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Old 01-14-2004, 02:46 PM   #1
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My Jack Dempsey is cool!

Hello everyone I'm brand new to all of this! :]

I'm a college student with low funds so I decided to buy a 10 gallon starter kit. Okay, I got it going. I have a fire mouth, a jack dempsey, and my friend wanted me to throw in a goldfish. They seem happy. Couple questions though!

1) I think the goldfish makes the water cloudy. Its just slightly cloudy.. a pale color. Nothin' serious, but I want this water to be clear! So, should I remove the goldfish? And, when I do, how much water do you think I have to change out to get it clear again?

2) When I do change the water, I know I have to treat the new water first with that stuff that makes tap water fish-able. But, what about temperature? Should I try and get my tap water to about 80 degrees? Does it matter?

3) Do I -really- need to concern myself with pH and nitrate and ammonia levels at this stage?

I would really appreciate any feedback! I love fish and I'm going to master this hobby. I hope I can contribute helpful info to the website when I can in the future.
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:01 PM   #2
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All three of your fish will get WAY too big for a 10 gallon tank. In addition, the Jack Dempsey and Firemouth are both cichlids. Cichlids are generally territorially aggressive and will probably kill the goldfish.

You really need to return those fish. If you want to master the hobby, its important to research your fish choices before adding them to your tank. They all have very different needs.

Also, you'll want to read up on the cycle before you purchase any more fish. It is important to consider the PH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc. Not having a good understanding of these things will only lead to disappointment for you and suffering for your fish.

I'm not trying to discourage you--but you absolutely need to read some of the beginner threads to educate yourself before buying any more fish.
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:26 PM   #3
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Whoa, hold up. Hold up....

I'm taking these fish back right now. I want my fish to be happy , not die off and leave me wondering.

Thank god for the internet. Noone really pointed towards learning about the cycle.
I'm on it. I'm all over it. Gonna get me a testing kit today.

Thanks Madame_X
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:29 PM   #4
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I fully agree with Madame_X, you are doing the right thing. Unfortunately many places that sell fish are much better at selling the fish than they are at giving away useful information. I know some people that actually think fish only live for a couple months, because that is the longest they can keep them alive. Fishkeeping can be extremely frustrating until you learn the basics.

Of the inital load of fish I was sold with my first tank (the 10g), way less than half are still alive. The local fish store said I would be fine After I learned the ropes and setup a second tank, the death rate is almost non existant.

Just the Goldfish might be OK in a 10g, depending on the type of Goldfish it is
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:33 PM   #5
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I'm glad you weren't offended! I think others here will confirm that I gave you the proper advice.

This is a very rewarding hobby, and I'd much rather see someone get started on the right foot rather than get discouraged because their fish are dying off. You're doing the right thing!

There are some great fish that will be perfectly comfortable in a 10 gallon tank. You just need to find out which ones first (and don't believe everything those fish store employees tell you--they're often just trying to sell you something).

Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:38 PM   #6
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Just the goldfish?
Might be OK?

Ack.
Man.. the guys at the pet store were no help.

But I am not to be discouraged. I think I can make time between my homework to study fish needs as well. I'll hit up the library and check out some books.
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:48 PM   #7
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"Just the goldfish?
Might be OK?"

The general reccomendation would be one Goldfish for every 10 gallons of water because they produce a lot of waste. One Goldfish can eat and poop more than a whole school of smaller fish. Because of all the waste, filtration requirements are very high on Goldfish tank as well. Goldfish can have trouble with tropical fish because their diets are very different (regular flake food can make a Goldfish sick). Some goldfish can get large though, and would need a tank much larger than 10g to move around well and be healthy.

If you want something more active and entertaining than one Goldfish, a small school of Zebra Danios would be very cheap and they are great to watch. Zebra Danios are very hardy as well, and are a great first fish. A small school of 4 would be good to start, then you could purchase another 2 when the tank cycles.

Do you post around at any tech/videogame messageboards BeerNinja? The username seems very familar...
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:59 PM   #8
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There are a lot of very cool fish that will not get very big and can be very happy in a 10 gallon. Don't get discouraged, do your research and ALWAYS double check anything a salesperson tells you, whether it is the LFS, the computer store or the car lot

I feel like I am becoming the shell dweller cichlid missionary, but I will say it again anyway. Shell Dwellers are awesome fish, and are little enough to live happily in a 10g

Check this page.
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the help guys. I really like Cichlids for some reason. They seem ...aware, so to speak. I think the Jack Dempsey changes color sometimes. My goal now is to work my way up to them, after I get a bigger tank. For now the Zebra Danios sound like a good idea.

Yeah grimlock, I do post on some video game forums. Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and Counter-strike are a few. I play them all. Well, DAoC is on hold because I'm having fun on UO and I dont have much time to play any games right now anyway. I don't think I'm the only one with this handle though, so who knows.
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:54 PM   #10
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FYI BeerNinja - I love my Dempsey, and he does change colors as he grows. They're super cool fish He seems happy in my 55, I don't think I'd have him in anything smaller though! Especially not with other cichlids... you're right though, cichlids are great to watch! That's almost all I have now is south american cichlids.

Good luck with your danios! That's what I started with and they're pretty cool.
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Old 01-14-2004, 06:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerNinja
Thanks for all the help guys. I really like Cichlids for some reason. They seem ...aware, so to speak. I think the Jack Dempsey changes color sometimes. My goal now is to work my way up to them, after I get a bigger tank. For now the Zebra Danios sound like a good idea.
"Aware" is a perfect way to describe them. I definitely know what you mean. They're very tempting because they're so colorful and they have great personalities, whereby some of the other fish just kinda... well, swim.

But working your way up to them is the smart way to go. That's what I did! I started with the 12 gallon and some beginner fish, and worked my way up to a 55 gallon tank full of cichlids. I wanted many different species so I stayed with the smaller (4-5") ones. I'd love to have a couple of Jack Dempsey's but they require an enormous tank (they get up to about 10", I believe).
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Old 01-14-2004, 07:35 PM   #12
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Hiya BeerNinja and welcome to Aquariumadvice

You've gotten some great advice here, and kudos to you for doing your research! As mentioned, the fish you've chosen are really too big for a 10g. However, have you considered a larger tank? Believe it or not, larger tanks are easier to deal with, especially when we are talking the nitrogen cycle (you can read about it here: http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html ; that site explains what the cycle is and why its important to understand it if you want healthy and live fish *grin*).

I'll address some of the other questions you have, as they will be pertinent no matter what fish you have:

Matching tank temps: Personally I don't use a thermometer. I simply do it by feel. Understand you don't want to use water thats more then 4-5 degrees different (even less if you do a large water change); but your fingers should be sensitive enough to tell if you are close. Larger temp changes can stress the fish, especially if the temps are colder. Stressed fish are more susceptible to disease.

Yes yes yes; you MUST be concerned with ammonia/nitrite/nitrates (if you haven't checked that article yet, go do that now *grin*). Starting a new tank is when those water parameters are most important.

And I have a feeling you'll be a wonderful addition to the crew here Glad to have you aboard!
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:49 AM   #13
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We have a ten gallon that right now is home to four neon tetras (Juju, Tack, Lilo and Stitch), one male guppy (Swimmy), two black skirted tetras (Fred and Scooby), some kind of white tetra (Goldeen), a chinese algae eater (Al) and one albino catfish (Dino). They all seem very happy (except the catfish who continually swims to the top of the tank, even though levels are fine...gonna post about that on the Healthy Fish board).

We are leaning toward a 55 gallon as soon as we can afford it so we can have a couple angel fish and some other varieties. And I'm thinking a 20 gallon might be cool for a few others that don't get along with the angels.

I swear I've become addicted to this...and all because my daughter won two free goldfish at a carnival!

By the way...goldfish are dirty little fish. If you want tropical, ditch the goldfish idea. Give him away or take him back.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:24 PM   #14
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I know! I think goldfish are messy lil' buggers.

I too am totally addicted.

There used to be a fish store near where I lived when I was really young and I would go in and stare at the fish all the time. I hadn't been to a pet store in YEARS. Never had any need to. I don't have pets! But a week or so ago, I went in with a friend and for kicks thought I'd check out some of the fish. It was totally nostalgic.

What's driving me crazy is,... it's the salt water fish that REALLY catch my eye. Holy crap those fish get beautiful. But here I am starting out with a 10 gallon and some Zebra Danios. lol! (I took back the cichlids, but I miss that Jack Dempsey)

*sigh*

I wonder if good equipment and lots of fish homework would make up for a relative lack of experience in the salt water field. I want to build a 55 - 72 gal tank someday,when I can afford it and I have room, like the ones I remember from the LFS when I was a kid.
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Old 01-15-2004, 01:12 PM   #15
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Sw is NOT as hard as its cracked up to be, providing you do your homework first. You may want to check out The Conscientious Aquarist by Robert Fenner; its a great book to start with and a good read as well.

However, keep in mind there are FW fish which closely rival SW in color and pattern:
Killiefish: http://www.aquarist-classifieds.co.u...1031175341.jpg
Apistogrammas: http://planto.de/images/Apistogramma...uoides%20M.jpg
African cichlids: http://www.envirofishafrica.co.za/images/cons2.jpg
among others, including bettas, swords n mollies, and even goldfish.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:16 AM   #16
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But I looked into saltwater when we went through the "I want a Nemo fish" stage. It may not be hard to keep up with, but the startup costs were significant, so we abandoned that plan pretty quick.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:56 AM   #17
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Good point Kwenbee; while the care isn't as difficult as its cracked up to be, start up costs are a LOT more then we find in the FW obsession...erm...hobby.
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