hates that!! No fish should anger Rambo...I know that is why he ate at least one of the plecos he has been responsible for scoffing down...lol
2) I thought there was a problem with him eating but it turns out he actually likes algae and loved to munch on my driftwood (im not sure the driftwood part is actually a benefit..lol) - Rare for one this size
3) He handles his business - No one is bullying him. 
More Pics!!!


Ok we named him "Blackie"


Blackie Flaring Fins


More Fin Pics

Finally got around to cleaning this tank..lol
More Pics!!! Cont.-


Rambo and GarFace Dancing..lol


Rambo trying to look all GQ and stuff...lol


Another Rambo "action pose"
More Pics!!! Cont.-


Rambo Again - Can you tell I love this fish?...lol


GarFace Being antisocial...lol


GarFace & Rambo..Meeting of the minds...
New Pic


Tank View "Catchin Some Rays"...lol
 I just remembered the only complaint I have about Fluval FX5. The problem is on the output hose. So what happens is sometimes what normally looks like:

This.

If it gets nudged by a fish or something it often turns into:

This!! And

This!!

Its not the end of the world or anything but it is annoying to have to put it back frequently. I think I can fix it by replacing the rubber coupler. I notice it only happens as they get older. It seems to stay very well when the assembly is new. Notice on the top pic the piece of plastic I stick in there to help keep it snug...lol 
05-12-2010, 08:33 PM  - More Pics!!!


Another pic of Blackie


06-15-2010, 09:09 PM  - Latest Tank spec update


Tank: 135 gal
Dimensions: 72 x 18 x 25 Tall = 135 US gallons
Water Type: Freshwater


Average Water Condition:
Temperature: 82 deg. F
Amonia: 0.0 ppm
Nitrites: 0.0 ppm
Nitrates: 0.0 ppm
PH: 7.2
PH TOD (Time of Day for test): 10:02 PM
Hardness:
Hardness (GH): 5.0
Hardness (KH): 4.0

Softening agents:
Driftwood


Hardening agents:
None

Lighting: Natural indirect sunlight + 2 flourescents in Hoods.

Filtration: (1) Fluval fx5,(all trays stocked with bio-balls & Fluval Bio-Media), (1) CORALIFE Turbo-Twist 3X 9 Watt UV steralizer (requires 100 - 200 GPH flow rate) Powered by Beckett G535AG20 550 GPH @ 1' Lift Large Pond Pump (Submersable) with DIY hose assembly including flow control valve assembly.


Heating: N/A

Cooling: Window Unit AC, Large room fan pointed at the tanks and air conditioning in the room.

Airation: (2) Circular air rings fed by a Wisper SN 600

Substrate: 150 Lbs "Mystic White" Pool Filter Sand

Decoration: Rocks found outside and treated to be placed in aquarium, Extra large driftwood shaped like an arch.

Current Stock:

(1) Endlicheri Bichir (Polypterus endlicheri endlicheri)

(2) Banded Bichir (Polypterus delhezi)
(1) Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus)

Maintenance:
Feedings schedule: Twice a day once in AM and once in the late PM
Water Change Schedule: 40% Once a Month.
Filter Cleaning every 3 months



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