Can't Say I've Been the Best Fish Keeper - Page 2
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Can't Say I've Been the Best Fish Keeper

Can't Say I've Been the Best Fish Keeper

This is a discussion on Can't Say I've Been the Best Fish Keeper within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Looked at the numbers on the bulbs. I appear to have two F20T12-PL/ AQ-ECO. According to the link it is a T-12 size. Should ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Marble Hatchetfish
Marble Hatchetfish
Spadetailed Checkerboard Cichlid
Spadetailed Checkerboard Cichlid
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
Can't Say I've Been the Best Fish Keeper
Old 01-18-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Looked at the numbers on the bulbs. I appear to have two F20T12-PL/ AQ-ECO. According to the link it is a T-12 size. Should I be worried? Turns out I was wrong, it may actually be an aquarium light.

49891 - Specifications - GE Commercial Lighting Products

My lights have been on an eleven hour timer. I'll shorten their timer to ten hours; or maybe less since my aquarium does get some sunlight.
Two things here. First, fluorescent tubes gradually give out long before they actually burn out. As the tube burns, it weakens in intensity. The T12 is the original fluorescent type (the "T" number is the tube diameter in 8ths of an inch, so T12 is 12/8 inch, T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch, etc) and they are being phased out and replaced by the T8 which are more energy efficient. Tubes should be replaced every 12 months, so it may be time for a new tube. This affects algae too; as the tube weakens, plants have to struggle more and more and photosynthesis slows and may even cease, allowing algae (which can use any light) to increase.

I would suggest the GE Daylight tube with a kelvin of 6500K. It is a crisper white, and will give excellent plant growth and true colour rendition. Measure the existing tube, or take it with you, and get the same length in T8 (or T12 if that is what they have, doesn't matter).

For duration, I would go down to 8 hours. You can go as low as six. A timer (like those sold in hardware stores for lamps and such) is the best for a consistent and regular light/dark period. You can read more about light and fish here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...er-fish-81982/

Quote:
According to the article the instant strips are inaccurate. I saw a thirty dollar liquid test kit at Petsmart that I may buy. It should be more affordable since you guys are saying I may not need the UV filter; which I only wanted for algae control. Thanks, you all saved me about seventy dollars.

I was digging through some old fish stuff and I found an "Instant Ocean Aquarium Test Kit". It's a left over from my endeavors to have a salt water aquarium. I don't know if I should use it though; it's about five years old and made for salt water aquariums, which makes me think it will also be inaccurate.

While I was thinking about chemicals, I went ahead and tested the chemicals from the tap; to compare them to my aquarium. I should note that I still used the instant strips.
The readout is as follows:

Nitrate - 0-20 ppm (much less)

Nitrite - 0 ppm (less)

Hardness - 0 GH (much less)

Chlorine - 0 ppm (same. That's no mistake, our water is chlorine free.)

Alkalinity - 0-40 ppm (same)

PH - 6.8-7.2 (more neutral/alkaline)
Test kits wear out, the regents have a shelf life, depending upon the manufacturer. Also, salt water tests will not work for fresh ( a couple tests may, doesn't matter anyway).

The API liquid test is reliable, as is the Sera which is more expensive. Test strips can be inaccurate.

The hardness (GH) of the tap being zero is puzzling, since the aquarium is 75-150ppm, assuming that test is reasonably accurate. This either means the test strip for one or both is faulty, or there is something calcareous in the aquarium adding hardness to the water. Calcareous means rock/gravel containing coral, limestone, dolomite, aragonite, marble. These minerals (and the coral as in crushed coral and shells) are composed primarily of calcium chloride, and calcium (along with magnesium) is the principal mineral that determines the hardness of water.

You can confirm you tap water hardness from the water supply folks; some now have a website with data posted, or they can tell you. You want to know the GH and the KH/Alkalinity. As for the aquarium, I would see if the local fish store will test the hardness; a kit for GH/KH is expensive and unless you intend fiddling with the hardness you will only use it the once. Hardness of the tank water will remain the same as the tap unless you specifically target it.

Quote:
I forgot to mention in my first post that I'm a little worried about my silver dollar. The plecostumus and the angel fish act pretty normal, but the silver dollar always acts nervous. When I approach the tank, the silver dollar usually darts to the opposite end, only to smack against the glass. I know they're social, and I've considered getting another, but I'm worried that the angle fish may nip at a new fish at this point.
I agree with the advice that we must first get the tank stabilized before considering fish. But both angelfish and silver dollar are shoaling fish, that live in groups. Being alone can be very stressful. But you don't have room in a 29g for either species, so just wait until the tank is settled but in the meantime consider what to do. As things stand, I would leave the two fish and let nature takes its course. Buying more of either is not feasible. We have fish profiles under the second tab from the left in the blue bar; you can find out the needs of most species from the profiles. Check the other fish you have too.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2012, 08:53 AM   #12
 
Does the Silver Dollar not damage your plants?
cwmorrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #13
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwmorrow View Post
Does the Silver Dollar not damage your plants?
It is a vegetarian so yes, it will usually nibble on or eat plants, especially soft tender ones.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 08:57 PM   #14
 
I would like to say "thank you everyone" for helping me with my aquarium trouble. I think I might finally be getting things under control, and I know I couldn't have done it with out your help. I'm happy to say I've learned a few things.

I'm fairly certain that the water test of the tap water is correct; at least regarding the chlorine, which was at 0 ppm. We filter the water from our tap to remove the chlorine.

I believe the two lights in my aquarium are about six months old. When they reach the year mark I'll replace them with the ones you suggested. Thanks Byron!

When I set up my aquarium I used gravel from a creek that runs by our house. This gravel has a lot of limestone and sandstone in it; so I'm sure it's the cause of the hardness anomaly. The fish I have appear to be o.k. with the hardness as it is, so should I bother trying to adjust it?

I went to an aquarist shop, Worlds Under Water, today for an accurate water test. My ammonia is within the safe range, but I don't remember the exact number. My nitrates however are still very high, between 160 and 180 ppm. According to the man testing my water, my nitrates may be so high due to the large bio-load of my fish.
They offered me a fish exchange. If I bring them my fish they offered to give me more appropriate fish for my aquarium; free of charge. I'll need to let the water chemistry resolve itself first, according to them the new fish would not survive in my aquarium's current condition.
I accepted, and I'm a little excited really. Where as I am kind of attached to the fish, silly I know, I'd much rather see them go to someone who is actually capable of taking care of them appropriately.

Thanks again everyone, I really owe it all to you. Consider me a permanent member.
Oyster Man is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Oyster Man For This Useful Post:
bllauben (01-28-2012)
Old 01-28-2012, 10:25 PM   #15
 
1077's Avatar
 
I agree with other's but would submit that the Silver dollar will grow too large for 29 gal tank so adding more should not be consideration. They also can munch on plant's so this is another reason you may wish to find a new home for the fish.
Pleco if the common variety, can grow to fourteen inches inside a couple year's and produce copius amount's of waste so weekly water changes will be important to keep the waste(poop) from this fish alone from causing water quality issues.
There are smaller varieties of plecos that would be better fit for 29 gal and much better at working on algae than the common plecos, who quickly tire of cleaning alage once the find fish food is much easier to scavenge.
If water changes are being performed by bucket and hand syphon, then purchasing a Syphon that hooks to faucet can make things MUCH easier than toting and lifting five gal bucket's of water.
They ain't cheap but the reward is great.
1077 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 12:28 PM   #16
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
When I set up my aquarium I used gravel from a creek that runs by our house. This gravel has a lot of limestone and sandstone in it; so I'm sure it's the cause of the hardness anomaly. The fish I have appear to be o.k. with the hardness as it is, so should I bother trying to adjust it?
Adjusting hardness (and corresponding pH) is not that easy. Right now you have two options, and the decision has to be yours, based upon the type of fish you want.

Your tank has calcareous gravel adding hardness and raising pH. Livebearers (guppy, platy, molly, swordtail, endlers, etc) will be fine in this if you leave it. There are some other fish that prefer (or need) medium hard water and basic (above 7) pH. You can see all these in our profiles, second tab fro the left in the blue bar across the top. Livebearers have their own category; some of these harder water fish are also under Cyprinids, Atherinids and Catfish. Water parameters are indicated for each species in the profiles.

If you want soft water fish, your tap water will suffice fine. But it means getting rid of the existing gravel. You can use regular natural aquarium gravel or playsand, these are inert (no effect on water chemistry). Up to you.

Quote:
I went to an aquarist shop, Worlds Under Water, today for an accurate water test. My ammonia is within the safe range, but I don't remember the exact number. My nitrates however are still very high, between 160 and 180 ppm. According to the man testing my water, my nitrates may be so high due to the large bio-load of my fish.
Ammonia has no "safe" range unless it is zero, so I don't follow their advice on that. They are correct on the nitrates though. Getting your own test kit would be advantageous. API make a good one called the Master Combo or something similar, it has pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, which is all you need.

Quote:
They offered me a fish exchange. If I bring them my fish they offered to give me more appropriate fish for my aquarium; free of charge. I'll need to let the water chemistry resolve itself first, according to them the new fish would not survive in my aquarium's current condition.
That is also a pertinent comment; introducing fish to unstable water and with such high nitrates might well kill them outright. It is one thing for some fish to live in gradually deteriorating water and manage to survive, but quite another to put fish in such water. We are on the same page on this point anyway.

Quote:
I accepted, and I'm a little excited really. Where as I am kind of attached to the fish, silly I know, I'd much rather see them go to someone who is actually capable of taking care of them appropriately.
I would remove all three (angelfish, Silver Dollar and pleco) and start with a clean slate. First decide what sort of aquarium you want, decide on the water perams accordingly for the fish, and then plan out using our profiles. Some fish need groups, minimum tank sizes are given, etc. And many members here can provide first hand experience on them.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 08:20 PM   #17
 
Thanks again everyone. I promise to get out of your hair soon, and I really appreciate you guys are taking time to help me.

Quote:
If water changes are being performed by bucket and hand syphon, then purchasing a Syphon that hooks to faucet can make things MUCH easier than toting and lifting five gal bucket's of water.
I use a siphon that attaches to my sink. I don't have it's original package, but I believe it is a twenty-five foot long Python.

I may have misidentified my gravel. My fish tank does not contain limestone. At least not in any great quantity. I was under the impression that limestone was brown, when it is in fact white. Sandstone is brown however.
Most of my gravel is brown, with a few black and white spots here and there. Though perhaps the small amount of limestone I may have is contributing the the small water hardness anomaly.

My water hardness if fairly neutral; judging by my last water test. My water hardness is a pretty solid 75 (GH) ppm.

Again, I don't remember what the number the people at Worlds Under Water said my ammonia was exactly, but I do remember that the test showed up as a very light yellow. Next time I'm at a petstore I'll look into getting a better test kit; one that includes ammonia.

Thanks again!

- Oyster Man
Oyster Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello, new fish keeper here broken1 Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 30 07-10-2011 05:56 PM
minnesota fish keeper pooman Introduce Yourself 5 06-05-2007 11:54 AM
New fish keeper to the boards! Auventera Introduce Yourself 7 02-16-2007 10:04 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:47 AM.