Newbie Needs help please. - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 78 Old 01-24-2013, 10:02 PM
Oh, also, when you go to the petstore, ask to talk to the FISH SPECIALIST. If they don't have one, don't trust their advice without prior research. If they do, only talk to him.
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post #12 of 78 Old 01-24-2013, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
THis was a starter tank for me, I figured if I could keep up with it then I would get somthing bigger. I have an 8 foot section of wall that is free and will buy the biggest tank I can wife permitting. The fish in this tank are relitivly small, biggest (besides the eel) would be the mollies at about 1/4 inces. The eel is about 2 and 1/2 inches. What I plan on doing is when I get the bigger tank, I will set it all up cycle it and transfer over all the fish less the puffer. I figuerd that I would slowly convert the current tank over to a brackish water tank for him. As for the store I was using (petsmart) i stopped with them about a month ago. I am now using a local pet store that seems alot more knowlageable. I'm just trying to find out how to keep everyhting healthy untill I can make the switch and looking for advice so that I dont wase money and kill fish with the new tank.
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post #13 of 78 Old 01-24-2013, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
The puffer I can see, the eel and kissy fish I would have never guessed. The eel I have to hand feed because he seems so timmed. The kissing fish I just see them eating the flakes.. The 600% over crowding would explain the cloudy water... So temporarily (untill i get the new tank in about a week or two then a week or two of cycle) what can I do with my current set up? If I put in the two other filter I have is should be close to 250gph rate..... Would this be a good band aid for a short time?
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post #14 of 78 Old 01-24-2013, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
just went through the aqadvisor, with the two filters I have, it places me at 44% overstocked. Wow totaly did not know this, The cat fish is a Rafael Catfish. All teh fish are, from what I have read juvinile size. so I think I need to upgrade sooner than later.
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post #15 of 78 Old 01-24-2013, 10:59 PM
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Hello to you, and welcome to the fishy crew. . . I must admit - as the others have been saying, you DO have quite a mess on your hands! You aren't the first, nor will you be the last, to have been led astray by fish shop employees - I'm glad you've come looking for advice. . .frankly, your screen name 'Dodge Fate' is apt, and I hope you are able to do so in this case!

There are a lot of issues going on here, and frankly - even in a fully cycled 10-gallon tank with juvenile fish, it's going to take a LOT of effort on your part to keep things going for even another two weeks while you get a larger tank. Even with another tank (depending on the size), you're running into trouble with the fish you have on-hand. Some tough decisions have to be made her, and made quickly - or most of these fish will die.

PetSmart and PetCo both have fairly generous return policies. PetSmart gives you 2 weeks to return for a full refund, and I've had them do returns for store credit even beyond that point. You may seriously want to consider giving them and the LFS a call to see if you can return most of these babies and start fresh, even though it's been over a month for some of them. . .

You're using very broad common names to describe some of the fish you have. It would make it much easier if you could track down their scientific names, or even find an image for us to help you identify what it is, exactly, that you have. Knowing this would be of considerable help to us in helping you - but lets start with what we have, and do a break-down. We can go from there.

First off, go - RIGHT NOW - and do a water change! Then do one tomorrow... I suspect that there is a high amount of toxins in the water caused by overstocking as well as the death you experienced. A bacterial bloom is also likely, and those will clear up on their own given a bit of time, but in a situation like this one - perhaps not until and unless the base issues are solved.

If you don't have one already, I strongly urge you to pick up an API Master Freshwater Test kit. With kit in hand, you'll be able to run tests on the water in the tank to find out how bad the water quality actually is - and how quickly it deteriorates after a water change. How did you cycle this tank? When we say cycle, we mean far more than letting the water sit for a day or two before adding fish - a misconception that many people have when they begin. Even if it IS properly cycled, there is in no way enough beneficial bacteria in the tank yet - nor, I think, enough surface area in a 10g for it to be able to handle the bioload of the fish you've got stocked here. . . not NOW, much less when they're bigger!

I'm going to go through the fish you have listed, one by one, to the best of my knowledge - and see if it helps you out. . . you're WAY more than 44% overstocked - even with a 2nd filter!
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post #16 of 78 Old 01-24-2013, 11:12 PM
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Okay. . . so. . .Lets take a look at who is living here, exactly - without proper names, much of this is guesswork, so please correct me if I'm wrong. You can click on the shaded names to be take to the species profile for the fish highlighted to get more information. . .

Sucker Fish: What most people refer to as a Suckerfish is a Common Pleco. These beasts really have no place in an aquarium - they belong in a pond. They are very dirty animals, with a high level of waste. People are often told that they need them to 'clean' the tank, but in truth, they really make a tank far more dirty than it would have been without them. They're catfish, so don't like salt. Grow to be 18 inches or so, and can be very territorial toward others of their own kind. These shouldn't be kept in anything smaller than a 55g tank, though they are fairly adaptable when it comes to temps and water hardness - provided it's fresh.

Kissing Gourami: Lovely fish, when kept properly - and very easy for a beginner to keep. These guys aren't very fussy at all, as long as they are given clean FRESH water - and a REALLY big tank! Kissing Gourami grow to be about 12" each, and are aggressive. They will eat any fish that are small enough to fit into their mouths. NOT a good choice for a community tank. They'll need at least a 55g, but truly should be kept in a larger tank as they grow. Good with different water hardness and normal tropical temps.

Flounder? I'm not sure entirely what it is you have here. The most common type that I've heard of in tanks is often called 'freshwater flounder' and is Achirus lineatus - I think? To the best of my knowledge, these are actually brackish fish, and need full saltwater as they mature. They grow to be around 6 inches long, will eat fish smaller than they are, are nocturnal, and very difficult to feed - they won't eat flake. . . at least not at first. But do post up an image of what it is you have so to be sure...

Fiddler Crab: I've never looked into keeping these, so double check my info. But from what I've read, and the random setups I've come across - these guys are usually kept in such a way that they have an area of land to come up out of the water, and do best in species-only setups (I/E no fish). There are many different types that I've seen for sale, and I'm sure they each have their own 'rules,' but I believe they're also fairly fussy as far as how much salt is in their water, and also fairly sure that most, if not all, of these DO require brackish. These do not belong in a community tank. . .

Molly: Now THESE are a great starter fish, if you have hard water. They can go from fresh water to pure brackish - so you should be just FINE with your Mollies. . . the only thing is that they do have a high bio-load (meaning they poo a lot) and they're very active - so they need a tank bigger than 10g. If they're truly only 1/4 inch long - they'd be fine for now in the 10g - but not with everything else :)

Guppy: YAY GUPPIES! THESE are ANOTHER great starter fish that will live in perfect harmony with the Mollies - AND can live in a 10g tank with no issues! They're live-bearers, so babies will happen and they like hard water. Guppies can tolerate a bit of salt, but you'll not want to put them in a fully brackish setup.

Not sure what your black and yellow catfish is...

Fire eels are cool, but grow to be 20 inches + and will eat anything smaller. . . no salt. . .

and you've been told all about the Puffers already - these guys NEED brackish, and do best in species-only setups. . .

Last edited by Chesh; 01-24-2013 at 11:22 PM.
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post #17 of 78 Old 01-24-2013, 11:27 PM
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Okay, I'm sure I missed a few, but. . . the flat facts are that MOST of these fish are not suited to a beginner, and nearly all of them aren't going to be able to go into the same tank. You'd have to get a HUGE tank to keep several of them, and they still won't be able to live together if you do. Even with your (good) idea of converting the 10g into a brackish tank - I've been considering turning my 29 into a brackish community for quite some time - it isn't nearly as easy as tossing in some aquarium salt. . . and it's something that will require a bit of research on your part to get right - plus different fish prefer different levels of salinity, so you'd have to figure that out, too.

Personal advice here is to go into the shops you got them from, and try to return them. Even if they won't give you a refund or store credit, you might at least save their lives. You're looking at setting up 5 tanks or more - most of which will have to be HUGE - to keep these fish.

I'd recommend that you keep the 10g with the Guppies and Mollies. . . and hit the books. Lots of research and a thriving tank later, go ahead and invest in the larger tank and maybe pick one or two of these to buy again, based on what you've learned and the experience that you've gained with the tougher live-bearers. . . even if you DO manage to get rid of the bacterial bloom, and do enough water changes to keep these guys alive in an overstocked tank - OR get a massive tank that can handle the bioload - they'll be killing each-other, or die from being in the wrong water conditions eventually. Adding the right type of salt to the tank that some of them require WILL kill others - while keeping the water fresh will have the same effect on others. I'm really sorry. You're really in a pickle here, and the only way to truly fix it is to call it a lost cause and start over, more or less, from scratch.

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Last edited by Chesh; 01-24-2013 at 11:31 PM.
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post #18 of 78 Old 01-25-2013, 07:09 AM
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Thanks Jes

Hey dodge fate, can you post a pic of this tank and it's inhabitants?
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post #19 of 78 Old 01-25-2013, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
I did a 50% water change, and here is what it looks like now. I got a pic of some of the fish inside but not all.
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post #20 of 78 Old 01-25-2013, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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