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Old 09-08-2011, 11:31 PM   #1
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Question Newbie Stocking Suggestions

I have a 55 gallon tank with your standard eheim cannister filter (rated for I believe 75 gallons, they told me to go up a step with the filter) which is close to being done cycling (I believe). After an epic failure where I lost a couple of damsels, I decided to let mother nature do her thing and wait until the levels are down. My nitrites are at 0, my nitrates are around 20, and my ammonia is dropping below .25. I'm not doing anything till that hits 0, I learned the lesson the hard way.

But just thinking ahead and trying to do research, I wanted to see what you guys though of my stocking plan. Like I said I'm a complete newbie here with no experience, so I was looking for fisht that were pretty cool looking, relatively cheaper, but they have to be hardy and easy to keep, nothing to wild or that would require a lot of skill.

So right now, I was thinking of putting in 2 ocellaris (sp?) clown fish that were tank bred. I was also tossing around the idea of putting in a Klein's Butterfly fish. The books I have said they aren't too hard, but I've read online that they can be picky eaters.

Right now my biggest quesitons are how easy are these fish to keep and will adding those three cause too much of an ammonia spike in my new tank. I don't want to have to deal with anymore poisoned fish...

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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Hi. I wouldnt add those 3 fish all at once. The butterfly can be a challenge to feed though, I'm tossing the idea around of getting one as well.

Did you alreay have a nitrite spike? cause if you havent then your not nearly done with cycling. Did you add an ammonia source like a dead shrimp or pure ammonia?
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:03 AM   #3
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I'm kind of confused I guess. In terms of the nitrite spike, it spiked the first time around, and now it's back down to 0. That's why I'm kind of confused. I saw the tank cycling when I had 2 damsels in there (ammonia went up, then nitrites went up, then I got some nitrates). Now, the Nitrates are still at 20, the nitrites at 0, and the ammonia below .25 but not 0. I believe, from researching and reading, that it cycled once, and for some reason right now it's going through some sort of mini-cycle. Except I'm not picking up any spike in nitrite as my ammonia drops. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing...

Thanks for the advice on the butterflyfish. Would you suggest adding any other fish along with the two clowns? Or would that be pushing my biological filter too much?
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:15 AM   #4
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I would stick with just adding the clowns at first. Give it a week or so, test your water and then you can start adding more fish. Nothing good comes of rushing things in sw LOL

I suspect you are in a mini cycle, I would wait for the ammonia to drop to 0 before adding the clowns though. With that little bit of ammonia i wouldnt expect to catch the nitrites. I think this is a good test to see if your system can handle the .25 ammonia and convert it. In a properly cycled tank you can have 4ppm of ammonia and the next day have none. Perfect excample of the bacteria doing their job. However, if the ammonia doesnt fall really fast you may have an issue. Two clowns will generate that much ammonia by themselves and if your bacteria cant convert .25 within a day then you'll have issues with it converting the ammonia from the clowns.

You have no damsels left in the tank do you? If you did I would say do a water change for them but if its empty I would let the bacteria do it's thing.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:21 AM   #5
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Awesome, that makes a lot of sense. That's what I kind of suspected, so I'll test my ammonia when I get home and see what we got. I definitely will not put the clowns in until it reads 0 for a couple of days, like I said I learned that lesson the hard way. And that makes me feel beter that that small amount of ammonia won't produce nitrites, so I guess now I just need to keep my fingers crossed and hope my bacteria is built up enough to handle the ammonia in there now.

And unfortunately, I no longer have the damsels in there. They made it quite some time, but both died in the same day. Guess that's what happens when you try to rush things.

Another question, whats best to feed the clowns?
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:33 AM   #6
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I just fed my clowns a mixture of tiny pellets, frozen mysis and some bloodworms. Only one set of my clowns actually eats bloodworms lol. I try to mix it up every day with different things. I make a cup of food and add soem garlic extreme to it and feed all my tanks with the same mixture usually.

They also will eat flake food as well, I just try to mix things up for the fish. Somedays I put in brine shrimp, or maybe emerald entree. I keep about 15 different foods in my freezer so its always something different.

Before you buy your clowns you will want to do a water change to get those nitrates down as there really is no other way to get them lower unless you're running a sump with macro algae in it. At the end of the cycle everyone just does their water change and then they add fish.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:42 AM   #7
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Cool thanks for your help. Hopefully when I'll get a nice surprise and my tank handled that nasty ammonia. If not, I'll just be patient.
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