Candle321 Candle321
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  • Posted on: 13/9 16:34
Re: Accidental tank acquisition #11
Hi again and thank you for your replies!

So here goes with the water hardness for our postcode:

Calcium carbonate 284 mg/l
Calcium 113.6 mg/l
Degrees Clark 19.766c
Degrees French 28.4f
Degrees German 16.131 dH
millimoles 2.84 mol/l

Could you advise on a good test kit to buy? I have had a look online and the choice is baffling.

Also, we would perhaps like to add stock in the future but I have read Weather Loaches grow quite large and I have some concern over whether this tank is big enough for three adults plus other fish?

We are have started with the 10% water changes daily and will continue until we feel comfortable with the test results and in line with what you mentioned about stress hormones etc.

I have also fed them a little extra today and every scrap has gone! Aside from the daphnia etc that I already have, can you recommend a quality feed for the whole crew? No offence to Wilko but I'm not confident the flakes are the best quality.

Thanks in advance!

fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Posted on: 13/9 13:30
Re: Accidental tank acquisition #12
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. :)

LisaSimon LisaSimon
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  • Posted on: 12/9 19:48
Re: Accidental tank acquisition #13
I am a newbie too so I can’t really offer any advice but just wanted to say I love your story! Goodness knows what would happened to the poor things if you hadn’t stepped in.
I would just say don’t feel embarrassed about making mistakes - I think I have made plenty, you are trying to do the right thing which is a lot more than most and it’s a steep but enjoyable learning curve.

I hope you enjoy your new fishies as much as I am 👍

Candle321 Candle321
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  • Posted on: 12/9 18:46
Re: Accidental tank acquisition #14
What I forgot to say is - water PH is 7.2. We used tap Safe that we keep for topping up the pond over summer, hardness is within what the Tetra strips says is acceptable.

All fish appear healthy apart from one Loach who has a damaged dorsal fin (the one on its back, is that right?) which seems to be already healed, but at an angle.

They came with Wilko tropical fish flakes but we now have freeze dried brine shrimp, daphnia and sinking spirulina wafers. Only feeding a pinch a day and they go mad for this in two minutes flat - is that enough?

Temp is 19c in the morning but rises to 21c by evening, lights and bubble strip on 10 hours. Filter on 24hrs.

I seriously must have spent over 30 hours reading stuff online since these guys arrived, it's a good job I'm on a weeks leave!

Candle321 Candle321
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  • Posted on: 12/9 18:30
Accidental tank acquisition #15

New to the forum, so hello! Total newbies to fish keeping, apart from a couple of inherited goldfish in the pond who we never feed and must be 7 years old at the very least!

Four days ago, by strange means constituting a long story, we found out our neighbours were moving and didn't want to take their fish tank, so planned on leaving it behind, with fish actually in it! So we offered to take it, no questions asked.

We now have an Aqua Marine 900 with four bulbs in working order, whether the UV is effective who knows. Online reasearch has told me this is around the 225 - 250 litre mark, yet to take actual measurements as I can't find my darn tape measure.

It has a UFX + filter, which seems to be working i.e. It is moving water in and out!

Finally it had a water heater fixed to 25c. We did some quick panic initial research and removed this.

The tank inhabitants are three weather loaches, juveniles I think, 4", 3" and 3.5" roughly. Plus six tiny White Cloud Mountain Minnows - new additions? They must only be an inch each, average.

We have made a series of mistakes in the last four days, which I shall now fess up to. After reading up on weather loaches we changed the nasty sharp gravel substrate to aquatic sand, took out the plastic plants and ornaments and replaced with live plants, smooth bog wood and smooth river cobbles.

After more reading I bought some water test strips, realising we had possibly removed a large chunk of the bacteria. Oops.

We had effectively done a 75% water change the day we moved the tank (to reduce the weight, fish still in it, then another 50% water change when we changed the substrate.

I am really embarrassed by some aspects of this as I'm normally really conscientious with the care of our animals; but it felt like a sudden and flustered situation.

Anyway, four days later, we have zero ammonia, zero nitrites and nitrates which on the Tetra strips indicate a water change is needed, in the lower range of the two options, changed 25% this morning and tonight it still reads the same.

Seachem Stability and Prime on order, due to arrive over the weekend.

We had never, ever considered keeping fish, we are animal lovers and the cats certainly like their new television lol

But as total newbies to this I'd appreciate any advice on the set up, how we can best care for these little souls and I guess begin a whole new hobby!

Many thanks

LisaSimon LisaSimon
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  • Posted on: 11/9 21:41
Re: Frequency of water changes in a new tank #16
Really helpful, thank you for the info - I shall get an ammonia test kit tomorrow and keep up with the water changes.

Thanks again 👍

fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
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  • Posted on: 11/9 19:52
Re: Frequency of water changes in a new tank #17
There are two ways to cycle a tank (or, more precisely the filter and its media), and each takes approx 6-8 weeks but sometimes longer:
* fishless - in which the filter is prepared in advance, by adding ammonia until such a time as the filter has built up sufficient beneficial bacteria to ultimately cope with processing fish waste and fish food and the fish can be fed normal levels of food from the outset - ... hless-cycling-article.htm
* fish-in - which you're doing [assuming you just let the tank sit with water in it for a week with the filter switched on, in which case the water sample tested by the LFS will just be whatever your tap water is but the filter won't actually have been cycled]

Some products do exist for attempting to speed up a cycle, but the evidence for their effectiveness is still very 'hit and miss'.

Monitor ammonia, nitrite and nitrate once or twice daily for at least the next 6-8 weeks, following this advice if need be ... ammonia-nitrite-spike.htm . NB. The 6-in-1 test strips don't have the crucial ammonia test, so make sure you buy a liquid-based test for that as it's important that you get accurate readings for this. Doing this as diligently as you've been doing so far will maximise the chances that your fish make it through the fish-in cycle.

You should be able to increase feeding to once per day or even two smaller feeds twice per day (beneficial for juvenile fish), and increase water changes to a 10% water change daily, *provided that you keep up the water quality monitoring as described* (and take rectifying action as per link above if required).

Hope that helps.

LisaSimon LisaSimon
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  • Posted on: 11/9 18:21
Frequency of water changes in a new tank #18

Fish were first added to my new tank on 24th August - before that it had been cycling for a week - from 17th August.
After the initial cycle I took a water sample to my lfs who tested it & said it was now safe to add fish to. So I added my fish and they said to do 10% water changes every 2 days while the filter builds up the safe bacteria (sorry I don’t know all the correct lingo yet!), and to feed them a couple of pellets per fish every 2-3 days.

I’ve been doing this religiously and everything seems fine, have been testing with tetra 6 in 1 test strips every few days and I think everything is looking good. N02 was borderline for a few days but so far so good - the lfs said that was normal and just to continue with the water changes - that was about 10 days ago.

So my question is, how long should I keep doing 10% water changes for and when is the right time to feed them daily? I feel like I’m starving them at the moment!

fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
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  • Posted on: 11/9 3:44
Re: Second tank and moving fish! #19
Generally, bettas are best kept on their own (a single male on its own or a sorority of females) rather than with other fish. Sometimes, depending on the personality of the individual fish, it is possible to keep them with other fish, but it's always best to have a back-up plan if the situation goes awry - such as transferring the other fish into the larger tank (subject to compatibility with the fish in there).

The filter currently in your 60L tank will have sufficient bacteria in its filter media to support the fish in that tank (i.e. process their waste). All you need to do is fill the 200L tank with dechlorinated water (unless you use RO water, in which case ensure that it's in the same proportions as in the 60L), ensure that the temperature reaches the same as in the 60L tank, then transfer the 60L tank's filter and its media plus the fish together into the 200L. If you decide to transfer over the substrate and decor, that's fine too as some beneficial bacteria live there too albeit most of it is in the filter.

Personally, I find that: fish inhabiting the upper levels of the tank (e.g. rasboras) will quite willingly swim into a jug and thus making for an easy / stress-free transfer; fish inhabiting lower levels (e.g. tetras) are best moved via a couple of large nets, ideally guiding them into a green-coloured net which is more easily associated with safety due to being plant-coloured.

meghanf meghanf
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  • Posted on: 10/9 18:01
Second tank and moving fish! #20
hello, I'm new to this forum thing but I'm after some new opinions.

I've recently brought myself a bigger tank (200L), as i currently only have a 60L. My ultimate dream with these tanks is to have the smaller tank as a super planted up tank with a betta fish, tetras etc and my new bigger tank as my display tank, I'm unsure what fish i would like to put in there yet...just trying to get my hardscape done is proving difficult!!

Anyway, the question I have is, about 80% of my fish currently in my 60L I would like in my 200L, whilst I'm pulling almost all my fish out, What would be the possibility of pulling all the fish out to re-scape the smaller one.. since this might be my only chance? If it is a possibility whats the correct way of going about this?

Also, whilst I'm here. What would be the best way to transfer my fish from the 60L to the 200L. I've seen loads of different suggestions but just wondering if anyone has anymore?

Thankyou in advance.

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