Hello I'm New A Few Questions If I May?

Nronchetti

HI all,

Sorry for the long post skip to the bottom for the Q's if you don't like reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read through. As mentioned I am a bit new to this after my 4 year old wanted a pet for Christmas. My response was no but the wife seemed to think that Santa could deliver an aquarium and with fish in it! Hey ho I always wanted an aquarium any way so here I am.

We ended up getting a Superfish home 40 and I find myself already wanting something bigger and we are not even out of January! After getting the tank, setting it up with the substrate some plants and a big rock I had been advised to leave it a couple of weeks without fish and I did as instructed. I understand now that the advice was somewhat lacking and I should have paid more attention to the cycle process. Christmas eve I went and collected a couple of platies ready for Christmas morning.

Christmas morning came and our two fish had converted in to 42 fish :-O !! after some cannibalism this was reduced to 20 odd fry and two mummies. Shortly after Christmas I had to go away, the inlaws were coming to stay at our house in a few days so I thought I would be ok leaving half a weekend feeding block in the tank before they arrived. It seems that this extra food might have caused a ammonia spike as one of the mummies died in the two days they were on their own.

I am now left with about 20 younguns and 1 mummy which obviously when fully grown will be too much for the tank, I know some people who have shown a interest in taking some off my hands when they are a bit bigger.

The tank seems pretty stable and I have been measuring the levels a couple of times a week to make sure everything is progressing as it should. I am currently doing about 20% water changes every week and the fish seem to be happy.

I have had some problems with my amazon sword with the leaves starting to look like skeletons and with algae on the rock and glass, I think I may have had the lights on for too long so I have set the timer for 10 hours a day rather than the 14 it was and I have also added some API root tabs. I only changed and added these at the weekend so I am waiting to see what happens.

As to the questions:

1, My fry; when will they be able to reproduce? Obviously I don't really want to have a continuing batch of endless platties so I will need to get the males out when I can tell which is which. For now though I have read on some sites they can reproduce from 1 month which seems a bit soon as these little guys are not even a centimetre long yet. Other sites say 3-4 months which I am thinking is more realistic.

2, Plant lighting needs, I have read up a bit on lights and plants and I am somewhat confused. will I need more lights than the ones that come with the superfish home 40 or should teh ones in teh lid be sufficient for what I have?

3, What is the process for changing the filter cartridges in my Aquaflow 100? It says that the filter cartridge needs changing monthly but then I need to retain the good bacteria. Do I just take the old one out and leave it in the tank for a couple of weeks while the new one settles in? Also when buying there seems to be either 2 cartridges or two refills, the odd thing is that the refills are more expensive than buying two complete cartridges.

4, Snails? It looks like I have a stowaway pond snail from one of the plants. Currently its just one, is there any benefit to keeping it or am I best letting it see how it gets on outside?

Thanks for taking the time to read and TIA for any answers! I have been reading and learning since mid December but still have a long way to go.

Oh nearly forgot a picture of how its looking:

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Nathan
 

Initiate

Welcome to Fishlore!

Your fry will produce after 3 - 4 months often more.

Because your plants are all low tech they don't require high lighting, from the photo they look healthy. I would cut down lighting to 8hrs, I turn mine off when I'm not at home so I have time to look at the tank when I am home late at night.

I change the media for my own stuff when I buy new filters, ceramic media comes in small a netted bag and is good for beneficial bacteria you should buy this, try and cramp it in the filter for a month and then remove the filter cartridge they last for months I've had some of mine for 6 months+

Snails are actually beneficial to your aquarium they clean away uneaten foods, etc. but most people think they look ugly, if you keep feeding to a minimum then the snail population won't have much of a chance to thrive because there are food sources.
 

GrouchyGuppies

Welcome to fishlore!
I'm not experienced with platies or plant lighting so I will leave that to someone else!

To clean the filter cartridge you can squeeze it in some old tank water. Most people don't put a whole new one in until the old one is beginning to show a lot of wear.

I wouldn't advise keeping the snails! They'll reproduce like mad and they have a massive bioload. Put any that you find outside. Some snails are beneficial but pest snails like pond/bladder snails are only going to do more harm than good in this situation.

Your tank looks lovely by the way!
 

Initiate

Welcome to fishlore!
I'm not experienced with platies or plant lighting so I will leave that to someone else!

To clean the filter cartridge you can squeeze it in some old tank water. Most people don't put a whole new one in until the old one is beginning to show a lot of wear.

I wouldn't advise keeping the snails! They'll reproduce like mad and they have a massive bioload. Put any that you find outside. Some snails are beneficial but pest snails like pond/bladder snails are only going to do more harm than good in this situation.

Pest snails are common in tanks, I have them they only look bad, a pest snail will have a tiny bioload and as I said keeping feeding down will prevent too many of them.
 

Nronchetti

Thank you Initiate, GrouchyGuppies

I will try pulling the filter apart tomorrow to see how easy it would be to add my own media.

Currently I have just the one snail but if I understand correctly they don't need two to tango as it were? If that's right I might set this one free as it were.

Thanks again!

Nathan
 

Initiate

Thank you Initiate, GrouchyGuppies

I will try pulling the filter apart tomorrow to see how easy it would be to add my own media.

Currently I have just the one snail but if I understand correctly they don't need two to tango as it were? If that's right I might set this one free as it were.

Thanks again!

Nathan

Yeah, only needs one snail but the likely hood of there only being one is slim, you can remove it but you may already have other snails
 

Nronchetti

Oh one more Q if I may,

Stocking levels... with the amount of fry I have is there any way to predict when over stocking will be a problem or do I just need to keep an eye on the levels? Or am I best adopting out the excess as soon as possible?

Cheers

Nathan
 

GrouchyGuppies

Oh one more Q if I may,

Stocking levels... with the amount of fry I have is there any way to predict when over stocking will be a problem or do I just need to keep an eye on the levels? Or am I best adopting out the excess as soon as possible?

Cheers

Nathan
Your best bet will probably be adopting out as soon as they are old enough. I don't think overstocking should be too big of a problem in the meantime, as long as you keep up with water changes it should be fine.

Initiate - I agree, although seeing as they reproduce so rapidly I do think it can contribute to bioload. As long as numbers are kept down it shouldn't be too bad. I'd get rid of any you see. I had some in a 5 gallon a while back and every time a got rid of one there were three more to replace it so getting rid of any as soon as they are spotted is probably the best plan!
 

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