Newbie Needs help please. - Page 7 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #61 of 78 Old 02-19-2013, 07:24 AM
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What are your water parameters out of the tap?

The first thing that I would suggest is to test the tap and see what your default is.... put it in a jar and shake vigorously to off gas the CO2 first as that will affect the pH level. Get the hardness as well. Maybe you've already done this, I cannot recall. Once in the tank it can change but is not going to swing wildly. If it happens to be right for your remaining fish, all the better. Don't go with fish with pH, hardness and temperature ranges that only slightly overlap. They do best in the middle of the respective ranges and if you can get fish that all line, that is best. With a pH swing like you had, I might expect that the first fish to go were on the other end of the scale with respect to pH tolerances... but that is just a guess.

You won't have to re-cycle if all you are going to do is drain and refill, the bacteria are on the surfaces, not in the water, so you won't need to add any bacteria in a bottle products. Worst case, some bacteria may have to grow back if some were lost to your water issues. Even if that is the case, the numbers that you might add with a product are a pittance compared to what you already have in the tank so they will not make any appreciable difference anyway... they are meant for starting, not maintaining the colonies. You could test this by adding some ammonia and testing the water. If the ammonia disappears and you don't see any nitrites then your tank is still OK

Oh, the fish lose their colouring pretty fast after death so they always turn whitish, that's not necessarily indicative of a chemical burn.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #62 of 78 Old 02-20-2013, 11:11 PM
I'm sorry to hear that

What was the the name of the product you used and could you attach a picture of it?
Quite a few of "PH adjusters" are harmful to both fish and plants. Well, the product itself is usually harmful to the plants and I would assume it's usually the PH swing that's harmful to the fish, but I'm only a Novice as well. So, did the additive hurt any of the Plants?

I've had issues with "fish experts" as well. Including one at a LFS that swore up and down that a product called API Proper PH is safe for plants when it clearly says in bold print on the back: Not for use in Aquariums with Live Plants. I usually disregard anything anyone says at the big box stores like Petco, Petsmart, etc... Unless of course they seem to take there job very seriously, and even then I research the heck out of it. Most of the employees there go through an elementary study program and they're all of a sudden fish experts (No offense to any of Psmart or Pco employees who actually take there job seriously )... Even some of the Local Fish Stores you have to be careful with. At least the Puppy Mill type places anyway.

But again, I'm sorry about the fish. I've lost a few here and there and it's definitely a bummer to put all that hard work in just to have it unravel. Hopefully at this point your not giving up, you had the tank looking really nice. When I first started I had a 10 Gallon and out of nowhere I lost all of them. Fortunately it was only 7 fish. It was definitely a learning experience because all of the fish I had weren't compatible with each other, in the wrong size tank and a few other discrepancies as well. It actually gave me an opportunity to do some research, build a tank on paper and then put the plan into action... Worked out great in the end
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post #63 of 78 Old 02-27-2013, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
Sorry I haven't replied been supper busy. The water out of the tap is a 6.4. Talked to two other fish experts at non chain stores (one was a marine biologist major). They told me that the ph is low because of all of the plants and if the fish don't seem stressed then it should be fine for now. They told me that considering that the three types of ammonia test I am doing are all different and they all give me a different result (0.0 1.0 and 1.5) not to worry about the ammonia unless the fish seem stressed also. They also told me that all of the fresh water test don't give good results either and considering my plant to water to fish ratio it is probably 0. I also converted the 10 gallon tank into a breeder tank for glass shrimp (they were cheep got 60 for 4 bucks, half are pregnant and the fish like em so why not right?)
The product I used I think was called perfect ph. It was a powder based product. Plants did fine and I ended up buying some more so I'm somewhere in the 40 to 50 range of plants.
I did do some research and now I have the following fish who all get along great! (mostly nonaggressive and the ones that will outgrow the tank it should take a good amount of time so I will have an excuse to upgrade later):
2 pearl gournomi
2 really big gold fish (one with the telescope eyes Ricky and one is a white Oranda with red looking hair patch Lucy)
2 bala sharks
7 Mollies (i think 5 are sunset mollies)
3 glass catfish
4 small clown loaches
1 Raphael cat fish
1 Zig zag or Tire track eel
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post #64 of 78 Old 02-28-2013, 07:07 PM
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I don't think I've seen this mentioned, but should the clams breed, I think that they produce parasitic larvae that will attach to the fish. I was there at the black wood aquarium center recently - must have missed the clams. Not that I would have gotten them.

Fish keeping can be very easy and enjoyable, or it can be very difficult and stressful. The choice is yours. Using products like perfect pH and listening to someone who says that ammonia is no big deal is going to take you down a hard road.

Quite frankly, I can't imagine what research you could have done that would have led you to stocking the tank like that.

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Last edited by jaysee; 02-28-2013 at 07:09 PM.
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post #65 of 78 Old 02-28-2013, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
Well The Clams died off with the catastrophic failure that I had. Thank you for that advice I will not buy them again. In the LFS They are when you walk into the tank section bottom aquarium on the right first one in case you wanted to know.
The reason that I had stocked that tank the way I have it is as follows:
The Tire Track Eel, Raphael cat fish, Pearl Gornamies, and clown Loaches made it through my big screw up. The Eel, Pearl Gornomies and Raphael catfish were impulse buys and the Clown Loaches I had purchased to sift through the subtrait (not knowing how big they get). The gold fish the wife picked out and they sift through the sand a lot also. The Bala Sharks seemed to fit in well and do fine with the community (no real method to them). The Mollies are fish that I like that seem to school well, they also add a lot of color to the tank and the Glass catfish were also the wife's picks.
The Ph is floating around a 6.0- 6.2 now and going by the Aquadvisor that is an ok number for the fish (little on the low side for some of them but still within perimeters).
As for the ammonia, I had used chemicals in the tank prior to the big screw up. I am now wondering if any of them may have been an ammonia lock and I am getting a false reading. After the big screw up I drained 96-98% of the water prior to the refill and there still may have been trace amounts of the ammonia reducing chemicals that I was using (I think). The tank has 50ish plants in it, has cycled and has extra filtration (enough for 100 gallons and I took the 10 gallon filter, took out the inserts and keep it with just an ammonia reducer) so I can see it being a l reading and wouldn't understand why it would go up.
I am willing to take any advice I get, I want the best for the fish and don't want to loose anymore. I am steering away from using any more chemicals and looking for an all natural approach to things. If you have any advice to offer, please do. I also found another local pet store (seeing as you are a fellow Jersey Person) Called Monster Pets. They have good prices and a great selection f you wana check em out. They are on the pike right off of Route 130 near Camden/Collignswood.
I want to tank everyone again for their imput I really appriciate it. I am the type of person that would like to learn form others mistakes and not my own. I am open to anythign that anyone has to offer for advice.
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post #66 of 78 Old 02-28-2013, 11:19 PM
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I feel it's better to provide stable water chemistry rather than perfect water chemistry. Many fish are able to adjust to a wide range. Too, you can choose fish that have preferences closer to what your water is as opposed to farther away. Those are just a couple things you can do to help yourself.

Goldfish and plants don't mix. Hopefully you have plants that they don't like to eat, and hopefully you protect them well enough so that they don't get uprooted when the goldfish forage. You can place rocks around the bases to prevent them from getting uprooted.

Bala sharks get huge and are a schooling fish. Clown loaches get huge as well. They are also a warm water fish. They like water well into the 80's, and while that's something that the goldfish can tolerate well, keeping them in such warm water long term leads to problems. Clown loaches get enormous, though I hear that they are slow growers.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #67 of 78 Old 02-28-2013, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
Stable is where I am at now. I am not going to try to mess with the ph unless I need to. The goldfish ate one of the type of plant I have but stay away from all the others so I am ok with that. They haven't up rooted any as of yet and I buried all the plants pretty deep. I have the water temp set at 74 degrees and that is a little on the high side for the gold fish but Aqadvisor says it is in the middle for everything else.
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post #68 of 78 Old 02-28-2013, 11:57 PM
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74 is fine for goldfish, but clown loaches like water up to the high 80's.

Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) — Loaches Online

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #69 of 78 Old 03-01-2013, 12:03 PM
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I feel like I need to mention this now. From the glances I've had at your tank, I don't think some of your plants are aquatic. The green one with white stripes looks like a ribbon plant, which will eventually die in the tank. Petsmart/petco and some LFS will sell these plants as aquatic, when they are in fact terrestrial.

Also, I'm sorry but again the fish you have are not compatible. Goldfish need cool water, while most of your fish need very warm water. That is a very big deal. It will eventually kill the fish being kept in conditions like that.

Also, Bala sharks will need an 6-8ft tank, and they need a school. They also are very active and will stress out the Pearl Gourami and Goldfish, and may even pick on them.

You claim to do research and yet, I'm sorry to say, these fish are not at all compatible nor is it fair to keep them that way.

Mollies need hard water, and will die from being kept in such soft water.
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post #70 of 78 Old 03-01-2013, 12:04 PM
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aqadvisor is okay for just a general idea, but it is in no means perfect, nor should you discredit what anyone has to say because of it. At the end of the day it is a machine, and cannot take into account every aspect of each fish.
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