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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 75 gallon tank (standard dimensions) that has housed four large Bosemani rainbows, some adult angelfish, a large bala shark, a clown pleco, and a striped Raphael. This is my only tank with live plants.

Two weeks ago, I purchased a Black Ghost Knife and a school of Congo tetras from a LFS. After one week in a quarantine tank, I moved them to my 75. In an effort to add to the comfort of the BGK, I also placed a ghost house in the aquarium. It is strategically placed behind a large rock so that it cannot be seen from the front of the tank. To further obscure it, I used some fishing line to tie several stands of Java fern to it. It is pretty much in the center of the tank, length-wise. It's closer to the back of the tank than the front.

The BGK has been in the tank for a week and I haven't seen it anywhere near the ghost house.
I have a piece of slate leaning against one of the back corners of the tank where the Raphael cat spends most of his time. The BGK spends all of his time there with the Raph cat. He is constantly swimming, but never goes anywhere - just hovers there over the Raph. I've never even seen him come out at feeding time.

There was a ghost house in the LFS tank from which the fish was purchased, and he did use it there.

What exactly is the purpose of a ghost house in an aquarium containing a Black Ghost Knife fish? Did I somehow defeat the purpose of the ghost house by obscuring it with the Java fern?

Also, I'm worried that the fish may not be eating. I've owned several of this species in the past and I never had one that couldn't be brought out of hiding with tubifex worms. I've tried it, even adding the tubifex to the tank in the proximity of the fish, but he still won't come out.

Anyone have any advice to share with me?

Thanks in advance for your response.
 

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It is important that your BGK have a place to hide… but it doesn’t have to be the Ghost house… A lot of things impact a fish’s preference on a territory (placement within the tank, other fish’s territories, current, etc, etc).

I’ve had several BGK’s over the years and have never used one of the tubes sold as Knife houses… all have found someplace to call home…

I have a 12â€
 

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Hmmm...we have a 16 year old BGK that spent most of his life in his cave until I decided to feed him by hand. My partner did not believe that it was okay to feed our GK by hand because he works with various car paints. I am new to their relationship (two years) and I don't have paint stuff on my hands and I began to feed him by hand recently...after learning that our TSN likes to be fed by hand. Now...the GK comes out in the day time and he hangs out openly in the plants and he (maybe she) is so connected to us that he comes out of his cave as soon as he hears us come into the room...which is my home office so a lot of time is spent in here.

We all respond to relationship and I truly believe that our GK knows that in the world he lives in, we are his equals as opposed to the smaller fish in HIS/HER tank.

If you decide to hand feed, there are some rules that go along with that. No soap on your hands, but make sure they are clean...no chemical kinds of substances like hand cream etc.
 

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The ghost house doesn't need to be hidden. It actually defeats the purpose. The BGK uses its electrical field to sense that it is hidden in the tube even though it is transparent.

My BGK never used the house and hides in a fake rock. He is about 7" long and 4 years old and rushes out whenever food is placed in the tank. He takes no guff from my 8" Synodontis Angelicus (has a bad attitude) or 9" Pleco and pushes them off when they try to take his food.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mambee said:
The ghost house doesn't need to be hidden. It actually defeats the purpose. The BGK uses its electrical field to sense that it is hidden in the tube even though it is transparent.

My BGK never used the house and hides in a fake rock. He is about 7" long and 4 years old and rushes out whenever food is placed in the tank. He takes no guff from my 8" Synodontis Angelicus (has a bad attitude) or 9" Pleco and pushes them off when they try to take his food.

Mike
Then I guess I wasted money on the ghost house, because I sure don't want to see an ugly piece of plastic in my aquarium. Even if there is a fish inside it.

Guess I should have gone with something more decorative like a fake hollowed out log.
 

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So, Malawi Mac...now that you have figured out the ghost house part of your question, do you have enough info to make sure your fish is eating enough? I had the same question when I realized that the one rather large gold fish we have in the community tank (GK tank)would rather eat the pellets that we were leaving for the GK...which is why I decided to do the hand feeding thing. I had no idea that he/she would turn into this social "twirling in my fingers" maniac that I can't take my eyes off when he/she is out. Maybe I need to name this fish now that I have realized I don't know if it is a male or a female....how about Blackie? :oops: Okay, I know...how about I name him after you Mac...as in Mac the Knife...yeah, I'll do that. Our GK is now officially named "MAC" ... :)
 

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If you do decide to go with a fake hollow log, make sure you get one big enough for the adult size of the knife! My parents have one for their loaches that was fine so long as the BGK was small... but of course he got bigger, and one day he somehow got stuck in it (he wasn't even using it as his hiding place at that point, it was very strange), and the pleco decided to eat him! :eek: He was rescued and eventually recovered, but his poor tail has never quite been the same again.
 

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If you want something that is going to be hidden, you can use PVC tubing from Home Depot.

My BGK loves bloodworms, but he also eats New Life Spectrum pellets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I really can't see if the fish is eating or not. He has yet to emerge into the open during a feeding session, and the area where he hangs is too dark. I've never seen a BGK who wouldn't come out of hiding at feeding time. Maybe he's spooked by one of more of the other tank inhabitants. The bala shark is huge (took him on when his owner had to move to Texas) and typically skittish.

NLS pellets are my staple food. I've dropped some pellets into the water directly above his area, and some have made it down to him. Can't see whether he's eating them, though. I also feed frozen brine shrimp and tubifex.

I'm considering removing the piece of slate temporarily just to see what happens.
 

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I've had a BGK that I haven't seen eat in about 2 years... he's pretty big and still alive so I'm assuming he is getting enough from somewhere...

They make great scavengers ;)
 
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