Anyone have large fish?

Sorry, the subject line is not a witty euphemism or anything. Maybe it’s more of a GQ, but I’m more of an MPSIM’s kind of guy. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has comparatively big fish in an aquarium. My reason for asking is thus: I have a 55 gallon aquarium with about three tiny tropical fish surviving in it. Summer’s over, and it’s time to pay some attention to the fish tank again. I was thinking about getting a couple of bigger fish of some sort. I had oscars once before and they were kind of cool, but they were very high maintenance because they produce a vast amount of fish feces (had to take all the rocks out of the tank, and still clean it constantly), so I don’t want to do that again. I thought maybe piranhas would be cool, but I figured I’d probably have the same problem. Any recommendations? Thanks.

Um, well…the larger the fish the more to clean up, so you’ll have to deal with that.

Or get a couple of bullheads and not worry about cleaning up QUITE as often :wink:

Option #2 is a fish my gramma has called a plecostumas (I KNOW I spelled that wrong). Sucks stuff off the walls of the tank.

Um. That’s about all I know.

i had some chinese alge-eaters, and not only were they kinda pretty, they kept the tank damn clean.

A plecostomus is good as a large, docile fish, but it leaves a long string of feces around the bottom of the tank.
It’s easy to kkep happy and fed, though, if you give it flake food, algae discs, and a piece of driftwood to gnaw.
It will eat small fish- guppies or smaller, so watch what you put in the tank with it. I got mine 3 years ago. It was about 3" long; it has grown to about 14" long and 3" wide.

I have a 60 gallon hex-shaped vertical tank. My son built a tank out of an old bathtub for his school project; we recently moved the pleco in with his albino catfish (about 10".)

I’m considering larger fish, but before I get them I’m using 1 5-gallon tank for brine shrimp and 2 10-gallon tanks to grow guppies as feeder fish. I’m also considering minnows, whatever will be easier to grow.

I’ve read that many people did not know that their pleco would get so large, and some pet stores will not buy them, so you may be able to get a large one quite cheaply by placing an ad (in the store if they let you, otherwise in the paper.)

Let me know how it comes out? :slight_smile:

Common Plecos get to be about 18" which is too large for a 55 gallon tank. There are smaller species but they produce “poop logs” too.

Red-bellied piranhas get to be 12", in theory you could keep one or two in there but I wouldn’t keep them in less than 75 or 90.

“Wimple piranhas” (catoprion mento) only get to be about 6" which would be a better choice.

“Rope fish” or “Reed eels” are really cool, they’re long and skinny and look just like a snake. A 55 would be a tad too small for them when full grown (36") but if you have very good filtration or are planning on getting a larger tank, I’d suggest getting one. They are really neat.

Try taking a look around

The general rule of thumb is one inch of fish per gallon. Also, if you’re going to keep very aggressive fish like Oscars or Piranhas, you can probably say goodbye to those “tiny tropical fish” you have now. It’s also good to find out a lot about any type of fish before you get one, because sometimes they do better in groups than singly. That can be a real problem with larger species in a limited tank space. A good site is The Krib.

So he would be able to keep a 4’ channel cat and a 7" pleco in his tank? Or maybe a pair of 27" iridescent sharks? :wink:
This rule is outdated and incorrect. When it was coined, there weren’t a large number of different fishes in the trade, and it applied to most of them.

It doesn’t anymore. There really isn’t a “general rule of thumb”, because you have to take into account body mass (there’s a huge difference between 10 1" neons and a 10" pacu), compatability (some fish are very agressive to their own species or to all other fish), and other factors (ie, paradise fish can be kept in smaller tanks because they breathe from the surface; ID sharks need lots of free swimming room because they tend to dart back and forth a lot; and goldfish need more space that other fish their size because they are very messy; angelfish need more vertical room because they are tall). I don’t know of any rule of thumb that does this. :wink:

There are a bunch of large cichlids you can get, similar to oscars eg: red devils . Tilapia will grow to about a foot long or so (you see them live in tanks in asian markets sometimes), but there are several species of them. I kept red-bellied pirahnas for years - they only get to about 6" unless they have a big tank and lots of food. I’m assuming removing the heater and growing yourself a big goldfish or koi would be too boring. There are armoured catfish like port hoplos that get to about 6" and breed easily. I’d avoid chinese algae eaters - they tend to get very aggressive with size and will even suck on other fish. Plecos are nice, but they’re not exactly a spectator’s fish; they mostly hang in a corner or under a peice of wood motionless. One fish I found interesting was the electric catfish. They get pretty big, and really can give you a shock. All they need is a peice of pvc pipe to sit in, and all I ever fed mine was earthworms. If you got some money and are good with water quality, try discus.

BTW, among aquarists, it’s considered bad luck to write out the whole name of that particular fish. you should be ok, since you spelled it wrong, but we usually call it a pleco when writing it out. they are an algae eater, and true poop machines. i had one that was 9 inches long, and had to send him home with a friend who had a bigger tank. they don’t eat feces, or garbage, and if your tank doesn’t grow enough algae, you need to buy sinking algae disks for them, or they’ll starve. they can get to be up to 18 inches long, so they will definitely fill up a tank!

angels can get to be pretty good sized, and there are some really beautiful breeds out there. however, don’t put them in the same tank with neons. angels eat neons. yum!

Does anyone here go the saltwater route? (Not that freshwater can’t be interesting)

*Originally posted by AndYrAStar *


I should have said that this is a good starting point for calculating maximum capacity of your tank. However, I did find a site called Fish Reference that states the guideline should be 1 inch of fish per 10 square inches of water surface area instead of the 1 inch per gallon rule. Of course, you are absolutely correct that beyond any “rule of thumb” you have to consider the overall dimensions of each adult fish and it’s requirements.