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New tank owner and member.....
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AaronMck
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Joined: 15 May 2005
Location: Winnipeg MB

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)11:42    Post subject: New tank owner and member..... Reply with quote

I just recently bought my 6 year old a 10 gallon and we are enjoying it immensely....can someone point me in the right direction to answer questions about compatability of species, Cycling( somthing Iv'e been trying to have explained but am finding little succes at.) and other beginner questions. I have limited time and don't get a chance to visit the pet store as often as I like. I have no Idea about the relevence of pH levels etc although I have had an ammonia problem already and was told to stop feeding so often...we were feeding 8 fish twice a day..LOL....but it has been solved for the time being with water changes and replacing filters.
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)13:07    Post subject: Re: New tank owner and member..... Reply with quote

That's a fairly tall order. In a 10g, you're proabably just looking at stocking community fish, right? Are there any species that are of particular interest? (that would be a good jumping off point). Also, do you know if your tap water (or well water) is soft, neutral or hard? (Again, this will help narrow things a bit)

One more thing, in terms of cycling. You mentioned that you changed your filter media. That is actually the last thing you want to do when you are cycling a tank. The majority of your nitrifying and nitrafying bacteria live in your filter media. Each time you remove that media, you prolong the time it will take to cycle the tank and increase the risk of ammonia and nitrite toxicity. Water changes are the best thing you can do to combat ammonia. Also, since you seem to be in somewhat of a time crunch, purchasing a bottle of Seachem's Prime, which will counter a fixed amount of ammonia and nitrite, might be helpful.
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AaronMck
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Joined: 15 May 2005
Location: Winnipeg MB

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)14:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff my friend. The water here is neutral but with a reletivly high Chlorine content....the ammonia levels have dropped but because my son and I were following the directions on the food container we were over feeding and the filter cartridges were plugging up very quickly, ergo the pet store suggested many water changes and consequently filter changes because of the boilogical waste that was bunging up the filter cartridges. One fellow ....over the phone however..... said it is "new tank" sydrome. I presently have 2 rainbow sharks, a pleco, 2 zebra danios, 2 black tetras and an unidentified tetra....I'm slowly working my way through the list of spicies but havn't found him yet because I would like to add another as the two black ones seem to enjoy each others company. I would also like to add a neon molly, a couple of Balas and a Blue Gourami to complete my tank I've been assured this is appropriate for the size of the tank and won't cause overcrowding. I'm waiting on a friend to call about the cloudiness and other questions but he's away for two weeks. What exactly is cycling?
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AaronMck
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Joined: 15 May 2005
Location: Winnipeg MB

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)14:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brief discription of my mystery tetra.....

He has a black dorsal and black gill covers , light orange body with bright orange tail and extremity fins. He was given to my son by his grandma who forgot the name.
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Flurry
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Joined: 18 Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)15:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really suggest you take all of your fish back and do a fishless cycle. You haven't been properly educated about with fish to choose. Balas, red tails, and rainbows will get up to at least a foot in length, common plecos grow up to three feet in the wild, will quickly outgrow a 10 gallon tank and are very messy to boot, and tetras are schooling fish and need to be in groups of 6 or more of the same species.

An article on fishless cycling: http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_fishless.php

I fishlessed cycled my 10 gallon tank and have had no losses.

Here is a very popular stocking list for a 10 gallon tank:
6 neon tetras or black neon tetras (or 4 slim bodied tetras)
3 small cories (pygmy and pandas are recommend)
2 otocinclus
1 betta or 1 dwarf gourami

If you keep the fish you've got, you are going to run into serious problems. If they don't die from the water chemistry being out of whack, their growth will be stunted and they will probably only live a fraction of their lifespan.
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Doosharm
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Location: Raymond, NH

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)16:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

The others have given you some good advice. The people on this board, although sometimes very blunt, know a lot about properly keeping fish and will do everything in their power to help you out. I strongly reccommend that you heed their advice.

You asked for an explanation of the cycling process so I'll try to provide one for you in terms that even I can understand Smile

When you "cycle" a tank you are taking it through the nitrogen cycle. Basically, fish give off ammonia. Ammonia is deadly to fish, thats why they get it out of their system. There are bacteria that will "eat" the ammonia but they turn it into nitrite which can also harm your fish. Another kind of bacteria will "eat" the nitrite and turn it into nitrate which is harmless to your fish. So, in order to get the deadly ammonia and nitrite out of your tank you need this beneficial bacteria. It will grow naturally in your tank over time but it can take weeks to get a good population going.

There are a few ways to cycle your tank but some are considered better than others.

You can do a fish cycle which is basically what you're doing. You just fill up your tank and add fish. THe fish will create the ammonia and in time the bacteria will build up and your tank will be cycled. However, this can and will cause permanent damage to your fish. Being in a tank with high ammonia levels and no beneficial bacteria is not good. Most of the time people do a fish cycle they use "feeder" fish or something that they don't want to stock their tank with.

Then there is a fishless cycle. In this cycle you, of course, do not place fish in the tank. This is considered by some to be the best, and most humane, way to cycle your tank. See the link in Flurry's post to learn how to cycle this way.

Another method is the instant cylce. To instantly cycle your tank you need to have a friend or a willing LFS with an already cycled tank. If you ask politley they may give you some used filter media and maybe some used gravel. These used materials should be covered with the beneficial bacteria that you need. Once you add the materials to your tank you should be in business. There are some products on the market that are supposed to do the same thing but I have no experience with them whatsoever.

I hope that this breakdown of cycling has helped you and I hope that you take the advice of the others to get your tank stocked properly. Although the people at teh LFS may beleive themselves to be correct and may be trying to help you, they quite simply are not always correct. If you want to do whats right for your fish listen to these poeple.

Doosharm
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Pi
Members


Joined: 09 May 2005

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)16:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doosharm wrote:

When you "cycle" a tank you are taking it through the nitrogen cycle. Basically, fish give off ammonia. Ammonia is deadly to fish, thats why they get it out of their system. There are bacteria that will "eat" the ammonia but they turn it into nitrite which can also harm your fish. Another kind of bacteria will "eat" the nitrite and turn it into nitrate which is harmless to your fish. So, in order to get the deadly ammonia and nitrite out of your tank you need this beneficial bacteria. It will grow naturally in your tank over time but it can take weeks to get a good population going.

Doosharm gave a really great explanation of cycling, but I wanted to add that nitrate is not totally harmless-- though much, much less dangerous than ammonia or nitrite, and most people I know try to keep their levels below 40ppm though regular water changes.

And I'm afraid that I have to second about the overstocking. Some of those fish are going to be awfully big, and you're going to have a hard time fitting any water in the tank in a few months...

Pi
(having cycling issue of my own at the moment Rolling Eyes )
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Doosharm
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Location: Raymond, NH

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)17:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Pi for the correction. I do my best to make sure that information I hand out is accurate. I'd hate to propagate misinformation! If I was wrong about anything else don't hesitate to correct me.

Doosharm
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AaronMck
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Joined: 15 May 2005
Location: Winnipeg MB

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)18:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

So....since the majority of the fish I have presently are reletivly inexpensive and the ones....IE:Rainbows...... that aren't are hardy...should I just finish the cycle with them and return them ...hopefully alive? and request the stated Population? Would this work? Any more lists for starter populations? You all sound experienced and I will take your advice thank you very much for your info and all your help.


Adendum:
Had a friend comeme over and test my tank for me, the Nitrite levels were high but had dropped significantly from 2 days ago when I took a water sample to the pet store. He called his fish guy and was told that the tank is nearing the end of it's cycle, which was why the Nitrite was so high....my guess is we may as well stick it out with the fish we have because the damage is probably done to them already huh. When the Rainbows and Pleco out grow the tank I'll donate them to the museum...they have a monster freshwater tank there and would more then likely appriciate it. Anyway thanks again and I would still appriciate a few more lists.
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Doosharm
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Location: Raymond, NH

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)20:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes its nice to look beyond the price of the fish and into the wellbeing of the fish. Keeping the fish until they "outgrow the tank" is not a good idea. Basically a fish will only grow to the size of its tank, however, the fish will be stunted on the outside but its internal organs will continue to grow. Eventually the fish will die from this. Your fish may have already sustained damage from the high ammonia levels but its not too late to prevent them from being stunted. I would still suggest taking back the fish as soon as possible. It sounds like you are close to the end of your cycle which means that you'll be able to add more fish soon. At this point you still have a chance to save the lives of your fish. Not only is it good for them but it can help teach your son some valuable lessons about keeping fish!
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