Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Redside 05-02-2009 01:07 PM

New 20g after 15 years without
 
It's been 15yrs since I had a tank and decided it was time again. What I have is:

Hardware:
20g Topfin standard
Topfin 20 HOB filter
Fluval 205 filter
100w heater
1 CoraLife 65w 6700k light
1 15w 18000k Power Glo light
Substrate for plants, 1" to 2" depth
Building CO2 generator and will bubble through filter

Assorted plants (?)

Fish:
10 Neon Tetra (Jumbo?)
2 Zebra Danio, 1 male, 1 female

After cycling tank using a friends bio mass as starter all was joyful. Water was within parameters.
Fish are acclimated and appear healthy and happy.
Feed once a day with Tetra Color crisps and once a week with bloodworm's.

I started adding rocks this past week and suddenly my Nitrite went up to 5.0, Nitrate up to 10. I use a API Master test kit.
I cleaned and soaked rocks one at a time. Rinsing between washes with hot clear water.
Could the type of rock have done this?
I put in Obsidian, granite, and Petrified wood.

I removed all carbon from the filters.
Water changes of 15% to 25% biweekly.
With the Fluval 205 I get water recirculation 5 times an hour, more or less.
Every couple of days I decrease the water flow for the day and then increase it back to full throttle. An old timer at the local store says that this gives my fish's what its like in the wild with rains increasing water flows of their home waters. Who knows, they seem to still shoal the same and seems to be of no harm.

So, thats me and my fish's story. Hope to have some photos soon. Any comments and/or advise is always welcome.

Redside 05-02-2009 05:37 PM

Found the camera
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hpe this worked

Byron 05-02-2009 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redside (Post 192286)
It's been 15yrs since I had a tank and decided it was time again. What I have is:

Hardware:
20g Topfin standard
Topfin 20 HOB filter
Fluval 205 filter
100w heater
1 CoraLife 65w 6700k light
1 15w 18000k Power Glo light
Substrate for plants, 1" to 2" depth
Building CO2 generator and will bubble through filter

Assorted plants (?)

Fish:
10 Neon Tetra (Jumbo?)
2 Zebra Danio, 1 male, 1 female

After cycling tank using a friends bio mass as starter all was joyful. Water was within parameters.
Fish are acclimated and appear healthy and happy.
Feed once a day with Tetra Color crisps and once a week with bloodworm's.

I started adding rocks this past week and suddenly my Nitrite went up to 5.0, Nitrate up to 10. I use a API Master test kit.
I cleaned and soaked rocks one at a time. Rinsing between washes with hot clear water.
Could the type of rock have done this?
I put in Obsidian, granite, and Petrified wood.

I removed all carbon from the filters.
Water changes of 15% to 25% biweekly.
With the Fluval 205 I get water recirculation 5 times an hour, more or less.
Every couple of days I decrease the water flow for the day and then increase it back to full throttle. An old timer at the local store says that this gives my fish's what its like in the wild with rains increasing water flows of their home waters. Who knows, they seem to still shoal the same and seems to be of no harm.

So, thats me and my fish's story. Hope to have some photos soon. Any comments and/or advise is always welcome.

The nitrite reading of 5 is serious. When was this tank set up? If you tested for ammonia during the cycling, when did it fall to "0"?

Rocks would not cause the nitrite to rise, that is a biological action caused by fish, and assuming no new fish have been added I'm assuming this is the cycling process, hence the questions. Otherwise, something has occurred that needs to be immediately addressed.

Nitrate at 10 is fine; 40 ppm is usually considered the end of the "safe" zone although many fish can tolerate nitrate above that, but normally it should remain 10-20 ppm. Partial water changes every week of minimum 25% to 40% will achieve this in a stable environment.

Redside 05-02-2009 07:55 PM

I should be more careful when posting and reread my own writing. The Nitrite should have read 0.5 not 5.0.
The tank is 2 months past the cycling and I have only added one more fish, a Clown Loach.
I have started using plant fertilizer, API Leaf Zone- 10ml a week.
I did a 50% water change this afternoon.
Cleaned the sponge filters. Vacuumed the substrate, neither of which have been done since the cycle finished. My very bad.

Byron 05-03-2009 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redside (Post 192371)
I should be more careful when posting and reread my own writing. The Nitrite should have read 0.5 not 5.0.
The tank is 2 months past the cycling and I have only added one more fish, a Clown Loach.
I have started using plant fertilizer, API Leaf Zone- 10ml a week.
I did a 50% water change this afternoon.
Cleaned the sponge filters. Vacuumed the substrate, neither of which have been done since the cycle finished. My very bad.

That's not so bad, good to hear, but once a tank is cycled there should never be ammonia or nitrite readings above zero, never. If there is, it means something has occurred to upset the biological equilibrium. And I suspect I know what in this case--the filter cleaning. I'll offer a few suggestions to avoid this; as I don't know your level of experience, please excuse me if some of this is basic, but it is important that we understand our systems and I don't want to leave out something.

Filter "cleaning" should never be more than simply rinsing the media in water taken from the tank (so as not to kill the good bacteria that have colonized the media which tap water with chlorine would do), and only when it really needs it. You don't want the water flow through the media to be plugged or slowed, so the rinsing is only necessary to prevent this. Periodic checks will help you establish how long between rinsings your setup will last. The media should not be replaced with new until it literally falls apart (foam-type pads) or is past its usefulness (rock-type media as in canister filters). Filter replacement should only be done on its own, never at the same time as the water change (including substrate vacuuming) or adding new fish, both of which place an increased load on the biological system that should be left as stable as possible.

Not vacuuming the substrate during cycling is good (it will remove some of the bacteria you are attempting to establish) but once cycling is complete (anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending upon the specifics of the aquarium, you know because daily ammonia and nitrite will be "0" for several consecutive days) the substrate should be gently vacuumed with each water change. And on the partial water changes, these should be every week. Changing less water more often is preferable to changing more water less often; they are not the same in effect. Toxic substances (urine from the fish) build up in the water, as do nitrates, and the only way to remove these is with the water changes. They also provide water with replenished minerals and trace elements good for the fish and the plants. Weekly changes of a minimum of 25% up to 40% or even 50% are ideal. Your fish and plants will respond positively.

And the reason for more often is to preserve a biological balance or stability in the water. A fish must 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. If the water parameters remain fairly constant, the fish has an easy job of this; but if things like the pH or salinity stray outside the ideal range for any given species or fluctuate, the fishes' bodies must work harder and use more energy to maintain this equilibrium [paraphrased from an article in TFH Dec 2006]. Making the fish work this hard is stressful, leading to disease vulnerability and even death sometimes.

Last word on the clown loach. This fish can grow to 12 inches, although in aquaria it often reaches 6-7 inches only, due to being in too small a space (I won't go into the internal problems this causes a fish). A 20g may seem to suit a 2 inch clown loach now, but it is not going to suit it longterm. As others on this forum have suggested in similar situations, you may want to see if the store will take it back (often they will once you explain the lack of room as it grows). I have read others comments that a 6-foot tank is minimum for a clown loach, and in addition they are social shoaling fish that should be kept in groups, so it is going to be less happy on its own and that leads to...yes, stress and problems.

Hope this helps a bit.

Byron.


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