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Old 03-08-2003, 02:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Tustin, California
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please supply advice to a newbie

Hi everybody!! This is a very cool website, and it is really great to find a place that provides a wide range of advice!!

My wife and I just purchased a 55g tank on Sunday, March 2nd, and went through full assembly (rinsed gravel, rocks, and plants thoroughly before placing in tank), filled the tank with tap water, added the instructed chemicals to balance the water chemical levels, and fired up the filter and heater, with everything beginning to run at about 4pm on that Sunday. On the following Monday night, at about 8pm, I purchased (as instructed by the pet store worker) 4 black mollys and 4 silver lyre-tail mollys as fish to begin everyone's favorite cycling process. Well, it is now Friday, and I am sadly already down to 3 black mollys, who are showing the signs of listlessness that the other 5 late fish suffered before the grim aqua-reaper came knocking on their 55 gallon door. Perhaps other newbies out there in aquariumadvice.com land can relate with myself, in finding that every pet store worker or fish specialist gives you different advice from the next, which is why I felt the desperate need to resort here for clarification. I have a few questions that if anyone out there can answer, I would be incredibly thankful

1. Are mollys really an ideal choice as a starter fish to help get the tank ready for more sensitive fish? As I write this, I am looking at my tank, and the remaining three mollys are hanging out primarily at the top of the tank as if gasping for air at the surface... barely moving...

2. Are they gasping for air because there is a lack of it? I wouldn't think that were true, since the water is not even a week old.... which leads me to my next question...

3. Did I put these fish in way too prematurely... perhaps even the hardest of fish need at least 48 to 36 hours before being introduced to the tank?

4. By day #3, we found the tank to get quite cloudy... one of the fish specialists called it "New Tank Syndrome" and that the cloudiness was from the remaining dust found in the gravel... was I negligent in my gravel rinsing?? I was certain that had done a pretty thorough job... at least my hands thought so with all the scrapes and sores!!

5. My last and most important question... when we purchased all the supplies for our tank, we also purchased a fresh water eel, who will go in the tank once it is at its most safe levels of bacteria and chemicals... my question is... when will that be?! (LOL)... I have heard everything from 2 days to 2 months, and I want to make sure that I am doing everything right to help assure time is not being wasted... I have used the product, Cycle (instant bacteria), and probably should be looking at getting more fish to do their job getting the tank ready (as you can tell, I am even a newbie at the terminology....sorry!!!) I checked for all the dangerous chemical levels and everything seems legit (my ph was slightly high tonight, and I already adjusted that)

I have a feeling tomorrow morning, two or three more mollys will be heading to the pearly gates... but if anyone can tell me what I am possibly doing wrong (or if perhaps this is totally natural when a tank's water supply is so new)... please let me know...I am all ears!!

Well, thanks again for providing a fantastic website, and I look forward to hearing from you!!!


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Old 03-08-2003, 04:15 AM   #2
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i'd suggest taking the fish back to the store and doing a fishless cycle.


scroll down to set up - fishless cycling on the menu bar

if this is not an option, take a look at this link here

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Old 03-08-2003, 07:34 AM   #3
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The cloudiness of your tank is more then likely due to the cycling of your tank. As for how long it will take for your tank to cycle it is true it could be days to weeks, each tank is different. I have had a tank take 3 months to cycle and others in 2 weeks. What is your pH, did you dechlorinate the water before adding the fish? Mollies are hardy fish I have started S/W tanks with them. But I do prefer Danio's to cycle F/W tanks. I would check your pH and not place any fish in until the pH is stabilized, Or you could go with the fishless cycle as mentioned in the previous post.
Good Luck and keep us posted so we may be able to help with the start of your tank.

75 gal. Reef & 30 gal. Anemone Tanks.

I get paid for what I may have to do, Not for what I do!
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:03 AM   #4
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I'm surprised that the store didn't tell you to cycle your tank, thats one way to kill fish, another is to bbq them or pan fry........
A rule of thumb is to cycle your tank before adding any fish to it, this will build up the bacteria level and make it "safe" for your finned friends. Hey I know how it is, you just get a tank and then you just have to put fish in it, even though in your mind you know you aren't doing the right thing, you still do it and they die. Then you feel like a murderer and just want to do it right, but its too late by then. Your best bet is to cut your losses, return the remaining fish to the lfs and start a bare cycle tank for a week, then start adding fish. Another rule of thumb is to add no more than 2 fish at a time. The freshwater eel you got is not the easiest thing to take care of. They are very fussy eaters and can take weeks to eat something, (they are actually brackish/salt water fish, they are only born in freshwater).

In final, return, restart, cycle and go here to find fish suitable to your needs, http://www.aquariacentral.com/.
Don't tap on the glass, the fish will think you are stupid!!
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:42 AM   #5
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You can also find our article on the fishless cycle here

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