Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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aw76 06-16-2009 09:26 PM

panicking overzealous newbie
 
Hi all,

Here's my situation....

went to a house party the other night where the tenants were moving out and thus getting rid of all their stuff...i ended up going home with a 10g aquarium in the wee hours of the morning,...

not having had fish before and being surrounded by drunks and others who obviously knew nothing about fish tanks, im sure you can imagine i didnt exactly do everything that is required when moving a tank (with fish) and setting it up again....

the tank had 2 cory catfish, 1 red molly, 2 zebra danios

heres what i did: (i did do some quick internet research for a few tips, but not enough!)

-drained about 80% of the water (and stupidly put it down the drain)

-moved the tank with fish in it to my house

-next morning i put the fish into a glass jar while i cleaned the aquarium thoroughly (garden hose and scraper, no soap)

-filled the tank back up with dechlorinated tap water, and added the 20%ish or so of the old water as well

-rinsed the rocks and plastic sponge like filter, and changed the carbon filter

-reintroduced the fish into the tank -- everyone appeared happy

then i decided i needed bulbs for the lights, and some live plants , so i headed to the pet store for those two items only....as can imagine, i ended up coming home with some plants, the bulbs, AND a male and female siamese fighting fish, a male and female molly....

i added the plants and floated the bags to acclimatize temp before adding the fish (not the water they came in)...

was so interesting and cool to watch the dynamics and relationships in the aquarium unfold.....im hooked!!!so wicked....but now i have been doing some research into things, and have just done some water tests, and am a bit freaked out by the possibility that my seemingly wonderful tank (they all seem to be doing great) may be in jeopardy...

my ammonia level is at about .30 ish
nitrate - about 20
nitrite - not sure, the colour looks tan, which is not similar to any of the chart colours? almost looks like the 0 colour for the nitrate chart, but not exactly
hardness - 120
alkalinity - 180ish
and pH of 8.4

my water temp was about 26, but today is really warm, so is at about 28 right now...

i have done some reading on cycling and stuff now, and it is evident that i should have read that first before going balls out at the fish store....

what can i do now, to try and help these little guys from dying in a possible toxic environment?

please help, in only 2 days i have grown so attached to these lil guys, i think i will be traumatized if they start floatin......

thanks in advance for any suggestions or help.....

signed,
overeager idiot

Freddiesbuns 06-16-2009 10:35 PM

Have you put the male and female bettas in the 10g? If so, you need to separate them asap! They will fight and one is going to eventually kill the other. Bettas are loners by nature, they don't tolerate the other sex outside of spawning time.

Your tank will go through a cycling process that's for sure so you will need to do water changes often if you want to limit fish losses. Test your water daily, I'd say do a 30% water change every 2 days (that's what I did when my 10g's cycle got whacked and I lost no fish). It will make cycling longer 'though!

Products like Cycle can help although in my experience it didn't change much :/ Do you know anyone who has a fish tank? You could try 'seeding' your tank with gravel or filter media from a cycled (and healthy!) tank to hasten the cycling process

Don't beat yourself up too much, you're new to the hobby, you have everything to learn and it's normal to do mistakes at the beginning.

Tyyrlym 06-17-2009 09:42 AM

Believe me, the fact that you're actually trying to find out the best way to care for your fish puts you way ahead of about 90% of the fishkeepers out there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by aw76 (Post 205423)
-drained about 80% of the water (and stupidly put it down the drain)

-moved the tank with fish in it to my house

...umm yikes. Don't do that. I know it went fine and all but if you ever need to transport a fish tank again drain it first. Not keeping the water wasn't stupid, there's no benefit to it at all.

Quote:

then i decided i needed bulbs for the lights, and some live plants , so i headed to the pet store for those two items only....as can imagine, i ended up coming home with some plants, the bulbs, AND a male and female siamese fighting fish, a male and female molly....
The male and female bettas are a bad idea. You need to remove one and return it to the fish store. They are solitary animals intolerant of their own kind. They earned the fighting moniker honestly.

Quote:

i added the plants and floated the bags to acclimatize temp before adding the fish (not the water they came in)...
Very good.

Quote:

my ammonia level is at about .30 ish
Then you want to do a water change, I'd recommend a 50% one. Since it looks like you'll be cycling with fish it is important that this number be as low as you can possibly keep it. You need to test for ammonia daily and if you see ammonia at or above .25 you need to do a water change to get it back down again. The same thing goes for nitrites.

Quote:

and pH of 8.4
This is oddly high. I get my water from a limestone aquifer and my PH is only 8.0. I'd recommend finding a fish shop locally that will test water for you and have them test it.

Quote:

my water temp was about 26, but today is really warm, so is at about 28 right now...
Do you have a heater and a thermometer to keep in permanently? You'll need one. If you have a heater in the tank I'd recommend turning it down a bit. 27 degrees is about the highest you want to keep it, between 25 and 27 is about ideal for most tropical fish.

Quote:

what can i do now, to try and help these little guys from dying in a possible toxic environment?
Test the water daily and do water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels as low as you can and be patient. It's going to take a couple weeks to cycle.


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