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Re: Accidental tank acquisition

Subject: Re: Accidental tank acquisition
by fcmf on 13/9/2019 14:30:04

Absolutely loved your story too, and sorry I've not been able to reply before now.

Well done on doing as much research as you can (well-timed leave!) - deciphering the good .v. poor info sources on the internet can be difficult, though, but forums such as these plus the site's Articles and Caresheets sections, and Seriously Fish's species profiles are good sources - it gives up-to-date info on temperature ranges and the other requirements for each.

One factor to bear in mind, with existing and any potential additional fish you might consider, is that fish generally eat any fish that might fit in its mouth.

Make sure that you have tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, at the very least - it seems that you do but the ammonia test strips are difficult to read and liquid-based tests are more accurate, so something to bear in mind either once your current batch runs out (or you might prefer to get the ammonia test in liquid format now during this crucial phase when a potential cycle or partial cycle may be underway, then use the test strips afterwards for weekly monitoring once the crucial stage has passed). For water hardness, in terms of choosing potential additional/future fish once this crucial phase has passed, your water/utility company's website will give a more accurate indicator for that than the test strips - usually in CaCO3 or German degrees hardness for your postcode - and we can then advise further on suitable potential stock.

It is very easy to get into a fluster in fishkeeping, even among the most conscientious of us (and regardless of years of experience in fishkeeping) - so I can totally empathise. The key is to keep water quality in optimum condition - ammonia and nitrite at 0, and nitrates at no more than 20 ppm above whatever the nitrate reading is for your tap water. Change ~10% daily for the next few weeks - even if water is optimum quality each day, this helps dilute other things such as stress hormones that standard test kits can't measure for - but more if any of ammonia/nitrite/nitrates is above the aforementioned levels. If water has remained at optimum levels throughout this time, it's likely that the fishtank is/was fine/cycled rather than going through a full-blown cycle, but it may take ~6 weeks of continued monitoring and water changes if water quality is continuing to fluctuate and it is going through a full-blown cycle.

As for the damaged dorsal fin, a fish can adapt to this - my goldfish (RIP) lived for a further 12 years following getting stuck in an ornament and damaging his dorsal fin which healed with a distortion. You could increase feeding to two pinches per day as the fish are likely hungry juveniles, but keep monitoring water quality as described. A good way to think of the filter is as the fishes' life-support machine so, yes - always have it on 24/7 (switch off during cleaning but don't forget to switch it back on immediately after this and tank re-filled with water).

All the best, and I think you'll make great fish "parents", having this right approach. :)