Warning to Fishkeepers - Giant Fish for Sale

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by SalmonAfrica, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    Hey all

    I put out a warning like this more for the wellbeing of the fish rather than that of it's owner. I say this because there are fish for sale in many pet stores and aquatic retailers that have the potential to grow into absolute giants. And by this, I mean big enough to out grow your 4 foot, 5 foot, 6 foot... even 10 foot tank in some cases. These fish are for SPECIALIST fish keepers ONLY who have the capacity to hold many thousands of litres in their tanks and can provide adequate filtration. Better yet, tropical ponds can easily provide more space.

    I think information like this is important because a lot of people are unaware that many popular fish are sold to them as 'safe community fish', but soon outgrow their quarters. In the better cases, the fish are either returned to the petstore, with the hope of someone else coming in to buy the fish, or it is passed on to another person. In a worst case scenario, the fish are dumped in rivers - this is already happening with common and high-fin plecostomus.

    Here I'll display images and information about these fish, what to look out for and maybe something extra.

    Common Carp, Cyprinus carpio

    [​IMG]

    This specimen was said to be around 110cm, most carp are known to grow to about 120cm. Koi, a man-made variant of carp, can attain similar sizes.

    Goldfish, Carassius auratus

    [​IMG]

    Probably the world's most well known fish and pet fish, goldfish can attain large sizes. Despite this fact, many are still kept in goldfish bowls and very small tanks. One excuse is that the 'fancy' varieties don't grow as big - I'm sure the above picture disproves that. Goldfish are really pond fish, especially those that grow to larger sizes, such as shubunkins and comets. Such varieties normally grow to about 30cm, although wild goldfish or those closely related to wild strains can reach up to a supposed 59cm (according to Fishbase).

    Chinese Sailfin Sucker, Myxocyprinus asiaticus

    [​IMG]

    This fish was around 135cm when the photo was taken. This is the adult colouration of the fish - normally smaller specimens are available at pet stores at around 5 - 10cm, noticeable for thier tall dorsal fin and banded appearance. Also note that this species also requires cooler, oxygenated water, so is not suitable for keeping in normal tropical tanks.

    Red-Tailed Catfish, Phractocephalus hemiolopterus

    [​IMG]

    In the shops, this species is more often than not sold because of it's cute face and pet-like habits, willing to greedily feed from the owner's hand. However, few take them home realising that these are fast growing and predatory, able to swallow surprisingly large objects. The fish above was around 135cm, and they normally don't get much bigger than that. These fish put huge strain on regular aquarium filters, and often a pond filter is recommended.

    Asian Red-Tailed Catfish, Hemibagrus wyckoides

    [​IMG]

    The above fish was measured in at 180cm, although most references refer to this fish growing to around the 100cm mark. Fortunately not such a common import, this is a large, aggressive species that rarely gets on with tankmates.

    Cigar Barb, Leptobarbus hoevenni

    [​IMG]

    Occasionally seen for sale at a cute 5cm, they can grow as big as the specimen above, at around 65cm. They are a large, active schooling fish, so truly huge amounts of space is needed for proper care. I also recommend excellent filtration for their rather ravenous appetite.

    Clown Knifefish, Chitala ornata

    [​IMG]

    A very well known and popular fish, they can grow to 100cm long - the one above is around 85cm. Often this species is taken home, soon to grow quite large and devour smaller tankmates overnight. They have much larger mouths than it may seem.

    Giant Gourami, Osphronemus goramy

    [​IMG]

    Also an occasional sight, the more popular form is the white or albino form. The above fish is around about 60cm, though they can get slightly larger. The smaller specimens available at the LFS or LPS look similar to regular gouramis (more like kissing gouramis), but they quickly take shape into much bigger fish. They make great pet fish.

    Pangasius, Pangasius hypophthalmus

    [​IMG]

    Very popular because of their shark-like swimming habits, these are possibly the most unsuitable fish for the aquarium hobby, quickly growing into large, schooling, and fast swimming fish that truly need a river or lake to live comfortably. The above fish is 115cm, some specimens get bigger. Due to their skittish nature, these fish are often returned to shops with scarred faces because of constant bashing into the tank sides and decor due to limited space.

    High-Fin Pangasius, Pangasius sanitwongsei

    [​IMG]

    Sometimes more popular than their smaller cousins, the pangasius, because of their shark like appearance and swimming behaviour. The fish above is a mere 140cm - this is small for a fish that can attain 250cm. Often these fish die a premature death because of a lack of space, which causes stunting. Ignorant people believe their fish are fine, growing up to 30cm and living for 5 years or so - this is sad considering they can live for decades.

    Lemon-Fin Barb, Hypsibarbus wetmorei

    [​IMG]

    Very commonly seen, also known as diamond sharks. These are often sold as an alternative to tinfoil barbs, believed that they grow to smaller sizes than their relative. This is not the case - the above specimen was said to be just less than 40cm.

    Common Pleco, [FONT=&quot]Pterygoplichthys[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]pardalis[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG][/FONT]

    Another immensely popular fish, most often sold as a 'cleaner fish' for tropical and coldwater tanks, as well as ponds. A lot of people are unaware of the potential size, where these guys have the potential to reach around the 35cm mark. Their relatives, high-fin plecos, can reach about 45cm. These fish can put out a lot of waste, especially since they eat largely vegetable matter.

    Silver Arowana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

    [​IMG]

    The above fish is fully grown at a whopping 120cm. A graceful fish that is fortuneately rather expensive, preventing any random fishkeeper from taking it home without consideration. These fish can be rather sensitive to water conditions, especially when young. Bear in mind that if arowanas are kept in improper conditions, they are likely to fall prey to ailments such as drop-eye and stunting.

    Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, [FONT=&quot]Pseudoplatystoma[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]fasciatum[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [​IMG][FONT=&quot][/FONT]

    A close relative to the Red-Tail catfish, this is also a large and predatory catfish from South America, and is capable of taking on fish that are anything less than half their size. Growing to the size of the fish in the picture (just over 120cm, although normally 100cm), they need plenty of space because, while they seem inactive during the day, they roam the tank at night, requiring a lot of 'hunting' space.

    Thanks for reading, I hope you take my words into consideration.
    Salmon
     
    Tom and dungbeetlemania like this.
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  3. guido.coza

    guido.coza

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    You did it again
    Well done salmon :thumbup:
     
  4. Bufamotis

    Bufamotis

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    wow, that plec is massive, mine lived in the pond outside for a few years and reached about 30-40cm from nose to beginning of the tail, i think one cold winter is what ended him, got him when i was little, shopkeeper sold him as a small cleaner fish... sigh
     
  5. Slojo

    Slojo

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    They are good examples of their respective species.
    Thanx for this info.
     
  6. Philfarm

    Philfarm

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    This is the kind of socially responsible thread that can really make a difference! (Far better than some obscure blacklist) I take my hat off 2 you for taking the time to type that out, maybe helping some members to make an educated choice in the future!

    Well done man!
     
  7. veegal

    veegal

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    Nicely done - this is a very useful thread for newbies especially. Thanks SA.
     
  8. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    I like it
     
  9. Gareth

    Gareth Angel Freak

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    Really good info there
    Thanks
     
  10. Rory

    Rory Administrator

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    Good thread SalmonAfrica. I see a lot of those fish in almost every LFS and pretty much everyone there doesn't realise basically what that fish really is.
     
  11. stormbringer101

    stormbringer101 ARO

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    briliant stuff .if only lfs would just advise customers properly like you just have a lot of people would more than likely still by these fish but more than likley by bigger tanks benefiting the lfs if just sold correctly in the first place....
    Just to add . ... Current findings on silver arowana are showing that drop eye is infact looking like a genetic problem as the problem will ocour in almost all silvers irrelevent of the size of tank , water depth,bb or even if all the tanks sides are blacked out.however in the asian arowanas drop eye is almost non existant as the gene pool is checked on very closley due to there very low numbers and status.
     
  12. OP
    SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    Thank you for the kind compliments everyone. :)
     
  13. SauRoN

    SauRoN

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    Wow just look at the pattern on that Tiger Shovelnose.
     
  14. slayer

    slayer

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    Excellent. Thanks for taking your time to compose and post this. Shows your passion for the hobby. Keep up the good work.
     
  15. Gilbertr14

    Gilbertr14 Phenacogrammus

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    Definitely needs a sticky
     
  16. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    Agree - a sticky is needed
     
  17. veegal

    veegal

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    I'll second (sorry third) this being made into a sticky post :)
     
    Innocent159 likes this.
  18. corylyle1

    corylyle1

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    Great post and great examples!!! Very interesting!! Sticky is needed!!
     
  19. Bufamotis

    Bufamotis

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    hurrah on a successful thread then, very informative, if you spot more of these giants, let us know hey?

    -sticky-
     
  20. OP
    SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    There are some more, but finding convincing pictures can be difficult. I might add on some soon if I find suitable content. Thanks everyone.
     
  21. Gilbertr14

    Gilbertr14 Phenacogrammus

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    Maybe we can help

    List the fishies at the bottom of your first post, and we will pm you what you we find.
     

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