Hi all, I'm not new to tropical fish, but it's twenty years since I last set up a tank and kept tropicals. I can't believe the changes in tanks ,filters and heaters, I am now feeling like a complete begginer, so I thought I would ask for help[. My tank is 48" long / 16" wide and 22" deep. I am on day 8 of setting up the tank and have 10 neon tetra and 1 leapard plecy. This on the advice of my local aquarist shop. I have since read that neon's should not be used for setting up a tank. I do not want to put any poor fish through this stress if they are not up to it. Help please should I remove them and take them back to the shop or just carry on. Cheers Phil
OK if you tank has been up for 8 days it will be cycling To cut a long story short during the cycle the water parimeters sky rocket and your tank is litterally toxic, the fish in it will suffer ammonia burn, and most likely although they look OK they will have a shorter life span and who knows what else - that is why your LFS has suggested neons as they are cheap.
you need to test your water regulairly and once the water parameters peak they will drop down to a safe level again, this is because your tank has built up its natural bacteria and you can now commence with regular water changes and also get some good fishes.
ummm I have no idea what a leopard plecy is - do you have the scientific name?
as for what you should do - take them back or carry on, well most people would just carry on, but if you dont want to you could take them back (but more than likely they will die or be sold to someone who hasn't got the first clue about anything and has a tank worse than yours will ever be)
Your tank holds somewhere in the region of 240 litres (provided you don't have huge amounts of rockwork or gravel), so 10 neons and a Leopard plec (assuming it's a small one) after a week of running empty should not send ammonia levels through the roof, provided you are very mean with the food. I'm also assuming you have the correct level of filtration for the size of tank. Personally, if the fish are swimming about quite happily at the moment with their fins erect, and are interested in food, I wouldn't panic and take them back - the extra stress of moving them again could doom them quicker than a partially mature filter. However, if you see any fins clamped down against the body, loss of colouration or lack of appetite, back they go! Hope that reassures you a bit - "New tank syndrome", as it's called when you overload a tank without maturing it properly, is still far too common, but each system is different and the fish themselves (along with regular testing of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels) will soon let you know if there's a problem!
There are several species of Suckermouth Catfish which get called Leopard Plec, but the one that springs to mind has the latin name Pseudacanthicus leopardus, and is absolutely stunning!
if you move your fishes once the water is in a bad state they will die with the sudden changes in water conditions, if you get to that stage, their best chance is to stay put and for you to undertake small water changes yourself.