Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Squidword 11-14-2006 04:48 PM

Depressing, what's going on??

I have a 29 gallon tank. We set it up about 5 weeks ago, letting it sit for 24 hours filtering out without any fish in the tank. When we added fish (very exciting :D ) We were told to add hardy fish see how they do and then we can add more. Fine. We added 2 platy's, 3 blood fin tetras, 1 little Fleming crab and a blue crayfish. Weeks passed and our tank was holding up fine. Cloudy but soon cleared. Sadly the crab lost some legs, I'm guessing the crayfishes doing. The crab disappeared. Only to be found again sprouting little stubs for legs. Our tank started to get a bit cloudy again so we did a water change. It was about 4 weeks into first setting up. We added some more fish. Figuring it's been 5 weeks, and all our fish were alive, things were good. We added 2 med/large tiger barbs, 1 baby barb, 2 plecos(love those guys) 2 guramies(sp?) and 2 sliver iridescent sharks. After adding the fish our tank got REALLY cloudy. We did the PH test it was 6.0 and the Ammonia was 1.0 :shock: Dh keeps putting PH up and Ammo-lock, but nothing is working and yesterday we lost the platy, gurami, and baby barb :(
This is really depressing and please forgive for my lack of knowledge. What am I doing wrong? How can I fix this? I have grown close to our tank and all the little residents in it. I wake each day hoping for no floaters :( . My take is still very cloudy. My crayfish has shed her skin. I know I am suppose to leave it in the tank. That's another post *sigh* :blueworry:

Any help you guys can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Julie :dunno:

Squidword 11-14-2006 04:54 PM

Sorry, forgot to add that i have plastic plants, a whisper filter. Came with free food Tetra food which I have been using, feeding once a day, which I have cut back on amount. The crayfish has been getting frozen peas or sinking pellets.

thanks again.


RazorDX 11-14-2006 04:55 PM

Too many fish from the get-go. Almost all newbies do that. (not using the term in a derogatory manor)

You need to put one or two hardy fish in and after about two months you can start to slowly stock the tank. Putting too many fish in at once throws a huge bioload at your bacteria, which is extremely bad when there is no bacteria.

Search for a guide to properly cycling your tank.

I believe there is one stickied in this forum.

At this point you should take some of the fish back to your LFS (local fish store). I'm not the best person to advise on which fish you should keep, but I do know that there are too many. I'm not sure if crustaceans are as susceptible to ammonia and nitrite as fish, but pending the further advice of others I'd think (in my uneducated opinion) you could keep them in there.

Squidword 11-14-2006 05:12 PM

Razor, can I ask what is the proper amount of fish to have in a 29 gallon tank? We like small to smallish med size fish. Hate that this is happening. So, I should take some fish back? How many? What about the tank? Do another change once some fish are gone? TIA!


Alexis 11-14-2006 05:40 PM

Well, it is REALLY hard to say how many fish in a 29 gallon because they are all different with different requirements.
There is a basic "newbie" rule of thumb that you can go by until you gain more knowledge.

1. Find out the max adult size of the fish that you want.
2. If the fish will stay under 3 inches, it is a gallon per inch (AT ADULT SIZE)
3. If the fish you have chosen will get between 3 to 6 inches it is 2 gallons per inch (again at adult size)
4. If the fish you have chosen get bigger than 6 inches at adult size, for- get them for the time being since your tank will be too small for any diversity at that point and you may end up with disaster.
So, for example, if you choose guppies, their adult size is two inches, in a 29 gallon you could have 14 guppies.
IF you want diversity, just grab a calculator or a pad of paper and a pen, and try out different scenarios before you stock.
This rule DOES NOT APPLY TO PLECOS OR GOLDFISH OR ANY FISH THAT GROWS OVER 6 inches!!!!!>>THEY ARE VERY MESSY and require much more water volume per fish to keep them healthy.]

Have fun!

Alexis 11-14-2006 05:50 PM

" 2 platy's, 3 blood fin tetras, 1 little Fleming crab and a blue crayfish. We added 2 med/large tiger barbs, 1 baby barb, 2 plecos(love those guys) 2 guramies(sp?) and 2 sliver iridescent sharks. and yesterday we lost the platy, gurami, and baby barb"

So, let's see, you still have
1 platy
3 Tetras (do better in a school of five or more)
1 crab (eats whatever fish it can catch)
1 crayfish (needs 10 gallons to itself and will eat fish...oh, and leave the exoskeleton in the tank)
2 Tiger Barbs (need to be in a group of five or more or they will torture your other fish.)
1 Gourami (hmmm. Since I am not fond of these, I know very little...sorry)
2 Irr. sharks (wait, don't these guys get a FOOT LONG????)
2 plecs (which kind? Mine are 12 and 11 inches each)


Sounds like your LFS is just in it for the money. I am TRULY sorry.

Personally, I wouldn't keep anything but the tetras and I would get more of those. Unless the plecs are something small like a Rubberlip or ABN...then i would keep the Tetras and plecs, oh and the platy's harmless.

Nothing else....

Then I would re-assess the situation.

Squidword 11-14-2006 05:56 PM

Alexis, thanks.

So, it's not looking good for my current fish :cry: Do you guys suggest I do another fish change once I downsize on fish? When I had the crayfish, crab 2 little platies and 3 ittybitty bloodfin tetras my tank looked so bare. Like the way the tiger barbs livened up the place. However was told by petstore that I could only get hardy fish hence the bloodfin and platies.


Squidword 11-14-2006 06:26 PM

Alexis, thank you so much. Really, (think we were posting at the same time). I am going to have to really think about this. Just a quick question. Let's say I keep the tetra's, I would have to wait 2 months before adding more? If my tetras are still alive, I would have to work around them, right? I am going to search this site. I appreciate your info and feedback! Really helps. I have no idea what kind of plecos I have (your plecos are huge!). One is a lot smaller and lighter then the other. Maybe I can get a picture on here...


JouteiMike 11-14-2006 06:38 PM

I would advise you to wait until your tank is fully cycled before adding any fish. This usually means giving all your fish back and starting over from scratch, or keeping a SMALL number of what you have, and working from there, hoping that they survive the cycling process. If you start over, I would suggest you get some guppies or zebra danios, they are really hardy fish...and I only mean get 2 or 3 of one, not each.

Do you have a test kit for Nitrite and Nitrate? It is important to have one. When the tank is cycling your fish give off ammonia as waste, and that's when the first string of bacteria begin to form. This bacteria then converts the waste into nitrites which is less harmful, but still toxic to the fish. Finally the nitrite is converted into nitrate, and this you want to keep under 40. Get a liquid test kit over the strips, they are more accurate. Test often, like before each water change, so you know what is going on in the tank. It is key to test frequently during the cycling process of your tank. You will know when it is about finished cycling when your Ammonia are 0, Nitrites are 0, and Nitrates are under 40.

You seem to only be doing water changes when something happens in your tank. They should be routine, and I cannot stress that enough. Take out on avergae 10-20 percent weekly, or 25% every couple weeks. This will ensure high water quality. Don't forget to vacuume the gravel too. How much are you changing?

Are you dechlorinating your water before you add it to the tank? This is also a very important thing to do. You can buy products like Tetra Aquasafe that work great.

Squidword 11-14-2006 06:46 PM

Joute, thanks for input. I have to get a test kit for Nitrite and Nitrate. I am using a siphon for water changes. God, I have to ask DH if he added the Aquasafe.

Thanks for being so patient with me. :oops:

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