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Hi folks,

I'm a bit concerned about my spotted cat. When I got him about about a month ago he had a pretty impressive little belly and in general looked very healthy. However, it seems like all he does is hide in his cave. Every once in a while, including when I feed the tank, he'll poke his head out, but he almost never ventures out. I discovered through experimentation that he'll venture out a bit when the lights are off, but that's about the only time I see him.

I've started a two-a-day feeding schedule to try and assure he gets a chance to eat. I feed a light-ish amount of flakes in the morning, and then again with the tank light off right before bed along with a dash of freeze dried blood worms. My theory here is that this will allow him to comfortably get some food, since he seems to be light averse.

I don't see any external evidence of sickness; his fins look good, there's no fuzzy (fungus) or stringy stuff (worms or fungus) hanging from him, and he's a great looking fish at about 3" although he's lost weight since I got him.

My tank is a 36 gallon and is about two months old. Otherwise I have 5 lamp eye tetras, a bloodfin tetra, an awesome bamboo shrimp, and three small guppies. I do regular water changes and so far the only things that have died are one bloodfin and one guppy. All the other fish seem to be doing really well. There is one medium cave, one rather large cave that he stays in, and several artificial plants. The substrate is gravel, and it gets vacuumed with the vacuum siphon during each WC.

What say you, collective wisdom? Is this normal behavior for a pictus?

Jim
 

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I read somewhere that most cats do better in groups. Maybe you should get him 1 or 2 playmates. Some fish are natually shy if they're not with their own kind.
 

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I read somewhere that most cats do better in groups. Maybe you should get him 1 or 2 playmates. Some fish are natually shy if they're not with their own kind.
Thanks for the feedback. By no means am I extolling the knowledge of Petco, but the fish guy there seemed knowledgeable and said that if I got more than one they'd eventually become aggressive towards each other as they mature. They're listed as "topical semi-aggressive", although he's the largest fish and only TSA in a tank full of tropical community fish, if it matters.

What do you think? I'd love to get a couple more since I think he's really cool, but I don't want to upset the balance of the community either.

Jim
 

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Yeah well those aholes at Petco told me that Chinese Algae eaters were peaceful! Last time I ever listen to them Took me 3 days to catch those little sob's so I could give them away!

I don't know about the particular cat you've got. Could maybe google it or something or wait around here for a bit. Sometimes it takes a few days to get the answers you need.
 

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I have the same cat as you. Even posted a pic of him in my gallery. Anyway, he has been swimming around in my tank for years and likes to keep to himself. Lucky for me, the home he picked out was a drift wood overhang close to the front of the tank. It is shaded for him and I still get to see him. Every now and then he will go explore, but mainly stays in his corner of the tank and hangs out. In the smaller tank, he liked hanging out in this hollow log cave and I had to turn it at and angle so I could see through it to see him. I do know that he LOVES loves LOVES brine shrimp. I bought some "gumdrop" brine shrimp, they are frozen servings of brine shrimp that you just pop into the tank, they thaw and the fish go crazy! If a gumdrop sinks down to him he will attack it eating almost the whole thing by himself! Bloodworm gumdrops are a fav as well. They are whole and not freeze dried

So maybe you could rearrange your tank so you can see him better when he is hanging out in his cave? I heard the same thing about them getting aggressive towards others of thier same species so I don't think getting a second would be a good idea. Mine was also pretty chummy with a pleco (shared the log cave) until the pleco growth spurted and is twice the size of the cat.
 

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Yeah well those aholes at Petco told me that Chinese Algae eaters were peaceful! Last time I ever listen to them Took me 3 days to catch those little sob's so I could give them away!

I don't know about the particular cat you've got. Could maybe google it or something or wait around here for a bit. Sometimes it takes a few days to get the answers you need.

x2 on the Petco no nothings. Sold my dad a Pacu telling him it would get along great in a 55G tank. Those suckers get to like 60lbs! Told me the same crap with the CAE. Taught me to research any fish you are thinking about getting because, people lie! Imagine that
 

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