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 New member and new to fishies

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OneAkela
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PostSubject: New member and new to fishies   Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:38 pm

Hi All. I have just set up a 13 gal FW tank. It is the one they had a firesale on last Thanksgiving at Petco. It is 24x8x16. I know, I know, 8 inches in width??? Well, if I knew then what I know now, I would have bought something else. Anyway, kids wanted a dog (no), cat (nope), rabbit (anoha), hamster (Saint Happenin') and finally settled on fish. The tank is by Aqueon and only has 4.5 watts of LED lighting. I have an extra sponge filter on the dip tube for the pump.

I put in a layer of ADA Amazonia with gravel on top. Couple of lava rocks a length of mopani wood which I boiled the heck out of... Half way through the setup, I decided to go to a planted tank. Well, I was fertilizing (I thought) with Seachem comprehensive without realizing that it was only trace elements! So some plants melted away despite my dosing with glutaraldehyde. (Also not enough light).

I searched around and got an Ecoxotic Panorama module (8000K) which is 16 watt LED as well as a white/magenta stunner strip which is 6 watts.

Put a few more plants in and so far ok. Well, the nitrogen cycle did not seem to be happening, so I put in some Miracle Gro 2-3 times and I saw nitrite off the scale a couple weeks later. Currently, nitrite is reading zero, but nitrates are off the scale. The ammonia refuses to go below 0.25. Even the tap water reads 0.25. Can anyone in Chesterfield confirm that?

Family and friends keep asking so when are the fish coming? I fool the visiting kids by telling them the fish are in there, but to look really closely!  Laughing 

My thoughts are to put in about 5 cory cats- I thought about pandas, but they might be too big, so may go with C. habrosus. Also, perhaps half a dozen glowlight tetras. I am waffling on some red cherry shrimp as algae cleaners...

Anyway, I am not putting in fish until I get my nitrate problem in control. I'm going to try to attach a pic. This one is a bit older- I have more plants in now. The dark spots are my feeble attempt at growing coral moss on the lava rocks. I think it is all dead. Maybe I will get some java moss from somewhere...

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gerald
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:59 pm

Plants should uptake the nitrate, IF they have everything else they need to grow. If the plants are not doing enough, then water changes are the way to remove nitrate. Welcome, and good luck!
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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:21 pm

@OneAkela wrote:
Put a few more plants in and so far ok. Well, the nitrogen cycle did not seem to be happening,
so I put in some Miracle Gro 2-3 times and I saw nitrite off the scale a couple weeks later. Currently, nitrite is reading zero, but nitrates are off the scale. The ammonia refuses to go below 0.25. Even the tap water reads 0.25. Can anyone in Chesterfield confirm that?

Do you mean to say Miracle-Gro, by Scott's?  Shocked  The fertilizer for indoor and outdoor plants?  
If that is what you mean, I had no idea it could be used in aquariums. Of course, you don't have any fish in there, yet ...  

The N-P-K rating for the regular water soluble mix of Miracle-Gro is 24-8-16.  So that's lots of nitrogen, which may be where all your nitrate (end product) is coming from.

Welcome to the forum BTW, and those are nice-looking plants.
 Very Happy

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thegundog
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:50 pm

Welcome to the forum!

What kind of test kit are using?

I would take a water sample to a fish shop and have them test the water just to confirm your parameters.

That's a cool size tank - would be great for micro species.

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OneAkela
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:09 pm

Yes, the self same Miracle Gro. I did not have any fertilizer on hand so used that in desperation. However, that was a while back and I have done quite a few water changes since. I use the API Master Test Kit. I will see what happens this weekend. Planning to get fish next week...
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Ron
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:48 pm

Welcome OneAkela, Great looking tank and plants. Hope you get balanced soon. Make sure to keep us updated with how it's going and document with pics.
Ron

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JohnnyAMH
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:39 pm

Hey OneAkela! Welcome to CVAS ant the forum... Hello

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Liz
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:19 pm

Welcome! It looks like you've done your homework and are off to a great start.

We look forward to learning about your experiences as you go along!  Very Happy 

How did you find us?

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verbal
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:25 am

Welcome to the forum. It looks like your tank is off to a nice start.

Is your water treated with Chloramine?
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RylandVT
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:35 am

Hi! Welcome to the forum! To answer your tap water question, I am in Chesterfield and I do occasionally see low ammonia in the tap water like you do but, more commonly, I see nitrates. This is why I have to keep up with smaller frequent water changes rather than infrequent large changes. I also treat the water with Prime. Having a heavily planted tank has helped me to overcome the tap water.
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OneAkela
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:46 am

Thanks RylandVT. I have not tested the tap water for nitrates, but I will just out of curiosity. Another thing is also how much phosphate there might already be in the water. Any time I dose with phosphate, I get algae within 2-3 days. I put in perhaps 1 ml of Seachem phosphate. Now I am going to hold off on adding any.

To Verbal, I have no idea if Chesterfield treats with chlorine or chloramine. I do use Prime though, when I do water changes.

Right now, my cabombas don't seem to be doing very well. If they croak I will probably replace them with something else.... maybe water wisteria.
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OneAkela
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:50 am

@Liz wrote:
Welcome! It looks like you've done your homework and are off to a great start.

We look forward to learning about your experiences as you go along!  Very Happy 

How did you find us?

I have mysterious ways of finding out <giving seer-like faraway look>  farao  I was just poking around for info on fish stores in the area and I saw the link for this site. Great idea on including the review section on the stores.
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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:34 am

@OneAkela wrote:
... Great idea on including the review section on the stores.

We have to give credit to member, Ben, for that one!  It was his idea to get it started and he supplied the template, the first photos, and links to get the ball rolling.

 Very Happy  Glad you are finding them helpful!

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OneAkela
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:15 pm

OK- Here is an update on the tank:
I put in 6 salt and pepper cories (C. habrosus) and 7 cardinal tetras along with a couple of nerites. Within a week, two cories and six tetras had gone to fishy heaven. My reading were normal, so I can only surmise that they were 98 lb weaklings. I replaced two of the cories but none of the tetras, just in case more of them kicked the bucket. Right now I have a lone tetra... I got all these from Skoolz of Fish. Rama graciously replaced the cories and gave me credit for the tetras for a future purchase (I want to get some otos for algae).

I got some RCS and ramshorns from NeoGeo the other day in his firesale. I can't see most of the shrimp, so I guess they are hiding in the undergrowth. Neo also provided a generous helping of java moss, so I tied it to my lava rocks.

For the future, I want to just put in a couple of fish, rather than a school to replace the tetras. I was thinking platies or mollies, but I am not sure. I even thought of a couple of German rams, but I don't know if they will bully the cories. Any sugestions?

Will try to attach some pix...
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:49 pm

It was great meeting you over Neo's place. I got some of his Cherry Red Shrimp a couple of weeks ago. I didn't see them right away but now they are starting  to grow and they are quite entertaining to watch. I got some of his Angelfish the day I met you.

I was sorry to hear about your problems. You state that your water parameters were normal but you didn't state what recent parameters you tested or what you got. That could help you decide which fish is best for your tank. I would stop adding any chemicals other than to dechlorinate your water. You can't do too many water changes. Since your tank is around 16 gallons I would not go with a fish that grows large or that will eat your shrimp. I suggest one of my favorite fish, Guppies. Good Luck... Smile

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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
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Liz
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:08 pm

I would for sure wait on sensitive fish like cories, otos and rams until the tank is more mature. I'd let some tetras hang out for a good month or six weeks, preferably longer, and then slowly add a few of another species. Waiting is going to be the answer, the longer the better. Hard to do, but worth it.

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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:55 pm

I hate to be a Monday morning coach, and current philosophy is to get a tank cycled before putting fish in, but I am huge advocate of fish-in cycling.

I would do a 100% water change and get some Prime and some Stability by Seachem. Then choose a hardy fish that you don't mind keeping for while. I recommend any Barbs, White Clouds, or Black Neon Tetras. Then monitor tank conditions daily, doing water changes if any levels skyrocket.

But that's just what has worked for me.

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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:19 am

I have done it both ways, and unless you've got an already established tank to use as seed it can be quite daunting to do it fishless!

My point is that it is best to wait on particular species that are more sensitive, and once the hardier species get the tank established then you can slowly introduce the fish you really want to keep. Just feed 'em, do your water changes regularly, and let time do its thing.

David, I think your fish suggestions are pretty solid - those species are not prone to ailments and can tolerate some swings in parameters that many fish can't.

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OneAkela
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:40 am

JohnnyAMH
Guppies were also an option. The kids should like them. My last readings a couple of days ago were NH3-0.25 ppm (never moves from this), NO2- 0 ppm, NO3- 5-10 ppm, pH 6.0 (sometimes I get 6.4). I have had no deaths since the initial massacre. Maybe the tank is settling out...
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OneAkela
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:55 am




Cute cories
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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:04 am

Sorry to hear of your losses - you've received some good advice from the others and you've noted that you'll not add that many fish at once which is really good that you've picked up on that as a potential contributor to the losses.

Wish you lived closer to me, I'd be happy to provide you with some seeded filter material to help things along.

Please keep us keep posted and stay patient -- a little at a time...


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PostSubject: Re: New member and new to fishies   Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:53 pm

@OneAkela wrote:
JohnnyAMH
Guppies were also an option. The kids should like them. My last readings a couple of days ago were NH3-0.25 ppm (never moves from this), NO2- 0 ppm, NO3- 5-10 ppm, pH 6.0 (sometimes I get 6.4). I have had no deaths since the initial massacre. Maybe the tank is settling out...

Hey OneAkela,
It does sound like your tank is settling down. NO3 is most likely to be your most variable parameter and the one to watch. Your current NO3 level is a good goal to keep. I seldom hear of acidic water around these parts but if your water source is acidic, I would not adjust it. Your tank and plants look great. You must be doing something right. It's not usual to suffer a few loses when first adding fish. Build up your inhabitants slowly and enjoy... Smile

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55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
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