beginner with new large tank (pic) - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 35 Old 11-18-2006, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by gazza2006au
#1 yep i clean the tank with plain tap water and a new washing sponge (unused in the packet)
#2 no water conditioner i was told and read on these forums if i let the water sit for a few days the chlorine will evaporate?
#3 im not sure on the water temp will let u know later on tonight
sat the bag in the water for a couple of minutes than let abit of the tank water into the bag than released the fish into the tank
#4 four fish i thought this was enough
#5 i fed the fish a tinny sprinkle of flake gold fish food (fish were already on the bottom before this feed)
#6 no decorations yet i want the fish to get use to the tank as if there still in the plain 4 sided glass tanks in the pet shop
#7 no gravel for same reason above
#8 the fish were just named "commets"
#9 i dont have those meters just yet but will be getting them before tropical fish go into the tank

thanks for the speedy reply :) i dont plan on keeping these fish there only to cycle the tank after this instead of killing them or using them as food i will give them away for another persons tank
Ok, let me follow your number system to keep this simple
1) Plain water is the best thing to use for a NEW tank, but a used tank could have many different kinds of contaminants in it. Any type of chemical that the pervious owner might have used would leave a residue on the glass and in the silicone seals, thus making the water put in toxic to fish. Anytime you are dealing with a used tank that you don't know where it's been, it is best to always clean it good with the bleach solution I mentioned in an earlier post. This will help to ensure that your tank is "fish safe"
2)Water conditioner is a MUST! Letting the water stand will, indeed, allow for the chlorine to evaporate, but this will do nothing for the CHLORAMINE. This is a good explaination for you.
3)Knowing the temp in a tank is very important BEFORE adding fish. One "dip" of water to the existing water in the bag isn't enough to properly acclimate the fish to a new environment. Your tank water will differ greatly from the water in the bag. Once fish are put into a bag, oxygen levels are limited, ammonia levels rise quickly, and water temp changes quickly. Too fast of a change will throw the fish's body into a state of shock, and this is usually lethal.
4) This is a good number.
5) Did the food simply fall to the bottom of the tank, uneaten? Any food not eaten within the first 1 - 2 minutes will begin to decompose, and pollute the tank water quickly. The first stage of waste is ammonia. Without enough bacteria to break the ammonia down (the nitrogen cycle, explained here:, the ammonia, being highly toxic, will effect the fish.
6) No decorations at all will cause stress. The fish will find nowhere to "hide" and being in a new environment, plus the move from one tank to another, being in a bag, and change of conditions... all very very stressful to ANY fish.
7) With no substrate in the tank, and filter media being brand new, there is nowhere for a healthy bacteria level to grow except in the filter media, which tanks time. With only filter media in a tank of that size, the bacteria culture is very limited on how much space there is to reproduce.
8) Comets are a standard "feeder" goldfish, and with your description of the store tank they came from, these fish are not properly cared for as "pet fish" in any LFS. The purpose behind them is to feed other fish/animals. LFS's tend to way over stock those tanks, meaning the waste levels are usually quite high all the time. These fish are also not in the LFS tanks for very long, and many LFS's will usually have a "feeder tank" set up to make it easier to catch them, count them, add new ones when the numbers go down. Feeder fish are not usually the healthiest fish to begin with, and are raised in overstocked ponds in a breeding facility. Care is not usually taken to see that they are disease free, well fed, or fed properly.
9) You'll be needing those test kits long before you get tropicals into the tank. The only way to be sure the tank has completely cycled is by testing the water for the levels I mentioned (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)
Without testing the water, there will be no way to determine if it's safe enough to add your tropical stock safely.
Things that may help at this point:
Add substrate
Add water conditioner, be careful not to overdose it... too much of a good thing is no good.
Add decorations, which will help reduce stress levels in the fish by providing them territory and places to hide.
Check temp... goldfish need cold water to stay healthy... anything over 70 degrees fahrenheit is dangerous... too much over 70 and it's deadly to goldfish.
Stop feeding for the first 3 days to allow the fish to adjust and be in a condition to actually eat the food offered. Stressed fish will not usually eat.
If the current fish die, you may wish to add a new set of 4, but acclimate them properly before putting them into the tank. Float the bag closed for 5 - 10 minutes, which will allow the temp to adjust gradually, avoiding shock. After 10 minutes, open the bag and roll down the top, allowing it to float in the tank water without sinking. Add a small splash of tank water to the bag EVERY 3 - 4 MINUTES for 15 - 20 minutes, until the water in the bag has at least doubled. If the LFS fills the bag too full, then take a bit out and throw it down the drain to make room for your tank water to go in slowly. In the store we call this procedure "dipping" the fish. One dip isn't enough to alter the water chemistry enough to make it close to that in your tank, close enough for the fish to easily adjust.
With goldfish, you may also find it useful to add an air stone to the tank, especially if the temp is above 70. The warmer the water the less oxygen in it, and goldfish consume more oxygen than the "tropicals" will.
Also, if there are lights over the tank, turn them off for a few days. This also will help to reduce the stress levels of the fish.
IF you find you need to start again with new goldfish, please decorate and add substrate to the tank before bringing the fish home, and please check the water params to make sure that ammonia levels in the tank have not gone so high that the water is extremely toxic and cannot sustain the fish.
If a 2nd batch of fish dies, then I would suggest emptying the tank and cleaning it throughly with a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 cup of water as I described in an earlier post in this thread.
Good Luck and keep us posted!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #22 of 35 Old 11-18-2006, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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well i had a nap this arvo woke up with all 4 fish dead :( i have removed the fish and replaced the water i have left the pumps running (power heads) with both attached hoses for airation tomorrow i will buy the gravel and water conditioner the following day i will return to my LFS and buy a single gold fish this should give the water conditioner enough time to circulate thru the complete tank/system and do its job i will use ur advice and see how i go i also read ur above links i will try to find a water conditioner that removes or deals with chlorine,chloramine,ammonia i think this was the problem that killed my gold fish within a few hours i have also tested my tap water a few months ago with my PH and TDS pens i do have these pens but they are not avaliable to be used for my fish tank
tap water is roughly inbetween 7-7.5
and TDS reads inbetween 50-80 PPM
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post #23 of 35 Old 11-18-2006, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bettababy
I am guessing your tank is approximately 55 gallons?
I did a conversion 360 L = approx. 95 gallons

I like the pirahna idea

Snorkeling is a must for every fish lover!
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post #24 of 35 Old 11-18-2006, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the conversion love_my_fish i forgot about that question
and i dont think pirahna's are legally sold in australia?
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post #25 of 35 Old 11-18-2006, 07:50 PM
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In 95 gallons, you'd only really have room for 1, maybe 2 piranah... those would be the only fish in the tank.... if that's what interests you, I can coach about that, but will warn, they are a lot of work. That, like the goldfish or even oscars... VERY VERY MESSY fish, add in aggressive, territorial, and with teeth as sharp as razor blades... not everyone is fond of them. The other issue I have seen with piranah is that they lose the "pretty color" as they age, they are simply a gray fish, sort of boring to watch, EXTREMELY SHY, and they eat a lot. Most piranah spend a good part of their time hiding.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #26 of 35 Old 11-18-2006, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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nah there not my type of fish... i have had 1 oscar years ago i dont really want that type of fish again so a tropical community tank is my aim i went back to my LFS not to buy more fish but to pick up the propper water treating chemicals ended up buying these two

Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Stress Zyme
Aqua Plus, Tap water conditioner

i also found a cheap fresh water master test kit to test
high range ph
i will get this in a week or so and i have been told by the lady at my LFS she will not sell me any more fish untill next weekend shes giving me 7 days to add the two bottles of chemicals above before i can buy more fish haha
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post #27 of 35 Old 11-19-2006, 05:06 AM
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Rams are beautiful fish, very calm and peaceful, so try not to put them with TOO lively a fish. If there are other fish in the tank constantly active, they may get stressed.

But i definately recommend Rams, as they're fairly easy to keep, and are gorgeous looking fish. :D

Please keep us posted on any updates. :)
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post #28 of 35 Old 11-19-2006, 05:13 AM
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The rams would also work with the discus, and both would thrive in the warmer temps, but make sure its soft water. pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0 to keep the discus healthy, and while rams can sometimes tolerate the higher pH, they will usually thrive when it's in that same range.
With rams and discus, you'd have a few big fish with a few small fish... lots of color, lots of personality... and so long as you don't overstock the tank, not too difficult to care for.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #29 of 35 Old 11-19-2006, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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yeah i like the rams :D what else is compatable with cichlids and discus? i picked up some (new) river gravel from a local land scaping store today they said the same stock of pebbles were used in there water features and ponds on display (with fish in them) so gave them a good clean i washed untill it was all clear water and in they went they only had two colours the normal fresh water river colour (brown'ish mixed colours) and white the white i wanted but was a little to dirty i didnt think there was so much dirt in the bags pitty i would have takin the white i hope the fish i buy appreciate the colour of the pebbles lol
as soon as i can keep some fish in the tank alive and happy plus some back ground and features in the tank i will keep u up to date with pictures i might even post pictures as i go along
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post #30 of 35 Old 11-19-2006, 01:15 PM
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Thats great gazza, we'd love to see more pics!
HHHmmm, other cichlids? I'd look at any of the dwarf cichlids, but be careful not to add too many if you're planning to keep discus... dwarf cichlids need space and territory, too.
I'd stay away from any other kind of cichlids if you're planning rams and discus, anything other than the dwarfs will tear apart your discus and eat your rams.
I won't try to post links, but will suggest you do a search online for "dwarf cichlids" and browse them, then see if your LFS has the species you like for sale.
1 other option would be cardinal tetras, but be sure to keep them in a large group of their own kind.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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