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Noob looking for help

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Noob looking for help
Old 03-01-2010, 07:26 PM   #1
 
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Unhappy Noob looking for help

Hey guys me and my wife just bought a 10 gallon aquarium. I've never owned any fish before and therefore I don't really know what i'm doing. I did get it set up a couple days ago. I have noticed that my fish are all gathering into a corner of the tank where they just sit. I'm not sure why but i'm thinking its because of ammonia. So i tested the water and there was some ammonia in the water so i added some more ammo blocker. Hopefully i will see results tomorrow. Are there any suggestions or tips you guys can give me?

thanks, Josh
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:10 AM   #2
 
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My neon tetras all do the same. It might be from the light? cause every time i turn my lights on, they all seem to hide into the corner. And i don't think its your ammonia problem
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:27 AM   #3
 
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Ammonia, at any level, is toxic to fish. You just set this tank up a few days so your tank is cycling and it is the ammonia that is effecting your fish and their behavior. How many fish and what kind of fish do you have in this tank?

Have a read of this article as it will explain what's going on in your tank:

Freshwater Cycling Methods

PS. Rather than the continual adding of ammo blocker you should be doing partial water changes to ease the stress on your fish.
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:16 AM   #4
 
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+1, especially on the water changes. Ammo blocker costs money, plus even when it's working the ammonia will still show up on your ammonia test (even though it's been neutralized) so it's impossible to tell just how much of it has been neutralized. Water changes to bring down the ammonia level are cheaper and easier to monitor.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:29 AM   #5
 
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+one for water changes to reduce ammonia and nitrite's. Would suggest water conditioner or dechlorinator such as Prime or Amquel+ in new tank. These two conditioners will detoxify the ammonia and yet still allow the tank to mature or (cycle).
Would also feed the fish SPARINGLY perhaps a half of dime size amount of food ,every other day. Food that goes uneaten ,combined with waste (poop)created by fish ,WILL cause ammonia levels to increase.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:16 AM   #6
 
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OK thanks for all the help guys. I kinda figured that it might be because it is a new tank and it needs to cycle. I did some reading last night and seeing what you guys told me def. backs up what i read. Also today the fish seem to be more active and are not staying in the corner as much.

One more question is how often should i clean the tank and do partial water changes?
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:29 AM   #7
 
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after your tank is properly cycled (as previously suggested, test water daily and do partial water change as often as necessary, even daily), your fish may still hide. some fish take a while to acclimate to the new environment. even shrimp will hide out for a while (couple weeks or more) until they feel at ease.

but what i look for in terms of sick and stressed fish is one or two fish off on their own, looking lethargic, not eating. you'll get to know what "normal" behavior looks like for your fish and you'll get the intuition over time when something is "wrong".

good luck, welcome to the forum : )
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandAmGTTT View Post
OK thanks for all the help guys. I kinda figured that it might be because it is a new tank and it needs to cycle. I did some reading last night and seeing what you guys told me def. backs up what i read. Also today the fish seem to be more active and are not staying in the corner as much.

One more question is how often should i clean the tank and do partial water changes?

Until your tank is done cycling, you'll need to do water changes daily most likely.
You'll need a test for nitrite and nitrate if you don't already have them.


How often and how much for your routine depends upon how stocked you are. When cycled, test your nitrates and see where they are at the end of the week. Calculate how much you'll need to change to bring it to the range you want the nitrates to be in and that's how much you change. The rule of thumb is 10 ppm.
Your tap water could contain nitrates so you should test the tap water too.

FWIW, when I had a fish only tank, I did 20% once a week on a fully stocked tank.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:54 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanieleah View Post
after your tank is properly cycled (as previously suggested, test water daily and do partial water change as often as necessary, even daily), your fish may still hide. some fish take a while to acclimate to the new environment. even shrimp will hide out for a while (couple weeks or more) until they feel at ease.

but what i look for in terms of sick and stressed fish is one or two fish off on their own, looking lethargic, not eating. you'll get to know what "normal" behavior looks like for your fish and you'll get the intuition over time when something is "wrong".

good luck, welcome to the forum : )

Thank you so much!!
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:12 PM   #10
 
Welcome to one awesome hobby, aquariums can be so much fun..

As others have posted water testing and water changes are really important on a cycling tank and keeping a regular water change schedule will help you keep healthy fish for a long time.

The smaller the tank the faster the water quality can go bad, I have found regardless of stocking making weekly 50% water changes with substrate vacuuming has kept my water quality tip top for the life of the tank.

During the cycling process with fish making 25-50% daily water changes and substrate vacuuming one time a week will help keep the fish safe and still cycle. Only swish the filter media in old tank water if the flow has slowed.

IMO the only chemical you need is a good dechlorinator if you are on city water supply.

Remember the bacteria needed to cycle are sticky and adhere to everything in the tank like the walls, decorations, plants both real and fake, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media, very little are in the water column itself so water changes will not hinder the cycling process.

Too much vacuuming and over cleaning the filter media can upset the cycling process and cause mini-cycles in an established tank.

You know you are cycled when your water prams read: ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 5-10ppm, pH 7-8ppm is ideal for most species but as long as it is stable most fish will adapt.

If you have the water test kit to test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, this can help you during the cycling process and in general, they can help you know how much and when to make to make water changes.

What kind of fish do you have and would love to see pics......
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