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Old 07-07-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Location: New Jersey, USA
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Before anyone starts jumping down my throat about where i got my supplies, please note iím very amateur. This is my first aquarium that Iím in control of ( had a tank as a kid but my parents kept care of it at the time.) I did some research but apparently not enough. I read that bigger tanks were easier to keep up because they have more water and it takes a little longer for adverse effect to kick in (i.e ammonia, nitrites, fish pollution.) my fiance wanted to put a couple goldfish in a 1.5g vase, but I told her that wouldnít really work, so I went with a 55g kit from my local petsmart ( <- i know, probably the worse decision of my life.)

Tank Parameters:
55 gallon
48ĒL x 12-9/16Ē D x 20-7/8Ē H - Outside Dimensions
LED Light Hoods
Top Fin Power Filter with 2 cartridges
adjustable 200w heater
stick on thermometer
6Ē nylon net

View image: Aquarium 4

This is the second setup we did, we started adding fish before I read about cycling and petsmart got a ďbad batchĒ which I felt was another reason the tank had crashed. The first time we set it up we had twice the amount of gravel and a giant castle ( which I think held stagnant water in it.) we return the castle and used half as much gravel. I'm on well water here with a salt deionizer. My water is a little on the harder side yellow rings in toilet and showers, and smells like rotten eggs sometimes. We donít personally drink the water so the first setup we filtered 55 gallons through a brita filter, it came out cloudy surprisingly. which i read was a bad move as well since the brita filters take out trace elements and minerals in water that the fish need. but everything was fine for the first week or so. fish weren't fighting getting along well with each other seemed to be swimming moderately. then the crash happened.

6/10/13 is when we got the tank was told hold out a week and then add fish, I was poorly educated and paid the price.

6/13/13 was told to add bacteria, bought a bottle of top fin bacteria supplement, added according to directions.

6/16/13 added what petsmart says was a hi fin pleco, and 1 pictus catfish

6/17/13 tested water with test strips. (didnít have or know about API master kit.) everything was fine on the test strips, water condition was cloudy, almost like someone added a couple drops of milk into the aquarium or like a caulk cloud it was very light.

6/19/13 Bought Rainbow Shark, 2 Silver Dollars

6/20/13 Bought Angel Fish and 2 more Silver Dollars <- bad batch

6/22/13 Massive die out occured. Luckily i was able to save the rainbow shark and pleco and got those 2 back to the store.

I assume stocked way to quickly and overfed, as i was nervous because the only thing i really seen eat was pleco which was all the time.

6/23/13 we drained everything scrubbed tank down refilled it with half the amount of gravel, thought it was too thick and holding a lot of debris and old food, returned castle, and used tap water, treated with water conditioner and bacteria supplement. Water surprisingly very clear.

Tested water with API on 6/23/13
PH: between 8 and 8.2 it looks like

Water test on 6/30/13
PH: 8 - 8.2
Ammonia: 0 - .25
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0

Water Test on 7/5/13
PH: 8 - 8.2
Ammonia 0 - .25 ( Colors are hard to distinguish with me, so if i anyting i always go up one if iím doubting what i see.) I was leaning more towards 0 on this test and assumed the tank was cycling if my last test showed a little ammonia then 0 this time.
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates:0 rookie move and forgot that you need to have some nitrates

water test on 7/6/13
ph: 8 - 8.2 seems more reddish to me then brown anyone else have this happen ?
ammonia: 0 - 0.25

my temps usually say between 74 to 78 on the stupid sticker thermometer. im on the second floor and battle serve heat right now got a fan blowing at the tank. I have 2 Pictus catfish in there now. they seem pretty healthy but i dont know cause im so new to this. I will be doing a water change shortly. I thought its time to get a second opinion from someone that actually knows what they are doing. the Pictus seem fine but most of the day they swim in the same spot on the glass point straight up towards top of tank, and every now and then lay down on rocks like they are taking a break. They don't seem to be gasping for air or continuously swimming at the top trying to surface breathe. Please help I don't think i can go through more fishing dying. i've been reading alot but all the information is so mixed, some people say thats just what their catfish do, others say it could be they are dying, others say poisoning, i need help here they both ate last night some shrimp pellets and seemed to go nuts swimming vigorously kinda like a feeding frenzy so i was kinda happy with that ( moving around and eating.)

View image: Aquarium 7

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Old 07-07-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:15 PM   #3
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Thank you very much I've been reading a lot of the forums here and figured its about time to join and post.
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