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Old 06-08-2002, 05:29 AM   #1
Pat
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Introduction old thread 2002

Hi, folks! I'm new to AA.com and fish-keeping.

One friend suggested that my home needed something "living" besides me. Another said that, according to Feng Shui, a fish near the front door brings wealth into the house. Although I love dogs, I'm not home enough to do one justice, I'm trying to sell my house, and I needed a relaxing hobby. So, starting an aquarium was the logical choice.

My sister and nephew, visiting from my hometown of Buffalo, NY, helped get me started. I have a 20-gal. freshwater tank with 5 tetra serpae, a wonderful piece of driftwood, and a few aesthetically pleasing (but plastic) plants.

I'd appreciate any advice from you experienced aquarists.

Thanks!
Pat
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Old 06-08-2002, 05:51 AM   #2
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Oops! Gotta transfer already to the "Freshwater" crowd! -- Pat
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Old 06-08-2002, 07:55 AM   #3
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Hello Pat,
I am not sure exactly what advice you need.... For just straight out general advice we need to know more about your tank.
  • filtration
  • temp
  • ammonia
  • nitrite
  • ph
  • how often are water changes preformed
  • anything else you do to the tank
Without a little more info, it is pretty difficult to give good advice If you have anymore specific questions, please feel free to post.

This thread was moved to it's current forum.
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Old 06-09-2002, 05:36 AM   #4
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Hello Pat,
I am not sure exactly what advice you need.... For just straight out general advice we need to know more about your tank.

Without a little more info, it is pretty difficult to give good advice If you have anymore specific questions, please feel free to post.


OK, here goes...

I got advice on my set up from a reputable dealer, who really discussed my situation and what I wanted out of a beginner setup. His recommendations tracked those David E. Boruchowitz's "Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums" pretty well. I've got a 20-gal. glass tank, 24wx16hx12d.

I set up six days ago, adding Cycle and Prime to establish the tank according to directions, but my filter stopped working (gravel particle in the impeller, I think). I got the filter working again and added 5 serpae tetra on Friday evening (day five) and fed them Saturday evening (a very little bit of Sera GVG-mix -- flke/freeze-dried).

filtration --
Penguin BIO-Wheel 170 power filter (combination of carbon/polyfiber filter pad and BIO-Wheel)

temp -- The submersible heater is set for 77 degrees F, but the temp is 80 degrees F. right now. (I just added 25% new water. It was apparently a bit warm.)

ammonia, nitrite --
The BIO-Wheel is supposted to "eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite on contact." I don't have a test kit for either of these. Should I?

how often are water changes preformed --
I was told that water changes of 1/3 of the tank every two weeks is fine, but I'm wondering. My tap water pH is 7.5. I tested the pH this morning at 4:00 a.m. (I'm having trouble getting used to the sound of "running water" outside my bedroom door!) and it was 5.0. Changing out about 25% of the water (adding one drop of Prime per gallon of new water) brought the pH up to 7.0. What might cause the pH change from Monday to Saturday?

anything else you do to the tank --
I have a "rock" air bubbler, standard light hood/tank cover that came with the tank.

Community stocking --
I know the rule is 20 inches max of one-inch young fish for a new 20-gallon tank (not all at once). Will that be too many once they're fully grown? And what would be good fish to add to the serpae tetras? I'm looking for an attractive balance of color, size, and strata, and enough hardiness to tolerate this aquari-fry.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Pat
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Old 06-09-2002, 12:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
added 5 serpae tetra on Friday evening (day five)
Personally I think you added to many fish at once expecially given these where the first fish in the tank. While CYCLE is supposed to contain millions of bactera its hard to prove this with out a microscope. Shelf life is something I always wondered about this these types of products as most bactera require oxygen and a source of food. Well I can see how the dieing bactera in the bottle would allow for a constant source of food where would the oxygen come from?

Quote:
The submersible heater is set for 77 degrees F, but the temp is 80 degrees F. right now.
When I had freshwater tanks I would always use cold tapwater to refill the tanks. I had heard that often times bad minerals and metal deposist will come from the hotwater heater so I did not use any water from the hot side. If you had a small extra heater you could heat the cold water up to the tank temp before adding it.

Quote:
The BIO-Wheel is supposted to "eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite on contact." I don't have a test kit for either of these. Should I?
Yes, you should always have an ammonia test kit at the minimum. Ammonia is extremly toxic to fish and while the biowheel should remove ammonia very fast I doubt it will be "on contact" expecally in a new tank. The bio wheel has to have time for the bactera bed to grow and become effective. At this point I am guessing it has not gotten to that point.

At what time did you test the PH on your tank? Was it also at 4:00am? If so i am guessing the lights in the tank where off? The PH in your tank will change durring the course of the day. One item that affects PH is the oxygen conecentration on your water. The more oxygen in the water the higher the PH. A tank will test lower for PH in the morning just prior to the lights comming on vs in the evening or mid day. I would not think it would be as drastic as 5.0 to 7.4.

The rule should say 20" of adult fish not 20" of young fish. When you get the fish you should have a general idea on how large the fish will get. If the fish will get 3" in size as an adult on average then use that number in your calculation. If you got 1 fish that is 1" in lenght now but will grow to 3" then you have room for 17" more of fish.

Also note: this calculation is assuming you have a fully functional bactera bed. It would be guarinteed death if you added 20" or even 10" of fish to a 20 gal tank from the start. Add a few fish (2-3) at a time every few weeks to allow the bactera bed to adjust and grow with the added bio load of the tank.
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Old 09-09-2002, 10:34 PM   #6
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I know this is late in the day but I would have to say please swap to real plants, your fish will like them more.
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Old 09-10-2002, 05:13 AM   #7
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i suspect you have soft water--you have well or city? at any rate, culprit that lowered your ph so much was probably the driftwood--did you soak it before putting it in? that will help minimize the tannic acid released but in my experience it will still release enough to alter the ph even though you won't be able to see it if you have very soft water like i do....as for the ammonia and nitrite dying on contact--that will be after your bacterial colonies have become mature--please read up on aquarium water chemistry--it will be the best thing you can do for your fish, and it will save a lot of lives in there! yes, i think you need a test kit for nitrite and ammonia, even once the colonies are established they may die off during treatments, vigorous cleaning, etc..you may as well benefit from a gh, kh test if you plan on keeping your driftwood, probably wouldn't hurt anyways--soft water is prone to large, rapid ph swings and these can be very detrimental to your little buddies! definately don't add anymore fish right now, especially until you understand the chemistry and have a means of testing it, or you will almost surely be wasting your time and money...best luck!
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