Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-19-2011, 10:24 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 19
Beginner looking for advice in regards to fish and plants

Hello Everyone,

Newbie here! I recieved a 10 gallon tank for christmas this past year and finally have the tank set up! I'm super excited as I have been wanting to give the hobby a shot for a little while now. Anyways, I have several questions in regards to my setup and I thought Id come to the experts for some advice! First I will let you know what kind of tank I currently have and what I have done so far:

Top Fin
10 Gallon Beginners Kit (came with the heater, filter and various other stuff a beginner would need)
Have it on a stand which unfortunately is not completely level as the floors in my home are not. Nothing too drastic and barely noticeable.

I have added a sand substrate with a small cave decoration and a larger decorative bonsai tree. (Looks pretty cool) I have also added a few live plants and a moss ball as well as hear they are good for combating algae.

I have cycled my tank for about a week with no fish. The directions that came with the tank said let it cycle for 24 to 48 hours but i figured id give it a week. After the first week, I took my water to get tested at Petsmart and these were my results:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0
pH- 6.8
Alkalinity - 120
Hardness- 300
Chlorine - 0

At this point I figured it was ok to add my first fish to the aqurium. So my first additions were a red wag platy and a balloon belly molly. I know its early as I have only had them 4 days but they look pretty healthy.

Ok now that you know what I have...here come the questions related to both fish additions, plants and some general.

1. I know about the whole 1 inch rule and according to petsmart the platy and balloon belly molly get to be around 3 inches, wasnt sure if this was accurate or not? I know I am kind of limited with what i can do with a 10 gallon so I wanted to know what recommendations you have as to future fish additions i could make in another week or two. Maybe some bottom dwellers? If I cant add too many more no big deal.

2. If i go slightly over 10 inches of fish is it going to have a drastic effect? Some of the petsmart people who seemed fairly knowledgeable and seemed to be into the hobby themselves acted like it would be ok.

3. Kind of touching on question 1. In regards to schooling fish, corys for example, do they HAVE to be in schools? Do they get too stressed alone? It was recommended to me to get some bottom feeders but i dont know if i will have the room for them.

4. In the short time I have had my two fish, I noticed that they do poop alot. The sand substrate i have is nice, but the poo is definitely more noticeable. Do I need to clean a tank with sand any more than I do vs one with gravel in regards to health of the fish? How often should I clean it? Also, any recommendations on how to clean a sand bottom...I've read some info online about it, but thought id get some ideas here.

5. Do you recommend keeping a dechlorinated bucket of water ready for water changes and evaporation? Additionally, if you let tap water sit for a few days will the chlorine evaporate so i dont need to add dechlorinator?

6. I've only been feeding them once a day. How long should i keep that up for?

7. Should I add an airstone? Not sure if the Top fin filter gives off enough oxygen, fish seem ok and arent hanging out by the surface too much. If so, how often should I replace them.

8. Due to the tank light being on for 8 to 12 hours a day, my water temp rises from 76 to 80 degrees over the course of that time, are these gradual temp changes ok for the fish?

Now in regards to plants...

1. Can plants still thrive in sand? Obviously they can get uprooted easily but wasnt sure if a sand substrate was ok for plant growth.

2. Dont know how familiar you are with the top fin 10 gallon, but i have read the lights that come with it arent the best for plant growth (came with two tiny bulbs, one on each side of the cover). I went out and bought a 20 inch Aqueon Single Tube Strip Light which includes an 18 inch "Aquarium Spectrum Flourescent Lamp" Will this do the trick for the plants? I didnt notice the Aqueon box saying anywhere that it "provides day light".

3. I bought some Leaf Zone plant food. Is it worth buying or does it really help with plant growth?

Sorry for all the questions, didnt realize I typed so much. There is alot of information on the web, sometimes conflicting, so I wanted to get some opinions here. Thanks for all your help!
__________________

__________________
TheKraken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 11:08 PM   #2
member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: memphis,tn
Posts: 3,222
dangggggggggggg! ok let me try to answer some of this.
1.ok i dont want to give you bad info but platys like schools mollies are better off brackish and need a 20 gallon tank but aqadvisor.com will help you stock.
2.stilll look at aqadvisor
3.res they need schools they can die from stress and wont be active
4.same as gravel bc both would have the same amount of poop one just shoes more just put the gravel vac about and inch above the sand
5.you need to change water once a week i dont know about evaporation just get some de-chlorinator.
6.that good untill you have cycled then maybe twice a day of small feedings.
7.yes it'll help get a bubble wand they are awesome looking.
8.it will be stressful in my opinion you might want a heater that will keep it at the highest temp u see so that it stays on until that temp and then turns off.


1.yes it's actually good for them
2.i have the same thing and switched to fluorescent bc the lights sucked but idk about plants.
3.i have no idea im not planting until my 29 gallon
__________________

__________________
allaboutfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2011, 09:11 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 988
First off, your tank isn't cycled if you just let it run for a week. Since you have fish, you're now doing a fish-in cycle. I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!

1/2. Inch per gallon is bogus, and aqadvisor is sketchy as well. Until you learn the ropes, consult AA about stocking choices and we'll guide you. Yes, Platys and Mollys can grow that large. I personally wouldn't put them in a 10g. Also until you're done cycling, no more fish. It'd be best if you could return the fish and do a fishless cycle.
3. For bottom feeders you could get shrimp, since corys should be in schools.
4. Just run the gravel vac lightly over the sand bed, a little bit above it.
5. You don't need to have it sitting around ready for top-offs, you can make it whenever. Typically leaving water to sit doesn't work because most people have chloramines in their water, which doesn't gas out like chlorine.
6. Once a day is perfect. Leave it.
7. If they don't appear to be deprived of air, you probably don't need one.
8. Not really. 4 degrees is quite a change IMO. Maybe get a clip-on fan?
__________________
jenatron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2011, 03:59 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mommytron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 3,053
welcome to AA! great link posted above by jenatron. PWC's will be your best friend! make sure you have a good siphon or a python.
__________________
-Rachel
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
mommytron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
rain87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 255
First I have to say I love your SN (screen name). You asked a lot of questions which is good this is a place to learn. In regard to cycling your tank. Running your tank empty without adding anything to it isn't the cycling people are talking about. When we refer to cycling we are talking about the water cycle in which ammonia (added by way of fish poop) is then turned into nitrites, and then nitrates by bacteria. Ammonia and nitrites both are poisonous to your fish as are nitrates but nitrates are okay until they reach higher levels plus plants use nitrates.

So there are two ways of building up this beneficial bacteria that will convert the ammonia into nitrates. A fishless cycle and a fish-in cycle. The fish-in cycle has been all but done away with in the hobby. So you have two options one take your fish back and do a fishless cycle or keep your fish and do some reading on a fish-in cycle, which will require you to check your water chemistry daily and do frequent water changes until the bacteria has been established and they you can just do the regular water changes to eliminate excess nitrates. Also wait to add more fish till you have completed the cycle.

The 1 inch per gallon rule is a guideline to help insure that you don't put more fish in your tank then it will have oxygen to keep them alive. You can have more than that especially if you have plants and an air stone of some sort. You just need to make sure you have the best interest of your fish in mind. If they seem like they are getting sick, acting funny, or just look unhappy your probably have to many fish.

Hopefully that helps some and more people will chime in. I would suggest you put a separate post in the planted tank section for advice on the plants. Welcome to Aquarium Advice!
__________________
rain87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 11:45 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 19
Thanks for the quick responses! I tried taking them back to try the fishless cycle...unfortunately my girlfriend who bought them for me lost the receipt . Guess I'm going to have to work hard at this and get some practice doing these water changes!

Were the readings I received on pH etc. in my first post ok for the tank? I guess once you add the fish the numbers are going to really fluctuate and you will have to manage it.

Can anyone recommend a good test kit and how much they generally cost? I've read that the pH strips arent really the best for testing your water.

Any validity to this next topic? I was trying to find where I read this but I am having trouble. I have read that gas can build up in sand and when it rises to the surface it could poison your fish. The best way to combat this is just digging around in the sand or having some bottom feeders to do it for you. I've seen what look like little airpockets underneath the sand, but i think that is from when i initially added the substrate. Anyway, just wasnt sure if this whole gas thing was accurate.

I had also looked at the aqadvisor site which seemed pretty cool but some of you said it is kind of sketcy. Anyway, the site seemed to indicate if you had an additional filter you could add more fish. For example, if I added another Top Fin 10 filter to my aquairum I could add more than if I had just the one filter. I wont be adding any more fish for AWHILE now until my cycling is complete, but is there any truth to that filter statement?

Last, what is a python in regards to this hobby? A type of siphon or vacuum?
__________________
TheKraken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Hobgob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,893
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKraken
Thanks for the quick responses! I tried taking them back to try the fishless cycle...unfortunately my girlfriend who bought them for me lost the receipt . Guess I'm going to have to work hard at this and get some practice doing these water changes!

Were the readings I received on pH etc. in my first post ok for the tank? I guess once you add the fish the numbers are going to really fluctuate and you will have to manage it.

Can anyone recommend a good test kit and how much they generally cost? I've read that the pH strips arent really the best for testing your water.

Any validity to this next topic? I was trying to find where I read this but I am having trouble. I have read that gas can build up in sand and when it rises to the surface it could poison your fish. The best way to combat this is just digging around in the sand or having some bottom feeders to do it for you. I've seen what look like little airpockets underneath the sand, but i think that is from when i initially added the substrate. Anyway, just wasnt sure if this whole gas thing was accurate.

I had also looked at the aqadvisor site which seemed pretty cool but some of you said it is kind of sketcy. Anyway, the site seemed to indicate if you had an additional filter you could add more fish. For example, if I added another Top Fin 10 filter to my aquairum I could add more than if I had just the one filter. I wont be adding any more fish for AWHILE now until my cycling is complete, but is there any truth to that filter statement?

Last, what is a python in regards to this hobby? A type of siphon or vacuum?
Th readings were not ok. If you have no nitrate present in your tank then it is not cycled. Get an API master test kit. I have a nitrafin one and it costs me like 30 dollars. Also the parameters of the water shouldn't fluctuate. At least once your tank cycles. Ammonia and nitrite should not be present in your aquarium.

I don't use sand but I have heard that gas thing also and in my opinion an extra filter would help depending. If it breaks the surface and allows oxygen to get into the water then it would help with stocking and the inch rule thing is bs. Each fish is different.

For a bottom feeder try and get Siamese algea eaters. You have to be carfull though because some fish stores can't tell te difference between a flying fox, false Siamese, and they is another one. The best way is to make sure the fish only has two whiskers one on each side
__________________
Hobgob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 12:41 PM   #8
member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: memphis,tn
Posts: 3,222
there is truth in the more filter copacity you have the more fish but i usually just put my tank size and fish and not include the filter.
__________________
allaboutfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 01:15 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Hobgob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,893
If you add an airstone it would also help!
__________________
Hobgob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 02:19 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mommytron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 3,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKraken View Post
Were the readings I received on pH etc. in my first post ok for the tank? I guess once you add the fish the numbers are going to really fluctuate and you will have to manage it.
yes those readings were fine, and yes they will fluctuate a fair bit during a cycle.

Quote:
Can anyone recommend a good test kit and how much they generally cost? I've read that the pH strips arent really the best for testing your water.
Walmart.com: Freshwater Master Test Kit: Fish
can't tell what brand this is, but it looks like the old packaging for API (the brand i recommend)


Quote:
Any validity to this next topic? I was trying to find where I read this but I am having trouble. I have read that gas can build up in sand and when it rises to the surface it could poison your fish. The best way to combat this is just digging around in the sand or having some bottom feeders to do it for you. I've seen what look like little airpockets underneath the sand, but i think that is from when i initially added the substrate. Anyway, just wasnt sure if this whole gas thing was accurate.
they are called anaerobic spots. it is true and it can happen. it generally only happens in very fine grade sand, like play sand. in sand like PFS (pool filter sand) it doesn't happen because the sand is much coarser and does not compact like a finer sand. to solve the problem there are a few things you can do. (1) get MTS (malaysian trumpet snails) they will burrow in your sand and stir it up for you, preventing it from cmopacting around air and creating anaerobic pockets. (2) attach a chopstick or other stirrer to the end of you gravel vac/siphon. this will allow you to manually stir your sand during a PWC.

Quote:
I had also looked at the aqadvisor site which seemed pretty cool but some of you said it is kind of sketcy. Anyway, the site seemed to indicate if you had an additional filter you could add more fish. For example, if I added another Top Fin 10 filter to my aquairum I could add more than if I had just the one filter. I wont be adding any more fish for AWHILE now until my cycling is complete, but is there any truth to that filter statement?
aqadvisor is a fun tool, and can give you a loose guideline on what is acceptable for your tank. ultimately, it will be up to you and your good judgement what you think is acceptable for your tank. always double check with someone here on AA or with research of your own.

now, as far as a second filter. yes, adding a second filter can allow your tank to handle a bigger bio load (more fish waste). but you have to always keep in mind the size of your tank and the area in which the fish dwells. you don't want your entire stock to fight over the floor of the tank. everyone kind of has their own opinion on what is over and under stocked, so again, use your best judgement. do your own research, ask lots of questions, and use common sense

Quote:
Last, what is a python in regards to this hobby? A type of siphon or vacuum?
No Spill Clean 'n Fill 25 Feet this is a python. it's what you use to empty and fill your tank for a PWC. a Python is generally only used for larger tanks, whereas you can use something like this Gravel Vacuum Cleaner 16" (11558) and a couple of buckets for a smaller tank. there are a few different ones out there. but DEFINITELY a necessity to have one of some kind
__________________
-Rachel
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
mommytron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 03:58 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Hobgob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,893
He hasn't cycled his tank yet otherwise he would have nitrates present
__________________
Hobgob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 07:56 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oak Forest, IL
Posts: 4,388
Thread moved. You'll get more responses here.
__________________
A man's errors are his portals of discovery.
Guide to The Fishless Cycle Cycling With Fish
My DIY LED Light Fixture
Feel free to PM me directly with questions.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 08:07 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 19
Darn, the local walmart did not have the master kit. Their fish section looked awful btw. I did see the API Master Test Kit at Petsmart for $32. Looks like i may have to bite the bullet on that one.

I have a few additional questions.

When I originally dechlorinated the water, i didnt add my fish in until a week later. How long does it take for the dechlorinator to work...in my case for a 10 gallon tank?

Is aquarium salt for a freshwater tank really necessary? Or can you do without? I have read conflicting opinions on this on the internet and the people at the petsmart told me i should. In any event, when i first added water to the tank, I did add two tablespoons per the directions on the box.

Also, when I finally do get the test kit, I should probably test the water before I do a partial water change? No test has been completed on my water since before i added the fish.

Thanks again for your help!
__________________
TheKraken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 08:16 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mommytron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 3,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKraken View Post
When I originally dechlorinated the water, i didnt add my fish in until a week later. How long does it take for the dechlorinator to work...in my case for a 10 gallon tank?
it works instantly. you can add dechlorinator to a bucket of water, then dump the bucket of water into your tank with fish and it's good to go. in one of my tanks (that i fill straight from the sink) i add the dechlor directly to the tank as i start to fill it. there is no waiting necessary.

Quote:
Is aquarium salt for a freshwater tank really necessary? Or can you do without? I have read conflicting opinions on this on the internet and the people at the petsmart told me i should. In any event, when i first added water to the tank, I did add two tablespoons per the directions on the box.
aquarium salt should only be used to medicate fish. it's a great medication for ich in combination with heat. other than that, it is totally unnecessary. if anything, using salt all the time will just make your fish indifferent to the salt, so when it comes time to treat with salt, it will not help. best to just stop using it.

Quote:
Also, when I finally do get the test kit, I should probably test the water before I do a partial water change? No test has been completed on my water since before i added the fish.
yea, do a test before your water change. and test everyday until your cycle is up. remember--ammonia levels over .25ppm are toxic to fish and will burn their gills. nitrite above .5ppm is highly toxic as well and can poison their blood. nitrate above 40ppm is unsafe as well. make sure to do PWC's as necessary to keep all levels in check.
__________________
-Rachel
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
mommytron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 08:18 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 988
If you add liquid dechlorinator there's really no wait period.
Aquarium salt is not necessary and really shouldn't be used regularly.
Yes you should check your water multiple times daily while cycling and change water accordingly. Test after water changes, too. Maybe 30 minutes later?

Edit: AKA +1 to mommytron, lolzies.
__________________
jenatron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 08:25 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oak Forest, IL
Posts: 4,388
My comments below in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKraken View Post
Top Fin
10 Gallon Beginners Kit (came with the heater, filter and various other stuff a beginner would need)
Have it on a stand which unfortunately is not completely level as the floors in my home are not. Nothing too drastic and barely noticeable.

- You can use shims to level the stand.


I have added a sand substrate with a small cave decoration and a larger decorative bonsai tree. (Looks pretty cool) I have also added a few live plants and a moss ball as well as hear they are good for combating algae.

- Is the bonsai tree fake? A live one won't be alive very long under water.

I have cycled my tank for about a week with no fish. The directions that came with the tank said let it cycle for 24 to 48 hours but i figured id give it a week. After the first week, I took my water to get tested at Petsmart and these were my results:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0
pH- 6.8
Alkalinity - 120
Hardness- 300
Chlorine - 0

At this point I figured it was ok to add my first fish to the aqurium. So my first additions were a red wag platy and a balloon belly molly. I know its early as I have only had them 4 days but they look pretty healthy.

- Read the cycling links in my signature. If you can't return the fish, you'll be in for a lot of partial water changes (PWCs) to keep your water quality decent.

Ok now that you know what I have...here come the questions related to both fish additions, plants and some general.

1. I know about the whole 1 inch rule and according to petsmart the platy and balloon belly molly get to be around 3 inches, wasnt sure if this was accurate or not? I know I am kind of limited with what i can do with a 10 gallon so I wanted to know what recommendations you have as to future fish additions i could make in another week or two. Maybe some bottom dwellers? If I cant add too many more no big deal.

- First off, the inch per gallon "rule" isn't good for much. There's really no good rule of thumb that covers all fish. Some fish you can get away with much more than 1" per gallon; some don't belong in a tank, even if they pass the inch per gallon test.

- 3" is on the high end for a platy and really high for a balloon molly. Figure more like 2.5" for the platy and 2" for the balloon molly. I wouldn't add any more fish until you get the tank cycled. After that, you still have some room for small bottom dwellers like khuli loaches and maybe a few small tetras like neons or glowlites.

2. If i go slightly over 10 inches of fish is it going to have a drastic effect? Some of the petsmart people who seemed fairly knowledgeable and seemed to be into the hobby themselves acted like it would be ok.

- It's rare that you'll find a person in the LFS that will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear and will sell more product. Take everything with a grain of salt until you find someone you can trust.

3. Kind of touching on question 1. In regards to schooling fish, corys for example, do they HAVE to be in schools? Do they get too stressed alone? It was recommended to me to get some bottom feeders but i dont know if i will have the room for them.

- Schooling fish really should be kept in groups. It reduces their stress levels and really brings out the fish's personalities. Cories could work for your tank if you get four of a smaller species like pandas or juliis.

4. In the short time I have had my two fish, I noticed that they do poop alot. The sand substrate i have is nice, but the poo is definitely more noticeable. Do I need to clean a tank with sand any more than I do vs one with gravel in regards to health of the fish? How often should I clean it? Also, any recommendations on how to clean a sand bottom...I've read some info online about it, but thought id get some ideas here.

- Clean the sand when you do a PWC. I generally swirl the vacuum around near the sand to stir up the waste, then suck it up.

5. Do you recommend keeping a dechlorinated bucket of water ready for water changes and evaporation? Additionally, if you let tap water sit for a few days will the chlorine evaporate so i dont need to add dechlorinator?

- Dechlorinator is a much better idea than trying to evaporate the chlorine. If you have chloramine in your water, it won't evaporate. Dechlorinator is cheap insurance and can help detoxify ammonia if your water parameters get out of control. I've found that Seachem Prime treats the most gallons per dollar.

6. I've only been feeding them once a day. How long should i keep that up for?

- I usually feed once a day unless I'm trying to grow fry or condition fish for breeding.

7. Should I add an airstone? Not sure if the Top fin filter gives off enough oxygen, fish seem ok and arent hanging out by the surface too much. If so, how often should I replace them.

- If you have some surface agitaiton, you really don't need an airstone. I don't run any in my tanks.

8. Due to the tank light being on for 8 to 12 hours a day, my water temp rises from 76 to 80 degrees over the course of that time, are these gradual temp changes ok for the fish?

- What kind of light are you running? If you've got incandescents, switch them out for some daylight spectrum CFLs. They run cooler and put out more light per watt. Four degrees is a fairly large swing. I'd see if you could do something to limit it.

Now in regards to plants...

1. Can plants still thrive in sand? Obviously they can get uprooted easily but wasnt sure if a sand substrate was ok for plant growth.

- Plants can do well in sand. I have some variety of sand in all my tanks, even my high-tech planted tank. Once the plants put down a good root structure, they're pretty hard to uproot in sand. I actually have to dig mine up rather than just pull them. Pulling them will break the stems before the roots dislodge. Sand doesn't hold any nutrients so if you may have to add root tabs for the plants.

2. Dont know how familiar you are with the top fin 10 gallon, but i have read the lights that come with it arent the best for plant growth (came with two tiny bulbs, one on each side of the cover). I went out and bought a 20 inch Aqueon Single Tube Strip Light which includes an 18 inch "Aquarium Spectrum Flourescent Lamp" Will this do the trick for the plants? I didnt notice the Aqueon box saying anywhere that it "provides day light".

If the two tiny bulbs are incandescents, you'd be best off returning the fluorescent strip light and replacing the incandescent bulbs with spiral daylight-spectrum CFLs. It's the cheapest way to upgrade your tank's ability to sustain live plants. I've got a pair of 18W CFLs over both my 20L and 29g and the plants grow well. If you don't see "daylight spectrum" or something similar on the box, look for a big number followed by a "K". This number is the rating on the Kelvin color temperature scale. Higher numbers are more blue in color. 6500K-10000K is a good range to look for.

3. I bought some Leaf Zone plant food. Is it worth buying or does it really help with plant growth?

- Leaf Zone is ok, but not the greatest. It provides potassium plus some micronutrients. I like a little Seachem Flourish for my low-light tanks. It's a more comprehensive mix since it doses some nitrogen and phosphorus in addition to the potassium and micros.
__________________
A man's errors are his portals of discovery.
Guide to The Fishless Cycle Cycling With Fish
My DIY LED Light Fixture
Feel free to PM me directly with questions.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 01:02 AM   #17
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Hobgob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,893
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKraken
Darn, the local walmart did not have the master kit. Their fish section looked awful btw. I did see the API Master Test Kit at Petsmart for $32. Looks like i may have to bite the bullet on that one.

I have a few additional questions.

When I originally dechlorinated the water, i didnt add my fish in until a week later. How long does it take for the dechlorinator to work...in my case for a 10 gallon tank?

Is aquarium salt for a freshwater tank really necessary? Or can you do without? I have read conflicting opinions on this on the internet and the people at the petsmart told me i should. In any event, when i first added water to the tank, I did add two tablespoons per the directions on the box.

Also, when I finally do get the test kit, I should probably test the water before I do a partial water change? No test has been completed on my water since before i added the fish.

Thanks again for your help!
So you fish is in right? That means your cycle is going and you need to test your water. Take some to your lfs or get an ammonia test kit for now until you get the money if you know someone who has a tank ask them for some water from their tank or some gravel. It should help speed things along. but you need go be doing pwc more then once a week if your tanks isn't cycled yet so. Cyclic isn't letting in run btw someone already told you this more then once so I'm sorry for repeating but it is important! You will have to test basically everyday and decided your water changes and the amount of water to change based on your readings.

Another thing by the description of your walmart you live close to me lol!
__________________
Hobgob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 12:08 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 19
No worries Hobgob, your comments and everyone else's have not fallen on deaf ears : ). Unfortunately i cant take my fish back at this point so I'm going to have to get my hands dirty so to speak with the fish in cycle. I went out and bought my api master test kit and plan to begin my PWC.

However, I believe an evil turn of events is beginning in my tank. I believe my fish have ich. At fist i thought the white speck on my platy were sand grains from the bottom. Well, a day or two later and there are more white sand grains on my fish's fins. They also seem to be scratching themselves on the sand and plants. And from pics i have seen of ich, this looks like what they might have. I have also read this can be due to bad water quality (hits head into wall).

So, i know that there are meds for this, any recommendations on what I should get to treat them.

Also, since im pretty sure both fish have it, is there any point in isolating them? Or can i just treat the tank? After doing my water changes of course?

Any info on this would be greatly appreciated! And you all have been super helpful!
__________________
TheKraken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 12:15 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Hobgob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,893
Many different way of treating it. You can isolate the fish because of the Ichs reproduction cycle. It's been a while since if dealt with it so I'd need some refreshing on it to.
An ich parasite attachs itself to a fish for so many days can't remember the. Breaks of falls to the grown and multiply. After the eggs hatch If they don't find a host in 48 hours then they will die.I forget how long it takes for them to hatch.
I no their would good solutions on google but just wait someone more helpful will come along
__________________
Hobgob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2011, 12:58 PM   #20
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Whitby, Ont,Canada
Posts: 2,763
Ok, where to begin. the tank isn't cycled, but you are stuck with it. Two fish won't overload the tank anytime soon. the 4 degree fluctuation is no big deal. Adding a heater to keep it at the highest temp it now reaches only means it will get 4 degrees hotter after you add the heater. Platies, mollies, and most corys don't need to have a heater in the tank. Room temp is more than adequate, and cooler water contains more dissolved oxygen and fewer bacteria. Adding more filtration will only allow you to keep more fish if you increase the size of water changes.
A Pyhthon is good tool but overkill if you only have one 10 gal tank.
__________________

__________________
Join a fish club. Don't have one in your area? Start one.
BillD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
beginner, plant, plants

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
beginner / advice required and ill fish mus Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 20 03-16-2011 11:30 PM
Mix of fish + plants - need advice ramon82 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 4 09-19-2010 04:27 AM
Hello! I am a complete beginner and nervous about getting my first fish. Advice? AnnaKP Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 11 04-09-2010 12:27 AM
Beginner advice chickenkev Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 9 03-24-2010 04:40 AM
beginner fish advice utahcutter Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 3 07-09-2003 09:04 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×