A tad confused....

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suewood

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HI there,
We had 2 comet goldfish in a tiny tank - we decided to upgrade the tank to a bigger size as we wanted to set up a tank that could hold some freshwater species - that's when I started reading up on things and learnt that even if we upgraded it wouldn't be enough for the goldfish (we only had a certain dimension to go with) - but we saw a great deal in the local pet store for a 54 litre 60lx30hx30width with filter and heater. We bought this last week and put the goldfish in until a more suitable home could be found. I read that catfish would go well with goldfish as well as other fish so a couple of days we went to the store and bought 4 otocinculus catfish - the smallest one died a few days ago but the others seem to be doing great. We have now given the goldfish to a friend who has a pond so I am abit stuck as to what to do... technically the tank hasn't done its cycle but I have fish in there - what should I do and how long would a cycle take before I can get more fish - if so which fish would be best?? Reading up just confuses me so I thought I'd get some help off you guys!!
We live in Germany but origianlly from the UK.
Thanks for any advice - really appreciate it
Sue
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Meenu

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Welcome to fishlore, Sue. Good job rehoming your goldfish; they really weren't suitable for your tank.

Unfortunately, otos are very sensitive to water conditions, and are unlikely to survive the cycling process. Is there any way you could return them and then do a fishless cycle? It's the safest method, as no fish are harmed. And we love to help with stocking. We can help you figure out what to stock with.
 

Elodea

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Yep. The otos are incredibly fragile fish that are highly unlikely to survive cycling, as Meenu said. All you can do now is to either give back the otos, and then do a fishless cycle, just click the link in either Meenu's or my signature. If not, you may have to dose with Prime to keep ammonia levels in check.

A good API Master Test Kit is always essential for this process of cycling. Don't get the test strips, they are inaccurate and actually more expensive per test.
 

JRDroid

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As Meenu mentioned, Oto cats are very sensitive to water and will probably not survive cycling the tank, tI would be best to return them if that is an option. Fishless cycling or cycling using a product like Tetra SafeStart or Foster and Smith Aquatic's Colonize (not sure if they ship to Germany, but the Tetra product is probably available to you) are the best ways to go.
 

Meenu

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Monmouth, DFS does not ship internationally.
 

JRDroid

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Good to know.
 
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suewood

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Thanks for the info...... I don't think the people in the shop would understand as it was hard enough getting everything from them in the first place - we haven't learnt much German yet!! That's why I started looking on lots of sites in english. Plus I don't think my hubby would be very impressed having to take them back. Its quite a way too drive and traffic is usually horrible! I can't drive so he would have to do it....
Its our fault really for not reading up sooner but the shop should have said something really.... think they maybe just want to make money knowing full well we'd be constantly back for more fish! Stupid english people I bet they think!
I keep doing water changes and I test the water with those strips that read about 6 things in one - all them are reading at an ok level but its all about the ammonia and nitrogen isn't it? Not sure if the strips read that - don't think they do cos like it says on here cycling can take weeks to months and we've only had the tank a week....
Its all so confusing..... is there anything I can put in the water to help with ammonia while the fish are in there? Surely I can't be the only person not to know about the cycle whilst having fish.
Cheers people this site is really gonna help me out - I just need basic basic instructions! lol
Thanks again
Sue
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Aquarist

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Hello Sue and Welcome to Fish Lore!

I'm sorry to read about your fish and tank difficulties. Many of us have been where you are with your tank and local fish stores not giving enough information or giving wrong information. Remember they are in business to make a $.

For now, and since you have fish in the tank, I suggest daily water changes of 30 to 50% until you have test readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates. See if you can find some Prime or Amquel + in your area, or something that will detox ammonia. This will keep your fish safe for 24 hours until it's time for the next water change.

Keep in mind that you don't want to remove the ammonia but detox it.

Paper test strips can be inaccurate and difficult to read. What is most recommended is the API (liquid) Master Test Kit. This kit will test for everything that is mentioned in the nitrogen cycle link. (you can click on the words nitrogen cycle to take you to the link).

I can't say for certain that the fish that you currently have will survive the cycle process. The Otto's are very sensitive as others have previously mentioned.

Hang in there! Once your tank is cycled things will get much easier and you'll be able to kick back and enjoy your tank and fish.

If you have more questions don't hesitate to ask. We're here to help.

Best wishes!

Ken
 
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suewood

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Thanks so much think I'll try and get my hubby to take me to the store to try and find these things in the message above - When we put water into the tank initially we used water we had saved up for a week or so in rinsed out containers but obviously it had not gone thru the filter so I'm wondering if that's why the otos are ok for the minute. I shall do the daily water changes as suggested.
The otos are getting bigger so I'm assuming they are feeding enough from the algae caused by the goldfish - I put cucumber in there every so often too which they love so I guess its just a case of hoping they can stick out the cycle....
If not at least its a lesson learnt - its just telling my hubby all this cos he easily gets into the "can't be bothered" mode even tho hes the one who wants a decent aquarium!! He thinks fish can automatically go in - it was hard enough telling him to get the goldfish in a pond!
Right-o better get on with this water change. Thanks so much for the advice and if anyone has anymore I am very very willing to hear it!
Cheers
Sue
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Sorry me again I have found some Amquel plus on amazon so I might order it cos at least the instructions will be in english - do you know how much I should put into a 54litre 11 UK gallon tank baring in mind there is fish in there?
Thanks
Sue
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I merged your back to back posts for you to save a little space on the forum.
 

Aquarist

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Hello Sue,

I'm glad you've found the Amquel +. You can use 5ml per 10 gallon US.

Ken
 
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suewood

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Just done the water change and found 2 of the 3 otos dead - only got the one left now so he'll probably die of lonliness bless him/her. So after a discussion with hubby we're gonna leave the tank to do its thing now and try when we get back off our hols in August. This should be enough time - but just a few questions - do I still need to add anything to the water and do the water changes every week???
I feel so sad and stupid but I suppose its my own fault - I'm just so glad we didn't buy loads of fish straight away!
Thanks again guys and gals for the advice
When we are ready for fish I will definitely be asking you guys for some more advice!
Sue
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Meenu

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HI again, Sue.
I'm sorry you lost your otos. If it was my tank, I would keep up the daily water changes as long as there's a fish in there.

If you click on the link in my signature, it explains how to cycle without fish (in case your last oto doesn't survive, or you are able to take it back). If you do a fishless cycle, it will take a few weeks, and we'll have plenty of time to figure out a great stock list for you.
 

Aquarist

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Hello Sue,

Try not to feel too badly as many of us have been where you are. Fish stores aren't always the best of places to give information.

As long as you have a fish in the tank then the beneficial bacteria needed to sustain the cycle will have a food source. Fish waste = ammonia = food for good bacteria.

Should you lose the remaining Otto then you would have to supply a food source for the cycle. I would recommend a frozen, thawed jumbo shrimp.

As long as you have a fish in the tank during cycling then daily water changes will be necessary to keep the fish alive.

Another option, (I'm not sure if this is available in your area) is Tetra Safe Start (TSS). This will give you a jump start on the cycle. You can add it now with the fish in the tank. Here is a link on TSS:
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/q-a-with-tetra-about-tetra-safestart.58116/

Any time you have questions don't hesitate to ask.

Ken
 
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