Tell me about the pink tail chalceus

MultipleTankSyndrome

Giant Snakehead
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Sep 25, 2021
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Recently, the pink tail chalceus has started to really catch my eye as an option for my 473 liter. A single specimen is compatible space/bioload-wise with the rest of the planned fish listed in my signature (when replacing the silver dollars/tiger barbs/golden zebra loaches with it) according to AqAdvisor, and it seems like it could be a fairly reasonable dither for the loaches given its activity and top-dwelling.

With that said, I have some concerns that I'm hoping chalceus owners can address.

-Just how wide-mouthed are they? I'm aware they will eat anything that fits in their mouths, so if they appear wide enough to eat any of the 'definitive' fish for the tank, I'll be skipping them.

-How fast do they grow? The 'definitive' loaches all grow very slowly, so might I have to worry about the chalceus outgrowing the loaches fast enough to eat them even if it wouldn't be big-mouthed enough to eat them if both were adults?

-Seriously Fish says they can be territorial with top-midwater tankmates. Based on your experience, would you say a 183 cm tank could be enough to mitigate territory issues between it and the 'definitive' roseline sharks, or would you consider there to be a high rish of the chalceus getting territorial with the roselines?

Thanks!
 

stiker

Peacock Bass
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Jun 9, 2014
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I have had a group of 10 C. Erythrurus for around 6-7 months.

To answer your questions;
1. Yes, the mouth is wide on them. It is as wide as their body is thick (and they get thick)

2. I got mine at around 4” and they grew at a rate of approx 1” a month until around 8”, now they have significantly slowed. I will say there is one in the group which is a runt and it still only around 5-6 inches

3. I have always had my group in with cichlids, namely Cichla, Geophagus, Hypselecara and Fetsae. They didn’t cause any trouble with the species I have mentioned. The only midwater fish I have kept them with is C. Kelberi and they didn’t cause issues with them

I wouldn’t keep them as a solo dither fish. They spend most of their time still just below the waters surface, as a dither to bring out shy fish confident fish that swim around a lot are more advantageous
 

wednesday13

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Very placid with most any tank mates IME, extremely “flighty” also… a 6’ tank would b bare minimum IMO… i keep mine solo. 2 together will fight. Surprised to hear they do well in a school/group. I found even 3 together will always pick on the smallest. Mine are around 9yrs old. 1 in a 450g and another in a 500g… had 3 for 8 yrs or so but the largest knocked itself out too many times even in a 10’x3’x32” tank. “Mini atf”, for being flighty, jumpers, and ramming into walls when spooked often killing themselves. Very impressive in their own right at 8-9” tho after a good 6-7yrs.
 

esoxlucius

Alligator Gar
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Dec 30, 2015
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I agree wholeheartedly with the above post. Beautiful peaceful fish, never bothered any tankmates. Mine was on its own from when I got it to when it passed.

They need a decent sized footprint and preferably in a low traffic area because when these things spook they can go bananas! A very inactive fish ime, always in the top 6" of the tank, but if I ever dropped a worm in the tank it would dart at lightning speed to be the first to get it. You can tell by their shape that they're built for speed.

I wouldn't mind getting another actually but my 360 is pretty full now.
 

Jexnell

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Mine also 90% of the time just swam in place motionless basically. But at sundown for about and hour give or take, he would patrol the tank.


Definitely agree with the very skittish fish. It's built for speed and can end to end a 6ft tank in the blink of and eye.
 

Deadeye

Goliath Tigerfish
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Aug 31, 2020
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I had looked at these a while back in my irresponsible days where tank size was just a “suggestion”…and even I was taken aback by how much space they would need. I really do love these though, one day I’d love to have a shoal.
Perhaps look at golden wonder killies or halfbeaks. They aren’t at all related, but have a similar top dwelling behavior and streamlined profile. They are also much smaller. The killi can be nippy.
 

tiger15

Aimara
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Oct 1, 2012
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I keep two different species in a 75 and 125g tanks separately, both share the common name pink tail Chalceus. The erythrurus PT was recently acquired, growing from 2 inch to 6 inch in just 6 months. The Macrolepidotu PT has been around for 6 years, growing rapidly to 10 inch. Both species have the same demeanor, stay motionless just below the water surface, peaceful and never show predatory behavior against small mouth size fish nor brotherEd by big cichlid, but can be skittish and dash if freightened. I know PT are conspecific aggressive, but they are of different species and will plan to put them together one day to see how they do.

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MultipleTankSyndrome

Giant Snakehead
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Thank you so much to everyone who gave their advice. Definitely going to give the pink tail a shot if golden zebra loaches aren't available but it is.
 
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tiger15

Aimara
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Mine also 90% of the time just swam in place motionless basically. But at sundown for about and hour give or take, he would patrol the tank.

Definitely agree with the very skittish fish. It's built for speed and can end to end a 6ft tank in the blink of and eye.
Interestingly, I have never observed my Chalceus cruise back and forth like yours. I guess keeping it in an uncrowned tank will behave differently, but also makes it more skittish. Mine is solo in a crowded community with large and small tankmates. It’s not good idea to keep more than one Chalceus in a home aquarium as they will constantly attack one another.

A look alike Chalceus but conspecific friendly fish is Roseline shark. They have striking color and a streamline body like Chalceus, and grow fairly large but slowly to 6 inch. Unlike Chalceus, they dont stay still but cruise slowly in mid water in peaceful school.

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