New and learning (from my mistakes)

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jan 21, 2013
Hello all ;)

Not sure where to begin, except to say that I'm learning from some extremely stupid mistakes that I could of prevented had I done a bit of research. Will try to make this short as I'm sure you guys have seen these mistakes a billion times already. :cool:

I bought the Mainland 10G Starter Tank Kit on the 3rd of Jan, set it up, and the next day headed to Petland to pick up the Neon Tetras that I wanted. I got talked out of those and ended up with 5 Tiger Barbs instead (I don't recall where in the middle of this mess that I picked up the Ghost Shrimp). Shortly after this I learned that cycling the tank with fish is not the best method to follow, which is likely how I lost the first 3 fish.

I've been doing the water changes like I'm supposed to, but the water kept getting cloudier and cloudier. I have the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, and all the tests were normal except the PH is at high range 7.4. (I tested the water right from the bathroom tap and it is also at 7.4). I tried doing a 20% water change every day for 3 or 4 days but I just couldn't clear up the cloudy water. I looked this up and found out that it should clear up on its own over time.

Found out that the Tiger Barbs require at least a 30 gallon tank, so I found this nice lady working over at PetSmart who is eager to take them off my hands for her personal tanks at home. Yay!

The other night I had my boyfriend come in to look at the fish (my new glasses come in on the 1st.. yay no more blurry world!) because they were acting listless and not eating. This is when I discovered the fish had ich. :facepalm: Called the lady at PetSmart and told her I would need some ich treatment and that Id need to get the fish healthy again before giving them to her. Did some research once I got off the phone and learned that the ich meds might kill the ghost shrimp, and turn the corners of the tank a different color. Learned about the salt and heat method and went out to get some Aquarium Salt.

Followed the instructions I found on the net and proceeded to slowly increase the heat in the tank to 85 degrees. Took a gallon of some of the aquarium water and added the salt to it, let it melt and over a period of 24 hours added the solution to the tank. I've also added a bubble thingy for aeration. Wow. HUGE HUGE difference!! No more cloudy water (that cleared quickly), and not as many white spots on the Barbs. They're eating and swimming around the tank and appear to be on their way back to good health. I have to wait two more weeks before I can get them into their new home. Oh, since the tank is sitting on a dresser in front of a mirror, I took the decorative backing off the tank thinking that hopefully the Barbs might be tricked into thinking there's 4 of them instead of 2 lol. Wishful thinking on my part I'm sure, but hopefully they will be ok until the ich ordeal is over.

That's my story in a nutshell. I own my mistakes and admit I have no one to blame but myself. I didn't listen to what my boyfriend was trying to tell me about the cycle (normally I research a lot more). I was overly excited about getting the fish, and he sounded like one of the teachers from Charlie Brown. Lesson learned. :oops:
Every tank has to cycle. The sponges or media in the filter will hold bactirea that brakes down bad thing like nitates. all the water change just slowed it down. Now you can do 90% water changes and it will stay clear. but watch how you clean the filter you can make it have to recycle. Never use tap water to clean it always use tank water.
You have a good PH. here in texasPH from the tap can be as high as 8.4...
Asking the people that work for Pet/smart, Pet/co and some of the other big stores about fish. Is taking a chanse. most are just working. they have no clue about fish really. (they are some that do but not many).
Get what you want. Neon Tetra's are beautiful little fish. They are schoolers and you need a group of 6 or more. In a 10g tank you could have 15 or 16. The way they movie together around the tank is really cool. Some fish fit the 1in. 1 gal. rule but neons are smaller and like to have more friends in the tank.
If you are consistant with water changes and don't over feed they will live a long time.
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