Originally Posted by johnhartigan
I have a black skirt tetra a black tetra and I think a red eye tetra, so supplys I would need for water changes a 5 gal
bucket dechlorinter and API master kit? And 65% water changes?!! Holy cow that's like 13 gallons give or take in a 20 gallon tank? And when I dechlorinate the replacement water should I let it sit over night? And this might be a little difficult for me ATM cause I have a kid and work long hours would it be okay if I did like 15 to 25 pwc
Yes. You need all of those things. If 65% seems too much, go ahead and do 50%, but be sure and test the water BEFORE you change the water the next day to see where you are at. If it's dangerously high, do a 65% water change most definetely! 50% WC
at least for the first 3-4 days, then do 25% for 3-4 more days, all the while checking the water before the WC
. Remember, what you are doing with WC
's is removing pee, poop and access food. Since your tank is not fully cycled, there isn't enough bacteria to keep your amonia and nitrates down. Also, do not over feed! In fact, you can feed your fish once every other day to keep their bio-load at a bare minimum. They won't starve, so don't worry. Definetely do not feed according the instructions on the food containers! Thats too much! Companies want you to feed a lot so you'll buy more
So this is what I do. It works really well for me, but everyone has their own ways of fish care. I use a large gravel vaccum on the end of rubber tube and gently, but quickly move the vaccum in an up and down motion into the gravel, slowly moving from one end of the tank to the other. Sometimes I have to tap it to drop the gravel, but that's fine. Once you get the hang of it it is quite quick and easy. I keep doing this until 50% of the water is gone, then I dump most the water into the toilet and pour some into my house plants. They LOVE it!
-rinse out the bucket
-check the tank temp
-get the new water as close to the temp as possible (this can be frustrating at first)
-fill the bucket
-add water conditioner per directions (my fav is stress coat or Start Right; easy measuring)
- add Stress Zyme per directions to the bucket.
-Next, carefully and slowly pour the water into the tank. If you do it too fast you will have to rearrange the gravel and what not afterward and will cause anything you missed to cloud your water.
You will soon find after 3 days of doing this you will be better at it. After 7 days you'll be quite fast at it and able to guess the temp almost exactly! (still use the themometer though
) Really the key right now is to keep up the frequent water changes and testing the water prior to the WC
. It might seem like a lot of work now, but it will be worth it in 2 weeks when your tank levels out and the cycle is complete.
I really stress that you should borrow some gravel from someone. Another thing you can do is squeeze mature filter media into your water. I have also done this to cycle a tank instantly in emergency situations.
I love black skirt tetras! IME though, if kept singly they get pretty mean. They calm down and squable amongst eachother only sometimes if you have 7-8. 6 is the bare minimum, but even then, mine were mean to other fish, until I had 8. If you want different colors, you can add White Skirt Tetras also because they are the exact species, just a different color. I would stay clear of the other color varieties of skirt tetra because they have been injected with dye and usually do not fair as well and have shorter lives. The color fades anyway and then looks pretty weird. Is the black tetra a black phantom? They are very much like the skirt tetras far as personality goes. They also require to be in a shoal of at least 6, better 7 or 8. I am not familiar with the behavior of the red eye tetra, but I would guess it also requires to be in a shoal 6+.