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Old 10-07-2006, 02:51 PM   #1
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Just added fish, when to add more?

My fishless cycle was completed early this week and i did a 50% water change and on wednesday night I went to the petstore with my friend (who has about 5 fishtanks and knows what hes doing) and i got some fairly hardy fish (because after the water change my Nitrites went back up to .5)
I came home with 3 peppered Corycats and they are doing really well.

Its been about 3 days, no problems, chemicals are doing fine (though my nitrates are in between 20 and 40. In my book it says 40 is the max you should have.

When is ideal to add more fish? Is there any general procedures as to how often you can introduce new fish to a tank or is it completely up to me?

Any advice would be great, also if my nitrates are too high tell me. maybe i should do a PWC ?

also: what fish would be a good next addition

(im thinking a pleco, tiger barbs?, serpae tetras?) as far as what i eventually want in my tank
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:57 PM   #2
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You can add fish every week or so. Just test to be sure of no spikes and then wait a little while till all is stable and add a few more.

I would do a water change if I were you I try to keep nitrates around 20 ppm or less.

I would add the barbs next they are tough fish. What size is the tank? Most plecos will get very large.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:06 PM   #3
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Its a 20 gal tank
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:35 PM   #4
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Your nitrates are still in the safe range between 20 and 40 although doing a partial water change like Rich suggested would be wise. As far as other fish go, you might look at a school of neon tetras. More can be found on them by following the link below.

http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/profiles/577.htm
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:07 AM   #5
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I went to the petstore to look at fish and I found some that I really liked but they only had one person working so i didnt get to ask about them.

These are the fish I found that I like. Just want to know anyones opinion on them:

I really liked the
Phantom Black Tetras
Bumblebee Goby
Rummy-nose tetra
Panda Corycats or Bandit ( i know they are differnt)
Green TigerBarbs
Darter Tetra (Walking Tetra)
and some kindof pleco (I saw a small one called pitbull pleco)
would anyof these be or not be a good idea for my tank?

Also Rich mentioned that plecos get rather large, it said 4 to 12 inches for an adult on the only pleco they had at this place (Its a petco and im not buying from them but I jsut went for ideas) Is a pleco going to get to large for a 20 gal?

Also just for a reminder is it one inch per one gallon when thinking of fish? As of right now i have 3 peppered corys which can be 1.5- 3 inches (or so it says)


Also, this has to do with a previous post> do i want to borrow my friends python gravel vac to do a PWC or can i still do the scoup method with 3 bottom feeders in my tank.

If i do a PWC by scouping water out do i need to add the dechlorinater directly to the water before i put it in teh tank or is it okay to do it immideatly after? I am used to haveing a fishless tank (for over a month) and every time i added water from evaporated water I just put in a little PRIME.

I know I have alot of questions but I guess i have to find out somehow!

thanks!
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:49 AM   #6
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The cories and tetras on the list will do just fine. Nice hardy fish dont get to big. The rummys are a little more sensative so you may want to wait until your tank is more established.

The barbs will do ok. They can be very nippy you will want at least 8 and they get 3 inches or so. That will be close to a tank full.

The pitbull pleco would be a nice choice they are one of the smaller species. Petco probably sells common plecos the get 18" plus.

If you scoop the water add dechlor to the bucket as you go. If you use the python I add for the whole tank volume before refilling. You will need to gravel vac soon but the water change is the most important thing.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:38 PM   #7
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The Black Phantoms and Cories would be fine for your tank. If you go with schooling fish make sure you have at least six in the school.
The Bumblebee Goby is a brackish water fish (although supposedly there is a freshwater variety now. You would want to make sure that that is true and that is for sure the one you got if you go that route.).
The Tiger Barbs are too active for a 20 gln. tank. It is generally believed that a 30 gln. is the smallest tank that they should be kept in. They also need to be in schools of six or more (more is better with them.).
IMO a 20 gln. is really too small for any pleco. Even the Pitbulls and Rubbernose's that stay under three inches. However some people do keep them in 20 gln. tanks. I just think that it's too small for them.
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Old 10-08-2006, 11:21 PM   #8
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Yea ive seen lots of things online about bumblebee gobys being saltwater and brakish but there are freshwater ones. The ones at teh store were all kept in a freshwater tank with the phantom black tetras.

What about Dater or walking tetras? thats a cleaning fish too right?
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:17 AM   #9
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just because their in a freshwater tank it doesnt mean their freshwater :P

also the bumblebee gobies peck at fishes' eyes i think, and their a little predatory (from what ive read)

i think you should be able to add a couple schools of fish. i like the rummynose tetras and the pandas, but thats me.

(also remember to spread out your fish, like dont do 20" of fish on 1 region of the tank"
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:36 AM   #10
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Got cha, I dont want like all my fish to be bottom feeders. I will go with something that lives towards the "open area" of the tank next, im timid to get a whole school at once jsut because its still a new tank I woudl hate to buy 6 or so tetras and end up killing them, id rather add a single fish or two next, not that I want to kill any, but id rather kill two fish than kill 8. Or maybe that just me!

But i hear that Black Phantom tetras are really hardy. ANd Thats what I need still because my nitrates after my 50% water change b4 i addeed my corys (and durring) were right around 40... i just did PWC (about 20-25%) today and i tested the water 3 hours after and it was still over 20 but it made a differnce. My test kit goes by colors and there is no colo inbetween 20 and 40, ist jsut darker then 20 but not quite as dark as 40. Any suggestions on getting it down to 20? Or shoudl I just wait and test again later on tomorrow?

About the Gobys: yea i have been doing LOTS of research on the bumblee bee gobys and reading lots of people posts and comments on them. I went to fishbase.org and there are actualy 4 differnt variations of bumblebee gobys. (the info on fishbase.org was somewhat over my head) So i think that maybe one variation is territorial and nippy, and another is calm. The majority of people on the comments have nothing but good things to say but there were about 4 or 5 that had some concerns.

the site i read all of the comments on them are http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_bumble.php

Here is what I understand from the majority of the comments. They do fine in freshwater but for breeding and what not they HAVE to be in brakish. I just really like this fish and I want to get one, but I dont want to put it or any of my other fish in harms way.

but I have also read that some of them pec at other fish? (2 out of the 40 comments i read, one was very scary attaking at fish though the plastic bag ekks)

What are some things I can look at in the tank in the store to know if they have been attacking the tetras they are living with? I woudl talk with someone who works there but its a PetCo and its a new store so I hate to say that I doubt they know much, but ill ask none the less.


Would it be horrible of me to get one even if it woudl thrive in a brackish tank but still do just fine in a freshwater?
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:42 PM   #11
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Here's the thing Tukie. All fish have different personalities. You could get a bumble-bee that does awesome and is everyone's best friend or you could get one that is a terror and goes after everyone. I always monitor my fish closely when I put them in for the first couple days.

I personally stay away from the Tiger Barbs myself. They tend to be nippy and territorial. I wouldn't worry about a pleco getting too large either. Buy a smaller one and it will take a little while to grow. As a bonus, most pet stores will let you trade in a big one for a small one once yours outgrows its tank. My caution is not to get a pleco until you start seeing some algae in your tank.

I would say if you want some sort of center-piece fish in your tank, get a dwarf gourami or something of the like. As far as schooling fish go, I really like rummy-nose tetras...take a look at those if you haven't yet. Anyway, good luck with this whole things, just remember to add slowly and monitor closely (I'm sure many of us tank vets have suffered the mistakes of not doing either of those!).

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Old 10-09-2006, 03:11 PM   #12
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Some general answers to your questions:

As for how often to add fish, a good general rule is to monitor water quality and after you've gone at least a week with ZERO ammonia and ZERO nitrites, your biofilter is probably ready for another load of fish. You mentioned in your initial post here that you were still getting some nitrite readings, that tells me your biofilter has not fully adjusted to the current stocking of fish that you have, so adding anything else right now would be a very bad idea.

Ideally nitrates should not get beyond 40 ppm, the only two ways to keep them in check are through regular PWC's and by planting some fast-growing plants in your tank (the plants suck up the nitrates in order to grow). You can check out some of the info on the planted tank forum for ideas about plants, if you decide to go that route.

Some thoughts on specific fish you asked about:

Bumblebee gobies would be a bad idea for you. They are bottom dwellers (and you already have cories on the bottom), and no matter what anyone says, they ARE brackish fish. They can survive a while in pure freshwater, but that is not their natural habitat and they will never thrive in that environment. On top of that, they really need a constant supply of live food to stay healthy; you coud get by with frozen bloodworms and such but it is not ideal, and keeping them alive on flakes is simply out of the question. Simply put, they are not a beginner's fish. If you really like them, then once you gain some experience, buy another 10g and set it up as a small brackish tank and you'll be much better off.

I really don't think you would ever need a pleco in the tank you have. Definitely no reason to get one early on, as they are an algae-eater and you're not going to have any algae to worry about (or enough to keep a pleco alive) early on. And once you do start developing algae a month or two from now, there are other options that are much smaller and better suited to a 20g tank, especially otos and, if you really needed it, one (true) siamese algae eater. If any of the local pet stores carries amano (japonica) shrimp, that would be another option for algae control.

As others have said, you'd be pushing it with tiger barbs in your 20g unless that is basically all you kept in the tank. Otherwise, the black phantom or rummy-nosed tetras are the way to go. Nice schooling fish (especially the rummys) and peaceful with other present or future tankmates. All corys get along with each other so if you wanted to get some panda corys to join your peppered, that would work.

Only fish you listed I am not familiar with is the darter.

Anyways, have fun and definitely keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:42 PM   #13
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Yea I realized, even more today, that my tank is still adjusting to my fish. Last night my ammonia was at .25 and so was my nitrite (after i did a 20-25% pwc) and I did use prime on the water b4 i put it in my tank. I thought by today (24 hours later) it woudl be back down to 0. My ammonia actualy is at 0 now but my nitrite is .5 so they went up. What does this mean? And should i be worried? They were both at zero before I did my pwc.

And I agree it woudl be best to do a separate tank if I really want gobies. Petco is actualy have this thing now that if u buy a stand you get a tank free, and my 20 gal is using a black shelf (is stable and sturdy) but its not really working that well. So i coudl get another tank for free with the stand and later on I coudl set up that one too.

Any advice on my nitrite issue woudl be great!
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Old 10-09-2006, 11:50 PM   #14
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The only thing with the cycle is, it takes time. If you are doing a "fishy" cycle (i.e. cycling by having a few fish in the tank), total time from beginning until the cycle is complete often is 5-6 weeks. It sounds like the first part of your cycle is close to finishing up (growing the bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite), but the second part of your cycle is only partially established (growing the bacteria that convert nitrite to nitrate).

Best advice is to keep monitoring (test water params every night), keep doing pwc's as needed to keep ammonia and/or nitrite under 0.50 ppm, and just wait until the cycle completes itself. Don't add any more fish until it does, and feed very sparingly--feed once a day, only as much as the fish will completely eat in 2-3 minutes, such that there is no leftover, uneaten food in the tank. When you do pwc's, don't stir up the gravel (like you will be doing once the cycle is established), as some of the beneficial bacteria are going to grow on the surfaces of everything in the tank.

Also, just to be sure, you might want to test your tap water straight out of the tap for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Sometimes tap water has those in it already (especially nitrates), and that can really affect your perception of the cycle. If you tap water has detectable levels of any of those 3, post the results here on the forum and let us know, since that will mean it will be tougher to get an accurate read on your cycle.

Basically, the main thing right now is patience. If indeed your bacteria are already producing some level of nitrates, that is telling us that you are nearing the end of your cycle, and likely have at most 2-3 weeks until it will be complete. As long as you don't do anything drastic to crash your cycle, you should be there very soon.
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:05 AM   #15
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plants would help with ammonia and stuff
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Old 10-10-2006, 04:54 AM   #16
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I had already done the fishless cycle (pure ammonia drops in a fishless tank) as i have had a fishless tank for over a month. Amonia went up to 5 and fell back to 0 as did nitrites and they did that together. thats when i got fish because I thought i was already done with the cycle. Nitrates were above 40 and nitrite and ammonia both fell to zero. So i did ta 50% water change and re-tested and got fish.

There is actauly somethign I may have done that messed up my tank, now that I think about it. The tube that goes to my filter and the cord for my thermometer had a bunch of "gunk" on it. the Tube was bad it had about 1/4 of the slots covered (looked mainly like hair that had fallen into the tank and waht not) So i took the tube out and the thermometer cord and whiped them off?

Do you think I messed something up when I did that?

My tap initally tests as follows:
Ammonia 1ppm
Nitrite 0ppm


When I treated my water before my pwc on sunday I got the water to the right temperature in a 5 gal bucket and then I added about 1ml of PRIME. (according to the bottle a capful is 5ml and one cap ful treats 50 galons and each thread in the cap is about 1ml so that means 1ml treats 10 gallons) So if i used a 10gal treatment on a 5 gal bucket it should have gottin rid of that ammonia.

Im going to do another water change later on today but i want to make sure I am actualy conditioning the water correctly. I was told by a friend that PRIME was the way to go and before that I had 2 sample packets of AquaSafe that I used when I initialy set up my tank. Now i have a bottle of prime.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:39 AM   #17
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Prime is indeed the way to go IMO. Your water has chloramine in it which when broken down in your ammonia test will show up as free ammonia. Prime not only dechlorinates the water but it also converts the ammonia into a non-toxic form that they claim the biological filter can still use and convert to nitrIte and then nitrAte. Either way you are fine, just make sure you are accurately measuring 1ml, or do 2ml just to be safe.

Wiping off that cord did practically nothing to your filter so don't worry about it.

When you fishless cycled did you bring the ammonia level up to 5ppm and then wait until there was no nitrIte, or did you continue dosing ammonia? Based on what is happening right now I suspect your ammonia to nitrIte converting bacteria died off somewhat as you were waiting for your nitrItes to go down. For future use, you want to maintain a level of ammonia at all times during fishless cycling so the ammonia to nitrIte converting bacteria are properly fed. Then when you see your nitrItes starting to drop you can do a large PWC so you can know when your cycle is nearing completion.

Generally if a fishless cycle is properly done you can fully stock your tank and not see an ammonia or nitrIte spike. In essence you grow more bacteria than you need to support your planned fish stock, and then the levels drop to the amount of fish/food present.

For now keep up on the PWC's. Since you have no plants and don't seem to be adding any chemicals other than Prime PWC's are a piece of cake, just a light annoyance.

BTW I have a 20gallon high tank and would agree to stay away from the tiger barbs as mentioned before. They are quite territorial and prone to nipping, and even though they are labeled mid-level dwellers mine stay near the substrate most of the time. They killed 2 out of my 3 cory's by constantly nipping them (had 3 cory's and 6 tiger barbs). So while they are beautiful, I wish I would have gone for another type of fish that isn't so aggressive...

Goodluck!
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Old 10-10-2006, 01:10 PM   #18
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I did continue to add ammonia after it went up to 5 (not immidatley) but i did. There was maybe 2-3 days were i didnt add any ammonia after nitrite got up to 5 as well. then i kept adding to try to keep it at two, as nitrite was at to... so on and so on.

I am fairly sure my cycle went smoothly besides those few days i stopped adding ammonia because i thought i was supposed to once it got to 5ppm. I found out through this forum and fixed it till they were both at zero.

I just did a PWC and I did does with prime, it said it was safe to dose for 5x the ammount if nitrites were present to detoxify them, so I used more than 2 ml. im going to test the water when I get back from classes tonight and hopefully all is well.

My fish did seem like they were getting stressed, or atleast acting differnt. Swimming all over the tank rapidly, shooting to the top then comig back down. And they had only done that a few times before, maybe they are just more comfortable to their new home or maybe they were stressed.

It seems they have calmed down a little bit after the water change but i have only seen them for an hour or so after I did it.
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Old 10-10-2006, 02:07 PM   #19
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How much more than 2ml did you add? Prime is concentrated stuff and while not particularly toxic I wouldn't over do it.

Please note that while Prime will detoxify ammonia and nitrIte it will still show up on your tests. That is a problem since you cannot be sure what you are detecting is in the toxic form or not. Best bet is to cut your feedings until your ammonia and nitrIte levels do not come back. I would cut feedings to 1/2 at a minimum, but you could easily go 2-3days with no feedings and they should be fine as long as they are healthy to begin with (fat belly and good color).
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Old 10-10-2006, 02:12 PM   #20
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Sense i just used the cap to measure it out Im not sure becuase 1 thread is approzimatley 1ml. At the most it was probably 3ml because i had to empty water out of the bucket then add more to get the temperature right.
Ill see what the chemicals are later today and if they are still not what is ideal I wont feed for a day or two. They seem to be healthy fish i got them from a good local store who i have heard nothing but good things about, one of them is alot skinnier then the other two but im thinking he is just younger or naturally smaller.


RESULTS AS OF this evening



Results of today:

Amonia: 0
Nitrite: still .5
nitrate: 20

so... the water change helped a little with nitrate again but the nitrite didnt change at all.
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