Hello to all... looking for some suggestions - a fish saga

  1. m

    minceymeatpie New Member Member

    Hi all,

    New to the forum, also new to fishkeeping. Looking for suggestions, scoldings and ideas about what to do with my current setup. Warning: this is a long saga.

    A year ago or so, I bought my dude a Fluval Edge. Mostly because he wanted "a pet fish" and it looked super stylish. Of course I have since discovered what a nightmare it is - from malfunctioning preset heater (I have yet to find an adjustable heater that can fit the tank), to cleaning, to stocking. In any case, after the untimely demise of 5 neon tetras and 6 rummynose tetras over the year (max of 7 fish in the tank at any given time) I now have one solitary neon (Runty) left and he is the sole survivor of the ich that killed his 6 tankmates 2mths ago. (Of course the preset heater could not be used to raise the temperature of the tank either beyond the standard 27deg...so API Super Ich Cure was all I used)

    Two weeks ago I decided to restock and buy a bigger 20 gallon long. The original plan was to use the Edge as a quarantine tank for new fish as neccessary, and to give Runty some company, him being a schooling fish and all. We bought the 20 gallon and (stupidly) decided to cycle the tank with fish. I used some decor from Runty's tank, but put new gravel and new filter media in.

    We started out with 7 neon tetras. Then added a school of 5 black neons. They were doing great so we made another stupid decision - the purchase of a common pleco which according to the wonderful Pets Unlimited person "will eat all your algae". She told us she keeps her common plec in a 5 gallon, so this could even fit the Edge tank. Since we wanted one pleco for each tank to "eat all the algae", the common plec got a companion, the sailfin plec "which grows smaller than the common one! and is so pretty!" Well, since I knew nothing about a pleco, I did some reading. Both plecos went back to the store three days later and were replaced with a clown pleco and a bristlenose. The clown's fate is to go into the Edge tank and the bristlenose to remain in the 20 gallon.

    My current setup was working great until yesterday. To try to counteract the idiocy of stocking my tank uncycled, I have been doing daily 25% water changes. The 7 neons were schooling together, the 5 black neons hung out in a pack and the bristlenose/clown were moseying about. Then yesterday I noticed I only had 5 neons... Sometimes I counted 6 but never 7. So I launched a search and found them in the filter trapped beneath the filter foam. One of them was swimming valiantly in his tiny little cell, the other was dead. I fished the dead fella out and released the prisoner and he was behaving normally and schooling with the others again but today he was found dead.

    Now I am starting to wonder what happened. Everything I have read says that "neon tetras are good swimmers and a healthy one will not get sucked into a filter intake". Does this mean the other tetras are ill? Is there anything I should do with the tank? It is a little too late to go back now that the thing is stocked... Once the 2 week quarantine is over, my plan is to transfer the 5 neons and clown pleco into the Edge tank to join Runty - or alternatively to have Runty join the 5 neons and bristlenose in the 20 gallon long, while putting the 5 black neons into the Edge.

    Is this suitable for an Edge tank? Can a clown pleco live in a 6 gallon tank with a few small tetras? Would it be better to have him stay in the 20 gallon long with the bristlenose? I would like to put the clown pleco in the 6 gallon - I think he would be happier on his lonesome, but am a bit worried about the size of the Edge.

    If you've read this far, thanks for the patience. Any suggestions/ideas are most welcome.
  2. Akari_32

    Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member


    YOu certainly did the right thing by upgrading and taking those Plecos back. Now on to your current Plecos... No pleco shouls be housed in an Edge, unless you had a the 12 gallon one, in which case, a clown would be ok, as long as you kept up on the water changes. I've got one in my 10 gallon, and he's great :) I've also got a Bristlenose in my 29 gallon, and I love her to bits =3

    That said, you may want to consider moving the Clown back into the 20 long. Even still, two Plecos in a 20 long will be hard to keep up with when they get bigger. I'd recommend returning the BN, and keeping the Clown, as BNs are a bit bigger.

    THe Edge, at the size you have, really isn't good for much. You can lower the water level a bit (which defeats the purpose of the Edge) and keep a betta and/or African Dwarf Frogs in there. Or you could have some fun with it and make it an shrimp tank!

    Sounds like you need to put a piece of filter sponge over the intake, poor little guys! They are stressed out, and weakened. When the tank is fully cycled, and they build up some muscle, you could then remove the filter sponge from the intake tube.

    So heres what I'd do:

    Return BN Pleco
    Put all other fish into 20 long
    retock Edge with appropriate fish

    I hope I got all your questions!
  3. OP

    minceymeatpie New Member Member

    Hey Akari,

    Thanks for the reply! The BN pleco right now is a tiny little fella, under 2 inches. The clown is 2 inches at present. My hope is to turn the Edge into a quarantine tank (it can run with fake plants, no fish and still look "stylish") and eventually - because I am addicted now to fishkeeping - upgrade the 20 gallon long to something even bigger (we are planning to buy a new house and have an aquarium as a centerpiece so I am thinking 50 gallons or so). My hope was to keep the clown and BN for now with the plan to upgrade in future. I have acquired multi-tank syndrome apparently... Would the clown thrive until he grew bigger ie how many inches large before it would be bad for him to be in the Edge - or is it bad at any size?

    Pardon the ignorance but I haven't grasped this notion i.e. can you keep baby fish in small tanks and then move them to bigger ones and when do you decide...
  4. Akari_32

    Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member

    Don't worry about asking too many question! Its why you joined, to learn :)

    Its best to buy fish that fit into your tank, or will for a good long while. Unfortunately, the Edge just wouldn't be sufficient for a pleco of any size. They're poop machines ;) Since both your guys are little, the 20 long will be fine for the time being. I bought my Clown fully grown, but my BN was only an inch when I bought her. She grew very slowly at first, then one day, out of no where, she grew from 2 inches, to about 5 in a matter of a month. I think I had her about 6 months, before she really started growing. She has a food complex, and doesn't share well, so just be sure both the Clown and the BN have their own food at feeding time :)

    Aaaah, yes, MTS. I know that feeling well ;D
  5. iRun

    iRun Valued Member Member

    I've got an edge and I love it. I use an aqueon pro 50watt submersible heater (adjustable). My house is 64 in the winter so i oversized that heater a little bit. A full grown clown or bn pleco are too big.

    Keep in mind that if the edge runs with no fish (bioload) for any period of time you risk compromising your population of nitrifying bacteria, aka the bugs you are trying to grow during a cycle.

    Every single person on this forum would say my edge is overstocked. I have 5 tetras in mine with some tankmates, but I have been keeping fish for a long time. I would discourage you from setting yourself up for failure by overstocking your edge. My edge is heavily planted and receives routine 30-50% water changes. The danger of the edge, especially for the newer aquarist is that if things go down hill, and they will, there is very little warning because the size is so small. I have the luxury of a larger tank that could take all the residents of my edge. You also have the concern that fish behavior/well being will be impacted by the cramped conditions.

    I do think that moving a school of tetras in temporarily is a plausible solution, though not ideal.

    Having said that, there are some cool nano fish that would do well. Threadfin rainbows, spotted rasboras, chili rasboras to name a few. Plants will help a great deal, but thats kind of a new can of worms. You could do a snail or some amano or red cherry shrimp to help with algae in the edge.

    I just wouldn't even mess with the plecos in the edge.

    Just one guys opinion :D

    Welcome, you are going to find tons of great advice and cool people here.