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Old 06-24-2013, 05:52 AM   #1
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Starting our new community aquarium

Hello,

My wife and I have bought our first aquarium and are looking for some advise to create the best possible environment for our new friends. The tank we have is a 64 litre and at present we have left the tank to settle for a week after filling and adding our de-chlorinator. We then added x3 xray tetra's and are looking to add the next few fish over the next month or so:

x3 further xray tetra's
x2 male guppy's (we are hoping to avoid a million fry appearing in the tank! Any advice of whether to male would become aggressive to one another is appreciated)
x2 rainbowfish (found online that 'Lake kutubu's' only grow to 10cm's which would prevent over-crowding in our relatively small tank. Would they be happy only in a group of two though?)
x1 cordoras catfish (Would the tetra's be at risk of getting munched? We would like some snails as well, any one had any trouble of catfish sucking them out of the shell as a tasty treat?!)

That would take us up to 60cm's of fish which should be fair accounting for live plants, bog wood etc that also take up water capacity

So does any of that jump out as an immediate no-no to the experienced one's? Any other tips you'd like to offer or easily available fish that may be more suitable than those we have picked?

Thanks!
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alreadyaddicted View Post
Hello,

My wife and I have bought our first aquarium and are looking for some advise to create the best possible environment for our new friends. The tank we have is a 64 litre and at present we have left the tank to settle for a week after filling and adding our de-chlorinator. We then added x3 xray tetra's and are looking to add the next few fish over the next month or so:

x3 further xray tetra's
x2 male guppy's (we are hoping to avoid a million fry appearing in the tank! Any advice of whether to male would become aggressive to one another is appreciated)
x2 rainbowfish (found online that 'Lake kutubu's' only grow to 10cm's which would prevent over-crowding in our relatively small tank. Would they be happy only in a group of two though?)
x1 cordoras catfish (Would the tetra's be at risk of getting munched? We would like some snails as well, any one had any trouble of catfish sucking them out of the shell as a tasty treat?!)

That would take us up to 60cm's of fish which should be fair accounting for live plants, bog wood etc that also take up water capacity

So does any of that jump out as an immediate no-no to the experienced one's? Any other tips you'd like to offer or easily available fish that may be more suitable than those we have picked?

Thanks!
Welcome to fish keeping (watch out: it's addicting!) and to Aquarium Advice! Before you start putting more fish in there you should probably read this article and the one on cycling, as I am guessing that you haven't cycled your tank or even know what cycling is

I think that you should worry about that before you get any more fish as there will be issues if you do and lots of money wasted (trust me on this, been there and lost a bunch of fish)

If you have already done that, then I'd be happy to help with stocking, or even discuss stocking! Good luck, it may seem hard at the beginning but trust me it gets easier!
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply AquaKai,

I have had a good read of the article and find it really interesting, there are a few things that are confusing me a little though. I'll run through what i've done so far and hopefully my ramblings will make sense!

We bought the tank and filled it with tap water (filling it with live plants, moss balls etc we also have some bog wood soaking in a bucket trying to get rid of the tannins!). Straight away we had the pump running and heater. We put in the advised amount of bioactive tapsafe ( Bioactive Tap Safe 125ml by Interpet | Pets at Home ) to make the water safe and take out the chlorine. We left the tank sitting for a week and took in a sample of the water to our store. They tested it and said it was then safe to use.

So we then added our three tetra's. At the same time we added some filter start ( AK Pet Products - INTERPET Filter Start, Aquarium, Fish Tank Water Treatment. ). I understood that this was designed to be used to speed up the nitrogen cycle and was safe to use with a small number of fish as your source of ammonia? We haven't noticed any ill effects with the fish and are keeping up with a bi-daily treatment as recommended.

I guess what im getting at is that by doing this are we safely cycling the aquarium? It'll be annoying if not but at the end of the day we just want the best for the fish
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:39 PM   #4
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Hmm...sent a post but it hasn't appeared..hope this doesn't duplicate! Anyway:

Thanks for your reply, I have read the article and find it really informative. There are just a couple of things that are confusing me though, if I write what we've done so far hopefully you can say if i've gone wrong!

We bought the tank, filled with tap water and added bioactive tapsafe (as well as filter, heater etc)to take chlorine out of the water. We left it for a week without fish and took a sample of water into the store, who said it was safe and so we added our three tetra's.

Then at the same time as adding the three tetra's we added 'interpet filter start'. I was advised that this basically speeds the nitrogen cycle whilst using a small amount of fish as an ammonia source. So we were planning on leaving the little guys to settle for another week or so (whilst the cycle also takes place with the aid of the filter start treatment every other day).

I guess what im getting at is that is this a safe way to cycle the tank? It would be frustrating if not but the most important thing to us is the safety and happiness of our new fish!
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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It's good to see that you're concerned about the safety of your fish, as it seems too many don't really when they start out.

I honestly have never heard of either of the things that you put into your tank. That doesn't mean that they haven't worked though. I know that this is going to be the last thing you want me to say but I think that you need to buy yet another thing. I am assuming that you're from the UK, so I found this on the UK's Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/API-Freshwat...arium+test+kit this is a test kit that will show you all of your tank's specs. It's probably the cheapest that you'll find the kit and trust me it is worth having it because to be honest you'll probably have some issues down the road (I know I did).

I would just keep an eye on the fish and see how they look over the course of a few days. If they start to seem sluggish I'd do a 20-50% PWC (partial water change), and use the bioactive tapsafe (it seems to be a good product based on the reviews I've read). The Interpret Filter Start seems to be a bit iffy though. I would just keep an eye on them though. I know that this is frustrating and I hated the beginning as well, the people at the pet stores will often lie to you just to get your money and not care about your fishes' health.

I hope that this helps! Good Luck!
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:38 AM   #6
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Thanks again, your help is really appreciated.

We managed to find the product you recommended at our local store (cost a little more than amazon but we didn't want to wait on delivery if the fish were at risk). So the damage report was:

Ph 7.6 (ouch..we are going to the store to get something to reduce the ph today)
ammonia 0.5
nitrite 0.5

So not as bad as it could be but not ideal. We did around a 30% PWC using a gravel cleaning syphon (and tap safe water to replace) and will be testing our levels again tomorrow. Gave us a chance to clean out the white filter pad within our pump as well (using the old aquarium water).

Having great fun with this, hopefully we'll have a thriving aquarium in a few months time!
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
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I'm glad to see that you're still excited about this! Good job getting the water kit The pH isn't your problem, it's actually ok for your fish. Most will adjust to whatever pH you have. Your problem is your ammonia. You want that to be 0ppm. I would just keep doing PWCs until that's down to 0 and keep an eye on it. You want there to be Ammonia: 0ppm, Nitrite: 0ppm, and nitrate: >5ppm (it can be more than this it just depends on your bioload).

I just want to say that you're doing a superb job on the watching of the levels and cleaning of the tank! Much better than what I was starting out.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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Nearly there! Well, kind of! Think we have got the tank in the second stage of the cycle. Now getting consistent readings of 0ppm for ammonia and between 0.25 and 0.5ppm of nitrite. The nitrites did spike once to 1ppm but a quick 50 % water change brought that down.

We haven't bothered to try changing the ph following your advice and we also thought that with all the water changes we were going to need to do anyway, it was going to be pointless! We have very alkali water in the part of England where we live.

Cant wait to start getting some more fish in there - will be worth the wait!
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