Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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-   -   Recently bought my first aquarium =) (

Sageo3000 04-23-2009 12:12 AM

Recently bought my first aquarium =)
About a week ago i bought a 30 gallon tank. There is this big pirate ship on one side. It takes up 1/3 of the floor space and almost reaches to the top of the tank. The fish like it. Some of the spend a lot of time in it. there is a lot of hiding places i guess. The tank came with a aquatech ez change filter thing and heater and therm. I bought a net and a gravel cleaner. There are a couple live plants in the tank along with a bunch of plastic ones.

One black knife
One Dwarf Gourami
One Black Skirt Tetra
One Dalmation Molly
Two zebra danios
And one Red Claw Crab

I don't know what a good salinity would be for all of the fish's/shellfish. I know it should be "brackish" or w.e. that means. I think it means salty. I think six fish is a good number for a 30 gallon. I just found out that black knifes get pretty big. I hope the one i have is a female. It'll probably get to about 10 inches maybe? I feed them one cube of blood worms (for the crab and the knife) and a pinch of flakes for the rest. It is all gone in about 2mins or so. I feed them twice a day. Once before school and once after work. Pretty much they get break feast and dinner. Tomorrow morning i'm going to go buy another live plant, a water comp. tester, and maybe an air pump to get some more water movement. I've had all the fish and the crab in there for about 5 days. Everything seems to be going well.

Are there any suggestions for me? I'm probably going to upgrade the tank later on. Are there any more accecories i should get?

aunt kymmie 04-23-2009 10:10 AM

Welcome to the forum & congrats on the new tank. :-)

You've got a few obstacles in front of you and I hate to rain on your parade but here goes...
A 30g is an unsuitable size tank for an adult black ghost so you may want to rehome him now or know that you'll have to upgrade the tank in the near future.
If you just set up the tank a week ago and added water, followed by fish, your tank has yet to cycle. If it hasn't yet cycled you're going to need to be testing your water daily and be ready to perform water changes on the spot when tests indicate it's necessary to do so.
Brackish does mean a mixture of salty water mixed with fresh. I don't know the brackish water requirements of some of your fish. The only fish from your list that I'd keep in brackish water would be the molly & crab. I'm pretty sure that the molly & crab will do fine in freshwater, as will your other fish. Someone else with much more experience w/brackish would know better than I.

Byron 04-23-2009 11:01 AM

As aunt kymmie said, you may be in for problems...

The black ghost knife fish will grow to 18 inches and is "an avid predator" according to the experts. Aside from the crab, the knife fish will probably be the only fish you have in short order, if he lives up to his nature. Knife fish require fresh water, not brakish, as do the other fish (except the molly that can stand and even thrive with a bit of salt as ak mentioned).

Cycling. Depending upon circumstances, this process (which occurs in all new set-ups by nature) may kill all your fish within a couple of weeks. Some things that might lessen this from happening are not having cleaned the filter from before, nor the gravel, provided both remained wet and did not dry out. Immediately dosing the tank with "Cycle" or a similar product may help if it isn't too late. The reason here is that the good bacteria which convert ammonia (produced by all fish and any decaying matter) into nitrite and then nitrite into nitrate cannot live if deprived of water and oxygen. Ammonia and nitrite are both highly toxic to all fish. I have written elsewhere on cycling, as have several other members; you may wish to review some of those threads; here's one of the later ones:

Sageo3000 04-23-2009 11:22 AM

Well, i just didn't put my fish in the tank right away. I rinsed off the new gravel. Then i treated the water with conditioner and let the filter run for about 24 hours. Then i put the fish in.

heyhi 04-23-2009 01:51 PM

You suppose to have a starter fish and let the water cycle for about a week ,before adding any other fish. If u put fish in already u might get lucky and they might survive. When I first got my tank I was clueless and petsmart told me 6 neon tetras were good starter fish. They all lived and 2 years later they are still alive.

The best advice I can give you is to research ur fish befor you buy em,and most pet stores dont know what they are talking about. It took me about a year to understand what I was doing and I lost alot of fish becuase I mixed fish I shouldent of.

research what you like. There alot more fish then you see in petsmart . Make sure the aggresiveness is compatible,the size,and type of water. some big fish eat small fish...some small fish will pick on big fish.

Change ur water at least once a month and clean the glass. When you change ur water use a sypher to clean the gravel out. All the food and crap goes in the gravel and messes up the water if u dont clean it.

Byron 04-23-2009 01:56 PM


Originally Posted by Sageo3000 (Post 189953)
Well, i just didn't put my fish in the tank right away. I rinsed off the new gravel. Then i treated the water with conditioner and let the filter run for about 24 hours. Then i put the fish in.

The aim is to lessen the shock and stress on the fish given what's done. The fish have been in the tank for five days. I realize fish are new for you, and with experience you will quickly get to know the danger signals that can be quite subtle at times. How are they acting? Are they swimming around "normally" or are they somewhat motionless, or hovering at the top or bottom or in the corners, etc? Is their respiration normal (gill movement) or rapid in your opinion?

If enough of the bacteria remained from the previous setup you might be able to weather this out, particularly as there are not many fish (hopefully the knife fish is small). If you are able to get to a good lfs (local fish store) I would recommend you buy a bottle of "Cycle' and immediately dose the tank (one capful per ten gallons, so you can make do with a small bottle that will treat minimum 30 g but enough for a second dose in a week or sooner is a good idea under the circumstances). This will significantly reduce the stress the fish are or soon will experience as the ammonia and nitrite peak as I explained in the other thread. During the cycling (which can last up to 8 weeks) don't overfeed, underfeed if anything, to avoid adding more bioload to the immature biological system. Partial water changes almost daily may be called for if the fish start showing severe signs of trouble from the ammonia or nitrite poisoning, and if you do, don't vacuum the gravel (that removes some of the good bacteria you are trying to establish) and don't clean or rinse the filter for 8 weeks minimum.

You should also get a good liquid (not test strips, they are less accurate) test kit that will test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. API make a good one recommended by many of us, a complete kit for these four tests, and individual ones although separately they will be more expensive. Test the water in the tank for ammonia and nitrite (forget about nitrate now, that is not important at this beginning stage), and post the results. Keep us posted on how it goes, we are all here to help, and several of us can offer suggestions as you explain things. Good luck.


watts300 04-23-2009 03:40 PM

You're molly will be fine in freshwater. I don't add any salt to my aquarium and my two do just fine. In fact one of them is still spitting out fry. The fry are healthy, too.

I don't know a thing about those fish that the above replies mention getting enormous, but I have another suggestion if it really gets that huge: Just give it back to the store you bought it from. I would first ask if they can give a <partial> refund. If not, I would just take the loss of a couple bucks and give it back.

It would reduce the load on the water and be safer for that fish since it evidently grows big.
Then just let the water cycle with what you have left. They're not joking though about frequent water changes. It's quick and easy so don't worry about it though -- not a big deal.

After every thing is all done, if you still want that last fish, pick one that doesn't grow as big... if you think you'll end up keeping the aquarium you have.

Sageo3000 04-23-2009 04:47 PM

I put 6 tsp of aquatic salt in the aquarium. HOpe that helps. All of the fish are swimming around a lot, the Danios and the gourami are really fast swimmers. they book it, the tetra is a bit slower. The molly is quick also. The knife mostly cruises, mostly. the Knife is about 3inches long. The crab is mia; do think a small crab can handle a 4 foot drop? I bought a water pump and a stone. I have that going.
Where in the aquarium should i put the pump hose and stone?

Sageo3000 04-24-2009 09:58 PM

Early today i put in two bottles of Tetra SafeStart. It is live bacteria. I took a sample of my water to the pet store and the guy said there was a lot of ammonia in the tank so i bought the two bottles of that stuff. He said not to feed my fish for a couple days. I think they should be fine.

Byron 04-25-2009 08:43 AM

Comments on your last two posts.

You shouldn't put salt into a freshwater aquarium except as a medication. While the mollies can live fine in freshwater or brackish (part salt) the other fish you have should not have salt in the water. This is going to be stresful on the fish that are already going through the cycling. I gave you a link to another post that mentioned: "Both salinity and pH affects a fish's growth rate because they affect how hard a fish's body must work to maintain its physiological equilibrium--that is, the complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of its blood steady, its tissues fed, and its immune system functioning. When pH and/or salinity stray outside the ideal range for any given species, the fishes' bodies must work harder and use more energy to maintain this equilibrium."

The ammonia is the first stage in the cycling process. The SafeStart will help the fish. Advice on not feeding is good, as I earlier said, underfeed rather than overfeed.

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