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-   -   Need propper water readings for three tanks. More information inside. (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-tropical-fish/need-propper-water-readings-three-tanks-26217/)

Zombie 07-21-2009 08:24 AM

Need propper water readings for three tanks. More information inside.
 
I need the proper readings for the tanks below;

Tank "A"

2 Balloon Mollies
2 Lyretail Mollies
2 Sailfin Mollies
2 Black Mollies
1 Silver Molly
1 Bristlenose Pleco
6 Corydoras
2 Kuhli Loaches

Tank "B"

1 Honey Gourami
2 Dwarf Gourami
1 Male Guppy
1 Kuhli Loach

Tank "C"

1 Male Betta
1 African Dwarf Frog
3 Tetras
3 Danios
1 Kuhli Loach

What would be the proper parameters for these stocking lists?
I will be purchasing the API liquid test kit soon as well as the undergravel filter for the Gourami tank and the gravel for all three. (Small, smooth, dark natural colored) I am starting the cycling soon and am uncertain about what the ph levels and all should read.

Thank you,
Charlene

Byron 07-21-2009 09:04 AM

I'm assuming by "proper readings" you mean the pH and hardness of the water. Livebearers (mollies, guppies, platys, swordtails) do best in slightly alkaline water (pH between 7.2 and 7.8) that is moderately hard. They do not do well at an acidic pH (below 7.0). The other fish you mention do best in soft and slightly acidic water, exact;ly opposite to livebearers. However, most of these fish will adapt to a certain extent, to a pH in the low 7's.

First thing is to know the pH and hardness of your tap water. It is always better to choose fish that are suited more to the water you can provide than choosing fish that will not and you have to alter the water chemistry. This latter is not always easy or inexpensive. Let us know your tap water values and we can suggest further.

Byron.

Zombie 07-21-2009 09:10 AM

I don't know the hardness of my tap water. I treat it with a liquid to get rid of chlorine and chloaramines. I live in St.Pete florida. I'm not sure if that helps. I've kept all of these fish before but I am just learning about cycling tanks. I only ever cycled one tank; for my best friend, Bubba. -pokes signature- For tank A, a lower ph of about 7.2 would be alright for these fish? They are all readily available EVERYWHERE in the LPS nearest me.

Byron 07-21-2009 11:58 AM

Ask your lfs what the ph and hardness are, they may know, and as I said before it is easier to go with what you have readily available.

Cycling a tank is quite a different matter. If you want a summary, one of us can provide it. There is a sticky on here somewhere about cycling.

Zombie 07-21-2009 12:20 PM

A summary would be wonderful.
As for tank b, it'll be

1 honey or dwarf gourami (undecided)
2 sparklilng gourami
1 male guppy
1 kuhli loach

I was multi tasking and not paying attention.

Byron 07-21-2009 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombie (Post 216880)
A summary would be wonderful.
As for tank b, it'll be

1 honey or dwarf gourami (undecided)
2 sparklilng gourami
1 male guppy
1 kuhli loach

I was multi tasking and not paying attention.

Here's a link to the full story: Aquarium Nitrogen cycle and cycling. Methods for ammonia, nitrite removal.

In summary, fish produce ammonia (through respiration, urine, excrement) as does decaying plant or animal matter (including fish food uneaten). Ammonia is highly toxic to all fish. A bacteria called nitrosomonas converts ammonia to nitrite; nitrite is also toxic although slightly less so than ammonia. A second bacteria called nitrospira (and possibly nitrobacter) convert nitrite to nitrate which is harmless except at high levels (more in a minute).

Nitrosomonas and nitrospira only appear when their food source appears, ammonia and nitrite respectively. But it takes time. When a new tank is set up, ammonia must be added (a hardy fish or two, fish food left to decay, pure ammonia, shrimp meat...) and usually within 5-9 days the nitrosomonas will appear. Once they start producing nitrite, the nitrospira bacteria will also appear within 4-8 days. The daily test for ammonia will show the ammonia rising and then begin to fall (as the bacteria take hold) and then the same with nitrite. Once both ammonia and nitrite have spiked and then fallen to "0" and stay there for several consecutive days, the tank is cycled for the bioload it contains at that time. During this cycling process, fish in the tank are under stress, and the more fish the worse; they can be killed outright. There are ways to relieve this stress; adding a healthy bacteria colony from an existing established mature tank (using filter media unwashed, gravel, even plants, wood and rocks) is one, another is using biological products like "Stability" (Seachem) or "Cycle" (Hagen). But the cycle still has to go through the motion, and the fewer fish in the tank the better.

Nitrate is required by plants (one reason plants in an aquarium are a help), some by anaerobic bacteria, and the majority we remove with regular weekly partial water changes.

It is your choice how you cycle (hardy fish or fishless). There has to be a regular supply of ammonia, or the nitrosomonas bacteria will die back, and similar for the nitrospira if there is not a steady supply of nitrite. I prefer using fish to cycle a tank. Following the "seeding" mentioned above (established tank stuff and Stability or Cycle) works well as the fish provide the continuous ammonia. And once the tank is cycled, adding new fish creates more ammonia and the bacteria need time to multiply to handle it anyway, so it is much the same thing in miniature. The trick is to get the bacteria established and then keep them going.

Zombie 07-21-2009 06:02 PM

I am looking to do a fishless cycle. There will be plants and very possibly wood in the tank. Should I bring this board back to life as I begin the cycling process? It will be a while.

Byron 07-21-2009 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombie (Post 216966)
I am looking to do a fishless cycle. There will be plants and very possibly wood in the tank. Should I bring this board back to life as I begin the cycling process? It will be a while.

Yes, good thinking. Byron.


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