how in God's name have I made it this far? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-09-2007, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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how in God's name have I made it this far?


So I'm brand new to owning an aquarium on my own. I recall times when I was young, cleaning out a fish tank, but thats about it.

Long story short, I've had a tank for about 2 weeks now. After reading the stickies, I didnt follow any of what was stated there, and somehow I have managed not to kill any fish.

Within the first 4 hours of running my tank, we added some black skirt tetra's. The PetLand rep was sure they would die, but to my amazement they are still alive. infact, since that day i've added 3 more bst (5 in total), a beta, 2 neons, and a few others i can't recall. All still happily alive, or so it appears.

Here's my specs:

1. Size of aquarium: 10 gallons
2. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or saltwater? Freshwater
3. How long the aquarium has been setup: 2 weeks
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know):

Black Skirt Tetras (5)
Other Tetras (5)
Neons (2)
Beta (1)
Siamese Algae Eater (1)

5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? No. Should there be?
6. What make/model filter are you using? AquaClear
7. Are you using a CO2 unit? Nope ???
8. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? somewhat close to the window but no direct exposure
9. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? have not done so yet
10.How often and what foods do you feed your fish? the generic flakes, 2-3 times daily, as much as they can eat in 2 min
11.Is your aquarium light incandescent or fluorescent and how often is it kept on? flourescent, kept on 1/2 the day
12.What specific concerns bring you in with a water sample at this time?
That I haven't followed anything right so far and I am afraid they may choke soon if I dont do something.

That being said, is there anything I should do, or test, immediately? They all seem healthy to me, but what do I know.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-09-2007, 08:09 PM
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Since you set up your tank so recently, chances are it hasn't properly cycled.

What you need to do is go to the pet store and buy a water test kit. If you ant to go cheap and easy get a 5-in-1 testing strip kit. If you want a more accurate, expensive kit get the API freshwater master kit.

The things you will be most insterested in testing for are 1 ammonia 2 nitrite 3 nitrate.

If there is ANY ammonia or nitrite you need to change about half the water immediately. Be sure to use a water dechlorinator and get the temperature as close as possible.

When your tank is finished cycling, you should no longer see any ammonia or nitrite in the tests, instead you ill see nitrate. Nitrate isn't as poisonous to fish as the other 2 chemicals but you will still need to do water changes on a regular basis to keep the levels down, and your fish happy.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-10-2007, 12:35 AM
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it's definitely not cycled yet. please get a liquid test kit (preferably api brand). do a water change asap and keep a close eye on all your levels. your tank looks like it's overstocked already, so ammonia levels are bound to spike big time. also take a look at your filter; if it says it's rated for a 10g tank, then it's probably not big enough. most people will recommend that you use a filter that's rated for at least 2 or 3 times the size of your tank.

as far as live plants go, you don't have to worry about them and a co2 system if you're not interested in them.

i hope this helps you out a bit. i know it's a bit daunting, but don't get discouraged. we've all made our share of mistakes :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-10-2007, 11:48 AM
mHeinitz57's Avatar
yeah, tank is definitely overstocked and you will have problems. Putting fish in 4 hours after setup is risky but not guarunteed death, especially in a small tank. You are in the cycle period though and I wouldnt be surprised if some of your less-hardy fish begin to die off...but I seriously hope I am wrong. Get your water tested and for your sake and for the sake of your pets, bring some back to the store and get a refund. Even if you do keep the water super clean your fish will hardly have room to grow and swim and aggression will most likely take place eventually with the betta and algea eater.

Mike H
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-10-2007, 03:40 PM
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yes, and if your algae eater truly is a siamese algae eater, it will grow to about 6". if it's really a chinese algae eater that was mislabeled at the pet store, it will stop eating algae, get very large, and probably kill all of your other fish.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-11-2007, 08:13 AM
mHeinitz57's Avatar
I believe the siamese and chinese algea eaters are the same fish...just slightly different names. They've been sold also as just plain "algea eaters" as well. But yeah, they get 6" and very aggressive most of the time. For a 10 gallon you would be better off with a small group of otocinclus...they get 2" and remain docile.

Mike H
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