Ich Treatment Complete, One Neon Tetra Left. What Now?
New to the forum here and pretty new to fish keeping. Within the last couple of months, I set up a 10 gallon aquarium. I cycled it using a betta and when that was complete, I removed the betta and stocked the tank with a group of neon tetras.
Unfortunately, I stupidly bought those neons from Petco. One of them died before I even got them into the tank. It soon became apparent that the rest had ich (which I believe they brought with them from the store). I tried heat and salt, but it did nothing. They kept dying. So I bought some Kordon's Malachite Green and did a 4 day treatment at 1/2 dose with daily 25% water changes. Treatment was completed approx. 1 week ago. 1 tetra survived and no longer has any white spots. Aside from being freaked out without companions, it appears very healthy now.
Since then I've been doing ~20% water changes every other day (completed two so far) and have added the carbon back to my filter.
So now I'm presented with some new problems/questions:
1.) I need to add fish. How soon can I start restocking? (Don't worry, I've located an actual aquarium shop in my area and intend to buy from them)
2.) I know neons are schooling fish, but I've taken a fancy to long finned white clouds and would like to get some. I'm kind of leaning towards doing a mixed group of maybe 3-4 neons and 3 white clouds. I know they like different temps, but I've seen tanks that house both species so I thought maybe I could find a temp somewhere in the middle that might suit them. Would this plan work or am I stuck with just neons now to keep my survivor happy?
3.) I have a single amano shrimp that is currently being housed alone in a 3 gallon tank. I intend to move my shrimp into the ten gallon tank at some point and also plan to add a few RCS, but I'm concerned about the malachite green and have read conflicting things about its potential toxicity to invertabrates. Some sources say it will kill inverts, others say it only affects filter feeders like bamboo shrimp (which I don't have and don't intend to get). I won't stock the tank with shrimp until after I've completed several more water changes, but I'm also concerned about the algae growth in my tank. Algae is of course a big part of an amano's diet, so would my shrimp's food now be contaminated by the malachite?
First, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us.:-D
A 10g tank is very small and fish stocking will have to be carefully thought out. To your question on both neon tetra and the white cloud mountain minnow (long-fin form), the answer is no. Both species are what we term shoaling fish, meaning that they live in groups and must have a group in the aquarium. Six is generally given as the minimum, but more will always be even better. And 6-7 of either fish will crowd at 10g, though of the two, the neon would fare better because it is less active than the minnow which needs more space (length) to swim.
You will notice the names shaded; that means they are in the fish profiles, and you can click the name to see the profile. Info on tank sizes, numbers, compatibility, water parameters, etc is included in the profiles.
I would only stock a 10g tank with "dwarf" species, such as Ember Tetra, Dwarf Rasbora, and several similar. Some of these have specific water parameter needs though, and no mention was made of your water GH (general hardness), pH and temperature. The GH you can ascertain from the water supply people, they likely have a website. They may know the pH too, but you can get a pH test kit which is a good investment as pH tests periodically are useful. The API Master liquid test kit has pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests, and many of us recommend this kit.
Ich is common with all newly-acquired fish. While the conditions in various stores can be part of this, the very stress that fish in any store tank are under, plus the stress of being caught, bagged, and then introduced to another new environment, frequently cause ich. It is wise to quarantine new fish, but with only one small tank i realize this is perhaps n to an option, so one has to be careful and prepared. Should you encounter ich again, which is likely, thee best treatment is to raise the temperature to 85F and use CopperSafe. This is less stressful on soft water fish (like neons) than salt.
Hm.. everything I'd read online had said that a ten gallon would be suitable housing for a small group of neons which, along with their reputations as being very peaceful fish, is the reason I chose them.
And CopperSafe is definitely out. Remember, I intend to stock the tank with shrimp and everything I've read says that copper is deadly to shrimp.
I looked at my city's water quality report and I can't make much sense of it, since it gives figures for "ground water" and "surface water" but doesn't specify what's coming out of the tap.
The info in pour fish profiles, largely written/revised by me, incorporates reliable scientific data from professional ichthyologists and biologists. If I find one of these who differs, I always state that so everyone has all the facts.
Having said all that, as I mentioned earlier, neons can work in a 10g, with live plants, and regular weekly water changes. However, they too are soft water fish with a need for a slightly acidic pH.
Copper is deadly to shrimp; it is deadly to all life forms for that matter, in sufficient quantity. But when one is faced with parasites, choices have to be made. Raising the temp to around 90F on its own will deal with ich, but neons cannot tolerate that.
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