Cloudy Water and a few questions (newbie)
Hey guys and girls! My name is billy and this is my first post here and my first problem heh.
This is the first fish tank ive owned other than a little one when i was younger that my parents pretty much took care of when i was a kid.
My girlfriend and I thought it would be a nice addition to the Living room if we put a fish tank in one of the corners that was not being used this is the specs of the tank.
20 gallon tall
Whisper Power Filter 20 gallon
Wisper air pump 20 gallon
TopFin 100wat 20 gallon submersible heater
Some plastic plants (5 i think)
and two things to swim/hide in. one is part of the colosseum and the other is a fake clay pot that had broken pieces that they can swim in and out of
also a 18" buble wand across the back away from the filter intake so the filter isnt sucking in a lot of bubbles
i also used Topfin aquarium Graval (two 10lb bags because it said 1lb per gallon)
i also bought a digital thermostat
i used tap water conditioner two days before we bought the fish and the guy at the fish store (i didnt goto walmart to get the fish i went to a standalone store that does fresh and salt water fish) told me to get TLC for freshwater Aquariums
i put that in the tank about a day before i got the fish
i did what i think is the proper way of getting the fish use to the water before putting them in the tank, set the bag in the water for about a hour then took it to the sink and slowly added water from the tank into the bag .
after that i took the fish out of the bag with a net one by one and added it to the tank
the temp has been at a steady 77 degrees
but today when i woke up the tank was really cloudy (by my standers its prolly not that bad though heh).
Here is the fish the man told me would go together good for my tank size:
2 small oscars (one albino one black)
2 Parrot Cichlids (i thought they were parrot fish i was wrong)
one cichlid looks like this:
the other two look like this:
1 Pelco (i think) here is a picture i took of it yesterday:
here is a picture of the tank i took just a minute ago:
(date timestamp is a bit off on the picture heh)
I was hoping that if i went to a Store that specialized in fish i would get much better advice being a first timer but now I think I might of not got what i was looking for what do you guys think?
-= QUESTIONS =-
Is this a normal tank cycle or something i should pay close attention to?
How soon am i going to need to upgrade my tank size?
Also i read to take out 20% of the water in the tank every week to add fresh water, if i do this how often should i do a full clean and replace all the water?
EDIT: now that ive found more info on this cycle process are all my fish going to die?!?! the guy at the fish store said nothing of this when i told him i set it up 2 ago!! man this is upsetting is there anything i can do other than hope they make it through? :( :( :(
Thanks for the help in advance and i look forward to chatting on this forum!!
first you need to buy a liquid test kit. api freshwater master kit is awesome. with the way your stocked and the fish you have i dont know how well they will all do. what youll need to do is frequent water changes. with all them fish im guessing almost daily. the test kit will tell you your ammonia/nitrite levels. if your tank is only a few days old youll probably just get ammonia readings. try and keep these as low as you can with 20ish percent water changes. all the water changes will slow down your cycle but without them your fish will not make it.
things that will help speed up the process.
if you have a friend who keeps fish. borrowing his filter media and putting it in your filter. or some gravel put it in a pantyhose and put it in your tank. even ornaments or driftwood. anything from an established tank will have some beneficial bacteria on it and will help speed up the cycle.
as for the stocking. i dont know all the sizes those fish grow into but im gonna take a stab in the dark and say your going to need a bigger tank pretty soon if all your fish make it through your cycle.
In answer to your first questions...
1) This is a normal tank cycle, but you WILL have to pay close attention to it.
2) I really have no experience with cichlids, so I can't tell you when you will need to upgrade, someone else definitely will though.
3) 20% once a week is fine for a cycled tank. You will never need to do a 100% water change.
Ok, now about your problem. Your tank is way overstocked for an uncycled tank. That is just terrible that your fish store told you to do this, but it seems that fish store people can never get anything right. I would not listen to them in the future. Everything else you did is right, just not the fish. Can you return the fish if you just added them a couple days ago? If so, I would do this and cycle your tank using the fishless cycle method. If not, then you are going to have to do a lot of water changes to help them survive. The cloudiness in your water is most likely due to ammonia. This is lethal to fish. The first thing that you need to do is get a good liquid test kit that includes the tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. Then you will need to test daily, and do water changes as often and as much as is needed to keep ammonia levels at .5 - 1ppm, and later to keep nitrite levels in that region as well. If you keep on top of your water changes (this may be as often as daily, remember, you do not need a lot of ammonia or nitrite for your tank to cycle, as long as some is present the cycle will continue) your fish have a good chance of survival. In your spare time I would read up about the nitrogen cycle so you know what to expect. Basically you will get an ammonia spike, then ammonia will go down and you will get a nitrite spike (still harmful to fish) and then nitrite will go down and you will get a nitrate reading. Nitrate is much less harmful to fish, and is removed during your weekly water changes. Honestly, if you can return them that is what I would do. Then you can choose fish that will not outgrow your tank, and none of your fish will be subjected to damaging levels of ammonia or nitrite.
Please don't get discouraged by this, in fact if you ask most people what their first experiences in the hobby were like, I'm sure that they would tell you a very similar story :wink: . I cringe when I think of my first tank. It is just good that you found this site. It really is helpful and there are many knowlegable people willing to help you. Good luck, and keep us posted!
Thank you for the replied, after reading other posts before both you replied i saw lots of people saying get a liquid test kit and not the dip sticks and since its a sunday i ran to petsmart real fast to get a kit.
basicly everything is fubar this is the readings :(
High Range pH: 7.8-8.0 (somewhere around that color)
Ammonia: 8.0~ :( :( :(
the kit came with Nitrate test solution but no color card ive got to find a color sheet on here somewhere.
should i do a 25% water change asap?
and no i can not return any because of bacteria or w/e
what about getting something to remove the ammonia or at least lower it a bit, or is that what the water change will do?
EDIT: and when i do the water change should i have the 25% i remove pre treated the day before i do the change?
EDIT2: just wanted to say this sucks i figured if i went to a store that only deals with fish i wouldn't get screwed like this now i have fish that are most likely going to die and its not the money ide would lose im upset about but i didnt buy them just to put them in something that would kill them :\
EDIT3: also is their a website that has a calculator for the water change because i suck at math this is the size of my tank: 24 x 12 x 16
Basically each and every of the fish they sold you needs a much larger aquarium sooner or later. Especially because most cichlids are very territorial and can become aggressive towards each other and other species. You should consider giving most of your fish away to people who can acommodate them.
There are products out there that can help avoid the new tank syndrome. One of the most effective I know is called SuperBac, but there are many others (Stability, Prime etc.); these products contain the essential bacteria and kick start the cycling process. You should get this stuff as fast as possible and meanwhile do some water changes. When you put in new water, don't forget to use a dechlorinator (e.g. "Genesis," cheaply available at your fish store) - otherwise you harm your fish and kill bacteria.
EDIT: if i do decide to build a larger tank would 100 gallons be good for them or smaller?
Also all the fish seem to be out and moving with their fins up and such they dont seem to be staying in one spot idling
i just did a 25% water change also and checked the ammonia and it dropped quite a bit
Re: Cloudy Water and a few questions (newbie)
OK, let's start from the top. Keep in mind these are MINIMUMS:
-Oscars: Around 70 gallons EACH
-Firemouth cichlid: Around 25 gallons
Parrot cichlids: I think around 30 gallons each...and they're a deformity to boot.
1 Common Pleco: 75 gallons and needs driftwood to gnaw on
2 Electric Yellow Cichlids: 25 gallons each
Demasoni Cichlid picture matches up to this one closely enough: Possibly 25 gallons, I don't know for sure
Well...for you it was a hard lesson to learn but you learned a couple. 1) A lot of LFS's can't be trusted. 2) See pretty fish? Go home and google pretty fish before buying it :)
If you don't want to keep these fish (and I wouldn't blame you) you could post them on Aquabid and someone could give you a crash course on how to pack a fish correctly. Or put ads in the paper or something.
Wow, I feel so sorry for you. You got some bad advice! Just wanted to add the first 2 pics you posted are African cichlids which really shouldn't be mixed with your other fish which are Central and South American cichlids. With an ammonia reading of 8 I'm surprised they are still alive. Lots of water changes are in your future unless you can get the store to take them back.
Cool tank decorations. 8)
Re: Cloudy Water and a few questions (newbie)
it looks like i will be finding them a new home soon than because i highly doubt i will be able to keep up with stats like that being this is my first shot at a fish tank man i feel like a real tool now.....i went in the store figuring these guys would know a thing or two about fish and fish tanks looks like all they really cared about was my money and not the well being of the fish they were selling me which pisses me off even more than them ripping me off dammit man, if i can keep them alive long enough do you think i could split them up into separate tanks or do they need to be with other fish to be happy because it sounds like ide need a huge freaking tank to keep them all together :( none of them are that big right now, the biggest is maybe 2-3 inchs right now
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