Hello folks. I've had the luck of moving into a new home where the former owner left behind her 50 gallon tank. It's a freshwater tank with 3 plecos, although I think she must have had many more fish. One plec is 5" long and the other two are about 3."
One of the smaller ones is noticibly lighter in color and the spots are wider apart - a different kind of pleco?
I've read on this website and heard from the lfs
that I should take it slow in getting more fish. So right now I'm concentrating on maxing my water quality and have some questions.
My tank water (80 degrees) is as follows: ammonia .25 ppm
; nitrite 0; nitrate 40 ppm
; total hardness (I'm using the mardel test kit lingo) 120 ppm
; alkalinity 100 ppm
; pH (about) 7.6-8.0.
My tap water: ammonia same; nitrite same; nitrate 20 ppm
; total hardness same; alkalinity 80 ppm
; pH 8-8.4.
I've been in the home for three weeks and have made weekly water changes, from about 15 to 20% (10 to 15 gallons each time). In my replacement water I've put recommmended amounts of AmQuel+ and Seachem Neutral Regulator (both advised to me by the lfs
to condition the water and lower my pH).
I'm going for a community tank, and feel like my nitrate and pH levels are too high - right? And probably my ammonia as well? What should I do - bigger water changes, more additives?
Also, I've got a concern for how the water looks - it seems like there's a lot of algea (which I don't think the plecos are keeping up with) and I see these real small squiggly things swimming around, like real small worms - might they be parasites? I've read up on ich, and I don't think it's their free-swimming stage, put am not sure. But the plecs don't seem ill at all.
Last question, how much water current will I eventually need for my community tank (I'm thinking danios, tetras, loaches and some dwarf ciclids). Right now, I have an AquaClear filter (two sponges and biomax) that creates some water movement, and two air hoses that the former owner just buried in the gravel (no airstones) which create two large columns of bubbles which rise to the top.
Would the AquaClear be enough, and wouldn't some cross current, rather than straight up or down be better?
Sorry for the load of questions, thanks in advance for your help!