Any Tips For My Community Tank?

  1. R

    Raychen98 New Member Member

    I was interested in fishes ever since I was a little kid, I never knew how to properly take care of fishes, nor did I have the money for some of the things that fishes need to survive. I started this tank at the beginning of November of 2017. It is 55 gallons, and it came with a starter kit that I got in Petsmart, and for filtration, I am using the SunSun HW 302 canister filter. Fishes that I have in the tank, are 2 Algae Eaters, 1 Red- Tailed Shark, 8-10 Guppies, around 10-12 adult Platies, 5 baby Mollies, and a lot of baby Platies. I am also using Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability for the tap water that I am using for the fish. Any tips or suggestions that I can do to improve the health of my fishes?

    Attached Files:

  2. TheCrazyFishGuy

    TheCrazyFishGuy Well Known Member Member

    I think your tank may be overstocked. I go by the "saying," one inch of fish per gallon

    I think part of the reason for this is the bio-load, or the amount of waste produced by the fish can create harmful levels of ammonia if not monitored and cared for properly
  3. Marco Rodriguez

    Marco Rodriguez Valued Member Member

    I would agree you’re pretty over stocked. Look at how big each fish gets but also be careful trusting inch per gallon rule it can be helpful but also keep in mind u clearly don’t want a 10 inch fish in a 10 gallon tank

  4. Danjamesdixon

    Danjamesdixon Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to the forum, and to the hobby.

    First things first - disregard any mention of the "inch-per-gallon" rule. It is outdated and completely inaccurate.

    Secondly, did you put your tank through the Nitrogen Cycle? If not - you need to. The Nitrogen Cycle is the most critical part of the hobby, and without it, your health of your fish will be severely compromised.
  5. OP

    Raychen98 New Member Member

    Well, I set up my fish tank in early November, and I didn't actually start putting fish in until early this month when I tested the water at Petco.
  6. V

    Voracious David Valued Member Member

    You probably didn't introduce ammonia into the tank, so despite "cycling" it for a long time there's no food for the beneficial bacteria to actually develop. What did the test results show?
  7. OP

    Raychen98 New Member Member

    Uh, when I got my water tested, it was around mid-December, so I don't really remember. But I do remember that the water specialist that works there said that it was perfect for fish to live in.
  8. V

    Voracious David Valued Member Member

    Water "specialist" at Petco?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAA :hilarious::hilarious::hilarious::hilarious:
  9. Fizzfrog

    Fizzfrog Well Known Member Member

    What kind of algae-eater do you have? If they are common plecos, they need to be rehomed or you need to get a much bigger tank. A single common pleco needs a 75 gallon tank as they can get up to 18 inches long. I'd also advise against having two; they can become aggressive towards each other. Other types of smaller plecos or different types of algae-eaters could be ok for a 55 gallon and you could keep more than one together, but it depends on which ones you have. I also agree with above users regarding being overstocked.

    I would invest in a liquid test kit such as the API Master Test kit, it's more convenient to have a testing kit at home than to run to Petco every day for a water test (and you need to test every day until the tank is cycled, after which you can test less frequently. I personally test mine once a week). The water is safe for fish to live in once there is 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and nitrates above 0 (but below 20, and you keep it down with weekly water changes).

    If your water doesn't meet the parameters of 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and some nitrate, your tank is not cycled and the fish will produce ammonia which will build up and eventually kill them. If you're not cycled, do 25% water changes daily and dose with Prime every 24 hours to neutralize any ammonia and nitrite left in the tank after the water changes. Make sure to test daily; once the tank is cycled you can decrease the frequency of your water changes. For a tank as stocked as yours is, I would do 25% twice a week even once it's cycled. You can add something like TSS+ to introduce BB into your tank and speed up the cycling process; it's safe to use with fish in the tank and should lessen the time it takes to cycle from 6-8 weeks down to around 2 weeks.
  10. cadd

    cadd Well Known Member Member

    I think you're overstocked as well. Platies and mollies are big poopers. You have around 30 fish in there and half of those are platys or mollys. They poop a lot unfortunately and may pollute the water quickly.

    To give you an idea, I also have 30 fish in my 55 gal tank. However, my fish are smaller and have a smaller bio load. I have:
    3 adult platys
    8 zebra danios
    3 guppies
    14 neon tetras
    1 BN Pleco

    For my tank, the Pleco and platys poop the most.

    And I have 4 filters running in that tank:
    1 canister
    1 HOB
    2 sponge filters driven by an external air pump
  11. OP

    Raychen98 New Member Member

    I am honestly not sure about what kind of Pleco I have. I think I just asked for algae eaters at Petsmart, and they got it out for me, and on the website, it said that it only grows up to 11 inches.

    This is a picture of my fish tank that I took around 10 p.m. Eastern time.

    Attached Files:

  12. Fizzfrog

    Fizzfrog Well Known Member Member

    Not sure what kind of algae-eater they are since it's a bit hard to see, but good news is that they don't look like common plecos. I'd still get a water testing kit asap though.
  13. OP

    Raychen98 New Member Member

    Which one would you recommend?
  14. Fizzfrog

    Fizzfrog Well Known Member Member

    I personally use the API Freshwater Master Test kit and it's worked very well for me. Do bear in mind though that it wasn't made to take Seachem Prime into account; using them together is completely harmless, but API isn't able to differentiate between free ammonia and ammonia that's bound to the Prime complex so any ammonia readings you get will be total ammonia. The same thing applies to nitrites. The Seachem Multitest was made to work with Prime, but I personally haven't used it before.
  15. cadd

    cadd Well Known Member Member

  16. cadd

    cadd Well Known Member Member

    Tank looks good. It may not be overstocked right now because most, if not all your fish are still juveniles. But once they grow full sized, the platys and mollies will be a decent sized. And with 15 of them, things can get iffy really quick if you're not on top of your water change game.
  17. OP

    Raychen98 New Member Member

    I work 6 days a week, with me leaving the house at 7 in the morning and getting home earliest at around 10 in the night. I do a 20% water change every 2 weeks, and I put about 5 capfuls of Seachum Stability every week on my day off. With putting the right amount of Prime after each water change.
  18. Rok55

    Rok55 Valued Member Member

    If you are not familiar with the "Nitrogen Cycle" please do a little research here and learn it ........... for your fishes sake.

    Thirdly: do not be tempted/persuaded to make any changes to your tank, maintenance schedule, water changes or your stocking until you get and use a high quality test kit such as the API MAster. Post your test results here and we will then be able to give a more accurate description of your next steps to improve overall health of the tank.

    Tank looks good, water is clear and no evidence of algae. Are you losing fish? If not I would say you got lucky and managed to cycle the tank without even knowing it. This happens more often than you might think with new fishkeepers.

    Many folks will say you are over stocked when in-fact you are not. There are many factors that go into determining maximum stocking for any tank, factors that go well beyond simply how many of what fish in X number of gallons. Type and amount of substrate, live plants (if any), size and efficiency of filter system, quality of the water used for water changes, jus t to name the most obvious. Is it possible that a particular fish may grow to a size that would require rehoming ......... yep. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy that fish for many months or even years as it grows out.

    If the tank is in fact cycled (you won't know until the tests are done) you can stop with the stability as it is intended to supplement the BB in a new tank. Won't hurt to keep using it, just a waste of money if the tank is doing it's job.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  19. OP

    Raychen98 New Member Member

    Yea, I will probably pick up an API water testing kit tomorrow when I have a break-off work. Thanks for all the help!
    One last question tho, is it a good idea to add sand to the tank? I feel like I don't have enough substrate in my fish tank, and that I should have more.
  20. IRTehDar

    IRTehDar Valued Member Member

    The guppies and platies concern me abit. Are they male or female? If they are single genders you'll be fine but if they are mixed thers a couple things you need to consider. First off you'll need 2-3 females for every male to avoid the males gangmating the females to death. Secondly you will need a plan for the offspring. Both species multiply at a ridiculous rate.