Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ShortFuse 10-04-2007 07:55 PM

A new, troubled tank
 
So it seems I have made some bad choices.

I bought the topfin 28 gallon setup, followed all the directions and let it run for a few days. I began reading some forums, this one and others, to learn a bit about fish before I bought some. I have had a betta for a few months now, and when I read that they can be put in a community tank I decided to find fish I could put with the betta.

I went to the fish store and figured most of the "tropical community" fish would be ok. I even talked to one of the guys working there a bit about what I wanted to do, but to no avail made some bad choices. I ended up getting 3 buenos aires tetra (which now I read online are fin nippers and are aggressive), 3 bleeding heart tetra and 2 dwarf gouramis (I forgot to see what kind)...one of the gouramis is a pretty bright red, so hes probably hopped up on color enhancers :(

I thought I had read that people have kept their betta with gouramis, but now that I think about it it may not have been the dwarf variety. Regardless, I am not even happy with how the tank is without the betta. The beunos aires tetra chase the bleeding hearts, and the red gouramis is a huge bully towards the blue. So the blue one basically hides in the top corner next to the heater until the red one decides to go invade the space. The blue one is now behaving very oddly like he is on his way out :(... Basically the guy at PetSmart assured me that any numbers of these fish could go together because I was asking about how many of x fish should I get, etc. I only got two gouramis because he told me it would be fine and I thought I was doing a good thing for the fish! What can I do? Will the aggression subside? Will all the fish stop hiding under the log thing I put in the aquarium?

All I wanted was a nice peaceful tank with happy fish, some nice plants, and my betta. I wouldn't have even bought these gouramis or those tetra if I knew it was going to be a problem! I should have listened to my gf and just got a dozen neon tetra lol...

Oh and I learned my lesson about trusting the PetSmart employees and will go in there again knowing what I want. Also, these fish are all in perfect healthy (besides the blue gourami), do you think they would take them back? (I know they will take back the gourami if he does die)

Lupin 10-05-2007 04:48 AM

Re: A new, troubled tank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ShortFuse
I went to the fish store and figured most of the "tropical community" fish would be ok. I even talked to one of the guys working there a bit about what I wanted to do, but to no avail made some bad choices. I ended up getting 3 buenos aires tetra (which now I read online are fin nippers and are aggressive), 3 bleeding heart tetra and 2 dwarf gouramis (I forgot to see what kind)...one of the gouramis is a pretty bright red, so hes probably hopped up on color enhancers :(

For a 28 gallons setup, you can go with a small group of 6-8 bleeding hearts. Please keep in mind that when keeping tetras, you should always keep 6 as the minimum. I'd replace the Buenos Aires tetras with more bleeding hearts instead.
Quote:

I thought I had read that people have kept their betta with gouramis, but now that I think about it it may not have been the dwarf variety.
I need pictures to determine your gourami species. Is it thick-lipped gourami(Colisa fasciata)? Honey gourami?
Quote:

Will the aggression subside? Will all the fish stop hiding under the log thing I put in the aquarium?
Do what I suggested above. Replace all your bullies with species that are proven more mellow than the others and provide plenty of plants as a means of hiding places for the ones bullied.
Quote:

do you think they would take them back? (I know they will take back the gourami if he does die)
Return and refund policies are different in every pet stores, even chain stores. Call them and ask about their policy.

ShortFuse 10-05-2007 05:36 AM

Re: A new, troubled tank
 
Quote:

For a 28 gallons setup, you can go with a small group of 6-8 bleeding hearts. Please keep in mind that when keeping tetras, you should always keep 6 as the minimum. I'd replace the Buenos Aires tetras with more bleeding hearts instead.
See, I basically asked the guy this question and his reply was its all the same just get however many you want. He said, "They just say keep them in numbers for humane reasons." ...I got 3 of each cuz I had heard of the number 6, but I didn't realize that different species would create a problem like this. Are the bleeding hearts generally a peaceful fish? Because I even observed all 6 of them messing with the stressed gourami. Those little buenos aires have quite the temper, I've also seen them nip after the red gourami a few times!

I will definitely return these bullies assuming the store will take them back alive and try to rehab the blue gourami back to health, since maybe he will be a peaceful fish. Should I even bother with 6 bleeding hearts, or return those as well and just get some neon tetra?

Also, the flake seems to sink really fast when I have the filter on because it moves a lot of water at the top of the tank. Do you guys generally turn your filter off for a few minutes when feeding so the food stays at the top? Obviously, I have no bottom feeders yet.

willow 10-05-2007 08:40 AM

hello,
in answer to your question about turning off
your filter,the answer would be no.
The only time i turn the filter off,is on water change
day.
Maybe feed a tiny bit at a time,so the fish eat it befor
it drops to the bottom of the tank,
you will end up with the surpless(sp) food rotting,
which will effect your water,and help increase the number of snails
if you have them.
:)

Lupin 10-05-2007 08:44 AM

Re: A new, troubled tank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ShortFuse
Are the bleeding hearts generally a peaceful fish? Because I even observed all 6 of them messing with the stressed gourami.

In my opinion, yes, but not with long-finned species including the gouramis unless you can provide plenty of plants. Tetras, in particular, are prone to fin nipping habits but some are even worse than the others. I wouldn't worry about it. What you need to worry is the fewer number which means less distraction within the group and more attraction towards pecking other fish instead, and insufficient number of hiding places if you really do have only few hiding places.
Quote:

Those little buenos aires have quite the temper, I've also seen them nip after the red gourami a few times!
One reason why I no longer keep them aside from a few other species including the serpaes, red-eyes and black skirts.
Quote:

Should I even bother with 6 bleeding hearts, or return those as well and just get some neon tetra?
It's up to you. Neons then if you still keep worrying about possible bullying.:)
Quote:

Also, the flake seems to sink really fast when I have the filter on because it moves a lot of water at the top of the tank. Do you guys generally turn your filter off for a few minutes when feeding so the food stays at the top? Obviously, I have no bottom feeders yet.
Yes, I do turn them off or simply feed them in an area away from the filters. Bottom feeders are not necessary at all. You can always vacuum the bottom.

ShortFuse 10-06-2007 01:41 AM

Ok, so I took Lupin's suggestion and things are going well so far *crosses fingers*

I took the dead Blue Dwarf Gourami (rip) back to PetSmart along with 3 live mean fish (Buenos Aires Tetra). I purchased 3 more Bleeding Heart Tetras, along with a new floating plant and one more mid-length plant. I will get some rocks or another piece of furniture at a later time as all of this costs money!

Anyways, I spent a few hours trying to setup the plants/furniture like I wanted it and then got the bright idea of adding my betta to the mix. I really wanted him to be in a filtered tank with proper bacteria (I hope this tank is cycling properly!)...and now there should be plenty of territory for these fish to claim. The Fire Red Dwarf Gourami (I checked what kind I bought when I went back) is pretty timid towards the Betta. Matter of fact, the Betta has gone up to nearly every fish in the tank and showed them whats up with his gills(Is that what they are?) flared as much as he could. He patrols the tank when he feels the need, but has pretty much claimed the top of the floating plant!

I'm going to add another dose of Stress Zyme per the directions (Dose on 1st, 7th and 14th day), which contains live bacteria. I tried to do a little vacuum today, but the vacuum wouldn't lift the rock up. By the time I even got a good amount of suction my bucket was full. So my next purchase is a 5 gallon paint bucket I will designate as my fish bucket and hopefully I can vacuum properly.

Finally, when I fed them the Betta got another huge meal for the day because the tetra didn't have the balls to come up for food and the Gourami only ate a little cuz he was scared of the Betta. I will feed them again tomorrow and hope it works out better. After like 5-10 minutes of the tetras not coming up and the gouramis barely eating, I ran the net through the water to pick up the remaining food. Next time I wont leave the food in there quite so long. It is likely that the 3 new tetra already ate today anyways.

To finish up this HUGE post, I will link some PICTURES! This is my first time taking fish tank pictures so I'm still figuring out what settings are best on my camera.

http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish <-- click here for all pictures

OLD SETUP:

http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/Old%20setup.jpg

NEW SETUP:

http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/New%20Setup.jpg


Make sure you check the link above though because I got a few cool pictures of the fish.

Oh, and I will be adding more fish in a week or so. I have not decided what yet, but it will hopefully attribute to a happy family. Probably some bottom feeders, maybe another school of small fish, and a female dwarf gourami. We'll see.[/img]

Lupin 10-06-2007 03:13 AM

Your new setup is a lot better than the old one and the shots look excellently taken.:)

Falina 10-06-2007 07:53 AM

Glad things are going better for you. Your new set up is much niver IMHO. :)

willow 10-06-2007 12:56 PM

well done,the plants look really nice.:)

ShortFuse 10-06-2007 04:36 PM

Well, things aren't as perfect as I had hoped...lots of bickering going on in this tank. The Betta feels the need to show everyone, particularly the dwarf, the size of his mouth all the time, but they seem unimpressed. Unfortunately, the tetra are nipping at the Dwarf as well, so he is getting it from both sides. He still has a healthy appetite, but just goes up and down the glass all the time like he wants to get out. Do fish sometimes fin nip because they are hungry? The Tetra basically refuse to go to the surface to get any flakes and catch a few that sink because of the other fish. I think that I don't like tetra anymore, and probably will never put them in a community tank in the future, unless they are neons. And of course...PICTURES:

http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/Big%20mouth.jpg

http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/Run%20Gourami.jpg

http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/Big%20mouth2.jpg
http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/Ignoring%20Betta.jpg
http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/chasing.jpg
http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/chasing2.jpg
http://shortfuse.no-life.com/Fish/peaceful.jpg

P.S. The Betta and Gourami have not fought yet. And I don't feel that bad for the gourami after he killed the blue dwarf gourami.


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