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dkdow0

First time fish owner - just bought a sooty grunter.

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Hi guys,

First time posting outside of the welcome thread. I have always been super into fishing, namely for barra and sootys in north queensland where I'm from. So much so that a few of my mates all got together and each got sooty grunter tattoos (I managed to get out of it). But out of guilt for flaking out on that endeavour, I felt compelled to take action when I saw a sooty for sale at a local nursery/aquarium for $12. My friends and I had always talked about how cool it would be to keep a young sooty in a tank and grow it up. We had all heard about how tame/interactive they can be etc.

So, on impulse I bought little guy:

video-1503465050.thumb.gif.f83d5df15f71318bdacad4f3cd5a0b04.gif

Now I realise, and knew at the time of purchase, that the bowl would not be adequate for long, but wasn't able to lash out entirely on a large aquarium setup - and i figured this would be a cool desktop option while he's small, and then I'll convert this to a little goldfish tank for my girlfriend once he's graduated.  Too easy. However, I've realised upon getting him home how ridiculously little I know about fish ownership, let alone a native predatory fish like this.

As far as tank setup I have a little cave made out of three rocks, nestled into the substrate. I have no aerator, but was told that these two java ferns would be sufficient for now? And I've got a little mat heater underneath his tank.  He seems relatively happy after three days, considering the stress of getting him home from the store and into his new abode.  He seems to spend most of his time hiding in the cave of his tank, or in the shelter of the plants - and I'd assume he'll get a little less nervous/more active as time goes on?

I was given these little 1mm protein pellets by the store to feed him, and he seems to refuse to eat these if I'm around, but if I'm standing a distance from the tank he'll wait for them to sink and then nail them, again I can only assume this will get better with time.

My main questions are concerning things like:

  1. Will these two java ferns be sufficient oxygenation for the tank?
  2. De chlorination?  Apparently I need to change the tank water every 3 weeks?  How do I go about this/any tips?
  3. Do I need to worry about PH?
  4. Would it be ok to keep him in the airconditioning, or would the changes in temperature f#$k with him?
  5. Should I keep using the little mat heater into summer?
  6. Could I add a snail or something to keep his tank clean?
  7. Any general first time fish owner advice/anything sooty specific would be a huge help. There's so much fish-keeping info on the web, but basically nothing when it goes to obscure australian species like these.

Thanks in advance to any responses, feel free to just link me to any resources that'll be a help. I'd be happy to do some reading.

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Should need to be changing a large percentage of water more often than 3 weekly, I'd think you'd be best saving for a tank as soon as possible with an appropriate filter.  Look in the trader section there's generally plenty at good prices.  Not sure how well the pad heater will work in the long term never tried using one.  Probably a good idea to read up on the nitrogen cycle, which is what you're trying to achieve with correct biological filtration, and try to get a idea of how it works which will help 

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They are awesome fish!! i have 2 :P they are very aggressive like most grunters so choose tankmates wisely. They will also get over a foot so you will be needing a bigger tank asap, as for your other questions.

1: No, you will need a filter and larger tank.

2: Dechlorination is removing the chlorine from tap water, this can be done by using a Dechlorinator like prime or ageing the water. Water changes will depend on tank size and bioload but 50% a week is a good starting point.

3: No

4: if its in a room with aircon you might wanna use a heater to keep the temp stable.

5: The heat mat should be fine until you get a bigger tank.

6: yes though it might eat them.

7: big tank!!! other than that they are easy to keep and very hardy.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask :)

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@Cam07 & @Kalo1993

Cheers for your responses, seems this little setup is even less suitable in the short term than I was expecting. Feels shitty to have dropped like...$150 on the current basic setup and then to immediately have to be considering something larger for what's (at this stage) a 3-4 centimetre fish, but I suppose that's what I get for making such a spur of the moment choice without knowing anything about keeping fish.

I was told I can avoid having to de-chlorinate by exchanging one cup of bowl-water for tap water every day, is there any stock in that?

EDIT: Also do you guys mean the ferns are inadequate ie when the fish gets larger I will require filtration? Or is relying on tank plants for oxygen inadequate for him as of now?

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I don't think plants will really do to much in your situation, they will use some of the wastes but wouldn't think all, surface agitation of the water helps greatly with oxygenation and unfortunately there is not much surface area for this to take place in a bowl.  de chlorinator isn't expensive and well worthwhile using, sponsors will be able help with what would suit you're purpose

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He needs a bigger tank asap. They grow stupidly fast. You probably could have got a decent 4x2x2 on this forum for the same sort of money as that bowl. 

Buy dechlorinator, a small bottle is like $6 and you wont have to stress about killing your fish. A heater would be good to keep the temp stable but probably not a necessity if you don't mind him getting white spot every now and then (That's a joke by the way).

I'm amazed that Mappins would sell this fish to you with this setup, it's totally not suitable for this fish for longer than a few days.

I wouldn't bother trying other fish with him, they're aggro little shits. Maybe a pleco or something else that will hide/not encroach on his territory.

@Desumi will have a fair idea about this, I convinced him to get one a few weeks ago. It's his first fish/tank and he's learning how to care for a fish the right way.

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Hey

As yoda said before, recently got myself one (about 5 weeks ago)
He would of been about 4cm then, 5 weeks down the track, he is about 8cm.
But really watch out on other fish, so far I have had native rainbow and some gudgeons with him as well as a 25cm short finned eel and a 15cm pleco.
The rainbows would constantly attacked by the grunter, and I mean like every 2-5 mins (they all died because I had to do an emergency 65% water change and refilled with colder water way too quick)
The gudgeons seem to be ok, the empire gudgeon is getting harassed if he isn't hiding, where as my small stripped gudgeon is mostly ok because he can blend into the sand at the bottom.
The eel has no problems
I think the Pleco is too big for the grunter to confront.

Mine seems to be the happiest when the water is at 26 degrees and when I have the light on.
He also loves all the little places to hide I have build/put in.

Don't worry about the feeding, since they are quite active and have a personality, it took mine about 2-3 weeks before he was eating while I was watching the tank.
But now if I walk up he will swim to the edge to check me out, also he now knows the sound of feeding time(moving the tank lids)

As for the food type, I had him on protein 1mm pellets for about 2 weeks then changed to blood worms
I feed the pellets in the morning and the blood worms at night, he seems to fucking love the worms, would defiantly recommend, Age of Aquarium did me a box of blood worms, 6 packets of 24 cubes, probably recommend 1 cube a day with the pellets, but just gauge how much he eats, should finish all the blood worms within 3-5 mins
The eels and my prawns pick up the left overs off the bottom

You will defiantly want to get a bigger tank though
My 4/2/2 is looking quite nice with him in it for the near future

Attached some photos for ya
Let's us know if you need anything else :)

72712369cafc534a90ef3a98a81b3ecd.png5ec4f4f6aabb1c4a731fbc9a35285483.png


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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12 hours ago, Yodapwnsasmurf said:

He needs a bigger tank asap. They grow stupidly fast. You probably could have got a decent 4x2x2 on this forum for the same sort of money as that bowl.

You're absolutely right, and I'm kicking myself for going about all this so quickly without taking the time to work out what I needed beforehand. I was assuming that since he was literally like 3cms long when I bought him, that he'd be fine in a bowl for a matter of 6 months or something.

@Desumi Thanks so much for your response! Your setup looks great, and I really appreciate the advice. Time to make some serious moves to get him into the kind of home he deserves.

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You're absolutely right, and I'm kicking myself for going about all this so quickly without taking the time to work out what I needed beforehand. I was assuming that since he was literally like 3cms long when I bought him, that he'd be fine in a bowl for a matter of 6 months or something.
[mention=18637]Desumi[/mention] Thanks so much for your response! Your setup looks great, and I really appreciate the advice. Time to make some serious moves to get him into the kind of home he deserves.



You can probably use the cave and the plants in a big tank
So not a complete waste of money
And you can sink the bowl inside the tank with some plants around it to make a big cave :)
Be creative :P


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