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Old 01-19-2014, 03:56 PM   #1
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Overwhelmed!

I'm new to keeping fish, and I was so excited when my husband bought me a fish tank! It's used, and thinking it's a 20 gallon? I thought it would be simple, but after reading some of these posts I realize I have no clue what I'm doing! I ran the tank for about a week before getting any fish. We have 4 tetras (2 black skirt, 2 white skirt). We've had them for almost a month and haven't tested the water yet. The woman at the pet store said to bring in 1/2 cup water to be tested after a month. My fish seem happy and I haven't changed the water once. Do I need to worry about ammonia levels at all or adding other fish? Sorry for the long post!
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:05 PM   #2
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I would certainly log water quality for a steady week prior to adding any extra fish. They still should be quarantined, rid of parasites, treated for Ich, whatever prior to going to the main tank. If they're testing for free, bring a sample in and look at options while they test. That'll be your yay/nay.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:09 PM   #3
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The only problem is that we don't have any fish stores where I live. I have to travel to Winnipeg, which is an hour and a half away, just to do water testing and to purchase fish.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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The only problem is that we don't have any fish stores where I live. I have to travel to Winnipeg, which is an hour and a half away, just to do water testing and to purchase fish.
A master test kit is a much if you want to keep fish properly and seriously, IMO. Get the API Freshwater master test kit. Tetras like to be in a minimum group of seven, of the same species, not a mix.

Also, you should be changing water at least once a week. Leaving the tank without water changes for a month is a no no.

Get a test kit. Odds are your aquarium has cycled by now. Monitor for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and log your nitrate levels. Keep nitrates below 20ppm if you can (via water changes) and ammonia and nitrite should always read 0.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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Overwhelmed!

The woman helping us at the store suggested 2 of each of these fish, and also told us not to change the water for a month. I guess that's what's so confusing to me. I've been reading about it a lot online and it doesn't seem to match with what the salesperson told me. I'll have to check for a testing kit. And do I replace half of the water, or what would be a good amount? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to do my best to keep healthy fish!
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
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Susha. That's your first lesson in fish keeping. Don't always believe your local fish shop. Many are great, many are not - but all of them are out to make a profit. Keep asking questions on here, there is a wealth of unbiased advice to be had - for free!
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:26 PM   #7
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If she seriously told you to not change your water for a month after adding new fish you can go ahead and throw ANY information she has ever given you right into the garbage. I would even go as far as going to her boss about the information she gave you.

Weekly 50% water changes are the standard practice to keep water healthy. For a fish in cycle this increases to a 50% change every 1 - 2 days to keep ammonia low enough for the fish health. I am actually really really surprised that you haven't had any fish deaths yet.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your advice! I'll definitely get the water tested!
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:09 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your advice! I'll definitely get the water tested!
No, don't get the water tested, buy your own test kit and do it yourself. You'll need to test the water much more often than is convenient to take the water in for testing. Do it yourself.

You can't responsibly own fish without a master test kit.
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