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Please give advice! New Tank owner having trouble!!

This is a discussion on Please give advice! New Tank owner having trouble!! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Jessibel What's the best way to return a fish? lol. A Ziploc bag full of tank water? Whatever container you use, ...

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Please give advice! New Tank owner having trouble!!
Old 12-28-2010, 09:34 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessibel View Post
What's the best way to return a fish? lol. A Ziploc bag full of tank water?
Whatever container you use, don't completely fill it with water - the fish need air in the bag or container so that they can breathe. You've got Tupperware - you could use a large Tupperware but only if it doesn't have any detergent or any other residue on it. Put some tank water in and leave an air space at the top.

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Originally Posted by Jessibel View Post
So I should bring back the Giant Danio and the Pleco... right?
Have a read of the Tropical Fish Profiles, second tab from the left at the top of the forum. Diamond tetras are recommended to have a 36" tank, and zebra danios (which is what the glofish were before they were genetically modified) a 24" tank. Both are better in a group. If your tank is only 14 gallons, neither is a good choice, IMO.

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Originally Posted by Jessibel View Post
any other option for a bottom-feeder type that would help with algae control in the future? Like a mini-pleco? lol. Or is that why some people have snails in their tanks?
My apple snails do go over the glass but you don't really need anything to control algae. Once your tank is established and things are in balance, and you are doing your weekly water changes, things should be ok. If you want a bottom feeder, you can research panda cories or pygmy cories or otocinclus, but don't choose anything because you hope it'll clean your tank for you.

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Originally Posted by Jessibel View Post
is there a way to have some kind of self-contained plant in some type of container in the tank so I wouldn't have to worry about soil or something under the gravel?
You could start with a java fern. Just tie it to a piece of driftwood with some sewing thread. If it dies, it'll be easy to fish out (but it won't die). You could also try planting some live plants in the gravel. You don't really need to do anything special, just add some fertilizer periodically. There are lighting requirements for plants, but my plants have done ok with the lighting that came with my tanks - obviously whether yours will will depend on the lights your tank has. Read Byron's guide to plants at the top of the plant sub-forum. It'll give you the info you need. If you are going to add plants, I'd do it now. They do help process the fish waste while the tank is cycling.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:40 PM   #12
 
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An important thing that I have picked up from this forum is that there are 2 different things to consider with tank size. The first is bioload, and I think this is what the certain amount of gallons per inch of fish tries to explain (though sometimes poorly). The second is length of the tank. a 20gal long has more swimming area than a 20 gal rectangle. So when researching your fish you need to be aware of both. 4 fish is not too many for your tank. THOSE 4 fish are too many for you tank.

One thing fish stores do constantly is sell plekos to everyone. When I fist started I had a 10 gal with a young pleko in it. I had no idea. Luckily when I moved I purchased a 55gal and he is happy in there with my Oscar. Eventually I need to upgrade to a 75 or maybe even 100 gal for my Oscar and pleko. While I personally think it is ok to transfer fish into larger tanks as they need, I think it is a good general rule to have them in the correct size tank from the beginning to prevent over stressing them.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:18 PM   #13
 
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maybe should have let the water cycle for a few weeks before adding fish, other then that i think the pleco needs more room
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:21 PM   #14
 
Smile

Thank you all for the very helpful information! When I went back to Petco and explained the dilemma, the fishguy first tried to argue with me that the pleco & danio were perfectly suited to a 14 gallon tank. I finally cut him off with "Listen, I'd rather return them now and possibly come back for new ones and add them to my tank when it is stable, than run the risk of killing them. Take them out of this bowl and put them back in your tank, please." He stopped arguing at that point.

He tested the water from both tanks (alas, with a strip) and said the levels were fine in both.

I can credit him with being honest about the aquatic plants... He showed me where they were in the store, but recommended that I wait until the next shipment came in because they weren't 'the freshest bunch'...

Tomorrow I will bring home my 2.5 gal. and transfer Zippy (Zebra Danio) into the home tank, along with his little filter and some gravel & his synthetic plant. He and Shimmer (the Diamond Tetra) will be roomies until the tank is stable enough to add more fish. How long approximately do you think that will take?

I ordered the API Master Test Kit and it will hopefully arrive quickly. I also asked one of the pre-school parents who raises Ciclids and she was happy to share with me the name & location of a nearby LFS.


Thanks again Everyone! Any more I should know?

~Jessie
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:03 PM   #15
 
One more thing... Fishguy showed me a bottle of some type of quick cycle stuff... He said it would help to add the bacteria needed in the tank to get the cycle moving... I asked "Wouldn't it be more natural, therefore safer and more beneficial, to use the filter and media from the existing tank, than to add another synthetic agent?" He sort of shrugged and half-agreed... Would it be a good thing to use this bottled 'stuff' or am I better off going with the plan I had already hatched?
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:13 PM   #16
 
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I'd go with the established filter media and gravel. You've got that as a means to kick-start your cycle in your new tank, so you don't need to use the commercial product.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:26 PM   #17
 
It's great when you get to move up to a larger tank because they actually take less work and up keep (as hard as that is to believe) so if you can afford the space and cash to get a larger tank (that is if you're hooked like most of the people on here) it makes the hobby much more interesting and easier. The small tanks they sell in stores are very deceiving and lots of people get tricked by them. Your 14 gal with 4-5 fish should be on the easier side of things but still is twice the work of my 30 gal.
I wish you the best of luck with your new tank and feel free to come ask questions, I have learned so much from all of these experts in just a few months.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:31 PM   #18
 
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In my experience Fish store guy generally try and sell you this with fish and claim that you can fully stock your tank and not have to worry about the cycle if you use this stuff. The stuff is not bad really but its not substitute for the natural cycle with a boost with filter/gravel from an established healthy tank.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:25 AM   #19
 
I wish we had room for a larger tank... but infortunately, the one we have now is as big as we have space for, short of getting rid of one of our daughters there's no way to make space. Possibly in a few years when we upgrade from our 2br. condo to a new house, we'll be able to upgrade the tank as well...
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