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Need advice ASAP!

This is a discussion on Need advice ASAP! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello all. I'm not particularly new to fishkeeping, but its been many years since I practiced. Well I bought a 20 gal tank, set ...

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Old 03-24-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
 
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Need advice ASAP!

Hello all. I'm not particularly new to fishkeeping, but its been many years since I practiced. Well I bought a 20 gal tank, set it up, and let it run 9 or 10 days. I thought that would be good enough to "cycle it." Yesterday I went to the LFS and bought 5 tiger barbs, 1 rainbow shark, and 1 green terror. Needless to say, a few hours after I put the fish in, all 5 tiger barbs died. The green terror was extremely sluggish, and basically lying on the bottom. The shark was swimming vertical. I thought it was the temp, as it was set at about 80, so I changed 20% of the water with ice cold water, and turned the heater down. Now it's about 75. It seems the temperature change helped as the green terror began swimming. But when I woke up today, my rainbow shark was dead and clung to my filter intake, and my green terror, while not dead, is just aimlessly resting on the bottom.

Any suggestions? I am apologetic for the fish casualties, and do not wish for my green terror to be next.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosilior View Post
Hello all. I'm not particularly new to fishkeeping, but its been many years since I practiced. Well I bought a 20 gal tank, set it up, and let it run 9 or 10 days. I thought that would be good enough to "cycle it." Yesterday I went to the LFS and bought 5 tiger barbs, 1 rainbow shark, and 1 green terror. Needless to say, a few hours after I put the fish in, all 5 tiger barbs died. The green terror was extremely sluggish, and basically lying on the bottom. The shark was swimming vertical. I thought it was the temp, as it was set at about 80, so I changed 20% of the water with ice cold water, and turned the heater down. Now it's about 75. It seems the temperature change helped as the green terror began swimming. But when I woke up today, my rainbow shark was dead and clung to my filter intake, and my green terror, while not dead, is just aimlessly resting on the bottom.

Any suggestions? I am apologetic for the fish casualties, and do not wish for my green terror to be next.
hey there welcome to the forums!

well my friend the cycling takes a bit more time than just 10 days im sure you realized this by now. Adding fish to do the cycle usually ends up with many casualties. Theres nothing you can do except to keep doing 50% water changes in the morning and at night and you also need to know that the advise from your local fish stores is seldom accurate to what you really have to do. The fish you have left will probably die from stress but thats common among beginners. Remember It takes patience and ofcourse you cant take everything lightly and think that these creatures will just flourish without knowing how to take the right steps but right now all you can do is to start doing research about what your going to do next.

No worries though Im glad you joined our community your going to learn many things from the experienced fish keepers here. I just got my first tank in january so I know how you feel.

How did you cycle? what do you measure your water parameters?

here is a link to fill you in about cycling: A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle

Your definitely in the right place people here have years of experience and are ready to answer any questions that you might have! anything that you might have in mind just ask it can make a big difference to the health and well-being of your fish!

again welcome to the tropical fish keeping forums! take care!
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
 
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I just wanted to add that temperature change is a giant stress to your fish.
Find out what temp your tank should be and adjust it slowly over several days.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leogtr View Post
hey there welcome to the forums!

well my friend the cycling takes a bit more time than just 10 days im sure you realized this by now. Adding fish to do the cycle usually ends up with many casualties. Theres nothing you can do except to keep doing 50% water changes in the morning and at night and you also need to know that the advise from your local fish stores is seldom accurate to what you really have to do. The fish you have left will probably die from stress but thats common among beginners. Remember It takes patience and ofcourse you cant take everything lightly and think that these creatures will just flourish without knowing how to take the right steps but right now all you can do is to start doing research about what your going to do next.

No worries though Im glad you joined our community your going to learn many things from the experienced fish keepers here. I just got my first tank in january so I know how you feel.

How did you cycle? what do you measure your water parameters?

here is a link to fill you in about cycling: A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle

Your definitely in the right place people here have years of experience and are ready to answer any questions that you might have! anything that you might have in mind just ask it can make a big difference to the health and well-being of your fish!

again welcome to the tropical fish keeping forums! take care!
Thanks!
I had 4 or 5 aquariums through the years, and ALL of them had been fully cycled by 2 or 3 days. (Well no fish died anyways) I just seem to be having a problem with this one. I don't test my water parameters, should I? Even in an established tank?

About 3 years ago I had a 30 gal tank and a friend gave me a 1 Jack Dempsey and 1 convict, they were both youngsters. At first, my giant red-tailed black shark bullied it around, but when the Jack Dempsey got bigger, it took out everything in the tank except the cory catfish and the convict. It swallowed by CAE in 1 gulp, and tore apart my red tail shark! Nevertheless, I think the Jack is a beautiful fish, however it is definitely not a community fish. But I can't wait to get another.

Last edited by Yosilior; 03-24-2011 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by SGDude View Post
I just wanted to add that temperature change is a giant stress to your fish.
Find out what temp your tank should be and adjust it slowly over several days.
Well right now all that I have left is a small green terror chichlid. What temp do you recommend for him/her?
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:55 PM   #6
 
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

I hiope you're planning to get a larger tank in the future as a 20 gallon tank will be much too small for an adult Green Terror. They grow to a size of 12". They do grow slower than some of the other cichlids but need a minimum of a 55 gallon tank. They are an aggressive South American cichlid and tankmates must be chosen carefully.

Most likely the stress of an uncycled tank is what did your fish in rather than a 80 degree water temp which should be fine for the Green Terror. It takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks to fully cycle a tank. While cycling with fish in the tank be prepared to do daily water changes at times to keep ammonia and nitrites levels in check as this is what is lethal to the fish. Also, be sure to purchase a good liquid test kit so you know where you are in the cycle. I recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit Aquarium Water Testing: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit

I would suggest reading the link that leogtr provided on the aquarium cycle. This will give you a better understanding of how the aquarium cycle works. Post any questions you may have and the good folks here will be happy to help you through them. Good luck with your tank.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:31 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by jeaninel View Post
Hello and welcome to the forum!

I hiope you're planning to get a larger tank in the future as a 20 gallon tank will be much too small for an adult Green Terror. They grow to a size of 12". They do grow slower than some of the other cichlids but need a minimum of a 55 gallon tank. They are an aggressive South American cichlid and tankmates must be chosen carefully.
Thank you for the welcome!
Yea, I'm planning on getting a 55 gallon this Christmas. The only tankmates I plan to put with it are maybe Zebra Danios and a cory catfish. A few years ago, a cory did well with my Jack, so I figure if it did well with a Jack, a green terror isn't any worse.

Quote:
Most likely the stress of an uncycled tank is what did your fish in rather than a 80 degree water temp which should be fine for the Green Terror. It takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks to fully cycle a tank. While cycling with fish in the tank be prepared to do daily water changes at times to keep ammonia and nitrites levels in check as this is what is lethal to the fish. Also, be sure to purchase a good liquid test kit so you know where you are in the cycle. I recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit Aquarium Water Testing: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit

I would suggest reading the link that leogtr provided on the aquarium cycle. This will give you a better understanding of how the aquarium cycle works. Post any questions you may have and the good folks here will be happy to help you through them. Good luck with your tank.
Do you think I could do the shrimp method now that I only have 1 fish in? And is there a such thing as too much airation? I have one of those filters that hangs on the back and deposits water like a waterfall, so I would assume that's ample water agitation there. I also have a 10' bubble wand installed.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:36 PM   #8
 
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Not to add insult to injury, but with 5 tiger barbs and a green terror in the same tank, they likely would have killed each other eventually.

If you do water changes( several gallons worth) twice a day, your green terror will likely survive. They're pretty hardy little buggers. I do agree that it will need a larger tank eventually, though.


Often, cycling is misunderstood. Many pet stores will say to set the tank and let it run for a couple days...
This will remove the chlorine and co2 from the water (due to agitation and it sitting out), it won't really do much for the actual cycling process.

A tank is considered "cycled" when the bacteria that convert ammonia (fish waste) into nitrite (a toxic by-product), and then into nitrate (relatively harmless, and removed by weekly water changes).

This process can sometimes take a week, but often takes longer. Some fish are less sensitive to ammonia by-products, and are used when the tank is first started to produce ammonia to feed the bacteria. My favorite method, though uncommon, is the invisible fish cycling. You add fish food to the tank as if there were fish in it.

Anyways, since you have the green terror, keep your water changes up, and don't add any more fish until the tank is cycled. (Actually, it's nearly impossible to find anything that will coexist with a green terror, but that's a different topic altogether.)

It's a good idea to go and purchase a liquid test kit to monitor the cycle. API makes an excellent "freshwater master test kit", but for cycling, you really only need nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia. (though ph test is helpful.) If all you can get are strips, then they'll help, but consider them useless a month after you open the package. They are infamous for drying out and giving false results.

When you do waterchanges, it will help to use a water conditioner that neutralises nitrite and ammonia. Prime is the only brand I know of, but API will neutralise ammonia. Remember, its not a fix-all, but use it when you change the water.


------------
I saw you posted. The shrimp method is unneccesary- the fish will produce more than enough ammonia. Also, did you know that cories are shoaling fish? They prefer to be in groups larger than 3, although three will do. If you want a nice bottom-dweller, I'd go with a bristlenose pleco. It won't outgrow the twenty. If you want, you could get something larger like a clown pleco, but you'll have to move both of them to the larger tank when you can.
Danios would likely be stressed out by such a large predator in their tank. I would wait, and when you get the new tank, the green terror can be housed with something close to it's size and temperment.

Last edited by redchigh; 03-24-2011 at 04:54 PM..
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
It's a good idea to go and purchase a liquid test kit to monitor the cycle. API makes an excellent "freshwater master test kit", but for cycling, you really only need nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia. (though ph test is helpful.) If all you can get are strips, then they'll help, but consider them useless a month after you open the package. They are infamous for drying out and giving false results.
I just went out and bought some test strips. Well when I tested, everything was in the normal range, except the water hardness was at the highest, >425 ppm. How should I go about recifying this?
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:40 PM   #10
 
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You can buy an RO unit (expensive) or buy some RO water from a LFS and supplement your tap water to reduce the hardness. With aquariums, the solution is usually dilution.
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