Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mullinsd2 10-13-2009 07:42 PM

sw guy looking for help!
We have jus inherited a 55 gallon tank with 4 parrot cichlids. All of them are about 6-8 inches. I myself have little experience with frehwater tanks, but in the saltwater/ reef world (my speialty:smile:) that is an unacceptable ratio. The tank is my moms, so I am trying to help her out the best I can. So basically, we getthe tank home,and set it up. I tell her to keep 75 percent of the water (beneficial bacteria) and add new water (25 percent). This in effect is her first water change, and should help the fish. So the next day, the ammonia is really high, and I think I know why, but I need other people who have kept the fishes opinions. It had to be that the rocks in the bottom got mixed up and released excess ammonia into the tank causing an ammnia spike. So she did a 5 gallon water change last night, and I told her to check ammonia again in the morning. Ammonia was still high, so I did a 10 gallon water change about a half hour ago. We changed some of the filter pads, and added some ammonia chips to the media cartridge (idk if thats the right name, but it is just an extra filter for carbon, etc). So now that I have told you our story, i need everynes opinios on what to do! For example, should I continue to do water changes daily until ammonia decreases? Is this to many fish? I think it is..... all the info. u can give is APPRECIATED! thhank you

Twistersmom 10-13-2009 08:12 PM

I would continue with the water changes and try to keep the ammonia under .25 ppm.
With freshwater, nitrates are not much of a concern if kept under 40 ppm. What filter are you using? With freshwater, the filter and filter pads are what contains most of the bacteria you need. You should not change the filter pads out unless they are falling apart. If very dirty, clean the media off in removed tank water.
What kind of rocks are in the tank?

mullinsd2 10-13-2009 08:32 PM

Small pebbles? thats the best description I can give.... they are smooth on the surface. There is a filter for the extra media, and th regular filter. Idk what it is...... we got it used from someone else, but it has a biowheel, and a place for two filter cartridges. The two filter pads were filthy and old (falling apart like you suggested). THe tank had been running for two consecutive years until a few days ago when we broke it down and took it to its new location (only 15 mins away)

Rohland 10-13-2009 08:56 PM

just one thing. The bacteria in the tank is in the filter, substrate, decor ect. Not in the water like many believe. So you could do more water changes if needed. Also if the contents in the aquarium dried, like the filter pad or the substrate it could be that the bacteria died and is creating new stuff.

MoneyMitch 10-14-2009 01:07 AM

your tank is more than likely going through a cycle due to all the bac dieing off during the move as the person above said bac arent in the water but mostly in the filter media, gravel, decor and plants. which brings me to a idea. go out and buy some low light plants to help your tank cycle plants work wonders in the freshwater community. but make sure to get lowlight plants and you might wanna get root tabs too or even a liquid fert.

mullinsd2 10-14-2009 07:24 AM

makes sense! Thank for the help everyone, and I do think that the tank had enough time to dry out and kill any beneficial bacteria. Another waterchange is on the to-do list!

buzz4520 10-17-2009 12:44 AM

Not live plants!!!!! They shred live greens like a salad shooter!!!!!!!!

MoneyMitch 10-19-2009 02:31 AM


Originally Posted by buzz4520 (Post 258864)
Not live plants!!!!! They shred live greens like a salad shooter!!!!!!!!

only if you dont "properly" take care of them. they are just like any other plant out there they need to be maintained and trimmed or youll have crazy bits floating and clogging.

1077 10-19-2009 03:38 AM

I believe Buzz4520 is referring to parrotfish's propensity of eating plant materials and or algae.

southamericancichlidguy23 10-22-2009 05:12 PM

i like the driftwood with some i cant remeber the name its like grass whats it called moss or something it works great i have that in my tank growing on my driftwood easy to use and take care of

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