5+1 Irwini catfish

thebiggerthebetter

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Not much change to report on our 6-pack. The one in 4500 gal is around 2' and doing seemingly well but takes part only in 1 feeding out of 2 or 3 or 4. When it does come out to feed, it inhales any and all, pellets and fish, large and small. Other times, just sits by the wall, I never see it just take a swim, almost never moves unless chooses to come out for a feeding, it's pectoral fins are sometimes torn away from the leading spines, so something bothers it, don't know who yet.

All in all, I am displeased very much with how I've been caring for this fish. It sucks. In the 6 years we have had it, I probably had it comfortable for a year or less, cumulatively. And given how much and how incredibly long they sulk after a rehoming or any other big change (for weeks... but easily for months!), they are hard to make comfortable in my situation with so many diverse fish and so few tanks.

The rest 5, as had been reported, couldn't cope in 4500 gal (always piled up, rarely feeding, fins usually torn; spent in that 4500 gal about 1.5 years in two trials) and have been in a 240 gal for 2 years now. They appear around 14"-16" still. That's about 2" in 2 years!!!! Yack.

It seems the supposed columnaris outbreak we had in 2018 had gotten to some of them as I see some have bulging eyes and much reduced appetite (if that is even possible!!) but still hanging on.

Overall, I am displeased with my care of them and their growth and behavior. Several times through the years I managed to have them comfortable and healthy and they would come out for each feeding and feed with vigor. It seems I haven't observed this in 3-4 years now with them, except the big one.

All of them about 6+ years with us since 3".
 
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Peckoltia

Piranha
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Dec 22, 2005
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Thanks for the information - was an interesting read and some cool pics and videos.

I picked one of these up last week (super rare in aus) - first time in the last 20 years I've seen them available. My guy is about 3" living with 6x L600 a couple small spotted gars and 6x Uaru (mixed grow out) in a 100gal.

First couple days didn't see much of it. Last day or two seen a bit just before lights out. Still haven't seen it feed yet.Been less than a week. Tank is filled with driftwood and hiding places. I have been dropping in some chopped fish and pellets when the lights go out.

If I haven't seen it eat in the next week or so should I try some live worms?

Being so hard to come by and sickeningly expensive. I'd rather not take any chances. Thanks for any input.
 
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krichardson

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Thanks for the information - was an interesting read and some cool pics and videos.

I picked one of these up last week (super rare in aus) - first time in the last 20 years I've seen them available. My guy is about 3" living with 6x L600 a couple small spotted gars and 6x Uaru (mixed grow out) in a 100gal.

First couple days didn't see much of it. Last day or two seen a bit just before lights out. Still haven't seen it feed yet.Been less than a week. Tank is filled with driftwood and hiding places. I have been dropping in some chopped fish and pellets when the lights go out.

If I haven't seen it eat in the next week or so should I try some live worms?

Being so hard to come by and sickeningly expensive. I'd rather not take any chances. Thanks for any input.
Do you still see the food that you've previously dropped in in the morning? Some time may pass before you actually see your mega eat unless you get a flashlight and observe it in near darkness as I used to do.I would drop a handful of sinking pellets in right before shutting the lights off,then I would come back after about a half hour to watch it patrol around and suck up the pellets.
 
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Peckoltia

Piranha
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Dec 22, 2005
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I did similar - dropped in food near where he was sitting, came back later and some of the food was gone and he was patrolling the tank in the dark. It is hard to know if it was the mega or the 600's that ate the food though, those 600's are ravenous eaters. Would eat the skin off your arm if you gave em the chance. My gut feel says he hasn't eaten yet, or if he has, only a small amount.

When the lights are on and i drop food near its hiding spot it will kind of shuffle in its hiding place - so their is some reaction to food.
 

thebiggerthebetter

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Welcome to the joys of keeping irwinies. Your tanks sounds great and the cat's behavior sounds reasonable even given the recent move. I understand and share in your jitters but if the cat is not bothered by anyone in the tank, chances are it will start feeding well soon of not already. If it was a bigger size, you could expect a month or two fast easily, not always but wouldn't be surprising, but since it is a small guy at 3", I think their instinct tells them to eat as much as possible and grow as fast as possible to outgrow a common predation size and get to some safer zone in terms of the size.
 
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