Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 01-15-2008, 12:29 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10
New at this, question about fish

Hi, I am new at this and had a couple of quick questions. I have a 55 gal freshwater setup with a couple rocks, a few pieces of wood and about 10 fake plants. I just got it set up this past weekend and stocked it with fish on Sunday. I have 4 giant danios, 4 bloodfin tetras, 3 high fin mountain fish, 4 red eye tetras, 3 high fin serpaes, and 1 green catfish and 1 spotted catfish. The first question I have is in regards to the catfish. All the other fish generally stay in their groups, but the two catfish are always alone and usually hiding. Is it because maybe they feel threatened? Should I get another of each? I just want to make sure they're happy. The second question is I'm wondering how difficult it will be to change to live plants, and if it would be best to do so after my water cycles for the first time?
__________________

__________________
milw217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2008, 01:22 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
QTOFFER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kew Gardens, NY
Posts: 4,295
Welcome to AA, milw217!!!

It sounds like you already did some research on cycling. Did you consider fishless cycling? Of course, it's too late now since you already have fish. I cycled my first tank with fish, and was careful to check the water parameters every day. Make sure you have liquid test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. You'll have to do water changes to keep ammonia levels down for the health of the fish - this will slow down the cycling process considerably. Good luck!

What kind of catfish do you have exactly? Are they corydoras or plecos? Plecos are shy by nature and generally only come into the open at night. Corydoras are bolder, but they prefer groups of at least three if you want to see much of them during the day. It's common for all fish to be secretive when they are put into a new tank. Once they get used to the surroundings, they tend to come out more. I would hold off getting any more fish until the tank cycles.

Regarding live plants, I think you should wait until the tank cycles and your water parameters are stable. What kind of substrate do you have? Low light plants like Java fern, Java moss, and anubias are the best choices for beginners. Once the tank is established, you can think about adding other plants.
__________________

__________________
QTOFFER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2008, 01:38 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10
I have the strips that you dip into the water and they have pH, nitrate, nitrite, alkalinity, hardness and ammonia I believe. Would that be the kind of test kit you're referring to? I'm not sure what kind of catfish they are, the just told me that one was a green catfish and one was a spotted catfish. Is there an easy way that I can indentify them? They always come out to eat, so I'm not worried about that, but a friend of mine has a tank with three of the green catfish and they always seem to hang around each other, that's the only reason I was really concerned I guess. I have a multicolored gravel substrate, and that's pretty much what the guy at the fish store said is that it would be better to wait until it cycled once to put the live plants in. If I can figure out how to put a picture on here, I'll post one and maybe you could help me identify it. Thanks for the info!
__________________
milw217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2008, 01:44 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10
There's a picture of the whole tank and then the other pic is of the one they call the green catfish, he's kind of hard to see because the pic isn't the greatest and he blends in a little with the rock. The spotted one is a little bit smaller and even more camouflage than that one. So if you can tell me if it's a cory or a pleco, that'd be cool. Thanks again
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Picture 002.jpg
Views:	77
Size:	63.9 KB
ID:	12518   Click image for larger version

Name:	Picture 5.jpg
Views:	64
Size:	96.6 KB
ID:	12519  

__________________
milw217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2008, 02:03 PM   #5
Algae Fighter
 
JustOneMore20's Avatar


 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 3,872
Send a message via MSN to JustOneMore20
Your catfish are Corydoras, aka Cories. Well, the green one looks like a Brochis splendens, but they are called Emerald Cories and closely related to cories. The spotted could be any number of the spotted cory species.

They are shoaling fish, meaning they like to have company, preferably 6+ of their own species. For now, since the tank is new, I'd wait on adding anymore fish to the tank.

Regarding the plants, its actually good to cycle with plants, especially if you have fish in the tank. I'd pick up a lot of Anacharis, as it will take in some ammonia. Also, if you can find some Hornwort, get some of that too. You will be very limited with stock lighting, as far as plant choices go, but any plants will help. The 2 I mentioned are fast growers that take in nutrients faster than others, so it really helps when cycling with fish. You could also get some Cryptocorynes, Anubias, and Java fern, but these are slow growing. Try to get a lot of Anacharis if you can, as its good in low light and good for a cycling tank.

When fishless cycling, plants really aren't necessary and can actually be harmed by the high levels of ammonia (or so I've read), so its best to fishless cycle without plants, but when you are cycling with fish....pack in the plants! Just make sure you choose plants that will live in your lighting.

Cycling will take 4-6 weeks, so be prepared for alot of water testing and water changes. Hopefully all the fish will make it. That's quite a fish load to begin with IMO and I would have skipped the Cories, since they are pretty sensitive to ammonia and nitrItes (more so than others). Feed every other day during the cycle and check your water daily for ammonia and nitrite. DO NOT add anymore fish to the tank until your ammonia and nitrite test 0 and you have measurable nitrates.

Test strips are inaccurate and I really don't like the ones that don't give numbers (not sure if thats what you have). You have no idea what they consider "dangerous" or safe, so they aren't good for cycling IMO....especially with fish. I'd suggest getting the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals master test kit. Liquid is the way to go. You can print out this: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...amily&keepsr=1
and get it at Petsmart for the online price. Or check http://www.bigalsonline.com for a cheaper price.
__________________
~Kristin~
2 planted tanks: 40g, 20g ; 38g Reef tank
My links to pics: 40g breeder planted build, 40g breeder planted update, My 38g Reef Build

JustOneMore20 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2008, 02:13 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10
I'm not sure of the exact specs on my lighting, but when I bought the tank I told him I wanted to eventually keep live plants, so he sold me the glass tops and a higher powered light fixture, so I should have a good setup for growing. You said be prepared for alot of water testing, which I should be doing every day correct. You also say be prepared for alot of water changing......aren't I supposed to wait for the tank to cycle and then change 1/3 of the water and clean the gravel? Might be a dumb question, but like I said, I'm really new at this and just want to do things the right way. They told me at the store to change the water once it cycles, so I'm a little confused. Thanks for the info on the catfish and I suppose I'll have to hold off for awhile to get some more of them.
__________________
milw217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kensington [Sydney], Australia
Posts: 141
Send a message via MSN to bra_van_drakh Send a message via Yahoo to bra_van_drakh
i think it's corydoras aeneus. ..as emerald cory. ..i got some. .they're very active actually. ..swimming up and down when they're in a group of 5 or more. . .and i dont think they like to socialize if they're noy in the same species. . .just my opinion thought. . .they even dont want to go together if they're from a different tank in ur LFS, they'll eventually. . .

as for plants, i'd suggest some sagitafolium spatterdog, or dutch lilies. . .very easy to handle and grows fast too .. .java vern and moss are also a very good option for ur new tank. . .just remember to pick out the dead leaves before they rot too much. . .HTH^^
__________________
bra_van_drakh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2008, 05:10 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10
Thanks for the help, I'm going to let it cycle now, then I'll try the plants. The catfish seem to be doing pretty good, they are always scavenging for food and they don't hide all the time anymore.
__________________
milw217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2008, 05:15 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
fearlessfisch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 774
Congratulations on the new tank.

Yes, you will be doing a LOT of partial water changes if you added fish before cycling. I would absolutely, positively buy a Python (a special kind of siphon and hose that attaches to your faucet) for partial water changes, because you don't want to have to lug full buckets every day for a 55 gallon tank. You may be changing water almost every day during parts of the cycle. Invest in a good test kit with droppers, not paper strips. Make sure you have a good dechlorinator (e.g., Prime) and that you match the temperature of the water when you change it.

A full cycle takes about a month. When I have done them with fish, they have sometimes taken six weeks. Look on this site for articles about cycling to understand why frequent water testing and partial water changes are going to be essential during the cycle. Briefly, your fish pee ammonia, which is poisonous to them. You are growing bacteria that will change your ammonia to nitrite (which is also harmful to fish) and then to nitrAte, which is less harmful. Since it takes the bacteria a while to grow, you will need to do many partial water changes during the cycle to make sure that your ammonia and nitrite levels don't get so high that they harm your fish. If you do not monitor your water and do the partial water changes when necessary, your fish are at risk of dying.

First you will see a spike of ammonia. Then you will see a spike of nitrite. When both ammonia and nitrite fall to zero and you have only nitrAte, your cycle is complete. During the cycle, you want to do water changes to keep your ammonia and nitrite levels preferably below .50 and definitely below 1.0. Just change 20 to 50 percent of the water (although you can change up to 80 if your ammonia and nitrite levels are going through the roof) and feed sparingly. Try not to vacuum up too much of the poop, because it will speed your cycle. Do NOT rinse the media in your filter, because that is where the bacteria is growing best.

During the cycle, you need to be very alert and ready to lower ammonia and nitrite levels, so your fish do not burn their gills or die. Once the cycle is complete, you can do a partial water change just once a week or so to get rid of nitrates. Always rinse your filter media with water taken out of your tank, not tap water, so that you don't rinse out the good bacteria.

Good luck, and keep asking questions. It's a lovely tank you have there.
__________________
joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
________________________________
55, 30, 30, 20, 10, and 10-gal. freshwater tropical tanks
fearlessfisch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2008, 12:54 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
rkilling1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NE ohio
Posts: 2,245
Send a message via AIM to rkilling1
Just wanted to add a few things about plants. Not only do they consume NH3 (ammonia) directly from the water column, they are covered in 'good' bacteria if they came from an established tank. So not only do they help keep your NH3 levels down, they make your cycle time go down considerable.

BTW, having a lot of light and NH3 in your tank will/can lead to major algae growth.
__________________
My Planted Aquariums
rkilling1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2008, 12:47 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10
Thanks alot, that really kind of helps things make more sense now. When i do the partial water changes, should i be cleaning the glass and the gravel every time as well?
__________________
milw217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2008, 11:14 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
QTOFFER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kew Gardens, NY
Posts: 4,295
During the cycling process, you should leave the gravel alone. You can clean algae and diatoms off the glass, but I would allow the gravel to become colonized with bacteria undisturbed. Once the tank is cycled, and you have a full bioload in it, you should vac the gravel at least once a month to keep the nitrates down to a reasonable level (about 40 ppm).

It sounds like you're off to a good start!
__________________
QTOFFER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2008, 10:00 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10
Ok good, I hope I'm off to a good start. I'm going to get moving on this water change tonight when I get off of work. Just 25-30%. I'll leave the gravel alone, clean the glass and test the water and we'll see how things go. Thanks for the help!!
__________________

__________________
milw217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Another Fish question Smitty Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 1 11-09-2009 09:36 PM
fish ID in question pokrface Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 9 02-27-2008 09:04 AM
Just one non-fish question? inspiringmind Forum Admin & Announcements 2 09-26-2005 09:38 AM
Fish Question '8835th Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 05-07-2005 04:35 AM
Behaviour question about Betta fish (Siamese fighting fish) meaningbuggle Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 1 03-31-2004 07:57 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.