I had such a good plan... now I have fish

Lilthuglet

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Hi All,

I had a plan, it was a good one. Get tank, add water and substrate, test and wait for cycling to stabilise, add plants, let that grow and stabilise, get a little clean up crew, let them settle in, then get a couple of carefully chosen fish.

Well. I went to pick up a second hand tank today from a rather lovely elderly lady who couldn't cope with fish any more. I got the tank but she still had two of her fish she hadn't homed and I was buying their home. She was planning to keep them in a tiny, filterless bowl or get rid of them. So now I have two little fish. This is them in their very temporary bowl whilst I sort things out:

fishes.jpg

I have two tanks, the 20" length x 10" width x 12" depth, which is just over 10 gallon (US gallons):
tank1.jpg

This was theirs before I think.
Then theres this one 17" length by 10" width by 13.5" depth which is just under 10 gallons (US):
tank2.jpg


I have some of the water they were kept in in the little bowl she had moved them to and the gravel they had been on in the bigger tank, but she rinsed that thoroughly and it is bright blue and white. She gave me some stuff to add to tap water before putting it in, some of their food and the filters.

I already had some tank conditioner, a all in one PH and amonia tester, I have bought some live plants and some new decorations and black substrate.

So questions:
  • I want to maintain what I can of the environment they were in for their health and to try to jump start cycling, so I'll be using all the water I can, but is their any benefit in using the gravel she washed? I had read that bright/white gravel could be stressful and it is white and neon blue.
  • Is there any benefit in keeping any of the decorations she gave me that were theirs? Again they have been rinsed.
  • The tank could do with a good scrub, it's a bit yucky and limescaley should I do that now or hold off to maintain the environment for them?
  • Which of the two tanks do you think would be a better environment for them? The first, black one does have a lid with a light built in so they both have light, it was also theirs before she moved them to the bowl she had them in. The second, white one being shorter and taller would fill further with the water I have that was theirs so I could add new more slowly and I think is a nicer looking tank overall (though that doesn't really matter).
  • Any idea what they are? The lady said they were 'normal goldfish' but they are only just over an inch long and don't look like classic goldfish to me. Following from that, how big will they get? Should they have more friends for schooling?
  • Are second hand decorations from a different tank any use at all? can they be suitably disinfected (and how) or should I just ditch them?
  • Should I use the 'water conditioner' she gave me that they are used to? It is called Quick Clear and says it clears cloudy water, but it doesn't say anything about conditioning tap water/removing chlorine.
  • I also have three water conditioners by Love Fish, an Ammonia Remover, a Filter Boost and Tap Safe - I was planning to use the Tap Safe and check the Ammonia levels regularly and only add the Ammonia Remover if necessary. The Filter Boost says it establishes beneficial bacteria, which sounds like it could jump start the cycle - should I add some of that?
  • Are there any possible issues adding Tap Safe, Filter Boost and Ammonia Remover (if required) all at once? could they interact or overdo things?
A lot of questions I know but I am panicking a bit and feel totally irresponsible for not being ready, but I couldn't just leave them there. Any help would be much appreciated.

No comments on the lady I got them from please.
 
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Lilthuglet

Lilthuglet

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Oh no. They are both tropical breeds and she promised they were cold water.
 

mattgirl

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Did a filter come with the tank you got from this lady? If it did, have you kept the media inside it wet? If filter media, gravel and decor has been kept wet there should be enough bacteria on them to jump start the cycle.

I agree, I don't think these fish are goldfish even though the color is gold so are tropical fish instead of cold water fish.

BTW: I never recommend adding an ammonia remover. If ammonia spikes it is better to get it down with a water changes. I do recommend using prime though. It doesn't remove ammonia but does detoxify it.
 
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Lilthuglet

Lilthuglet

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Thanks, a filter did as did some bits of decor but all were throughly dried out. She helpfully rinsed and dried everything, even the gravel. I have gone for a compromise, adding the decor, using the same filter, but cleaning the tank of guk and using a mix of new, less loud gravel and the old.

Thanks for the info on ammonia removers.

I think I'm going to stick with their original tank (the shallower/longer, black one) as I can't get the other one out of it's frame and the frame so I can't easily clean the whole thing.
 
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Lilthuglet

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Thanks for all your answers to my slightly panicky essay.

We're now more or less set up. Not quite the level I was hoping for but they seem happy enough. The general consensus from around the various places I've asked is two male platties.

Some slightly better pictures:
fishes1.jpg


fshes2.jpg


The tank:
tank-setup.jpg


They seem to be settling in pretty well, exploring and relaxing. I've used the filter helper bacterial starter so hopefully that'll help us get cycling asap, in the mean time I'll keep an eye on the Ammonia.

I have a second tank, a Superfish Home 40, that just needs a good clean, then I'm going to start setting that one up as a tropical aquascape, it seems I now have a tropical tank *sigh*. Then I'll move these chaps into that, and upgrade this one to a cold aquascape for someone else to live in.

One more question, platties are schooling fish it seems so ideally I need more than two. It may take a little while to get their final tank set up - would I be better off waiting a couple of months till it's ready or should I be looking at getting a couple more sooner?
 

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Lilthuglet said:
Thanks for all your answers to my slightly panicky essay.

We're now more or less set up. Not quite the level I was hoping for but they seem happy enough. The general consensus from around the various places I've asked is two male platties.

Some slightly better pictures:
fishes1.jpg


fshes2.jpg


The tank:
tank-setup.jpg


They seem to be settling in pretty well, exploring and relaxing. I've used the filter helper bacterial starter so hopefully that'll help us get cycling asap, in the mean time I'll keep an eye on the Ammonia.

I have a second tank, a Superfish Home 40, that just needs a good clean, then I'm going to start setting that one up as a tropical aquascape, it seems I now have a tropical tank *sigh*. Then I'll move these chaps into that, and upgrade this one to a cold aquascape for someone else to live in.

One more question, platties are schooling fish it seems so ideally I need more than two. It may take a little while to get their final tank set up - would I be better off waiting a couple of months till it's ready or should I be looking at getting a couple more sooner?
Adding some sooner has pros and cons. I think it has more pros in the long term, I would go for it :) (I would only get 2-3 more)
 
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Lilthuglet

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Thanks, that's what I was thinking tbh. I'll give these guys a week or so to settle and see how the cycling goes, then look at getting a couple more.
 

mattgirl

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Lilthuglet said:
Thanks for all your answers to my slightly panicky essay.

We're now more or less set up. Not quite the level I was hoping for but they seem happy enough. The general consensus from around the various places I've asked is two male platties.

Some slightly better pictures:
fishes1.jpg


fshes2.jpg


The tank:
tank-setup.jpg


They seem to be settling in pretty well, exploring and relaxing. I've used the filter helper bacterial starter so hopefully that'll help us get cycling asap, in the mean time I'll keep an eye on the Ammonia.

I have a second tank, a Superfish Home 40, that just needs a good clean, then I'm going to start setting that one up as a tropical aquascape, it seems I now have a tropical tank *sigh*. Then I'll move these chaps into that, and upgrade this one to a cold aquascape for someone else to live in.

One more question, platties are schooling fish it seems so ideally I need more than two. It may take a little while to get their final tank set up - would I be better off waiting a couple of months till it's ready or should I be looking at getting a couple more sooner?
Since this is just a 10 gallon and isn't cycled I would hold off on adding any more right now. These 2 should provide enough ammonia to grow the cycle without overwhelming it.
 

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"Normal goldfish" combined with the pic of 2 obvious platys was a good laugh lol. It was very nice of you to help her out like that OP :) I'm sure those fish are better off as well
 

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You have platy's or variatius their going to need a heater you said it's ten gallon a fifty watt should do looks like you have a male and female if so you won't have to buy any
 

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mattgirl said:
Since this is just a 10 gallon and isn't cycled I would hold off on adding any more right now. These 2 should provide enough ammonia to grow the cycle without overwhelming it.
I second this! I was in a very similar situation you’re in now and ended up with an uncycled 10g tank with 5 platys :( They may be little but boy do they produce a pretty big bioload. To get through the cycling process and keep them alive I was doing small water changes every 2ish days to keep the ammonia levels in check. After weeks of stressing and lots and lots of work it finally got cycled and levels evened out. I think keeping just the 2 platys for now would be much easier on you!
 
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Lilthuglet

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Yeah, I'm going to leave them until the cycle stabilises, then get a couple more, and work on the proper tank in the mean time. I will get a heater for them but at the moment we are hot as satans butcrack here so the water is stable at just over 25 degrees so I have some time to sort that out.

Code:
<iframe width="789" height="444" src="https://www.facebook.com/lilly.hill.562/videos/a.10164128674985096/10164128675035096/" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Video of the little chaps, not sure if it'll work embedded though.
 

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mattgirl said:
BTW: I never recommend adding an ammonia remover. If ammonia spikes it is better to get it down with a water changes. I do recommend using prime though. It doesn't remove ammonia but does detoxify it.
What would you say is an ammonia remover? Like any typical water conditioner that isn’t prime?
 

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Tunaboy said:
What would you say is an ammonia remover? Like any typical water conditioner that isn’t prime?
Most water conditioners don't affect ammonia. Water conditioners remove chlorine and/or chloramines and some heavy metals (whatever that means). Products such as Ammo-lock locks up ammonia. Bacteria can't eat locked up ammonia. I can't name any others as I have never needed, thus haven't researched, any of them. A cycling tank needs some ammonia so using an ammonia remover will remove food the bacteria needs.
 

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Just chiming in here to say you lucked out, those platy fish are BEAUTIFUL!
 
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Lilthuglet

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UnknownUser said:
Just chiming in here to say you lucked out, those platy fish are BEAUTIFUL!
Thanks :) aparently they are probably sunset platy fish, I am thinking of getting a blue/green and a silvery spotty one to go with them, though I'll see what jumps out when I go to get them friends.

Tunaboy said:
What would you say is an ammonia remover? Like any typical water conditioner that isn’t prime?
It is literally a bottle from Love Fish that says 'Ammonia Remover' on it. I got a water conditioner called Tap Safe and a bacteria starter called Filter Boost from them too.

The Ammonia Remover says it is for use then setting up your aquarium for the first time, when introducing new fish or when excess ammonia is detected. It has Sodium Hydroxymethanesulfonate in it. Not sure what it does exactly but if people recommend water changes and monitoring instead happy to go with that. I was having a bit of a worry and grabbed everything just in case. :woot:
 

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