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Old 06-16-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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Help please!

Alright so I'm a victim of bad lfs advise. Okay so here's the deal I recently set up my 55 gallon fresh water aquarium and the man at the fish store told me to do a fish in cycle and to use aquasafe water conditioner and to add some aqua salt. He then after stating my desire for a community tank he approved a paradise fish and a red tailed shark to "kick start" the nitrogen cycle. After that he recommended 3 sharks because that would be "cool." So I trusted him because it was not a chain lfs. A few days ago one shark died and when going back another man told me to use seachem prime and do water changes. today another shark died and I performed another 50% water change

My pH is 7.5
Ammonia is .25
Nitrate Is about 0

Please any advise would be greatly appreciated because as of right now I feel bad for these fish
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:37 PM   #2
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I, too, have had an experience similar to this only a week ago.

Here's what I learned:

1. Regardless of a small store or a large chain, with very few exceptions, those people are there to sell fish, not to get you a healthy aquarium.

2. While fish in cycling can work, fish out cycling will not put your fish at risk. It takes patience, (something I sadly don't have) but the end result in my opinion is better.

Your levels seem actually ok, but I would like to see a nitrite level. Nitrate isn't harmful to fish, nitrite is. Your ammonia levels are way better than mine, as mine constantly were at 3.0 and i had to buy all sorts of treatment stuff to make it go down some.

Water changes are the best thing you can do. I would do a 25%-50% water change frequently until your tank is cycled. Treat the new water with aquasafe and make sure it is the same temp. as the tank water before putting it in.

I did this and my 2 remaining fish seem much happier.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:36 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot, when would I know when my tank is done cycling and also when will be safe to add new fish?
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majbarsalona View Post
Thanks a lot, when would I know when my tank is done cycling and also when will be safe to add new fish?
Check out this link here, lots of great advice -http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articles/articles/124/2/-I-just-learned-about-cycling-but-I-already-have-fish-What-now/Page2.html

You will probably need to do large changes daily. Keep and eye on your levels and go from there.

It will take several weeks, maybe 6-8 to fully cycle. I wouldn't add anymore fish in this time. More fish = more bioload(waste) and will mean ammonia spikes, more stress on your fish and more water changes.

In a nut shell you will see a rise in nitrites and then nitrates. The rise in nitrites from ammonia will happen faster than the rise in nitrates. When you consistently see your ammonia and nitrite levels at zero and a rise in nitrates then you are cycled. Read the posted article though it deaf explains it out. Lots of very helpful info
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:23 AM   #5
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This link has several good articles to read that will answer your questions for you. Lori's guide to starting a freshwater aquarium goes over all the basics.

So you have a paradisefish and 2 sharks in there now? What kind of sharks?

The good news is that a 55g tank is a good large volume tank to begin working with, so if you keep the stock minimal for the first weeks while the tank is cycling you probably won't have to do many water changes. I strongly recommend not to add any more fish until you get a good grasp on the cycling process.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jetajockey
Articles - Aquarium Advice

This link has several good articles to read that will answer your questions for you. Lori's guide to starting a freshwater aquarium goes over all the basics.

So you have a paradisefish and 2 sharks in there now? What kind of sharks?

The good news is that a 55g tank is a good large volume tank to begin working with, so if you keep the stock minimal for the first weeks while the tank is cycling you probably won't have to do many water changes. I strongly recommend not to add any more fish until you get a good grasp on the cycling process.
The OP has a paradise fish and one red tail shark
Be sure to do 50% water changes daily or twice daily even
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:05 AM   #7
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Twice daily water changes on a 55g with 2 small fish in it? Why would that be?
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:52 AM   #8
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Twice daily water changes on a 55g with 2 small fish in it? Why would that be?
Just to be sure
And I said maybe even twice a day
I just wouldn't risk it
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:00 AM   #9
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Just to be sure
And I said maybe even twice a day
I just wouldn't risk it
I understand that, you do realize you are asking someone to change out 27.5 to 55 gallons of water a day in their tank? I'm not trying to be hard on you but you are advising that they do a lot of unnecessary work.

They said their ammonia is testing at .25 ppm, that's not even toxic to the fish, and with only 2 small fish in the tank it's not likely to raise up very quickly at all. If the OP feeds lightly it may not need to be changed but once a week.

The best route would be to continue testing regularly and do a PWC as needed. If it were me, at lets say 78 degrees and 7.5 ph, I would probably wait till it tested at 1 ppm before doing a water change.

A couple of concerns are the stocking, for one, if they are all red tailed sharks or in that same family then they have a great potential to hurt/kill one another because they are known to be very territorial towards their own kind.

Also, they do not make very good candidates for fish-in cycling and do best in a more stable and established tank. One sign that they are stressed is if you see the red in the tails pale out, it'll tell you a lot.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:08 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone, I'll just continue testing daily and doing pwc as needed until all the levels balance out
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