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This is a discussion on Need help! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by SolaceTiger When you do get more fish though, I'd get more black finned ones.. as they like to school... and a ...

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Old 11-14-2008, 10:10 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by SolaceTiger View Post
When you do get more fish though, I'd get more black finned ones.. as they like to school... and a lid would help to keep the water from evaporating and the fish from jumping to their deaths. :P In the meantime, if you can't get a test kit just make sure you stay on top of water changes and your parameters will be most likely be fine.

Ok well I'm going to try my best to get the kit. I was wondering what would stop the water from evaporating so fast! I have to add water to it every few days to keep the water level above the MIN mark on the heater. Could that else be part of what is killing the fish? Also if I understand the water cycle correctly the toxins are from food not eaten, and the waste from the fish? If so then if the tank was just set up then wouldn't their be no toxins from the fish/food? I plan on getting a bigger tank tomorrow as I need the 20gal for a chineese water dragon. Once I get the new tank should I clean it out and set it up with water and let it sit for awhile before putting the fish into the tank( don't worry I'm not spending money on the tank and forgetting about the test kit, the tank is free!)?
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:19 PM   #12
 
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Yes, the tank should cycle for about a month.. and you will need the test kit to be able to monitor its progress. You can try other kits I'm sure, just don't get the test strips.. they're junk from what I hear.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:23 PM   #13
 
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But yea, if you add raw water into an already unstable tank everytime it evaporates.. it probably stresses out your fish. as long as you get the lid and do your weekly water changes, the water level shouldn't get to low to have to add raw water back to it right away... also when you are doing your water changes make sure the new water you're adding is already dechlorinated before you put it in your tank and that the water is the same temp.
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:28 PM   #14
 
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You can buy the test kit at Petsmart, but it will cost you about twice as much as it would if you bought it from an online aquarium supply store like that Drs. Foster and Smith site.

It's important to realize that water quality is not something you can measure just by looking at it. Your water can be completely deadly to your fish and still look just fine. The test kit is really the only way of knowing how much toxic stuff you've got in your tank. Since you set up the tank only recently, there are no bacteria present to convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate. Even tiny amounts of ammonia from rotting fish food or your fishes' waste can build up to deadly amounts in a matter of days.

I would do a 50% water change on your tank ASAP. Use water that's the same temperature as the water in the tank and make sure to use a good water conditioner that removes chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals. You likely have a lot of ammonia and possibly some nitrite in your tank right now so a water change is really helpful. I would then do another 50% water change in two days. After that, 20% changes every two days will be helpful until the cycle is complete. At that point, you really only need to do 20% changes or so once a week. Keep in mind that all of these are really ballpark estimates - without that test kit, it's really impossible to tell where your water parameters are and thus when to do water changes and how much. You can also take a sample of your aquarium water to a fish store and have them test it for you. Most will do this for free. Make sure they use a good liquid test kit or electronic probes and not the paper strips, and have them give you specific numbers for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

I know a lot of this is overwhelming, but once you get te hang of it you'll be keeping happier, healthier fish that will be more enjoyable. Good luck!
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:56 PM   #15
Kim
 
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Just to give you a visual of what iamntbatman is saying, this is my new tank which is in the process of fishless cycling.

IMG_0039.jpg

Can you tell how toxic this tank is? If I put fish in there now they would be dead within minutes.

So yes, I would do water changes as was suggested until you get that test kit just to be on the safe side. Don't worry, things will get easier soon. Good luck .
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