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Old 01-21-2019, 01:40 PM   #1
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Scared to Add New Fish!

Purchased a 30 gal freshwater tank kit in Dec 2018 as a Christmas gift to my children. Set it up, ran it for 24 hours and sometime on the 27th took a sample to our local pet store who stated the water was 'good' (whatever that meant) and immediately purchased 2 glofish tetras.
Fish did well... outside of the 1 being mildly aggressive toward the other, they seem to be thriving and because that was so, i kinda left the tank alone to let it do its thing.
However as the water started to noticeably evaporate from the tank i figured i was due for a water change not to mention the kids (ie, husband) wanted to add more fish but i didn't feel comfortable about doing so w/o knowing what my levels were in the tank so i purchased the API freshwater master test kit & proceeded to test the water prior to doing my 1st water change. Results were as follows:
pH: >7.6
Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: .25
Nitrate: 10 - 20

Did a 30% water change using a gravel cleaner. Added water conditioner. Tested the water 24 hrs later & they were as follows:
pH: 8.0 (this time using the high ph testing solution)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5

Proceeded to test the pH of my tap water and realized it's coming out 8+. Let me add that outside of a few decorations, after the water change i added about 4 stalks of amazon sword & a air stone.

Questions/Concerns:
I know the basic rule of thumb regarding pH is 'if it isn't broke, don't fix it' especially if it's remaining stable. However, i'm concerned that even though my current fish seem to like it, the new fish won't & the shock will kill them. Not to mention, eventually kill off the amazon sword. Was thinking about adding some almond leaves to attempt to bring it down naturally. Any thoughts on how to introduce new fish with current conditions?

Which brings me to my next question - new fish. Getting more glofish since they've done us well, not to mention i think they need the numbers to become less aggressive; but definitely need a bottom feeder as I've realized after observing the fish eat & cleaning the tank that the 2 fish we have can't eat fast enough. The food reaches the bottom before they can consume it, they don't seem to know how to go down to the gravel & get it, and for fear of spiking my ammonia levels, i never go over my usual pinch of food every other day. But when i do feed them, they're like piranhas! They swim aggressively to the top, attack the food, & immediately swim back down. And the 1 chases the other when he sees him eating too. Ok... sorry back on track, what would be the best bottom feeder for my tank being as though i have gravel and considering my pH conditions? (Now wishing i would have thought out the box and used something softer to coat the bottom of the tank.)

Also, i'm in love w/bettas and would love to put 1 in the community tank i'm building - think this would be ok? Again, considering tank conditions and being as though the tetras are already chasing each other which may change once i up the numbers.

Lastly, haven't done anything with my tank filter as of yet. The filter was part of the kit & states it has a light when the cartridge needs to be changed. Should i trust this?

Any advice you can provide to get this community tank thriving will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:13 PM   #2
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Your tank isn't cycled it's in the middle of a cycle.

Your pH is fine I wouldn't mess with it. I run a few tanks with several different fish at a pH of 8.4-8.6. Some people drip acclimate fish over the course of a couple hours after purchasing them. Some don't and drop them right in the tank after they have temperature matched. I think introduction really depends on the hardiness of the fish but with Tetra you'd be fine either way. Your stores pH is probably not much different than your tap.

When you test your pH out of the tap you have to set it out in a glass for 24 hours then test it to get an accurate reading. I'm assuming if your tank water was 7.6 then that's gonna be closer to your true pH out of the tap after 24 hours.

I wouldn't worry about a little food hitting the substrate. You use a gravel vac and I assume you will be doing a couple partial water changes a week until your tank is cycled.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by King Fisher View Post
Your tank isn't cycled it's in the middle of a cycle.

Your pH is fine I wouldn't mess with it. I run a few tanks with several different fish at a pH of 8.4-8.6. Some people drip acclimate fish over the course of a couple hours after purchasing them. Some don't and drop them right in the tank after they have temperature matched. I think introduction really depends on the hardiness of the fish but with Tetra you'd be fine either way. Your stores pH is probably not much different than your tap.

When you test your pH out of the tap you have to set it out in a glass for 24 hours then test it to get an accurate reading. I'm assuming if your tank water was 7.6 then that's gonna be closer to your true pH out of the tap after 24 hours.

I wouldn't worry about a little food hitting the substrate. You use a gravel vac and I assume you will be doing a couple partial water changes a week until your tank is cycled.
Thanks for your advice.

And even though i shouldn't ask because i know i can find the answer somewhere on this site, i'm a risk-taker and going to ask anyway!

The ultimate question....

How will i know when my tank has cycled?

Will fish give me thumbs up ? (kidding)

And any suggestions for bottom feeders?
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:35 PM   #4
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Yeah your tank is not fully cycled. It is coming along since you have some nitrate. You will not be fully cycled until you consistently always have zero ammonia and zero nitrites. You should wait to add more fish until you are sure you have a fully cycled tank. Here is a link http://www.aquariumadvice.com/i-just...fish-what-now/
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:46 PM   #5
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Yeah your tank is not fully cycled. It is coming along since you have some nitrate. You will not be fully cycled until you consistently always have zero ammonia and zero nitrites. You should wait to add more fish until you are sure you have a fully cycled tank. Here is a link I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
Article definitely helped - Thank You!
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:56 AM   #6
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Cory cats are good bottom feeders for your size tank. I wouldn't add anymore fish until your tank is cycled.
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