Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lilbabyvenus 09-09-2013 10:21 PM

Our new 55 gallon
We just transferred our 20 gallon to a 55 gallon. I transferred all the water then added new, transferred our gravel and added new, and transferred our filter media, so I'm hoping to not have a huge mess with our water. Right now we still just have a peppered Cory, a red male guppy, and three tetras. I have four plants right now with one more on the way, and a couple hiding spots that anyone has yet to use. Planning to take my son tomorrow to pick out another fish or two from petsmart.

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lilbabyvenus 09-09-2013 11:51 PM

So far all the fish seem to be enjoying all the new space. The cloudiness from our hard water is settling nicely. I tested the tank water and it's harder than the last tank, but I imagine that's because it hasn't been conditioned as much yet. The only real concerns I have are that my nitrates are at 5 and my nitrites are at .5. Those numbers are lower than our plain tap water though. I added some more Prime and am hoping that my bacteria transfer from the old tank will take care of everything by morning.

Boredomb 09-10-2013 02:43 AM

It does sound like you tank is going thru a mini cycle now. Please keep in mind that nitrites at any readable lvl is hard on fish and can stress them out. Prolonged periods of it can be deadly to them as well. Soo please don't stock any more fish until the tank is done cycling. This might not take long since you did seed it with old media and substrate. Patience is the name of the game here. Once it has cycled you still need to stock slowly to let the bacteria catch up to new additions.

Chesh 09-10-2013 03:05 AM

Hi, Venus! Welcome to TFK and a new 55g tank! This is going to be a very fun tank for your whole family to enjoy - I know, because I have one! I set up mine in pretty much the same way, transferred from a 29g (and soon to move into a 125 - be careful, tanks are addicting!) ^.^ Thanks for starting a journal to share your experiences along the way! We all learn a great deal from the varied experiences of one-another, and we ALL love watching a new tank grow!!!

I do have to agree with Bored that you're seeing a bit of a mini-cycle in there right now. It shouldn't take long for your parameters to clear up with all the seeded media from your old tank, but the bacterial colonies may be a bit fragile for a time, so you'll want to keep up on testing and do water changes as needed when toxins are present. Growing a tank slowly always makes for the best environments in the end!

I'm curious as to why such a shift in your water hardness from the old tank to the new, sudden shifts like this can be very stressful on the fish, so you want to do your best to keep the Ph/Kh/Gh as stable as possible for them. In my tanks, these numbers match, or are *slightly* lower than the Ph directly from my tap. There are a few reasons why the water in your old tank could be softer, and keeping up a good weekly cleaning/water change routine is one easy way to keep them spot-on!

I'm curious as to where your water parameters stand, both in tank and in tap, if you wouldn't mind posting the numbers for us? Hopefully all will be clear by morning, but I'm a bit concerned by the shift in hardness, as well as the presence of nitrItes in your tap. . .

One last thing I'd like to point out is - after a few weeks, when the tank is ready to accept new fish, the first thing to consider in all the excitement is the ones who live there already. Tetra and Cories both should be kept in shoals - both species will be bolder, brighter, and far more comfortable when kept in a group of their own kind -the more the merrier! Typically, Cories should be kept over a sandy substrate. . . so you may want to do a bit more research into their needs before bringing any more home.

Can't wait to see where this tank goes next!!! Congrats on 55 gallons!!! When do we get pictures!!!?? ^.^

lilbabyvenus 09-10-2013 08:59 AM

Ok, as I suspected both the Nitrites and Nitrates are at 0 this morning. As well as Ammonia (still, we never really had an issue with that).

I'm having a problem with water hardness though. I don't know how the water was so much softer in our old tank, maybe I added *too much* Prime? Or maybe our landlord didn't fill our water softener? I have no clue, but I'm open to suggestions on softening tank water...

Our tap water readings have changed since I last tested them as well. A week ago our tap water was at:
PH: 6.8
KH: 180
GH: 150
Nitrite: 2
Nitrate: 10

This morning our tap water reads:
PH: 7.8
KH: 300
GH: 250
Nitrite: 1
Nitrate: 5

This mornings water readings are:
Ammonia: 0
PH: 7.8
KH: 250
GH: 150
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0

So.. it looks like I need to soften the tank, as well as lower the alkalinity some.

Chesh: I feel awful for my little Cory :( My son actually calls him little guy lol - but all we have around here are Petsmart and Petco or WalMart, so when we initially got our 20 gallon, I wasn't told that the cory needed sand. I specifically asked about things certain fish would need and no one had any input, except that she recoemmended I buy the Prime. She told me the food didn't matter as long as it was for tropical fish, but I later ordered them some blood worms and am looking to order a few other food items. But yeah, I didn't know at the time he needed sand. I know he would love some buddies, but I don't know about adding more and making them all uncomfortable. We did have 5 tetras, but 4 of them came from WalMart, and I noticed after I got them home that all 4 looked a lot more pale than the one we got from Petsmart. I actually expected all of them to die, but only 2 did. It was sad, but hopefully we can add some more soon.

lilbabyvenus 09-10-2013 09:01 AM

Oh! I also wanted to add that I've been using test strips because I couldn't find any liquid tests at walmart. Petsmart and Petco are both a little over an hour away so I don't really get to just run there to pick up stuff :( But I ordered an API master freshwater test kit and that is out for delivery right now, so I'll be retesting everything )probably multiple times lol) when that arrives later.

lilbabyvenus 09-10-2013 11:30 AM

Our API kit is here! :D

I recieved the same results as the strips, but this was way more fun lol

PH: 7.6, 7.8 with high PH test
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Ammonia: 0

I'm going to check for KH and GH tests at Petsmart today. I just have to motivate myself to make that drive...

Boredomb 09-10-2013 12:26 PM

Is there anyway you can get to a faucet that isn't hooked up to water softener? There is a debate about using them and keeping fish one I know very little about so won't go there. Though the constant change in hardness is going to constantly stress the fish out. Soo if you could have a water supply that doesn't change would be best.

KPainter 09-10-2013 01:39 PM

Is there any way you could add a little "beach" for the cories? In a tank that size it seems it wouldn't be impossible to add an area of sand. And play sand is so cheap! Just a thought.

lilbabyvenus 09-10-2013 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by Boredomb (Post 2984962)
Is there anyway you can get to a faucet that isn't hooked up to water softener? There is a debate about using them and keeping fish one I know very little about so won't go there. Though the constant change in hardness is going to constantly stress the fish out. Soo if you could have a water supply that doesn't change would be best.

I don't think so :-/ As far as I know everything is hooked up to a softener. I could start buying gallons of water from the store to fill it after changes.

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