inherited a 55 gallon tank with ALL the fish! HELP

melmel

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Hi I am new here and I could really use some help. Although I am not new to the fish tank thing ( I have a small 10 gallon) this tank is throwing me for a loop. The tank belonged to my mil and when she had it, it was ALWAYS cloudy. She also had about 14 bubblers in the thing so nothing ever had anytime to settle. We now have 6 total and everything was beautiful at first, now it is really cloudy, not green cloudy but almost white cloudy. The fish don't seem to be bothered by it but it is driving me crazy. I have read some of the posts that talk about a bacteria bloom what exactly is that? I was the tank and all of the stuff that went back into it with hot water and changed the filters. Which leads me to my last question how many filters are recommended for a tank this large? The one that I have has two chambers is that large enough? Oh yeah there are 14 good sized fish in this thing is that too many?
Thanks to anyone that can help
 

Gunnie

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Welcome to FishLore!  It sounds like a bacterial bloom.  When the good bacteria is gets disturbed and killed off by accident, it multiplies like mad to catch up to the demand in the tank.  A bacterial bloom is the only time you "see" the bacteria in your tank.  If her tank was cloudy all the time, she may not have had enough filtration in that tank.  What you look for, is the gallons per hour (gph) rating for each filter used.  Add them up, and see if you have rate of 10 times per tank size per hour if you are using HOB (hang on back) or sponge filters, and 5 times the tank size per hour if using a canister filter.  So for your tank, you want to have 550 gph going in that tank.  Some fish are bigger and messier than others, so this can also be a factor on your filtration, and how many fish you can have in your tank.  Please post what you have in there, and the FishLore members can help you further. 

P.S.  I have a sticky here in the beginners forum called "FishLore Articles for Beginners" to help you more with cycling and other issues with a new tank.   
 
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melmel

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Thank you very much I am going to check the filter system here in a little bit and if that is the problem I will but one for the other side of the tank tomorrow. How long does it typically take for the tank to cycle? Also here are the fish that are in there ~ 2 angel fish- adult ( I think ) -4 gruames ( not sure how to spell that )1 algea eater who is about 6 in. long - 1 very small catfish - 2 other fish that I don't know the names of ( they are a light orange with neonish stripes down their sides) and a small fish that has black and white stripes with an reddish fin on the bottom ( again not sure what it is called. I am learning as I go, my small tank only has mollies in it and other then the constant birthing of babies it has given me no problems. Thanks for all your info I am going to read your article!
 

Gunnie

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Not knowing exactly what some of your fish are, it sounds like the tank is not overstocked. However, I do see some problems with the types of fish in the tank. The gouramis will probably be a problem because you have 4 of them. They will fight amongst themselves and with the angels on a regular basis depending on how old they are. As they become adults, they will get more agressive. Hopefully the size of your tank will help curb that a little bit, and if they are dwarf gouramis, it might not be as much of a problem.

It normally takes around 6 weeks for a tank to cycle from scratch. You will need a test kit ASAP so you know where you are at in your cycle. This will be very important during this time, so the ammonia and nitrite levels don't get too high. Even with the test kit telling you the levels, you may lose some fish during this time so be prepared. My recommendation is if you have a PetSmart locally, go on their website and print the page that shows the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit along with the price (I think its's about $13.50). Take the printed page to your local store, and they should honor the online price. Normally, they run around $30.00 to buy them at a pet store. This master test kit is reliable, affordable, and has all the tests you will need to cycle your tank.
 
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melmel

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I am planning on going to petco tonight so I will pick up the test kit. the Gouramis are already a little aggressive so I am already watching them, it only seems to be around feeding times so the other fish go to one side and they go to the other ( smart fish I think! ) Thanks for all your help I appreciate it. By the way the cloudiness has gotten much better. Thanks again. when I have the test kit I will post the levels of everything. Until then
 
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melmel

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Just wanted to say thanks for all the help, the water is crystal clear and it make such a beautiful "living" decoration in my home. My family and I are enjoying it very much. Especially the kissing fish they are so cute. Anyways I am glad that I found this place. Thanks again
;D
 

Gunnie

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Excellent! You have just experienced the patience that is required in being a good fishkeeper, and the big payoff when you practice it! Good job!
 

jinx_beta

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I'll just say 'Sorry for straying off the subject' before I do!

You inherited a 55 Gallon aquarium? What luck!
It's Great that you've got it clear, and healthy again, so that it can live up to it's full potential!

Kristyn
 
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melmel

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Tell me about it I have wanted a large one for a long time and though the circumstances are not those that anyone would want to have to deal with ( no one died don't worry ) it is something I am really enjoying. I do have one more question though and maybe someone can answer it for me. How often should I change the filters? I change the one in my small tank once every other week. Have a wonderful day and as soon as I can get pictures on here I will.
Take care.
Mel
 

Gunnie

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If your filter is the kind that has the media you can pull out and throw away, don't throw it out until you can't rinse it anymore. Just rinse it in some old tank water to get the gunk off and put it back in. When it gets to the point you can't rinse it anymore, or it's falling apart, just take a small piece of the old media and put it in the new media pouch. This will seed your new filter.

If you have sponge filters, just sqeeze them several times in old tank water until the water gets pretty clear.

Canister filters can be cleaned by removing the bio media and replacing the other stuff. My bio media is an a basket I can either remove and float in my tank while I'm cleaning it, or I simply hose the media off outside, but I have 2 canisters running and can do this at different time periods so there's always bacteria in one of the filters.
 
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melmel

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okay thanks mine also has two so I will go ahead and rinse off one tonight and hold off on the other one.
 

Butterfly

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Remember to rinse it in used tank water untreated tap water will kill the good bacteria.
Carol
 
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