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20gal Long 1 Cichlid Rainbow Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Frankieflowaz, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    Tanks been up bout 2 weeks now this pick is when i first set it up but i got me fish bout 2 days ago I got filter media dirty from store also in tank water I mixed it to get it all off but not over faucet anyways i put that behind my new media both are in my filter (30 gal filter) plz helpful! Tips and how often should i change water and how much? I only kept an Oscar years ago in a 55gal need helpful tips

    the rainbow cichlid is inch inch and a half juvie

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2019
  2. PheonixKingZWell Known MemberMember

    Not me, @Feohw might be able to help. :)

  3. FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    For the two weeks you left the tank without fish did you add a source of ammonia? Do you have an api master kit to test the water parameters? If you got enough established media to sustain the cichlids waste, you could do water changes once or twice a week. But if you don't know the parameters it may be best to do them a bit more often, maybe every second day. About 25-30% and occasionally 50% is what I do. A liquid test kit is a must as you need to know if you have ammonia/nitrites/nitrates or not.

  4. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    Ive used stripes and only a pinch of fish food for 2 weeks but i changed 50% befor o got the fish and the media was very used n dirty was in a tank but i used the water it came from to rinse it n put it behind my media

  5. FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    So far so good then. Did they give you much media or just a bit? How much more or less than what you had? I'd recommend an api liquid test kit, they are more accurate than the strips. For now I'd do a water change every second day if you can, or a water change every third day if you can't. Seachem prime can also help if there is ammonia/nitrites. Luckily it's only one fish, and not a fully mature one at that, so you have a bit of leeway with the stores media.
  6. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    It was a filter cartirage i put it behind mine after cleaning the gunk off w the tank water and every third day till how long?? I tried this cichlid cause they dont get as big as my last and i know they need space to thrive so I got one i hope 20 long will do and i use api quick start everytime I water change till i can get prime i heard prime is good
  7. FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    Typically you would do increased water changes until there is a bacteria colony sufficient enough to ensure that there's no ammonia or nitrite and that there is some nitrate. That's why test kits are important. Ammonia and nitrites are toxic, so it's important to know if you have them or if you have enough bacteria to cope with them. Prime is a very good water conditioner, great for cycling tanks or for ammonia/nitrite spikes.
  8. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    So prime is better then api*

    Thx A bunch!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2019
  9. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    @Frankieflowaz , welcome to the forum.

    Prime is about the standard for dechlorinating tap water, and can be used in increased concentrations to detoxify spikes in Ammonia and Nitrites.

    Order online for best price.

    Try to obtain a 1.0mL plastic syringe (without needle) to dose Prime. Pharmacies will either give you one or sell them for very cheap.

    0.1mL treats 1.0 gallons of water
    1.0mL treats 10 gallons of water
    5.0mL treats 50 gallons of water

    Would also highly recommend API Master Freshwater Test Kit. Order online or have local big box store price match their own cheaper online price. It should run $17-$20. Stay away from test strips, they are not cost effective in the long run and not as accurate.

    You mentioned using Quick Start until you get Prime.

    Quick Start is a "biological booster" while Prime is a dechlorinator.

    I hope you have been dechlorinating your water with something else.

    Also, here is a LINK to a thread for inexpensive and effective methods for adding DIY media to your filter to boost mechanical and biological filtration.
  10. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    Sadly i Havnt .. :( is there anything I can do cost free till Thursday? Put 5g of water in a bucket for a day n water change wed?

    I was going to do 1st waterchange w fish tommorow morning but I just filled my bucket of water 5gal so I gotta wait 24 hrs to water change :/ ugh I'm such a fool

    Anyone know? Does this bump if i add a comment??
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2019
  11. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    I am not 100% positive, but I believe leaving out water for at least 24hrs will allow it to de-gas most of the chlorine.

    I think boiling water for at least 6-8 minutes also does this, but again I'm not positive.

    If municipal water supply treats tap water with chloramine, then it will not de-gas like chlorine since it is more stable.

    That is why many municipal water utility depot's use chloramine, for it's stability.

    Most dechlorinating aquarium produces though will remove both rapidly.

    Prime does it almost instantly.
  12. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    do you think 12 hrs has been enough time? i dont wanna wait too long

    Can i do one in 5 hours?
  13. FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    First of all do you know if your water is treated with chlorine or chloramine or both? Whether you can add it soon or not depends on this.

    Chlorine water can be left out overnight (adding an airstone will speed up dechlorination). Or it can be boiled for 20 mins to remove it, and then I'd leave it for a few hours to let it cool and to ensure there aren't remnants of chlorine.

    If you have chloramine in your water it's best to use a dechlorinator (prime is great as it also detoxifies ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours.) Another benefit of dechlorinator is that they also detoxify heavy metals that may be in your water.
  14. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    Call your municipal water dept and ask them if they use chlorine and chloramine.

    tell the why your asking, I'm sure they will tell you
  15. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    Otw to work at 2pm i stopped at a local pet store an they had prime seachem! I got a 100ml bottle was wondering for my first water change i got my fish Friday do i do a 25% and use 2ml worth of prime every water change?

    Gonna do a waterchange in 2hr 30min on lunch break

    Almost that time
  16. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    If you have the time, I would try to do at least 40% change.

    If you're using a 5-gallon bucket and filling it up w/ 4g using a siphon gravel vac to drain tank, making 2 trips to dump water would equal 8 gallons or 40% change.

    Making 3 trips to dump 4 gallons each time yields 12 gallons of tank water removed, or 60% water change.

    I would double the dose of Prime for now, to detoxify any ammonia that may have been spiking.

    At a minimum, 2mL of Prime will dechlorinate your 20g tank.

    If your short on time during lunch break, drain 1 bucket for a 20% change and when you get home later or tomorrow shoot for the larger water change.
  17. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    I can do 2 buckets and thanks alot

    Do i use prime in tank after water changing or in bucket 5gal at a time? Sorry to be so detailed n weird lol

    First water change with pics update :) p.s he only hides when i come by tank or move too much in room as well as his stripes but they go away n he swims around when im far away from tank after awhile! So i think thats good sign I got him Friday its now tues ans hasnt ate yet wondering if its normal

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2019
  18. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds good.

    You can either turn off the filter, add prime to the tank then start pouring in water.

    Or just add Prime to the bucket when you refill.

    Either way is good.

    Another tip, take out your thermometer from tank and hold under the faucet water to temp match to the tank water.

    That way, you get temp matched water changes!
  19. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    Using an outside strip rn but got a 150 watt for a 20gal so i hope itll be Okay of waters not warm enough i try to go for a tad cool but not cold till I can afford a thermometer thurs

    How often should I water change ? Any idea or do i need a test kit? Was gonna do every 3 days for first 2 weeks then once a week 50%
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2019
  20. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    More than likely that would be a good plan.

    I would recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, so you can get your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates figured out.

    Test for those 3 every few days and documenting them while show you the progress of the cycle.

    If you look online, they are usually $16-$18.

    Between those 3 and the pH, the kit is good for a total of 800 tests. So they are very cost effective vs. the test strips.

    Test strips are not cost effective. You may save $10, but you only get a hand full of strips.

    Having the API kit is handy when you add fish or change up something in the tank, to ensure your levels don't spike.

    Even if you need to hold off buying the kit for a week or 2 due to a budget, keeping up with frequent water changes will take care of any spikes in the short term.