i'm a newbie!

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sqeeker

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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 I checked the water quality, but now I know my test kits are very outdated.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

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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

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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

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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 www.planetcatfish.com 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.
 
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sqeeker

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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 www.planetcatfish.com 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?
 

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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

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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

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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
 

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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.
 

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Welcome to Fishlore!
 

armadillo

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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 angel fish 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

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armadillo said:
I lost 2 angel fish 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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Welcome to FishLore!
Carol
 

armadillo

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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

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Sounds nice to have that many shops close.
 

armadillo

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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.
 
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sqeeker

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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?
 

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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.
 
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