Beginner in need of advice

  • #1
ok so I'm a fish newbie and got a 10 gal tank and a redtailed black shark for it. is that to small for him on his own? any filter suggestions... I just have the one that came with the tank and doubt its ability. I have a air pump with a air stone that my sister already had but think its to small for my tank what is the norm for a 10 gal tank as far as air goes? I also am worried bout the temp. my thermometer says its about 78 how warm is to warm and how do you cool if that's the case. and any feeding tips? I'm using omega one marine pellets and am not sure hes eating them. I'm mixing a little flake food as well to be safe. or any other tips or suggestions that you think might help. thanks..
  • #2
As long as that is all you keep,than it should be OK in a 10 gallon.I personally use Penguin 150 on all my 10 gallon tanks.I find the filters that come with tank kits are usually inadequate.If there is a Pet Smart near you,go to their web site,find the filter you want there,print it off then take it into the store,I can tell you the last filter I got cost $30 in the store and $18 dollars on line.With the print out with me,the store honored the internet price.Since you are new to the hobby,almost everything you need is cheaper on the net,than in the stores,and most will give you the net price as long as you have the printed page with the price on it with you.
As far as the temp goes,78 degrees is perfect.Do you have a heater?This will keep the water temp at a steady level.As long as your home does not get over 85 degrees,than there shouldn't be any worries about your fish getting too hot.
Feed it regular tropical fish flakes,and it will also eat frozen foods.Frozen blood worms and brine shrimp would add a nice variety to its diet.There are also sinking shrimp pellets he would probably enjoy also.
  • #3
Welcome to Fishlore!!

Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? Please read this article... It sounds like you didn't cycle your tank beforehand, so you will need to do daily 50% water changes until it's cycled, to keep the ammonia & nitrite low enough so it hopefully won't harm your fish. Do you have test kits for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? Also what water conditioner are you using? It's best to use Prime during cycling because it converts ammonia & nitrite into forms that are less toxic to fish, while still allowing the bacteria to metabolize them. Do not add any ammonia or nitrite removers to your tank, as a forewarning, because they will prevent it from cycling.

Personally I wold give your shark a bigger tank, as they get to 6 in. Please research any fish you want before getting it next time. But good for you for coming here to ask about it.

Air stones are considered optional. Your filter should provide adequate aeration. What type of filter do you have? Do you know what its gph is?

You know that your "shark" is a freshwater fish, right? You shouldn't be feeding him pellets made for marine fish. I'll let someone else who has experience with sharks recommend a better diet for him, as well as an optimal temp. 78 is fine for most fish.

edit: looks like fishbum & I were typing posts at the same time, hopefully I didn't repeat everything he said
  • #4
By the way,
Welcome To Fishlore!
  • #5
welcome to fishlore, this site has helped me countless times, and is a great source, I wouldn't turn to anyone else, and whenever my fish are in danger or even if I just need product advice, the first thing I think is fishlore.
  • #6
Yeah, congrats on finding this great community!

Well, we've already talked about the cycle, so I'll just talk fish. A Red tailed Black shark needs at least a 20gal tank when it's full grown. You have 2 options: A) take him back, do a fishless cycle and stock with fish reccomended on here once the cycle is over. B) keep him, get him a bigger tank, and do a longer and more difficult cycle with fish!
  • #7
bodieman: wellcome to fishlore!
I happen to go with Spencer fishbum on keeping your fish by itself in the 10gal. However double check the data.

About keeping your red tail shark, it will grow up to 6", and you can keep it in the 10gal (that info is in the fish profile of fishlore).

About airstone issues: I use an airpump (Elite 801) that can handle 3 airstones, with a checkvalve and a distributor-regulator 3 way valve (all cheap plastic items), I have an extra sponge filter (last output), and two airstones (mid size) all along the rear wall of the 10gal tank. It keeps my tank parameters in check, and it's a bit overstocked.

Keep the airstone, it's not enough by itself, but is a good looking complement (the smaller the bubbles, the better changes of oxygen getting dissolved in water) and fish usually have fun with them. I guess you could monitor your water parameters and observe your fish behavior for a few days, to see if you indeed have good filtration -if not it will show in nitrites readings.

10 gal will go with low rate flows (100gph), and even a cheap looking HOB will do the work, despite their cheap appereance; they are just prone to fail faster than good ones.

You could try some floating plants (e.g. bundles of Anacharis and Hornwort) that will provide cover and also help in keeping nitrates down.

Hope you cycled your tank fishless, if not, make your mind: either daily partial water changes, treating tap water with Prime or alike -we are talking weeks here-, or take the guy/gal back until you do a fishless cycle -can be done in less than 2 weeks.

Santo Domingo
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
thanks for the help. I didnt do any proper research before buying like an idoiot but after finding this site I now know about the nitrogen cycle and how important it is. and I did go out and get all the tests for the water and know about treating tap water. ive decided to do daily 50% water changes because I really like the shark I got. I also plan on getting a larger tank I have a cousin that is giving me a 55gal that he should be happy in. thanks for all the help I would be in some trouble without this site.
  • #9
Good luck with your shark and I agree. It's hard to return them. Let me know how things go with him. Fortunatly I'm finding that my Red is charmed and doing better then any fish I've had before and here's hoping yours does too. Come back if you've ever got a problem (even though I wasn't any help with this one lol).
  • #10
welcome to fishlore!! as a newbie myself... I can tell you for sure that you are in the right place to learn how to take care of your fish....I am forever thankful to the advice and input that I have received on fishlore.....
  • #11
thanks for the help. I didnt do any proper research before buying like an idoiot but after finding this site I now know about the nitrogen cycle and how important it is. and I did go out and get all the tests for the water and know about treating tap water. ive decided to do daily 50% water changes because I really like the shark I got. I also plan on getting a larger tank I have a cousin that is giving me a 55gal that he should be happy in. thanks for all the help I would be in some trouble without this site.

Sounds good. Good luck with cycling & keep us updated.
  • #12
HI bodieman.....Welcome to Fish Lore!

Looks like everyone's got you covered. Great news on the 55g.

I don't know anything about RTS's but my personal opinion is anything that grows to be 6" deserves more swim room than a 10 gallon provides.

Good luck.
  • #13
Welcome to Fishlore.
  • #14
Cool! So that means we have a 55gsl to stock as well!
  • #15
So glad you're putting him in a 55gal... I can't imagine a 6" fish being happy in 10 gallons of water. :/

And... welcome to FishLore! ;D
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
ok so I took the advice of some of you and ordered a new filter and air pump off the internet (ive been to the petsmart so many times this week they are lookin at me funny) does that mean when I put the new filter on the nitrogen cycle starts over? I would assume it would but I'm not sure. yea the 55gal won't be for a little while but I have time before he gets to big. I will deff do it right this time tho. fishless cycle and such..
  • #17
Just let the new filter run with the old one for a week or 2.This will cycle the new filter,and you will not have to start all over.

BTW,a 55 will be much better for your RTS.Minimum tank size usually means a big headache or a dead fish.Good Luck!
  • #18
ok so I took the advice of some of you and ordered a new filter and air pump off the internet (ive been to the petsmart so many times this week they are lookin at me funny) does that mean when I put the new filter on the nitrogen cycle starts over? I would assume it would but I'm not sure. yea the 55gal won't be for a little while but I have time before he gets to big. I will deff do it right this time tho. fishless cycle and such..

When you get your 55,you can do the same thing as when you get your new filter for your 10 gallon.Take either the filter or filter media from your cycled tank,and use it when you set up the new tank.Add ammonia to feed the bacteria,and the tank should cycle in a couple days,rather than a couple of months.
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
thanks fishbum. that's along the lines of what I thought I had to do but I wanted to know for sure
  • #20
Hello all,

So I just recently got a 45 gallon tank, and have been preparing it for fish for a month or so now. I was going to do a fishless cycle, but I don't know anyone with an established tank, and the LFS around me wouldn't give me any filter media, so I begrudgingly switch to a fish cycle.

About 2 1/2 weeks ago, I bought a couple plants: 1 anacharis (which is growing nicely) 1 val, and 1 crypt. They had some snail eggs on them, which I failed to wash off, so I had a bit of a snail explosion. But, with no food to keep them alive, their numbers stayed low. Anyways, I recently took my parameters:

Ammonia: .5 pmm (assuming from the snails)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0

My water had been dechlorinated using stress coat, for some time now, so I dumped a nice big ole bottle of TSS in and bought 4 giant danios to cycle. Now here is where my questions come in... My tank is pretty empty at the moments and the Danios had NO idea what to do for a day or so...they just schooled together looking freaked out. After a day they started exploring, playing in my bubble curtain, and flying all over the place. Unfortunately, they are also getting rather aggressive towards each other.. It started out like they were playing tag, rubbing up against one another..but now it seems much more violent. One is even hiding in a fake log I placed in there.

I thought maybe it was because the temp in my tank was set a little high (80-82 degress) by accident so I lowered the temp, but I wasn't sure if that had any effect on behavior...Basically, my question is this: Is this normal behavior for Danios, especially in a new tank? And could you all give me some stocking suggestions for the future? I would like to have an Angelfish as my centerpiece. Thanks!

P.S. The Danios ate ALLL the snails haha.
  • #21
Danios are very active and possibly aggressive fish. It could just be that they are in a new group and they are establishing a pecking order. Do you have plenty of plants and hiding spots? It could help the problem.
  • #22
Hello and Welcome! This is a great place to be for fish info.

Danios are schooling fish and if you are going to keep them, you should up the number of fish to at least 6. I believe Giant Danios get to be at least 4" long, so not 100% sure if that would be the way to go. They are also fin nippers so an angelfish might not work out with them in the tank.

My personal opinion is that danios are psychotic, crazy fish, but that's just me. There are a lot of people on the forum who love them.

I'm sure there will be others along with more suggestions for you.

Oh yeah, we love pictures.

Edit: when you get a chance, fill out your profile. It is easier for people to help you out if you have a problem if they know what you have for tanks, equipment, fish, etc.
  • #23
welcome to fishlore. well I have giant danios....and they never appear aggressive, so i'm not sure what yours are doing. maybe they are stressed? so you added TSS when? it takes 7-10 days to cycle with that. that said.....giant danios are super active and would be better in a bigger tank. what are the dimensions of the 45?

an angel might work out ok. I had one with the danios.....everything was fine. but in a 150g. not sure what theyd act like in a small tank.

and it's odd the danios ate the snails. generally they don't.
  • #24
I added the TSS two days ago, so I'll be checking my readings over the weekend. They definitely don't have enough hiding spots, but I'll be fixing that today with some more plants and hopefully some driftwood if I can find it. I think you're probably right about them establishing a hierarchy... they're changes in coloration seem to be indicative of this as well.

As for dimensions, I believe the tank is 46 X 12 X 24, so it's a little taller than normal. Because of it's size, I don't want to get any more of these guys...and Ill be keeping them since I'm already attached haha. I'll take some pictures soon! In regards to the snails, I wouldn't have thought that myself if I had seen two of them sucking on snails trying to eat them.. They were carrying them around in their mouths all day, then I noticed that all the snails were gone the day after.. bizarre. Thanks for the replies!
  • #25
Welcome to fishlore Zahmbie! Pictures always help
  • #26
Not sure about giant danios but if my cichlids get rowdy I feed them more. This helps. I imagine the danios are juvis so if u have ever watched a child u know they can eat like an adult while they are growing, and get cranky when they are hungry.
  • #27
I think they're right with the pecking order comments. almost all the fish I've bought that were schooling fish did this for about a week and after that everything was fine. They may be more peaceful if you get a couple more once the tank is cycled though. just my :
  • #28
mine must be just weird...cos they are just mellow. they all swim together. the rosy barbs are the crazy ones haha. but since yours are new....give them time to adjust. and of course more plants/rocks/driftwood is always a plus.
  • #29
They are fish, you never know what to expect
  • #30
Hey all, got an update for you! So the danios have calmed down and seem pretty happy. I got a few more plants and I'm working on putting in driftwood..I'll post pics once its finished. But, its now day 7 after adding TSS and my readings are as follows:
Ammonia: 2ppm
Nitrate and Nitrite: 0

I'm worried this is becoming pretty dangerous for these guys.. Should I wait the full 14 days or try starting over?
Viriam Karo
  • #31
Remember, you're not supposed to check your readings until the full 14 days are up, because the readings could be out of whack! Are your fish showing signs of ammonia poisoning? If not, I would personally wait the extra week (but keep an eye on them) in case something funky with the readings was going on mid-TSS cycle.
Tigress Hill
  • #32
You know you're not supposed to test parameters until TSS has run its course!
  • #33
No they aren't showing any signs. Okay will do..I'll stop over thinking it haha.
Viriam Karo
  • #34
Lol don't feel too bad, I actually broke and tested mine after 7 days too BUT instead of your predicament I got the readings of 0/0/10 and was like OH NO! It can't have possibly cycled already! What if the nitrates spike out of control in the next week?! and then these lovely people told me to chillax XD
  • #35
when I used to use TSS, mine always took a week to cycle. and when you're using it, you're not supposed to change the water, or use prime or anything. it can take up to 14 days....but on average probably 7-10. don't worry yet, it still may work! luckily danios are pretty hardy, and may not be affected very much
  • #36
Hey everyone,

Got some updates for you! So as I said before I've been cycling with TSS, and I've got about 2 days left in my 14 days. I've started doing some testing on the water for fun and the readings, while probably skewed, are looking good.

Ammonia has been steady about 3ppm-4ppm for the past few days
Nitrites have been steadily increasing for the past 2 days and are now at 1ppm
Nitrates spiked up to 10ppm but then fell, so I attributed this to TSS wackiness.

Anyways, I'm anticipating the ammonia levels will drop over the next two days and I'll see the cycle complete. The 4 Danios are still going strong! I've got some new developments though, and need some advice for my aquascaping ventures.

Excuse the water levels, I'm not adding water until the TSS cycle is finished. As for the plants, the big one is an Aponogeton (sp?) that's doing really well...there are some anacharis in the back that I have trimmed and am in the process of replanting. There are some miniswords that aren't doing much of anything ( I know they need more light and I'll probably take them out.) I have no idea what the plant on the left is, but I like it haha.






Look for the two little specs in the mossy vegetation


So as you can see, the Danios are looking good. The flowers are from the tendrils that sprouted from Aponogeton. The other pictures are from the plant to the left..where I noticed some interesting things. I saw some little creatures swimming around in the water by this plant, and some are inside the mossy looking wisps in the pictures above. They almost look like incredibly microscopic glass catfish haha. There are also white microscopic slug looking things crawling on the glass. Any idea what these are? I watched a Danio eat one while I was taking pictures.
  • #37
Tank is looking good. I like the setup. I have no idea what your little creatures are but I am sure someone will be along to help you with that. Maybe you got some shrimp hitchhikers or something with your plants.
  • #38
Just a little bump/update...

TSS cycle should be finishing up over the next day...but I think it's failed. My ammonia is staying at 4pmm and I'm not seeing any other results other than a slight algae bloom. I think I'll be buying another bottle of safestart tomorrow and trying again.. Not really sure what else to do.
Viriam Karo
  • #39
Yes, I would do a very large water change and get that cleared up. Dose with Prime (if you have it), wait for 24 hours, and then dump the large bottle in. Maybe try to get it from another store, if you can.
  • #40
I agree that it seems the SafeStart failed. Do as Viriam Karo suggested above (be sure to wait the 24 hours between adding water condioner and SafeStart). You want to do enough water changes to get that ammonia down to about .5ppm or less before adding the SafeStart. One thing I recommend is that you look on the bottle for an expiration date, to be sure you don't get an expired bottle. (It's usually on a sticker on the bottom of the bottle).

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