Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fasciatus

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mshuangchao
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Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fasciatus

Post by mshuangchao » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:37 am

Hi all, I've now refined my planned stock list for my 4 meter tank:

Bathybates minor (pair)
Bathybates fasciatus (pair)
Benthochromis tricoti (3 pairs)
Cyprichromis leptosoma "Jumbo Kitumba" (many)
Cyprichromis pavo (2 pairs)
Mastacembelus plagiostoma (4)
Haplotaxodon trifasciatus (6)
Greenwoodochromis bellcrossi (2 pairs)
Reganochromis calliurus (6)
Phyllonemus typus (5)

There would be no problems if it weren't for B. fasciatus, a species that I really want to keep... I read they grow to a good 35cm, which means anything under 10cm would be considered lunch, right? I'm mostly worried about the Cyps and Reganochromis. The P. typus come out only at night, but still...

Any suggestions? Should I just ditch B. fasciatus?
Chao Huang (SYSU)
Freshwater crabs of Continental China

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by mshuangchao » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:13 pm

Ok... I think I'll ditch B. fasciatus and go with Xenotilapia nigrolabiata "red princess", and add a thin layer of pond mud...
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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by mshuangchao » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:32 am

So I've given it some thought and now the plan is currently this:

Bathybates minor (pair)
Benthochromis tricoti (3 pairs)
Cyprichromis pavo (2 pairs)
Mastacembelus plagiostoma (4)
Haplotaxodon trifasciatus (6)
Greenwoodochromis bellcrossi (2 pairs)
Reganochromis calliurus (5)
Xenotilapia nigrolabiata "red princess" (6)
Phyllonemus typus (5)

any thoughts?
Chao Huang (SYSU)
Freshwater crabs of Continental China

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by sidguppy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:27 am

I have kept Bathybates fasciatus in the past; raised them from 3" fragile juveniles to a robust 8" pair
by then the male was already colored up and the female was a plain silver.

apart from being very fragile and tricky eaters when small, I've found them quite surprising when acclimatized.
I've kept them until a resistent collection of diseases wiped out my entire tanganyikan tank some 6 years ago, killing not only the Bathy's, but also all other fish apart from the Synodontis granulosus group and the frontosa Zambia group.

but before i got that nasty surprise, they grew from tiny youngsters to showcases.

what sort of fitted in my expectations:
-incredible fast swimmers. actually, they didn't 'swim" it was more like they teleported themselves. "now you see me here ZAP now I'm on the other end of the tank."

-they really do love to eat small fish and go out of their way to catch one. small caves or dead end caves are a bad idea. they can and do crash and die, i lost a few juvies that way.

-when young, they didn't accept any food save for live fish. i fed them guppies, then over time, once I had them eating added pieces of smelt, slowly adapting them to dead food.

-they really need loads and loads of oxygen and pristine waterparameters.

-they cannot be handled! in this they are like Lamprichthys....if they jump out, you can pick hem up and put them back, but it's no use. they die.
any bathy that jumped the tank was already dead, even if i put them back. they would be dead the next day.

remarkable observations which I didn't foresee:
-once i got them beyond smelt they accepted any food, and I mean any food....you know what they loved best?
shrimp mix!! I guessed in their former life the ones i got were Tropheus or something. but they did ate shrimp mix, tetra min flakes, spirulina OSI flakes (!!), floating gammarus, mysis, krill, bits of smelt.....

-they are very docile, peaceful. not agressive at all. anything bigger than prey sized is completely ignored.
I've kept them with halfgrown frontosa's (Zambia blue), Synodontis, Greenwoodochromis, Haplotaxodon and Grammatotria.

-unlike the lake perhaps, but in my tank they were surface fish, staying in the top 4-6" of water. the only time they came near the sand was when hunting a little fish or -once!- when the male tried to spawn with the already diseased female (a few days before i lost almost all fish).


my tank was too small for those fish, but i never regretted keeping them
the thing i did regret was not seeing the nasty diseases that were hiding on a few Lepidiolamprologus....those had stayed for 3 weeks in quarantaine and looked healthy to me.
a month after I added those, I didn't have a Tanganyika hobby anymore.
turned out the LFS i got those from routinely dosed ALL their tanks with FMC on a daily base (!!), creating a whole variety of resistant germs
which i bought along with the fish.
end of story.

but Bathybates are fascinating fish. well worth keeping.
they do need big tanks, clean water, docile tankmates and room to move, but mine even took food particles from my hand (and bit me a few times).
it's one of the most bautiful fish in the lake.
"And he piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it"
Jean-Luc Picard

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by cyatide » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:13 pm

Thank you very much for your very interesting report, Sid!

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by sidguppy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:44 pm

I even got some pictures floating around, I'll check if they're good enough for the forum.
"And he piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it"
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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by mshuangchao » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:27 am

sidguppy wrote:I have kept Bathybates fasciatus in the past; raised them from 3" fragile juveniles to a robust 8" pair
by then the male was already colored up and the female was a plain silver.

apart from being very fragile and tricky eaters when small, I've found them quite surprising when acclimatized.
I've kept them until a resistent collection of diseases wiped out my entire tanganyikan tank some 6 years ago, killing not only the Bathy's, but also all other fish apart from the Synodontis granulosus group and the frontosa Zambia group.

but before i got that nasty surprise, they grew from tiny youngsters to showcases.

what sort of fitted in my expectations:
-incredible fast swimmers. actually, they didn't 'swim" it was more like they teleported themselves. "now you see me here ZAP now I'm on the other end of the tank."

-they really do love to eat small fish and go out of their way to catch one. small caves or dead end caves are a bad idea. they can and do crash and die, i lost a few juvies that way.

-when young, they didn't accept any food save for live fish. i fed them guppies, then over time, once I had them eating added pieces of smelt, slowly adapting them to dead food.

-they really need loads and loads of oxygen and pristine waterparameters.

-they cannot be handled! in this they are like Lamprichthys....if they jump out, you can pick hem up and put them back, but it's no use. they die.
any bathy that jumped the tank was already dead, even if i put them back. they would be dead the next day.

remarkable observations which I didn't foresee:
-once i got them beyond smelt they accepted any food, and I mean any food....you know what they loved best?
shrimp mix!! I guessed in their former life the ones i got were Tropheus or something. but they did ate shrimp mix, tetra min flakes, spirulina OSI flakes (!!), floating gammarus, mysis, krill, bits of smelt.....

-they are very docile, peaceful. not agressive at all. anything bigger than prey sized is completely ignored.
I've kept them with halfgrown frontosa's (Zambia blue), Synodontis, Greenwoodochromis, Haplotaxodon and Grammatotria.

-unlike the lake perhaps, but in my tank they were surface fish, staying in the top 4-6" of water. the only time they came near the sand was when hunting a little fish or -once!- when the male tried to spawn with the already diseased female (a few days before i lost almost all fish).


my tank was too small for those fish, but i never regretted keeping them
the thing i did regret was not seeing the nasty diseases that were hiding on a few Lepidiolamprologus....those had stayed for 3 weeks in quarantaine and looked healthy to me.
a month after I added those, I didn't have a Tanganyika hobby anymore.
turned out the LFS i got those from routinely dosed ALL their tanks with FMC on a daily base (!!), creating a whole variety of resistant germs
which i bought along with the fish.
end of story.

but Bathybates are fascinating fish. well worth keeping.
they do need big tanks, clean water, docile tankmates and room to move, but mine even took food particles from my hand (and bit me a few times).
it's one of the most bautiful fish in the lake.
Wow, thank you so much for such an interesting and extensive reply! I might add my 2 cents on B. minor later!
Chao Huang (SYSU)
Freshwater crabs of Continental China

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by Mark Smith » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:01 pm

Hi Mshuangchao

Were you recently offered wild or captive reared B. fasciatus and B. minor. I kept and spawned both species. You can read my write up on Cichlidae.com.

Some other observations to add: Mine were not delicate at all. They ate small fresh frozen white fish you can find at your local (here in California, that is) Asian grocery store. The frozen fish I think are a species of Salangichthys? They also ate Hikari pelleted food, and of course, live shiners as a treat a couple of times per month. They began eating the non-living food items almost immediately at approx. 10 cm total length when first acquired. During a regularly scheduled water change, I did accidently suck one out with a large siphon hose, and found it flopping in the mud next to my front door. I returned it to my aquarium, and it was fine. That individual was approx. 25 cm total length. The aquarium I had them in was approx. 180 cm long, 60 cm wide and 60 cm tall. Just a 5 cm layer of fine silica sand and no rocks or decorations whatsoever. My group was maintained with a couple of similar sized B. ferox. They all got along perfectly, absolutely no aggression. Mine also tended to stay in the lower 2/3rds of depth of the tank. Rarely did they spend much time in the upper layer, or near the surface of the water.

Out of 11 B. minor I had, in another aquarium, it consisted of 4 males and 5 females. Only 2 females would spawn correctly and hold to full term. I would guess that your plan will work quite well, especially due to the size of your aquarium and the inhabitants. Just keep an eye on the Bathybates, as they can be easily bullied. If so, they will not function or look their best as they ought.

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by mshuangchao » Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:29 am

Mark Smith wrote:Hi Mshuangchao

Were you recently offered wild or captive reared B. fasciatus and B. minor. I kept and spawned both species. You can read my write up on Cichlidae.com.

Some other observations to add: Mine were not delicate at all. They ate small fresh frozen white fish you can find at your local (here in California, that is) Asian grocery store. The frozen fish I think are a species of Salangichthys? They also ate Hikari pelleted food, and of course, live shiners as a treat a couple of times per month. They began eating the non-living food items almost immediately at approx. 10 cm total length when first acquired. During a regularly scheduled water change, I did accidently suck one out with a large siphon hose, and found it flopping in the mud next to my front door. I returned it to my aquarium, and it was fine. That individual was approx. 25 cm total length. The aquarium I had them in was approx. 180 cm long, 60 cm wide and 60 cm tall. Just a 5 cm layer of fine silica sand and no rocks or decorations whatsoever. My group was maintained with a couple of similar sized B. ferox. They all got along perfectly, absolutely no aggression. Mine also tended to stay in the lower 2/3rds of depth of the tank. Rarely did they spend much time in the upper layer, or near the surface of the water.

Out of 11 B. minor I had, in another aquarium, it consisted of 4 males and 5 females. Only 2 females would spawn correctly and hold to full term. I would guess that your plan will work quite well, especially due to the size of your aquarium and the inhabitants. Just keep an eye on the Bathybates, as they can be easily bullied. If so, they will not function or look their best as they ought.
Hi Mark,

You can call me Chao Huang, "mshuangchao" is only a web name,haha!
Thank you for the reply! The pair I currently have are WC specimens and only around 10cm, the male already has egg spots. They are taking all sorts of foods, live mosquito fish, frozen brine shrimp, flakes and pellets. I've also found that they tend to float around the upper section of the tank, probably because the bottom section is occupied by larger fish. As of now, the only aggression I see is between the Greenwoodochromis.

I did some experiment with pond mud today, in an attempt to mimic their natural habitat. But as of now, the water is still very muddy and visibility is under 30cm. Will update any progress.
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Freshwater crabs of Continental China

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by Mark Smith » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:23 am

Okay, thanks Chao

Nice to see some wild Bathybates coming out again. None seem to be offered here in America of late. A real shame too. It would be great to work with them again. I am sure your specimens are hanging out in the upper part of the aquarium due to the "busyness" of the other inhabitants below. Bathybates will not do their best if intimidated in anyway. They may survive and grow, but will not be at their best. Your large aquarium may test that experience of mine, though.

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by mshuangchao » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:23 pm

Mark Smith wrote:Okay, thanks Chao

Nice to see some wild Bathybates coming out again. None seem to be offered here in America of late. A real shame too. It would be great to work with them again. I am sure your specimens are hanging out in the upper part of the aquarium due to the "busyness" of the other inhabitants below. Bathybates will not do their best if intimidated in anyway. They may survive and grow, but will not be at their best. Your large aquarium may test that experience of mine, though.
Yes, I agree, B. minor seems to like quite places. Their is no aggression directed towards them as of now, just pretty much ignored by all the other fish. I think they will do OK, hopefully! I'm starting a new thread concerning my little try with mud in the aquarium.
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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by sidguppy » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:24 am

bathybates pair.jpg
ha!
found a picture of my Bathybates fasciatus pair
"And he piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it"
Jean-Luc Picard

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by mshuangchao » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:28 pm

sidguppy wrote:
bathybates pair.jpg
ha!
found a picture of my Bathybates fasciatus pair
Nice pair, did you have any spawns?
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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by sidguppy » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:43 am

no. the disaster happened right when they reached adulthood. see the wall of text a few posts above.
"And he piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it"
Jean-Luc Picard

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Re: Living with a monster - tank mates for Bathybates fascia

Post by mshuangchao » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:42 am

sidguppy wrote:no. the disaster happened right when they reached adulthood. see the wall of text a few posts above.
Ahh! I remember!
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Freshwater crabs of Continental China

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