Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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girlofgod 08-22-2006 02:27 PM

total newB
Hi. I am new to the site, and i am new to freshwater trops as well...i recently started my tank (on sunday 8-20) and i just wanted to know if i am on the right track. My tank is 10 gallons, not sure of the dimensions, but i used tap water to fill it, which i later discovered may be a problem since the tap pH readings are off the chart. So needless to say, my pH readings for the aquarium are also off the chart. My gH is very soft, 0 for nitrites and nitrates. I have been having my water tested at Petsmart and also been getting advice from them. I was told to condition the water with something that removes chloramines and chlorine, which i did, and i also used cycle, and added some non-iodized salt. (1 tsp per 5 gallons?)I was also told to switch to using drinking/spring water to do water changes.

after my pH stayed abnormally high i tool some water in and had it tested and was told to use pH regulator, which did NOT work, so i went back today and they gave me 3 danios to try. They said it would help cycle the tank and bring the pH down. I want to eventually add platys and Angels, but i am told to wait about a month.

Am i on the right track or am I running around in circles?

Thanks in advance.


Hawkfish 08-22-2006 02:43 PM

Hello girlofgod! I actually am a pet care specialist at PetsMart and I would say that you are on the right track. It is strange to em that your PH would remain so high I would think it would go down after a while. Danios are a good idea to try and get the tank cycling and I would say about a month is a good idea. I don't know if you will ahev enough space to add angels though because 3 danios and a couple mollies is about all it can take. I think the angels would go after the danios anyway so you could always get a bigger aquarium if need be. By the way as I said i work for petsmart and it is nice to see people who are aware of what they are doing. sometime I feel like the only smart person at my store :shock: is that egotistical!? well i'm new here too so I hope to see you around plus now you don't have to drive all the way to petsmart to talk to someone! :D

SimplySplendid 08-22-2006 02:54 PM

Hi Bri,
Welcome to our community. Glad to have you. :)
First of all, you really should get your own test kit. Not everyone at pet stores (especially big chains like Petsmart) know what they're doing.
Also you really can't have angels in a 10-gallon. They will outgrow the tank in no time at all. Stick with small community fish like neon tetras or small bottom dwellers like corydoras. Also a popular choice are common plecos but stay away from these as they can easily grow more than 6 inches long.
Good luck with the tank!


girlofgod 08-22-2006 03:05 PM

hi! thanks for the info! i really only want one angel...and eventually i will upgrade to a larger tank...and i do have my own test kit. but i seem to be going through it very quickly as i am in a hurry for my water to balance out! LOL! any more advice would be appreciated.


Nick 08-22-2006 03:28 PM

Hi and welcome to
It does seem like your on the right track. Just a few things I would like to say. You said you put some conditioner in to get the chlorine and chloramine out, good job! Now...I'm guessing you have the filter and heater connected? With the tank temperature at about 75-80 degrees. When thats done, which i assume it is, you MUST cycle the tank. Which you are with 3 danios. Petsmart did good on getting you those fish as they are very hardy for cycling a tank w/ fish.. Here is a short summary of what cycling with fish is. The fish in the tank poop, and the poop turns ins AMMONIA ( which is VERY toxic in the tank, this is why you cycle the tank to get it out ), where there is ammonia, there is nitrite, nitrite is another very toxic thing in the tank that will kill the fish. The only thing that kills AMMONIA and NITRITE is bacteria in the tank. After a little while bacteria will form colonies in your tank and kill/eat the ammonia/nitrite which than turns into NITRATE which is less less less harmful in your tank. After monitering the tank's water stats ( mainly ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) and they are at AMMONIA 0, NITRITE 0, and NITRATE UNDER 20, your ready to start adding fish. Only when these stats are consistence.

About the angels, this is a NO NO! They at least need 30 gallons, and will eventually maybe outgrow that. Get fish like tetras, cardinals, neons ( when the tank is done cycling ) and mollies , platy's. I could go on but you get the drift.

Hope this helps you out a lot. If you have any questions just ask, because cycling can be very confusing to newcomer's to the hobby.

Nick :D

girlofgod 08-22-2006 08:45 PM

well, i am actually a studyer/reader and love to research stuff before i do it, so i am very familiar with the cycling process and related stuff. i appreciate the explanation though, alot of the times the explanations are so wordy you cant understand them! =) so you think it would be unwise to start with even a small angel and move to a larger tank when it grows?

<3 bri

Nick 08-22-2006 08:51 PM

Yes I-M-O it would be unwise to put an angel in there and move to a bigger tank. Because:
a) Angels like to be in @ least a pack of 3, so just having 1 wouldnt do.
b) When you say " I will just move them to a bigger tank ", not so easy because it can cause stress to the fish which you dont want at all.
c) Having it alone also can have it nip at other fish and be aggressive.

Hope this helps.


joeshmoe 08-22-2006 08:57 PM

Petsmart has some good fish but the people dont no what there doing. I got all my fish from petsmart but the'll make u go backwards. I've seen some crazy people that work there.

Nick 08-22-2006 09:00 PM

Lol...well at least when i go to petsmart I on what the heck im talking about.
When I went to buy my 2 clown loaches she was asking me what size of tank and if i knew they got big. And than she told me they would eat my neon tetra's later on when they get big. And if i have hiding spots. IM JUST LIKE SHUT UP WOMAN I KNOW WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT! lol hee hee

joeshmoe 08-22-2006 09:04 PM

lol same here they told me to buy some clowns for my 10 GAL! :P

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