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Old 10-21-2004, 03:06 AM   #1
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New tank after many years hiatus: and now i suck.

I used to have fish tanks when i was younger. Swordtails, neons, etc.

I was bored in college, and decided it might be fun to have some again, so i picked up a tank at walmart, and because of their crappy-looking conditions, bought some fish at a local fishstore that seemed to put some effort in thier stocking.

I bought 1 African Dwarf Frog (and maybe one or two later when they restock) and 3 orange eyed tetra things. the tetra's were marked as being good community fish, and their mouths were fairly small

The tank I got from walmart is a smallish (10 gallon? I think) D shaped number. However, anytime I turn on the filter (an Aqua-tech 5-15.. one of those numbers that suck the water up a pipe and then cascades it back into the tank) the fish just go to the bottom of the tank and swim rapidly like they can't keep up with the pressure... I feel bad and turn it off They do the same thing when I turn on the air pump.

About the air pump, I have it pump air up through an air bubbler block I buried under my rocks... however, the pump is very loud (and I don't believe its back pressure or anything, because its very loud even when its not connected to the line.), and it puts out too much air. Its some ****** $7.00 pump from walmart. Is there a better low noise/low output pump? I don't really need a lot of bubbles, I think, and I certainly don't need the noise.

Its quite a rough start. I just hope that my frog will live long eough for me to figure out how to feed him The lady at the counter was nice, but sorta ditzy. I asked for frozen bloodworms, and she forgot to get them. The freeze dried ones I was going to try don't sink, and the frog doesn't seem inclined to swim up to eat either those or flakes (which I know arn't optimul for him...)

...fishy fishy....
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Old 10-21-2004, 08:57 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA, dboyer!

Sounds like we are off to a bit of a rough start, but this is an equipment issue so we can certainly get you going. The filter that sucks the water up and spills it back into the tank ("hang on back" or HOB power filter) really needs to be running 24/7. This oxygenates the water and will help get your biological filter started (bacteria that consume ammonia and nitrite). Is there any way to adjust the flow of the water? If this filter causes too much current then you might consider getting a different brand, like a Penguin 125, which has a biowheel on it, or the AquaClear line of filters. Some of them have an adjustable flow feature.

You don't really need bubbles in the tank, so if you don't want to buy a more expensive (Rena) air pump them you can put that on hold for now - I know what you mean about noisy pumps, there is an entire thread running now devoted to them!

There are sinking pellets that might be good for the frog - you can post a new thread in the General section about feeding frogs, or do a search for threads about it, because I know it has been discussed before.

You will need some test kits to monitor your water condition as it cycles - Google "nitrogen cycle" and read everything you can about it - we have an article here at AA about it as well. Get yourself an ammonia test, nitrite test and a nitrate test, if you don't already have them. Also, you don't mention it but I just want to be sure that you do have a heater in the tank.

Good luck!
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Old 10-21-2004, 12:58 PM   #3
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the filter DOES have an adjustable flow, it just doesn't help. Even at the lowest trickle, the fish go right to the bottom. Im starting to suspect this isn't a current issue, because I can watch particles in the water and they don't move much, so the currents can't be that significan't.

*sheepish* I don't have a heater yet, and was actually planning on buying one today. I'm sure the waters a tad on the cold side... maybe they don't like the (possibly) colder water trickling in from the filter? Hum.

Is there any way to simply restrict air flow with an air pump? That may be a partial answer for me.
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Old 10-21-2004, 01:08 PM   #4
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You can split the airline hose and run two stones with one pump, which would divide the air flow between two and spread it out, but the air bubbles are not going to help the fish or anything - they are purely esthetic.

I do think part of the problem may be the cool water, and may contribute to the frog not eating - their metabolisms slow down in cool water so they won't want to eat, so be careful not to foul the tank with a lot of uneaten food. See if you can put an incandescent bulb (like the gooseneck desk type) pointed directly over the water, so the heat from the bulb might help warm the water. See if you can't get a heater right quick, along with a stick-on thermometer for the outside to monitor temp.
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