Extreme Newbie Question

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Megan

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I have just started cycling my new ten gallon tank. I have a pearl danio (I lost two this morning) and eight juvenile guppies. I was wondering how I should go about water changes, my pet store wasn't of much help. :: ??? Should I take the fish out first? Can I just put in tap water? How often should I change the water? I have a filtration system in place that seems to be doing well. Also, my one danio (I plan on getting two more very soon) seems extremely agressive (darting at my guppies) and whenever I even get near the tank he freaks out and darts about and jumps at the water surface to the point where I was forced to cover the tank. Is this normal?
 

gmann21193

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well first of all you should probably wait untill the tank in fully cycled to add any fish... unless you are willing to risk losing them unless they are really hardy. you CAN use tap water .dont add tap water straight in... you need to add some water conditioner or chlorine remover to remove any harmfull or stressful metals in the water.... you should do about 25% water changes every couple weeks. dont remove the fish...... If you have gravel substrate you can buy a siphon from your local fish store. These act as little vacuums for the gravel and suck water and gunk out of the tank as well.
 
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Megan

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gmann21193 said:
well first of all you should probably wait untill the tank in fully cycled to add any fish... unless you are willing to risk losing them unless they are really hardy. you CAN use tap water .dont add tap water straight in... you need to add some water conditioner or chlorine remover to remove any harmfull or stressful metals in the water.... you should do about 25% water changes every couple weeks. dont remove the fish...... If you have gravel substrate you can buy a siphon from your local fish store. These act as little vacuums for the gravel and suck water and gunk out of the tank as well.
Thanks alot. The fish are extremely hardy and seem to be doing fine. They haven't been gulping for air or swimming at the surface. My Danio has found a nice little hiding place behind a plant and a lava rock, and I noticed his behavior was improving. No more jumping when I walk by.
 

Luniyn

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One other thing to note is that you have too many fish in a 10Gal tank. I wouldn't add any more Danios, or if you want to (and they like groups as you've noticed the single acts funny when alone) then you need a new home for the guppies. Though the guppies may be small at the moment they won't stay that way, and they will be a major strain on the bio-load of that tank. Water quality issues even after the cycle is finished will be a constant concern. In truth 5 danios if they are the only fish in that tank is all a 10Gal can hold. I don't care for any livebearers at the moment, so I'll leave the fish to size tank requirements to more experiences members (but I think it's above the 1" of fish to 1 Gal rule), but even without any special considerations it should have no more then 5 guppies in that size tank. If you have other homes planned then no problem, but I just wanted to mention the overload problem you potentially are facing.
 

vin

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Yes, about 5 guppies is all you should have in that 10 gallon. It's a good rule of thumb to consider 1" of fish per gallon of water. Meaning for every 1" of fish in their adult form for every 1 gallon of water in your tank.

You should also consider a hood for your tank as well. This helps to keep dust and debris out of your water, reduces evaporation and keeps fish from jumping out of the tank and onto the floor. Hoods also have lights in them. A good flourescent tube lighted hood would provide the tank with light and protect the water at the same time. You didn't indicate whether you had a heater or not. If you don't have one, you'll need one of these as well. You can use a 60-75w heater for a 10 gallon. That should be adequate. You'll also need a thermometer as well. I have two. I use a bulb thermometer that uses a suction cup to stick to the inside of the tank glass and an adhesive LCD strip that sticks on the outside. Water temps for Danios and Guppies should be in the 76 degree range.

It doesn't sound as if your tank has gone through the complete Nitrogen Cycle....This describes the process the water and tank must go through in order for you to successfully keep fish....https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm It's important to know that the fish can feel the effects of the cycle if the water is not properly treated during that time.

If you don't have one, you should get a water test kit. Most of us on here use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kits. They can be bought on line at several sources for anywhere from $15-$30 depending upon where you shop. I think that Petsmart.com is the least expensive at the moment.

When performing water changes with tap water, you must use a water conditioner. The recommended conditioner of choice on this site is called "Prime". You syphon the water out of your tank and vacuum a portion of the gravel at the same time into a bucket using an aquarium vacuum. In your case 2-3 gallons of water should suffice. You then add enough Prime for the amount of fresh water you are adding back to the tank into your "clean water" bucket. Fill your bucket with tap water as close to tank water temperature as possible...That's where having the bulb thermometer comes in handy....I use mine to regulate the temperature of my new tank water.

Slowly pour the fresh tank water back into your tank.....And you've just performed your first water change!! This is recommended once a week. But depending upon your bio load and water chemistry, more than once per week may be necessary.

For filter maintenance, I change my activated carbon cartridge every month. In between times, I swish it around in the old tank water that I just syphoned out. When putting a new cartridge in, I swish it around in old tank water before putting it into the filter basket. If using this type of filter and media, this works for me. I also check the impeller on the filter intake every other week and clean it as needed. You might want to try it if this is what you're using. Good Luck and don't be afraid to ask questions.
 

TeHpWNaG3

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1" of fish per gallon should be 1" of fish per 2-3 gallons, unless you enjoy doing ultra-frequent water changes (old hat but would a 10" fish be happy in a 10gal? No.). I guess it depends on the species, but my 14" Lutino Tiger Oscar can poop-up the 120gal pretty quickly. I normally do a 25% WC once a week depending on my schedule but I have done 10% every three days if I let him binge on live prey. It's a lot of work, relative to my other tanks, but that O is the best fish I have ever owned. BTW, I have a 20L for my feeder fish and that thing has about 40 feeder guppies (~1.5") in it at any given time. I use one Whisper 60 which turns that tank 16.5 times per hour. The levels of this tank never stay rock-steady until I deplete the stock to about 10-15 fish. Since these fish are to be eaten, I am not too concerned if they die, but I do my best to keep it as tidy as possible so as not to introduce disease to my other tanks.

I also have a 10" Jack Dempsey in a 55gal and this is a marginal tank size for him imho. I use two Whisper 60's which turn the tank 12x per hour and this helps immensely. ((330gph x 2) / 55 = 12x)

Yes, you read that right, these fish have their own tanks! Part territorial thing, part bio-load thing. They fiercely tear-up anything I put in THEIR tanks which makes keeping these fish a blood-lover's dream hehe.
 

sgould

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1" per gallon works well for smaller species of fish, but you are right...for larger species it does break down and tanks housing such fish should be more conservatively stocked.
 

neverendingninja

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Not to beat a dead horse, as you guys stated it well, but a great example is that a 6" oscar has far more than 6x the bio-load of a 1" oscar, due to his increased MASS(hence bio-mass), not just length.
 
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