Overcrowded? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Overcrowded?

I bought myself a 20 gallon tank for xmas I used to have a 55 gallon 10 to 15 years ago.. I am a bit out of practice. However like a kid in a candy store I kept going back to Petsmart 2 fish here 2 fish there. My tank is not even a month old and I have all the fish below. I have only lost 1 glowfish that I have exchanged and 2 neon tetras that I got from petco. Ironically all 3 fish that I have lost were all from petco... the rest from petsmart.. The tanks dont look as nice over at petco so now I refuse to get fish from there. I know I haven't properly cycled my tank and thats what has me nervous. I haven't lost any fish since the 3 I mentioned a few weeks ago.

I finally convinced myself to stop buying more fish! I have been testing the water regularly. I had some ph issues that I solved with proper PH 7.0 my tap PH was sitting at 8.6! Here in Orlando FL the water is really really hard!

My ammonia went up briefly but a water change brought that down. I have been doing partial water changes almost twice a week. Today was 50% because of the rising ammonia. Even with the number of fish most of them are tiny as you can see. Assuming I haven't overdone it already is this overcrowded for a 20g tank? I know the 1 inch rule. but most of my fish are small.

4 Cherry barb's
8 Neon Tetra's
6 glofish
4 black tetra's
2 Tequila Sunrise guppies
4 other random guppies
1 oto cat
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 10:33 PM
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Thats not to bad, Adleast you haven't chucked a red-tailed catfish in there Lol.
None of those fish get particularly large so there should not be a problem. If your worried about your tank not being cycled i would buy a cycling additive such as API stress zyme or Nutrafin cycle.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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LOL! I wish I would have had more patience! My wallet does too! Already added the API Stress Zyme
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Well at least the first response was not OMG im surprised they are still alive! :D
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-13-2011, 01:06 AM
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The only bacteria additive that I've consistently heard works is Tetra Safe Start.

Cycle and stress zyme both require you to add the product ever week, which you have to do in order to maintain the "cycle". The reason you have to continually add it is because the bacteria eventually drowns. The bacteria in those additives actually out competes the natural bacteria (which are among the slowest growing in the bacteria world). This means the tank never REALLY cycles.

IMO the best thing to do would be to do a couple of massive water changes to get all that stress zyme out of the tank, and then to add TSS. It's very important to follow the directions EXACTLY as the bottle says.

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 #6 of 17 Old 01-13-2011, 02:44 AM
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Thats an Opinion, The point of this thread was to discuss if his 20g tank is to overcrowded. IMO, Having that many small fish is not a problem. Just maintain your weekly 25-30% water changes.

I've had great experiences with API stress zyme and nutrafin cycle. I've never had a disease and i've never lost a fish in my tank. What cycling additive you use with your aquarium is your choice, It was merely a suggestion.

Doing massive water changes often leads to the fish getting stressed, Which in tern leads to parasitic diseases such as white spot.

Last edited by jrmy000; 01-13-2011 at 02:49 AM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-13-2011, 02:47 AM
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Some cycling additives claim its safe to add fish immediately with the introduction of the additive, But i still choose to cycle adleast 5 days with an additive until i add any fish.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-13-2011, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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I have been pretty happy with API's product line so far. I did not know you had to keep adding it every week to maintain the cycle. I know it suggests it i thought was to help getting the cycle started.

Thanks for the feedback!

I really wish I didnt have to treat the water as much as I do to begin with the tap water in the orlando metro area is sooooo bad.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-13-2011, 10:23 AM
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I'd suggest, humbly, that you're reaching your maximum on the fish. I'd worry about making sure everything is cycled properly now and take it from there. I wouldn't be surprised if you lost a few more, not because that's necessarily too many for your tank, but because there are lots in a tank that isn't finished cycling. Keep doing your tests and water changes as needed.

Are you testing with strips, or liquid? The strips can be dangerously inaccurate sometimes. Just slow down, let the wallet recover, and you'll be good to go. You can use a cycling product if you wish (I have no opinion on Tetra vs API here) or not. Eventually the bacteria will happen with all the ammonia being produced. I'd also try and feed on the light side to keep from having the ammonia go crazy while you aren't looking. At least until the cycle is confirmed.

30g SE Asian Tank
15 Lambchop Rasbora
2 Gold White Cloud Minnows
3 Dwarf Chain Loaches
2 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami

55g Amazon Tank
2 Wild Type Angels
1 Marble Angel
1 Black Angel
1 Koi Angel
2 Bolivian Rams
14 Pristella Tetra
10 Dwarf Pencilfish
2-3 Twig Catfish (to come)
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-13-2011, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrmy000 View Post
Thats an Opinion, The point of this thread was to discuss if his 20g tank is to overcrowded. IMO, Having that many small fish is not a problem. Just maintain your weekly 25-30% water changes.

Doing massive water changes often leads to the fish getting stressed, Which in tern leads to parasitic diseases such as white spot.
It's not an opinion - it's a recollection of anecdotal evidence. An opinion would be "it doesn't matter what you use." Saying that "This is what I've seen consistently work" is an observation. Do a little research on it and you'll see. Cycle, stress zyme, and all those other products that you have to continually use contain terrestrial bacteria, not the aquatic bacteria that NATURALLY cycles the tank. It's NO different then the bacterial bloom new aquariums experience (except the water isn't cloudy).

Massive water changes do NOT lead to stress and disease - that's just nonsense. To say that ICH is caused by water changes is just ridiculous. You'd be hard pressed to find any established fish keeper that would agree with that.

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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