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Old 02-10-2014, 10:29 PM   #1
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I'm so confused

My tank is a 47 gal hexagon/corner planted tank with sand substrate, dimensions: w22"xl22"xh24".

My calculations for fish was based on 47 gallons. However, I just read how I need to stock with far fewer fish. Some recommend half the fish.

I currently have 7 False Julie Corys and 6 Platys. The Platys I got in late December. The Corys were bought late January and yesterday. So far no one has died. The Corys have a large fake log cave, small rock cave and plants to hide in.

My plan was to add a Gourami (honey, pearl or dwarf), and a third school of small hardy fish, maybe lemon tetras.

My tap water is slightly alkaline, hard and has 3+ppm ammonia/Chloramine. Before I do a water change my tank is at 0ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 20-40ppm nitrate, 200ppm hardness, 150ppm Alkalinity, ph 7.6. I use the liquid drops/test tube for ammonia and strips for the rest. I currently do a small 5-10 gal change once a week.

1: I don't think I am, but am I currently overstocked?

2: Can I still add the gourami? Will a gourami be a good fit, or should I look for a different fish?

3: I used a stocking calculator (AqAdvisor) which seems to think I can still have a group of 6 lemon tetras. If I'm suppose to treat the tank like a 23gal tank that makes no sense. Any advise?

4: I was originally going to go with dwarf rainbows, not tetras. I think the ammonia from water changes would kill rainbows. If I can have a third group would lemon tetras be a good fish, or would you recommend another fish?

5: My water has so much Chloramine. What do I do? I can't imagine a 50% change would be anything but catastrophic. Should I do do 2-3 10% changes? Daily 1-2 gal changes? I know as I add more fish I'll need to change more water.


I'm so confused.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:58 AM   #2
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Hi there

What is your water source? That is a very concerning level of ammonia from your tap!

Definitely be using Prime water conditioner. With your level of ammonia you may want to be in a permanent case of using double the dose, which is safe for your fish. The toxic Free Ammonia NH3 will be converted into safer Ammonium NH4, for up to 48 hours. In that 48 hours, your filter should be able to convert out the ammonia.

That said, 3ppm IS really high. I would probably do a max of 30% WC, twice a week. That will give you .9ppm ammonia whenever you do a water change, which is still really high, but the double Prime dose should keep it safe enough while your filter removes it.

You might also want to add some ammonia absorbing chips to your system, this will help. But I think that your filter should be able to handle it.

Re: stocking, check out this tool: AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor
It's really helpful to advise you on fish setups
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:10 AM   #3
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My water is the local city tap water for Arlington, VA.

I'll start double dosing the water with prime. Could I used ammonia absorbing chips on the water before I do a water change? How fast are they at dropping the levels?
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:03 AM   #4
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The API nitrazorb seemed fairly quick but you can only recharge it so many times. Also that was in a small tank and gradual increase of ammonia.

For that amount, I would try a 10 gal bucket I think with a filter to reduce ammonia and then use that for water changes.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:24 PM   #5
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That's a really good idea. Pre-removing the ammonia. Adds a second step but that is definitely safer.

I would call your city, that amount of ammonia cannot possibly be acceptable in a municipal water supply??
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:13 PM   #6
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One good idea per week before handing back to experts

I guess if you did it, then add a floating plant to soak up nitrate?
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:59 PM   #7
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Plants will also use ammonia, so adding hornwort or anacharis could be especially beneficial.
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