How to make featherfin catfish active?

MultipleTankSyndrome

Giant Snakehead
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Featherfin catfish are some of my favorite catfish, but they always seem to tend towards hiding. Is there any way to make them more active and visible?
Asking because I swore myself off them some time ago because of the hiding, but after seeing some at the pet store recently I began to wonder.
 

tlindsey

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Featherfin catfish are some of my favorite catfish, but they always seem to tend towards hiding. Is there any way to make them more active and visible?
Asking because I swore myself off them some time ago because of the hiding, but after seeing some at the pet store recently I began to wonder.
If they were more active at the lfs could be a number of reasons for example lighting, how the aquarium is setup, tankmates or hungry foraging for food.

I think my last example would be my reason for being active because big box stores don't feed fish properly imo.
 
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thebiggerthebetter

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I would suggest dimmer lighting, lots of surfaces to hang under and explore while being upside down, and less obstructing furniture behind which they could hide.

The way we keep our 5 in an 1800 gal with only larger rocks scattered around is not a good example by any means but on the up side we can always see them.
 

fishdance

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Happy eupterus synodontis are nocturnal and secretive. If you overcrowd them with insufficient caves so the dominant fish push the weaker fish out, you would see them.
 
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jjohnwm

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Happy eupterus synodontis are nocturnal and secretive. If you overcrowd them with insufficient caves so the dominant fish push the weaker fish out, you would see them.
I didn't want to hit "like" for this post in case it seemed as though I were agreeing that this was desirable...but it is correct. Deliberately placing the fish in this stressful situation would perforce make them visible.

Why someone would do this is beyond me, although I am sure there are those who would.

If a particular fish species behaves in a manner that doesn't appeal to you...the solution is to not keep that species...rather than trying to alter its nature.
 

Fishman Dave

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And I actually don’t agree with the first comment of fishdance. Happy eupterus in the right setting are not nocturnal nor secretive. The eight in the pond are happy diurnal fish that have easily adequate hiding places but in shaded changing conditions due to the lighting.
However replicating their current living conditions in a tank situation would require a very large tank with multiple tree structures over 3ft in size.
I had a decorus hybrid and an Angelicus in the same tank and they really got on well, both would be out often, both interacting socially, not aggressive (one is probably male the other female) and they always seemed happy. I have split them up and both now mope around hiding most of the time.
Some would say this was their normal nature, however I believe they now hide all the time because they are unhappy, not because they are happy. They will be going back together at the weekend in a different six foot tank with plenty of hiding places. I shall see what happens.
 

esoxlucius

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If a particular fish species behaves in a manner that doesn't appeal to you...the solution is to not keep that species...rather than trying to alter its nature.
Agreed wholeheartedly. There is absolutely nothing worse than having a nice display tank with all your favourite fish in, only to ever see and enjoy a few of them, because the rest are hiding all the time!

Doing research on a species would help make your decision easier as to whether it's a species you are willing not to see much of. But getting said species anyway with a view to forcing it's hand by making your set up totally inappropriate for the poor thing is simply wrong.

It's probably the main reason why I've never been a big catfish fan, too many of them are simply too inactive and tuck themselves out of the way all the time.

And who the hell am I to change that behaviour!
 

MultipleTankSyndrome

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If a particular fish species behaves in a manner that doesn't appeal to you...the solution is to not keep that species...rather than trying to alter its nature.
Indeed. Which is why, prior to Dave's comment, swearing myself off them remained.
I don't think it will even look nice to see fish clearly stressed from lack of hiding places because you want to see it but have no nonharmful ways to make it more active. Fishdance's comment made me raise my eyebrows so much I didn't know how to respond to it.

In saying that, however, it does look like there's nonharmful a way (as Dave mentioned) to those who have tanks big enough for 91cm+ wood. I don't though, and I certainly don't wish for obviously stressed but visible fish, so it's still a no go for me.
 
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