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Old 04-25-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
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No idea what I'm doing. Basically.

Hi guys! As evidenced by my join date and post count, I am brand new here and I am one of the lovely idiot noobs who did no research on the interwebs and has a nice 10 gallon tank with three black skirt tetras in it. My Mom has a 29gal with three black skirts as well. We started off with a 10 gallon for me, just in case I didn't want to stick with aquarium-stuffs anymore. It's only been a couple days, but it's fun so far...even "swimming" in my tank re-arranging stuff.

Never heard of cycling before (cept in bio class. Hurhur). Trying to figure out how to do that without completely killing my fishies.

We owned aquariums a lot when I was little (dunno if my Mom knows what cycling is). I'm also in the middle of final exams in college! 8D And procrastinating studying for them right now. Oh, yes, I'm /good/...

Trying to catch up on research and figure out what in the heck I'm doing. Freaking out and kind of thrashing myself over this a little...bad, bad fishie owner. Hope I don't kill them on accident...poor fishies.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA, youve come to the right place a lot of us on here made the same mistake as you, including myself.
I suggest you buy an api master test kit (liquid) so you can keep an eye on your water parameters... Im sure someone on here has a how to: fish-in cycle link on their signature, so I wont try and find it, but I suggest doing 50% pwc's daily until you get the test kit, and learn more about the nitrogen cycle
Im sure they'll be fine, all my fish survived my cycle process
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:07 PM   #3
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Just went and got the api kit...getting a lot of eye-rolling from my Mom, since the petco person disagreed with what I was doing, says to not do a PWC of more than 10% a day, etc, and (according to my brother) the PETCO person knows far more than the internet.

I'm just a little upset at this point, and not exactly sure where and what to believe. I want to do the best for my fish.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:27 PM   #4
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Well, the people at Petco and Petsmart are the WORST to trust, followed by people at the LFS. That's a general consensus on teh interwebs. We don't make any money off of you, they do.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:31 PM   #5
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The more you're around the more you'll learn that a lot of people who work in pet stores don't know very much about fish. Our petsmart has a sign that they are hiring for their fish dept... No experience needed.
When you are cycling the tank you need to keep the pollutants (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) at a minimum. These things quickly become toxic for fish. The more clean water they get, the less stress they endure. It is much easier to cycle without fish but since that's not feasible you need to dilute the water with partial water changes as much as possible. You can easily do 50% or more. It won't harm the fish but leaving water with dangerous parameters (high ammonia for example) will.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:59 PM   #6
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Welcome to AA Nohika ... as was already said ... you've come to the right place.
The secret to success are PWC's and testing the water parameters. Ammonia can build up quickly and in the aquarium world .. smaller is not necessarily easier. Smaller (5 -10 gallons) tanks give you less room for errors as you have less water volume to help dilute ammonia.. so PWC's with NON chlorinated water is a must. Chlorine kills the bacteria your tank needs for the cycling ... so water right out of the tap without being treated is a no no. If you haven't already .. get yourself de-chlorinator. I'm sure the Petco / Petsmart can safely help you with that
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:03 PM   #7
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I have one that came with my tank, plus some extra. I talked (hah) to my Mom about transferring my tetras over to her tank, since eventually they'll get too big for it, but she flat-out refused and told me I was just being silly. She thinks this whole thing is silly and refuses to let me change more than 2 gallons a day, if that. She tells me I shouldn't even test my levels more than once every couple days.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:23 PM   #8
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I'll let more experienced members give their expertise on 2 gallons daily PWC's .. figure that's 20% per day. You said earlier you want to do the best for your fish, so just keep in mind as you read up on the Nitrogen Cycle ... there's nothing silly about doing it correctly and there's nothing silly about Ammo, Nitrites and Nitrates.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:25 PM   #9
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-nod- I've been reading a lot on this forum, and I really, really want to keep my fish safe. Ammonia is nasty stuff - I took two years of chem, and a couple years of bio classes, etc, so I know that. I'm hoping to do my water changes when she's not home, so I can do what's necessary to get the Ammonia level down.

Once I've done a water change, how long do I wait?
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:50 AM   #10
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Fish-safe advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenatron View Post
Well, the people at Petco and Petsmart are the WORST to trust, followed by people at the LFS. That's a general consensus on teh interwebs. We don't make any money off of you, they do.
This isn't always the case, I'd hope to find a genuine fish retailer that will first advise, second ask what your setup is and only third let you have any livestock. The larger chains may not be so good, but a specialist store should want you to go back for more, and that happens if you get sound advice. I often look in 'Petsmart' (UK version of 'petco' I suspect) to see what's about, but buy only from a specialist where they are much more knowledgeable.
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