Emergency fish in cycle. Need lots of advise please.
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Emergency fish in cycle. Need lots of advise please.

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Emergency fish in cycle. Need lots of advise please.
Old 03-27-2012, 04:07 PM   #1
 
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Unhappy Emergency fish in cycle. Need lots of advise please.

I'm giving as much detail as I can, so this may be long, but bare with me please.
I found a great deal on a used 49 gallon tank that came with a stand, magnum 350 filter, two light hoods (one 10,000k and one power glo), and uv sterilizer that was missing the piece that secures it. We hooked up the filter but it was missing the center piece on the carbon cartridge, so we are using the round paper-ish filter that goes in instead. It was filled with unfiltered tap water, a double dose of prime, and new gravel (small smooth stones). Some of the water leaked out of the filter hoses due to old o rings (getting new ones today). This was supposed to be a fishless cycled tank, but that didn't go as planned...
I bought a 3 inch black ghost knife fish, a 1 inch angel fish, one parrot cichlid, and two African cichlids to put in the new tank once it was cycled. I know that I will eventually need a 75+ gal for the angel and ghost knife, but the 49 was going to work for a little while. To keep them safe until the larger tank was cycled, I got a 20 gal that I transferred the water, gravel, and filter media from a 10 gal for an "instant cycle". My theory was that it would be the equivalent of a 50% water change. I moved my mother guppy and her fry from the 5 gal nursery tank into the 10 gal (already housing 4 danios, an oto, and cory cat) along with the filter, water, and gravel. I put in a brand new whisper 10-30 gal filter as well. Again, it was the 50% water change theory.
The problem came when the 20 gallon cracked along the bottom. Now all of the fish EXCEPT for the ghost knife, angel, oto, and fry are in the uncycled 49 gallon. We started up the Magnum filter placed on a plastic basket inside of a bucket to catch the leaking water for the moment. I also moved the filter and as much of the water from the 20 gallon as I could catch in a bucket into the 49 gallon tank. I bought 8 small to med size plants (largest I could find on short notice), as well as some moss to place in the new tank. I also bought a 20+ gallon whisper filter the help keep the water circulating, but it doesn't look like it's doing much. The older versions of the whisper filters, like what I had in my 10 gallon before, seem to be so much better.

So, to sum it up, I have plants, old filter media, Magnum 350 filter, a somewhat weak 20+ gal filter, a bubble wand, and two small bubble stone going in the tank. I have also turned up the heaters to 82. I'm keeping an eye on the water parameters, and going to do a 25% change in both tanks today.
1) Is there anything else I can do to help my fish stay healthy?
2)Is the 10 gal the best place for the angel and knife until the other tank is cycled?
3)Do lights matter? And if so, do I use the powerglo, 10,000k, or both? I'm hoping to keep the plants good and alive to help with ammonia/nitrites. 2 amazon swords, 3 what look to be java ferns, 2 crypts, and a small floating plant as well as the moss that is tied to an ornament.
Thanks in advance

Last edited by CatSoup; 03-27-2012 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #2
 
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Yikes...
you have a really nasty mix of fish there to say the least.. the two african cichlids need totally different water parameters than either the angel or Black Ghost Knife...also depending on what africans they are they COULD potentially kill all the other fish very quick.

One should never purchase fish before researching compatibility and checking what water parameter requirements they have, also goes for purchasing fish for a "future" upgrade. Many reasons can come about preventing that upgrade which leaves you with fish unsuitable to live in your tank..now what do you do with them...?

The BGK (Black Ghost Knife) needs a 90g+ tank when fully grown. The cichlids as mentioned are NOT compatible with any of the other fish. They are simply too aggressive for them.

With regards to running the filter with it leaking, it could render it useless as the water is likely not getting to the filter media correctly...what media do you have in it?

How also did you manage to crack the bottom of the 20g?

Best advice is to take the cichlids back, get the filter working correctly and then see if you can get more plants, performing almost daily water changes is going to be a must until the tank is cycled...which can take 4-6 weeks. The fish are already exposed to an environment which is effecting their health and shortening their lifespan...the ammonia in the uncycled tank unless the tank is heavily planted COULD potentially kill all the fish, daily water changes will help but as mentioned it will effect them long term.

Am sorry for your situation.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:44 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman View Post
Yikes...
you have a really nasty mix of fish there to say the least.. the two african cichlids need totally different water parameters than either the angel or Black Ghost Knife...also depending on what africans they are they COULD potentially kill all the other fish very quick.

One should never purchase fish before researching compatibility and checking what water parameter requirements they have, also goes for purchasing fish for a "future" upgrade. Many reasons can come about preventing that upgrade which leaves you with fish unsuitable to live in your tank..now what do you do with them...?

The BGK (Black Ghost Knife) needs a 90g+ tank when fully grown. The cichlids as mentioned are NOT compatible with any of the other fish. They are simply too aggressive for them.

With regards to running the filter with it leaking, it could render it useless as the water is likely not getting to the filter media correctly...what media do you have in it?

How also did you manage to crack the bottom of the 20g?

Best advice is to take the cichlids back, get the filter working correctly and then see if you can get more plants, performing almost daily water changes is going to be a must until the tank is cycled...which can take 4-6 weeks. The fish are already exposed to an environment which is effecting their health and shortening their lifespan...the ammonia in the uncycled tank unless the tank is heavily planted COULD potentially kill all the fish, daily water changes will help but as mentioned it will effect them long term.

Am sorry for your situation.
I'm prepared to upgrade tanks in the future for the knife fish. The 49 was just for now. The 20 gal must have been defective or hadled roughly in the store. I didn't realize the cichlids would have different water parameters. Those are honestly the only one's I didn't look up. My bf picked them and all I knew is that they were supposed to be hardy fish. So far they haven't harmed the others. Of course the knife and angel are still in the 10 for now. Ugh. How stressful. Do you think I should move all of them into the uncycled one, and put the cichlids into the 10 for now? So far all parameters are good in both tanks.

here are pics for fish to tank ratio:
49, also has a cory cat hiding


Last edited by CatSoup; 03-27-2012 at 05:02 PM.. Reason: added pics
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
 
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I can't return the cichlids because I bought them at wal-mart and they will flush returned fish. :(
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:01 PM   #5
 
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Do you know what cichlids they are or can you post a picture . detailed description?

If the tank was defective store bought, then return it for another one...well within your rights. The bottom glass is usually tempered which shatters into pieces when broken, if the side panels cracked then they are not tempered glass.

Depending on what cichlids you have then, I will offer suggestions as well...what size they are is also important.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman View Post
Do you know what cichlids they are or can you post a picture . detailed description?

If the tank was defective store bought, then return it for another one...well within your rights. The bottom glass is usually tempered which shatters into pieces when broken, if the side panels cracked then they are not tempered glass.

Depending on what cichlids you have then, I will offer suggestions as well...what size they are is also important.
Thanks, I added some photos of the tanks. African I think. They are the stripped ones near the bottom of the 49.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:13 PM   #7
 
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I dont see any pictures of tanks in your profile.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman View Post
I dont see any pictures of tanks in your profile.
I posted them on the post above. Did they not show up?
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
 
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The pictures are too small to make a positive ID.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:24 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman View Post
The pictures are too small to make a positive ID.
Sorry about that. DSC_0580 - Copy.jpg
You can see a glo-fish danio swimming near them. They're not very big, yet.
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