Really need help rounding out my tank of finned ones.
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Really need help rounding out my tank of finned ones.

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Really need help rounding out my tank of finned ones.
Old 04-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
 
Really need help rounding out my tank of finned ones.

Hi all, I'm just about ready to add the final fish to my tank. I'm stuck though. I really need two things 1) fish that I run very little risk of turning over to my local lfs (they are awful), and 2) no offspring. My fish are truly my pets and I treat them as such. When I bring them home, I don't want any reason to "get rid of them". I know there are no absolutes.

I have:
5 Guppies
5 Black Neon Tetras
2 Swordtails

The Guppies are all male, the Swordtails are both male, not sure about the Tetras. I had hoped for a couple of larger fish, like the Swordtails, to balance the number of small vs larger fish in my tank, but I'm not finding anything in the 3-4" range that could work. So...I'm looking at Lemon Tetras, Cherry Barbs, or Harlequin Rasboras. Any experience, advice?

Tank is 28 gallons, 2 Penguin 150s, temp 78-80 degrees, very hard water, 25% changed weekly, Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: .25ppm, Nitrates: 0ppm, pH: fluctuates 7.6-8.4. Densely planted with artivical plants and a very nice large artificial driftwood. It isn't big, but it has many, many places to hide, or to just be. I feed a varied diet once daily, but the staple food is regular flakes + veggie flakes, with ocassional pellets, blood worms, or brine shrimp either freeze-dried or frozen.

Zambize
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:02 PM   #2
 
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Re: Really need help rounding out my tank of finned ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zambize
Hi all, I'm just about ready to add the final fish to my tank. I'm stuck though. I really need two things 1) fish that I run very little risk of turning over to my local lfs (they are awful), and 2) no offspring. My fish are truly my pets and I treat them as such. When I bring them home, I don't want any reason to "get rid of them". I know there are no absolutes.

I have:
5 Guppies
5 Black Neon Tetras
2 Swordtails

The Guppies are all male, the Swordtails are both male, not sure about the Tetras. I had hoped for a couple of larger fish, like the Swordtails, to balance the number of small vs larger fish in my tank, but I'm not finding anything in the 3-4" range that could work. So...I'm looking at Lemon Tetras, Cherry Barbs, or Harlequin Rasboras. Any experience, advice?

Tank is 28 gallons, 2 Penguin 150s, temp 78-80 degrees, very hard water, 25% changed weekly, Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: .25ppm, Nitrates: 0ppm, pH: fluctuates 7.6-8.4. Densely planted with artivical plants and a very nice large artificial driftwood. It isn't big, but it has many, many places to hide, or to just be. I feed a varied diet once daily, but the staple food is regular flakes + veggie flakes, with ocassional pellets, blood worms, or brine shrimp either freeze-dried or frozen.

Zambize
The first suggestion is to let that tank complete cycling before adding anything more to it. Ammonia and nitrite should both be 0 and nitrate should be below 40. With nitrite reading .25 and no nitrate, that indicates the tank is still in the middle of it's cycling.

You say your water is very hard... and I notice a huge fluctuation in pH. That big of a fluctuation in pH is dangerous to all of your fish. Anything beyond .1 - .2 difference in pH is drastic and deadly. What is the pH in your tap water? What is your kh and gh reading?

Before selecting more fish it is going to be important to get your water quality under control. Cherry barbs, lemon tetras, and harlequins are going to prefer softer water. 8.2 is quite high... for the black neons, also.

If you can get your params under control, harlequins could be a good mix.

Once we know better what's happening with your water quality then we can suggest other options for fish, too.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
 
Re: Really need help rounding out my tank of finned ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bettababy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zambize
Hi all, I'm just about ready to add the final fish to my tank. I'm stuck though. I really need two things 1) fish that I run very little risk of turning over to my local lfs (they are awful), and 2) no offspring. My fish are truly my pets and I treat them as such. When I bring them home, I don't want any reason to "get rid of them". I know there are no absolutes.

I have:
5 Guppies
5 Black Neon Tetras
2 Swordtails

The Guppies are all male, the Swordtails are both male, not sure about the Tetras. I had hoped for a couple of larger fish, like the Swordtails, to balance the number of small vs larger fish in my tank, but I'm not finding anything in the 3-4" range that could work. So...I'm looking at Lemon Tetras, Cherry Barbs, or Harlequin Rasboras. Any experience, advice?

Tank is 28 gallons, 2 Penguin 150s, temp 78-80 degrees, very hard water, 25% changed weekly, Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: .25ppm, Nitrates: 0ppm, pH: fluctuates 7.6-8.4. Densely planted with artivical plants and a very nice large artificial driftwood. It isn't big, but it has many, many places to hide, or to just be. I feed a varied diet once daily, but the staple food is regular flakes + veggie flakes, with ocassional pellets, blood worms, or brine shrimp either freeze-dried or frozen.

Zambize
The first suggestion is to let that tank complete cycling before adding anything more to it. Ammonia and nitrite should both be 0 and nitrate should be below 40. With nitrite reading .25 and no nitrate, that indicates the tank is still in the middle of it's cycling.

You say your water is very hard... and I notice a huge fluctuation in pH. That big of a fluctuation in pH is dangerous to all of your fish. Anything beyond .1 - .2 difference in pH is drastic and deadly. What is the pH in your tap water? What is your kh and gh reading?

Before selecting more fish it is going to be important to get your water quality under control. Cherry barbs, lemon tetras, and harlequins are going to prefer softer water. 8.2 is quite high... for the black neons, also.

If you can get your params under control, harlequins could be a good mix.

Once we know better what's happening with your water quality then we can suggest other options for fish, too.
Wow, I had been told that my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels indicate that I'm at the tail end of my cycle. My test does not cover kh and gh, but with a stick test I had been using, it was the worst at the top of the scale, 300. I was also told that local fish that I would buy have been born and living in my high pH and water hardness. I would still like to get my pH down, but no one has been successful in helping with that. It may go down, but just as soon as I change water, it goes back up.

Thank you

Zambize
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:55 PM   #4
 
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I would be careful putting most tetra in high pH. They typically prefer softly acidic waters. Typically a pH of 6.5-6.8 is what they prefer. Some adapt better than others, but Imnot sure I would risk it.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:29 AM   #5
 
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For starters, you'll want to use liquid test kits. Test strips are known to be the most inaccurate, and can cause more issues or make things worse by giving false readings. Next to digital/electronic meters, liquid kits are the next most accurate you can get. API sells a nice master kit which includes all of the basics that most people need.

Belive it or not, many tetras are now being raised in 7.8 - 8.0 pH. It is dependent on who's breeding them and the water params they are born and raised in. Some fish have the ability to acclimate, especially through generations... and there are a number of sturdy and hardy tetras.

I am mostly concerned with the big jumps in pH. It's the drastic change and rate of change that is so dangerous. Again, we need to know the pH in your tap water as much as in the tank, and we'll need to go through process of elimination to find where the real problem lies. Accurate water params for tap and tank is the first place to start.

As for cycling, to be near the end you would see a low nitrite level and a nitrate level. The nitrogen cycle is pretty basic. Waste starts out in the form of ammonia. Nitrifying bacteria eat it, their waste product is nitrite. More nitrifying bacteria eat the nitrite, and their waste product is nitrate.
If, as in your case there appears to be no ammonia and no nitrite, it tells me that the bacteria have eaten the ammonia, but not the nitrite yet. Again, I question the test results if they came from strips, so please get it tested with a liquid kit and come on back to post it. Once we have that info we can help you further.
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