Forced to upgrade, need some advice

  • #1
Recently I purchased a used 29 gallon aquarium and have looked forward to upgrading from my 10 gallon. Unfortunately, my 10 gallon started to leak and I was forced to upgrade sooner than I wanted. I didn't get a chance to cycle very much. I used Start Right and am in the process to using Stress Zyme.
My wife didn't understand that you can't just add fish at will, you need to slowly build it up. I think she finally realized this after the fish she has been buying keep dying within a few days or less.
Anyway, I need some advice on getting my water to balance out. What can I use that isn't harmful to the fish? I don't think my test readings are really bad, but they can be better. I am going to the store in a couple of hours, any advice can be helpful.
Here are my test readings on my water.

Ammonia-1.0 ppm
Nitrite-.25 ppm
Nitrate-5.0 ppm
High Range PH-8.0

Tell me what you think.

29 gallon fresh water
3 glass fish
1 spotted molly
1 ghost shrimp
1 male guppy
1 blood tip
1 bala shark
1 cherry barb
1 golden algae eater
1 albino catfish
  • #2
You could try getting some Bio-Spira. It instantly cycles your tank. I don't know much about it, but your tank is meant to be cycled after a few hours after putting it in the tank.

It depends where you live if you can get some or not. I know you can get it in US. But you can't get it in UK. I'm in UK and it's a pain that I can't get it. >

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks for the quick reply. I will keep that in mind. What did you think of my readings? I didn't think they were too awfully bad, but can be better. I just need to keep the better half from buying fish every other day. :-\
  • #4
Yes, your readings are a little high but could be worse. I think the biggest problem could be Ammonia. The NitrAte is fine, and the NitrIte should be OK for a while. I don't know if it is a good idea as I have never tried it, but you could get something to lower the ammonia like "API Ammo-Lock" or something. Never used it myself but could work.

I think the best thing you could do is get Bio Spira. I think you are meant to put it in before fish , but have heard that people have used it with fish in the tank already with no problems. Just make sure if you do get it that it is cold and has been refrigerated, or it won't work.

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  • #5
I couldn't find anything at the pet store that I was comfortable with. I don't know how the Ammo-lock stuff works. I went ahead with a 25% water change. I will do another test for ammonia in a little while, as well as for the nitrates and nitrites.
The gal at the pet store also said I may be over feeding them. I do use flakes two times a day. She said once every other day is fine, but that seems a little odd. What is a good feeding schedule and does anybody recommend anything different for food? I also have algae tablets for my algae eater that I throw in every few days. Thanks for everyone's input.
  • #6
I would avoid the AmmoLock at all cost if I were you. I've heard nightmare stories about it interferring with the cycle process.

What I recommend is Prime, which will detoxify the ammonia and nitrites so they aren't harmful to the fish, but are still there in a non-toxic form for the cycling process to continue.

I wouldn't listen to the staff at a pet store. They rarely know what they are talking about and in this case, she definitely doesn't. The type of fish you have should be fed twice a day, just enough to eat in 2-3 minutes. Algae tabs every cuople of days is fine.

BTW, you will need to rehome that bala shark, it will grow far too large for a 29 gallon tank. Balas get to be well over a foot long and require a minimum of 130g. If you don't rehome it soon, it will become stunted and die prematurely. Your gold algae eater is going to become extremely aggressive and will chase and sometimes kill the other fish. I've never heard of a "blood tip" and not sure what kind of albino catfish you have, but recommend you find out exactly what kind it is since some catfish can grow to over 4' (yes, feet) long. All of the other fish you have are shoaling fish and need to be in minimum groups of six.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thank you very much for the info. My wife bought the bala shark. I had no idea and she is oblivious to that stuff. Any suggestions on getting rid of it? Anyone from Salt Lake City with a large tank that might want it? I hate to see it die prematurely, and I don't know if taking it back to the pet store is an option now.

My catfish is a corydory, so I am fine there.

My, how things have changes since I was but a youngster. This hobby has really changed.
  • #8
Most stores will take them back. I'd try calling them first as very few people have home aquariums that can handle a bala, especially since they like to school so you're talking about a massive tank. Unfortunately, very few people who buy bala's know how big they get. All they see is a cute little shark and most don't realize that the majority of fish at the store are still very young and have a lot of growing to do yet. Sadly, I saw some guy and his girlfriend buy a baby arowana because it was so cute and took it home to their 20 gallon tank. *sigh* I can't tell you how many people fall in love with all the itty bitty puffers they see, not knowing what they require or their personalities and not even bothering to ask the staff - not that it would do any good anyway because very few staff know anything at all about puffers anyway. Major big grr of mine.

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