A Few Questions...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Bean Counter, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Bean Counter New Member Member

    Hello. We recently started a tank, and I have a few questions. The tank is 29 gallons.

    1. When we first set the tank up (before adding fish), the PH was too high, so we used a product called PH Proper 7.0. The PH was fine after that (around 7.0). We added fish. After doing a 25% water change, the PH was too low (around 6.4). The PH Proper 7.0 just never seems to bring it up. I added aquarium salt, and the PH still did not go up. I am now trying a liquid PH increaser, and it appears to be going up gradually. My question is about aquarium salt. The container says to use 1 tablespoon for every 10 gallons. For 29 gallons, I'm using three tablespoons. When I do a 25% water change, is it ok to use three tablespoons of aquarium salt again, or should I use 25% of three tablespoons?

    2. The rule of thumb is 1 gallon for every inch of fish. Does this rule apply to the current size of the fish or the maximum size of the fish? The reason I ask is because one of the fish in my tank is a clown loach. It is only about three inches right now, but I believe they get a lot bigger. My plan is to get a bigger tank for the clown loach when it starts getting bigger (so I plan to follow the 1 gallon per inch of fish rule). Is this an ok way to do this?

    3. When people go on vacation for a week, how do they feed their fish? I've seen those white shells that float on top of the tank, and I've also seem automatic feeders on store shelves. Which works better? I plan to add an algae eater eventually. If I do not have enough algae in my tank while I'm on vacation, how will it eat for a week? I don't think algae wafers fit in automatic feeders. Or do they?

    4. I have a power filter close to the middle of the tank but more to the left. I have a treasure chest that is hooked up to an air pump, and it blows bubbles. Does this create adequate water circulation? The water appears to be circulating, but my air pump has a place for two connectors...and I only have one thing connected to it (the treasure chest).

    5. What happens during a power outage? I remember a few years ago, there were places that did not have power for a few days. What type of safeguards are there to ensure that the tank stays heated during a power outage? (I live in Buffalo, NY, so without the heater the water would get pretty cold in the winter).

    6. Not a question, but here is what I have in my 29 gallon tank:
    1 - clown loach
    1 - cat fish (the kind with the really long whiskers - I think it starts with a "p").
    3 - dwarf gouramis
    2 - albino rainbow sharks

    I plan to add an algae eater later, and that's about all for that tank (don't want it to be too crowded). We've had the cat fish for over three weeks now.

  2. Janmitch22 Valued Member Member

    I've taken a shot at answering your questions. I basically learned everything I know from reading the posts here.

    1. I've read that your fish will acclimate themselves to your water, whatever the pH. But whenever you add new water, only add enough treatment for that respective amount of water. So for the salt thing, 25% of three tablespoons. I would chuck the pH changers...I recently read a post in which one of the experienced members strongly advised against them.

    2. The inch-gallon rule can apply to the current size of the fish if you plan on upgrading to bigger tanks as your fish grow. I'm doing that very thing. Clown loaches grow very slowly. I have four myself, a very good choice of fish  ;D

    3. I've left my fish alone before. Feed them normally before you leave and they should be just fine for a week. They'll be looking at you like you've done them a personal wrong, but they won't have died of starvation.

    4. The general rule of thumb for filtration (that I learned here) is to multiply your tank volume by 10 to get the proper filter capacity for your tank. Your tank will need filtration of at least 290 gallons per hour. The gph of a filter is usually stamped on the box somewhere. But yes, if you have the filter and the treasure chest moving water around, circulation is good.

    5. I dunno what happens during a power outage, luckily I haven't had to suffer through one yet with my fish.  I'd think your fish would be okay for a few days with no power. Water takes a while to cool down or heat up; maybe adding a bit of hot water (if you can manage it) every day until the power comes back on will help? Or draping the tank with a couple of blankets to slown down heat loss? Or both?

    6. Are you planning on adding more clown loaches? They like companionship...I'd say at least three of them will be good. Maybe you should start up another tank. ;D  Has there been any nipping or bullying going on? Those rainbow sharks can be snotty....
  3. Marc Well Known Member Member

    Is the catfish a Pictus? Long whiskers, steelish color, black splotches? I'd be wary of putting anything small in, I've had some eat Guppies before.

    The two Sharks may fight - they're pretty territorial. I'd watch them closely for any bad behavior.
  4. Bean Counter New Member Member

    Thanks for the replies. There has not been a lot of bullying in my tank. My rainbow sharks do not bother the other fish, and other fish do not bother them. They chase each other some but not much.

    Yes, I believe my cat fish is a Pictus. The other fish are around its size, so I don't think there are any that are small enough for him to eat. He stays under this log most of the time, and he's very territorial with the log. As long as other fish do not go in the log, he leaves them alone.

    I did not know that Clown Loaches liked to have other clown loaches in the tank. I saw this huge tank at the veterinarian's office (when I took my dogs there a few weeks ago), and it had a bunch of Gouramis and one Clown Loach. So, I just assumed they didn't really care if they had other Clown Loaches in the tank. I think I'll add two more Clown Loaches along with an Algae Eater. Yes, I definintely plan to get a bigger tank for my Clown Loaches when they get bigger.

    My Dwarf Gouramis are territorial with each other but with the other fish. The Dwarfs do not pick on each other, but they do seem to chase other Dwarves away if one gets in their section of the tank.

    What's the maximum amount of time you would recommend I not feed the fish if I'm on vacation? I may be gone for eight days this summer (just a little over a week).
  5. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to FishLore Beancounter!!!
    Generally you figure your fishes ultimate size when buying for a tank, Clown Loaches do better with buddies and DO NOT like salt. Your tank is more than stocked right now and I wouldn't advise adding any more fish.
    As for adding Medications always add enough to medicate the water being added.
  6. teddybear22482 Valued Member Member

    As for the power outages...Im not sure but ive heard they make battery powered backup power strips. If your power goes out they can keep your tank running for a little while but if its out for a couple days i think I would keep spare batteries nearby.