Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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girlofgod 09-08-2006 06:55 PM

okay, this is for my mom, not me...anyways...she has had her 10 gal tank set up for about a week and a half now, she added 3 fish the day after (all but one died...tiger barbs and a neon) then she got a molly and some platys...and i gave her a swordtail. her molly died. her platy and molly had babies (6 survived) so now there is a total of 6 large fish (2 danios, 2 platys, 1 sword, and a barb) and 6 babies. i know this is overstocked, especially for a cycling tank...but she won't get rid of them...

she recently(2 days ago) had her water tested at lfs and they told her her ammonia was off the charts so she decided to do frequent water changes to bring the levels down so the babies wouldnt die. she purchases her water from lfs and i believe it is RO water. she now has very cloudy green water (algae blooms) and i am wondering what advice to give her as far as:

1. how many, and how often should you do water changes while cycling?

2. how do you know when your tank has cycled?

3.what should she do about her algae?

tank water readings are as follows:
gh:very soft



Lupin 09-08-2006 08:09 PM

1. You don't do water changes until you receive a reading of very nigh nitrates in which about 80% water change is carried out. However with fish, you have to maintain zero ammonia and nitrites by water changes as both are toxic to the fish.

2. With fish, you have to just maintain zero ammonia and nitrites as said above. For fishless cycle, if you continuously receive daily in the end of cycle zero ammonia and nitrites, then tank is cycled.

3. Green floating algae. You need to blackout your tank by covering everything to preven penetration of light which will only increase algal growth. UV sterilizers will help but that gadget is very expensive IMO.
As you have fish, daphnia may not even help as the fish will only eat the daphnia. Daphnia tend to consume the floating algae thus they fatten up easily and are more nutritious at that. :nicefish:

girlofgod 09-08-2006 08:36 PM

well, im a little confused as to what your answer was...what should she do now? keep doing the water changes? her tank isnt cycled...and she already has fish, so she cant fishless cycle at this point...the only way to get rid of the algae is to cover the tank? ive never heard of that before...


Lupin 09-08-2006 08:39 PM

Darken the tank of course by about 3 days by covering or protecting it from light penetration.
Light just encourages algal growth.

girlofgod 09-08-2006 08:40 PM

it will completely go away then? what about the flourescent light? should be turned off as well?


Lupin 09-08-2006 08:43 PM

Turn off everything that has lights.

SKAustin 09-08-2006 08:45 PM

Covering the tank starves the algae of light. it will work. But you should seek out the source of the nitrates that are feeding the algae bloom. are there any live plants in the tank? any hiding fish corpses? I wouls also reccommend purchasing the test kits and testing the water yourself. I dont trust most LFS's enough to let them test my water. also, have her stop feeding the fish for a few days, then reduce the rations and feeding times. unconsumed food is a big contributor to similar problems. any food placed in the tank should be consumed within 30 seconds. if it lasts any longer, reduce the rations.

girlofgod 09-08-2006 08:45 PM

and how do you maintain 0 ammonia and nitrates WHILE cycling with fish if you arent supposed to do water changes? im a little confused...

girlofgod 09-08-2006 08:47 PM

and why would you change so much water all at once? 80%? thats almost ALL of the water...i've heard you never change more than 50%...and only for emergencies...i thought the stard amount was 25% after cycled, and if you do changes once a month...10% if you do them every week...


Lupin 09-08-2006 08:49 PM

It's nitrites, not nitrates.
By doing water changes in case you received high readings of ammonia and nitrites, you are cancelling out the ammonia and nitrites.

Large water changes never hurt at all. You'll realize that even discus breeders change almost 100% of the water daily. This will put the water quality in tiptop condition. If you don't do water changes for a long time, the wastes will already have accumulated thus deteriorating the water quality and causing the fish to try surviving in borrowed time.

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