farlowella catfish

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Donna
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farlowella catfish

Post by Donna » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:36 am

I just got two nice farlowella gracilis, and am very pleased. I don't buy new fish very often, and have never had this species before.
I'm astonished that even though they are making no effort to hide (other than their snazzy twig camouflage), these sucker cats seem invisible to my rabid-wolf angelfish -- who by the way were VERY disappointed when I dropped in an algae wafer, which looks much like the sinking wafers they love but apparently doesn't taste nearly as good to an angelfish.
This is the big one, at about four inches long:
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Here he's on the thermometer:
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What a weird mouth!
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The smaller one is around three inches, and went under the kuhli shelf. One kuhli came over to greet the smaller one, but the catfish ignored the loach:
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Then the farlowella found some algae along the angle where the tank front meets the floor, and proceeded to clean up:
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Of course, the kuhlis are still my favorite fish on the planet, but these farlowellas are fun.
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starsplitter7
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by starsplitter7 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:48 am

I adore farlowela, but find them a little difficult to keep. I haven't managed longer than two years. Usually if they make it a month, they make it a year. Make sure you have wood for them. I don't know if they eat wood, but they eat the stuff growing on the wood.

They are interesting, non-aggressive lovely fish.

I think they die because they starve to death.

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Donna
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by Donna » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:11 am

Won't they eat the algae wafers? I'm also soaking some Indian Almond leaves for them. I'll get them a piece of driftwood, and stop scrubbing the algae off everything like I've been doing. Now I'm kinda scared, I don't want for them to starve.
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starsplitter7
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by starsplitter7 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:25 am

I think the almond leaves are a good idea. And I am sure they will eat algae wafers. I have never been able to figure out exactly what they eat. I also think their nutritional demands are low. I think that you will probably find out what they eat. Then please let me know so we can compare notes. Let me know if you see him eating the algae wafer. :) I think in your nice quiet tank, they will thrive.

Mine may have passed from water quality.

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Donna
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by Donna » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:00 pm

I found this site: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Farlowella which says, "Twig catfishes require clean water with high dissolved oxygen content. Twig catfish are often lost without enough greens to feed upon."

I'll get another bubble wand while I'm at the lfs, too.

They definitely do eat the Hikari algae wafers, I just watched the larger cat sucking on a piece of one. I just tried handfeeding them with a hemostat like I do with the African Dwarf Frogs, but the Farlowellas were both afraid of it and backed away.

Should I try frozen peas?

Will they tame down like the angels and kuhlis?
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starsplitter7
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by starsplitter7 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:15 pm

My newest farlowelas are pretty new. They are easy going. I just put my hand in the tank and pick them up when I need to do something with them.

Glad yours are eating wafers. :) That solves one big problem. I think they will thrive in your tank and I look forward to updates. I adore my catfish. They are going to a show this weekend. I will take pictures and post. my tank is called "Cool Cats". :) I also have some super cool snails in the tank.

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Donna
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by Donna » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:29 pm

I tried netting them out of the bag to put them in the tank, but was afraid of hurting them, so I reached in and yes, they just let me pick them up one at a time and put them in the tank. No struggle, no attempt to get away from my hand. I was a bit alarmed at this, but they seem to be acting all right, both are busily vacuuming the floor.

How in heaven's name do you take a fish to a show??
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starsplitter7
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by starsplitter7 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 pm

I transport a lot of my fish by hand, especially the catfish, because they get tangled in the nets. The first funny transport I had were the banjos. I almost threw them out. I was sure they had died on the way home. They didn't even move when I took them out of the water. I have a croaking catfish who was severly injured when she jammed herself into a decoration. I nursed her for three months, and each day I picked her up and handled her so I could see her closely. It has been a couple years, and she still holds still when I pick her up to look at her. And my male albino BN lets me pick him up in his cave when I move him and his eggs to the nursery tank and back. I think fish get to know you. I think your farlowelas hoovering the tank is a great sign that they are healthy and stress free.

They are going to a fish show. :) I will break down their tank, put the fish in a rubbermaid container, the water in buckets, and bundle them off to the fair with their tank. Our aquarium club puts on the show which lasts 11 days and one of the members feeds all the fish at night. I just hope no one taps on my glass. I have never done anything like this. I am like a mother hen. I have a bunch of my coolest catfish in this tank, so I hope they do okay. I have gone to the show many times and there are bunches of people looking at the tanks. I want to make sure the fish are happy and healthy with minimal stress. I also have some cool snails in the tank and I am considering shrimp, but I have to make sure my Hoplo won't eat them. I want people to see and appreciate the variety of catfish available.

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Donna
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by Donna » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:52 pm

Wow, I admire you for going through all this to let people see and enjoy your fish.

I'd be a mess, I'd have to camp right beside the tank for the entire 11 days :P

What kind of snails do you have?
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starsplitter7
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by starsplitter7 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:06 pm

I have been pretty stressed about this. I would like to camp next to my tank and smack people's hands when they tap on the tank. But I have watched this show for years, and I know that other people's fish come through it well. A friend had her angels breeding during the show, and a lungfish was so spoiled he looked at his owner for the treats he got at the show. The aquarium club feeds the fish and treats them if there's an issue. The fish come through it well. I will be visiting on a regular basis. I do every year, and this year I have an interest in seeing how the fish do. I will take lots of pictures and post them.

The snails I have are horned nerites (small, but so pretty), zebra nerites, a yellow and black striped snail that has a wendletrap shape, and red foot rams horns. I like snails. And these are pretty. I hope no one thinks they are a mistake. I am thinking about adding "snazzy snails" to the title of the tank. :) I have a farlowela going to the show. All the catfish are young, so they don't overcrowd the tank.

cider
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by cider » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:46 am

just more food info , my farlowella loves zucchini, not the skin and not the seeds ,but the flesh part , so I slice some and hang it on the glass with a suction cup-food clip . He eats it all ,and if there are any small seeds in it , they are left behind in a thin sheet of the zucchini still hanging, and looks like lace ! He aslo love wood , I have lots of wood but my farlo seems to prefer the driftwood and another stick type wood ( I already boiled the tannins out). I move the stick which he is on when time to clean. He also will eat romaine lettuce and baby spinach same way ,hang on plastic food clip. HTH. G
cider

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Donna
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by Donna » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:25 am

Starsplitter -- Do you have any pictures of your snails now? A horned snail? I haven't added snails because I just haven't seen any cute enough.

Cider -- THANKS, I'll add a clip for zucchini, lettuce and spinach to the driftwood on my list for PetSmart this weekend.
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starsplitter7
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by starsplitter7 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:10 pm

I am definitely the wrong person to ask about snails, because I like them all. :) They are all cute to me.

Here's info on the Horned Nerite. http://www.planetinverts.com/horned_nerite_snail.html

Snail gallery: http://www.garfishindo.com/snail.html I am enthralled with rabbit snails. Found one locally for $15. :) Ouch!

March edition of Tropical Fish Hobbiest has a feature on Farlowelas. :) Specifically whiptails. Never thought of my Farlowela as a whiptail, but I guess so.

cider
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by cider » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:29 am

hi there, one more thing worth mentioning about farlowellas is SMALL wc's . I lost my first one when a sponge filter inside tank released alot of gunk, so I immediately did 40% wc and lost the farlo. Questioned my '' master aquarist''from store, said too much water change at one time did it. Not sure if this is true , but been doing 10% wc's with my new farlo , don't want to take any chances. Another thing, they need to eat OFTEN, as other fish will get the food first , and farlos will starve easily. I keep a veggie on a clip on glass at all times for the farlo, and I read up , yeah they need soft wood to help digest food. HTH, G
cider

starsplitter7
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Re: farlowella catfish

Post by starsplitter7 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:25 am

My Farlowela went to the fish show, so when he gets home, he will stay in that tank. It is smaller than his home, but not very active and none aggressive eaters. I think he will do bunch better there. I have seen hime much more active in the tank. I will go to the fair several times to visit my fish and make sure they are doing okay with all the people.

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