Gulper catfish trio, ~7"

blackbullhead

Plecostomus
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Jan 5, 2011
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I'm by no means an expert on gulpers, but I have a pair (7 and 9 inches) that I have kept for about 10 months now in a 75 gallon. In February, my canister filter failed and I did daily water changes of about 15% for a couple of weeks while I tried to fix the filter. During this time, the gulpers became infected with ich. Once the filter was running again, I cranked the temp up to 85 f (with a couple of airstones). I was surprised to see the fish improve dramatically over the course of the next 10 days. Since then, I've kept their temp up around 83 and they seem to be healthier and more active than before when they were at 75.
I can't definitively say they're doing better in warmer water, but I do have a hunch.

I'm also curious if gulpers tend to struggle because of some kind of water quality issue. If you look at their range, they're limited to a rather small region of South America, the upper Orinoco and the Rio Negro. Theoretically, then it has access to the entire Orinoco and Amazon drainages, yet it hasn't dispersed. There could be a whole host of biological reasons for why it's not widespread, but it could also be quite narrowly adapted to certain blackwater habitats.
 

moe214

Goliath Tigerfish
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Oct 13, 2014
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i got 2 gulpers im teying to get rid of if anyones interested they are 6inch
Make a thread in the right forum. It's considered rude to derail someone's thread also. Future reference.

I'm also curious if gulpers tend to struggle because of some kind of water quality issue. If you look at their range, they're limited to a rather small region of South America, the upper Orinoco and the Rio Negro. Theoretically, then it has access to the entire Orinoco and Amazon drainages, yet it hasn't dispersed. There could be a whole host of biological reasons for why it's not widespread, but it could also be quite narrowly adapted to certain blackwater habitats.
It's a possibility but they could also be out competed with feeding etc. their niche could be filled already.
 

thebiggerthebetter

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Dec 31, 2009
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I'm by no means an expert on gulpers, but I have a pair (7 and 9 inches) that I have kept for about 10 months now in a 75 gallon. In February, my canister filter failed and I did daily water changes of about 15% for a couple of weeks while I tried to fix the filter. During this time, the gulpers became infected with ich. Once the filter was running again, I cranked the temp up to 85 f (with a couple of airstones). I was surprised to see the fish improve dramatically over the course of the next 10 days. Since then, I've kept their temp up around 83 and they seem to be healthier and more active than before when they were at 75.
I can't definitively say they're doing better in warmer water, but I do have a hunch.
Thank you for that. Mine too have gone through a couple of external parasite issues, likely picked up from shared water system mates, but rebounded well. These occurred long before their final long withering and perishing. My water temp on average is on the warm side, with 85-90 F for about 7-8 months out of year, Apr-May through Oct-Nov.

I'm also curious if gulpers tend to struggle because of some kind of water quality issue. If you look at their range, they're limited to a rather small region of South America, the upper Orinoco and the Rio Negro. Theoretically, then it has access to the entire Orinoco and Amazon drainages, yet it hasn't dispersed. There could be a whole host of biological reasons for why it's not widespread, but it could also be quite narrowly adapted to certain blackwater habitats.
This kind of consideration is what I was mulling over and hinting at above. But I didn't know their native range is so limited. Thanks for that tidbit.

It's a possibility but they could also be out competed with feeding etc. their niche could be filled already.
On paper all these thoughts look feasible. In practice, we need to start from square one, I reckon. Not one of us is ready, willing, and equipped to conduct a long, lab-like, controlled pseudo-scientific experiment over years with a gulper or two or three in say 20-30 tanks where the variables would be environment, TDS, water hardness, pH, temp, diet, etc. The best square one we could do at the moment is to collect statistical data. And that would only be possible if people took their threads seriously, report keeping notes, conditions and follow through to the end, whenever that may be and how ever that occurs.

i got 2 gulpers im teying to get rid of if anyones interested they are 6inch
i did i need them gone im almost desperate
I understand. No problem. Almost any LFS would probably take them, if you can't find an MFKer in your area.

Make a thread in the right forum. It's considered rude to derail someone's thread also. Future reference.
Thanks, Moe. Entirely correct in principle but you could be softer and more diplomatic :) Plus we all deviate from OP topics often, sometimes more, sometimes less but our doing is more latent, subtle, not as obvious as this one, nevertheless the same phenomenon :)
 

moe214

Goliath Tigerfish
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Oct 13, 2014
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On paper all these thoughts look feasible. In practice, we need to start from square one, I reckon. Not one of us is ready, willing, and equipped to conduct a long, lab-like, controlled pseudo-scientific experiment over years with a gulper or two or three in say 20-30 tanks where the variables would be environment, TDS, water hardness, pH, temp, diet, etc. The best square one we could do at the moment is to collect statistical data. And that would only be possible if people took their threads seriously, report keeping notes, conditions and follow through to the end, whenever that may be and how ever that occurs.


Thanks, Moe. Entirely correct in principle but you could be softer and more diplomatic :) Plus we all deviate from OP topics often, sometimes more, sometimes less but our doing is more latent, subtle, not as obvious as this one, nevertheless the same phenomenon :)
I agree on everything.

As far as being softer. I often edit my posts to try to be so, but it isn't in person so in the end it is up to the interpreter on how my message comes across.
 
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thebiggerthebetter

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One year update. The lone surviving gulper has apparently recovered from whatever serious and long-standing (hadn't eaten in half a year?) issues it had had. It's been doing well for the last half a year, from the little I can tell. It has been in a 240 gal tank where it can hide and pile up with 5 irwini and 4 trachy trachy, hence it has been incomparably harder for me to evaluate it after having had it for 3 years in bare or largely bare tanks.

I have been giving it the same diet as before and the same as all my tanks get - pellets and thawed marine bait fish. It takes the fish eagerly but doesn't pig out. As for the pellets, IDK, I doubt it takes any.

I can't say it put on size, looks about the same 9"-10".

Here is a video of it (and its tank mates) not being ambulatory (I mean not moving) but at least you can see it :)

 
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