Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,

I'm new to freshwater aquariums. I just added fish to my freshwater planted aquarium and keep seeing lots of conflicting info online about do's and don't when starting a new tank.

Also, I'm pretty sure I got lots of terrible advice about what species to start with at the pet store. Anyway, I have a 30ish gallon freshwater aquarium which has been cycling with no fish (lots of plants, a few accidental snails, and 2 good sized pieces of drift wood) for about 4 or 5 months. I put a capful of Flourish Excel in about two or three times per week.

About four days ago I decided to take the plunge into fish. I asked the store rep what some nice starter fish are, and wound up taking home 4 little tetras, four silver hatchet fish, and one smallish angel fish.

Anyway, since taking these lovely creatures home I've been reading more about caring for them, and especially the angel and tetras don't sound like they're recommended for beginners in a tank which is new to fish. Is there anything I can do to avoid ammonia and PH spikes? Would you recommend testing my water once or twice weekly for this first month? Does any of this sound like I'm just asking for a giant disaster?

Thanks for your time,
Alexis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
More testing is always good. But your tank has been cycling for a good long time, so it shouldn't really be spiking, even with the addition of the fish.

You have 9 fish in a ~30 gal tank, is it's about 1/3 full in terms of how many fish to put in.

angels are common in tanks with both tetras, and hatchet fish, but I will let you know that Angels are hunters - so long as it's small, you're fine, but if it can fit something in it's mouth, it will. I'm just worried about it getting lonely - so you might consider getting it a tank mate of the opposite gender. Always keep even numbers with angels though as they pair up eventually, and start getting aggressive.

As for the tetras and hatchets - I recommend picking up a couple more of each. 6 is a nice size for a school, and both species are schooling fish. Less than that, and they can start to feel stressed out, and maybe even get nippy with eachother, develop stress related diseases, and even lose some color.

Just to recap...
Check to make sure your angel is too small to eat your other fish.
Consider getting your angel a mate.
Pick up 2 more hatchet fish.
Pick up 2 more tetras.
Check PH as often as you have resources to, to get a feel of how quickly your tanks chemical balance is shifting.
If you don't see a fish... find it. If you do suffer a loss, you want to get that dead fish out of your tank ASAP - and in a planted 30g, them little tetras can get hard to find. :p

Welcome to the wonderful world of fish keeping, and I hope it brings you at least half the joy it brings me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
I agree with the above. The angel needs a friend and as long as they are small no worries for the other fish. You need to find out what type of tetra you have as this can make a big difference in adult size and temperment. Both the tetras and hatchets need at least 6-8 in the group.

You may also want to consider a clean up crew for the bottom. Depending on substrate type-sand-gravel, etc... Cory cats are always a good choice inless you have a lot of small sharp edged substrate. Mine have done great in pea gravel, sand and bare bottom. Your hitchhiking snails will aslo help keep stuff clean. If they start to multiply fast it means you're way over feeding. If you have enough bottom structure and plants, especially java moss, you could go with some shrimp. Give enough cover they multiple fast and hide well

Test you water weekly and if you note anything out different reach for the test kit.

If you have a photo of the tank it would help with the stocking advice. Best of luck and feel free to ask questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Good thought on the clean up crew, I actually really like ghost shrimp in my tanks. very non aggressive, hardy, not bothered by much, and it's cool to watch them eat and digest stuff >.>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,374 Posts
How did you cycle the tank? Did you use ammonia to feed the bacteria? First thing I would recommend before you add anymore fish is to test your tank water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph with a good liquid test kit. Since you've added fish you may see a spike in ammonia and or nitrite. If either is present do water changes as needed, feed the fish lightly and don't add anymore fish until your bacteria colony can catch up to the added bioload. In a cycled tank ammonia and nitrite should read 0 and you should have some reading for nitrate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Oh my gosh, you all are amazing. Thanks for answering my questions so quickly!!

Okay, so answers in no particular order:

Cycling and water testing: I didn't use ammonia when cycling the tank. I planted in it and frequently added Flourish Excel and a little Equilibrium every time I did a water change. In terms of testing, I bought Tetra Easy Strips to test Nitrate , Nitrite, Total Hardness, Total Chlorine, Total Alkalinity, and Ph. All of those are currently in the safe/recommended zone. Should I buy a separate test for ammonia?

More fish: 1/3rd full?? Awesome! I was nervous about overstocking, so I kept it light and figured I could always add. My guess for tetras is either lemon or diamond tetras. The angel fish is pretty small, so I think they will be okay. I will definitely go out and get a few more tetras, hatchets, and a cleaning crew, but holy cow. How do I sex my angel fish?

Substrate: I'm using a nitrogen rich aquarium soil. The water gets cloudy any time I shuffle it around.

Pictures: I added some pictures of my fish and setup for your viewing pleasure.

I think that was everything.

Thanks again!!
-Alexis
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,374 Posts
Yes you will need to purchase an ammonia test. The beneficial bacteria need an ammonia source to start the nitrogen cycle. So you are essentially just now starting to cycle your tank since you've added fish (fish produce ammonia). The reason your test showed "safe" is because there was no ammonia source to start the cycle. Simply adding water and plants to your tank and letting it sit for a few months is not cycling. You'll need a good liquid test kit which is much more accurate than the test strips and will give you actual numbers (ppm) for ammonia, nitrite, etc. API Freshwater Master Test Kit is a good kit and includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph. It's what many of us recommend here. Now that you've added fish you need to test daily and do water changes whenever you have a reading for ammonia or nitrite. The plants will help to absorb some of the ammonia but unless the tank is very heavily planted you will still see ammonia and nitrite spikes.

Your tank looks nice and that's a lovely angelfish. Please don't add anymore fish until your tank is fully cycled. There's a couple stickies somewhere in this forum about cycling. Let me see if I can find you a link so you can read up on it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bilbo Baggins
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top