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Old 11-07-2003, 12:45 PM   #1
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Help!

Okay, this will be a bit long, but I have tons of questions. We entered this venture the way lots of people did...7 year old daughter won two gold fish at a carnival. The next day, I went and bought a 1 gallon aquarium with a small filter, some gravel and goldfish food (already down $30 for two "free" fish). I read everything I could find, treated the water, let them adjust to the water temp, etc. before we put them in their new home.

One of the fish died (rather quickly...she never seemed to eat). To appease the child, we went to the store and bought three more goldfish and an algae eater for the tank. Slowly, the goldfish started dying off. I did MORE research and found out that we had overstocked the tank...great...off to the store I go and we buy a 10 gallon aquarium, more gravel and rocks (now we're up to about $100). I added the last remaining goldfish and the algae eater. Three days later, we lost the last gold fish. At this point, we decided to give up on goldfish (I have since learned that our water naturally has nitrates in it since we live in the country, and goldfish just don't do well with nitrates). Anyway, we let the tank cycle for over a week with nothing but the algae eater in it.

We then went and purchased five neon tetras, four male guppies, and a blue male Betta (for the one gallon tank). The betta lives all alone in his little tank with few problems. However...

We lost one neon shortly after we bought him. Found him sucked up to the filter, poor thing, but we think he may have been sick. Anyway, the rest seemed to be okay. Did water tests daily, and I thought the nitrates/nitrites were leaning toward high, but weren't dangerous. Suddenly, the guppies began to get holes in their tails and some looked ragged. They started hanging around the filter where the water pours out, and slowly they started dying. The neons seem to be doing okay.

I went to a pet store and had the water tested. Turns out the pH was a high, so I got stuff to lower that. I saw a couple guppies in the store with the same type of tail problem as ours, and the girl at the store diagnosed fin rot and gave me antibiotic capsules. We went home and followed all instructions to clear up the problem.

Now, the water is a nasty brownish color. The treatment is done and I've replaced the carbon in the filter, and the color of the water seems to be improving. However, now my algae eater is having major issues.

He was a very quiet, laid back fish...mostly hid underneath stuff and lived with his mouth on the bottom of one of the fake plants. Hardly ever moved. Yesterday, he seemed to cop a serious attitude. He started chasing the last male guppy all over the tank. We have an airstone that blows bubbles up the back of the tank. He was swimming really fast in a circle up the side of the tank through the bubbles and then back again.

Today, my husband called to say it looks like he is swimming to the top and then swimming so fast toward the bottom he's slamming his head in the gravel. I've been reading on this board that algae eaters (I think ours is a golden one -- he's brownish/tan with a faint black stripe down his side) tend to get aggressive and if you notice this behavior you should get him out of the tank. The question is -- what do I do with him? We don't have a fish store locally (I bought all these at Walmart -- hey...give me a break..I didn't know) so I know I can't return him. I can't put him in with the Betta...please don't tell me I need to buy ANOTHER fish tank to put this fish in.

So, my two questions are:

What do I do with a Golden Algae Eater with attitude and mental illness?
How do I clear up the brown water in my tank now that the antibiotic treatment is done?
And finally, I want to get a catfish once we deal with Al the Algae Eater. Will they do okay with tetras (we're thinking of some other species of tetra) and guppies?

Oh...I did put 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt in the tank with every cycle I did. Maybe that's the problem with Al?

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Old 11-07-2003, 02:31 PM   #2
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First off...if you have test kits at home, what are the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates in your tank? Have you read up on how the biological filter works in your tank?

It would be my suspiscion that your algae eaters behavior is being caused by a spike in ammonia or nitrites in your water (which are toxic to fish!).

I would suggest doing a big water change immediately (50%). Rather than buying more fish, I'd use the money to buy a nitrite and ammonia test kit. You should aim to get the tank stabilized and illness-free before you add anyone else. How high was your pH? Almost all fish (and definitely the ones you have in your tank) can live in a wide range of pH's. Using additives to attempt to alter the pH in your tank can lead to fish deaths...they are not always predictable, and can lead to big swings in the pH which can not only stress, but kill fish. I'd stop using the pH additive now. Your tap or well water (are you using a water conditioner? tap water can have chlorine and heavy metals...some well water can have heavy metals) is probably comparable to that at the pet store, where the fish were living happily (presumably!).

When your tank is stable, re-cycled (ammonia = 0, nitrites = 0, after a peak in both values, and smells kinda like wet dirt), you can slowly start to add new fish. It's reccommended that instead of adding fish directly to your tank, you quarantine them in a seperate tank...lots of fish come from the store carrying disease, and it makes a lot more sense to treat them individually, rather than to introduce the disease to your entire tank, and make them all sick, AND kill off your biological filter by using meds.
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: Help!

sweetsuvvyb makes some very good points (as usual) that you should heed. Your water is your fishes universe and must be in good condition. I thoroughly recommend you read and understand this article that top advisor Allivymar showed to me. http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwenbee
What do I do with a Golden Algae Eater with attitude and mental illness?
not much you can do except hope it get better. Like sweetsuvvyb suggests, your water conditions need looking into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwenbee
How do I clear up the brown water in my tank now that the antibiotic treatment is done?
Charcoal filter and water changes will soon clear that all up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwenbee
And finally, I want to get a catfish once we deal with Al the Algae Eater. Will they do okay with tetras (we're thinking of some other species of tetra) and guppies?
What kind of catfishes. Generally yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwenbee
Oh...I did put 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt in the tank with every cycle I did. Maybe that's the problem with Al?
For now, do not add anything to your tank except the recommended dose of decholrinator with your water change. Your fishes will not fare well in a tank of chemicals.
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:49 PM   #4
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I have just dealt with finrot. In my case it was probably caused by fin-nipping but in your case I am suspicious it is your water that is the problem. High ammonia can cause damage to the fins leading to secondary bacterial infection and voila....fin rot! It sounds like you stocked the tank before it had the necessary bacterial population to deal with fish waste (i.e. before it had cycled). As well the antibiotics might have killed off any bacteria you did have, leaving your completely defenseless against ammonia buildup. You really should invest in a test kit and measure your ammonia and nitrates/nitrites. Ammonia could more than likely cause mental illness (high nitrogen-containing compounds in the bloodstream of any vertebrate can cause nervous system disease, even people).
I don't know that I'd worry about your pH so much - high pH is alright if it's stable. You may want to consider mixing reverse osmosis or distilled water with your tap water to make it more suitable, rather than using chemicals. That's the situation I'm in (nothing could live in my tap water!). I'd worry more about your hardness level, alkaline level and ammonia/nitrates level than pH. Stop using the pH addictive in my opinion.
You should probably do major daily water changes until your water is of suitable quality (ammonia and nitrates = 0) and then slowly add more fish. You could add tetras, other livebearers like platies or swordtails, more guppies, there are lots of peaceful fish out there.
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Old 11-07-2003, 07:23 PM   #5
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Hiya Kwenbee and welcome to Aquariumadvice

You've gotten some awesome advice from the folks here! Just a couple of things to add:

The nasty brown color is most likely from the meds. I'm guessing they gave you tetracycline. Remember how it used to discolor kids teeth way back when? It also will discolor tank water. If you have finished the round of meds AND the guppy's have healed, by all means use the activated carbon to remove the leftover meds/discoloration. If the fish are still ill, do NOT use the carbon and continue the treatment. It pulls the meds out of the water, which defeats the purpose of treating the fish.

And, carbon "fills" up quickly. If the water color is that bad, you may have to replace the carbon a coupla times to get the tint out of the water.

Also, antibiotics have a tendency to muck up your nitrifying bacterial colonies (the link Gman posted will explain what all thats about if you don't know already). Chances are, your tank is cycling again. Do check your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels ASAP and do that water change that sweets suggested. If ammonia or nitrites have spiked, you'll need to test daily and water change as needed to keep those levels from becoming deadly.

Lastly, AJ is right. pH levels, unless really at extremes, are not as important as pH changes. Stability is the key here. Unless you live really far away, or are on a separate water supply, its likely you have the same water conditions as the lfs where the fish came from. Its also not recommended to change pH without knowing hardness and alkaline levels as AJ said; without knowing that you can cause a pH crash which can affect the fish badly. This will explain it better then I LOL : http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-chem.html
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Old 11-08-2003, 08:11 AM   #6
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Sorry...I did leave out a few details. Because of the nitrates that are naturally found in our well water, I did switch to using distilled water (NOT spring water...did read that in all my research).

I have a test kit. The ammonia level is 0. I am taking a sample to our pet store today just to confirm that, but there don't seem to be any symptoms of ammonia problems with any of the other fish. Al has calmed down some, so maybe he was just flexing yesterday.

The water color is definitely better today, so the carbon filter is working well. We don't have a biological filter.

According to the pet store who tested our water last week, our pH was high enough to stress the fish. I was using the strip tests and they didn't indicate a problem in that area, so we've switched to the liquid tests. We learned the strips were not quite reliable.

We do know that we added fish long before the tank was cycled, but it seems that now Al is finding algae to eat, and the tank DOES smell like wet dirt...thought that might be a problem, too...glad to see it isn't.

We are headed to the pet store today and hopefully they will tell us we're okay. All the guys seem to be doing well (even the betta who did a swan dive onto the carpet during his tank cleaning...no clue how long he was out of water, but apparently not long enough to do any damage, cuz he's fine today).

Will let everyone know how we make out at the store today...my daughter is very anxious to add to her fish collection, so this water testing delay is seriously annoying her!

Edited to add: I just re-read some of the responses. I just did a major water change according to the directions on the antibiotic. And yes, it was tetracycline. All the tests indicate everything is okay, except for, as noted, the slight nitrate/nitrite level that I just can't seem to get rid of no matter HOW many times I change the water or how much distilled water I use. The girl at the pet store told me that the ammonia level was 0 last week and the nitrate, nitrite levels were also 0 when she tested.
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Old 11-08-2003, 11:45 AM   #7
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Ok...first things first. Have you read up on tank cycling (this is how you achieve the biological filter i was talking about). From reading your posts, I'm assuming either it hasn't been explained to you, or maybe we can help you brush up on the details a little bit

There is a link up above that explains the whole process pretty well. I'll give you the cliff notes version here LOL.

Basically, in any freshwater tank, you strive to culture 2 colonies of bacteria. The first type of bacteria form naturally in the presence of ammonia, which is what your fish are putting into the water as waste. These clever bugs "eat" the ammonia, and oxidize it to nitrite (NO2). Then, the 2nd type of bacteria will show up to "eat" the NO2, and spit out nitrates (NO3). This 2nd process can take a long time...since "eating" NO2 isn't particularly efficient. The problem is that both ammonia and nitrites are toxic to fish. So when you have a tank without these bacteria present, you can get dangerous levels of ammonia and nitrite in your tank. When you have a new tank, or a tank thats been medicated, we talk about it "going through the cycle"...which is aquarium-code for the bacterial colonies being established. It's a somewhat predictable process....You'll see a jump in ammonia levels (in which you'll sometimes have to do water changes to dilute, even if it slows down the bacteria), then you'll generally see a jump in nitrItes, and the ammonia levels will drop to zero. It can take several weeks for the nitrite levels to drop, in which you'll have to water change in the levels get too high. The last step in the process is when you find no ammonia, no nitrites, and some nitrAtes. Some people, like you have nitrates in their water naturally...but unless you've had a couple weeks of ammonia and nitrite levels first....seeing the nitrates does not mean you've grown your bacteria.

Just a few more things, then I'm done (promise!). How high are the nitrate levels in your well water? NitrAtes are not that harmful to fish. Usually they can get as high as 40ppm before it's a problem, and some fish can be acclimated to even higher levels.

When you use distilled water, are you adding anything to it besides the salt? When you're using water that's been stripped of all the trace "ingrediants"...you remove it's buffering capabilities...which means its ability to maintain a stable pH, more or less.
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Old 11-08-2003, 12:02 PM   #8
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Just got home from the store. They tested the water for everything under the sun and all levels were "normal". She did not tell me what the levels were, other than the pH, which I believe she said was 7.0...I could be wrong on that.

Anyway, I asked about the algae eater and she basically told me the same thing you did...it's possible we had an ammonia spike yesterday and that it may have been related to the re-cycling of the tank. I did a test this morning (just a strip test) and the nitrite levels were 0 and the pH, hardness, and nitrates were all in the "normal" ranges. So basically, the store confirmed what I suspected.

She told me there was no reason not to introduce new fish, so we're going to start that this week.

I did not use ALL distilled water. What we did was use about half and half. I used distilled water for one change, then did tap water that had sat out for a few days, then distilled.

All the guys seem very normal now. Al is back to hiding under stuff, Swimmy (the guppy) is swimming normally all over the tank and eating fine. Juju, Tack, Lilo and Stitch (the Neons) are eating like pigs like they always have. The water color is MUCH improved.

Sorry I misunderstood what you meant about the bio filter...I've read SO much I start to question myself! Jeez, there's a lot of info out there and a lot of it contridicts itself! I think we're getting to the end of the "cycle" so hopefully we can begin to enjoy more little swimmers soon!

In re-reading your post, though, I think the girl at the store may be right. Al may have been reacting to the ammonia spike you mention, but I'm not seeing any nitrites right now...I know she tested for everything and told me all readings were "normal"...and I did give her a full history of the tank, so hopefully she didn't steer me wrong!

Edited to add: I just did another test. Nitrates: 20; Nitrites: .5; GH: Between 25 & 75; KH: 40; pH: Between 6.8 & 7.0; Ammonia: 0 Should I do a water change? The nitrites are up a bit since this morning, but the ammonia level is fine. I'm so sorry to be such a pain, but my daughter is so excited about these fish! Trust me...we sure won't play any "Win the Fish" games again!
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Old 11-08-2003, 05:16 PM   #9
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Ugh..another update....

We just got home and I did another test on the tank. The nitrites had risen again. This time they were 1.0. Saw no evidence of stress in the fish at all. So, and I hope I understood this, following advice from you very smart people, I did a 25% water change. I used half tap and half distilled water. I didn't add ANY chemicals since the gist of what I got from everyone on here is to NOT medicate anymore.

I waited about 1/2 hour, then did another test. The nitrites were back down between 0 and .5 which is where they were this morning.

My question is, am I seriously slowing down the cycling of our tank by doing all these water changes? I can tell you I'm VERY tired of doing them!

Our plan is to eventually install a 55 gallon aquarium in another room in the house, and, trust me, I know now to fill the thing up with water and let it sit for, oh, about a month with NOTHING in it but gravel and fake plants! I feel like I am personally wiping out the fish population.

You are all going to be so sick of me by the time this tank gets cycled.
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Old 11-08-2003, 05:45 PM   #10
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How do you do your water changes? Do you use a syphon or just a cup to remove water from the top?.

Lol, after a while you will get used to having to deal with water changes, depending on your tank size.

If youre only doing water changes with a cup i would suggest you used a syphon to vacuum all dirt and uneaten food from the bottom of the tank. That could be the main cause of your level spikes.

As for your cycle, yes, water changes do slow down things a little beacause of the bacteria you loose on your water changes...

The things id do now is change my water percentage from 25 to 10 percent, thats only if your syphon-vacuuming.
Be a little patient about your tank, cycling can take up to three months depending on all water parameters. If you recently treated the tank, probably most of your beneficial bacteria also died with the treatment. As Allivymar said.

IMHO your levels will obviously lower with every water change you take, but, again you should let bacteria colonize your tank.

I would really consider the amount of stress your fish have gone thru since your adventure started. (dont worry, i did stuff too lol) So i would just check how my water cleaned up so again bacteria could colonize your tank.

Hrmm theres really nothing to do now. I would really consider buying more fish as of now given that your water parameters are a little bit crazy I would wait till your params got stabilized and your tank finished cycling, even though neons are a little bit fragile, im hoping they go thru your cycling process.

Look at me, ive had my tanks running for 3 months and im just going through my first ITES and ATES spikes...

Best wishes
Hope this helped
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Old 11-08-2003, 07:13 PM   #11
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You're doing just fine Kwenbee...I know it can all be very overwhelming!

Just like pretty much anything out there, there is a degree of subjectivity in aquarium keeping. While the lfs said your levels were "normal"...that could mean you had 1ppm of nitrites in your tank...which might not bother the fish, but it might kill of some...there isn't really some defining level. When my tank was cycling, I did a water change when it was 1ppm or higher. You can just change the water, to diltue the nitrite levels (between 10 and 25 percent). Hold off on vacuuming the gravel, since the lil bacteria tend to form the strongest colonies there, and it'd be a shame to just keep sucking them out!

Salt can be used to prevent nitrite poisoning, so if you're really concerned, you can add some. Your fish are really the best measure of how high is too high...you'll notice gasping and swimming up to the surface (like your algae eater was) if your fish are having a hard time with the nitrite levels (nitrite acts kinda like carbon monoxide does in people...prevents them from getting the oxygen they need, and suffocates them).

When you get your 55 set up...you actually don't want to let it sit without anything in it....if there's no ammonia source (fish poop, basically), the "good" bacteria won't show up....and you might in fact get some nasty other creatures in there.

We're here to help! Ask any questions, and we'll probably have 10 answers for you!

And don't worry, you ARE doing a great job!
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Old 11-08-2003, 09:46 PM   #12
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I only wanna add a coupla things to sweets n Nueve's comments since they've covered just about everything LOL:

Just to be clear, did you add a dechlorinator/dechloraminator when you changed the water? That is the one thing you do want to add to the tank, in case your tap water is treated with chlorine or especially chloramine.

Yeah, water changes are a pain, but its worth it when you consider the health of the fish. Once the tank is cycled, daily changes aren't necessary; I do water changes once a week. Keep in mind everything you add to the tank stays there unless you remove it. This includes all the food, although most of it winds up in a different form *grin* Is why its important to do regular gravel vacs.

Which leads to me my last comments; good on ya for considering a 55g! Its not much more work then the small tanks; in some ways its actually less, as small tanks do not handle nitrogenous waste spikes well. Big tanks, with larger amounts of water, handle them much better as the spikes are more diluted. And, if you are going to get a 55g I STRONGLY suggest purchasing or making a Python. Its a siphon that you attach to a faucet. It both pulls water out, and adds water depending on what you need to be doing at the time. Means no more dragging buckets around *grin* which is a pain when you consider a 20% water change on a 55g is 11 gallons of water! I got one when I got my 55g and it is a backsaver. The homepage is here if you want to check it out: http://www.pythonproducts.com/index.htm and if I can find the thread, there is instructions on making your own as they aren't cheap (but worth every penny, especially if your aren't handy like I'm not LOL).
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Old 11-08-2003, 09:50 PM   #13
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Ahh here it is: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_python.php

Instructions on making your own from cichlid-forum.com
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Old 11-09-2003, 06:34 AM   #14
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IMO, I think it's very cool that you can go from winning a goldfish to wanting a 55 gal in such a short time. I'd suggest checking out some of the online sources (www.bigalsonline), for equipment. You'll find that even with shipping you'll save quite a bit. And bigger tanks do take bigger bites from your wallet LOL
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Old 11-09-2003, 07:19 PM   #15
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Thanks for all your help...we bought a new, more elaborate test kit today and it gave me lots more info on the levels...now I think I'm more stressed.

Today, the ammonia level was 4.0, nitrites were .25. pH and hardness were fine...pH - 6.8; hardness 3%?...does that sound right. The ammonia level scared me, so I did a quick water change and tested again...ammonia dropped to 3.0. Just tested it and it's still 3.0.

Unfortunately, I HAVE been doing gravel vacs for water changes...thought that's what I needed to do. Are you saying I should just dip out 25% of the water and leave the gravel alone? After the last water change, Al started acting a bit odd again, but not like before. He seems back to normal now...wonder if I just freaked him with the vacuum.

The booklet that came with the test said that it is normal for ammonia to go as high as 6.0 in a new tank, and then drop to 0 and that then the nitrites should rise and then drop to 0. Is that right? They also suggest that I get some sort of ammonia removing product to change the ammonia to some non-toxic form. I am REALLY afraid to add anything else to the tank, since I think I'm finally getting somewhere. None of the fish seem to be gasping at the surface and all are eating very well.

As far as progressing to the 55, we have talked about a fish tank for a long time, and this just kinda pushed us into it. I love angel fish (have a tattoo of one on my ankle) and we're hoping to have one or two in the 55...but as difficult as they can be, I want to be sure I'm doing this right.

The color of the water is fine now. I did change the charcoal in the filter and it seemed to clear right up. No fin rot evidence. No hysterical fish. So maybe we are on the home stretch now!

Oh...and I did not use the chlorine treater. Our water is well water and is NOT treated with chlorine. But do I need to get some sort of other stuff to put in since I'm using distilled/well water? Kind of half and half. I also let the tap water sit out for a day or so before I add it.
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Old 11-09-2003, 08:15 PM   #16
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Unless you overfeed, you can pass on the gravel vacs until the nitrogen cycle has settled in. The nitrifying bacteria colonise surfaces, like the filter media, tank walls, decor and gravel. By vaccuming the gravel, you are pulling out some of the bacteria. Flip side to that is, if there is a lot of rotting food in there, its gonna spike ammonia levels and you don't want that either. You could probably cut your feedings in half (the fish won't starve - promise!). It will keep the uneated food to a minimum and you won't need to gravel vac yet. Once the tank is cycled, gravel vaccing should be done on a regular basis. I gravel vac my entire tank once a week; however I have 2 biowheels running on the tank (where a LOT of my nitrifying bacteria live) so it doesn't affect the cycle. There's a great article here - you might want to peruse it as its one of the better articles on cycling I've read: http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html

An ammonia level of 3 is still pretty high IMHO. You'll likely need to water change again tomorrow. I can see daily water changes in your future for a little while; at least until the ammonia drops to zero, and the nitrites spike and drop to zero. I don't suggest using ammonia reducing products. You do want some ammonia in the tank; the nitrifying bacteria need it to grow and reproduce. You just don't want enough to harm the fish. Some products actually remove the ammonia, others convert it to a non toxic form, but its not as readily available to the bacteria. Either way, the bacteria don't get enough to eat and don't multiply quickly. They also don't build up a large enough colony and you become dependent on the ammonia reducers to keep the fish safe. Its a fine balance.

Btw, I'm a big angelfish fan. They are not that difficult at all; in fact *looks embarassed* before I got a clue about the cycle I actually cycled an 8g tank with 2 angelfish. They did fine, and although one killed the other 6 months later, I still have one of the original angels almost 2 years later. He (she?) now lives in MY 55g with 4 (soon to be 5) other angelfish, 3 clown loaches, 1 yoyo loach and big ol pleco. When you're ready to set up that 55g for the angels, let me know. I have some suggestions/ideas for ya, but don't want to overload you yet LOL Some pics of em here if you're interested: http://www.myaquaria.com/gallery/album01
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Old 11-09-2003, 10:03 PM   #17
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I've been so concerned about these poor guys...I check them constantly. The funny thing is, AFTER the last water change when the ammonia levels went down a bit, is when I noticed Al doing his somersalt thing again. That's why I did another check tonight. Since the level had not gone up, I figured it was okay.

I was planning a change tomorrow morning, so I'll just suction using the gravel vac, from the top. We may be having a *little* overfeeding (remember...that 7 year old would feed them every hour if I let her). There does some to be quite a bit of uneaten stuff in the gravel when I vacuum, but maybe it's no more than usual.

By the way, what exactly should I be adding to the water when I make a change since I'm using the aired tap/distilled water? I'll hit the store tomorrow AM if I need to get what I need...since it seems that we're getting somewhere, I just don't want to take a step backward.

I have to say I've learned more on this forum than I've learned in almost a month's worth of surfing. Please bear with me while I learn this stuff...someday maybe I'll be able to give some poor soul like me advice!

By the way, when we progress to the 55, I'll gladly ask for help! I definitely won't be happy if I lose an angel! I didn't know you could put as many as four or five in a 55 gallon...thought they were like betta fish and one or two was max!

By the way, what is the possibility of moving Bill from his lone tank into the 10 gallon at some point? I guess the tetras would probably be way to tempted to nibble on his flowing fins?
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Old 11-09-2003, 10:51 PM   #18
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Just guessing, but Bill is the Betta? If so, the 1g tank is perfectly fine for him; no need to move him. Bettas don't mind being alone, and yeah, the tetras may find his long fins irresistable.

When I do my water changes, I only add a dechlorinator/dechloraminator. Currently I'm using Insto-Chlor. Its cheap and an 8 oz bottle treats 3200 gallons LOL I'll prob have it forever. Look for a water treatment the removes chlorine, chloramine, and maybe heavy metals. Thats it. There is no need for anything else, especially anything which "removes ammonia" or says it helps with a fish's slime coat IMHO.

Btw, you may want to share the cycling article with your 7 y.o. Thats a great age to start learning the important aspects of fish care (I work in a school, so I know of which I speak *grin*), and that particular article uses works like poo and pee LOL so should perfect for a 7 y.o. with a little modification for the harder words. It will also help her understand why overfeeding isn't a good thing.

And we're glad you found us You've obviously noticed the folks here really like helping out. While we all have diff experiences, and don't always agree on the best way to go, we all are willing to hear each other out; never know when one might learn something new

Lastly, angels are funny campers. They are cichlids, and while they are known as the more peaceful of the cichlids, it doesn't mean they always get along. It seems to me tho, the really aggressive behavior occurs in one of 2 situations. Either when one fish is kept alone for a long period of time, then new angels are introduced, or 2 decide they are paring up. In fact, pairing angels have been known to be so aggressive they keep ALL the fish, including plecos, herded into one corner of a tank LOL I have to say that hasn't occured in my tank. My 2 larger angels will pick at each other, but don't really cause any damage. I am wondering how they will react when I introduce the 6th angel in a couple of weeks (the one in QT atm).
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Old 11-09-2003, 11:43 PM   #19
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Are you on well water Kwenbee? I think I remember reading that...generally well water is chlorine and chloramine free...wouldn't worry about the dechlor if this is the case.

Your algae eaters behaviour may just be him "settling in" to his new home. My pleco was pretty shy when he was 1st introduced into my tank, so I have him a little cave to hide in...but now he's rarely in there...he's cruising the tank (and when they get all worked up, usually prior to feeding, he does a couple of impressive swoops up to the top + dives back down).
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Old 11-10-2003, 12:27 AM   #20
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Just thought I'd mention......

I've been doing alot of research on "fishy" disease for a different problem but I came upon a description of what it sounds like your Al is doing and I thought of you. They suggested heavy metals (such as lead, that sort of thing) will cause erratic behaviour as you describe.

Are you still putting any well water in that tank?
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