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Iridescent sharks not eating?


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#1 foxmartini

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:27 PM

My employee traded me 4 of his freshwater fish for one of my veiltails, he was too intimidated by the sharks and could not get them to eat. He has one of my other bettas and takes great care of him so I didn't mind taking in his fish if he was comfortable with taking in another betta.

Well I've come to learn that now I'm over my head. These aren't rainbow sharks as he first told me, though he was guessing as he really didn't know, just thought they looked cool. After reading up on the internet, I've found that they are irridescent sharks, young at least, he bought them a week ago along with two powder blue balloon rams (found that on the internet too, lol). Their setup was clean but the sharks have indented belly's and one was laying on it's side breathing heavy.

Brought them home, this was a few days ago, set up a 10 gallon with a new filter system and have them heated at 78 degrees. Most of the info on the net says they like the water between 72-79 and they like a pH of 6.5-7.5, I've treated their water and added aquarium salt and tested their water to make sure everything was up to par.

The little one was up and lethargically mobile once in the tank instead of laying on his side but then went back to his side for about a day and a half, gulping hard, his/her tail is gone??? Could have been eaten off? I've added a dose of Para-Guard.
At one point I found him stuck up to the filter, I quickly shut it off and moved him underneath a plastic cave to keep him out of harms way. The other one was lethargic, laying often on the bottom and was really not doing well yesterday afternoon.

Then suddenly last night, we had ourselves a festivus miracle!! Both were swimming around, slowly, not like the ones I've seen online but at least they were both up and mobile! They stick around the heater, moving up and down the glass.

The only difference was that yesterday, I put bloodworms in the water hoping that maybe they would try to eat that as I read online that they will sometimes favor them. I've tried a few different types of bottom feeder type wafers and some various flakes suggested on the net but they had no interest. There is still disintegrated wafers on the bottom from this afternoon. I never see them eat but I'm guessing they ate the bloodworms?

The rams are thriving and happy from what I can tell.

Any suggestions for these guys or tips? I will be looking to rehome them to someone with a proper setup as they apparently can grow up to 3-4 feet long, all at a rapid rate when in the right conditions. I'll probably keep the rams and get them some tank mates or maybe two more ballon rams, any suggestions for them?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by foxmartini, 12 March 2012 - 10:31 PM.


#2 Solitarianknight

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:24 AM

Frozen seems to work well with these guys, though they may be sick simply because the tank is too small. The cycle wont hold for long with them in there either. Make sure theres a tight fitting lid because they have been known to jump. If you can as you said get them rehomed to someone with a 6ft tank or more Asap before they become stunted if not already.

The rams will also be needing a larger tank, a 20long should be a minimum imo, 29 being just a tad better. If you then want tank mates avoid ballon rams, they are Imho a horrible creation of man, inbred to look that way it does actually effect their health. We can get more into tankmates once propper sied setups are all in order.

Edited by dimidiata, 13 March 2012 - 06:27 AM.


#3 foxmartini

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:18 PM

Frozen seems to work well with these guys, though they may be sick simply because the tank is too small. The cycle wont hold for long with them in there either. Make sure theres a tight fitting lid because they have been known to jump. If you can as you said get them rehomed to someone with a 6ft tank or more Asap before they become stunted if not already.

The rams will also be needing a larger tank, a 20long should be a minimum imo, 29 being just a tad better. If you then want tank mates avoid ballon rams, they are Imho a horrible creation of man, inbred to look that way it does actually effect their health. We can get more into tankmates once propper sied setups are all in order.


Thank you for the advice! I am hoping to get a 20 gallon at least in the meantime to transfer them into while I wait to see if anyone suitable will take them. I've asked around and sent out a few messages to some people so here's hoping they will be rehomed to a knowledgeable place.
If not do you think a public aquarium type place would take them in? We have a large one in Vancouver that I could contact and I do drive down frequently.

I read more on the balloon rams, looks like they have problems with their organs as they are 'squished' up? Not liking that. I'll look into other types once the sharks are rehomed, I may keep these rams and let them live their lives out in the 20 gallon.

I finally got to see the sharks eat! Quite cool, they have full bellies and I'll have to cut back on the bloodworms as I think I may be giving too much. At least they are fat and happy.
The little one witht he missing tail seems to be growing it back I think? Their is clear growth on the end of the tail, I've been syphoning any extra food and waste off the bottom to make sure it stays super clean and add in the Para-Guard that helps make sure he wont get fin rot so I'm hoping its just regrowth.

#4 Solitarianknight

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:27 PM

Just remember, what they eat=amonia on the out passage lol. Local aquariums are generaly good about taking in rescue fish, you can ask. Also, local fish clubs aswell.

#5 foxmartini

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:16 PM

You bet, I'm watching their water paramaters closely. I feed them twice a day, I'd like to find a variety of things for them to eat instead of just a sole diet of bloodworms, any suggestions for other things they like?

Pretty sure it's regrowth on his tail, would you know how long it would take to grow back?

No luck on rehome yet, moving them to the 20 on the weekend, I'll check out some fish clubs around us though.

#6 Solitarianknight

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:06 PM

Most frozen foods and catfish pellets are popular with them. Tail regrowths cannot be calculated.




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