Hello to all!
I am an avid animal lover, my expertise is reptiles. I've always wanted to keep fish but it never worked out because of one thing or the other up until now. I currently have 3 lizards, a snake a kitten and a 30 gallon freshwater tank that's been running since August 21st. In this tank now live 8 tiger barbs, 1 chinese algae eater, 1 rainbow shark and my husband surprised me with a pair of platys (wag-tail?) He thankfully got 2 females but one of them he purchased pregnant. Funny enough we are expecting our second son in a few months so I became compasionate of my prego platy and bought her a breeding net/trap to isolate her and her potential babies within the tank. I have a few questions for you guys and really looking forward to your feedback...
When should I expect the little ones? Typically how long do fish stay pregnant for?
I have been using Mardel's master test kit to test water every 4-5 days but I feel like the tests aren't precise enough for a new tank as far as ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Any recommendations on how to get a little more accurate?
Everything seems to be cycling normally and the only thing I have had a problem with was a few weeks ago the PH went sky rocketing but remains stable after partial water changes every couple of days. After that my buffering capacity seems a little of. It is at 80 when recommended levels for community tanks is anything over 120. Should I use buffer up? I read that it is a good idea to stay away from chemicals and to try and pinpoint the source of the problem. Help please!!!!
I also read that while performing maintenance it is not recommended to change or clean the filter or carbon in order to not eliminate the beneficial bacteria I am trying to spawn. When should I change the cartridge, should I rinse it in used tank water in the mean time?
So I think that covers my immediate questions, so sorry I sound lost but we all have to start somewhere.........
I thank you in advance!