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Old 08-26-2005, 10:22 AM   #1
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How many more can I add??

Hi Everyone,

I have been slowly stocking our 55 gal tank which I have taken over from my husband.

It's always been his thing but he would constantly have mass casulties from not learning about the nitrogen cycle. 8O After the last gruesome mass casulties which I had to clean up. (He was at work when I found the bodies) I got fed up after that...so I got a book, found this site and learned all about the nitrogen cycle and bio loads, etc.

So, we have an Emperor 400 and a Penquin 330 both with bio wheels. Why we have these filters is because hubby's self proclaimed aquarium expert friend said it would help the mass casulties. I don't think he knew that the tank was never cycled. Both of them are still running and we have an air stone bar. The tank is planted with some plants...I keep adding gradually there too. I have Wisteria, banana plants, and this fern like stuff that the name escapes me. They are all doing well so far. I'm just going to keep experimenting with different low - medium light plants to see what works.

Anyway, on to my real question...so far I have: 4 Zebra Danios, 1 Common pleco (who is a baby...but I know he will get huge); 4 Yellow Tetras; 3 Cory Cats; 4 Male Dwarf Gouramis. How close am I to getting over stocked? I have a feeling with the turbo filtering system we have...I'm no where near close. I don't know what else I would like to add other than around 3 dwarf blue gouramis. I have to start visiting some of the local smaller fish stores other than Petco and Petsmart. Actually, what are some recommendations of tank mates we could use. Nitrates are about 40 (water changes don't seem to drop that number...hopefully the plants will), temp is about 77 - 80 degrees and the pH is a little over 7

Thanks!!
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:28 AM   #2
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I would recommend adding a few more cory cats. I believe they are happier in larger numbers, so adding three or so, bringing the total up to six, might be nice for them.
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:37 AM   #3
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I would increase the number of Danios, Tetras and Cories. They like to be in groups of about 6 or more. Make sure you get the same type of Tetra and the same type of Cory though. Some say that different types of cories will school together, but they prefer their own kind. You are correct that the pleco will get too big. You may want to look for a bristlenose or rubbermouth pleco. They stay relatively small.

The Nitrate level is high. Try doing a 50% water change today. Then tomorrow check it and do another water change. The 50% should bring the level down to about 20. Try aiming for a level around 10 to 20. It will be easier to manage.

BTW- What do you plan on keeping in the 5 gal?
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:45 AM   #4
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Thanks to both of you! I'll do the water changes and see what happens this weekend.

I'm planning on a Betta in the 5 gal tank...maybe a ghost shrimp too if I can find one around here. He's for my home office where I spend most of my time.

Okay on upping the numbers...The zebra danios in the hex will go to the 20 gallon to cycle that. Then back to the 55 gal when that is done. I now know I made a mistake with the pleco. He likes to chomp on the plants which irks me because I am always replanting. Maybe I'll see if the self proclaimed aquarium expert wants him. 8)
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:47 AM   #5
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I would avoid more gouramis. They can be quite territorial and they will all be fighting for the same space at the top of the tank.
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:48 AM   #6
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Before putting the danios into the 20 gal tank, think about cycling fishless. And this will be VERY easy for you to do. Put the filter for the 20 gal tank on your 55. Run it for a few weeks then put it on the 20 full of dechlorinated water. Instant cycle. You may notice a slight mini-cycle if you add too many fish at once, but you will be able to instantly add a school of fish without having the cycle issues. I did that for my 55 gal tank (put it on the 150) and never had an ammonia spike. Works great without subjecting fish to the cycle.
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:54 AM   #7
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Ohhhhhh...that would be really, really easy! What about this?? Since I have four bio wheels running on the 55...could I also switch out one or two of the bio wheels to the 20 gal and replace the clean ones from the new filter (which I haven't gotten yet)

I have been using Cycle with the danios in the five gallon. I just started yesterday with that one. This question would probably be better suited for the getting started forum, but oh well. How long should I expect for that little thing to be cycled using the bacteria additives?? It is an eclipse with the bio wheel.
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:56 AM   #8
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Switching the bio wheels would certainly work or at least speed up the process. The cycle stuff does nothing, it is a waste of money.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:00 AM   #9
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I agree with Rich. Cycle is a wasted product. It does nothing. I know the system that you are talking about, I have the same one on my kitchen counter with a Betta. What you could do is remove the filter pad and put it in your 55 gal filter and run it for a week or so. That will help cycle the 5 gal faster without subjecting the danios to the process.

The switching of the bio-wheels may help but it won't cycle the tank for you. IMO they just don't hold that much bacteria. I would just run the filter on the 55 for a few weeks. I ran mine for 6 weeks but that was just because I wasn't prepared to setup the 55 gal tank. You won't need it that long. I'd say 2 weeks to be safe.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:05 AM   #10
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Okay...I'll get the danios out of there and stick one of the filters in there instead. Thanks a bunch for the tips, I am so glad I posted these questions!!
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Old 08-26-2005, 12:00 PM   #11
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No problem. I am a huge advocate of fishless cycling because of the high ammonia and nitrite levels that fish are subjected to during the fishy cycle. And it is a major plus for you that you have such a large tank setup already. Imagine putting a 55 gal filter on a 20 gal tank.
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:28 PM   #12
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im glad to see that you are here trying to learn.. all the advice given so far has been gret and good luck with your tanks. I think putting filters on an already cycled tank is the best way to go. I just did that for my friends 30 gallon, she had her filter on my tank for a couple weeks and voila.. instant cycle! she added 2 cory cats and a dwarf gourami to start and i dont think she's added anythign else yet... but she could've had a larger load i think.

Also, i think you should definitely not get any more male dwarf gouramis, they will pick at each other and cause ulcers and stuff. I had 2 females and a male and the male was constantly picking at the females! he picked ulcers into them and they died so im not even sure if adding females would be a good idea for you. The dwarf gouramis are meaner than they seem, but ive heard if you only have males its not as bad as if you were to add a female.
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:37 PM   #13
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I would avoid more gouramis. They can be quite territorial and they will all be fighting for the same space at the top of the tank.
I agree. The male dwarf gouramis are so pretty but you don't want to have too many as they will start to pick on one another if they don't have their own space.
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:39 PM   #14
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What about some of the less aggressive dwarf cichlids like rams? They have a reputation for being delicate but mine have been doing great and they are really cool fish.......colorful and they sport cool mohawks :P
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:47 PM   #15
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Okay, I took the zebra danios out of the 5 gal and grabbed one of the filters from the 55 and stuck it in there instead. About a week you guys said? How will I know it's done...should I be testing the water for a week?

Maybe what I will do is when I get the 20 gal all ready to put fish in, I'll take some of the gouramis out of the 55 and throw them in there so I don't have so many in the tank.

I was wondering about Rams...I saw them at Petco. What do you guys think about them?? Also, what about Bumblee Gobies...they are wicked cute.

I am a big fan of learning about something before jumping in feet first unlike some people**cough** my husband**cough**. I knew whatever he's been doing for years wasn't working. He's not one for reading directions on anything either. I don't know how many poor fish had died with him. The tanks would be fine for months and all of a sudden, everyone would die. He would test the water after the fact and it would be clumpy orange with ammonia off of the charts. He's one of those types who doesn't doesn't do well with constructive criticism and mentioned that I didn't think that was a good thing or maybe he should do regular testing. Thank god this time he has allowed me to take over the tank. In a couple of months, no one has died and the ammonia is still zero.

I am finding out that aquariums are really addictive...hence the 5 gal and the 20 gal. I had a white's tree frog in the 20 gal who had just passed away. He lived for a eight years while I had him and who knows how old he was before I got him. But, I'm so over amphibians and how hooked on fish. I can't wait to get my betta!!
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:56 PM   #16
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You need to put the 5 gal filter pad into the 55 gal filter. Is that what you did?

I LOVE rams. Actually, I designed my 55 gal tank around the rams. They need an established tank because they are sensitive to ammonia and nitrites. If you are wanting to keep them, do some research. They have a higher death rate than most fish. And that's because they are sensitive to changing water paramaters.

Cycling a tank is one of the most important steps in fish keeping. If done imporperly, it will kill every fish that hits the water. But now that you have an established 55 gal tank, you should never have to go through the cycling process unless you purchasing a larger tank. Even then, there are easy ways to get around it.

Congrats on the success of your fish. You have now been hit with MTS. It is contageous and will result in many years of many many tanks. The only known cure......buy another tank. When symptoms arise again, repeat.
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:58 PM   #17
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ooooooo...nice Rottie avatar Just dropped in and I see that you've already been given great advice, already have your plan in place and have a slight bout of MTS, so I can add nothing but say:

Welcome to AA!

(and possibly defend us menfolk?) LOL!
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:17 PM   #18
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You need to put the 5 gal filter pad into the 55 gal filter. Is that what you did?
Oops...no. I completely misread what you had typed...stupid allergy meds. I took the 55 filter from the tank and placed it in the 5 gal. I did what you had said in the quote just now.

AA should stand for Aquariums Anonymous! LOL No need to defend menfolk...I've been married long enough to realize you guys are as you are and there's no use fighting it. Just go with the flow until something dumb really happens....like repeated bouts of dead fish!

Quote:
The only known cure......buy another tank. When symptoms arise again, repeat.
Oh no...don't tell me that! 8O

Oh yeah...I just took photos of the 55 gal for you all. I'll post them later.
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Old 08-26-2005, 04:00 PM   #19
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I'd love to see pics of your tank when you have them posted.
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