Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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rbaudo 01-05-2009 07:49 PM

Aquarium switch...10 to 29 gal
OK, so at the moment, I have two 10 gallon tanks, but will soon be adding a 29 gallon tank.

I have a pictus catfish, golden gourami, and 3 zebra danio in one 10 gallon. The other 10 gallon has 2 cory cats, 4 GloFish, and 2 wags. Only 2 or 3 of the fish in the second tank have reached 1 inch in size.

Anyways, the pictus cat is getting close to 4 or 5 inches and doesnt seem to have much room in the 10 gallon. I have heard these are very active fish and I am thinking the 10 gallon is too cramped for him. He usually just hides behind a rock and comes out to eat.

My plan was to buy a 29 gallon and transfer the gourami and pictus cat to the 29 gallon, while transferring the 3 zebras to the 10 gallon. The question I have is this: I don't have much room in my room to keep 3 tanks going at the same time. I know you need atleast 6 weeks to mature a tank and I have heard that it's not good to add a scaleless fish (pictus cat) to an immature tank. I also have a 55 gallon in my living room, which has been mature for about 20 years haha. Is there any way I can move the gravel from the 10 gallon (whiile also adding more new gravel) and the water from the 10 gallon and some water from the 55 gallon? Would this make the 29 gallon matur enough to immediately add the pictus, or would it need more time?

1077 01-06-2009 01:51 AM

Pictus cat would do much better in the 55 gal. You can take a cup full or two of the gravel from either the ten gal or the 55 gal and place the gravel in a section of panty hose and stuff this into the new filter for the 29 gal (you are getting a larger filter?) or gently push the gravel in the stocking into the new gravel of the 29 gal and leave it for at least 14 days. You could also put the fish from ONE of the ten galtanks into the new 29 gal after you have placed the gravel from either the ten or 55 gal into the 29 gal. any decorations from the ten or 55 gal would also help as good bacteria grows on everything in the tank. I would feed the fish sparingly and test the water every couple days to be safe. After a week I would then add the fish from the second 10 gal to the 29 gal. Some filter material from one of the ten gal tanks would also help speed the process as well. You could simply stick this in the new filter for the 29 gal or weight it down with a rock and place it in the bottom of the 29 gal . It is important to keep the old gravel or filter material that you use wet and some fish must be added to help keep the good bacteria alive . But too many fish too soon or overfeeding the fish will not produce a stable tank. Some may tell you to do otherwise but I would add fish slowly as described and I would wait a week to ten days between adding new fish to the 29 gal and i would add them no more than two at a time. You might consider using one of the ten gal for quarantine tank for any new fish that you prepare to add to the 29 gal so as not to introduce disease into a new tank. GOOD LUCK! PS Don't rinse the gravel that you use from the ten gal or 55 gal. I would siphon out a bucket of aquarium water and put the used gravel in it after i put it in the stocking and before i put it in the 29 gal. Be sure and use dechlorinator and place the fish from one of the ten gal tanks into the 29 gal shortly after you put in the used material.

rbaudo 01-06-2009 03:57 AM

Is a 29 gallon too small for the pictus? I am a little iffy about adding him to the 55 gallon, as there is a fresh water "shark" in there who is well over 15 inches.

Would a 29 gallon stunt the pictus or harm it? Also, if i follow your suggestions with the gravel and filter, should I add just the gourami to the 29 gallon? Or is it safe to add the pictus, as well, or instead of the gourami? What I fear is adding a scaleless fish (pictus) to an immature tank.

1077 01-06-2009 05:08 AM

The pictus needs lots of swimming space .the 29 gal would no doubt be an improvement,eventually a larger tank will be needed they can get large in their own right. I would add the small fish first and the gourami and pictus after ten days.The more biological material you can seed the 29 gal with the better. The majority of biological bacteria in a mature aquarium is found in the filter and in the substrate so it is wise not to disturb these areas during the maturing or cycling process. If water from the filter is significantly slowed down then simply rinse the filter material in old aquarium water and stick it back in the filter. If you don't overfeed then cleaning the bottom is not needed until the bio- bed has matured.

rbaudo 01-06-2009 09:32 PM

So if I move some of the gravel from the 55 gallon (and I am talking a pretty decent portion, enough to fill 1/3 to 1/2 of the 29 gallon required gravel) and then fill the 29 gallon with water from the 55 would the new 29 gallon be decently matured? I also have an aqua-tech 10-20 gallon bio-filter on one of the 10 gallons, I was going to remove the bio filter part of it and set it inside the new 29 gallon filter system. If I did all of this how long would I need to let it all cycle till I could introduce the pictus. You see, both 10 gallons and the 29 gallon would be in my room and the two 10 gallons is already a big space taker haha. So 3 tanks for an extended period is too much. I am also trying to avoid adding the pictus to the 55, as I have a 22 year old fresh water "shark", which is about 15+ inches. He is pretty docile, but recently we added 3 Koi fish and they seem to attack the food as soon as it hits the water, so I cant be too careful about how hungry the shark may know?

If there is anyway, I could add the pictus and gourami to the 29 gallon as soon as I got it, I would love to hear it. As I said, I planned on taking the gravel from the 10 gallon and some from the 55 and then all the water would come from the 55 and 10. I would then take the bio filter from the 10 gallon and drop it in the 29 gallon filter system, so all the water passes through it. Could that work?

P.S. are there better ways to catch a pictus? Trying to use a cup is a pain haha

aunt kymmie 01-06-2009 10:01 PM

The one time I had to "catch" my pictus I used a net to "chase" him into a smaller bucket that I had submerged in the opposite end of the tank. As soon as he got near the bucket I swooped him up in the bucket. You have to be careful as they can really move when they want to. Once I had the bucket up & out of the water I removed alot of the water so the level was low so he couldn't "fling" himself out of it. My tank and pictus may be a little larger than yours. I'm not sure how I'd do it if I couldn't get a smaller bucket in the tank and had to use a cup..

1077 01-07-2009 01:44 AM

Were it my fish, I would see no problem in doing what you describe but Ihesitate to suggest it for they are not my fish. If i were to do so ,I would see that the temp in the 29 gal is same as ten gal. Once I moved the fish ,I would maybe not feed the fish for a day and I would leave the lights off as well for a day so that fish can get used to new surroundings. As for catching the pictus cat, Ihave caught plecos and clown loaches by placing a piece of PVC pipe with nylon over one end held in place with rubber band in the tank and waiting until the fish entered usually the fish would be in the pipe of a morning.Be sure and keep all the biological material wet in aquarium water.

aunt kymmie 01-07-2009 10:08 AM

1077-What a great idea on the PVC type. Thanks for that tip as I know I will have to use it someday...

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