MegsNC Posted July 26, 2021 Share Posted July 26, 2021 Hi all.Looking for some advice from anyone with experience keeping Black Antenna Whiptail Catfish. I've posted on some other fish forums with no luck (save for the kind person who recommended I post here) so, hoping someone on here can assist me. I apologize in advance for the length of my post below. I don’t know what all may be of importance in helping me with my fish situation, so I want to give you as much of the story as I can.I’ve been fish keeping since 2008. I’ve kept a small variety of different kinds of fish over the years (mainly tropical) but I have never experienced a situation like this one before and it has me worried about my new fish. I’m genuinely concerned she is going to pass away if I don’t help her, but how to help her is where I’m stuck.So, I discovered whiptail catfish a few years ago and fell in love with them, with Red Lizard Whiptail Catfish being my favorite due to their color, attitude, and smaller size. However, in my research of the other various types of whiptail catfish out there I had come across pictures of the Black Antenna Whiptail Catfish. There isn’t much information on these guys though. Anything I have been able to find I have read multiple times. Ultimately, I determined I would never get my hands on them because they are kind of rare, until my LFS got 2 in recently.I purchased about 3 weeks ago a juvenile male and an adult female Black Antenna Whiptail Catfish when I saw that my LFS miraculously got them in. The plan was for them to go into my 43 gallon – just them and some baby Corydoras who are growing out. In the meantime, I put them in my already established 20L quarantine tank to start their 4 to 6 week hold. I normally keep the QT pretty bare bones, but I did add a large air stone bar (supposedly high oxygen lovers), turned the filter flow as high as it will go (they apparently like a bit of current), and I cranked the heater up a touch to 79, almost 80 F (research says they like warmer water). Because my other whiptails always seemed to appreciate it while in QT, I also added some aquarium driftwood with some nice biofilm on it to the tank as well as 2 bunches of live plants. I even threw in some spare pieces of slate stones, left over from my other tanks. Basically, I scaped my QT for them, trying to meet their every need and comfort based on my research of what little information there is to be had.And yet, unhappy fish!!! So unhappy.They clung to the glass, unmoving for days, refusing food. Per my research this means they are stressed and unsettled. I tried to tell myself they will come around as the same research told me they are slow to settle. Finally, after a week, the male did start to move a bit, though he still wouldn’t eat. He unfortunately passed away a few days ago. When I pulled him out he looked like he had a cut on his neck. I don’t think she could have done this to him, so I can only assume he may have injured himself on a sharp piece of the driftwood. I’m devastated at losing him though. I have since replaced the driftwood with driftwood I actually took a Dremel to and made sure there were absolutely no sharp points anywhere. The female still refused to move through all this from her spot on the front of the glass.So, day after the male passed, I decided to add some more bundles of plants to her tank thinking maybe she wanted/needed more cover. I had just gotten a large shipment in so I had plenty to spare. I very slowly started to drop weighted bundles into the tank, trying to not disturb her. Didn’t matter. The addition of these plants GREATLY angered her. This completely still fish who refused to leave this one section of glass suddenly came to life, darting all over the tank, up and down, left and right. Ya’ll, this was an ANGRY fish! Then…she found the ONE spot near the filter I didn’t have covered. Apparently, these fish can jump?! Jumped clean out of the tank and of course BEHIND the solid tank stand, though fortunately onto some plush carpet. I don’t know how I managed it, adrenaline in guess, but I pulled that stand back so fast, grabbed her, and got her back in relatively quickly. She started her laps again and tried to jump out AGAIN, but I stopped her with a box while I then custom cut a piece of plastic and taped it down good. Unable to jump out again, she finally settled back on her favorite spot of glass. I don’t think she sustained any injuries from the fall – she’s still acting the same. You know, completely unmoving and all…Now we are at about 3 weeks of not eating and barely moving from "the spot" (except for the heart attack inducing tank escape). She still looks to be in good body condition – plump – but I’m worried that the longer she doesn’t eat, the more likely she never will and then she’ll eventually die of starvation. I will note that since I’ve had her, while not eating, she was pooping quite a bit that first week to week and half, though because of not eating since I've had her she’s doesn’t have much left in her now.As far as food options, there are biofilm and some algae in the tank. I have tried shrimp pellets, frozen blood worms, like ALL the different varieties of Bug Bites (I feel like I can open a shop), frozen peas thawed and shelled, and spirulina in paste form, flake form and wafer form. My Red Lizards love ALL of these. Black Antenna? No so much. I’ve had to siphon everything out – they just never even moved to even try any of it.So, if you’ve stayed with me through my tale of woe, you can tell I’m at a loss now.Is there another food I should try?Should I re-scape the quarantine tank differently?Should I switch her from treated tap water to RO water?Should I move her to the 43 gallon already (honestly, scaped very similarly to the QT) and nix the rest of quarantine?To recap the quarantine tank she is in now:*20 gallon long – fully cycled.*Full spectrum aquarium light, sunlight and sunset mode enabled, set to only get up to 20% right now (it’s surprisingly a bright light)*20 gallon rated HOB filter.*Tank length air stone bars, full blast.*Heater set to 79/80 F.*Real driftwood (manzanita) with biofilm*Live plants*Slate, 3 pieces*Water is from tap, treated with Seachem Prime and Seachem Stress Guard*Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite: 0*pH: 6.5*GH: 30*50% water change weekly.*No other fish but her.Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. I really want her to pull through and thrive.Thank you!~Megs Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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