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For those with tanks: Do your cats use them as "fishy tv"?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,
I've got a 10gl, 20gl long, and 46gl bow front running right now and it seems that my cats are using them as entertainment several times each day... I haven't seen them on top of a tank except for one time (thank goodness), but they do love to sit next to them (or on furniture next to them) and stare at the fishies... For some reason, my kitten Frasier especially likes the loaches, both kuhlii and dojo (perhaps it's the resemblance to snakes).

So, do your cats like to watch the fishies? Or do they try to do more than "watch"?

I've heard that there is research that proves that watching a fish tank will lower your stress level, etc. I wonder if the same is true for cats.

post #2 of 31
My two do. I've also caught both of them trying to jump from the dining room table to the my largest tank while stalking Atyopsis moluccensis shrimp (bamboo shrimp). My kitten, Layla, likes to balance herself on the open cabinet door (my largest tank has a cabinet style stand) while I am doing water changes.

I have 6 tanks setup and running and 3 empty tank right now. What's setup are a 30 gallon long (my largest tank), 10 gallon, 5.5 gallon, 5 gallon, and two 2.5 gallons. The empties are a 10 gallon and 5 gallon MetaFrames that I am reglassing and a 6.6 gallon acrylic tank.

I keep mostly shrimp (I am known as The Crazy Shrimp Lady) and crayfish.
post #3 of 31
Mooch loves to watch the "Cat TV" as we call it. She'll just sit and gaze at it, or she jumps up next to it to sit and watch up close. She's good beyond that though. Our algae eater is very big so he fascinates her. Noodles has lost interest since they were kittens, but she used to like it. Noodles prefers to watch the tv instead; even when it's not on.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
I thought that the appeal of the fish might apply to more than just my cats.
Frasier also likes to stalk my mouse pointer. What is odd is that his brother, niles, doesn't pay attention to the fish or the mouse pointer.

BTW, I keep mostly planted fw community. My 20gl long is an african shellie tank, the 46 and 10gls are planted community. I have several dry 10gls at the moment and some smaller dry tanks.

post #5 of 31
Kandie used to watch ... Zoey tries to get in and GO fishing for dinner
post #6 of 31
art, I am also a planted tank keeper. I've thought about keeping shellies, but we'll see. I've still got the shrimp addiction though. lol I am up to 8 shrimp species and dwarf crayfish.

BTW, I LOVE the names of your cats!!!! I LOVE Frasier (the show)!!
post #7 of 31
Egore and Button like to watch the most. Both try now and then to snag a fish through the glass

You think they would have learned by now they can not get to them.

We have a large Bala Shark that we call the "Silver Snack". He gets the most attention.

Uno likes to sit on the top because it is warm. She is a very small cat so it is not really a problem. I catch her now and then trying to reach her paw in were the heater is but she really can't get to them.
post #8 of 31
Nikita used to use my tank as Cat TV now she doesn't as much. She's used to them. She sits on top of it (it's a 30 gallon long) quite often though, I think it's because the top is hot from the lights.

There is a small hole in the cover in the back to let the wires through that's just big enough for her paw and I've seen her "fishing" the fish know to stay away from her though fortunately. I was a bit worried about her maybe tracking litter into the tank but it seems to be ok and I've had her and the tank together for a year and a half now.

Having said that she did kill all my fish apart from a few bettas once. I had a DIY yeast based CO2 generator for my plants. Nikita got into the cabinet and tipped it over and the yeast and sugar mix got siphoned into the tank. The yeast went yay! and multiplied and used up all the oxygen and the fish died.

So currently I've got 5 cories which I bought and then 2 bettas. They have plenty of space in that 30g.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
Nice to hear from all the planted tank folks!
Siggav- I had a similar experience, but due to a new carpet and carpet pad. Who'd think that the fumes from a carpet pad would knock out a whole tank of fish.. Sigh.

I haven't been brave enough to go co2 yet...at present I use flourish excel in some of my tanks. One of my favorite setups though, was a low light 10gl with anubias, crypts, java fern, and red temple... Great looking and looooow maintenence.

For shellies, I keep neolamprologus multifasciatus (multies) they are a great little colony shellie and have been very hardy for me. They're currently doing well on straight tap water (ph ~7.2-7.4).

Of course, right after I said I've only seen Frasier on top of the tank once, he had to get on top of it this morning...and it's the 10gl with the semi-domed hood, sigh.

post #10 of 31
I have a CO2 reulator (cost me $139.99 plus shipping), CO2 tubing, a glass diffusor, and a 15# CO2 tank (empty) that I am too scared to setup... None of my 5 planted tanks have CO2 or Excel, but I have a bottle of Excel sitting under my 30 gallon. I was using it, but noticed a problem with the shrimp, so I have stopped dosing.

My 30 gallon long is an open top tank--and I have a cat and a kitten. The closest thing near it is the dining room table and chairs, but they are far enough that they can't jump to the tank. Plus, anytime I leave the apartment, they are whisked away to my bedroom with the door closed, which also helps protect them from running away if maintenance comes by while I am not at home (I live in an apartment).

My other 5 tanks are all 2.5 to 10 gallons, and they are all on the kitchen counter. The cabinets above them are low enough that the cats can't get into them. I don't use my kitchen for much cooking. lol

Right now in the 30 gallon there are 5 torpedo barbs, around 100 RCS, 12 Atyopsis moluccensis, 1 sparkling gourami, an oto, 4 apple snails, and a whole lotta MTS. It's heavily planted with alot of different Cryptocoryne species, 2 different species of Anubias, dwarf sag, and I think it's creeping Jenny. I call this tank my second child. I am wanting to upgrade to a 75 gallon, especially now that I have the barbs in there, and they get up to 6 inches long, and I want to get Atya gabonensis.

Sorry for the rambling...lol
post #11 of 31
Sure do!!!! Stuarts the only one who likes to watch it though. I have one of our chairs in front of it so he can sit and watch all the fish. I have an Oscar and he eats live fish (sorry) and that's Stuarts favorite part. When I put all the feeder fish in the tank is pretty busy and he will try and attack them for hours.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
EnzoLeya- Are you raising your own feeders or keeping them and "gut-loading" them? You might want to add a good cichlid pellet food to your oscar's diet because store-bought feeders are seldom very nutritous (I've never used them because they can also carry disease). I love the Omega One line of products and I believe they carry a large cichlid pellet. Hikari also makes some excellent cichlid foods.

Anne- I have a TON of MTS too! The funny thing is that almost all of my population got wiped out a few years ago and I had a single MTS left and now have thousands from just that one!

I have kept "mystery" snails before..the colored ones (blue, white, purple, etc) and even raised a batch of eggs through adulthood. Sadly, they don't like the water here at home, so I can't seem to keep them alive now.

I have only tried growing dwarf sag once and it pretty much died on me...vals die on me too for unknown reasons. I'll try uploading some pics of my tanks to photobucket and posting them some time soon (although my 46 is in NO shape to photograph atm.)

The current tank occupants:
10gl- guppies (immature), glowlight tetras, whitecloud mountain minnows (I can't say enough about these fish!), and kuhlii loaches (and tons of MTS). It is heavily planted medium light tank...java moss, wisteria, wendtii bronze crypts, and onyx sand.

20gl- shellie tank, multies and a single bristlenose pleco. Java ferns, java moss, and a huge anubias nana (all of the above rooted to lava rocks). Substrate is Cichlid sand. Lighting is a standard flourescent tube.

46gl- A single angelfish, a school of 6 rosey barbs, 4 serpae tetras, 1 female krib, 2 dojo loaches, several cories, mostly pandas and some melini, 1 bristlenose pleco, 1 clown pleco. Plants are currently java moss, rotala indica, and watersprite, although they aren't looking so hot at the moment. Substrate is flourite and regular gravel mixed. Lighting is a 96watt compact flourescent.

I want to eventually upgrade the 46gl to a 55 breeder or 75gl, upgrade the shellies to a 30gl or 40gl breeder, and upgrade the 10gl into a 20gl long or 30gl. I would also really love to have some rainbows in one of my community setups. I had a small school of neon blue dwarf rainbows at one time (that an internal parasite infection killed off) that were stunning and very hardy.

post #13 of 31
If you were dosing Excel when you had vals and sags, then there is your problem. Excel will melt vals and sags.

Here is my 30 gallon long (pic taken with a camera phone):
Full tank:

Left side:

Right side:

Those were taken a few weeks ago, and the dwarg sag is really starting to grow in nicely.

My other tanks:

10 gallon: dwarf Cajun crayfish growout tank; nothing spectacular in this tank

5.5 gallon: Eco-Complete, Malaysian driftwood, Java moss, more of that plant that I think is creeping Jenny; CRS, bee shrimp, 2 unidentified shrimp species

Eclipse Hex 5 (5 gallon): gravel, driftwood, Anubias nana, Java moss, more of the creeping Jenny; 3 tube-mouthed pencilfish, snowball shrimp

2.5 gallon: gravel, petrified wood, Java ferns, creeping Jenny; betta named "Vinnie"

2.5 gallon: work in progress; platinum opaque PK male (it's a short-finned betta)
post #14 of 31
i have an 80 gallon with large cyclids in the living room and a 35 gallon tank with frogs and other small "nice" fish in the bedroom.

the cat ignores both. sometimes she hops on the 35 to get out attention, but neither tank is a cat tv for us! fiona prefers the real tv!

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
AnneRiceBowl- Yeah, I read about it melting vals AFTER it killed mine off... Didn't know that about the dwarf sag though. Thanks for the info.

Nice aquascaping! I wouldn't be able to leave half of the tank with low-growing plants...My tanks usually end up looking like "jungles" instead of gardens.

post #16 of 31
Thanks! I am still working on the placement of the Cryptocoryne spiralis placement (the really tall green plant in the back). I'm not too happy with where it is now.

The only reason that it' full of slow growing plants is that I don't have as much time as I did when it was stuffed full of all kinds of stem plants. I had more of a Dutch style tank when I had all the stem plants.
post #17 of 31
Yes, Jack watches Kitten TV!

I have a 55 gallon and and a 30 gallon running.

The 55 gallon has two active aquatic turtles as well as 4-5 Giant Danios and some rosie red minnows (food).

The 30 gallon has one active aquatic turtle as well as 4-5 Giant Danios and some rosie red minnows (food).

Jack's favorite is the 30 gallon because he can actually touch the aquarium with his paws. The 55 gallon is in the living room and sits about a foot from the end table. He sits on the end table, balancing on his back feet and watches for 20-30 minutes at a time.

post #18 of 31
OKAY ??? ya all
I have planeted low light tanks but the fish eat the plants every 6-10 weeks what am I do wrong??
post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Sharky- A few Q's will help us help you
1. What type of fish? Some are more voracious plant-eaters than others.
2. What type of plants? Some grow slower than others...
3. What is your lighting (and how many hours is it on) and are you adding any ferts, etc?

Generally, if you have plant-munching fish, you'll want to go with more faster-growing plants (so that they can keep up with the fish). You could also go with some slow-growing less fish edible plants (i.e. anubias, java fern and moss).

Post back and I'll try to help ID the bad guy

post #20 of 31
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Sharky- A few Q's will help us help you
1. What type of fish? Some are more voracious plant-eaters than others.
2. What type of plants? Some grow slower than others...
3. What is your lighting (and how many hours is it on) and are you adding any ferts, etc?

Generally, if you have plant-munching fish, you'll want to go with more faster-growing plants (so that they can keep up with the fish). You could also go with some slow-growing less fish edible plants (i.e. anubias, java fern and moss).

Post back and I'll try to help ID the bad guy

Preacox rainbows .. three of them .. one pitbull pleco ... my white clouds are good girls they do not eat plants

some moss( get it free ) , some long grass stuff from petsmart , the java ferns are a fav were gone in a flash ... Only a tough leave plant worked ( no idea what it was as she uses scientifc names and lists all of them on the glass ...

Lighting about 4-6 hours natural( winter up to 12 hours summer) ( the tanks are see thru lids and in the window

UMM yes occational fetilizer the tab kind and a water reminelizer
post #21 of 31
It could be that pleco tearing things up. Not too sure though.

The grass-like plant from PetSmart isn't an aquatic plant--if it's the "Mondo Grass" that I am thinking of. It's the same stuff used to border flower beds in landscaping. It'll last about 3 weeks in your tank and them die. I found this out the hard way.

Was the tougher leaved plant Anubias?
post #22 of 31
I have a 45 gallon tank in my living room. Bean will sit next to it, and when the fish move fast he'll bat at the side of the tank!
post #23 of 31
Hehehe my cat Memphis used to love to sit on top of my tanks and hang his arms down the sides, like he was hugging the tank. Then one day I accidentally left the lid off the tank after feeding time... He went to jump up and ended up half in with the fishies Now he never goes near the tank!

I have a 25g with some seahorses and cardinalfish and a 75g with no fish yet but it'll soon be a butterflyfish tank. Doesn't look like anyone else here has saltwater... I used to be a freshwater junkie but I just needed more!
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hmmm My money is on the pleco... If you aren't already feeding him, I'd suggust giving him so algae/spirulina waffers at night (maybe even include a general bottom dweller food like shrimp pellets, etc. every once in a while). Spring for the good veggie waffers as the cheap ones, most plecos won't touch. I like hikari or Omega one. You can also feed him zucchini via rubberbanding it to something, weighting it down, or, my fav. the "veggie clip". Although feeding that sort of thing can be messy, so when I do it, I feed them that a day or so before I do a waterchange.

As to the plants, ditto on the grass stuff. Anubias should stave off the pleco, and I'm surprised the java fern did not.... What I would do, is start feeding the pleco, after about 3 weeks or so of getting regular meals, then try to introduce an anubias or java fern. If all goes well, try some watersprite or wisteria...both of those are fairly fast growing and shouldn't have a problem dealing with the low light. If he's still minding his manners with those plants, you can try some crypts (which are slower growing and "softer" so easier for fish to eat).

Do you still have the box that the fertalizer tabs came in? Check the ingredients and make sure that they do not have any nitrates in them...Some ferts do, and that can cause algae problems.

Because you are only using natural light, I'd stick with low light plants for now.

Oh, I had some praecox once and they are georgous! They were my all-time favorite fish. I hate that I lost them to an internal parasite infection. On a side note, don't ever buy guppies at a chain store, I got some, put them in a Q-tank for 1 month, they looked fine, but 3 months later, showed signs of internal worms, which, by that time, had killed off my rainbows.
Whenever I get around to upgrading my tanks and moving folks around, I will definately be getting a large school of rainbows for my 46gl. Either the praecox or the turquoise dwarf rainbows.

post #25 of 31
I don't have fish yet, but I did get a 60 gal last week and it's in the process of cycling. I know my girls are going to use it as Kitty TV, though it's right in Jake's (my dog) path, which is right next to his sleeping area, so I may have to help them out every now and then and crate him when he's getting riled up (he'll stare...very intently...and when a kitty darts forward and slaps the tank's glass, he'll jump or twitch then squeal and race in a circle, which startles said cat)

The night I got the tank and filled it with water, Buffy decided to go swimming. The tank has two hoods, and only one was put up (I think the other one was off because I was fiddling with the placement of the heater and thermometre). Buffy hopped up on the minifridge that's almost next to it, and she leapt up when we weren't expecting it (her method of checking new things is to personally explore it, which, in this case, means jumping on it and sniffing it all over). She got her back feet onto the rim of the tank, and her front feet were SUPPOSED to land on solid footing as well, but they didn't. She basically keeled over and plunged headfirst into the water (okay, it happened too fast, but I guess she kept her head up and basically went CHEST-first into the water, lol). She was rescued right away and then she nursed her pride while the rest of us LAUGHED and LAUGHED and LAUGHED some more (though there was some worry about what injesting the ammonia might do to her...). Seriously, though, it's a frightful thought of her doing it again WITHOUT anyone around to help her, as what if she'd gone under and then came up under the one hood that was set up? There'd be a little bit of air, but man, the fear she'd be going through... *shudder*
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
Aussie- I *might* be wrong, but I don't think your cat will be jumping on top of the tank again any time soon... With an experience like that, she should be pretty wary for a while. Also, good for you on doing a "fishless" cycle. I did that when setting up my shellie tank and it worked very well. I didn't have to worry about slowly adding the fish, but could add everyone at the same time. Of course, waiting for it to cycle was vary hard...staring at an empty tank. What will you be stocking the tank with?

post #27 of 31
Well, for sure, I want a Betta. 60gal for one Betta is overdoing it (or so I've been told again and again and again... and again... lol). I accidently killed my sister's friend's Betta (my sister was fishsitting and I hated seeing Captain Saturday in his teeny little container with dirty water, so I tried to change it and move him to a big jar, not knowing about water conditioner... oops... Well, I read about Bettas first and heard about water conditioners, but was HOPING we didn't have chlorine in our water, which sounds rediculous now...). But, if the Betta behaves, I want to add some Neon Tetras and maybe Zebra Danios (I've heard mixed reviews on these ones coexisting with Bettas, though), and possibly some Corys. And heck, I'm entertaining the possibility of getting one of those African Dwarf Frogs, lol. BUT, if the Betta decides to be one of those antisocial Bettas, I'll get another tank, 10-20 gallons, and move him there and stock up the 60gal with the rest (I don't want to return any fishies just because the Betta doesn't like them. I can't imagine the stress would be good for them, being moved back and forth)

Hey, I do have a question though: so far I only have the tank, heater, and filter, and am waiting for the cycling to be nearly over before getting substrate (sand! weeeee!) and plants (am bidding on silk ones in bulk on ebay, lol) and, of course, cute little decor like castles and broken vases and aerating ornaments (there's this one at Petsmart I'm dying to have of a skeleton popping out of his coffin/grave). But anyhoo, my question is on oxygen. I didn't see much on it before, but NATURALLY, now is when I'm reading that heat + water = depleted oxygen (which slows down the cycling process). So now I wonder, is an airstone necessary? I was planning on getting an air pump at some point (for the air-bubblin' skeleton, lol), but now I figure I must need an air stone. I did read that for the little ornaments, you don't need the higher powered air pumps, but I guess for air stones, you DO need higher powered? I don't want to make a mistake and have something bigger than what I need, something I'll soon not need anymore (it'd scare our vain little Betta friend, lol).
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
Aeration- Usually, if you have enough filtration (with power/hang on the tank filters) you will be ok with aeration... I usually like to reccomend 10gph (gallons per hour) per gallon of tank volume...i.e. on my 10gl tank I use a single 100gph filter (penguin mini). On my 20gl I use 2, 100gph filters, etc. By splitting up the filtration into 2 filters (for a 60gl like yours, I'd use 2, 300gph filters) you safeguard youself against a filter failure and you ensure that all areas of the tank get water movement.

If you have some areas that still aren't getting enough water movement (dead spots), I'd suggust placing your airstones/ornaments there. i.e. if you have a filter on the right hand side of the tank and nothing on the left, place the airstone on the left.

Usually air pumps will give you a "tank size" rating or a rating via how deep the tank is...ie. "this pump is suitable up to 24" tank height". I'd suggust going with a better air pump rather than going with a cheaper/smaller model (some air pumps can run multiple units at the same time). Also, get a safety or check valve for all of your air lines/ornaments/stones.. It basically looks like an airstone w/ outlets on both ends... You place it midway between the pump and airstone/ornament. It prevents the water from going back down the line into the pump in the event of a power failure.

Stocking: I have kept bettas (both male and female) in my community tanks and have run into few problems, with a few exceptions... I wouldn't suggust keeping a betta with any other anabantoid (i.e. gourami, paradise fish, etc.) or any other primarilly surface-dwelling fish...like hatchets that tend to stay near the top where the betta's main "territory" is. I would also avoid any similarly long-finned fish that the betta might mistake for a rival (i.e. long-finned danios, rasboras, etc.) Lastly, avoid any very agressive or highly active fish that might "snack" on the betta's fins... i.e. medium-sized cichlids like the firemouth, zebra danios (they are hyper and look for things to do, like nip the betta) or tiger barbs (who don't work well with MOST other fish).

That said, for a 60gl with a betta, I would reccommend the following options for you to look into:
1. A group of bottom-dwellers... i.e. cories (panda, melini, peppered, aneus, etc.) loaches (3 yo-yos, 3-4 dojos, or 6-8 kuhliis).
2. Schoolers- Instead of the very hyper danios or ultra sensitive (and usually poorly due to inbreeding) neons, I'd suggest:
- cherry barbs (a group of ~5 males and 6 females will give you quite a show with their bright colors. They are very peaceful and don't "school" a lot).
- Serpae tetras (if kept in a large group i.e. 8+ they keep to themselves, don't school a lot, but do display a lot)
- White cloud mountain minnows- one of my all-time favorites... similar size to neons, but prefer cooler temps (i.e. 76-74f). Red fins, and the males get a "bronzy" color to them.... They school, can be fast movers, but are very peaceful and display (by flicking their fins) a lot. A group of 12+ would make an awesome display
- praecox (neon blue dwarf rainbows)- GREAT fish! If you can find them, neon blue in color, bright red fins on the males w/ yellow fins on females. Peaceful, active, display and "flash" when you have a mixed sex group. Highly reccomend.
- Glowlight tetras are also cool fish. They look similar to neons in that they have a neon stripe down their sides, but the strip is orangy-red and they have orange eyes. Hardier than neons and a tiny bit bigger. They aren't as fast moving, but are nice fish.
- lemon tetras and black neon tetras I have also heard good things about, but haven't kept personally.
You can mix a couple of the above... i.e. a group of slower-moving cherry barbs and some white clouds, etc. It's just important that schoolers have a large-enough group of their own... At LEAST 6, preferably 8-9+ of each species.

3. "show" fish- although the betta will be a "show" fish due to his/her personality, if you want a showy fish for the bottom of the tank, either a bolivian ram or krib...both dwarf cichlids might work well.

4. Algae crew- Wait on this till you have algae...lots of algae, then I'd either go with a single bristlenose or ~4-6 otocinclus catfish (the smallest pleco and live-plant friendly.

post #29 of 31
I'm a little late but thought I'd join in anyway
We don't have a fishtank but we do have a tortoise that Tucker never leaves alone. He even sleeps on top of the enclosure.
post #30 of 31
i have an 8ft (240 US gal) tank! & to tell you the truth here, my cat's don't actually bother with it at all, there has been the odd occasion where they have had a sneak peak LOL! they however are more interested in ripping the wallpaper off my walls
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