2 red eye tetras

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alrightkay-

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I just got my 10 gallon tank and cycled it for a week adding water conditioner and nitrifying bacteria. I have 3 plants and 2 red eye tetras, I'm COMPLETELY new to having an aquarium and have a couple questions help me out if you can!
Today I put in my 2 tetras in my empty tank and at first it seemed like they were nipping each others fins and now one of them is hiding behind my filter.. What should I do? Will they last more than 2 days until I can get more tetras?

Also should I be doing anything for my plants? I've bought the type of gravel for plants to grow in but that's it and I can't tell if they're dying. It might just be me but the leaves almost look dry?

Please help me if you can! x
 

Kunsthure

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Welcome to Fish Lore!

You said you cycled the tank for a week. What did you do? What was the source of the nitrifying bacteria you mentioned? Have you tested your water parameters?

There are a couple of reasons your fish could be having problems. One is just the stress of a new home. Tetras really need to be in large groups, so being with only one other will stress them out as well. Your water parameters may be off, so we need to know your readings to assess that.

What kinds of plants do you have? Once we know what they are we can troubleshoot better.

-Lisa
 
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alrightkay-

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The bacteria is called "Nite-Out" its formulated for rapid ammonia and nitrie reduction. I basically just set up my aquarium (heater, filter, ect) with the gravel, plants, water conditioner and the Nite Out. I left it like that for a week, never turning off the filter and turning the lights on and off every 12 hours for my plants just to get things going. I haven't had the time to get my water tested but if my fish can wait I'll be able to go in a day or 2. While I'm getting my water tested should I buy any other needed products for this tank?

And about the plants.. I don't know what type they are but all three of them have a lot of leaves. Kinda grass or bushy looking and when I was planting them I noticed a lot of thin little roots. Would it be a good idea to go back to the pet store to check?
Would it be a good idea to get more red eye tetras or can I get 2 other tetras? If I just leave the 2 for now will they hurt or kill each other?
 

Kunsthure

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It's highly recommended to have your own liquid test kit because they are more accurate than strips. The popular one here is the API master kit. They're a but spendy but you get hundreds of tests out of them so they're much more cost effective in the long run.

Some people mix tetras with success but I'm of the opinion that fish of a scale school together (or something like a play on the birds of a feather saying). So I'd get all red eyes, at least 5, but that'll be pretty much all you can have in a 10 gallon, no other fish.

I'm not familiar with Nite-Out but the general consensus here is that most bacteria additives don't work and some actually hurt the cycle. The most popular here is Tetra SafeStart but some have had success with Seachem Stability.

It'd be best if you knew the names of the plants. LFS and LPS don't always sell aquatic plants even though they say they are. Also, if your lighting isn't enough for your plants, they will have problems. If you can post a pic of your plants, some of our plant gurus may be able to ID them.

The only product you need right now is the liquid test quit. Once we know what kind of plants you have we can recommend a fertilizer for them.

-Lisa
 

claudicles

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I wouldn't even consider getting any more fish until you have your water tested, which is best done via you own test kit because you will be testing regularly until you know your tank is cycled. You may lose the two you have as tetras are often fussy about new tanks and water conditions.

Good luck.
 
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alrightkay-

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Ill go tomorrow to get a testing kit and update you guys then I'm thinking of getting one more red eye tetra and 3 bleeding heart tetras but not until my water is more stable. Should I wait until my cycling is fully complete and does that sound like a good combo? I want a couple more but these two types of tetra get to about 2-3 inches and I don't think my 10 gallon is big enough. I'm worried my 2 tetras are going to hurt each other or not survive by themselves. Right now they seem scared and uncomfortable, I usually find them separated and close to the bottom of the tank, they're not very active..

When should I start doing my 10% water changes? And is water straight from the tap ok to use if I have a water conditioner?
 

Kunsthure

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Like Claudicles said, don't get any more fish until your tank is cycled.

You need to be doing daily water changes with a water conditioner that detoxes ammonia and nitrites like Prime or Amquel+ until your tank cycles. This will help the fish. You can use tap water with a conditioner. If you don't get Prime or Amquel+, make sure your conditioner neutralizes chlorine and chloramines.

If you can return the tetras that would be best. Then you can do a fishless cycle. Tetras in small groups and tetras in a cycling tank are really stressful to them and there's a good chance they won't make it.

I'd pick either one or the other kind of tetra and not mix them. They most likely won't school together and the small number of each kind will stress them out. But that's just me.

-Lisa
 
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alrightkay-

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Alright, thanks you guys! That was very helpful, I'll probably post more questions when I get my testing kit tomorrow

So I should do a 10% water change everyday? I have a water conditioner that does all of that so that's good. I was reading my bottle of Nite-Out and it seems almost like my water conditioner.. This is what the bottle says:

For optimum nitrification and ammonia removal, first treat your aquarium with Nite-Out, with select culture to reduce organic levels that may inhibit the natural nitrification process. Because nitrifictaion requires adequate levels of alkalinity, check the aquarium water's PH level and alkalinity.

Is this safe to use? What does it do?
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I have moved your thread to the Tetras section of the forum.

Thanks!
Ken
 

SFwriter

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I'm going to be contrarian. I have found red eye tetras to be one of the more robust tetras and should be able to survive a tank cycle if you test the water daily and make partial water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrites down.

I prefer using live plants instead of chemicals to help detox, but that's me. And the fish will eat most of them, so I'd look to add one of the stiff-leaf grasslike plants.

Personally, I would have only purchased one tetra to cycle a tank that small, but you have two. That just means the fish waste will be twice as much. You really have to watch your water parameters. The two will nip at each other, just make sure you have places for them to hide from each other.

Once you start seeing nitrates go up and ammonia go away, you can start adding more tetras, probably one at a time, but no more than two at a time until you reach 6. Stay with the red eyes because ultimately you will want them to be able to school. Two sets of three isn't enough to make anybody happy.

After your tank is stable with 6 tetras, get a small bottom-feeder like a cory catfish.

ETA: REgarding your Nite-out, if you are using it to detox your tank during a cycle, it;s counter-productive. You need the ammonia to provide raw material for the nitrites. You need the nitrites to provide the raw material for your nitrates. Without the ammonia and nitrites, the bacteria you need can't grow because you are taking away their food. That will slow your cycle considerably.
 
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