Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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variety 01-19-2013 04:38 PM

New Tank Questions
 
Recently I got a 36 gallon bowfront tank and was wondering if you lovely people would be interested in answering a few of my questions.

The tank has been cycled and now has fish in it, but I want to know how often is it recommended to change portions of the water and if I need to use the chlorine removal drops? Also can I leave the fish in when I do this or do they all need to be removed?

The fish currently in there are:

2 Dalmation Mollies, a male and a female
2 Balloon Mollies, both female
2 Sun Platies, not sure on gender
The male Dalmation has bothered them a couple of times like he does the female mollies, so I'm assuming they're both probably female.
3 Tiger Barbs?
They have the coloring of Tiger Barbs and were labelled as that, but they're very small and only have one stripe.
2 Striped Tetras, 1 long-fin, 1 short-fin
5 Neon Tetras
1 Red Dwarf Gourami
Labelled as that at the pet store, looks more like a Honey Gourami. Has vibrant blue sail, with a gray head and reddish-orange body.

What would you recommend as a good bottom-feeder? The fish have not been in the tank long enough to need one, yet, but in a couple of weeks I'll be needing one.

The male Dalmation Molly is being very domineering over the females, is this normal? He chases them all over the tank and is doing what I'm assuming as constantly mating with them. Should he be returned or is this just normal behavior? The female Dalmation Molly is fast enough to run from him or slap him with her tail, but the two Balloon Mollies just start flailing around and he does as he pleases with them. Also, they all swim along the glass as looking for a way out, is this normal behavior or a sign for something?

Are platies not very active? They aren't ever together and don't really swim around in the very large tank at all. Is this normal behavior for platies? I also think they might be young as they're both rather small, which might be why the male Dalmation Molly leaves them alone as they aren't breeding age, yet.

My Gourami has been doing this weird bubble blowing thing, could someone tell me what it is? This isn't building a bubble nest, either. He usually stays at the bottom of the tank, but every now and then he zips up to the top. At the top he starts blowing bubbles straight out of the water, they go pretty high, too. The lid was open when I was feeding them and he did it and they probably went a good five inches out of the top of the tank. I'm not exactly sure if he's just having fun or trying to signal he wants a friend or what, so if you could explain this action that'd be hepful.

Adding more? Is the tank suitable to have more fish, or no? I wouldn't put more fish in for probably another week, but at that time would that be acceptable or no? Based on the whole 1 inch of fish to 1 gallon of tank rule, I have like 13-15 inches of fish. Things I'm interested in doing are adding more neon tetras, they're all like half an inch and I think they'd look cooler in a larger shoal.Maybe another molly or two, should they be male or female? And then maybe a couple of cories, what are the most docile kinds to pick from and how many would go well together?

Thanks!

JDM 01-19-2013 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by variety (Post 1396809)

Adding more? Is the tank suitable to have more fish, or no? I wouldn't put more fish in for probably another week, but at that time would that be acceptable or no? Based on the whole 1 inch of fish to 1 gallon of tank rule, I have like 13-15 inches of fish. Things I'm interested in doing are adding more neon tetras, they're all like half an inch and I think they'd look cooler in a larger shoal.Maybe another molly or two, should they be male or female? And then maybe a couple of cories, what are the most docile kinds to pick from and how many would go well together?

Thanks!

Welcome to the forum!

I tried to get a 36 bow but with Christmas too close I couldn't manage it, it was a gift. Any pictures that you can post? Everyone loves to see pics here.

The 1" of fish per gallon is a guide and sometimes you can go over and sometimes you can't depending upon the fish BUT this is calculated based on the fully grown size of the fish, not what they start out as. If you base it on the little cute fish now, when they are three times the size they will be three times too many fish for the tank.

I think your mix is more than varied enough and if adding more (I haven't done the math on the fully grown sizes of the fish you've selected but I think you are near your max) that you would do well to increase the size of the species groups. Usually shoals should be 6 or more... and the more the merrier not withstanding the bio-loading.

I won't talk about water parameters and fish compatibility here, someone else who knows the fish more intimately may know better.

What are you water parameters anyway? Someone will ask, might as well get it over with.:roll:

Jeff.

variety 01-19-2013 06:00 PM

It was a rather nice surprise to get something this big especially when I was just hoping to get an average like 10 gallon.

http://tinypic.com/r/axmveb/6

That's the tank and you can see the male Dalmation Molly, he's the one closest to the Balloon Bellies, the female Dalmation just swim away, but he sure does pester the Balloon Bellies because they're slower. As I type this, he's continuously nipping at their underside over and over. I also think one of them might have been bit on the side, too. Not sure if it's a spot or a red bite-mark.

The water parameters are fine from what I can tell. 7.4 pH. Temperature of 76 degrees.

Byron 01-19-2013 07:13 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:cheers:

To your questions about water changes. Regular, meaning every week, partial water changes are essential for healthy fish. You can read why here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...hanges-117205/

The fish remain in the tank; they will usually get quite used to this. You can change 1/3 to 1/2 the tank volume. The article explains more.

If you have chlorine in your tap water, and you use the tap water in your aquarium, then yes, you need to use a dechlorinator. All water conditioners will detoxify chlorine. But you also need to know if your municipal water folks use chloramine; if they do, then make sure the water conditioner you use also detoxifies chloramine. Most now do, but make sure. Beyond this, conditioners usually detoxify heavy metals, this can't hurt. And then a few go further, dealing with ammonia, nitrite and even nitrate if any of these should happen to be in your tap water.

On the fish species, I agree you are at the limit. We have fish profiles, under the second heading from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, and all fish you mention are included, so I recommend you look them up and check out their needs, issues, numbers, etc. That will be easier than my repeating all of it.;-)

Byron.

variety 01-19-2013 07:25 PM

I see that picture didn't work, so here's a link to it: Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

Alright so the fish have been in there for around a week, so I'm thinking Sundays will be the day for weekly water changes. And the dechlorinator I have removes chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia.

JDM 01-19-2013 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by variety (Post 1396998)
....And the dechlorinator I have removes chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia.

It doesn't remove ammonia, water changes can reduce it but either plants in the tank use it as a nutrient or bacteria established on the various surfaces do the same, only the bacteria turn it into nitrites which other bacteria turn into nitrates and those are typically removed at water changes.

The treatment will detoxify ammonia for a day or two only, then it's right back. Longer story than that but that is the jist of it.

That's certainly a colourful tank.

Jeff.

variety 01-19-2013 07:59 PM

Huh, would have never guessed that. It says that on the side of the bottle so I just assumed that was what it meant. I won't have an ammonia problem unless something goes wrong, though?

Thank you, I decided I didn't know enough to include real plants, yet and so I chose fake stuff that still gave a lot of covering to hide in. Oh and the volcano blows bubbles! It had a problem at first, which is why the hose isn't buried because it was back-flowing every time you shut it off and flooding the floor around the tank. I got it working, though, thankfully.

JDM 01-19-2013 08:27 PM

Actually, plants make it a LOT easier. No cycle, no ammonia or nitrite spiking. Just add plants, maybe a few more than your fake ones and add fish. Almost that easy.

Check out my aquarium tab in my sidebar. That is a three week old planted tank with no cycle and 13 fish, so far, there have been fish in there for over two of those weeks. I will admit that I don't have the colour you do, but I like green.

Jeff.

variety 01-19-2013 08:55 PM

Huh, I might have to look into that. I just went with fake plants since it came with quite a few from the picture and I spent like $5 on some smaller ones and then bought the 2 coral pieces and volcano. Yes, it wouldn't have the color, but it looks neat considering they're real plants.

JDM 01-19-2013 09:40 PM

Yah, I like the real look, more natural. I figure that at least these plants I can't kill due to lack of watering.

The interesting thing is that the plants are worth more that the fish by about double and then some, but i went for a "shotgun" approach to see what works in my tank. I have one type that is growing an inch a day, Dwarf Hygrophila. If you picked only one plant to start with, that would be it. $5 for a bunch of stems (I got nine for that). In one week, cut them off at half and plant the cutting. 18. Another week, cut them off at half and plant, 36. It doesn't take long for these to propagate and in no time flat you have a huge ammonia sink, (they suck up ammonia like nothing else, literally) and this keeps any future ammonia problems to pretty much zero. That's the tall plants just to left of Center.

In the plant section of the forum I have a thread "the shotgun approach to a planted tank" that goes over the plants that I put in my tank as a low light tank. I couldn't link it easily on my phone but its easy to find as I keep it current.

Jeff.


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