Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I'm in the process of cycling my first freshwater tank (yep, google took me down the rabbit hole and I learned alllll about fishless cycling) and I have some questions I hope some more experiences aquarists will be able to help me with.

For starters, I have a 20g high with eco-complete substrate and (currently) 4 plants (which I will eventually be adding to, but not enough to need a high-tech setup). Since I was starting from scratch, I bought tetra's starter kit (specifically this one). So I just have the LED lights that come with it and the Tetra 20 Whisper filter. I also have a 20g rated air stone that's working beautifully, heater, thermometer, etc (pictures attached below). I did my basic setup on 10/22, added the plants 10/23, and then got more gravel/messed around a bit yesterday and added tetra SafeStart. I've been using fish food as my ammonia source which *should* hopefully be sufficient to feed my bacteria. But this brings me to some of my questions:

Today, I did some water testing. My pH read 8.4, Ammonia between 0.5 and 1.0 ppm, nitrite 0, and ***40ppm*** nitrate which seems really high (using API water testing kit and yes, I shook the heck out of the nitrate bottles). My tap water unfortunately also tested 1.0ppm for ammonia (ugh) and had a pH of 7.4.

So should I just keep adding fish food to the tank daily and testing the water to see if my ammonia spikes/nitrites start to show? Is it weird that my pH is so high when my tap water isn't?

Also, once my tank is nicely cycled and safe for the little fishies, I'd like to stock with (hypothetically):

1 x Dwarf Gourami (Colisa lalia)
5 x Panda Cory (Corydoras panda)
3 x Fancy Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)
6 x Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) OR Harlequin Rasboras (I really can't decide which I like better--might just come down to what the LFS has in stock that looks good and healthy)

I know that the panda cories and tetras/rasboras need a decent sized school and according to AqAdvisor that should bring me to 87% stocked. BUT clearly (I think?) I'd need a better filter. This brings me to yet another question: Should I just get another filter and run two in my tank, or should I upgrade to something rated for like a 40g tank or something? I've heard pros and cons to both (2 filters means you can change one at a time and reduce the risk of starting up a mini cycle, but the current could be too high) but I'm not sure what I should actually do. If I do end up getting another filter, does anybody have any brand recommendations (preferably something effective and quiet because it's in my bedroom haha). And finally, does my stock look ok? Any tips on how much to stock at once/in which order I should do so? I've done a stupid amount of research (seriously, google has been doing me dirty. There is SO much info out there!) but it's hard to sift through all of the various opinions.

Basically, any tips, tricks, emotional support (LOL), etc. to supplement my own research would be much appreciated! Thanks!!!:grin2:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
the high pH reflects the plant action specifically the plants consuming co2 which raises pH.


looks like your tank is doing nicely and ammonia should drop to unmeasureable soon. Nitrates will drop in a few weeks as aerobic bacteria build up and consume the ammonia. the plants at the point will start consuming the nitrates.
Nitrates are no problem for fish anyway.


if you missed it read: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/advanced-freshwater-discussion/beaslbob-build-295530/&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwj8mtCWrPvPAhVDOz4KHTO3DygQFggFMAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNFOXhFi5qfi4oZD7vEls52zhQogNA


looks like you're on your way.


my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
the high pH reflects the plant action specifically the plants consuming co2 which raises pH.


looks like your tank is doing nicely and ammonia should drop to unmeasureable soon. Nitrates will drop in a few weeks as aerobic bacteria build up and consume the ammonia. the plants at the point will start consuming the nitrates.
Nitrates are no problem for fish anyway.


if you missed it read: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/advanced-freshwater-discussion/beaslbob-build-295530/&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwj8mtCWrPvPAhVDOz4KHTO3DygQFggFMAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNFOXhFi5qfi4oZD7vEls52zhQogNA


looks like you're on your way.


my .02
Thank you so much for the input! I hadn't thought of the removal of CO2 causing conditions to be more alkaline but that actually makes perfect sense (gotta pay more attention in my chem classes haha).

But question about the nitrates/nitrites: I have yet to see *any* nitrites and my ammonia levels haven't spiked at all despite me adding lots and lots of fish food. Is that because (a) my tank is pretty much cycled and the bacteria are successfully consuming the ammonia AND nitrites? Or (b) do you think these readings are because my tap water has ammonia in it and because of the eco-complete coming with nitrates in it?

Thanks again for the help!:grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
I use a aqua clear hob filter rated for a 20 gallon on my 10 gallon and I love that filter. It does a great job and it is super quiet. I would recommend getting a filter for a 40 gallon instead of two filters, just because of the bulkiness and clutter of having two filters. Like Beaslbob mentioned the nitrates will drop, it means the ammonia is being broken down.

Stock looks good, except dwarf gouramis can be some what aggressive. If you get the gourami I would stay away from getting guppies due to the long fins. The gourami could chase them around and nip at the fins.
If you get the dwarf gourami, stick to fish without the long fins.

Tetras are always great. Personally I love them. Here is a pic of my tank I have ember tetras and a few green tetras which have not been doing good.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks!! Your tank looks great!

Would you recommend the AquaClear 50 (20-50 gal) or 30 (10-30 gal)? Will this produce too much of a current for any of the fish I'm thinking about?

Also, since the gourami can sometimes be aggressive, should I plan on fully stocking and THEN adding him once the other more peaceful guys have had a chance to settle in?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
The aquaclear 50 should be fine. On the top of the intake it has a switch to change the outflow rate which is great. That would work on fully stocking first and getting some hiding places for the smaller fish that the gourami can't fit into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Awesome! I just ordered the aquaclear 50 and it should get here tomorrow (gotta love amazon prime). As far as hiding places go, I'm definitely going to get some more plants and the suchlike, but do you have any other decorative suggestions? I'm a fan of the more natural look. Will some wood do the trick? I've heard that will also help to lower my pH which I definitely need haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
Thank you so much for the input! I hadn't thought of the removal of CO2 causing conditions to be more alkaline but that actually makes perfect sense (gotta pay more attention in my chem classes haha).

But question about the nitrates/nitrites: I have yet to see *any* nitrites and my ammonia levels haven't spiked at all despite me adding lots and lots of fish food. Is that because (a) my tank is pretty much cycled and the bacteria are successfully consuming the ammonia AND nitrites? Or (b) do you think these readings are because my tap water has ammonia in it and because of the eco-complete coming with nitrates in it?

Thanks again for the help!:grin2:

be careful. could be things also just haven't started.


After a week of plant action I add a single male platy. Then wait another week with no food being added. And then add 2 females and start feeding a single flake per day.


Even with no readings the first week and even with lotsa fast growing plants, I would get nitrite spikes with that first fish. But with no food being added the jumped up then down a day later. Then I get nitrAtes for a few weeks before they dropped down also.




Guess that means to take it slow. :grin2:my .02
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top