Fish Project For 4 Yr Old And Daddy 40 Gallon Tank 

Crazycoryfishlady

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You're getting closer! Great job, I'm also awestruck at the thought of that big of a tank! I'm jealous!
It's nice to see parents being responsible and learning about their fish for their kids! Now in a few years you can describe the nightmare to your kiddo and ask if they remember all the work you did
And show them all the growth and improvement you've done together!
Best of luck to you as you keep going forward!
 

Jellibeen

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HobbyNovice said:
I’d like to express our gratitude to those who responded, and provided excellent advice. I found a couple of local fish stores and visited them both, one was very nice and willing to price match online vendors...also have been taking in hours of you tube videos, reading articles, threads and talking with others.

I bought the Seachem Prime, as advised
My wife ordered API QuickStart and Fluval Cycle.

We were able to get the Ammonia nearly .25
General hardness 120ppm
Chlorine 0
Nitrate somewhere between the 100-250ppm
Nitrite lil bit darker than 20, but not as dark as 40ppm
Carbonate 40ppm
Alkalinity 120ppm
pH 7

I’m going to do another water change....and buy some sponge to pre-filter our hang on back filter...
I am glad to hear your cycle is making progress! And that you have been doing research. There's a lot of info to take in at first, but once your tank is cycled everything becomes so much easier.

It is nice to have good fish stores nearby. You could try asking them for seeded filter material, meaning material that already is fully established with beneficial bacteria. They may give or sell some to you.
 

MamaLlama76

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Sounds like you are getting the hang of it! In a few weeks, you'll have your water right where you want it to be and really be enjoying your tank, instead of trying to keep on top of maintaining it through the new tank period. Have fun and keep learning new things. Have a blessed day.
 
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HobbyNovice

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Update...all four Bala have been relocated, Pictus Catfish and two Tiger Barbs unfortunately succumbed to the toxicity.
I have yet to get the freshwater master test kit, but will get it in the next few days.
4y/o and I performed another water change after test strip readings:
Ammonia was great finally in the safe zone
Nitrate still between 100-250 ppm
Nitrite about the same as yesterday between 20-40ppm
Carbonate 40ppm
Alkalinity 120ppm
PH around 7
Today plants are browning.
 

mattgirl

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Have you run the nitrate test on your source water? I ask because it is unusual to see nitrates that high after doing water changes. If you find you don't have nitrates in your source water you may want to consider doing a big (meaning 70 or 80%) water change. It may take more than one big water change to get them down to 40 or less.

Water changes aren't going to slow down your cycling process. They will protect your fish from the damaging affects of ammonia/nitrite poisoning though.

Try to keep the ammonia level well below one with water changes. Add enough prime for the full 40 gallons of water with each water change. Prime will protect your fish for at least 24 hours so you need to add it on the days you don't do a water change.
 
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HobbyNovice

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I had checked our source water previously, but forgot the results...so I did it again, the source water is zero Nitrite and same for Nitrate. Awesome recommendation by the way. I’m going to check the tank again shortly, I was giving it a few hours to get the tank turned over...
 

mattgirl

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HobbyNovice said:
I had checked our source water previously, but forgot the results...so I did it again, the source water is zero Nitrite and same for Nitrate. Awesome recommendation by the way. I’m going to check the tank again shortly, I was giving it a few hours to get the tank turned over...
It's good you don't have them in your source water. You should be able to get them down with water changes and in the process you will also be lowering the ammonia. As long as you can keep the ammonia level down your fish should come through the cycling process safe and sound.

You basically started out much like most of the rest of us. There was no internet when I first got into this hobby but did have a leaflet that gave me the basics of what needed to be done.

The main thing it told me was I needed to keep the ammonia levels down and I could accomplish it with water changes. I used test strips back then but also bought the liquid ammonia test since for some unknown reason that test isn't included with the test strips.

I am glad you are getting an API Master Test Kit. It isn't as accurate as made for lab tests but are fairly dependable for our purposes.
 

MamaLlama76

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Sounds like you are starting to get beneficial bacteria starting to come on board if you are starting to get nitrites and nitrates when you test. It's still an ongoing process, but that let's you know you are making progress. Eventually, they will catch up and you'll see all 3 of those numbers get to zero or pretty close, once the plants establish.
As for your plants browning, a lot of aquarium plants are not grown under water and they have to "learn how" to live submerged. The leaves that grew out of water will "melt back" and new ones that can handle living underwater will grow in from the base or stem (depending on the type of plant). If you don't have a fish yet who will eat algae and decaying plant matter yet, consider the humble snail. Many of the snail species will happily eat those browning leaves for you, plus they are pretty tough and can survive a lot of the new tank growing pains. Some of them are even quite pretty (for an invertebrate).
 
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HobbyNovice

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Hey everyone, ammonia is gone Woohooo
Nitrite looks between 5-10ppm
Nitrate between 50-100ppm
Carbonate looked closer to 120ppm
Alkalinity about the 120ppm
Ph 7.2

We lost our rainbow Shark, Pictus and tiger barbs, the Bala Sharks were lucky to be relocated...

We have 3snails, two Dwarf Gourami and a clown pleco, once water if good what should we restock with?
 

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MamaLlama76

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For a nice family community tank, I always strongly recommend the livebearer group. For the most part they very peaceful and very colorful. Plus if you have pairs or groups that are 1-4 females per male, they will probably give you some fry if the tank has plenty of plants and that is really fun for little kids and teens alike. Other good choices would be a small school (3-6) corydora catfish, which are active and fun to watch and due double duty cleaning up your tank bottom. The albino ones look great with dark gravel and dark colored ones are sharp looking on very light gravel. Another good fish, if you are looking for a stunning centerpiece species would be a pair of freshwater angelfish. They get somewhat large, but are smaller than many other cichlids and other aggressive fish. Usually they are only mean to other fish if they are laying eggs or brooding fry (they do enjoy somewhat soft slightly acidic water, though.) A tank with schooling fish like tetras, barbs or danios can also work really well.

Enjoying sharing fishy knowledge with you today, it gets my mind off of the bad stuff we are experiencing at home right now. My family had a very rough weekend because my daughter's beloved rodeo pony/best friend passed away yesterday (Sunday), very unexpectedly. We suspect that one of our horses kicked her and that there was probably some sort of internal bleeding that caused her death. Anna's had Busy Bee since she was 3 (daddy promised her a pony if she got potty trained...my little girl got it done in under a month...extremely motivated!) and is now almost 8 years old. We had this little mare almost 5 years and were very attached to her...even my oldest son, who professes that he doesn't "like horses" is grieving his sister's pony.
 
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HobbyNovice

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Hey everyone thank you for all the advice and direction. We have successfully balanced the tank zero nitrate, nitrite and ammonia.

Thanks again.
 

MamaLlama76

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You are welcome. Enjoy the family aquatic adventure that is having an aquarium.
 

AJE

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HobbyNovice said:
Hey everyone thank you for all the advice and direction. We have successfully balanced the tank zero nitrate, nitrite and ammonia.

Thanks again.
Cool! Any pictures?
 
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HobbyNovice

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09BD3990-91CD-45B3-9FC7-781306438599.jpeg
Cool! Any pictures?

Now I’m seeing more Algae and Water is turning green, what are my remedies?
 

ETNsilverstar

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HobbyNovice said:
Cool! Any pictures?

Now I’m seeing more Algae and Water is turning green, what are my remedies?
How long do you have the lights on each day? Usually a shorter period of light helps, though I'd personally just leave it unless it gets super crazy.
 

Crazycoryfishlady

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You may very well end up with a pretty big diatom bloom, but eventually the tank settles and it starts to die off.
Newer tanks are more susceptible to algae as the plants start to take off.
 
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HobbyNovice

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ETNsilverstar said:
How long do you have the lights on each day? Usually a shorter period of light helps, though I'd personally just leave it unless it gets super crazy.
Light is usually on 12-14 hours...
 

Fanatic

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HobbyNovice said:
Light is usually on 12-14 hours...
I personally would limit the photoperiod to 8-12 hours, even shorter for a bit of time until the algae problem is resolved.
 
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HobbyNovice

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I just set up a timer with Alexa, so light will come on in the morning for 2 1/2 hours off all day then on in the evening for 4 1/2 hours... tank gets zero direct sunlight, but lots of indirect light all day.
 

yinoma2001

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Just remember most stores like PetSmart and Petco will let you return fish (dead or alive) within 14 or 30 days, no questions asked. Don't be afraid to let them know that the fish were not a good match. I've done that before.
 
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