55 Gallon Aquarium setup issues and need HELP!!!

  • #1
Ok bare with me this is the second place I have posted all this cause I got no awnsers from the "other" fish forum site.

I got this tank about 2 weeks ago. It's a 55 gallon corner unit came with the fish below off craigslist (one of those it sells or they die listings), kept 20 gallon of original water put in another 25 tap with conditioner and 1 heaping tbls of aquarium salt per 5 gallon of water. Placed them back in that same day cause they were in a 2.5g all together and not liking it!

Tank had originally in it the following:
1 elephant nose 5-6"
1 african butterfly 4"
6-7 feeder guppies
2 cory cats
2 species unknown

I (about a few days later) added the following:

3 blue gouramis
4 fancy guppies
and my betta from his tiny bowl on my t.v (he was so jealous looking across the room to that big tank)

First issue came about 3 days after the new fish and I believe it is with a bully fish!
Betta lost his tail fins overnight, Then next night 1 fancy guppy was dead with no fins at all stuck to filter intake. A few feeder guppies also gone, those I think the butterfly ate, which is o.k that's what they were there for

I had placed the first suspect in the fancy guppy murder in my 10 gallon hospital tank..He was the elephant nose fish! Just figured he looks mean it's got to be him.
Next morning another fancy Guppy with no tail! That makes the third with one death
Guess it wasn't him! But I was reluctant to put him back in the 55 gallon cause now he had a pink sore around his mouth and a few white spots
tests were all fine so maybe just stress? However I did use 50% main tank water 50% tap with conditioner, cause my main take has had ammonia, nitrite spikes (from not being cycled properly) so I've been daily water changing. He is back in the 55 now.

Next I removed the gouramis cause they were actively chasing eachother and nipping so I thought maybe them. Now they are in the 10 gallon with the elephant nose.

I also removed the unknown fish just in case they too are in the 10 gallon.

So out of all the fish I have: who do you think is causing the fin damage.
LFS said the guppies!

I read online about butterfly fish and know they could eat small feeder guppies but would they just cause fin damage and not eat the whole fish? Does anyone else have these and what is your experience with them.

I also read about gouramis and they seem to fit the bill as far as fin eaters go! But I put them back too cause the LFS lady said no way they just play a lot and are one of the most docile fish.

The only fish not back in the 55 are my betta who is back in his home refilled with the mains tank water and the 2 unknown species who are still in the hospital tank.

I purchased some fake plants to sit in the tank for both top and bottom fishies to hide in.

I pick-up some top-fin bacteria supplement 9meant to help the cycling process), put 25ml of that in not the 45ml asked for cause I have never used it before and don't want to do more damage than good.

I also bought ICH-ATTACK 100% organic. Says it treates diseases cuased by ich,fungus,protozoans and dinoflagllates. Dont know what any of that is but LFS lady suggested it for the whole tank because of the elephant noses pink sore and one white spot.

I feel like this tank is slipping away and I am spending lots to try not losing them. Any suggestions would be great.

My filter is currenty off cause I read when you treat the tank to turn it off but for how long? Doesn't seem like a good idea going a week without it.
  • #2
Okay, you need a lot of help... Your tanks has never cycled, this is a problem for any/all of the fish.
FIRST: TURN YOUR FILTER BACK ON RIGHT AWAY. When you use meds, you remove any carbon in the filter, you don't turn off the filter.

SECON Research the fish type here before putting them in a tank. Just because "you have the room" doesn't mean things will not go badly.

THIR Your Betta is badly fin damaged, he needs to be kept in a water temp of 80deg, (so heater needed) with a filter with not to heavy of a flow (his swim fins are gone, he can't swim in a fast current) and watched very carefully for problems with his fins. Bettas are best kept alone, I won't explain more, because you can see what happens to them when other fish can rip their fins apart being in a community tank. Some vitamins or fin repair medicine may be needed. If his water is kept good and clean and warm, he might survive the damage done. Watch for other Betta experts to give you some more advice here soon!

My opinion several of the fish... the gouramis or the african butterfly? or what 2 fish you don't even know what they are... that killed the guppies, and chewed the betta up, and caused the elehant nose to get injuries from trying to flee the attacks. The guppies didn't do it.

What you say about your current tank status, is confusing... what was your last water test...and readings ?Do you have a testing kit?

It is going to be iffy that the remaining fish will survive, but we can try to save them, they have been stressed in many ways.

The meds that you have are not the right ones needed. People at the fish store ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU THE BEST INFORMATION so don't ask them and don't listen to them!
  • #3
I've heard that labyrinth fish (like bettas and gouramis) do not get along very well, so perhaps the gouramis are the culprits as far as the damage to your betta. Do you know the sex of your gouramis? If they are all males there might be problems.

That top-fin bacteria supplement will probably actually slow down your cycling process (wrong type of bacteria). The only substance that is proven to jump start the nitrogen cycle is Bio-Spira, which should cycle a tank in 24 hours.

What kind of test kit are you using? Most Fish Lore members use and recommend the API Master Test Kit, and if you are currently using test strips it's probably a good idea to switch.

Also, can you post pictures of your unknown fish? Maybe we can help you identify them.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Ok! Heres more info. Sorry for the confusion but thanks for the responses.

First: I didn't buy most these fish, they came with the tank. The lady wanted to sell it before moving or kill off her fish and break it down to pack in the truck so they were rescue fish, that I did not have to take! LFS would not take them, due to signs of sickness. I knew they didn't have the best chance at making it but thought I would try. They were living in so green it was almost black water so I only kept 20 gallons of it before taking down her tank and bring it to my house. I did small frequent water/filter changes to clear it up. I know that was likely not the best idea but that's why I'm here--is to learn something! I did buy 3-gouramis--all still fine and 4 fancy guppies of which 1 lived. I only got them cause the rest seemed to have taken the move quite well--again my bad!

2 unknowns-(came with tank)---currently in 10 gallon w/heat/filter

Current state of the 55 gallon tank! Filter back on Carbon stage removed! TY

1 Elephant Nose-(came with tank)
1 Butterfly-(came with tank)
5 Guppies, 4 feeder-(came with tank), 1 fancy
2 Cory Cats-(came with tank)
3 Gouramis

All fish are in the 55 gallon but the 2 unknowns and the Betta he is housed in a small 1 gallon hex with no filter but a 25watt heater on low keeping him in the mid 70's. Seems to be doing fine. I have a few larger 2.5 gallons and a 10 gallon hospital tank (2 unknowns in there) but none of these are cycled just filled with water from the main tank with a little bacteria supplement and 1 tsp salt per gallon. I can get him in one of those with a filter, but I have had the betta for 4 months living in a tiny 3 cup betta bowl on my t.v, so he is doing better in the 1 gallon with a heater.

I have a fresh water master liquid test kit. Glass viles with chems you add and compare on a chart the colors.

Just tested
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Ph 7.4
KH 53.7 ppm carbonate hardness
I do daily water changes at 33%
I need to aquire a nitrate test too I know

I only thought it could be the guppies cause I knew I had way more males than females and only the fancy males have died. Could maybe also be the Gouramis cause other poster have said they caught them nipping fins. Why I don't think it was any of the others is cause they came with the tank and had been mates according to the lady I bought from, for a year or so other than the feeder guppies she bought for the elephant nose and butterfly fishies to eat, which she said they showed no interest in doing!

In the photos:

The first two are the unknown fish! can't find them anywhere they are small hard to photograph. The one with the yellow and black striped fins seems to have a broken laterial line, swims with head up kinda unable to move caudal region or tail area almost looks like seizers--feel bad for this guy but for all I know that's normal for his species. The black one has ripped tail fins but could be from going through small holed rock in the hospital tank or he's an attacky too.

Last photo was just taking of my elephant nose they aren't really spots looks more like missing scales! He does have one spot the size of a flake of dandrift on the other side. White lines are part of his markings.

Any suggestions would be great.

Tried to give them away, so I could cycle and start fresh, no-one wants them! So I'll just keep with the Ich.attack, bacterial supplements and water changes and hope for the best!
  • #5
Welcome to Fishlore.

Well, I think there are a number of issues to address, but you can get the injured fish healed and peace in the tank.

1) Run the filter 24/7. The filter needs to run all the time and I'd recommend running filters without carbon in them EXCEPT when you want to remove meds.

2) The Betta needs his own tank. They're very poor community fish and most of the time end up dead from faster swimming fish. I'm glad he's back in his tank and I would recommend treating him with Vita-Chem, Fish Protector and Garlic Boost.. some of those might have to be ordered online. Keep an eye on his fins for any signs of fin rot.
(The same supplements/vitamins would be a good course for the injured guppies too.) and are sites we order from.

3) The Gourami are 99% likely to be your culprits. With 3 in there and a Betta too, they're my guess. They're semI territorial and have no problem going after fish even bigger than them. I'd recommend returning 2 of them.

4) Do you have pics of the mystery fish? They can probably be identified by some of our members who have had that type of fish before.

5) You need to get the 55 gallon cycled.

I would recommend getting the API master freshwater test kit. Liquid tests are more accurate than strips and this kit is great for home aquariums.
I'd also recommend getting a bottle of Prime for your water conditioner.

It's the best conditioner around and will not only remove the chlorine and chloramines but will take care of heavy metals and help protect your fish from ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.. plus it helps their slime coating.

Since you have fish in there, you want to cycle the tank slower and keep the levels from getting too high. I would recommend 25% water changes every other day and test the water before the water change. When you get to 0 for ammonia and nitrites and 10 or less for nitrates, the tank's cycled and you could go to weekly 25% water changes. Live plants will help if you want to add any.

Discontinue that "cycling help" product. It doesn't actually help.. unfortunately, it may actually hinder the cycling of the tank. I'd only recommend a product called "Bio Spira" - it's refrigerated and will immediately cycle your tank. (If you find it, check the expiration dates - short shelf life on that product.)

Ich-Attack is a good product for Ick and related problems, but I'm not sure that you need it for your fish. It won't hurt them, but would you be able to post a closer pic on those spots? Unless they're like grains of salt, it's most likely not ick.

I know it feels out of control, but you can stabilize the tank and get it on the road to being cycled now.. help the injured fish heal up and end up with a beautiful tank full of happy fish. Best of luck with it and we'll be here to help out all that we can.

EDIT: I'd recommend a filter for your Betta. If he's going to heal up the fin, you'll want extra clean water and I'd recommend at least 2.5g for him. The smaller tank will be harder to maintain ideal conditions in and finrot is VERY opportunistic with Betta fins and the biggest bane of Betta owners.

I'm sorry the gups didn't make it. I agree that's missing scales on your elephant nose and ich-attack isn't needed. The mystery fish look like Tetras, but I'll wait for some tetra owners to confirm that and if so, what Tetra species.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thank you all so much! I was at another site fresh and saltwater forum and no-one ever responded to my questions or issues!

I will place the betta in the larger 2.5 or 10 gallon once I get the confirm to put the two unknowns back with the community fish tank, they have the only other filter running for them in the 10 gallon. It's a 2-5 gallon filter but I get stuff all the time from craigslist so I'll keep my eye out for another larger filter.

I can't take the gouramis back my LFS won't do that once they have been in home tank water. Arrg... maybe I can give them away on craigslist

Should I do tap water for the Betta with the Betta Bowl Buddy fizz tabs? to just start him fresh-without the added stuff in their now like salt and ich.attack--keeping the carbon filter on him? or a new plain mesh filter? or a 75% new water 25% existing water mix?

On the 55 gallon no carbon at all, just the white mesh bag empty. Unless I'm removing medicine?

thanks and good-night
  • #7
HI TrickyTink..
Your mystery fish are tetras as Dave suspected. Looking at the tip color markings of the dorsal fin they look like Phantom or x-ray tetras.
I also agree that more than likely your culprit in the tank are the gourami's you brought in new.
You have some great advice from all the responses and if you follow them you should do ok in solving the problem in your tank. ;D

~ kate
  • #8

Those unknown fish are tetras - I suspect X-rays. They are safe to put in your 55gal - and put Betta in the 10gal.

  • #9
I would suspect the african butterfly fish, I have read up on them for my mother who bought one w/o researching it first. They are extremely aggresive fish, and they prey on anything big enough to fit in their mouths. Also they attack fish when they get on the top of the water.
  • #10
If you get some Prime, I'd recommend that for treating the tap water for the Betta too. 1-2 drops per gallon does the trick and it will be a help to him healing up since it will protect him from uncycled water. 50% water changes every other day on his tank would be good, along with any of the Vita-Chem, Fish Protector and Garlic Boost products that you get. When you get the filter running for him, no carbon, just floss and a sponge works.

Running without carbon is best - I've forgotten to take it out and had one of my favorite bettas die because of that. It's much easier to just put it in to remove meds .. plus cheaper since you don't use so much carbon.
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Ok i'm buying stuff now!

Shopping Cart has in it!

Ario 4 Moonlight Aquarium Aerator <----for O2 and looks

Prime - 16.9 oz.<-----for water changes

Pre-Cut Background - Crystal Dreams - 10 Gallon Tank Size

Vita-Chem Freshwater - 4 oz. <------for the bettas fins

Shrimp Puffs <--------for the butterfly fish

I can't take the carbon out of the 10 gallon filter cause it's a small whisper in-tank. They come with a pre filled filters and I have 12 of them. So should I start him with a fresh filter as well as fresh water? I'll do a water change with prime when that comes in but for now I'll just use one of bottles I have. I was also going to buy one of those dividers for the the gallon it says it perforated so water can flow through has anyone had any luck with those? Do you put the heater on one side and filter on the other?

Gouramis are going back to the LFS. I just called them and spoke to the manager and since their fish girl suggested them to me knowing what was in my tank and having killed 3 of my guppies, he said he'll take them back, no money return but honestly I don't care at this point.

Betta will go in the 10 gallon as soon as I put the tetras back. Take out the water and refill it. For now he's good eating well and seems happy.

So anyone know what's up with my silver tetra with yellow and black fins he swims head up and cannot move his rear. Looking at his laterial line you can see a sharp bend in it at the tail area. Not normal I'm guessing?

As far as the butterfly fish goes. He really doesn't like anyone at the top of the tank but I added lots of floating plants to help him and the others hide out. I have watched him for hours and he just charges them maybe gives them a butting but no bits.

I started feeding twice a day again cause it was when I cut back to once a day that the nipping started so if I keep the elephant and butterfly fat and happy they should go back to their mostly reclusive state....I think

You've all been a great help.
  • #12
Glad to hear things are going more smoothly. It sounds like the tetra might have gotten dropped on the floor or something.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Hmm. not while in my care. I'm wondering if the elephant nose didnt shock em' or something? or maybe he hit the glass real hard as a babe. Whatever it is he does eat (what falls right in front of him) just not to active. We'll he's here until his not....if that makes sence.

I could only get one gourami out...my they are fast! But I think I got the mean one so I'll just wait and see. He's in my bedroom tank now until I go out to the store. I'll try to catch the other mean one next feeding time.

I noticed my 2-3 male feeder guppies (only think their male cause they have some bright colors coming in) chasing around the female (she looks like a minnow) and nipping her under belly fin. ?? why would they do that? Is it a mating thing cause I don't think they are big enough to mate with her. Not causing damage just bugging her! My fancy guppy could mate but shows no interest in her or any of the feeders he stuck with his own while they were alive. I just assumed fance and feeders would school...not the case I guess.

Have a good one!
  • #14
When I need to remove carbon and I don't have extra filter floss, I cut a slit in the filter and shake all the carbon out, then rinse it really well. I know a lot of people just use extra filter floss instead...

Maybe try that?
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Thanks everyone! I think I'm well on the way to a healthy tank with all your help.

Few more questions.

1. should I put my filter back in and stop using ich.attack and bacterial supplement on the 55g? From the photos I don't think it is ich. Just a stress induced issue or water quality issue or is it still good to use?

2. Should I discontinue the use of carbon on both tanks and just switch to floss or a ceramic or more modern media and the sponge? and what one do you suggest if so?

3. I'm going to raise live worms and crickets for the Elephant nose and Butterfly fish. Has anyone else done this? Can I house worms and crickets in one tank? Dirt bottom and branch surface was my thought.

4. I will be dividing the 10 gallon in two with a divider. Once cycled 4 weeks or so? I want to get another betta and a few ghost shrimp in their with my existing betta.

5. Once I place my Betta in the 10 gallon will I need another 10 or 20 for a Hospital tank?

6. As far as I can tell with compatibility
Butterfly is the only surface dweller-----which is good
tetras, cories, guppies and elephant are bottom dwellers-----also o.k
What do you suggest as a middle tank swimmer once the tank has cycled?

Again Thank you!
  • #16
Way to keep at it.....

1. filter in , stop meds and bacteria.

2. use new carbon ( or new filter that have carbon in them) for about a day, then remove them. Don't forget to remove, they can send things back in the tank you don't want.

3.can't help you with that...I don't think tropicals can eat crickets :though...crickets have a hard outershell body type

4. a divided 10 gal is ok for 2 bettas, but be sure not to have two males. Even if you have females they may not be comfortable. It's better to place them in a divided tank to start with. If you went from a 20x15 bedroom to a 10x10 room, you'd feel like you are squeezed and want more space. I have a betta in a 10gal, and he's very happy and funny and healthy.

5. a hospital tank is always good to have, it doesn't necessarily "have to be" a tank. Some folks use a clean pail/bucket as long as it will accept a heater filter .

6. why not see if things settle down, before thinking bout more fish? Use the Fish species spot here, and see what fish have what behaviors?
  • #17
1 yes the filter can go in. I would stop using the ich attack, it doesn't look like it is ick. If you were going to add something be best would probably be a stress coat helper.

2 Yes take the carbon out. on whisper they are really easy to tank out. I like floss, but I think that it is a personal preferance more than anything.

3 What kind of worms? crickets are really easy to raise, . One good cricket-cage is those plastic storage boxes, they have a tight lid, yet are easy to drill for air holes (plus they are cheap which is a plus) the worms would depend on the type

4 I'm happy he is getting a big tank!

5 yes you always need a hospital tank, if you use your 10 you will need a different one.

6 the tetras and guppies will be all over the tank. if you were to get more fish I would reccomend 4 more tetras so they have a school.

Good luck!


  • #18
1. Definitely put the filter back in and stop using the bacterial supplement. The ich attack won't do them any harm, but I think would be wasting money at this point so I'd stop using it too.

2. Yes, I'd take the carbon out. We like to put extra sponges in ours.

3. Not sure. Never had either of those fish.

4. If you want to have 2 betta in a divided tank, be sure they won't be able to jump over the divider. Ideally, it's best to cycle the tank first and I would before adding any to the tank.

5. I'd recommend it, but it's not totally necessary.

6. I'd agree on researching fish while the 55 gallon cycles, then decide what to add.
  • #19
for info on betta, check the betta page on the forum... if you put two betta's in the same tank WITH a divider... put plenty of tall plants on each side of the divider to block it from view as much as possible. When I had my 10 gallon divide, I put a filter on both sides.

Another option would be to just have the one betta in the 10 gallon and add three or four otto cats. They would probably do fine in a ten gallon with out a divider.... most bettas do fine with ottos... but some don't. It's good to have a back up plan when putting other fish with bettas. Mine did fine with his otto cats. I've heard of people keeping cory cats or pygmy cories with bettas too.
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Went to the LF store after attempting to checkout online and getting a backorder flag. You'd be proud they offered to replace the gouramis with fancy guppies since they killed them but I said no and the manager told me it was something he could only offer tonight, I still said no thank you

I found prime there so I bought that and will use that from now on at water changes. Looked for any of the items suggested for the bettas fins none there. I did find something called Melafix antibacterial remedy it had listed fin damage and pink sores both of which I'm dealing with so I got that too. It's in the 55 gallon now for the elephant nose, tetras and my last fancy guppy whos fins were also a little nipped. I also bought a nitrate test kit.

Tonights test results are Nitrate at 6-7ppm, ammonia 0, ph 7.4 maybe 7.2, nitrite 0. So that seems good. I did have the original foam filter from the tank when purched as well as the rocks and decor but I cleaned them all but the foam filter (honestly cause I didn't see it) with hot tap so I thought everything died but maybe I was wrong.

I will set up the 10 gallon in the morning and add prime and Melafix get the betta in their with the divider already in place so he won't feel I'm taking from him later on this will be his biggest tank other than the 55 he was in for a day. He has been eating normally 3 pellets of bio-gold alternating with freeze dried bloodworms. Hope he can make a come back.

Just bought freeze dried jumbo shrimp for the african butterfly fish cause they were lacking anything else I thought he might eat. They are hard shelled but I know he eats anything that fits in his mouth.

That's all folks----Goodnight
  • #22
Hope you see this asap....DONT USE THE MELAFIX for your betta it will kill him.
  • Thread Starter
  • #23

Yea well that pretty much SUCKS! I stayed up late got the 10 gallon ready put the prime and MELEFIX in placed my poor Beta in the tank! Came right down and before logging off read this!!!!

I had already emptied the other tank so was pretty SOL. Ran to the basement found the little 3 cup hexagon thing I originally got with him put tap in it a drop of prime and rushed it to him! I've got him in there now but ARRRG they should really list this sort of stuff on the bottle!!!

He isn't going to make it is he? he is now in a 3 cup bowl no heat no filter and likely a LOT STRESSED. poor guy must think I'm some kind of FISH TORTURER!

I'm having a bad night. I ALREADY DOUBLE DOSED the 55 gallon with the melefix and noticed 2 hours after the fact while setting up the 10 gallon and did a rush 50% water change on them..

  • #24
Take a deep breath...
remember you saved them from certain death.
  • #25
Don't be too hard on yourself. A LOT of Betta owners have used Melafix, not knowing that it's harmful to air-labyrinth fish. (So is Pimafix and even Bettafix). So you're not alone there - even our most knowledgeable Betta owners here have run into the Melafix problem.

By getting him out so quickly, I'm sure the melafix didn't do him any harm. You can empty the 10g, refill it and acclimate your Betta back into it. You can get him into warm, filtered, clean water.. Maybe a few thawed frozen bloodworms and some time talking to him will make both of you feel better about the whole thing. I find it relaxing to sit & talk to them. They really do like it and they don't mind what you talk about so it's a great way to unwind.

Don't worry - you're learning. We all make mistakes - we almost killed every fish we had with algae-remover in the first few weeks - but you're learning.
  • #26

You don't suck at this. It wasn't your fault the girl at the LFS told you that the Gouramis would be fine, it wasn't your fault that the fish the previous owner of the 55G put incompatible fish in it, it wasn't your fault. The Melafix you didn't know about but you did the right thing - just do what Dave says and he'll be fine.

Look - your better than I was. First - I got a 7.5gal for my birthday - and decided I'd fit 12 fish in it. After not even cycling the tank - I went out and bought 1 Black molly, 2 Guppys and a Platy. Two weeks later; after going to the LFS basically daily and adding about 10 different chemicals to make the water parameters right; I bought 3 corys of different species. I had them fro about 2 weeks and 2 died. For 3 months I was buying more fish, fish die, I buy more, they die, I lost one to basically everything. Once I accidentally scooped Black molly out with the net without realising, and came back to find her dead in my net. I barely did any water changes! Now - compare that to your situation - I killed around 20 fish. Not good, is it?

  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Wow thank you. All that made me feel much better. My hubby is really the one who got me down on myself he told "just stop messing with them and maybe they'll live" I guess he's fed up with the water tests/changes and store visits. I don't think he gets that they can feel pain and would likely die without attentive care while the tank cycles. I guess I haven't done that bad I lost 3 fancy guppies to the gouramis but nothing due to water quality.

Good news!
Nemo (Bettas name--Don't ask I let a 3 year old name him) is still alive this morning!
I'm going to empty and refill today the 10 gallon and get him back in there.
  • #28
Yea.. sometimes our family and/or friends don't get how we feel about our fish. Just look forward to when the hard work pays off and you have happy fish in peaceful tanks and only routine maintenance to do.

Nemo - lol.. I love it!
  • #29

Yeah - you'll love it when you only have to do weekly changes! Great to hear Nemo is doing great. Our Bettas are tough little dudes - they can survive anything! (Apart from dirty little PetCo cups full of poop...)

  • #30
Don't let ANYONE get on you about not knowing everything about fish before having a fish tank. Honestly, how else do you learn these things? We have all been through a rough time with our tanks. The key is...learn from it. Take the information with you as you go down the journey of being an aquarist. Honestly, I have yet to find one aspect of this hobby that isn't learning intensive, and fun once you begin to realize... "Hey!!! I do know what I'm doing." You'll get there, and you've come to right place too. Lot of good people here, with lots of good information, and always willing to help.
  • #31
WOW, and I thought I was going nuts just trying to get my one 10 gallon set up and cycled. Good luck with your MTS and getting everybody healthy and living with compatible tank mates. There are so many knowledgeable folks here that are a great help.
  • #32
hey, don't worry about it! a couple of years ago, when I was starting, my mom said fish were a waste of time and money. Yet only a few weeks ago she spent about 30$ on fish and put them in the tank and everything! now she is really into it! wait a little, it might just grow on your hubby.
≈ D ≈
  • #33
Firstly, welcome to FishLore, I'm glad you chose our community for help

Secondly, you're doing fine considering what you inherited from the previous owner.

As has been said, we've all had to start at the beginning and we've all made mistakes - myself included. im

If you ever have any questions just ask and someone will have the answer. And no question is a stupid question btw

Don't forget to have a read through some of the topics on the FishLore.com page when things settle down.

Lastly, enjoy the hobby.
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
Up date:
Everyone is doing good. My tests tell me the tank has cycled, likely due to me keeping the gravel, 20 gallons and the foam filter un-rinsed from the original set-up! nitrite 0, nitrate 5-6, ammonia 0, ph 7.2-7.4.

Nemo is still ok from the melefix issue however he has tank mate now!
My last fancy guppy HAD to be put in with him.
nipped last night by my carnivor (elephant nose and african butterfly) I grabbed a decoration and some of the larger rocks from the 55 to help the 10 gallon cycle. Has been up only a few days but I did not change the filter or rinse substrate. I figured the tiny amount of melefix left wouldn't kill him after all the reading I've done on that. I guess the butterfly just likes fancy guppy tails at least I think it must be him the elephant nose maybe! I just don't get why they don't eat the feeder guppies? maybe now that the slow fish are out they will have no choice.

My next project is to put pool filter sand in both tanks. I'm going to do this on my next water change reason being is all the reading I've been doing have told me the elephant nose and the cories would appreciate a sandy bottom. Mostly the elephant nose cause he may have gotten the pink sore from digging up gravel looking for the bloodworms that fell in the cracks. I will mix the gravel with the sand to avoid capping it cause I've been told that is bad. Pool store has it for $8/50lb. My plan is to rise well. Empty the tank into 5 gallon buckets. I only have 4 but will also use my 3 largest stew pots that should give me at least another 9 gallons. So it won't be a total water loss, less than my 33% water changes. Place fish in separate buckets! I will remove all the decor. Only plan on putting Elephant noses tunnel and one cave for the cories back in and floating ivy plant for Butterfly. Add and mix the sand with some of the gravel, I plan to remove some gravel that is sharp or larger then 5mm. It will be a pain but I think the end product will make them happy.

I am going to make the 55 gallon a meat eater tank, stocked with small feeder fish for them. I must say watching them hunt is pretty nifty>. Since they both eat a lot of the same things the poor feeders won't be able to go up or down

in the end I will have a fully stocked 10 gallon with ]1 betta=2",1 fancy=1" likely more guppies and a loach!

55 gallon will have
1 elephant nose=up to 9"
1 butterfly=4" max adult size and his current size
4 feeder guppies=5"
2 cories=6"
and a few more just haven't done all the research yet! likely larger fast moving peaceful fish!
  • #35
The cories will school So I would get at least 6 so you can watch their social behaviors and it would give the other 2 cories buddies!
  • #36

Your guppy ain't safe yet - Nemo will probably try and do what the Elephant nose did. The only fish compatible with male Bettas are corys and otos.

  • #37
not always. I've had bettas that could have been put in my community tank and would have been fine, others if I put any other kind of fish with it would rip them apart. It really depends on the personality of the fish.
  • #38

Depends on the personality - but go ask on the Betta board "Can I keep my Betta in this community" and get an answer of no. They don't belong in the community - they just get stressed out.

  • #39
No I'm not saying that he should be in community, I'm saying that he wouldnt eat the fish in my community- on the contrary he would probably be nipped.
  • #40

Oh. Misunderstanding... Yeah - he'd be nipped to death. In my community - he'd battle my dwarf gouramis, get nipped by the cherrys, ignored by the hatchets, BN and corys and rip the livebearers to shreds!


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