Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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julialovesgouramis 05-11-2011 08:16 PM

Hi, new and need some water change advice.
Hi everybody,

Newbie aquarium owner here, set up a fifteen gallon aquarium about two weeks ago, added water conditioner,

fake plants and a hideaway, sprinkled some fish food in there and left it running for about two weeks until I put

5 tiger barbs and two dwarf gourami in it two days ago. My filter is an older model that uses a sponge and a bag of

charcoal and my heater keeps the temperature around 26-28. Hopefully I've done everything right so far, what I need to

know next is how often do I change the water and how much do I remove? I have a proper syphon for the water changes.

Also, the only chemicals that I have used so far is the water conditioner that removes cholrine, chloromine and coats and

protects scales, should I be using anything else? Any help would be thoroughly appreciated.


badxgillen 05-12-2011 12:20 AM

hello and welcome to the far as water changes some will tell you when you peramters change for the worse but i am a believer in religeous weekly water changes..about 25-30 percent..and you should be fine with the water conditioner you have...there are other products out there that boast nitrate and amonia reducing capabilities wich can be good with unexpected rises in unwanted disolved organics.any how see yah around.

Romad 05-12-2011 04:39 AM

I agree with the weekly water change of about 1/3. Good luck and welcome to TFK.

sik80 05-12-2011 04:51 AM

Do you have an ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kit such as the API master test? Once the tank has cycled (no more ammonia and nitrates present) I think the amount of water change needed is partly indicated by nitrate levels and how fast they go up > high nitrates means bigger water changes required, low nitrates > basic 25-30% change

No other chemicals are required other than water conditioner. Less chemicals is better for the fish

1077 05-12-2011 06:13 AM

Unless the tank was fed fish food each day for the two weeks that it was left to run, Then I would be concerned that the tank has not cycled and daily 30 to 50 percent water changes may be needed if ammonia levels begin to increase followed by nitrites.
I would monitor ammonia and nitrites daily with test kit,even cheap strips will give you a ball park idea.

julialovesgouramis 05-12-2011 02:12 PM


What I neglected to mention is that 3 days ago i had a dwarf flame gourami, a beta(which I removed from the tank when it began chasing the gourami and put back into his beta bowl) 5 barbs and a corycat...last night the corycat was found dead(his body is in a baggie in my freezer)...this morning the beta was found dead in his fish bowl(his body was flushed down the toilet as he was way past warranty)...they both had a yellowish sore spot on their bodies that developed out of nowhere. After the corycat died and before the beta I added a honey gourami (thinking that the issue was just a bad corycat) I have 2 gouramis and 5 barbs which all seem to be fine, are swimming normally and have no sores (I checked with a magnifying glass). What do I do? What could this be? I am heading out to the petstore with the body of the corycat and a water sample (the beta was out of warranty so he was flushed..) The beta lived happily and healthily in the 15 gallon tank for 2 weeks while the tank was cycling, before he lived in the15g tank, he lived happily and healthily for 3 weeks in a beta bowl...could this be a fungus or disease caused by the corycat? Or does this all point to my tank? As I mentioned I'm headed to the pet store soon with the dead corycat and a bottle of my tank water, hopefully I'll get some answers at the store, but I would welcome a second opinion from you guys.


brownmane 05-12-2011 09:48 PM

Wellcome to TFK. You'll find a lot of helpful and knowledgeable people here.

Not sure what exactly happened to the corycat, but some of them do better in a well established tank. 2-3 week aged tank may not be established enough for the corycat. Also, to my understanding (I'm fairly new to fishkeeping), the corycats do better in groups. The group helps reduce the stress a single fish may experience being on its own.

The tropical fish profiles are a great source of information for many different types of fish and this is where I got the info on the corycats. I just started my tank last October and I have 2 panda cories (originally had 5, but 3 died) and 3 orange laser stripe cories. All are currently doing well, but I do often refer to the fish profiles just to remind myself of what I need to do for my fish.

If you do like the corycats, I would suggest waiting a bit before adding them to your aquarium so that the biological filter is aged and the tank has cycled. The cories are fun. Good luck.

jeaninel 05-13-2011 12:37 AM

Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? If the tank is only a couple weeks old I'm betting it's still cycling. Also there's was quite a lot of fish added at once which could contribute to an ammonia spike. Ammonia and nitrites are toxic to fish. You really should invest in a good liquid test kit (not the dip strips) so you can test for ammonia and nitrites to know where you are in the cycling process. But taking a sample to the LFS is a start. If your tank is still cycling you'll need to do daily water changes. Once your tank is fully cycled and you have a reading of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some reading for nitrates (<20ppm recommended) then weekly water changes of anywhere from 25-50% (depending on your fish load) will do. Let us know what the test results are.

Here's a link to an article about the aquarium nitrogen cycle

I recommend this test kit
Aquarium Water Testing: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit

Teishokue 05-15-2011 04:50 AM

most likely the cory died from poisoning. since they are scaleless fish they will tend to go first. finish your nitrogen cycle, prepare for dead fish and no fish. dont buy anymore fish until the cycle has FINISHED. even if they all die. just feed it food till it finish. if they all die, act as if you are feeding an invisible fish lol... im serious too.... till the cycle has finished. do your water changes. invest in a test kit. read up on fish before you buy them. ie. cores are schooling fish. the ammount of water removed depends on the owner, some prefer 10% per day others do 35%. keep some ammona/nitrite for bacteria to feed on while eliminating some. thats all there is too it. until a finished cycle.

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