Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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brittanyb157 08-07-2008 08:03 PM

New Tank Help
So I went to my local fish store after getting my filter running right and letting the tank settle for a few days (30 gallon) and the man there (who seemed knowledgeable) told me that I should be getting 6 new fish a week...even if the tank is cycling. My first time going I got 3 serpae tetra and 3 zebra danio.

Now tomorrow will be my second week and I was looking forward to getting more fish yet I am hesitant. I don't want my fish to die.

I have been keeping on top of my readings and the amonia has been staying at about .5-1 without my doing any water changes. Nitrites read in at 0.

My tap water (we have a well) is really hard and clocks in at about 8.2 without any conditioner. So the guy at our local fish store recommended Wardley 3 in 1 water conditioner, which I bought and used in the tank. I was wondering if this ammonia level is normal? The bottle says that it neutralizes ammonia, would this have any affect on the reading or does that mean that it neutralizes the harm that high ammonia levels would have on a fish?

Also...I have an odd white residue in the tank, mainly where the filter is blowing out the filtered water, all around it is white and part of the side of the glass wall on the tank is white. Is this as a result of the conditioner? Or is it because this is a new tank?

Thanks so much. I'm new to this.

Fat_Fender_40 08-07-2008 08:59 PM

I can't say much about the limit of adding fish per week, so I'll let someone take a stab at it.

The white stuff on the tank is deposits more than likely. You're water is hard and it's common. Is it real crusty and hard? Looks clear when you first wash it off and a little shows up again once the glass dries?

If the white stuff is softer and can easily be scraped off, it's the conditioner. Like I have some of it on my cap of my bottle because I don't always rinse it if some spills down the side of the neck.

girlofgod 08-07-2008 09:42 PM

most likely the white stuff is calcium (?) deposits. i have never had them so i'mnot sure how to clean them off, but they most likely result from your hard water.

im pretty sure most people here would say that the man at the fish store is off his rocker, and that in the best interest of the fish, it's safer to cycle your tank without fish, or with straight ammonia, than with the fish. if you desire to cycle WITH fish, the danios alone would suffice, as they are hardly little fish. i would have left the tetras at the store, and I would NOT purchase any more fish to add to your tank until your tank is cycled completely. do you have a liquid test kit? these are the most accurate.

here is a thread about cycling, that might have more helpful information:

good luck!

brittanyb157 08-07-2008 09:57 PM

The white is not hard, it wipes off as soon as I clean the glass. It is soft and can be wiped off very easily.

Now...I still have that question about the cycling tank...The bottle says that it neutralizes ammonia, would this have any affect on the reading, the cycling of the tank, or does that mean that it neutralizes the harm that high ammonia levels would have on a fish?

iamntbatman 08-07-2008 11:16 PM

I've never used the Wardley product before, but I know that many products designed to "neutralize" ammonia convert it to a form that safer for your fish, can still be processed by your biological filter, but will still show up on ammonia tests. The only way to really "fix" ammonia levels in your tank is to let it cycle completely. Since you've got fish in the tank, I suggest doing water changes every time the ammonia jumps above 0.25. This might prolong your cycle, but it could help keep your fish from dying. I wouldn't add any more fish until you've got steady readings of zero ammonia, zero nitrite and some positive reading of nitrate.

brittanyb157 08-14-2008 03:35 PM

I have not added any fish and my ammonia readings are staying at a constant .5-1 without any water changes being done. The fish I have in there now are doing fine, nothing is changing. What does this mean for my tank cycling? Does this mean it isn't cycling?

Nitrites are at zero and ph is fine and consistant. I don't understand. Help?

Tyyrlym 08-14-2008 03:38 PM

To be on the safe side you should be trying to keep your ammonia readings at or below 0.25. Do a water change to help get it there. I have no familarity with the product you're using but even with it I'd try and keep the ammonia down since you're doing a fishless cycle. .5 is getting worrisome, 1.0 is dangerously high.

Your tank is cycling, just give it time. Mine took two and a half weeks to get detectable nitrites.

Amphitrite 08-14-2008 04:52 PM

To help speed up the cycle and cause less stress to the fish you already have in the tank, try to get some 'established' media which will help speed up the cycle process. Mature filter media, gravel and ornaments from established tanks will help with this. You are absolutely right about not adding any more fish until your cycle is complete :)

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