Am I In Over My Head? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-06-2010, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Am I In Over My Head?

So me and my Fiance bought a 25Gallon Aquarium for our new apartment to add to our family, we had set it up and let it run a couple days before thinking of adding fish cause that's what we read online was a good idea to do.
Foolishly we bought a couple expensive fish (not really high end just expensive for starting out i feel anyway) we bought a Pictus Catfish, and a Silver tipped shark. at first i thought it was great, and they WERE having a lot of fun together and enjoyed the company of each-other.
Until i read up on the Silver Tipped Shark (Colombian shark) i was confident in our decision until i found out it can grow up to TWO FEET!
On top of that we decided to buy some cheap little fish to see how long they would last and if they would last through the break in cycle (foolishly i know). One has already perished since so we have a total of 7 left alive in the tank. recently (less then an hr ago) i did a 25% water change cause its been about a week, and i feel i might have messed up the break in cycle because a bunch of debris from the bottom of the tank started floating, it is now starting to settle.
Any comments?
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-06-2010, 04:13 PM
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First off if you haven't already read over this post about cycling:

You will continue to have losses and adding more fish will only make it worse so don't add anymore, your first steps are going to be getting a quality liquid test kit so you can monitor the cycle process and you can judge when you need to do water changes since you are basically stuck into a fish-in cycle. Even with fewer smaller fish you will typically have to do multiple water changes per week to keep the ammonia and nitrite down so its safe for them. Also you should be using a water conditioner such as Prime with the water changes, this will get rid of the chlorine also it will detoxify ammonia and nitrites for a time so it wont effect the fish as bad. Also look into a gravel vacuum as that built up fish waste on the bottom of the tank will help contribute to the ammonia build up. But main thing is to keep doing those water changes daily (probably at least 25% if not more) or every other day at least until you can get a quality liquid test kit.

You did jump in over your head but with a bit of work over the next few months you can get it back to a manageable situation.

I will let others comment on the fish, it might be helpful to post how many of each fish you have in there now, and as soon as you get that test kit to post your results so we can help you better.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-06-2010, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot zof, yea i have 6 (now 5) tiger barb fish, 1 silver tipped shark (also known as a Colombian Shark) and a pictus Catfish ive already made sure all were compatible and they are! And yea i do have Water conditioner which i use, its Betta-Safe just until next pay day when i can grab a better one for the aquarium, but at least i still have some in there. I'm going to pick up some test strips today from the local pet shop for sure for sure, and i will look into a gravel vacuum, not sure how it works though i can definitely read up on it!

Also another question i had was, we are using old gravel (i washed it thoroughly though) from my brothers old fish tank, however it is not really a great sight its mixed with all sorts of different gravel to gems etc.. Is it okay to Add gravel to the top of that after i vacuum? to make a nice looking coat at least or will that mess up the Nitrate Cycle?
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-06-2010, 05:26 PM
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Don't mess with the test strips, they can be highly inaccurate. Look into investing into a "liquid" freshwater master test kit, like the one API has. You are so new into your cycle, it shouldn't be much of an issue adding gravel over top, but with vacuuming the gravel on a regular basis it will probably just mix back in with the gravel below it.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-06-2010, 10:37 PM
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This will not be good news, but it is the truth. A 25g tank is not sufficient size for any of the fish you have in it. The shark and pictus will get far too large and be terrors in a small space (space can affect a fish's aggressiveness). And tiger barb should only be in groups of at least 8 and preferably more, and in a 55g (4-foot) tank or larger. Please read the fish profiles on these fish and you will see why. You can go to the profiles by clicking the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top, or click on shaded fish names in posts.

If this is fairly new, the fish store may allow you to exchange them. A good store will, as we aquarists often make erros in selecting unsuitable fish (until we learn from our mistakes) and they would prefer to keep a customer rather than have you leave the hobby in frustration.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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