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red belly pacus

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by oger06, May 12, 2004.

  1. oger06

    oger06 New Member

    i just bought 2 red belly pacus and 2 tin foil barbs. i had 3 glow light tetras already and put them in there with them. heres my questions and info im asking for...

    are the glow lights going to become food?

    the red belly pacus and tin foils are all around 2". how big will they get (10 gallon aquarium)? in a 10 gallon they wont get really really big will they? i just read something that said they will soon outgrow the tank and need bigger one and then an even bigger one than that. i think that was for ones that are already like 10" though.

    can i feed the red bellys little pieces of lettus? they eat veggies. i normally feed them some kind of fish flakes, but can lettus be treats or something like that? what kind of veggies do they eat?

    any general info anyone has on them would help greatly. thanks a lot
  2. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Oh boy! The glowlights becoming lunch is the least of your problems. I suggest returning the pacus and tinfoil barbs immediately because there is no way they can survive in a 10 gallon.

    Red bellied pacus get 2 feet long and almost as tall and need at least 300 gallons each (500 would be better).
    (For size reference, that bright orange fish on the right is an 8" red devil)

    Tinfoil barbs can get around 14", are very active, and prefer to be in groups of at least 3 so you would need at least a 120 gallon tank to properly house them.

    The saying that fish grow to the size of their tank is totally false. If you try to keep a fish in a tank that's too small it will either become severely deformed or die at a very young age because the poor water conditions will poison it.

    I'm curious, when you bought the fish, did you let the person at the store know what size tank you had?

    And for future refference, before buying any fish, do some reasearch on it.

  3. Alen

    Alen New Member

    I think it's HORIBLE that people could sell these kinds of fish without telling the buyer at least the smallest bit of info about them. It's soooooooooo stupid and it happens all the time!!!
  4. DogmaMa

    DogmaMa New Member

    Several months ago when i first discovered auspet i was posting about a pacu i bought that was growing like crazy!! The books i read had them as getting to 12 inches..the pet store guy said a 55 gallon would be fine...we love this fish, and have put him in a 120, but I dont see how Ill ever afford a 300, im worried for his future. I usually DO thorough research before I get a new species of fish..the way this fish was portrayed to me was as if it were oscarlike...not WHALElike in size. Im angry too and I tell everyone all about it...what am I to do, though, with my fish?
  5. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    A lot of people who up buying pacus and then realize they can't house them try giving them to the local aquarium or zoo.

  6. fishy_chick

    fishy_chick New Member

    wow, you actually have pacus in a 10 gallon tank? I bought 2 and had them in a 67 gallon, but they grew out of that in a matter of weeks. One died and I gave the other to a petstore where they put him in a 600 gallon tank. I actually fed mine bologna and chicken, stuff like that, but they are vegetarians. You cant have these fish in that tank, you relaly need to find a better home for them and really soon! And also phone your petstore and make a complaint, they need to find out what kind of home you're providing for these fish before they actually sell them to you.
  7. DogmaMa

    DogmaMa New Member

    My local aquariums arent accepting them theyre all full, its a real problem around here, apparently poeple are just releasing them into the local waters..with bad results, our crappies cant compete with these guys. Its not a HUGE problem yet but...how long does it take for them to reach maturity? Mine is 2 years old, and about 17 inches, very thick..though not as thick as the fish in the picture up there good GOD those fish are massive! Im not going to be able to keep him in a 120 am I? Why in the hell are aquariums so expensive...its a glass box for chrissakes!!
  8. tina1

    tina1 New Member

    Try making your own. If you use acrylic or make a plywood tank this can save you lots of money. I used to have links to good sites for building tanks but I don't have them any more. Try a google search for DIY aquariums. A 125 at my lfs costs $600, just for the tank , you don't get a hood, filter, stand, nothing! I estimated that I could make it for about $400; still can't afford it but hey it saves $200! If you are mechanically inclined give it a shot.
  9. fishy_chick

    fishy_chick New Member

    DogmaMa, you should try your best to get your pacus a new home. When mine outgrew their 67 gallon tank, I was told by several guys at the petstore that whatever I do, dont put them in the river! I got lucky though and found one of mine a good home. Good luck with your fish, try putting an ad in the classifieds.
  10. DogmaMa

    DogmaMa New Member

    I know this is probably a stupid question..but is there no way a pacu can exist in a 120 gallon, provided it is massively filtered, and regularly changed? There is a huge black Pacu in a tank at a chinese buffet here in the Dallas area, The tank is perfectly square, and not much bigger than the fish itslef, which is able to swim about a foot, and turn around, but appears very healthy..its been there for years. Im not saying this isnt cruel...on the other hand if I cant find a home there may be no choice.
  11. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    FWIW black pacus are supposed to get over 3' long and need an even larger tank thank a red bellied pacu.

    You could probably keep a rb pacu alive in a 120 gallon for a while, but it would take tons of work. An enormous amount of filtration and probably 3 or 4 water changes every week. But the fish would still be stunted or deformed and will die prematurely. And the whole time it wouldn't be happy. It's just like keeping a cat alive in a pet taxi/carrier. You could probably do it but it would be a far cry from healthy and thriving.

  12. DogmaMa

    DogmaMa New Member

    Thats what I figured... :cry: ...well, i know where my tax return is going this year..seriously we lOVE this fish, I swear he has more character than the dogs. Maybe someone will offer a tank a bit cheaper in the papar.
  13. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    I would looking into building your own plywood tank. It may not be as pretty as an all glass tank, but it will be a lot cheaper. And although I haven't built one, I've looked at some DIY articles and it seems relatively easy. I think the expensive part would be filtering such a large tank but there's even articles for DIY wet/dry filters out there too.

  14. christianwalker

    christianwalker New Member

    my pacus

    I have 2 pacus in a 60 gal they are getting really really big what should I do when I bought them I got them at walmart they told me they will not out grow my tank but I have 6 oscars inthere too and they all seem to be getting big and to large for this tank I need help I love all my fish and also have a pond outside in my back yard and was woundering if I couuld have them in the cack yard in a pond or if I build a big plywood box as a tank how would I keep the water in the tank and how would they live outside in my back yard please help I dont want my fish to die I want to keep them as long as I can I dont have the money to buy a bigger fish tank right now because they run around $1,000 for just a 100 gal tank here at the fish store and if I make my own out of ply wood how much would it cost me or can I make a tank with plexi glass and it hold water please help me out
  15. tina1

    tina1 New Member

    Hi Christianwalker welcome! I've heard of people keeping pacus in ponds, just make sure it is a very large pond. Also, many people have tanks made out of plexiglas and plywood. go to www.garf.org they have directions on how to build a tank including a calculator to figure out its volume. I estimated once that I would only save about $200 building my own tank so I don't know that you'll really be saving all that much but every penny counts! I also decided I wasn't good enough at building to even try :wink:

    A 125 gallon here goes for $600 and I found that I could build it for $400 providing that I did it right the first time of course. Exactly how big are your pacus now?
  16. christianwalker

    christianwalker New Member

    I think there about 13" and in my 60 along with my oscars that are about 8"
  17. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Your 60 gallon is WAY overstocked, as you already know. You can only keep one oscar in there. And with the fish all being that large, I would be totally surprised if they didn't all have HITH.

    How large is your pond? Since you live in So. Cal., you may be able to keep them in a pond. Since oscars and pacus are both tropical, you may need a pond heater for a couple months in the winter so the water doesn't drop below 50*, but I think it's doable.

    I'd say roughly a 1000 gallon aquarium (8' x 4' x 4' = 958 gallons) would be the bare minimum but filtration would be expensive and it would be a good idea to look into hydroponics because a 25% water change would be 240 gallons. :shock:

    With a pond, it will be easier & quite a bit cheaper to go even larger. I would definitely make it about 4' deep though. That will help they stay cool in the summer and a little warmer in the winter and make it harder for wildlife like racoons to get them. Then if you make th pond about 1500 gallons (roughly 7' x 7' x 4') and have lots of pond plants you shouldn't have to do water changes (maybe twice a year).

  18. christianwalker

    christianwalker New Member

    my pond is a plastic pond about 14" deep x 56" long x 36"wide outside plastic pond but if I build one out of ply wood could I do that though at my apart ment in my back yard to replace the pond I have now because I have 2 dogs in my back yard along with all my feeder fish out there in the pond with no filter or heat on this pond but I was woundering if I can make one out of wood and about how much it would cost how high would I have to go and how long and wide would I have to go on the pond if I made it out of wood and would I have to put it in the ground or what because I am in a 2 bedroom apartment not to many options here though let me know. can I put my pacus in the pond or if not both at least 1 yes or no please help
  19. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Building a pond by digging a big hole and putting pond liner in it would be tons cheaper and easier than building a pond out of plywood.

    For a pond to house 2 pacus and 5 oscars, you're looking at a bare minimum of 900 gallons. As long as they equal at least the 1000 gallons, the dimensions are somewhat flexible. But for comfort of the fish, I wouldn't make any of the dimensions smaller than 36" (those pacus need to be able to turn around). And if you go for the bare minimum volume, you would definitely need a filter. And since pacus and oscars are tropical and can't survive temps below 50*, you will most likely need a heater (at least briefly) in the winter.

    If you build a plywood tank, you're going to be limited by the dimensions that plywood comes in. And if you have glass in the front, it's going to have to be really thick and/or tempered ($$$) or that will also limit the size of the tank. To water proof it, you need to use and epoxy paint/sealer and if I'm not mistaken, you have to use a respirator when applying it. I've never personally built a plywood tank so I can't give you all the details, but if you do a search through google, there's all kinds of DIY sites out there.

  20. christianwalker

    christianwalker New Member

    ok I have an area in my back yard it is 10ft X 10 ft square of dirt in the back yard about how big would I need to make the hole? how deep ? how wide ? how long ? and how High do I need to bring it above ground ? so that no one falls in it like my son or my dogs get into it. do you know about how much it will cost me to do all this and then if I move I would have to do everything all over again right ? let me know, because I live in an apartment with not to many options but I can build a pond in my back yard. what kind of heating and filtration would I need ? for the pond what type of oxygen system would I need? please let me know.

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