I don't think I can make any more mistakes.. geesh. I'm a horrible person

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by moon317, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. moon317

    moon317New MemberMember

    Ok, I'm a typical rookie. I bought a tank, some cutie-pie decorations, and dumped my fish right in...( I at least de-chlorinated the water first) Then I found this site and read all the helpful tips and articles... Here's my question.. If I now monitor my water chemistry closley, will I be able to atone for my ignorance, without making my little fishy guys suffer?
    So far all water parameters are looking good, but from your posts, I know it is the calm before the ammonia storm...

    Keep up the good work.
  2. AnnaEA

    AnnaEAValued MemberMember

    I think if you're prepared to do lots of water changes, and put up with the slower cycling, you'll have the best results.....

    Or maybe check and see if your LFS has biospira -- it's a live bacteria additive, that builds the bio-filter really quickly. Helpful Guy at my LFS says they've used it in some of their tanks, to test it, and it worked well for them, and that he recommends it for if some ones biofilter crashes and they need to rebuild it fast because of delicate fish. It's a little pricey though - like 20 bucks. Might save stress on your fish though.

  3. OP

    moon317New MemberMember

    Thanks Anna!
  4. newbie101

    newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    Do you have a liquid or strip test kit? If you have a strip kit as soon as that runs out try and get a liquid one. You should probably be testing about every day or every other day, and if the levels get too high do a small water change. Don't siphon the gravel, as this will further slow down the cyvle. Anna is right, if you want to you can get a cycling product, they usually aren't $20 though (at least not in any of the stores I've been to, maybe Anna's is more expensive). Bio Spira is a good one, and Stress Zyme should work well too.
    Just be prepared for a few deaths, but I hope you won't have any! Good luck!!!!! ;)
  5. vin

    vinWell Known MemberMember

    Moon - Take heart - I made the same mistake you did borne out of bad advice from a so called fish store expert.....It took quite a bit longer with fish in the water, but we made it through. Thanks to some great advice from the folks on this site and A LOT of reading and research.

    To get through, I did daily water changes of 30% and tested the water daily using an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit and kept track of all of my readings to monitor progress.

    I also went back to the pet store and got a handful of their gravel and put it into the end of a stocking and set it in the tank. Since the pet store tanks are already established, the gravel is coated with the good bacteria you need to develop in your water. It won't make the process go any faster, but it will help to seed your tank with the bacteria you need.

    It's important to remember not to vacuum your gravel during your cycle process unless you see an excess build up of uneaten food and waste. Then, vacuum only a small portion of the tank at a time every few days or if you can, once a week.

    It is important to keep up on the water changes daily until your tank cycles as this will help you to combat the build up of ammonia and nitrites - both of which are highly toxic to fish.

    Also, avoid the temptation to add chemicals to your water other than the dechlorinator. All they will do is temporarily lock up the toxic chemicals in the water, but not eliminate them. Once they wear off, the toxicity levels spike and will cause more stress on your fish.

    Don't worry, you can get through this with some dedication. Good Luck and Welcome to Fishlore....There are a lot of great people on this site with all levels of experience......Please do not be afraid to tap into their knowledge...it will take you far.
  6. OP

    moon317New MemberMember

    Thanks Vin, Emma and Anna..... Great advice! I'll start the water changes today, and I've already purchased a pretty good master testing kit.I'll try finding the other items you recommended. There is a silver lining to all of this, my little boy is actually getting interested in the science of the water chemistry, and is turning out to be a great helper. Hey, family time is family time, even if it is spent discussing how fish poop is made safe. ;)
  7. EmpPleco

    EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    lol that is awesome!! how old is your "little helper"?? :)
  8. OP

    moon317New MemberMember

    Hi Jaime,
    My little guy is 6 years old, and a laugh a minute. Come to think of it.. I made a bunch of mistake with him too when I first got him, so why would I think it would be different with fish? Heeheehee.
    :note to self......Do a little research before starting next hobby. Good thing I decided on fish instead of parachuting.

    Nice to hear from you, :)
  9. fish_r_friend

    fish_r_friendWell Known MemberMember

    parachuting lol ;D
  10. newbie101

    newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    lol :D ;D
  11. 0morrokh

    0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    Parachuting, hehe ;D
    Since you came here early, instead of waiting until something went wrong, there is a good chance all or most of your fish will survive.
    Just curious, what kinds of fish do you have?
  12. OP

    moon317New MemberMember

    Hi Omorrokh,
    I've got 2 little Serpea tetras and 2 little black neon( i think) tetras. I robbed them from my kid's little 2 gallon tank. As soon as I get a stable, cycled tank I'm gonna add a few more tetras so they can do that schooling thing. I want to get good at this stuff ,then move up to a big boy tank,( I currently have a 10 gallon) so I don't want to add too many fish yet.. ;) :)

  13. 0morrokh

    0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    In a 10 gal you can have 16.6 inches of fish. Definately get more tetras. You won't have room for 6 of each kind, but get as many as possible of each so they will feel secure.
    Good luck with your tank! (soon, tankS mooahahahahahaha!!! ;D)