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Old 05-13-2013, 02:53 AM   #1
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Red face First Time Aquarium Owner

Ok, not really my first time, but the ones I had while growing up were run by my dad. The one I have now is all me.

Anyway, I signed up here so I could get advice from people who know what they are doing and have help when making decisions as to what to put in and what to avoid.

I guess I'll go into what I have going so far.

I'm currently unemployed so I am unable to afford the tank size I should have, but my fish is only an inch long so I don't think it's a pressing issue at the moment. When I get a job I'll start to save up for a 20 gallon tank.

Right now I have a 10 gallon brackish (about 1.006 when I checked earlier) and it has inside of it 1 Figure Eight Puffer Fish named Bruce Banfish. I know nothing about live plants so they're all plastic right now, but I'm looking into Java Ferns. There's a filter, a bubble chest, 5 decor objects with some caves (but he ignores those), either 10 or 11 fake plants of various size and colors, gravel, a heater (water stays between 76 and 78), and he is active/curious/eating well. His color is good, I think. He's not dull and his stomach is white. I'm pretty sure he's happy since he doesn't go up and down the side of the glass as often anymore. I feed him freeze dried blood worms and live brine shrimp for now, but I'm trying to find pond snails so I can breed them for him. He loves what I give him so far and eats until I stop feeding him. I've had him for...5 or 6 days now. I didn't know about cycling until after I got him and am working on that right now. I have the dried bacteria cultures to help it along and have looked up how to lower ammonia and the pH. The pH isn't that bad but the ammonia is so I'm doing partial water changes everyday with treated tap water.

Um...I think that's it for now. If I remember something else I'll make a new post.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:00 AM   #2
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I'm jealous of your puffer. Do you have any pics?

Anyway I'm still fairly new, but from what I've learned so far it's easier starting with plastic plants. That way you will get a build up of nitrates since its the hardest chemical to test for. Since the nitrates are absorbed by plants for nutrients.

Keep up on your water changes .25 ammonia max.

You can get plants if you want, they will help battle algae. Or you can get some shrimp. If you go the shrimp route I would wait until you see signs of algea so you don't starve the shrimp. Or an otocinclus cat fish is what I chose(gets no bigger then 2 inches)
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:01 AM   #3
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Slamander Larvae

I also have 5 Spotted Salamander larvae. I found their eggs in a pond while searching for frog eggs. When they formed into what were definitely not tadpoles I looked for common salamanders in my area and identified the eggs. Only 7 hatched because the other eggs went bad and I didn't realize it at the time. 2 of those 7 died.

They are 2 weeks old now and eating live brine shrimp (which is why I have the little shrimpies in the first place). I have my favorite in it's own container because I'm going to keep it if it lives, 3 in a larger container, and one in quarantine because he keeps laying on his back but isn't dead. He ate today so I'm not sure what's going on with him.

They started off in pond water, then pond water mixed with treated tap water, and now just tap water because getting to the pond it tough and ends up with me covered in ticks. They're big enough not to rely on the micro organisms anymore so I'm pretty sure it's ok.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jweickum View Post
I'm jealous of your puffer. Do you have any pics?

Anyway I'm still fairly new, but from what I've learned so far it's easier starting with plastic plants. That way you will get a build up of nitrates since its the hardest chemical to test for. Since the nitrates are absorbed by plants for nutrients.

Keep up on your water changes .25 ammonia max.

Have fun.
I'm working on getting some pictures up. I JUST got here so I'm still figuring that out.

The water is at 2.0 right now! I put some treatment in it yesterday though and have the bacteria that I add a little more of every day. It should start going down soon. I'm keeping a close eye on Bruce but he seems happy and curious about everything. He was nipping at the fake plants earlier.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:06 AM   #5
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Can't wait for pics. I would go with the Otto if you can. Fairly cheap and they also eat the fish food that falls into the ground.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:28 AM   #6
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You can't wait for the bacteria to bring your ammonia down. Anything above .5 can really start harming your fish's gills. Do 50% water changes daily until its down below .5 to be safe. Your bacteria can still work while doing water changes, but I don't trust them very much.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:29 AM   #7
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Can't wait for pics. I would go with the Otto if you can. Fairly cheap and they also eat the fish food that falls into the ground.
Otto?

I'm not familiar with some of the nicknames for species yet. I may have looked at it already. I've been desperately searching for a scavenger type critter. I really want a hermit but I can't seem to find one that is the size I want.

I want a bumblebee goby though. I've heard they're decent tankmates for F8s.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:29 AM   #8
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Also avoid ammonia neutralizers like ammo lock. They mess with the beneficial bacteria cycle.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
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You can't wait for the bacteria to bring your ammonia down. Anything above .5 can really start harming your fish's gills. Do 50% water changes daily until its down below .5 to be safe. Your bacteria can still work while doing water changes, but I don't trust them very much.
I was going to do 2 gallon changes per day. I don't have a proper way of getting the water out yet. I use a gallon canister.

I'm not entirely sure how the water changes help though. The ammonia is coming from it, isn't it? Not just the fish? Idk, but I trust you people so I'll go on and change 4-5 gallons a day.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:25 AM   #10
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Test your water from the tap. It should be at .0 ammonia. The ammonia come from your fish's waste and any food that could be rotting on the tank floor.

As long as your not over feeding, once you get the ammonia back down to .25 you shouldn't need to do a whole lot of water changes after that.

Good luck and I look forward to anymore progress with your tank. Any more questions feel free to message me, I'll answer faster.
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