Will more filtration help?
My 29 gallon tank just doesn't seem right, so I have a few questions for those of you more experienced with community tanks.
1) I have 5 cories and 10 guppies as of right now. I plan to add 2 gouramis later, but I want to get rid of 5 female guppies first. I seem to see lots of tanks that have this many fish, but mine seems to be very unstable. Is 5 cories and 10 guppies really overstocked right now? Every time I clean the filter it seems the water quality deteriorates...
2) My water never seems quite crystal clear and my fish just look kind of pale. I need a new ammonia test because this one is very innacurate, but I just can't see why it would still be cycling. I did a fishless cycle on it for like 6 months before I even added fish (and I used a lot of ammonia daily and it stayed cycled) and it still went through a mini-cycle when I added fish but that is over now. Do I just need more filtration? I am getting a new bigger filter to test this theory because mine makes tons of noise now and it's right near my bed. I plan to run them side by side for at least 2 weeks before making the switch. Do you think a bigger filter will help? I'm just so used to having betta tanks that stay cycled even with hardly any filtration that maybe I underestimated the effect of filtration on a community tank :-?.
Is there anything else that I may be forgetting to think about? The tank is heavily planted so one would think that would help the water quality...
I'm going to test my water again right now. I'll update this with today's readings.
Ok, here they are.
ammonia: between 0 and .25; but this test has given false ammonia readings before so I wouldn't count on it's validity...
I use an Emperor280 on a 29 gal. at work and an AQUATECH 40/60 on another 29 gal. The aquatech found at Wlmart is the quieter of the two but both do a great job.
Kim, what kind of filter do you have now? How are you cleaning the filter? I think your 29 gallon should be able to handle 5 cories and 10 guppies.
I have a "Bio System Power Filter & Oxy Surface Skimmer" filter that I got at drsfostersmith.com. But, the impeller makes too much noise so I got another filter, an Aqueon 30, to replace it with today. The new one has a 200 gph flow rate as opposed to the old one's 160 gph flow rate. It's quieter because the motor goes into the water.
Normally, I clean the filter pads by swishing them in old water when they get dirty. Should I do this every week instead? The reason that I held off for a while was because the tank was new and I didn't want to create a mini-cycle by washing them too soon (which happened anyway when I cleaned them for the first time).
The new filter makes much more current which I always think is a bad thing because of my bettas, but the fish seem to enjoy it. They swim in it and play a little, then go to the other side of the tank where it is quieter. So I'm guessing that the current is ok?
Guppies love current as long as it's not too much. Your filter is fine. Your readings look good. I would look at their diet as a reason for the faded colors. How much do you vary it? On my community tank, here is my feeding schedule:
Day 1: 3pm- TetraMin Flakes 9pm- TetraColor Flakes
Day 2: 3pm- TetraMin Flakes 9pm- Dried Brine Shrimp
Day 3: 3pm- TetraMin Flakes 9pm- TetraColor Flakes
Day 4: 3pm- TetraMin Flakes 9pm- Dried Bloodworms
And the cycle repeats
Obviously you don't have to do exactly that. I don't always stick to it 100% either, but that is my planned schedule and my fish stay very colorful and vibrant.
Hmm, now that you mention it I have held off feeding them their normal frozen food because I didn't want any excess ammonia in the tank. I think it's safe now, so I'll resume and see what happens. They have been getting Tetramin Crisps, and Wardley Tropical Flakes, as well as picking on some of the cory's sinking pellets and algae around the tank.
The good news is that the water does appear clearer and the fish have more color this morning, so I think the higher filtration is helping. We'll see.
Thanks everyone :)
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