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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I'm new to the tropical fish keeping forum and need some advise on switching from goldfish to tropical fish.

I had 2 Fantail Goldfish for 4 years and they have outgrown my 120 Lt 50x50x50 cm aquarium so I have returned them to my local aquarium shop. The Aquarium is fitted with an Eheim Ecco Pro external filter unit.

I raised the temp to 24 deg a few weeks ago and added 5 Neon Tetra and 4 Siamese Algae eaters at the advise of my local Belgium Aquarium shop. The fish appear to be happy along with my one year old Pleco fish and a couple of apple snails. The water quality is good if not better than when I had the fantails with zero nitrites, 10 mg N03. GH is 4 deg d, KH 6 deg, pH 7.2. and Cl2 0 mg/l Apart from adding new plants from time to time the only problem I have had is blue beard algae.

I was going introduce a few more coloured fish but the shopkeeper now tells me that I that I need to restart the tank from scratch if I want to keep tropical fish, Cleaning out the old gravel, filter, tank etc. and adding new plant food substrate, new gravel and new plants.
I know this is going to take a few weeks to cycle the tank and wondered how to keep my existing fish. I don't want the expense of buying another aquarium and don’t want to return the fish and wondered if it would be OK to keep them in a plastic storage container with suitable filtration (I have a small Eheim hang on filter unit I can use) and using the water from my aquarium along with some of the gravel and filter media to keep bio cycle working.

Any help would be appreciated regarding the above and what fish and plants would be suitable for the new tank to make it nice colourful corner piece.
Regards
Dovie
 

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I don't understand why you need to start over, other than to spend some money with the store.... was there a reason given?

Raising the temperature to the range that your fish prefer and making sure that the fish you select fit the water parameters (hardness, pH) that you have should be all that is necessary. Perhaps giving the gravel a good vacuuming next water change would be wise.

I would strongly suggest that you touch base here before just doing anything that the shop keeper advises you... this is not unusual to get poor advise from stores.

Jeff.
 

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Note on the fish that you have, the neon tetra do better in a larger group, 6 or more... 5 is close but shoaling fish prefer more numbers. 5 is not a problem, just the more the merrier as far as the fish are concerned so as many as can be managed given the other fish and tank size. Personally, I like going with 8 to start.

Siamese algae eater s need a larger tank, 120cm long. They may be small now but they will outgrow it... so as long as the shop will take them back, it's not a big issue right now... sort of like the goldfish.

You can read the profiles by clicking on the highlighted fish names in this post so you can check this yourself. The profiles here are pretty accurate and are a good guide.

Jeff.
 

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I'm with JDM keep the tank as it is don't start over.

Raise your temp slowly to 26C.
Your PH is fine just don't let it go higher.
Hardness is also fine.

Take back all the Siamese algae eaters they give problems.

It sounds like there is nothing wrong with your tank, so keep up the good work.

What other fish did you have in mined?





Nicolaas.
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your advice, I have taken note.

However I decided to take a plunge this afternoon and have put all my fish in a small 20 ltr tank for now, with some existing plants, gravel and filter media from the old tank and hopefully this will keep the fish happy.

I did have more neon tetra but the fantail had a couple before I took him to the shop. I will add a few more when the aquarium is up and running.

I have been wanting to clean the tank for a while and the guy in the shop got me motivated I guess. As I mentioned I have had problems with Blue beard algae and it keeps coming back. Also my plants don't last very long, probably because there was no plant sub strait!

I'm not sure what other fish to add, this is where I need a bit of advise. Fish that get on with the Neon tetra's would be a good idea. I am open to suggestions.
 

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Plants should do fine even in regular old playsand. It may be that your lighting is inadequate. What lights do you have running? You may also want to look into dosing with ferts on a weekly basis (Seachem Flourish Comprehensive).
 

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What substrate do you have?
Corys would be a grate addition if you have a soft substrate.

How big is the pleco?

What light(s) are you using?

Do you want small fish (3-6cm) or mid size fish(7-15cm)

Lively and/or calm and slow moving?

It would help a lot if we know what you are looking for.

You have a nice tank size to work with.



Nicolaas.
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Thank you all for your advice, I have taken note.

However I decided to take a plunge this afternoon and have put all my fish in a small 20 ltr tank for now, with some existing plants, gravel and filter media from the old tank and hopefully this will keep the fish happy.

I did have more neon tetra but the fantail had a couple before I took him to the shop. I will add a few more when the aquarium is up and running.

I have been wanting to clean the tank for a while and the guy in the shop got me motivated I guess. As I mentioned I have had problems with Blue beard algae and it keeps coming back. Also my plants don't last very long, probably because there was no plant sub strait!

I'm not sure what other fish to add, this is where I need a bit of advise. Fish that get on with the Neon tetra's would be a good idea. I am open to suggestions.
If you keep the filter wet and just rinse the substrate with treated water (or just not chlorinated water) you shouldn't have to do the whole cycle over again, unless you want to. If you choose not to then add the fish and monitor the water for a while to be sure everything is working as it was.

Keep in mind that cleaning the tank, even full sterilization, won't keep the algae from re-appearing. Controlling it through balanced fertilization and lighting are needed. Starting out with a fresh tank can make you feel good about it but the balance still needs to be maintained or it will return, even if it was sterilized.

What sort of lighting do you have? How long do you run the lights each day? Do you fertilize now?

You don't need a plant substrate, some here have tried them compared to just sand and found no difference. I have just sand and LED lighting with 13 different species of plants and they are all doing well. I also have no noticeable algae other than a tiny bit of hair algae that shows up on my filter output every once in a while... but I just leave it alone.

The link in my signature is to my planted tank thread and it outlines what I have done with plant lists and whatnot if you are interested.

As far as fish, check out the corys in the profiles, there are something like 20 varieties to choose from but watch the water temperatures as some are cooler water fish. They work with most other fish as they are shoaling bottom dwellers.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have 2 15w strip lights but about 6 months ago I installed 2x12 volt 3 watt LED lamps which are 5000k and equivalent to 35 watt which give plenty of light.

I am going to put the new substrate and about 12 kilo of gravel that the shop has supplied in tomorrow, I hope that gives me enough depth. Then i'm of to get a selection of plants.

I have kept the filter full of water so I hope that will speed up the cycle when I restart.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would say 3 to 6 cm, the neons are about 1.5-2 cm at the moment, I guess they wont get much bigger.

I'm not sure what all the names are but I was thinking maybe yellow orange or silver fish would add some color. I will have a look tomorrow. The shop mentioned that the tank would hold about 40.
 

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4 Pearl gouramis (Trichopodus leerii) would look grate, the males get bright orange throats wen mature. They get 10cm.



I think go to the Petshop and see what they have and let us know of the ones you like and
we will tel you what you need to know.




Nicolaas.
 

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Yah, don't just buy what gets pushed at you... check it out first and only get one type of fish at a time. Many come home with a boatload of different ones with no idea what works and fits until afterwards.

40 fish for a 120 litre (about 30gallon) tank is a little high. It can be handled with small fish but if the fish are larger, it will be overloaded. At the very least add one species and quantity at a time and monitor the water for a while (couple weeks) between additions.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK thanks for the help, I hope to update when the tank is running again.
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Discussion Starter #15
Cleaned and Restarting 120 ltr tank

After giving the inside of the tank a good clean, I have added approximately 3 cm layer of Dennerle Deponitmix Professional nutrient Substrate towards the rear of the tank for the plants, I have also returned some of the old gravel near the front where there are no plants.
I then added 12 Kilo of fine 1.5 mm crystal gravel covering the old gravel and substrate raising it up slightly to the rear of the tank. This has given me about 3 cm on top of the substrate.

I have added a piece of decorative plastic wood and a selection of new plants.

Hydrocotyle 2 types triparita and verticillata.
Ludwigia repens Rubin
Lilaeopsis mauritiana.
Plus another which I didn't get the name but its the long one that seems to grow well

I have also replaced the old 14 watt strip lamps with 2 new Fresh water / plant lamps.

I have kept the Eheim pro filter wet as someone mentioned that this would keep the good bacteria and I can add fish more quickly. I have also put some of the old gravel back to help the bacteria.

I know someone mention that I didn't need to clean the tank but I must say it looks much better now. I will leave it running for a few days and add some food and check the quality daily before I put the fish back in.
I guess I better get the apartment cleaned up now before the misses comes home.
 

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I guess I better get the apartment cleaned up now before the misses comes home.
Uh Oh. You absolutely can't forget that step.

If those are the total of the plants you will still need to rely on the bacterial nitrification with a full fish load. With just the neons that you have the ammonia production may be small enough that any spikes will just be bumps, or between your plants and still active filter and gravel, might not happen at all.

Based on what I have seen with fish additions in a newish tank... I'd consider this newish after the cleaning... leaving two weeks between fish additions would be suggested. Add your current neons now, bring the neon group up to the numbers you want to keep in two weeks, then add the next species at full numbers and repeat up to your full load.

Don't get sold fish that you don't plan on putting in at that time. That seems to be where a lot of people end up with mismatched fish, too many fish, too large fish etc. Spontaneous purchases.

I almost forgot, post some pics as you can, we all love to see pictures of tanks.:-D

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks for you Help Jeff,

I have a 4 cm pleco and 4 small 2 cm Siamese algae fish as well the neon's should I add these to the tank now as well. I have also put some of my old plants back, cant remember the name but they are the tough ones with large leaves that the goldfish don't like.

I was wondering should I add the 20 ltrs of water that the fish are in now?

Don
 

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Is the Pleco a common pleco ? It will eventually outgrow your tank. We have one in our office tank that seriously needs to be re-homed, I never got involved with the maintaining of that tank.... until now.

I would think that putting everyone in the tank now would be best. For starters it saves you from having to monitor two tanks. Just watch the ammonia levels in the tank closely and change water and/or treat with Prime if it starts to get to the 0.5 ppm level.

The more plants the better.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think it a common Pleco, but its got a huge dorsal fin!

I will probably take it back to the shop when it get too big. Its about a year old and was the smallest I could find when I got it about 1.5 cm, I just measured it and its about about 8-10 cm long and about 3 cm wide. Nearly time to go and its a bugger to catch.

Don
 

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Probably a sailfin pleco then, fully grown listed as 50cm.

That's big alright.

Our LFS takes them when they get big as they are popular in ponds where large fish are desirable.

Jeff.
 
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