Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
29 Gallon Planted Freshwater Community Tank.

I lost 3 Neons and a Bolivian Ram to Camallanus. I currently have the following fish in the tank.

8 Neon Tetras
4 Bronze Cory
1 Male Albino Bristlenose Pleco
1 Male Sailfin Lyretail Molly
1 Female Kribensis Cichlid

I want to get the following fish:
7-8 Neon Tetras
2 Bronze Cory
1 Male Dwarf Gourami (who will be quarantined for 6-8 weeks in a 10 gallon first)

I need some feedback on the compatibility of the Kribensis and the Gourami. The Kribensis seems to be fine right now. In the end if they don't get along one could be moved into the 20.

Any suggestions? Inputs? Ideas? Better stocking suggestions?

I also have a 20 gallon community tank with 1 male molly, 1 bristlenose and 7 baby platys, a 10 gallon tank with 20 baby platys, 1 female molly and 1 baby female molly (the two mollies and 3 platys will go in the 20. i might add 1 or 2 platys to the 29 later on. the rest will be donated), a 5 gallon betta tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
I would caution against this. First, I do not consider gourami and cichlids to be compatible whatever the species, primarily because they are so much alike in personality (males are territorial, etc).

But even more, the dwarf gourami is not a good fish. There are stores that refuse to even stock it any longer, and many highly-knowledgeable sources such as Dr. Neale Monks will write that this is not a fish to even consider. If you know the source, by which I mean the breeder, it may be safe; but stores can get their fish from all over the place, and this species is notorious for carrying a serious virus which is not curable.

As for the other fish, the mix of molly and neon tetra is risky, due to water parameters. Molly must have hard water, there is no exception to that. And neon tetra while considered "adaptable" will not be at their best health unless they have soft water. This is one of those situations where it "can work" but not in the best interests of the fish, which means opening the door to problems that could otherwise be avoided.

Byron.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I called the water company to confirm some water parameters in my tank. Although I got some good information on the hardness, their nitrate information is throwing me off.

I called and they did not even know what General or Carbon Hardness was. The person gave me the Calcium Hardness which falls under the dgH which is Calcium or Magnesium (according to your article I read on hardness, please correct me if I am wrong).

Water Plant Reports:

dgH: 20-21
Nitrate: 5.0ppm


0 - 4 dGH 0 - 70 ppm very soft
4 - 8 dGH 70 - 140 ppm soft
8 - 12 dGH 140 - 210 ppm medium hard
12 - 18 dGH 210 - 320 ppm fairly hard
18 - 30 dGH 320 - 530 ppm hard
over 30 dGH over 530 ppm very hard

Read more: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...s-ph-freshwater-aquarium-73276/#ixzz1wZLkTxTQ

My Reports:

Nitrate: 50ppm

The Kribensis seems to adapt quite well. What schooling fish for hard water would you recommend to replace the neons? I could get a second school that could eventually replace the neons.

Also Byron, what about the Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna)
Soft to moderately hard (< 20 dGH)

I would be in the extreme of its ranges but the ones they sell here are kept in our local tap water. I'm only thinking of the Gourami still, although you cautioned about the temperaments of males, is because the Kribensis is a Female. Thoughts?

If the water would be suitable but the compatibility not, I could move the Kribensis into the 10 or 20 gallon, most likely the 20 which will have mollies and platys and a bristlenose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
That is hard water, so the molly (and any livebearers) will be good. And yes, calcium/magnesium are the two minerals that usually determine GH.

As for the other basically soft water fish, the cichlids and gourami (common species) are almost certainly tank-raised and not wild, so some adaptability is to be presumed. I can't say more on this, as I've no experience with either mentioned species. I would not combine them though.

Characins I do know, and the majority simply will not last a normal lifespan in hard water. They are more sensitive in this respect than some other fish. There are some species that will, one example is Pristella. The data in the profiles mentions this.

To that nitrate, is it 5.0 or 50 ppm? You give both these numbers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That is hard water, so the molly (and any livebearers) will be good. And yes, calcium/magnesium are the two minerals that usually determine GH.

As for the other basically soft water fish, the cichlids and gourami (common species) are almost certainly tank-raised and not wild, so some adaptability is to be presumed. I can't say more on this, as I've no experience with either mentioned species. I would not combine them though.

Characins I do know, and the majority simply will not last a normal lifespan in hard water. They are more sensitive in this respect than some other fish. There are some species that will, one example is Pristella. The data in the profiles mentions this.

To that nitrate, is it 5.0 or 50 ppm? You give both these numbers.
Thanks Byron!

I will not keep the Kribensis and Gourami together. I will be moving the Kribensis to the 20 gallon. The Gourami will go in the 10 gallon for quarantine along with any other fish I decide to get.

The Water Facilities reported Nitrate at 5.0 ppm

When I test with API Master Test kit I get the result of 50.00ppm

They don't carry Pristellas around me but I do like them. I will attempt to find them near me somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
Thanks Byron!

I will not keep the Kribensis and Gourami together. I will be moving the Kribensis to the 20 gallon. The Gourami will go in the 10 gallon for quarantine along with any other fish I decide to get.

The Water Facilities reported Nitrate at 5.0 ppm

When I test with API Master Test kit I get the result of 50.00ppm

They don't carry Pristellas around me but I do like them. I will attempt to find them near me somewhere.
Thse numbers make a big difference. A nitrate of 5ppm is easily handled but an influx of water with 50ppm is another matter. AbbeysDad has this problem I believe, and there is a thread in which he explains how he deals with it. If you can't find it, send a PM to AD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thse numbers make a big difference. A nitrate of 5ppm is easily handled but an influx of water with 50ppm is another matter. AbbeysDad has this problem I believe, and there is a thread in which he explains how he deals with it. If you can't find it, send a PM to AD.
This isn't necessarily good for our health either though.

What he did was use a DIY Nitrate and get a Filter for the tap water. I read through the thread you noted.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium/high-nitrates-tap-water-93622/

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/aquarium-products-reviews/api-tap-water-filter-95837/

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/diy-aquarium/diy-nitrate-filter-93828/

I guess I gotta do something....man...

If I use this filter, my water wont be hard. I will have soft water, therefore I can't really keep the mollies....

We are getting into an whole new issue of water tampering...uh oh.

Cons:
- Cartridge use life is relative to source water contaminants so may not be cost practical in areas with very hard water or other elements that would quickly shorten filter use life.


Read more: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...ews/api-tap-water-filter-95837/#ixzz1waNlmGaj
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
This isn't necessarily good for our health either though.

What he did was use a DIY Nitrate and get a Filter for the tap water. I read through the thread you noted.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium/high-nitrates-tap-water-93622/

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/aquarium-products-reviews/api-tap-water-filter-95837/

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/diy-aquarium/diy-nitrate-filter-93828/

I guess I gotta do something....man...

If I use this filter, my water wont be hard. I will have soft water, therefore I can't really keep the mollies....

We are getting into an whole new issue of water tampering...uh oh.
I would take this slow. The water people indicate 5, your test 50, so I would first question your testing before theirs. Has the API test expired? Are you shaking Regent #2 for 2+ minutes? Can you take a sample to a reliable fish store to test for comparison?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I would take this slow. The water people indicate 5, your test 50, so I would first question your testing before theirs. Has the API test expired? Are you shaking Regent #2 for 2+ minutes? Can you take a sample to a reliable fish store to test for comparison?
I checked the date on this API test kit and it is not expired. This is the second kit I have purchased, I returned the first one for this same reason because I was getting these results and the test had no date on it.

I have shaken regent two for 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 30 seconds. I have shaken is hard, very HARD, and super hard to the point where I can't feel my hands.

I have tried testing in many ways, many times. The only thing I haven't tried is testing bottled water.

All other tests are accurate.

I will take a sample to both PetSmart, PetCo and Super Pet. Tomorrow I am going in the morning to PetCo to purchase a new corn snake so I will take a sample and have them test it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
Hey,

Could I be really stupid and ask one you experienced guys to explain about Nitrates for me,

is nitrate, the same across the board? I mean is the the nitrate we find as a result of the nitrification process in aquariums from fish excretion and respiration etc, breakdown of food matter and (if planted) plant matter, exactly the same as the nitrates we find in our tap water?

I wonder, as from what I have read the nitrate in tap water usually occurs as the naturally occurring water drains through agricultural land picking up as it filters through the ground decaying plant matter, then goes onto the underground reservoirs which are tapped by the water companies. Am I also right in thinking that this is how water picks up its hardness, when filtering through areas high in minerals?

So my question, how is high nitrate levels actually detrimental to fish? and is it just the decaying plant matter that is the problem? or is nitrate just a chemical produced by the decaying matter, and the decaying matter is not actually present physically? This is where I am confused, and would like clarification.

are the two, nitrates present as part of the natural nitrification cycle in aquariums and tap water nitrates, that have come from a water treatment plant the same?

I also have around 40ppm nitrate right out of my tap, I just add it to my tank, it doesn't seem to bother the fish, although I know its a long haul problem, affecting the natural life span of the fish, I struggle to see how this is so bad for the fish?

Sorry for being so uneducated on this matter, hopefully one of you Science guys can enlighten me!

cheers
Simon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,174 Posts
Termie, I'm really glad to see that you're addressing your nitrate issue, it's something that I know has been an issue in your tanks for some time now. Lower levels of nitrate are considered to be more of an irritant than a toxin, but at higher levels, nitrate can become deadly to fish. Some species are very sensitive to it - Bolivian Rams being one, tetra another. Also - in my experience - Apple snails have trouble when nitrate levels fluctuate (especially in softer water conditions). I've spent some time studying up on nature vs nurture in tank-bred fish, and while it is true that a creature born into your local water will likely fare better in water that isn't ideal to it, the ultimate goal is to get them into the water that they've evloved to tolerate. Also worth mentioning is that just because your fish was kept in local tap water at the shop doesn't mean that it was born into it, or adapted to it in any way. *SOME* fish in my LFS were born in-store or by a local breeder - but I've found that these fish are usually marked out and cost a bit more. Many others are being shipped from somewhere else, and it is really impossible to track that information down, in my experience.

What Byron says is right (of course). Even if a fish is 'home grown' and used to the water it was born into, it still may not be as hearty had been kept in ideal water conditions for it's species. It is quite possible that your Bolivian may have pulled through his illness if he had been kept in water conditions better suited to him. And also as Byron has stated, I've come across several LFS who flat-out refuse to carry Dwarf Gourami because they're very poor stock shipped in from other countries, though the larger breeds are stocked and seem to have FAR less problems. I've been curious about where the local chain store (PetSmart) gets theirs. In general, their fish come from within the country from trusted breeders, but I'm not sure about this fish in particular.

Though we live in the same state, our water obviously comes from different sources, however when I first got in touch with my water company to check stats they were equally worthless. I ended up talking to supervisors of supervisors, and the only information that I really ended up getting was that the people that WE are speaking to are getting their information from our annual water quality report. In my case the report is issued in December of the PREVIOUS year, and the number you are given is an AVERAGE of the tests results taken throughout the year just past. The monitoring of our tap water isn't being done by those who are working in the offices that we have contact with - quite frankly, these people know very little (if anything) about water or contaminates, aside from the report they are given (which you also should have access to via the internet). I frequently test my tap water, and found that in early March, the nitrate levels rose quite suddenly from 0 to 10. As of last week or so, they've fallen back to zero. I've done a lot of research into this, and the rise in tap nitrates was likely a direct result of springtime - people dumping fertilizers into their gardens, which then runs off into local water supplies. So be aware - the numbers can (and do) shift.

It seems to me that the wiggling causes the fish a lot of stress. One thing were the nitrates to slowly rise over time, another if they suddenly spike. . . I know your tanks are very well planted, what does the nitrate level in your tank read just before a water change? I'm curious to see how much lower it is than just after a water change - or if that number is stable. When my tap started reading a level of 10, my tank stats went from 0 to 2.5 rather quickly.

You know I'm newer at all of this than you are! I hope that this rambling has helped you out in some way. . . best of luck in finding a solution to the eternal problem of nasty tap water, and adjusting water hardness. I'll be watching and learning as much as I can from your experiences!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
Hey Byron, this is spam. This users entire post thread is the same post.
Another moderator got to this before I saw it and banned "Mathew1", but I have deleted the post in this thread. Thx, B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,557 Posts
is nitrate, the same across the board? I mean is the the nitrate we find as a result of the nitrification process in aquariums from fish excretion and respiration etc, breakdown of food matter and (if planted) plant matter, exactly the same as the nitrates we find in our tap water?
As far as I know, yes. "Nitrate" in water is nitrate, NO3-, which the US Dept of Agriculture defines thus: "Nitrates and nitrites are nitrogen-oxygen chemical units which combine with various organic and inorganic compounds."

I wonder, as from what I have read the nitrate in tap water usually occurs as the naturally occurring water drains through agricultural land picking up as it filters through the ground decaying plant matter, then goes onto the underground reservoirs which are tapped by the water companies. Am I also right in thinking that this is how water picks up its hardness, when filtering through areas high in minerals?
Water is one of the most powerful solvents on earth. "Solvent" means a substance that easily dissolves other substances to create a solution. Water thus takes up organics, minerals, etc. very readily as it comes into contact with these substances.

So my question, how is high nitrate levels actually detrimental to fish? and is it just the decaying plant matter that is the problem? or is nitrate just a chemical produced by the decaying matter, and the decaying matter is not actually present physically? This is where I am confused, and would like clarification.
Nitrate is one form of nitrogen, as are ammonia/ammonium, nitrite and nitrogen gas. While nitrogen is essential to life as we know it on the face of the earth--nitrogen forms about 80% of the earth's atmosphere, and all life forms work hard to acquire it since it is essential for amino acids, proteins, DNA and RNA--it is also highly toxic depending upon the form in which it occurs. The diagram below shows the nitrogen cycle.

Organisms have a tendency to convert some nitrate back into nitrite which as we know is very highly toxic at a very small level. High levels of nitrate, above 40 ppm, have been shown to slow fish growth, suppress breeding, and depress the immune system making the fish much more susceptible to disease. Just as in humans where nitrates in drinking water most affect babies, in fish the fry are even more seriously harmed by nitrates. All of our fish occur in waters with nitrate so low it can scarcely be measured.

Here is some data pulled from an article on nitrates at OscarFish.com:

Kincheloe et al. (1979) reported larval mortality of Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout at concentrations as low as 2.3-7.6 mg/L NO3-N. That's equal to 2 to 7 ppm. We tend to think of keeping nitrate below 20ppm...quite a difference. Different fish species have varying levels of tolerance to nitrate. A recent study which reviewed all prior studies on the impacts of nitrates suggests that the most sensitive freshwater invertebrates and fish are affected by nitrate concentration as low as 2ppm, with the primary physiological impact being a decreased ability of the blood to carry oxygen (anemia).



A study on the effect of nitrates on fish found these effects:
  • Affects antibody production
  • Increased number of immature red blood cells
  • Lowered level of mature red blood cells (anemia)
  • Higher count of monocyte (a specific white blood cell)
  • Higher count of neutrophil (a specific white blood cell that is especially destructive to microorganisms)
  • Higher count of TLC - Thrombocyte-like cell (a blood cell of nonmammalian vertebrates that promotes blood clotting)
  • Higher levels of creatine (A nitrogenous organic acid found in muscle tissue that supplies energy for muscle contraction)
  • Higher calcium values in the blood
  • Lower Chloride values in the blood
  • Autopsy revealed damage to the spleen, liver, and kidneys
Also, nitrate damaged the gills and kidneys affecting osmoregulatory ability (ability of the fish to regulate fluid levels and release toxins, something we do via urination, something they do via osmoregulation); these observed changes are the result of a pathological response and not of a generalized stress response.

are the two, nitrates present as part of the natural nitrification cycle in aquariums and tap water nitrates, that have come from a water treatment plant the same?
As far as I understand, yes.

I also have around 40ppm nitrate right out of my tap, I just add it to my tank, it doesn't seem to bother the fish, although I know its a long haul problem, affecting the natural life span of the fish, I struggle to see how this is so bad for the fish?
The above answers the "how." I believe in the USA that 40ppm is the upper limit allowed for nitrates due to the effect on humans, esp children.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Termie, I'm really glad to see that you're addressing your nitrate issue, it's something that I know has been an issue in your tanks for some time now. Lower levels of nitrate are considered to be more of an irritant than a toxin, but at higher levels, nitrate can become deadly to fish. Some species are very sensitive to it - Bolivian Rams being one, tetra another. Also - in my experience - Apple snails have trouble when nitrate levels fluctuate (especially in softer water conditions). I've spent some time studying up on nature vs nurture in tank-bred fish, and while it is true that a creature born into your local water will likely fare better in water that isn't ideal to it, the ultimate goal is to get them into the water that they've evloved to tolerate. Also worth mentioning is that just because your fish was kept in local tap water at the shop doesn't mean that it was born into it, or adapted to it in any way. *SOME* fish in my LFS were born in-store or by a local breeder - but I've found that these fish are usually marked out and cost a bit more. Many others are being shipped from somewhere else, and it is really impossible to track that information down, in my experience.

What Byron says is right (of course). Even if a fish is 'home grown' and used to the water it was born into, it still may not be as hearty had been kept in ideal water conditions for it's species. It is quite possible that your Bolivian may have pulled through his illness if he had been kept in water conditions better suited to him. And also as Byron has stated, I've come across several LFS who flat-out refuse to carry Dwarf Gourami because they're very poor stock shipped in from other countries, though the larger breeds are stocked and seem to have FAR less problems. I've been curious about where the local chain store (PetSmart) gets theirs. In general, their fish come from within the country from trusted breeders, but I'm not sure about this fish in particular.
I have been trying to address it but I have just been too lazy to do it :/ not now though! hahah

Honestly, that could have been the reason Burt died. Iin the end it didn't help. This whole fish keeping business is always complicated :frustrated: lol

I don't think im going to get the gourami from PetSmart. Super Pet or PetCo. They treat their fish better. I'm moving everyone out of the ten today. Going to get the fish hopefully today as well. All the new fish will be in the 10 gallon for at least a month.

Though we live in the same state, our water obviously comes from different sources, however when I first got in touch with my water company to check stats they were equally worthless. I ended up talking to supervisors of supervisors, and the only information that I really ended up getting was that the people that WE are speaking to are getting their information from our annual water quality report. In my case the report is issued in December of the PREVIOUS year, and the number you are given is an AVERAGE of the tests results taken throughout the year just past. The monitoring of our tap water isn't being done by those who are working in the offices that we have contact with - quite frankly, these people know very little (if anything) about water or contaminates, aside from the report they are given (which you also should have access to via the internet). I frequently test my tap water, and found that in early March, the nitrate levels rose quite suddenly from 0 to 10. As of last week or so, they've fallen back to zero. I've done a lot of research into this, and the rise in tap nitrates was likely a direct result of springtime - people dumping fertilizers into their gardens, which then runs off into local water supplies. So be aware - the numbers can (and do) shift.
I live across the bridge on the eastern shore in Salisbury. Completely different landscape over here.

My apartment is also next to a farm.....not good.

When I go back home to my mothers house its in Rockville where its more hilly but it used to be a swamp so the water still is a little hard.

It seems to me that the wiggling causes the fish a lot of stress. One thing were the nitrates to slowly rise over time, another if they suddenly spike. . . I know your tanks are very well planted, what does the nitrate level in your tank read just before a water change? I'm curious to see how much lower it is than just after a water change - or if that number is stable. When my tap started reading a level of 10, my tank stats went from 0 to 2.5 rather quickly.

You know I'm newer at all of this than you are! I hope that this rambling has helped you out in some way. . . best of luck in finding a solution to the eternal problem of nasty tap water, and adjusting water hardness. I'll be watching and learning as much as I can from your experiences!
I also found an article on creating a home made algae nitrate filter with a high current though some kind of plastic mesh sheet. It's more natural and it take out nitrate. It is also cheaper, just takes up more space. Don't know weighing options. I don't really want to do anything about it yet until I feel its right.

:shock: :demented:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The above answers the "how." I believe in the USA that 40ppm is the upper limit allowed for nitrates due to the effect on humans, esp children.
I also found this article on Nitrate. It was very informative and it reinforces Byron's statement of why the Nitrate levels are limited to 40ppm, especially for children.

Also, this article shows that 40ppm is a dangerous level and should be considered toxic, even to humans.

After reading this I am actually quite concerned for my health after readings.

Nitrates in Drinking Water
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,174 Posts
I thought you said you had gotten a filter for your tap/drinking water!!? You're right - you should NOT be drinking that crap! Or even bathing in it, really. Consider that your skin is the largest organ in your body - you'll be absorbing more toxins through it than by drinking it, even.

Fishkeeping IS hard! The more you learn. . . the harder it gets! Funny how many people I know that just dump fish into tanks and after the initial cycling die-off, they think everything is juuuuuuust peachy. They all think I'm crazy. . . but their tanks make me sad.


I'm sure you'll figure everything out. You're on the right track! *hugs*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I thought you said you had gotten a filter for your tap/drinking water!!? You're right - you should NOT be drinking that crap! Or even bathing in it, really. Consider that your skin is the largest organ in your body - you'll be absorbing more toxins through it than by drinking it, even.

Fishkeeping IS hard! The more you learn. . . the harder it gets! Funny how many people I know that just dump fish into tanks and after the initial cycling die-off, they think everything is juuuuuuust peachy. They all think I'm crazy. . . but their tanks make me sad.


I'm sure you'll figure everything out. You're on the right track! *hugs*
Yeah I have a filter, but i tested the filtered water....same nitrate levels.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top