Switching from Goldfish to Tropicals
My poor goldfish died recently. Water quality is very good. Test kit shows 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and less than 5 ppm nitrate. I think he may have had an infection.
I would like to switch to tropical fish (barbs or plattys and maybe an ottos catfish or two). What should I do to my tank to prepare it for the tropical fish?
Tank: 20 gal
Filter: Aquaclear 20, Sponge, Carbon, Biomax
Airpump: Tetra Whisper, air stone
Subtrate: Pea size Gravel
Ornaments: Some silk plants and large rocks
Lighting: Flourescent hood light
The only difference you really need to consider is adding a heater. Unlike your goldfish, tropical fish need higher temperatures of around 78-80 degrees. Other than that, it sounds like you're all set.
Keep in mind that with your goldfish gone, there's nothing providing an ammonia source for your biological filter, so your beneficial bacteria are going to be slowly starving until you add another ammonia source. You might want to put a small amount of fish food in the tank every day and keep an eye on your water parameters until you can add the fish.
You need to test for pH, which you want to be above 6.8 and below 7.8.
I suggest changing 50% of the water, setting your heater to 78 degrees F. Then wait 24 hours and test your pH. If the pH is good, then you are set.
Ok, good advice. Should I be concerned about something in the water that caused the goldfish to get sick. The LFS suggested I bleach the heck out of the tank before adding more fish. I didn't like the idea of bleaching the tank cause I'd have to start the cycle again.
BTW, how many platys or barbs can I add to a cycled 20 gallon tank?
I would add maybe three platys and see how they do before stocking too many fish. Also liquid test kits such as API master kit for freshwater would be a good investment if you don't have one already. Test strip type test kits can be not so accurate. I would not mess with PH .Many fish can and will adapt to your PH as long as it is stable or consistent. I also would not bleach unless I had to .IF two or three platys do well you should be ok. Heater is needed. You may also wish to try and get platys all male or all female. (warning ) many females can be pregnant even though they may not look it. GOOD LUCK! :D
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