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Old 08-13-2013, 09:43 AM   #1
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Seeking advice from experts to prevent problems ..... 38 gallon stocked

I would appreciate any advice that you may have regarding my tank. I decided to ask before I have problems. After dealing with blackbush algae (now cured thanks to this forum) and being stupid enough to put neons in with goldfish ….. which of course disappeared, please provide me with any adice on care to keep me from having future problems. My setup:

38 gallon, HOB Aqua-Tech 30-60 filter (300GPH). Tank is 32 months old and I switched from goldfish to tropicals on August 1. No real plants but lots of “silk” plants + driftwood. The tank is stocked as follows:

2 x albino cory (very small)
5 x black neons
8 x neon tetra
5 x Harlequin Rasbora
5 x Serpae Tetra
5 x white cloud
5 x Red Eye Tetra
2 x Platy (Red Wagtail).


Fish are all healthy and happy looking and acting right now. The water is crystal clear with no smell. I had it tested yesterday at Petland …. with the good “drops” and it was Pristine. I keep the tank at 75 degrees.

Potential issues I see are:

Fish/Corys: According to aqadvisor.com, I am "maxed out" at 102% of capacity on fish and the only advice they give me is that albino cory do best with 4. Fish “expert” at Petland said two is fine. I plan to stick with two.

Water Quality: Tap water here in 32563 (Midway Water Supply, Gulf Breeze FL) is horrific. To keep the tank clear and within normal bio limits, I have to buy gallon jugs of spring water so water changes cost $$. Despite aqadvisor telling me I need to do 30% weekly, I plan to do 20% biweekly water changes (including gravel vacuum). Thus, I need good testing supplies. With my goldfish & Pleco combo …. I used Walmart’s Jungle Quick Dip test strips …… doing 20% bi weekly …… (ľ the changes aqadvisor recommended) and water was always clear and tested fine. Should I use a better test strip …… and if so, which one? Or … should I be using the more sophisticated liquid/test tube method? [Note: if tests show water degraded ….. I’ll just suck up the $$ costs with more water changes. ]

Filter: This goes along with water quality. I know my filter is a WalMart "el cheapo" but I got it after an emergency breakdown. I plan on upgrading to an AquaClear70 or something like that someday ..... but would I better off to just go ahead and replace it now ???

Feeding: I feed using a “floating ring,” alternating with TetraMin and API flakes twice daily and Hikari frozen brine shrimp twice weekly. Fish devour all food … especially the brine shrimp. Only problem: the API flakes seem a bit too “fine grained” so I turn off the filter during feeding but some still goes to the bottom for the corys. Should I ditch either or both of the TetraMin (mediocre quality) or API (too fine) and go with something else??

Thanks for your input and tips !!!

Oops one more thing ....... is there a tutorial on how to post pictures to this forum?
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:49 AM   #2
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One thing I did with my tank I had overstocked was buy a ehiem(however its spelled) vacuum. They are motorized and doesn't take any water out of the system. That way you can keep the gravel clean in between water changes. I did this on my 120 African cichlid tank and my water was always perfect. I was way overstocked. At least 40 fish in it
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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To post pics just go to where you reply press the + sign and choose where you want the pic to come from. Then click on it once downloaded insert inline and write a comment with it
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stlrockguy View Post
To post pics just go to where you reply press the + sign and choose where you want the pic to come from. Then click on it once downloaded insert inline and write a comment with it
Thanks for the tips. I added one last thing through edit while you were answering me .......

Filter: This goes along with water quality. I know my filter is a WalMart "el cheapo" but I got it after an emergency breakdown. I plan on upgrading to an AquaClear70 or something like that someday ..... but would I better off to just go ahead and replace it now ???

What would you recommend ?????
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
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The wal mart filter is 300gph. Id go with an aqueon 55/75 (400gph) or an aquaclear 110 (500gph). If too much flow is a problem then jam some filter floss in the top or so. This will keep your tank really clean between water changes/gravel vacs
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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I'm using an emperor 400 on my 30 gallon African cichlid tank right now. I'm not sure about other filters since I've started using the emperor my water has stayed perfect even in overstocked tanks. I'm the type that sticks to what I know works good for me
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the filter advice. I need to do lots of research on that one

FWIW: I posted two pictures of my tank in my "album" in my profile:

Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community - Paul1792's Album: Paul1792's 38 gallon - Picture
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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Looks good.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:19 PM   #9
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You should definitely invest in an API freshwater master test kit. They're pretty cheap on amazon or eBay (~$20). Strips can be pretty inaccurate.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:05 AM   #10
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Good suggestion

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You should definitely invest in an API freshwater master test kit. They're pretty cheap on amazon or eBay (~$20). Strips can be pretty inaccurate.
************
You're right. Thanks ........ now that I think about it, the test strips were showing everything was fine when my tank was overrun by black brush algae which I cured following the advice in this forum. To avoid shipping charges, next time I place an Amazon order, I'll add the API test kit to the order.
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