JVzer0's First Tank 10 Gallon

JVzer0
  • #1
I just set it up on Wednesday, so it's still cycling fishlessly. I am putting fish food in the tank daily, and my temp is around 85 degrees (I had it higher but I got worried about my plants and lowered it).

The plants on the left are elodea and the ones on the right are frill plants. I have eco-complete planted substrate.

I tested my water today (API Master test kit) and here are my results:
Ammonia: 0-.25 ppm
Nitrites: 0-.25 ppm
Nitrates: 0-5.0 ppm

The reason I give ranges is that the colors I got appear to be in between the colors on the cards. I'm actually a bit unsure if I'm reading them right, in the cases of nitrate and ammonia I think that they are between the first and second colors on the cards, but if so they are decidedly closer to 0 than to the next color (.25 for ammonia and 5.0 for nitrate).

Is it normal to have nitrites this early? I do have live plants and eco-complete is supposed to help but I'm afraid that my eagerness to go out and get some fish is making me read the test results higher than they really are.

I don't know anyone with an established aquarium that I can get filter media or substrate from to speed up the cycle.

Also, the bottom of the tank is getting kinda gross from the decomposing fish food.

I'll post more test readings as I go and more pictures once I get fish.
 
Wolfgang8810
  • #2
its looking good! I have the same rock formation to the left. You may be getting nitrates if its in your tap water, maybe test that to see. Eco Complete is some expensive substrate for your first tank, are you going to do a fully planted tank? Also E-C comes with live bacteria in it so if you bury your filters bio filter in the substrate it will speed up the process. Welcome to Fishlore! Congrats on reading up before buying fish heres a pic of my planted tank that I'm using Eco Complete in The possibilities are endless!


209.jpg
 
zpecialt
  • #3
It looks very nice. I especially like your plants. I would love to do a planted tank someday.. when I don't have oscars in the tank.
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Yeah, Eco Complete is pricey, but I wanted to do a planted tank and I couldn't figure out a good way to rinse some other type of substrate without access to a hose (I live in a college dorm).

How would I go about burying my bio filter in the substrate?

Your tank is beautiful, hope I can get mine somewhat like that someday!
 
Wolfgang8810
  • #5
ope up your filter and there should be a white pad before the water goes back into the tank take that pad out and stick it in the gravel. that's it. unless you have a filter with a bio wheel then you take the bio wheel off and do the same thing.
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Readings for 1/28/08:

Ammonia: 0-.25 ppm
Nitrite: .25 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm

Yay! Real nitrite readings on day 6! Can't wait until I can get some fish. Does anyone have an idea how long that might take from this point?

This is so exciting!
 
Wolfgang8810
  • #7
probally a week or two. be patient its the best thing you can do for your tank.
 
MissMTS
  • #8
You should lower your temp to between 76&78 degrees. What kind of fish are you planning to keep? Congrats on the new tank.
 
Wolfgang8810
  • #9
actually warmer temperatures will speed up the cycle a little bit aswell so I would bump it to 86 then lower it before introducing fish.
 
MissMTS
  • #10
Oh wow, I didn't know that. I'll keep that in mind next time I cycle a tank
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Test results for 1/30/08:

Ammonia: 0-.25 ppm (closer to 0)
Nitrite: .25-.5 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm

I also topped the water off yesterday because enough water had evaporated that the water from my filter was falling far enough to be a little too loud. I added less than a gallon, but it probably lowered my readings a bit.

How high should the nitrites get before they start going down again?

Also, my plants are really gowing! When I first put them in most of them were probably about 5 inches tall, but now a bunch of them have reached the surface of the water and appear to be more than 8 or 9 inches tall. The light I am using came with my hood (got it at petsmart) and I think it is rated at 9730K or something like that.

This post is getting long, but one more thing. It seems that I didn't check my plants carefully enough before putting them in my tank, because I keep seeing snails in there. I kill them whenever I see them, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to eliminate them all that way. Will the nitrite spike that's currently occurring kill them all? I am planning on getting kuhliI loaches eventually, could they eliminate the population? Is there anything else I can do to get rid of them without starting the cycling process over?

Thanks for any input or help!

~JVzer0
 
Drea
  • #12
It's not easy to get rid of them, once they are in your tank. Whatever you do I would advise using any off the shelf snail Killer product. I would try this, when you turn off the light for the night, put a piece of lettuce in with something to hold it down. Then in the morning the snails should be on it, and take it out. If you want, some LFS take unwanted snails. The snails come from the live plants, usually as eggs. There is a way to treat the plants too before the go in the tanks, but you're past that. Puffers eat snails, I don't think loaches will.
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Thanks for the idea, I'll try that. So far I've just been trying to pick them up, but they're small enough that I usually just end up crushing them in the process.

In case I decide to get more plants, how would I go about treating them for snails prior to putting them in the tank?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #14
Coppersafe can do some damage to the snail population, but it's better to go with more natural methods if that works.
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Test results for 2/1/08:

Ammonia: 0 ppm YAY!
Nitrite: 1.0 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm

Nitrites are still going up, but at least I know it's going.

I'm trying putting some lettuce in the bottom of the tank to get rid of some snails, we'll see how many I catch this way tomorrow.

Will it hurt the cycling of my tank if I were to use some sort of snail control product? Also, would it really hurt my tank to use such a substance if there aren't any fish in there yet?

~JVzer0

Test results for 2/3/08:

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 1.0 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm

The same test readings as two days ago. When I saw that nitrites were still the same I thought that maybe they had peaked yesterday and were on their way down but wouldnt nitrates be higher in that case?

I tried the lettuce thing, but I only ended up removing a couple of snails that way. I think that sometime this week I'll go out and buy some sort of snail killer. Does anyone have any suggestions for one that won't hurt my plants?

~JVzer0

Test results for 2/5/08:

pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm

Nitrites are on the way down! Hurray! Hopefully I can get my first fish (I'm planning on a male dwarf gourami) sometime later this week. I'll post pictures once I get him.

My constant snail squishing seems to have really affected the snail population. I think I'll forget about buying some snail-b-gone.

~JVzer0
 
COBettaCouple
  • #16
I'm not sure of the effects of snail killer solutions on the cycle, but usually chemicals have a negative effect and I'm glad you've got them under control without needing to add chemicals.
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Test results for 2/6/08:

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm (is it weird that this hasn't changed in a while?)

Yay! It's ready! Now all I have to do is a water change and I can get fish. Either tomorrow or Friday I think I'll go out and get a Dwarf Gourami, and just stick with one fish for a little while.

I'm not sure of the effects of snail killer solutions on the cycle, but usually chemicals have a negative effect and I'm glad you've got them under control without needing to add chemicals.

Ya. Turns out once I started to feed the tank once a day that the snail population dwindled (also partially due to my aggressive squishing of the things). I'm hoping that once there are fish in the tank to actually eat the food that it'll be even harder for the snails to get out of control.

I went out yesterday and picked up a male Dwarf Gourami, whom I've named Oscar.

I ended up going to PetSmart because the LFS store I had intended to go to seems to have closed down some time ago (we couldn't find the store and there's no answer when I call their phone number).

I had intended to get some KuhliI Loaches in the coming weeks to add to my tank, I was hoping that if this LFS didn't have them they would be able to order some for me because none of the chain stores around here carry Kuhliis.

I'm not sure what I should do now, I really wanted Kuhliis but I don't think I can get them without driving pretty far (and since I don't have a car, this would probably involve me doing some major favors for a friend). I also don't want to order them online because since I live in a dorm, it means that they could end up sitting in the campus mail room overnight before I could pick them up.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm considering just getting some other fish instead, maybe neons.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Oscar happily exploring his new home (he's been hanging out mostly in the back, but is comfortable enough to come out occasionally):
 
Rbacchiega
  • #18
is there any other loaches offered at fish stores near you?? The reason I ask is because nearly every loach will eat some snails, a single small yoyo did the trick in my 10 gallon.
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
is there any other loaches offered at fish stores near you?? The reason I ask is because nearly every loach will eat some snails, a single small yoyo did the trick in my 10 gallon.

I'm actually no longer looking to get rid of my snails. I've resigned myself to having some of them at least and hope the restraint in feeding and frequent squishings will keep their number down.

I really wanted kuhliis because they seemed like cool, interesting fish.
 
Phishies Inn
  • #20
I don't know if kuhlis are big on eating snails, but I LOVE kuhlis all the same. They are so playful! Just make sure to get at least 3 if you want them to be happy - I'm not sure how well 3 would do in a 10 gallon. I guess it would depend on what's in it already. They're low on the bioload in any case.

There's a loach called a "dwarf loach" which only gets to about 2 inches, if you can find them. They're kind of expensive but are half the size of kuhlis if you were worried about overstocking.



I personally am going for kuhlis in my 55 gallon, but I can fit a lot in that size tank. Not sure about the 10 gallon.
 
Rbacchiega
  • #21
Kuhlis are great fish indeed. And if you're willing to deal with snails, all the power to you! LOL While I was gone my mom had went out and bought another plant for her Discus tank that I maintain, and I came in on Friday and it was overrun by snails, from accross the room it looked like water droplets on the outside of the tank...blech. Needless to say, three clownloaches later and all is well LOL
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Time for an update

Today I went down to the LFS and picked up 4 kuhlI loaches. I wasn't sure if I should add that many to the tank at once until I saw them, I had no idea they were so tiny!

They are each about 1.5" long and less than half a centimeter in diameter. In fact they are so small that I was a bit afraid that Oscar (my male Dwarf Gourami) might mistake them for food, so I got a breeder cage to keep them separated, for a little while at least.

Unfortunately for Oscar, the Kuhlis can fit through the holes in the cage, so he'll be living in a much smaller space for a little while.

Anyway, the Kuhlis are so energetic! They dart around ridiculously fast and it's a good thing the LFS already had them in a bag or else I would have been there forever while they tried to catch them! From their stripe patterns, I think I actually got 3 different species of pangio, although at least one of them appears to be a pangio kuhlii.

I also got some very attractive Java fern and Java moss for the tank.

No pictures yet, I'll probably post some tomorrow once the new inhabitants are a little more settled in.

~JVzer0
 
lilsoccakid
  • #23
great job! I wish my first tank looked that good!
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Oscar is not enjoying his little breeder cage, but I'm really afraid of him going after the kuhlis. They seem to be just about the right size around to fit into his mouth.

But now he's swimming against the sides of his cage in a frenzied manner. I don't want him to hurt the kuhlis, but I don't want him to suffer either. Does anyone think it would be okay to let him out, or would he go after them for sure?

~JVzer0
 
JVzer0
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Okay, so today I woke up and looked over at my tank to see that Oscar had escaped his breeder cage! Everything seems to be going fine though, Oscar doesn't seem to have anything more than cursory interest in the kuhlis, and doesn't even see them when they aren't moving. Also, they are much, much faster than he is.

Here's a few photos of the new inhabitants, as well as the updated tank set-up.

~JVzer0
 

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