i'm a newbie!

sqeeker

Member
Hi, I'm new to this site and I have already learned so much! #1. I need new water testing kits! I do have a question. I have had my tank for a long time and I don't do a 20% water change unless the tank really looks dirty. Should I be vacuuming the tank on a regular basis? I just got 2 new angelfish, and one died the first night! I checked the water quality, but now I know my test kits are very outdated. The nitrate levels showed low but everything else was perfect. When I add water I always add distilled because I was afraid the hard water would be bad for my filtering system, should I be using this or not? My tap water is chlorinated, is it ok to use this and just add an additive to remove the chlorine? I currently have 1 zebra fish, 1 angelfish, and 3 tetras and 1 large suckerfish? I'm not exactly sure what he is. I have a 30 gallon tank with the eclipse filtering system. Any suggestions and answers from anyone would be helpful! Thanks so much!
 

COBettaCouple

Member
The best thing to do for your water is to use tap water treated with a product like Prime or NovAqua+. The filtered water works, but lacks the beneficial things in tap water.
Also, we do 25% water changes weekly along with a cleaning of the substrata either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on each tank's fish population.
We test the water weekly and keep track of the results in a spreadsheet. The API master freshwater kit is on sale at petco now.

Your suckerfish sounds like a common pleco - they get to 18" (or more sometimes) and are recommended to have a tank of 55 gallons or more. They're also heavy waste producers.

Welcome to fishlore!
 

Bonochick

Member
Welcome! Sorry about the angel you lost. You will find so much great advice here to help you out with things though, this place is great!
 

Gunnie

Member
Welcome to FishLore! I think all of your questions have already pretty much been covered. You are in good hands here! If you don't have a Petco, but do have a PetSmart, you can go to their website and look up the master test kit. Print the page the kit is on and make sure it shows the price. Take it to PetSmart, and they should honor the online price! Also, go to planet catfish and do some research on your pleco. You can search common pleco to start with, and see if you have one, and if not, just start going through all the different plecos. If you have a common pleco, you will be very unhappy with this fish as it gets bigger. It will tear up your tank with it's size and thrashing around.
 
  • Thread Starter

sqeeker

Member
Gunnie said:
Welcome to FishLore!  I think all of your questions have already pretty much been covered.  You are in good hands here!  If you don't have a Petco, but do have a PetSmart, you can go to their website and look up the master test kit.  Print the page the kit is on and make sure it shows the price.  Take it to PetSmart, and they should honor the online price!   Also, go to planet catfish and do some research on your pleco.  You can search common pleco to start with, and see if you have one, and if not, just start going through all the different plecos.  If you have a common pleco, you will be very unhappy with this fish as it gets bigger.  It will tear up your tank with it's size and thrashing around.   
any suggestions what I should do with the pleco? I read on another reply he could possibly get up to 18'' long? Can he be put into a garden pond or would this kill him?
 

sgould

Member
Check with local fish stores to see if they would take him off your hands. A lot of stores will do that, but some will not.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
A pleco can do well in a pond, but couldn't take the cold weather up and would need a big tank to live in during cold times.
 

Muffymouse

Member
Welcome to fish lore and the newb club. Couple weeks or months and we can at least have gained enough knowledge to reach less than newb status LOL ;D
 

atmmachine816

Member
Welcome to fishlore.

Depending where you live determines if it can go in a pond like FLBettacouple said, if not try to turn it in for store credit at a lfs.
 

Stradius011

Member
Welcome to Fishlore!
 

armadillo

Member
sqeeker said:
Hi, I'm new to this site and I have already learned so much!  #1. I need new water testing kits!  I do have a question.  I have had my tank for a long time and  I don't do a 20% water change unless the tank really looks dirty.  Should I be vacuuming the tank on a regular basis?  I just got 2 new angelfish, and one died the first night!  I checked the water quality, but now I know my test kits are very outdated.  The nitrate levels showed low but everything else was perfect.  When I add water I always add distilled because I was afraid the hard water would be bad for my filtering system, should I be using this or not?  My tap water is chlorinated, is it ok to use this and just add an additive to remove the chlorine?  I currently have 1 zebra fish, 1 angelfish, and 3 tetras and 1 large suckerfish?  I'm not exactly sure what he is.  I have a 30 gallon tank with the eclipse filtering system.  Any suggestions and answers from anyone would be helpful!  Thanks so much!
I lost 2 angelfish in 2 weeks. First one died pretty much immediately. I suspect I hadn't cycled the tank. Fish store lady just sold me 9 fish and said it would be fine. I"ve learnt since!
 

COBettaCouple

Member
armadillo said:
I lost 2 angelfish in 2 weeks. First one died pretty much immediately. I suspect I hadn't cycled the tank. Fish store lady just sold me 9 fish and said it would be fine. I"ve learnt since!
Seems like the fish stores love to send people home with too many fish or incompatible fish, due to employee ignorance or just wanting to sell more.
 

armadillo

Member
I know, it's really bad. When I think bad of what that lady was telling me. She really doesn't care at all about the fish. She sold me algae wafers for my plecos and couldnt' tell me how much to tell them. She just said: 'It doesn't matter, OK? It just doesn't matter'. And she sold me 1 male and 1 female molly, without warning me that I'd need way more females. Oh, and of course she sold me 3 plecos! For a 60L aquarium. I feel bad for them now, but I really didn't know you couldn't have more than one, and that they needed that much space.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
armadillo said:
I know, it's really bad. When I think bad of what that lady was telling me. She really doesn't care at all about the fish. She sold me algae wafers for my plecos and couldnt' tell me how much to tell them. She just said: 'It doesn't matter, OK? It just doesn't matter'. And she sold me 1 male and 1 female molly, without warning me that I'd need way more females. Oh, and of course she sold me 3 plecos! For a 60L aquarium. I feel bad for them now, but I really didn't know you couldn't have more than one, and that they needed that much space.
LOL, yea, that's pretty bad. at least she's honest in one thing - it doesn't matter - to her anyways.. I get the same 'helpful' tips at our local petco. I love having fishlore to ask questions and getting good advice.
 

Butterfly

Member
Welcome to FishLore!
Carol
 

armadillo

Member
FLBettaCouple said:
armadillo said:
I know, it's really bad. When I think bad of what that lady was telling me. She really doesn't care at all about the fish. She sold me algae wafers for my plecos and couldnt' tell me how much to tell them. She just said: 'It doesn't matter, OK? It just doesn't matter'. And she sold me 1 male and 1 female molly, without warning me that I'd need way more females. Oh, and of course she sold me 3 plecos! For a 60L aquarium. I feel bad for them now, but I really didn't know you couldn't have more than one, and that they needed that much space.
LOL, yea, that's pretty bad. at least she's honest in one thing - it doesn't matter - to her anyways.. I get the same 'helpful' tips at our local petco.  I love having fishlore to ask questions and getting good advice.
Yeah, that's true, I like it too. I have scoured the area around my house (well, up to 30km away, but what wouldn't you do for your fish?) and found about 5 fish stores. They are all good at one area in particular, and bad at the rest, so I choose where I get my advice from depending on what the problem is. One of them is excellent with plecos, the other one has great tanks, but knows nothing about the fish themselves! Another one is pretty good with plants. Pick and mix, pick and mix.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
Sounds nice to have that many shops close.
 

armadillo

Member
Well, I wouldn't say close... There's a couple that are quite close, but the rest is about an hour's drive due to horrendous traffic.
 
  • Thread Starter

sqeeker

Member
FLBettaCouple said:
The best thing to do for your water is to use tap water treated with a product like Prime or NovAqua+.  The filtered water works, but lacks the beneficial things in tap water.
Also, we do 25% water changes weekly along with a cleaning of the substrata either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on each tank's fish population.
We test the water weekly and keep track of the results in a spreadsheet.  The API master freshwater kit is on sale at petco now.

Your suckerfish sounds like a common pleco - they get to 18" (or more sometimes) and are recommended to have a tank of 55 gallons or more.  They're also heavy waste producers.

Welcome to fishlore!
I used the novaqua to remove the chlorine and chloramine from the new water when I vacuumed the gravel and did a 50% water change. I got new test "strips" to check the nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, water hardness, ph and alkalinity. When I checked the water that was dechlorinated using the new strips, I found out our water was very hard, and could possibly leave white mineral deposits on the filtration system. My nitrates are very high. My molly and angel are now showing signs of "ich" I have an ich medicine to put in the tank, but i'm not sure I should do so. I did read adding a little aquarium salt and increasing the temp. of the water may help to get rid of this parasite. Any suggestions?
 

Gunnie

Member
Your pleco looks like the only fish that would be sensitive to salt and medications. Read the directions carefully. If it doesn't say anything about temperature affecting the medication, you could probably raise it to about 82 degrees to move the ick life cycle along. Also, I'd do a 50% waterchange before starting the meds.
 

tan.b

Member
firstly welcone to fishlore and i'm pleased you're asking for help with your tank/fish. it seems most lfs give bad advice! your questions wil do better with fishlore!!! may I recommend you get the liquid test kit such as the aquarium pharmaceuticals inc (API) freshwater test kit. it may seem a little pricey at first glance but it does over 700 tests, and gives accurate results. the test strips are notoriously inaccurate and per test are more expensive. how high is high for your nitrates. what you need ideally is zero for ammonia, and nitrite and your nitrate below 20. doing weekly water changes of about 20% should keep these in line. if the nitrates get out of hand do 50% water changes every day until they're back within limits and keep checking your levels every week to ensure they stay in line. as you have discovered, when these levels get out of whack it makes your fish susceptible to diseases and parasites such as ich. this is easily treated by increasing the temp to 80F and doing as many water changes as you can. 20% every day would be great. the ich parasite can't complete its life cycle at these high temps and the water changes will "throw away" the parasite when its in it free swimming state. you should see an improvement within a week. there are costly remedies about which can cause harm to any invertibrates you have or scaleless fish, so the high temp option is the safest and most effective in my opinion. also you may already know this, but just in case you dont....make sure you acclimate your new fish very slowly. this should help prevent any fatalities in the first week! place the bag in the water for at least 30 mins, then add a cupful of tank water to the bag every 15-20 mins until the bag is about full then release your fish. not only does the fish need to slowly adjust to the temp but also the water chemsitry as yours is likely to be very dif to that at the lfs.
hope i've answered all your questions, any more questions...yell!! good luck
tan  
 

COBettaCouple

Member
sqeeker said:
I used the novaqua to remove the chlorine and chloramine from the new water when I vacuumed the gravel and did a 50% water change. I got new test "strips" to check the nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, water hardness, ph and alkalinity. When I checked the water that was dechlorinated using the new strips, I found out our water was very hard, and could possibly leave white mineral deposits on the filtration system. My nitrates are very high. My molly and angel are now showing signs of "ich" I have an ich medicine to put in the tank, but i'm not sure I should do so. I did read adding a little aquarium salt and increasing the temp. of the water may help to get rid of this parasite. Any suggestions?
How are your fish doing now? What ich medicine do you have? If you're looking for something that is safe for all of your fish, look for this:
. That plus keeping the tank at least at 82F should clear the ich. Even the temp increase alone usually knocks ich out.
 
  • Thread Starter

sqeeker

Member
sgould said:
Check with local fish stores to see if they would take him off your hands.  A lot of stores will do that, but some will not.
Thanks for the information. I called a fish store and they did take him off my hands for me and also gave me a credit toward more fish or supplies, so I purchased the apI master test kit.
 
  • Thread Starter

sqeeker

Member
sqeeker said:
FLBettaCouple said:
The best thing to do for your water is to use tap water treated with a product like Prime or NovAqua+.  The filtered water works, but lacks the beneficial things in tap water.
Also, we do 25% water changes weekly along with a cleaning of the substrata either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on each tank's fish population.
We test the water weekly and keep track of the results in a spreadsheet.  The API master freshwater kit is on sale at petco now.

Your suckerfish sounds like a common pleco - they get to 18" (or more sometimes) and are recommended to have a tank of 55 gallons or more.  They're also heavy waste producers.

Welcome to fishlore!
I used the novaqua to remove the chlorine and chloramine from the new water when I vacuumed the gravel and did a 50% water change.  I got new test "strips" to check the nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, water hardness, ph and alkalinity.   When I checked the water that was dechlorinated using the new strips, I found out our water was very hard, and could possibly leave white mineral deposits on the filtration system.  My nitrates are very high.  My molly and angel are now showing signs of "ich"  I have an ich medicine to put in the tank, but i'm not sure I should do so.  I did read adding a little aquarium salt and increasing the temp. of the water may help to get rid of this parasite.  Any suggestions?
I have decided to use the distilled water due to my tap water's hardness. My test strips were inaccurate, so I had my water tested at the fish store and purchased the apI master test kit. I did get rid of my pleco, I never knew how covered in barbs they were! I'm glad he's gone from my tank now. My tank has never looked better! I added some aquarium salt and increased the water temp. to 80. All the ich seems to be gone now. I also replaced the angelfish that died with another one who is doing fantastic! When I did replace the angel fish, the lady at the store took some water out of another aquarium to add to the bag, and when I got home I noticed there was a frye in the water! I netted him and put him in his own little floating tank in the big tank. I'm not sure what he is, any idea's on how long it takes them to look like a mature fish?
 

armadillo

Member
sqeeker said:
sqeeker said:
FLBettaCouple said:
The best thing to do for your water is to use tap water treated with a product like Prime or NovAqua+.  The filtered water works, but lacks the beneficial things in tap water.
Also, we do 25% water changes weekly along with a cleaning of the substrata either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on each tank's fish population.
We test the water weekly and keep track of the results in a spreadsheet.  The API master freshwater kit is on sale at petco now.

Your suckerfish sounds like a common pleco - they get to 18" (or more sometimes) and are recommended to have a tank of 55 gallons or more.  They're also heavy waste producers.

Welcome to fishlore!
I used the novaqua to remove the chlorine and chloramine from the new water when I vacuumed the gravel and did a 50% water change.  I got new test "strips" to check the nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, water hardness, ph and alkalinity.   When I checked the water that was dechlorinated using the new strips, I found out our water was very hard, and could possibly leave white mineral deposits on the filtration system.  My nitrates are very high.  My molly and angel are now showing signs of "ich"  I have an ich medicine to put in the tank, but i'm not sure I should do so.  I did read adding a little aquarium salt and increasing the temp. of the water may help to get rid of this parasite.  Any suggestions?
I have decided to use the distilled water due to my tap water's hardness. My test strips were inaccurate, so I had my water tested at the fish store and purchased the apI master test kit. I did get rid of my pleco, I never knew how covered in barbs they were! I'm glad he's gone from my tank now. My tank has never looked better! I added some aquarium salt and increased the water temp. to 80. All the ich seems to be gone now. I also replaced the angelfish that died with another one who is doing fantastic! When I did replace the angel fish, the lady at the store took some water out of another aquarium to add to the bag, and when I got home I noticed there was a frye in the water! I netted him and put him in his own little floating tank in the big tank. I'm not sure what he is, any idea's on how long it takes them to look like a mature fish?
That is so great (about the ich being zapped). Well done. You must be relieved. Well done also on getting the pleco back to the fish store and on the little fry surprise! I guess it depends on what type of fish it's a baby of (when he'll start showing his 'true colours').

On your avatar, is that you holding the fish out of the water? Aside from a couple of fish who seem to be doing OK for a while outside of water, most fish cannot take even a small exposure to air, as it damages their gills (their gills collapse as they are not supported by the water medium). It may cause damage that you don't notice yet.  Anyway, if that's your fish, better not do that too often or he'll really get his knickers in a twist about it.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
sqeeker said:
When I did replace the angel fish, the lady at the store took some water out of another aquarium to add to the bag, and when I got home I noticed there was a frye in the water! I netted him and put him in his own little floating tank in the big tank. I'm not sure what he is, any idea's on how long it takes them to look like a mature fish?
Feed him hikarI first bites or crushed flakes (put some flakes in a baggie and crush them with a rolling pin). You'll probably be able to see some distinguishing marks on the fry within 2 weeks. If you have a picture to post, maybe someone here who's had the type of fish that the fry is will ID it.
 

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