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Old 03-08-2019, 04:15 PM   #1
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Jumped in blind but it mostly works

Hi everyone! So glad I found this forum!

I'm an animal nut but have mostly focused on furry ones. I had a basic assortment of fish as a kid - goldfish won from fairs, guppies, that kind of thing. Last year my husband gave me a 2.5-gallon tank for my desk at work, and we just bought a 20-gal at home. I thought I knew something about fish so I just jumped into the hobby blind.

At work I have two male and one female fancy-tailed guppies, a new nerite snail and a couple plants. I change out 30-40% of the water weekly, or more often if my test strips tell me to.

At home we have 3 guppies (offspring from work), a pleco, marble molly, black molly, female swordtail (the male died), two African dwarf frogs, a good-sized snail and an orange Mexican CPO crayfish. There are 5 or 6 small live plants and a fake one. Oh and a beautiful betta!

The work tank is good but it gets dirty quickly. The snail will help and I plan to pick up some shrimp this weekend. I used to have an ADF but it died. I would love to get another one but will wait to see how well the new cleaning crew does before adding to the bioload.

The home tank is consistently high in nitrates. I've only been changing out about 20% of the water weekly - this weekend I will change out half the water and see what that does. The marble molly tells me when she needs a water change by swimming with her fins tucked in.

My biggest challenge is not getting MORE fish, MORE plants, MORE... This forum should help keep me in check and focused on providing better care to what I already have!

Anyone out there in the northwest Chicago area?

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Old 03-11-2019, 04:17 AM   #2
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Try doing a bit bigger pwc or 2 of the ones you already do now per week. The Molly shouldn't have to feel bad and maybe you are feeding more than they need or too much at once. If you only feed one time per day see if cutting it in half and feeding a bit less but maybe try part in the morning and part in the evening.

It gives the fish time to clean up the food, and helps the parameters by the food being eaten better / less wasted food means less turning to ammonia (ending in Nitrates), less polluting and better fish health as well.

In case you haven't read through this article it is probably lots of what you already know but has more links. There are a few quick fun articles on planted tanks and ferts in the Freshwater article section.

Articles - Aquarium Advice

Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
New to FW fish? First tank in a long time or EVER??? Need some info on keeping fish?

Start here - Aquarium Advice Article

FW Favorites right now Clown Loaches, any shrimp - SW Vase Red Mangroves
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Old 03-11-2019, 01:21 PM   #3
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Thanks Autumnsky! I will read the articles. After ~40% change this weekend, the nitrates settled down. I will keep an eye on it to see how fast it builds back up.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:12 PM   #4
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