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Old 08-12-2005, 01:12 AM   #1
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Somewhat new to this hobby, looking for comments and advice

I got into this hobby about 6 months ago. I got a 10 gallon tank for my dorm room (not a lot of room) and got a couple of fancy goldfish. They did alright for about 4 months, then they both died within about a month of each other. Don't really know why. I kept pretty good track of ammonia levels and whatnot. I think maybe there was too much nitrate in the water. I'm going to try to more closely monitor the water quality I guess. More frequent water changes, possibly. I also had an old cheap filter on the tank. I just got my current filter about 2 months ago (right after the goldfish died).

So I decided to turn it into a warm water aquarium.

Now I have
a 10 gallon glass tank
hood with full spectrum florescent lamp
a penguin 100 filter (with BIO-wheel; rated at 100GPH)
a Whisper heater (50W)
an air pump and air stone (sort of medium sized)
gravel substrate

The water quality around here tends to be kind of hard, with fairly basic pH. I treat it so its around 7.4. I don't treat it for hardness. I keep the water at about 77 F or so.

So before the bio-cycle broke down I decided to get a few fish. I got 2 Serpae Tetras. I got a free baby guppy along with the Serpaes because the guy that sold the fish to me didn't notice he had scooped the baby guppy into the bag as well. then a week later I got 5 Neon Tetras. Bad decision. The Serpae's turned out to be notorious fin nippers and within about 3 weeks all but one of my Neons were dead. I've never heard of an aggressive Tetra, but oh well. I took the Serpaes out and gave 'em to a friend of mine.

So with only the one Neon in there and the guppy (which, by the way, has grown and I'm liking it more and more), I decided to get some more fish... so I got 5 Red wagtail Platys. They seem to be doing well with the Neon and the guppy. They get along well. They're a bit more active than the Neon and the guppy, but they're not aggressive.

I also have two live plants in there, both are bunched Bacopas. I've had them since I got the Serpaes (about 2 months ago) and they seem to be doing very well.

I plan to replace the 4 Neons that died eventually. I think I'll be ok because the filter is rated to be sufficient for a 20 gallon tank.

I have pictures, if anyone is interested. It looks decent.

I really wish I had the money for a 30-50 gallon tank and accessories.

anyone have any comments?
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:23 AM   #2
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well the neon isn't active because they prefer tobe in schools.. and your guppy would probably be happier with some females.
Anyway,i think your already fully stocked with the platies (don't they get 2"???) and serpae tetras don't nip if you keep them in schools of 6 or more. As a rule of thumb, tetras like to be in schools.
im kind of biast because im not big on platies, mollies, and livebearers in general... LOL, i think you will have to choose either the neons or the platies becuase i don't think you have enough room for both.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:35 AM   #3
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Yeah I figured that'd be the advice I'd be given. I suppose I'll just stay with my current tank setup for now. Maybe I'll convince myself it's worth the money for a bigger tank and whatnot. And yeah the Platies are kind of messy.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:51 AM   #4
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From my experiance, I find livebearers to be total ninfomaniacs. My female is just about 3" long, and the male is only 2". I never thought she would get so big. They do grow and reproduce. Especially if you keep clean water. The nice thing about them is they are all level feeders so they do a nice job cleaning everything up from the bottom of your tank, and sometimes even grase on the algae.
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:02 AM   #5
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Welcome to AA!

First off, stop treating your waters pH unless it is a level of 8.2+. When you start messing with the pH, your pH can swing and cause deaths. Do you know what your pH is after water has set out for 24 hours?

When you are stocking your tank, the general rule is 1 inch of fish per gal of water. So you're looking at about 10 inches of fish. This number can be increased to a higher number if the tank is stocked properly with fish at different swimming levels. But for beginners, it's not advisable. The 1 inch per gal is the ultimate size of the fish. For example, if you buy a Serpae Tetra when it is 1 inch, you can't fit 10 into the tank. They get too big. You'd actually only want 5.

It is best to start big. When you compare the ease of maintaining a 29 gal tank over a 10 gal tank, it's no question that it is easier to maintain the 29. If you do decide to upgrade, go as big as you can. This really is an enjoyable hobby, but it takes some work and dedication to your fish. I hope everything works out for you. It is easy to be discouraged with a small tank on the first try.
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:24 AM   #6
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yeah, i started off with a 5 gallon tank and when i was 12 years old i bought a platy, a swordtail, 5 neon tetraas, and a goldfish and a pleco!!!!

They all died.. except for 2 neons that lived for a couple of years.
Then i got one goldfish and had it for 5 years!!! all by itself.

anyway.. now ive got a 55 gal and an empty 10 g and empty 5 g... ( i need to get accessories for them. i think im gonna do a betta in the 5 and dwarf freshwater puffers in the 10...

anway, definitely upgrade as big as you can, becuase now that ive got my 55, i just want bigger and bigger and bigger!!!!!!!1
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Old 08-12-2005, 04:05 PM   #7
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Id like to see pictures. Im always looking for ideas on how to improve my own tank.

-Kyle
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Old 08-12-2005, 07:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by quadrider5953
Id like to see pictures. Im always looking for ideas on how to improve my own tank.

-Kyle
brows through the photogallery... its awesome.
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Old 08-13-2005, 06:10 AM   #9
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The tank in its current form.

Also, my pH for tap water after its been sitting out for 24 hours happens to be 7.5, so I'm going to stop treating for pH. That number seems fine to me. thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-13-2005, 11:34 AM   #10
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Yup, your pH is fine out of the tap. Do you have real seashells in the tank?
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Old 08-13-2005, 10:41 PM   #11
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yes but I figured they'd be alright to put in there, I've had them for years and I washed them off really well. They've been in the tank since I set it up. They alter the pH somehow, don''t they? Seems like I heard something like that somewhere.
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Old 08-13-2005, 11:24 PM   #12
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Real Seashells will increase the pH and hardness in the tank. It can be a good thing, just as long as your levels don't get TOO high. Do you know what the levels are in the tank for hardness and pH?
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:51 AM   #13
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pH is approx the same, 7.5, but I don't know about hardness, as I don't have a test kit for that.
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:54 PM   #14
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one of my fish mysteriously disappeared. Was there one day then gone the next. Checked the filter and dug all around the gravel a little and couldn't find anything. Think he was eaten? It was one of the red wagtail platies. My other fish seem fine.

In other news, took water measurements today right after water change

pH - 7.2
hardness - 150
ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0 - 0.5 ppm
Nitrate - 20 ppm
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Old 08-23-2005, 11:05 AM   #15
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The levels are looking great!

The fish could have been eaten. And it could be that someday you will look in the tank and see the decayed body. Keep an eye out for it and keep testing your ammonia. If you see present ammonia, look for the fish. He could be rotting in the tank.
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:57 PM   #16
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will do. I wonder what could've caused him to seem fine one day then the next day not? I mean, do you think the other fish were conspiring against him, and one day decided to off him? Maybe he knew too much and they had to shut him up.

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