Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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wdrummond 09-11-2007 03:11 AM

Terminology and General Help Please?
 
Ok I am new to the whole aquarium keeping thing and I feel I am spinning round and round at the moment with all the different terms being thrown around.

Basically my tank consists of:
55L (not Gallons, metric in Australia!)
one internal filter (sponge and carbon chips)
one external (hangs on the side, filter wool and plastic sheet with holes)
air pump (flexible air stone)
Glass Heater

Fish include:
2 Angel Fish
2 Dwarf Gourami
6 Neon Tetras
6 Guppies
1 Pictus Catfish (small, spotted with long whiskers)
1 Bristle Nose Catfish
2 Clown loaches (small)

Abot 6 plants, new (old ones did not grow, looked terrible)

Ok basically i change 1/3 of the water every fortnight and clean the filters in the water at the same time.

The light stays on for 10 hours a day, as soon as that is off i switch on the air pump. The air pump goes off before the light goes on. I feed once, sometimes twice a day (tetra flakes and sometimes frozen brine shrimp).

Aside from getting some general advice, can someone please answer the following questions:
1) I was told adding some drift wood into one of the filters will help to lower the ph to more neautral (normally quite high)

2) Any tips to improve the growth of my plants, have added fertilizer etc, nothing seems to help. When I first got my tank the plants grew like crazy.

3) What is a CO2 diffuser and do i need one?

4) When cleaning, should i suction through the gravel every fortnight or some, someone told me that all that sediment i dig up is necessary for the plants.

5) All that fish poo, does it dissolve natrually or is there something i should to to help things along?

6) Do Ineed snails?

The fish seem happy and healthy enough, really bright and vibrant.

I know this seems long winded but finding good help here is quite hard.

Thanks for your help

Lupin 09-11-2007 04:04 AM

Re: Terminology and General Help Please?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wdrummond
Ok I am new to the whole aquarium keeping thing and I feel I am spinning round and round at the moment with all the different terms being thrown around.

Basically my tank consists of:
55L (not Gallons, metric in Australia!)
one internal filter (sponge and carbon chips)
one external (hangs on the side, filter wool and plastic sheet with holes)
air pump (flexible air stone)
Glass heater

Fish include:
2 Angel Fish
2 Dwarf Gourami
6 Neon Tetras
6 Guppies
1 Pictus Catfish (small, spotted with long whiskers)
1 Bristle Nose Catfish
2 Clown loaches (small)

Abot 6 plants, new (old ones did not grow, looked terrible)

Ok basically i change 1/3 of the water every fortnight and clean the filters in the water at the same time.
I would suggest increasing the frequency of tank maintenance by doing a water change twice or thrice a week with over 50% water replaced considering your stocklist.

The light stays on for 10 hours a day, as soon as that is off i switch on the air pump. The air pump goes off before the light goes on. I feed once, sometimes twice a day (tetra flakes and sometimes frozen brine shrimp).

Aside from getting some general advice, can someone please answer the following questions:
1) I was told adding some drift wood into one of the filters will help to lower the ph to more neautral (normally quite high)
There is no need to fiddle with your pH. I would suggest leaving it as it is.

2) Any tips to improve the growth of my plants, have added fertilizer etc, nothing seems to help. When I first got my tank the plants grew like crazy.
What lighting are you using? How many watts? What plants do you have? Stick with low-lighting plants if you wish to keep plants that are undemanding. Javan ferns, Javan moss and anubias to name a few.

3) What is a CO2 diffuser and do i need one?
You do not need one unless you wish to achieve a heavily lush growth of plants.

4) When cleaning, should i suction through the gravel every fortnight or some, someone told me that all that sediment i dig up is necessary for the plants.
Always vacuum everything that you can everytime you od a water change. I have suggested the plants above that will not need to be planted to the substrate.

5) All that fish poo, does it dissolve natrually or is there something i should to to help things along?
They will decompose and should be vacuumed out of the tank immediately. Get an API liquid test kit to determine your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. You must make sure your ammonia and nitrites are zero with the nitrates not exceeding 40 ppm.

6) Do Ineed snails?
The choice is yours. They are not necessary.

The fish seem happy and healthy enough, really bright and vibrant.
I know it might be a long way before you are able to get a bigger tank but I would like to point out that in a 55 liters, the angelfish, pictus catfish and clown loaches will eventually outgrow the tank.;) Clown loaches in particularly prefer to be kept in a group with 3 as the minimum. 16 inches is about the maximum size they can grow in captivity and while they are slow growers, smaller tanks will definitely slow down their growth rate. 75g is the minimum tank size when keeping a small group of clowns.

I know this seems long winded but finding good help here is quite hard.

Thanks for your help

Welcome to Fishforum.com.:wave:

All answers and details to your questions are in green font.:)

Good luck.:)

wdrummond 09-11-2007 08:02 AM

thanks for the tips, im definately getting a larger tank asap

not sure what plants, just pointed and paid for them!


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