Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   When I can, would a 10 gallon tank be better for my fish? (

Emphasy 07-17-2008 03:53 PM

When I can, would a 10 gallon tank be better for my fish?
See my tank blurb to see what I have now.

I also would like to know about cycling and when it comes to a twice-a-week meal, would blood worms or brine shrip be best? I feed them a small amount of flakes in the morning and a small amount at night.

Kim 07-17-2008 04:19 PM

Ok...I found your tank. I didn't know how to find it at first. Yes, when you can a ten gallon would be much better suited for your fish. In the time being, doing water changes at least once a week (maybe twice if your fish are messy) of about 25 percent will help them to stay healthy. I would also recommend a heater and thermometer so that the water stays a stable temp. in the mid 70's. You said that you do not know about cycling. Well...this may be a long explaination, but I will give you the basics. Because an aquarium is a closed ecosystem, biological filtration is a must. Cycling is the process through which these bacteria are established. There are two types of bacteria that are needed in an aquarium, those that convert ammonia (fish waste) into nitrite, and those that convert nitrite into nitrate. Because ammonia and nitrite are toxic to fish these bacteria are a must. What happens in a new aquarium, is that there is no bacteria to complete this process, so fish waste will build up. The high levels of ammonia that are generated during this ammonia spike are dangerous to your tank inhabitants. Over time, bacteria that are naturally present in all water will multiply and consume the ammonia. Then your ammonia levels will go down, but nitrites will go up as this is the waste product of these bacteria. The nitrites (which are also dangerous to fish) will help to feed a different type of bacteria which will then multiply as well. As these bacteria become more numerous, nitrite levels will lower and nitrate levels will elevate (nitrate is the waste product of these bacteria). Nitrate can still be toxic to fish in high levels, so you will want to do water changes to get your nitrates down regularly. In the end of your cycle, you want ammonia and nitrite to be 0, and nitrate to be less than 30. There are ways to cycle a tank without fish, but since you already have fish in your tank I will not go into detail now. Basically, you are going to experience both an ammonia, and a nitrite spike. Doing frequent water changes (every two days) will prolong the cycle, but keep your fish alive, as will frequent testing. If you don't have a test kit, I would advise you to buy a liquid kit that tests ammonia, pH, nitrate, nitrate, and maybe even kh and gh. Don't buy strips, they don't work at all! One way to speed up your cycle is to get some bacteria from an established, disease free aquarium. This can be obtained by getting some filter media, decorations, or gravel, and putting it directly into your filter or tank. I hope that I have answered all of your questions, and if you do decide to upgrade your tank, just ask me and I can tell you how to do a fishless cycle which is much easier on your fish :D . By then I will have finished cycling my tank, and will be able to give you some tips as well as just explaining it :) . Good luck with your fish, and I'm sure that they will thank you if you decide to get them a bigger home (which I greatly advise)!

Emphasy 07-17-2008 04:26 PM

I walked in to feed my fish and my black molly is hyper-active, and pacing up and down. She ate almost all the food before my other fish realised they'd been fed. She's scaring me. My Dal girl sits in the large dent in the gravel in the back of my tank all day, and the male sits in the chinese house thing all day. Is that okay? I really don't want to lose them, but it'll be about a week or so before I even get my 10 gal, and I have to figure out how to cycle it. Help! I don't know what to do!

iamntbatman 07-17-2008 04:31 PM

I think Kim pretty much covered all of the basics of cycling. Since the aquarium cycle is harmful to whatever fish are in the tank, fishless cycling is the preferred method. If you do get a bigger tank and do a fishless cycle, you absolutely need the liquid test kit that Kim described. It will allow you to closely monitor the cycle so that you'll know exactly when it's safe to add your fish.

I feed my fish frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp. I probably feed these foods more than other people. My fish get two meals a day, with prepared foods (flakes, crumbles, pellets and wafers) making up the bulk of their foods. Every other day, their nighttime meal also includes either the brine shrimp or bloodworms (I alternate between the two). There are other frozen options as well. Others your mollies might like would include daphnia and tubifex worms. I've never fed my fish frozen daphnia but I've read that almost all fish love it. Only certain fish I have (mostly the guppies and cories) seemed to care for the tubifex, with the other fish kind of ignoring it. Mollies enjoy having a decent amount of vegetable matter in their diets so a good spirulina flake and algae wafers would be a good supplement along with fresh greens like romaine lettuce and spinach. If you can get your hands on live blackworms, I haven't met a fish yet that didn't absolutely love them.

Emphasy 07-17-2008 04:37 PM

What about my problem?! *pokes last post*

iamntbatman 07-17-2008 08:05 PM

Oops! I think you might have posted that while I was still writing mine. How long have you had the fish? Sometimes it can take a fish a while to de-stress and be more confident about swimming around and eating. Also, poor water quality and cold temps can make a fish lethargic. Do you have a heater? You'll want to keep your water around 78*F. Without having that liquid test kit it's impossible to tell what your water parameters are, but I would be willing to bet you might have substantial amounts of ammonia and/or nitrites in your water. I suggest doing a 50% water change with same-temp dechlorinated water.

Emphasy 07-18-2008 06:38 AM

My water is 78-80 I don't have a heater, but I have a thermometer strip on the the left side of the tank. I'll be going home soon, so I can feed them breakfast, and s how they're doing. I'll post how they are asap.

Emphasy 07-18-2008 07:04 AM

I walked in, and fed them, and the black one ate as if there was no tomorrow. She is DEFINATELY pregnant. She has a white gravid spot, and is square and plump. Could she be eating so much becuse she's eating for more than herself?

Kim 07-18-2008 09:17 AM

Yes, your female could be eating that much because she is pregnant, but does she look active, or stressed? If any of your fish are having trouble breathing, are loosing color, or appear lethargic I would do a 50% water change right away (probably do one anyway just in case). These are all signs of ammonia poisoning. Do you have the 10 gallon? If you do, I would set it up and start cycling it right away. Basically, what you do is set up the aquarium with everything on it (filter, heater, etc.) but remove the carbon from the filter. Fill it with water and add enough pure ammonia (You can buy this at the grocery store, just make sure that there is nothing added. Pure ammonia does not fizz when you shake it.) to bring the reading up to 5ppm. You will need the liquid test kit for this. Then, add 5 drops of ammonia for every 10 gallons daily until nitite spikes. After that add 2-3 drops of ammonia daily until you get zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and a reading for nitrate. After this your nitrates will likely be too high, so a large 90% water change should bring this down. When you change the water though, do not vaccuum the gravel because that is where all the bacteria are. Now you are ready to add your fish. Just put in any decorations that you might not have added at first, test your water parameters one more time for good measure, and move your fish. There are many variations of how to do a fishless cycle, this is just the one that I am using. Anyone more experienced please feel free to correct anything that may be wrong, but I think that this should work fine. As for what you should do now...hmmm...well, a fishless cycle can take as little as 10 days, but it can also take more. If you do a 25% water change in your tank now every other day (or more if needed), it will not cycle, but ammonia will not harm your fish. Just be prepared to keep on top of this until the cycle in your 10 gallon is complete, as failure to keep up with this could cause a catastrophic ammonia spike in an uncycled tank. Another way to handle this situation would be to let the 5 gallon cycle, and keep ammonia at a reasonable level with water changes every two days. This method is more dangerous to your fish though, and you may have some casualties. The first method would require more work on your part, but would be much better for your fish until you can move them into their new, cycled home. And really, I have a 5.5 gallon for my betta fish and it only takes me about 10 minutes to do a 25% water change. Good luck and keep us posted.

Little-Fizz 07-18-2008 09:50 AM

Ok, theres just a few things I wanted to add to what Kim said, don't remove the media from your filter, just cut a little opening in the flossy side and give it a good shake to get all the carbon out. I've never cycled with pure ammonia so I can't really add onto that part, I don't know that the cycling could only take a week, because all my tanks cycled in like just over a month, so I suppose it's possible but don't get excited or anything because it will probably take way longer then a week. And I would never recommend changing anything more then 50% of the water, sorry but 90% of the water is just to much in my opinion.

Just keep up with daily water changes in your 5 gallon to save your fish, who cares if it makes the 5 gallon take longer to cycle, you should be more concerned about getting this bigger tank up and running.

Daily water changes aren't so bad :wink: Lol it probably only takes ten minutes for me to for a 20% water change on my 28 gallon. The part I hate is getting the water the right temperature before adding it to the tank :roll:

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