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Old 06-19-2004, 12:37 PM   #1
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New Tank, First Snags

Hello everybody! I have hit my first snag w/my 16g FW, actually two of them. So far, the advice I've seen on here is much better than what's in some of the books, so I will turn to the forum.

First full week w/my new setup (2 Platys, 2 Zebra danios), putting together a peaceful tank, put a female Betta (from a community tank) in last night. Found her dead this morning, the clerk at Petco said the Betta might have been sick when I bought it. I removed her immediately, but now how do I know if my other 4 are okay? If she was sick, she could have spread something into the tank (I don't have a quarantine tank yet...sorry).

Secondly, tested Ammonia last night 7 p.m. - zip. Tested it 15 minutes ago and it's starting to register (.25ppm), I think. These old eyes aren't what they used to be, but I *swear* it's got a bit of a green tint. I may very well be starting to cycle already. Heading to LFS for some RO water, because I think this means I'm supposed to do a partial water replacement, and I want to get some water ready just in case.

Am I doing what I *should* be doing? Any advice would be truly appreciated.

--AquaBear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 06-19-2004, 01:24 PM   #2
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Did you have the female betta? or was she in a community tank at the store? I would wait till your ammonia is readable before doing a water change. I keep thinking there's nitrite in my tank and everyone else I show it to says i'm crazy. Also do you have the strip or liquid tests? I've found out the hard way that the strip tests are basically useless. I would just leave the other fish and watch them carefully. Did you make sure to acclimate the betta and everything and is it at a stable temperature? When you buy a new fish, try to make sure there are no dead ones in the tank w/ them, especially at chain stores like petco.
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~12-13 gal FW hex w/ 4 female bettas and a recovering black skirt tetra

~55 galFW ~6 zebra danios (I think, haven't seen some in a while), ~7 black skirt tetras, 1 clown pleco, 1 cory cat, 3 pit bull plecos, 1 baby guppy in a breeders net, and 1 red minor tetra

I also have a couple other tanks w/o fish as right now I do not have the room/time and there is a chance of moving in the "near" future so I don't want to get more fish for them. I'm downsizing for the moment.
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Old 06-19-2004, 01:29 PM   #3
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You probably don't need to worry about buying RO from the LFS. Just tap water and dechlor should be just fine.
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Old 06-19-2004, 01:54 PM   #4
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No, I didn't already have it. It's one my son picked out. I had a feeling I probably shouldn't have, but I'm really trying to get the kid interested in something.

I do get a very tiny reading of ammonia, but I know it can build up to toxic levels quickly, and I don't want to lose any more fish. But at the same time, I don't want to interrupt the cycle if it's getting ready to go.
Either way, I have taken an oath to NEVER buy fish from a chain store again...they're a conglomeration that I believe carries fish as just another home pet accessory...a LFS makes their living with fish ONLY, and I think the people who work there really do care more about them. The girl who sold me this fish could just as easily have been flipping burgers. What was I thinking?

And RogerMcAllen, the water in Colorado is heavily treated with chloramine, so I'm real leary that even a good chemical additive would give me decent water...most people I know at work with tanks go the RO route.

Thanks to both of you for the advice. I will keep watch on the fish for the next couple of days. The lady at my LFS said the Betta might not have been in there long enough to spread anything, so I'm crossing my fingers.

--AquaBear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 06-19-2004, 02:41 PM   #5
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I would watch the water every day and do your water changes as necessary, but don't add any more fish for a good 6-8 weeks until your cycle is done and the tank is good and stable. It takes time for the bacteria to establish, so waiting on more fish is going to go a long way to easing any difficulties you might encounter.
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Old 06-19-2004, 03:02 PM   #6
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AquaBear
Is your City water very hard or have a high and well buffered PH? That is why I use RO. Before throwing RO in the tank do a little testing in a couple of glasses. Try different ratios of tap and RO water to get the hardness and PH needed. Let the water set in the glass for 18 to 24 hours and test again to see if the PH holds. I found that for my City well water a mix of 33% RO does the trick(3 parts tap to 1 part RO). That plus a dechlorinator should work. Using nothing but RO water will lower the PH to about 6 and there will be no trace elements needed by the fish.
Another route you may try instead just to get the chloramine down is a faucet type filter like the Pur Plus. The carbon in the filter should remove a good amount of the chloramine. The filter plus using a dechlor from the pet store should do it. As a bonus you have better tasting drinking water.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-19-2004, 07:53 PM   #7
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I gave some advice on water changes in your other thread. I am sorry to hear about the female betta. Keep in mind, that many are sold ill. They are produced in a "puppy-mill" like fashion. Although, from your other thread, you said you might start a betta only tank, which any betta would love. A 2.5 or 5 gal tank with heater and small sponge filter work great.
It is possible to keep bettas in comunity settings, but you do need to start with a healthy fish. I just added a red female betta to my very peaceful community and all seems well (she was QTed before hand).
Many of the dechlors take out both chlorine and chloramine. The city of Calgary treats their water, which is from the river. As a student, I have gone the cheap route with my tanks and have had great success--dechlor is the only thing I add.
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Old 06-19-2004, 11:46 PM   #8
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Thank you all again for the terrific advice. My pH is right around 6.8, alkaline is 20, kH is 25, Nitrite 0, Nitrate is trace at about 15, Ammonia is (I think) .25ppm, temperature is 76. I'm not sure about the Ammonia, but it does look like there's a hint of green in the tube.

I went to LFS to buy tube test kits for the rest of my tests (people on here have convinced me the strips are not as good), and while I was there, I picked up a Mini-Bow 5 to start a Betta-only tank (complete setup for $40, I couldn't pass it up). They really are beautiful.

Much appreciation to everyone.

--AquaBear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 06-20-2004, 12:39 PM   #9
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Good deal on the betta tank. I'm sure you and your new betta will be spending lots of quality time together
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Old 06-20-2004, 07:08 PM   #10
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I had a built-in bookshelf in the living room w/removable shelves, nice and dark, and out of the way. I put him in a black tank with black gravel and a black background. It makes his radiant blue stand out incredibly well. He's the prettiest thing in the tank. I popped in a silk Calpera mexicano (sp) and a little bridge so he has places to hide, and he looks very happy. He had been in a community tank at LFS, so I hope he appreciates the peace and quiet.

I did a 10% water change today (in the 16g FW), ammonia is still registering around .25ppm. I tested pH with strips, 6.8...tested it with the tubes, 7.2. Quite a difference, but I have to believe the tubes are more accurate, based on what everybody has told me on here. I am testing the ammonia sometimes twice a day now, and will do water changes as frequently as necessary to keep the kids happy. I think I'm CYCLING.

--AquaBear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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