my husband has never started a fish tank before. so, the day after i set up the tank, my husband went out and stocked it for me. when he called the pet store they told him to bring in a sample of the water and they would test it. he did so, when i came home there were TONS of fish in my tank! none of them seem to be having issues but i am concerned for them. i had a tank that was just running for about two weeks, it was completely empty and i used the gravel and plants from this tank, along with the air stone from this tank in my new one. figured my plants had already adjusted to that tank it might help them with a new one. what can i do to keep them from becoming to stressed out? i don't want to harm the fish in any way but the pet store will not take them back either. (i called and asked):cry:
also yesterday i found a tank outside that was left for the trash! IT STILL HAD FISH IN IT! i quickly put all the fish into bags and let them sit in my tank for an hour before placing them into my tank. my daughter's tank is currently housing baby guppies and the fish that were outside would have had an all you can get buffet if i placed them into hers. two of them are puffer fish and i am concerned by this. i have never had them but i have read they can be aggressive. what should i do?
Let's hope the live plants will be sufficient to save your fish. If not, action may be necessary to do so. But first, we need some data.
Plants (number and names if you can, a photo of the entire tank will help if you can't name them)
Fish--names and number of each
I'm asking for the plant info because that will tell me how far we can expect them to assimilate the ammonia. And the fish tells us if this will work.
On related issues, do you know your tap water parameters, thinking hardness and pH? Do you have any test kits, for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and/or pH? What is your brand of water conditioner?
This should get us going on your tank.
I assume the fish in the trash were not from you or your family? Do you have empty tanks you can use?
And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
Bring in the tank that was left at the trash? The puffers can definately be aggressive.
All I can reccomend for the new tank is to do water changes every day.
the tank is a 60gallon tank. i have a bunch of different plants, some peacock ferns, amazon sword (i think that is what they are called) and some tall grassy kind of stuff. there are neon tetras (i would say about 13 of those, some glow fin tetras 4x (not sure if that is the real name but that is what my hubby has told me), 5 ghost cat fish, 9 lyre-tail mollies, 6 platties, 5 high fin tetras, 2 puffer fish. i have both an under gravel filter and a power filter. i still have plants coming in as i ordered some offline. the chemicals i used are Tetra brand. and i have done a 50% water change for the past three days. also i have been adding in extra food and algae waffers in hope this will help. i also have 1 albino cory, and 1 pleco in the tank. no one seems sick or unhappy. no i don't have the test strips i forgot them at the store and was planning on starting testing my water next week anyways (i am going to the store on Sunday to pick some up so that i may test it) i have my water heated to 78 degrees and have been checking on my fish frequently. everyone is eatting fine, and seems to be enjoying the rock formations and everything. they don't seem to be to upset. the tank that was outside was plastic and was just beyond dirty so i cleaned it threw it away. i also gave the old tank that had the plants and things in it to my step daughter who is now using it for a hermit crab. i will attach a photo of the tank in the next message. please be aware that i am taking the picture with a cruddy camera so i can't speak for the quality of the photo :cry:
also i have a rainbow shark. 5 high fin tetras, 1 red eye tetra (who was with the puffers).
and no i don't "know the neighbors" they are the same ones who got in trouble two years ago for trying to drown their kittens.
OK, let's do what we can. First general things. When you buy a test kit, do not get strips, they can be very inaccurate. The API "Master" kit (contains pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests) is one of the best you can get if they have them. No idea of cost in the US (I'm in Canada) but likely $30-40. It will last a while and has the tests you do need now and for a few months.
Ironically the undergravel filter may help as it provides a large area (the substrate), even though in planted tanks it is not recommended. But it can manage, so no issue there. I myself would not run the power filter with the UG at this stage. More filters is not beneficial in this, the bacteria need time to appear, colonize and multiply, and the number of filters has no bearing on this. The substrate is the best bed for them at this point.
Feed very sparingly. The more food that goes in the tank, the more ammonia will result, and initially ammonia should be minimal to allow the bacteria to establish. Alternate days for feeding is plenty, and only what they clean up in a couple minutes. Again, the less in, the less out.
More plants will help, there are not many at this stage. When you say "chemicals" do you mean any aside from the water conditioner? Some of these can cause more stress which will only worsen the fish's condition when dealing with ammonia and nitrite. The Tetra Aquasafe water conditioner is fine. By any chance did you get Tetra's SafeStart? If you did, use it. This product is live bacteria and it works. If you don't have this among the chemicals, try to get a bottle Sunday; small size will do. This works to "seed" the bacteria. [Let me know what other chemicals you may have before using those further though.]
Daily 50% partial water change is good; once you have a kit for ammonia and nitrite, this may change to less often, but without knowing the level of ammonia/nitrite, better safe than sorry.
Now to the fish. There are some stocking issues here, thinking compatibility, but as you say the fish can't be returned we'll plod along with settling the tank. But something will have to be done about the fish once the tank is settled [are there other stores that might take them even for nothing in return?]. At least there is some space with 60g, and having plants and decor provides some hiding spots. And the fish will be stressed enough with the new tank issues that they may not begin to show their true behaviours yet.
This will get you going now. If I've missed something, I'm sure other members will spot it.
i did get the safestart. i have the stress guard in the tank already and some plant food. that is it. once the tank settles i am going to offer the puffer fish *my main concern atm, to my friend who is cycling a tank and was looking into aggressive fish. so by the time mine is done hers should be ready very shortly after. i am keeping my eye out for any kind of illness. and i have called all the fish stores around here and none of them will take them. if worse comes to worse i will post them on craigs list if i can't give them to my friend.
StressGuard is fine initially, but I wouldn't add more [not sure what the directions may say, but doesn't matter]. Conditioner with water changes, and SafeStart according to directions.
my son just called me over to the tank and there is a newborn fish in there. i have NO idea what kind of course, or even if there are more. he is hiding in my gravel at the moment. i have some duckweed coming in on monday for the tank. will that help the little guy out or is it to high from the gravel for him to safely get up there?
i also have shut off the power filter. i am hoping for the best. i know i will be so sad and my kids will be devistated if the fish don't make it. they have already started to name them:| so i am hoping for the best. what ever the baby fish is my son has already claimed him as "my baby!" so i hope that little guy is a fighter and makes it!
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