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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I got 3 days ago a new aquarium with some fish, and all of the fish in are doing great, eating a lot, swimming, playing around exept for my pictus, it has been swimming like shown on a picture for 2 days, the first day it was doing good, but now it doesn't swim anywhere else, he is also not eating. I am feeding them cichlid mini granules, the first day he was eating like a vaccoom, but now he is not. it is 60l aquarium but I am planning on expanding it to at least 300l in about 3 months. Temperature is set to 26° C. Other fish don't bully him, or interact with him, they ignore him. Do you know what might be the problem here?

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My finds: yesterday in the morning he was swimming a bit normally, today as well, but after I turned on the lights he went back, could it be because of light? Today he also ate some granules, but not much, so I am less worried. Could he also be swimming on that single spot because he needs bigger aquarium? So he is swimming there just so he could swim for longer? Is it because he is bored? Should I get him a friend, and buy one more pictus?I have read that they require friends. I have no idea.
 

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Hello, I got 3 days ago a new aquarium with some fish, and all of the fish in are doing great, eating a lot, swimming, playing around exept for my pictus, it has been swimming like shown on a picture for 2 days, the first day it was doing good, but now it doesn't swim anywhere else, he is also not eating. I am feeding them cichlid mini granules, the first day he was eating like a vaccoom, but now he is not. it is 60l aquarium but I am planning on expanding it to at least 300l in about 3 months. Temperature is set to 26° C. Other fish don't bully him, or interact with him, they ignore him. Do you know what might be the problem here?

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Do you know of the nitrogen cycle and how it works? Have you checked your water parameters? Do you have a testing kit? 3 days ago and you added all those fish already? Do you know about the toxicity of ammonia and how it effects fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello, nope, none of these, I am beginner, so I am just trying to start at somewhere. So I am guessing I should buy the equipment and do some testing.
 

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10g: 8 young golden Dalmatian mollies 1 neon tetra 2 nerite snails 10g: 2 nerites, soon molies fr t1
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Hello, nope, none of these, I am beginner, so I am just trying to start at somewhere. So I am guessing I should buy the equipment and do some testing.
Yes. That's probably a good idea.
 

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Hello, nope, none of these, I am beginner, so I am just trying to start at somewhere. So I am guessing I should buy the equipment and do some testing.
I apologize for being so forward. These are the first questions we would ask when I was working at a fish store. A tank or fish should never be sold unless the buyer is aware of what it takes to properly start up a aquarium. I blame the people that sold you the fish and tank without telling you the basics first. Let's try to get you on the right foot here. You have some not so cheap fish in there and I'm afraid you might loose them to ammonia poisoning. Please read this and get yourself acquainted with the Nitrogen Cycle.

This is a article from Aquariums Co-Op's webiste.
Link to article if you want to learn more.

Are you getting started with your first fish tank? Then you may have heard of something called the “aquarium nitrogen cycle,” followed by a bunch of complicated scientific terms and graphs that seem a little overwhelming. No need to panic! Keep reading as we explain the nitrogen cycle in this very short and simple guide.

What is the Nitrogen Cycle for Aquariums?
The nitrogen cycle basically describes how nature creates food (in the form of microorganisms and plants), fish eat the food and produce waste, and then nature breaks down the fish waste so that it can get converted into food again.

Aquarium nitrogen cycle

A simplified diagram of the nitrogen cycle in aquariums

When aquarium hobbyists talk about the nitrogen cycle, they are usually referring to the specific part of the cycle where the fish waste turns into toxic nitrogen compounds like ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. These nitrogen compounds can potentially kill our fish unless we make sure we have plenty of microorganisms (also known as beneficial bacteria) and plants to consume the waste products.

For the purposes of our illustration, let’s use yellow, brown, and blue M&M’s to represent the three toxic nitrogen compounds:

  • Yellow = ammonia (which is very toxic and can burn fish gills and skin)
  • Brown = nitrite (which is somewhat toxic)
  • Blue = nitrate (which is not as toxic as ammonia and nitrite)
Step 1: Whenever your fish goes to the bathroom, some ammonia is produced.




Step 2: Beneficial bacteria #1 eats the ammonia and produces nitrites.




Step 3: Beneficial bacteria #2 then eats the nitrites and produces nitrates (the least toxic nitrogen compound).




Step 4: The fish continue to eat food and produce waste, which gets processed from ammonia and nitrites into more nitrates.




Step 5: Eventually, the amount of nitrates will build up and can become harmful to the fish in high amounts. You must remove the nitrates either by doing a water change or by using aquarium plants. (The aquarium plants consume the nitrates to produce new leaves.)




“Cycling your aquarium” simply refers to the process of making sure you have enough biological filtration (e.g., beneficial bacteria and aquarium plants) so that all the ammonia and nitrites get eaten up right away. If you have ammonia test strips and multi-test strips, ideally you should measure 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, and usually some amount of nitrates in your tank water. If the nitrates reach 40 ppm or more, then you need to remove some of the dirty tank water and replace it with fresh, clean water.

How Long Does It Take for an Aquarium to Cycle?
It depends, but usually it can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. You can speed up this process by buying a bottle of live nitrifying bacteria, getting some used filter media from a friend, or growing live plants (which also come with beneficial bacteria on them). For more details, read the full article on how to cycle your aquarium.

If you ask your average hobbyist whether or not their aquarium is cycled, most people think the answer is either a hard yes or no. In reality, the answer is a little more complex. Instead, we should be asking, “How much beneficial bacteria does the tank have, and is it enough to treat the waste produced by the fish?” For example, if you have a “cycled” aquarium with 3 neon tetras and then suddenly you add 200 neon tetras, that aquarium no longer has enough beneficial bacteria to immediately convert all that waste into safe nitrates.

How Do I Increase My Biological Filtration?
This naturally leads us to ask how to we make sure there’s enough biological filtration in the aquarium to handle toxic nitrogen compounds. One easy way is to of course add more aquarium plants, which will happily consume the ammonia and nitrates produced by your fish’s waste. Just remember that if you don’t have enough fish waste to feed your plants, they could starve to death, so you’ll need to supplement with a good, all-in-one fertilizer like Easy Green.

As for growing beneficial bacteria, there is a common misconception that buying bigger or more filters will increase the amount of bacteria in your aquarium. The truth is that beneficial bacteria grows not only in filters but also on every surface in your aquarium, such as the gravel, glass walls, and decorations. Buying more filtration simply means you have greater capacity to hold more beneficial bacteria, but if you only have a few fish, your decor alone may have enough surface area to colonize the necessary beneficial bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So today I did pH test, and it was at 7,5 that's all I could do, they had only pH test at fish store so I have ordered tetratest and I will do other tests when it arrives. I was thinking of buying another plant to help the natural cycle, would it help or what's your opinion on this. Today I have also managed to feed him, when I poured the granules right above him, as they were falling down, he ate them all and went back to swimming, so he eats in his little safe bubble.
 

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So today I did pH test, and it was at 7,5 that's all I could do, they had only pH test at fish store so I have ordered tetratest and I will do other tests when it arrives. I was thinking of buying another plant to help the natural cycle, would it help or what's your opinion on this. Today I have also managed to feed him, when I poured the granules right above him, as they were falling down, he ate them all and went back to swimming, so he eats in his little safe bubble.
You need a ammonia, nitrite and nitrate reading as soon as possible. Every time you feed you're just introducing more ammonia. You don't have any biological filtration to convert anything. Your fish can only survive in this kind of condition for a short period of time. You may think everything is okay but they are suffering and their days are numbered, and by the way it's not normal behavior for a Pictus Cat to stay in one place like that. They are normally always on the move and always swimming around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, I get that, tetratest should arrive at Tuesday, until then I can't do anything, exept more pH tests, which are pointless, tonight in late hours he was swimming in aquarium like crazy, swimming everywhere very fast etc., it was after I turned off the lights. But it has to do nothing with the water I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It did not came, so I am hoping it comes tomorrow, and yes, they are alive, doing great, pictus is not swimming anymore all the time at the same spot, but he still comes back to it.
 

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It did not came, so I am hoping it comes tomorrow, and yes, they are alive, doing great, pictus is not swimming anymore all the time at the same spot, but he still comes back to it.
okay good to hear, I'm glad. Just so you know I care and want to get you through the start up. Do you have a dechlorinator on hand so you can do water changes until your test kit comes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes I see that you care and I appreciate it, today pictus even joined the other fish on feeding, so I think he is doing better. I am now hoping it comes today, so I can do the testing and no I do not have dechlorinator.
 

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Yes I see that you care and I appreciate it, today pictus even joined the other fish on feeding, so I think he is doing better. I am now hoping it comes today, so I can do the testing and no I do not have dechlorinator.
You're going to need one as soon as possible. Do you know where your local tropical fish store is near you? You need the dechlorinator to treat your tap water before you put it in your tank. It removes chlorine and chloramines from your tap water which is toxic to fish. Do you use city water or well water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, I got the test, I use tap water, and I do not have dechlorinator, the readings are: no3-50, no2-between 1 and 5, gh- about 10, kh-about 12, ph-8, cl2- about 0.4
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You advise me on what to do now.
 

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So, I got the test, I use tap water, and I do not have dechlorinator, the readings are: no3-50, no2-between 1 and 5, gh- about 10, kh-about 12, ph-8, cl2- about 0.4
View attachment 845262

You advise me on what to do now.
okay so the game plan is to get your ammonia and nitrite to 0ppm but the main concern is ammonia at this point. There's a few ways you can reduce or detoxify ammonia. Since you don't have any beneficial bacteria built up in your filter at the moment you're going to have rely on chemicals and water changes to reduce the ammonia while your tank is cycling. Have you located a tropical fish store near you? You will find all these things there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I will try to buy something, but I can get to fish store only on my way to work, it too far away, so I am going to buy the chemicals and treat the water when I get back from work.
 

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I will try to buy something, but I can get to fish store only on my way to work, it too far away, so I am going to buy the chemicals and treat the water when I get back from work.
The next step and you need to act fast please, is that you need to do a 70-80% water change. The chemicals available on the market only reduce or temporarily detoxify the amount of ammonia and nitrite present. Do you know how to do this? Do you have a siphon? You're going to need a siphon to do a water change. Here's what they look like 🔽 👀

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello, yes I do have it, but I am little busy at the moment, I have been at least treating the water with chemicals and it has gone a little better, but tomorrow I will do the water change.
 
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