Two New Plants & Three New Fish - problem?
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Two New Plants & Three New Fish - problem?

This is a discussion on Two New Plants & Three New Fish - problem? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Today, since Mustard (the survivor) hasn't had any tankmates, my dad's girlfriend decided to buy for him three new fishy friends. I thought I ...

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Two New Plants & Three New Fish - problem?
Old 01-13-2010, 07:44 PM   #1
 
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Question Two New Plants & Three New Fish - problem?

Today, since Mustard (the survivor) hasn't had any tankmates, my dad's girlfriend decided to buy for him three new fishy friends. I thought I could only have 1 of those fish in a 2.4 gallon tank, but the man at a specialty fish store said I could have around 4. It seems like a good idea since the fish are schoolers, and after inserting the new plants she bought (I think one was a peacock something, and the other a gold ribbon - also removed huge fake plant), I floated the fish for a while, and scooped in the water, etc. They all seem to really like one another, and Yellow seems happier with a group. However, I have a few questions:

1. Will they all get along, or do you think the three regular danios will exclude Mustard b/c of his coloring or previous unfamiliarity?
2. I know I must prune the plants - do they need any supplements or different water conditions?
3. Are my fish more likely to contract diseases from one another now that there are four of them in one tank instead of one?
And a slightly unrelated question - if my fish don't like their regular food, what can I feed them besides bloodworms? Will they eat those plants heartily (I know my sister's goldfish like sucked up half the plant xD)
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:53 PM   #2
 
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We need to know what specific fish you have. The three new ones are danios, but which species (there are several)? And what is the fish ("Mustard") you already had?

Stem plants require regular trimming (they grow fast) but most rooted plants do not. Maybe a photo will help us determine the plants you have?

Disease frequently occurs due to stress. I and others will probably have more on that when we know the fish you have. On the food, I would use a good flake, Tetra, Wardleys, OSI, Omega One, Nutrafin all make healthy flake foods. One feeding a day is sufficient for mature fish, and only what they will clean up in a few minutes.

Byron.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
 
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+1 on what Byron said...maybe you can look through here to ID what fish you have and or post pictures of your fish and plants? Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums

On a side note: Do you have a filter on the 2.4g tank there? How often to do exchange water there and do you use a water conditioner?
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
 
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Whoops, yes - forgot to tell. The three new fish are zebra danio, whilst Mustard is a GloFish (basically, same species). I condition my water with Neutral Regulator from Seachem - it keeps the pH neutral, removes chlorine, and removes ammonia. I exchange water whenever the tank displays too much ammonia, or every two weeks, whatever's needed. They have to cycle through again, though, don't they (since they messed up the cycle with more inhabitants?)
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:35 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyanide View Post
Whoops, yes - forgot to tell. The three new fish are zebra danio, whilst Mustard is a GloFish (basically, same species). I condition my water with Neutral Regulator from Seachem - it keeps the pH neutral, removes chlorine, and removes ammonia. I exchange water whenever the tank displays too much ammonia, or every two weeks, whatever's needed. They have to cycle through again, though, don't they (since they messed up the cycle with more inhabitants?)
There are some major problems here; please take my comments as constructive to help you keep your fish healthy and alive.

First, doing a partial water change when something goes wrong ["too much ammonia"] is very bad maintenance, and will only lead to fish stress and that can cause disease and internal health issues for fish. There should never be too much ammonia, or too much nitrite, or too high nitrates, ever, in an aquarium once it is cycled. A regular partial water change is, in my view, mandatory in any aquarium that is not well planted, and it will allow this necessary stability to exist. In heavily planted tanks, the pwc can be fewer depending upon fish load, but I won't get into all that. Once a week is a good routine to get into, as it is regular and do-able; every Saturday morning, or every Sunday morning, or whatever fits your life. But please do it. And a pwc of 30-50%, the more the better; I explained why in another thread, here it is copied over for you:
To the partial water change, starting with the reason, which is often stated to be the need to reduce the nitrate levels; this is part of the reason but not the really important part. And at this point I would mention that in planted tanks, nitrates should not be above 10ppm and thus a pwc for nitrate reduction is not relevant--yet the pwc is still critical for most of us with planted aquaria. In non-planted tanks, nitrate levels can rise substantially and the pwc does assist in keeping nitrates low. But even in these tanks, this is not the major reason.

Fish produce waste, solid and liquid--this is pollution; we can usually see some of the solid waste on the substrate and trapped by the filter media before it is broken down by bacteria into liquid or we remove it by vacuuming the substrate and rinsing the filter media. We cannot see the liquid, nor can we see the liquid resulting from the decomposition of the solid. And no filter will remove this. This is why the type of filter, or the number of filters, has no relevance. The liquid waste--pollution--remains in the water until the water is removed.

In a planted tank, the plants do remove this liquid waste, in time; but it takes a long time and a fully-planted tank would handle a very minimal fish load without a pwc. One author suggested 6 or 7 neon tetras in a well-planted 55 gallon aquarium would be the limit for the plants handling the waste. Most of us keep more fish load than this, so we are left with the pwc as the only method of removing the pollution.

Fish produce an amazing volume of pollution. An average tetra can eliminate its body weight in urine alone every 4-5 days. And multiply that by the number of fish and it should be easy to see that our fish are literally swimming in a tank of urine. Not to mention the liquefied solid that is building up as well.

Tank size was mentioned earlier. The larger the aquarium and the fewer the fish, the less pollution will be in the water. So tank size has a bearing on the pwc from this aspect. But here again, most of us stock our tanks far beyond the capacity of the volume, relying on mega fast-flow filters when in fact these do nothing to help the real problem, pollution. Plants significantly help, as mentioned before, plus their ability to act much like carbon in removing toxins and their ability to release oxygen in an amount beyond what the fish and bacteria require. The immense benefit of live plants cannot be understated. But back to the pwc.

It is frequently advocated that less water more often is preferable to more water less often, and the reason is usually given as water stability; but this is now understood as being largely inaccutrate. There is a two-part article in the November and December 2009 issue of TFH that explains the mathematical and scientific reasoning behind doing major water changes at least weekly. Members can dig those articles out for details of the studies. The conclusion is that changing 70% of the water once a week has greater positive effect that changing 10% each day. The larger the pwc, the more polluted water is removed, so the fish are living in less-polluted water for more of the week. Of course, a 50% pwc every day would be even better, and some who raise discus do just that. But for most of us, a weekly schedule is more likely to be adhered to, and that is very important. So, I recommend you increase those minimal water changes weekly. Your fish will thank you. There is ample scientific evidence on the positive effects of significant pwc on fish in an aquarium.

Last note on the water stability issue. Changing large amounts of water in a non-planted aquarium can significantly alter the water parameters, specifically hardness and pH. However, a regular pwc will, or should, keep the parameters close to the replacement water; and substantial pwc will in themselves maintain more stable water parameters from nitrates and bacteria. And no thinking person can argue that more polluted water is better because it is "stable." A regular weekly pwc of 50% or more, combined with an acceptable fish load, will greatly improve the condition of the water and thus the fish's health. Adding plants makes all this even better.

As for the Neutral Regulator, is there a reason you use this? It adjusts the pH and hardness, but unless there is a good reason for this it may be more trouble long-term. The less chemicals that go into a tank with fish, the better. A regular water conditioner like Prime or several other brands will work fine with each pwc. When I know why you feel the pH needs adjusting, I may have more comments.

Last comment, I consider 4 danios to be somwhat crowded in a 2.5 g tank. Danios are active fish, they like to swim; a larger tank, minimum 10g would make them very happy.

Byron.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:51 PM   #6
 
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Okay! Thank you, Byron, for your advice ^-^ It really helps. I know I'm not the best fish wrangler (really, I'm a noob - I thought these little suckers would be easy to handle!) I've also got AquaSafe (from TetraAqua) that's just a plain ol' conditioner + bacteria. Would that be better than Neutral Regulator? The guy at the specialty fish store told me that my water was too alkaline (higher than 7 - it was like at 8.4, and I know what he means), so he said Neutral Regulator would be good for that, because it cleans out chlorine, ammonia, and resets the pH. So I bought a teeny little bottle. Another member did mention that LFS people DO tend to sell you the wrong things or give you the wrong advice; I'm just a little torn! But thank you anyway for the advice about the weekly water changes.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:03 PM   #7
 
Alright man here is the truth of it, when you use chemicals to alter pH, stuff can happen and you get a pH swing and thats REALLY bad for the fish! Fish can adapt (besides a few species that take exact water parameters, but most aquarists don't have these fish) Its better to have a stable pH thats a little off than one thats all ove the place because thats really bad for fish.

Phil :)
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:14 PM   #8
 
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Oh, okay! :D Thank you, Phil. Does anyone mind if I PM them? I am still in need of some sound advice (and I like how honest y'all are!).
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:55 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post

Last comment, I consider 4 danios to be somwhat crowded in a 2.5 g tank. Danios are active fish, they like to swim; a larger tank, minimum 10g would make them very happy.

Byron.
+1 big time. I can't imagine my danios in less than a 30 gal which is what they're in now, and I have four just like you. They need lots of lateral space to swim distances.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:44 AM   #10
 
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What advise are you looking for? Please either post your questions or PM me if you like, I'd like to help ya there cause its a not so ideal set up you have there.
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