Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Fish tanks just an accident waiting to happen?! (

Kim 11-09-2008 01:36 PM

Fish tanks just an accident waiting to happen?! I just wanted to vent a little frustration this morning about how I seem to have bad luck. With my little cory probably dying and algae problems in my tank, I was feeling a little sad. So, what does my mom tell me, that I bring everything to an extreme, and that fish tanks are just little accident boxes just waiting to be wiped out! She also said that fish never die of old age, and she doesn't understand what would happen if my whole tank gets wiped out by disease, leaving me with a pathogen filled box of algae and plants! So what is your experience with tanks? Are the problems just constant, or do they level off after a while?

Oh, my mom also refuses to bring me to pick up a 10 gal tank with heater and filter for $20-25 that I want to get as a QT tank as I don't have a real one right now. This even after I explained that it would only be set up when needed. Also, I pay for it myself, we are driving right by the area, and all my tanks are in my room!

So, I'm leaning toward the fact that it is just bad luck and bad fish stores (Petco :evil:) not the nature of the hobby itself. I mean, I have seen some really beautiful and healthy tanks on here. I know accidents happen, but really those statements were a little extreme!

willow 11-09-2008 02:47 PM

i'm sorry you are having a rough time. :(
it will turn out ok for you honest it will,the problem that i see
is small tanks,they can be so unforgiving sometimes,and it's because
of the amount of water,if it's going to go wrong it will and fast.
but that's not to say that it can't be beautiful,and stable.
they i think just need more care than a big tank.
the shops that you have,can also playa big part of your trouble,
and sometimes you will be very lucky,and sometimes not.
Algae: what type is it,are the tanks right next to the window ?
in the begining of my fish keeping,i lost an awful lot of fish :(
i didn't research at all,i lost more neons than i want to count.
clown loaches droped like flies,as did the rams,and angel fish.
yes it does pan out,and you will get to relax more,honest.
i'll send you some good vibes in my prayers tonight.

SolaceTiger 11-09-2008 03:16 PM

Hang in there, just takes alot of trial and error. Live and learn. Really worth it to have the patience. :) I'm guessing your parents don't care to much to have any animals, huh. That sucks, my dad was the same way.

NeonDetra 11-09-2008 07:50 PM

Sorry about your frustrations. this kind of stuff is totaly understandible. Just stay on top of your tank and things will work out, trust me, after a year of mistakes and losses, my tank is healthy and beautiful. also, go to a pet shop that isnt huge, and doesnt have that wide a sellection. the reason i say this is becuse the staff can stay on top of things much better with a small selection than if they had a big store filled with pets. give it a few months and if your still getting fustrated, quit collecting, wait a while, then try again. good luck!

Kim 11-09-2008 07:50 PM

Nope. My parents love other animals-they just don't really care about fish. We have 4 cats and 2 horses, but I am crazy because I like fish tanks!

The algae is mostly brown but I am also recently seeing some black beard. I cut light back to 8 hrs. per day a while ago and I scrub it off the glass and some plants when I do a water change. But, there is a lot of it on the plants that I can't get. It is a 15 gal tank and it has about 20 watts of light and low light plants. No CO2, but I do dose with Flourish excel which actually helps with the algae because the plants do terrible without it. I also dose Flourish once per week and I haven't seen a change in algae with or without it. I am thinking maybe I should add more plants to out compete it. I was also thinking of putting my corys in the QT tank when I get it and then waging open war with the algae with a blackout and vigorous daily scrubbing. That way I won't have to worry about my fish in disgusting water. I keep the shade drawn in my room that faces the tank, and the only other sunlight is indirect from another window and passes through my 10 gal. first. The 10 gal. has no algae.

My mom seems to be breaking about the QT tank, and the woman e-mailed me back accepting my offer for $20. I'm really pushing this one.

Thanks everyone :) Hmm..that's all I really wanted from my mom, maybe just a little encouragement. Would it really kill her??

Kim 11-09-2008 07:53 PM

Oh, the thing that bugs me is that I did research and tons of it. Just when I think I'm doing everything right it goes wrong. Then I see people who know nothing who have not had to deal with half of the problems I have had. Grrr....

Cody 11-09-2008 08:26 PM

Just hang in there. I am a young age as well (14), yet I still have 3 tanks and a vivarium (and one is a reef). I have learned that your parents will love it if you only talk about it when needed, and find something they like in the tanks. My dad doesn't even care about taking me to my reef stores anymore. Just do a ton of research, and live and learn. Everything in your tanks will turn out good. :-)

Hope you get the QT tank, by the way.

jeaninel 11-10-2008 01:21 AM

Don't get discouraged. The problems will level off after awhile. It seems when tanks are still young (like the first year) and still slowly being stocked is when problems are more likely. Once you get the tank stocked and are not adding anymore fish the problems will work themselves out as far as fish health. Stay on top of tank maintenance and things will stabilize. Think of it as a learning experience. QTing new fish will help alot also.

Tyyrlym 11-10-2008 01:40 PM

There are some common problems you're encountering. First off brown algae, I've got it to and its just a pain. I've been advised that it will work itself out eventually but I'm still waiting for that. Algae happens when something is out of balance, assuming you have sufficent plants in the aquarium. Your options are CO2, nutrients (typically nitrates), or light. Without dosing CO2 you're not likely to be high on it but you could be low. Nutrients are easy enough to control, keep up on your maintenance and water changes. Light's not likely to be a problem either. All three are needed for good plant growth but only one needs to be out of whack for algae. People who have more experience with plants and algae can be more help to you there.

Fish mortality. First off there's not a living thing on this planet that won't die of old age. Secondly there are a lot of factors that go into determining whether your fish survive or not. First off buy from a reputible seller. Inspect their tanks. Do they look well maintained? Do the fish look to be in good health and are they exhibiting normal behaviors. Are any fish visibly distressed or ill? Are there dead fish in the tank? Make sure your seller has good fish and looks after them. Second find out when new fish arrive and DO NOT buy them. My LFS recieves new fish on Thursday. I won't buy fish until at least Saturday. They are likely stressed from the trip and the more time you wait to stress them again with another move the better. Third acclimate your new fish slowly. A slow acclimation can reduce the stress your fish feel, and do it in the dark. Fourth, QT. There are two kinds of fish keepers, those that QT and those that haven't watched their entire tank die off because they didn't. Fifth, feed them well (I feed about twice a day, as much as they can eat in 30 seconds) and keep their water quality up. Follow these steps and you'll be doing everything you can to ensure that your fish are healthy. All that being said even if you do all that you can still lose fish for reasons beyond your control, it happens, it sucks, try to learn from it.

mattyphilly 11-10-2008 02:53 PM

first: without animals ure life as a human being i not complete.
second: as for fishtanks....jus do a weekly waterchange and u shd be long as u stock ure tank according to ure tank size and water parameters.
Dont try to change the water that comes out of ure tap,but stock ure tank according to ure 'tap parameters',

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