I got two more Black Ghost Knife fish this weekend, which is the start of my hopeful breeding program. I called around and found a store that had 10 or 15 of them. Most places only have one or two, so that was a really big deal. I had to drive an hour and a half, but it was worth it!
I took about 10 minutes to watch the behavior of all of the fish before I chose the ones I wanted. You can tell I’m used to a smaller town. I was so shocked when the guy who caught them got exactly the ones I asked for, which being that BGK’s are almost identical isn’t easy. I’m so used to people that really have no idea what they’re doing. My local pet store has some people that are completely clueless about fish. So much so that I have offered to net the fish myself because the are having such a hard time (not to say that all of them are that way, the manager and the assistant manager are both great fish people).
Both of my new BGK’s are about 4 1/2 to 5″ long (it’s so hard to get a accurate measurement when they keep moving!). And I measured my current one, Cole, at 8″! I can’t believe he’s gotten so big! Anyway- I set the two new ones up in my 10 gallon quarantine tank. I’ll keep them there for a couple weeks to make sure they aren’t carrying some disease. The last thing I want is for Cole to die from something they might have.
I made up lots of hiding places for them. They each have their own slate cave (one on each side of the tank), which is a piece of slate leaned up against the corner of the tank (making a little lean-to or pup tent type of space). They also have a “ghost tube” which is like a PVC pipe, but clear, and made for a fish tank. And I gave them the small floating log, which used to be Cole’s before he outgrew it and I had to get a bigger one for him. I also put in a fake plant for a little decoration, and as another hideout. So that means 5 hideouts for two fish.
I’ve named them Blake and Devin. I chose those names because they are kind of unisex. Blake is more masculine, but could also be female, and Devin could be both male or female. Because I don’t know the genders for sure, picking ones that could be both just kind of make sense. Just like Cole could be Cole (male) or Cola (female).
Here’s what I’ve noticed about their personality in the past couple days:
Blake – this is the most active BGK I’ve ever seen. He (I’ll use he for lack of a better pronoun, it just sounds weird) spends most of his time swimming around and checking stuff out. He is always darting around for some reason or another, even in the middle of the day (when most BGK’s are hiding and/or sleeping). He doesn’t seem to have one “favorite” hideout, he’s rarely still long enough to have one, but the slate cave on the left of the tank is kind of his home base.
Devin – this fish is really complicated. On one hand he is quiet and prefers to stay in his cave rather then investigate. But on the other hand he is very territorial and will attack Blake if he ventures into “his area”. And some times “his area” is anywhere in his vicinity, even when he is out and about, so he’s not just protecting his cave. He’ll attack Blake if he thinks he is getting to close (which Blake does quite often because he wants to investigate everything!). Devin’s favorite hideout is the slate on the right side of the tank, but he sometimes likes the floating log.
I don’t think the fights they have are major, as I haven’t seen any damage from it, but it’s still something I’ll need to keep an eye on. It could be that they just need to figure out who’s in charge, and once that’s done everything will be fine. And it could be that Devin is acting out because he doesn’t like change. I know I can sometimes get cranky if a change is forced on me, so maybe that’s all this is. But it could be that this is his personality. Either way I’ll need to watch them to make sure that no one (mostly Blake) is getting hurt.
I’m not sure what I’ll do when I move them to the big 55 gallon with Cole. Part of me wants to divide off part of the tank so that they can all get used to each other without having direct contact. And part of me says that they will either get along or they won’t, and that it doesn’t matter how I introduce them.
I have a couple weeks before that happens, so I don’t need to make that decision right away.
Once I get them moved over I’ll think more about breeding. But for right now I’ll just injoy having two new fish!