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Old 11-13-2003, 10:04 PM   #11
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Well now! That sounds like some good advice you have received. I think he wanted to give you some Bio-Spira (well, not GIVE, it is kinda pricey.. ) and that is probably what I would do, and have done when I have had a mini cycle. You lost some of the good bacteria that keep your ammonia zero (that is the only normal value for ammonia) and nitrite zero (ditto). You will show some nitrates when you have a cycled tank, and generally you do your water changes to keep nitrates at under 40ppm, or less depending upon your tank. That is the information I was looking for. The Bio-Spira is the actual bacteria that keep a tank cycled.

However, partial water changes will save the fish. You need to get fresh test kits, if you did not already, for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You should never have any measurable levels of the first two, and low levels of the third. Water changes are the way to control that, and that is the "secret" to fishkeeping!

It may take a couple of weeks (hopefully less) to get this under control, and if you are patient it will resolve. I must smack myself for not paying attention to your stocking levels. If the plecos are common plecos, what most LFS carry, then even one is almost pushing it for that size tank. Maybe if you return the plecos (not sure what the half-inch catfish are, and how big they will get) you could get more severum - I believe they are relatively peaceful, so maybe you could get a pair, but severum keepers please help me out here! I think if you like severum, which you obviously do, then you should have severum.

(I get so excited when a mystery is solved...)
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Old 11-14-2003, 02:34 AM   #12
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Hi Gary, I agree with everything Tankgirl told you. And your fish load was huge for that size tank.

Severum can get big. Mine were over 6 inches. Plus, being cichlids they are messy eaters and produce a lot of waste. That makes gravel vacs and water changes a must.

I think you've gained some valuable experience here. Don't give up on keeping any fish you want to. Just know a little more about the fishes basic habits and needs. Good Luck.

Brian
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Old 11-14-2003, 07:13 AM   #13
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*nods and agrees*

This is what we were telling you in your "lethargic fish" post, both in terms of bio-load, adult fish size and water parameter problems. I'm glad the lfs is willing to take the tinfoil; some places won't take fish from the public (Petsmart is one).

You don't have to just have small community fish. You also mentioned in that post you have a 55g packed away. You might want to consider small community fish for the current tank, and a larger fish for the 55g. But I strongly suggest researching the fish you chose, and then popping on here for some opinions/personal experiences so you can avoid the probs you are having now.

And yeah, that 1 inch = 1 gallon rule is an old wives tale. It doesn't take into account adult size, bio-load, temperament, required swimming space, etc. For example, 10 inches of neon would work well in a 10g tank; a 10 inch oscar certainly would not. I think many of us went by that rule when we first started, not knowing any better. *grin* is why the internet is such a great place to learn; I'd have never known my common plec was going to be 2 feet long as an adult if I hadn't gotten online when he put on 3 inches in 4 months and I realised something was wrong LOL
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