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Newbie with lots of questions

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Newbie with lots of questions
Old 05-18-2012, 06:39 PM   #1
 
Newbie with lots of questions

Hi there! I am new to fish tanks and I apologize for my lack of knowledge. I promise to learn quickly though if you point me in the right direction. I'm in Portland, OR and if anybody knows of a great, knowledgable shop, please let me know. I have yet to find one.

I have a small, ten gallon tank. I did the fishless shrimp cycle and about a month ago added in some Raspboras and a Pleco. The Pleco was a hitchhiker on one of the live plants/log I purchased so I didn't plan on this fish.

I have three live plants in there, one is attached two a log. The other two which are just buried in substrate. The leaves on these two are starting to turn light brown on the ends of a few of the leaves and deteriorate. I have not been putting any kind of fertilizer in there because I don't know which kind to use and what is safe.

A few days ago one of my Raspboras started hanging out seperately from the other 9. I noticed his fins were tattered, but the rest of his body looked fine. The next day he began to swim in one spot and low in the tank, then he died. It looks as though one fish in particular is chasing the others around and possibly nipping at them. I can't tell if he is actually making contact with them, but they are darting so fast. I isolated him for a few hours one day, but didn't know what to do with him long term so I released him back into the tank.

The Pleco has been fine, but today his head area is a strange color. Where white areas of his skin in the head area are reddish-orange. I took a pic from my phone that I can try to upload if you need to see it.

In summary my questions are

-what do I do to care for my live plants?

-what should I do about the agfressive Raspbora?

-why is my Pleco turning red?

Any advice or help is very much appreciated!
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
 
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what kind of plants are they? What kind of lights do you have, there should be numbers on the bulbs.
What kind of pleco is he for a 10 gallon is kinda small for a pleco some of them get to 4-6 inchs and Common plecos can get 20" or more. If you can post a picture we can help identify pleco and plants, also you may have too many fish try taking the aggressive one back to the store if you can. bt the way welcome to the forumand dont appoligize for not knowing enough , thats what we are here for, and we are all still learning things
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:37 PM   #3
 
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I use leaf zone aquarium plant food for all my plants. Easy to use, do it once a week. Also good lights are key. I use a zoo med flora sun light.

^ and yes, pictures please!
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:48 PM   #4
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you join us.

On the stores, in Portland there is The Wet Spot. While I have not been there myself (I'm up in Vancouver, BC) I have heard impressive comments from others including aquarists here who travel down to it, and from their website they seem to be a hobbyist's delight. They get some rare fish too.

To your other questions.

What species of Rasbora? We have profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page; rasbora are under the Cyprinids section there, with photos. A 10g is small as you said, but depending upon the species it may be quite suitable. More when I know this.

Plants. Have a read of my article at the head of the Aquarium Plants section entitled "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium," it is in 4 parts. You may have questions after reading, ask away.

For fertilizer, my recommendation is either Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti. In either case, make sure you get those specific names, as there are other products in the respective lines. With your soft water, these products are the best because they contain everything, though we may have some issues once we know the GH.

Here i must go into your water. It will be soft most likely, and probably slightly acidic. You should ascertain the GH, KH and pH from the water supply folks, they likely have a website. You can read about these relationships and why they are important here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

The GH may affect your plants too, so this is important for both plants and fish.

I stay out of disease issues as I have very little experience and prescribing inappropriate treatments can make things worse and kill the fish outright. Others here have more knowledge in this area, and a photo will help them. Plus knowing the water parameters (GH and pH), ammonia, nitrite and nitrate numbers, and temperature.

Byron.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
 
Tank:


Platy:


See his head/face color?


Closeup of leaves:


My Raspboras:


Bulb:



I have a heater, set at 74 degrees. Light is on for about 12 hours a day. Platy is barely 2" in length from head to tail. Raspboras are tiny.

I will re-read and answer the other questions that I missed.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:48 PM   #6
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you join us.

On the stores, in Portland there is The Wet Spot. While I have not been there myself (I'm up in Vancouver, BC) I have heard impressive comments from others including aquarists here who travel down to it, and from their website they seem to be a hobbyist's delight. They get some rare fish too.

To your other questions.

What species of Rasbora? We have profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page; rasbora are under the Cyprinids section there, with photos. A 10g is small as you said, but depending upon the species it may be quite suitable. More when I know this.

Plants. Have a read of my article at the head of the Aquarium Plants section entitled "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium," it is in 4 parts. You may have questions after reading, ask away.

For fertilizer, my recommendation is either Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti. In either case, make sure you get those specific names, as there are other products in the respective lines. With your soft water, these products are the best because they contain everything, though we may have some issues once we know the GH.

Here i must go into your water. It will be soft most likely, and probably slightly acidic. You should ascertain the GH, KH and pH from the water supply folks, they likely have a website. You can read about these relationships and why they are important here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

The GH may affect your plants too, so this is important for both plants and fish.

I stay out of disease issues as I have very little experience and prescribing inappropriate treatments can make things worse and kill the fish outright. Others here have more knowledge in this area, and a photo will help them. Plus knowing the water parameters (GH and pH), ammonia, nitrite and nitrate numbers, and temperature.

Byron.
Thank you all for the welcome.

I've been to The Wet Spot close to a dozen times in the last few months. Each time I am in there I get a different answer or advice. I was first told that I should use Raspboras to cycle my tank. Then I was told not to. I was told that aquarium I was going to buy had a heater and I got home to find out it did not. I called and they would not let me return it even though it was same day and unopened. Regardless almost everything I have bought for this tank has come from them. I just can't seem to find another store where I get consistent advice.

I looked through and didn't see my kind of Raspbora. Hopefully you can tell from the pictures, but they called them 'Green Raspbora' at The Wet Spot. They are close to an inch in length from head to tail.

I have hard crappy water. I am actually in Vancouver, Wa which is right across the bridge from Portland. Portland has great water, we have sucky hard chlorinated water. On my test kit, my water tests as 150 'hard' My PH is between 7.2 - 7.8. I have no Nitrite and 10-20 ppm of Nitrate. My Alkalinity is 80 which is 'moderate.' I will contact the city to inquire about the specifics of the water. All I have been doing now is adding Stress Coat to it.

Off to read the plant guide...
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
 
I am wondering if those two plants should be buried in the substrate? It may be possible the roots are being choked and unable to pull nutrients?
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
 
Hmmm, they were buried in substrate at the shop so that is what I did with them.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:44 PM   #9
 
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the rasbora looks like Microdevario kubotai

the 'platy' is not a platy at all, looks like Otocinclus cocama

plants are fine - anubias attached to the wood, swords planted, the small plants at the ends of the long stalk are how the swords reproduce, once they have enough root growth they can be detached from the stalk and planted, though swords may eventually out grow this tank
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #10
 
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The two plants you planted are most likely Amazon Sword. They are suppose to be planted that way so alls good there. The leaves are emersed form and will die off. New submerged leave will form and be narrow. Also those swords get hugh and may not be the best for a 10 gallon tank.
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