Of Catfish, Bully Bettas, and Vacation - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2013, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Of Catfish, Bully Bettas, and Vacation

See this picture? It may look like the 4" Krusty Krab, but there are 2 3-inch Synodontis ocellifer catfish in there. I have 2 others hiding in the back of the tank. The point is, the ocellifers are bigger than the bettas, but the girls (the 6 fish left in my 29-gallon) harrass the heck out of them! Two of the girls (HELLO Mist and Shade- the 2 most troublesome girls) find where they're hiding and hover around them all day. The catfish are terrified.
Since the cats are nocturnal, I position carnivore bottom-feeder pellets where I think I see barbels, then shut the lights out. After checking, (turning the lights back on 10 min. later)I discovered that the girls are gobbling up the pellets (HELLO again, Mist and Shade!) leaving the cats in hiding.
I'm thinking of buying some small terracotta pots to serve the pellets in. The cats will dart into a cave immediately, but a betta MAY hesitate.
Q's:

1. Does anyone else have this problem?

2. I'm going away for 5 days next week. How to I keep my oto algae eaters from starving, my ocellifers fed, and keep the bettas from killing themselves eating the others' food?

I fell in love w/ the ocellifers when I saw their pictures & got 4 juveniles. I wish I could enjoy these; I only see the flash of a fin or barbel when they dart into hiding places. They associate me with food, but they won't appear with the bettas around! (And to think I was worried they would gore the bettas w/ their barbs!)
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4 bettas: Butch, 3-year-old violet male PK EE & 3 girls in a 30 gal sorority. I do not name the girls anymore! 1/2 of them die within a month.
30 gal: 9 Oto cats, 4 Ocellifer cats. Inverts: Cherry shrimp & 2 assasin snails.
10 gal.: Butch, his 5 oto cats, 3 assasin snails, and a few snails the assassins haven't caught.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 04:26 AM
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My females are pigs. they were awfully hard to keep with other fish because of that- they tried hogging everything! my best method is to train the girls to get used to food in one spot, and while they're distracted, i drop in sinking food.
algae wafers will help the otos if you don't have much on the way of algae growth. Plants might help too. Idk much about synodontis cats, but maybe they're shy because their group is too small? Same with otos. Usually people recommend 3+ otos per group, and 5+ of other shoaling species.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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The Synodontis ocellifer gets BIG, so I shouldn't even have the 4 in a 29 gallon. I will have to sell some or get a bigger tank as they grow.
I don't know if they school. I can't observe them b/c I can't see them.

These fish are expensive ($40 for babies) b/c they're usually wild caught in Africa- they need hormone injections that is only being done in Eastern Europe. I found them "wicked cheap" on ebay, so I snapped up all 4 the dealer had. The mature size problem will have to be dealt with. If the worst case scenario is that I have to sell $160 worth of fish, I can live with that.

4 bettas: Butch, 3-year-old violet male PK EE & 3 girls in a 30 gal sorority. I do not name the girls anymore! 1/2 of them die within a month.
30 gal: 9 Oto cats, 4 Ocellifer cats. Inverts: Cherry shrimp & 2 assasin snails.
10 gal.: Butch, his 5 oto cats, 3 assasin snails, and a few snails the assassins haven't caught.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 10:21 PM
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They do get big, we bought some sydonis lace catfish at Wal-Mart and one of these was mixed in with the 6 we got. Needless to say within a few weeks he had outgrown all his friends and after 3 months, he is almost 6 inches long. Luckily we can handle it in our tank but if he continues to grow and gets absurdly big, we'll have to rehome him also. We did not intend to get a super sized catfish when we bought them.

We hardly ever see any of the catfish in the tank. When the lights are on - they are hiding. No matter if they alone in the tank or with the community they never come out unless it is to grab food then dart back into hiding.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Those Lace cats are beautiful- I just looked them up. I had never seen them, but they do look a lot like the ocellifers. I've never seen either one in a pet store, let alone Walmart (ours has no live animals). I do see plecos often, but they don't advertise how HUGE they get!

4 bettas: Butch, 3-year-old violet male PK EE & 3 girls in a 30 gal sorority. I do not name the girls anymore! 1/2 of them die within a month.
30 gal: 9 Oto cats, 4 Ocellifer cats. Inverts: Cherry shrimp & 2 assasin snails.
10 gal.: Butch, his 5 oto cats, 3 assasin snails, and a few snails the assassins haven't caught.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 04:08 AM
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We've determined after many months of looking at our Wal-Mart that they have "types" of fish that come in mixed. Cory can be any type of cory - we bought what we thought was emerald and after they grew they turned out to be a really pretty "rusty" color - When i first saw the color I freaked out because I thought that the brown algae bloom was growing on my cory's fins (LOL).

Same with the Catfish, assorted oscars and cichlids - they are mix and match. If we had a cichlid tank, we saw one tonight and it was one of the rarer expensive striped ones all mixed in with the others.

I'm currently on a snail hunt. I want to try a few snails in my tanks to help clean them up, since the more aggressive bettas we have won't let me give them a proper cleaner. I only want ones that are sexual so they don't reproduce all over the place and a pretty shell of course. After defeating a snail bloom of pond snails and ramshorn I've decided I quite like them after all.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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You mean asexual? I am currently contending w/ too many pond snails. I hate to kill them, but what can I do?
They are in my shrimp tank. It seems that they die quickly w/ bettas around. I'm guessing they're being snacked on! I'd give the bettas all the snails, but they'd overeat.

4 bettas: Butch, 3-year-old violet male PK EE & 3 girls in a 30 gal sorority. I do not name the girls anymore! 1/2 of them die within a month.
30 gal: 9 Oto cats, 4 Ocellifer cats. Inverts: Cherry shrimp & 2 assasin snails.
10 gal.: Butch, his 5 oto cats, 3 assasin snails, and a few snails the assassins haven't caught.
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