MTS: from stress to well-being?

pepetj
  • #1
HI everybody.

After setting up my first tank (after 20 yrs. hiatus) a 10 gal (now over-stocked) planted lo-tech which I could cycle (fishless) thanks to all of you. I have a confession (or two) to make. I decided to go back, to become a old-newby, during a time of family crisis (my wife was hospitalized with a mixed-episode in a mental health clinic where she spent 4 weeks, she´s back and doing great).

I guess I found a way -in fishkeeping- of coping through tough times (also helpful for my 3 1/2 yrs. old daughter, Camila, who is learning a lot and enjoys fishkeeping big-time).

So in the process I am (in the middle of planted fishless cycle for a 5.5 gal quarantine tank, and in the early stages of planted fishless cycle for a tall Aqueon size 26 bow -29 USgal) I noticed that I tend to change my mind up many times as for aquascaping, stocking, plants, if moving from lo-tech to CO2... daydreaming about reef tanks... introducing tanks in my office (I can't honestly imagine just one there... if you know what I mean) -I'm a clinical psychologist so it looks like a good idea (or excuse).

I would like your help (opinions, suggestions, critics, advice, etc) in so many areas but I figure we can do it in just one thread -this one- as to how to:
a) best use for a 160 gal glass tank (still paying for it), including stand, canopies, lighting, filtering, aquascaping/stocking ideas, since I will receive just the tank (3 weeks from today).
b) aquascaping/stocking ideas for the Aqueon size 26 bow (tall tank)
c) best use for a custom made wide (lenght and width > height) glass tank (I just saw it and guessed it would be good for breeding -eg rainbow fish). Or should I pass on this one?
Keep in mind I have no established preferences for stocking (at least not yet)
d) Is it a good idea to wait a couple of years to go into saltwater?

So far I enjoy doing maintenance (I manage to get everyone involved).

Thank you all
Pepe
Old-Newby
Santo Domingo
 
Angela_96
  • #2
I just want to comment on the title, MTS has been the best "habit/hobby/therapy" for me I have ever had, I have PTSD from an event that happend when I was 12, and then severe depression following my 2 year old having severe health issues for 18 months of his life including 15 hospital stays, averaging 1 week a peice.

I have been seeing a psych since I was 12 on and off, last feb I started back. I was also on every 2 week sessions. Since my new "hobby" my sessions have went to every 3 mths, and I am much calmer, less depressed. Even the maintence is "therapy" to me, I love spending time w/ my hands in the tank. (now I do have 7 tanks)

I have also found fishkeeping a help for my 2 year old that has speech delay issues, it really helped him get out of his shell and talk. He is still having some issues but talking so much better, he is obsessed w/ fish.

just a note...

On stocking ideas... Oh my.. w/ the large tank you possiblities are endless... my preference is african cichlids ( malawi) they are so colorful much like saltwater fish and they have great personalities, however w/ that size tank you could have a couple Oscars, or just about any fish.
Discus are very beautiful as well, however one thing w/ them is they need an established tank and very careful fishkeeping (w/ very frequent waterchanges)

The bowfront tank, would be a good size for smaller cichlids like blue rams (full of color), you could really get into the plants, driftwood, etc and make a beautiful tank. I have a 36g bowfront, its a peacock cichlid tank (another lake malawI cichlid) and I have fake plants and rocks in there for them.

the wide tank, if it were me (big mts person) I wouldn't pass it up, even if you didn't stock it right away (not knowing the gallon size you will always need an extra tank for hospital reason, holding reasons.

For saltwater, you don't have to wait to get into that, just research/read there are plenty of resources on this site as well. Just remember just as w/ freshwater patience is a good thing.
 
susitna-flower
  • #3
HI, OLD NEWBY....WELCOME TO FISHLORE and MTS!


You are right up to a point, MTS can be good for the mind and spirit....but water changes for large tanks can ruin you....so take it easy....three tanks is enough to keep most people hopping...

The larger tanks are my favorite, as they will allow you to keep a few larger fish. The slow approach is best...you seem to have that down.

Rainbows are some of my favorite as their dispositions are lovely. I also like Congo Tetras, a nice school of them will make a nice addition to a large tank.

The main thing is DON'T over crowd, or you will be pulling your hair out over water changes and water quality....Cycle your tanks completely before adding fish....how are you feeding the tanks? Do you test the water? What with? Can you post the readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

As for salt, yes you can get into it right away, but I would wait, see how the freshwater planted goes first....you may be completely happy with them. A couple of years under your belt and you should have a good feel for sickness and maintaining a healthy tank, then is the time for salt.

I enjoy shrimp in all my tanks, and stocking to have life in all parts of the tank.....

Good to have you here, and I think it is super your daughter is helping...it is good for kids, and something they DO remember all their lives...

No question is ever silly, feel free to post often and we love pictures!
 
Lucy
  • #4
I don't have much to add.....read this and wanted to say I'm glad your wife is feeling better and you are progressing as well.
What a great distraction for your 3 1/2 years old. Good job!


Is your aquarium info correct? If so, may I suggest moving the betta into the 5.5?

Good luck, and again, best wishes in your continued progress.
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Hi
steveangela 1: good to confirm mts is healing from someone else too, thanks. I have seen south/central american chichlids (e.g. convicts) and some I haven´t identified yet. Will look into that. Discus are way too much difficult for me (e.g. daily waterchanges, messy feeding), Oscars/Jack Dempseys are tempting though (if available, so far I have seen only one down here). I will get the measurements of the wide tank and the 160gal tank (both are glass custom made tanks) so we have the time to figure this out.

susitna-flower: definetly fishless-cycling all the way. I try to provied a variety of food for them, and alternate on daily basis (sinking pellets, floating pellets -both 1mm-, flakes (two varieties), whole bloodworms in gel, freeze dried tubifex worms, and home-made lo- tech veggies (haven't been able to find algae waffers or other veggie based food).
Water Test Instruments (measurements in parenthesis):
TetraTest Laborett for ph (7.6-7.8), Ammonia (0), Nitrites (<0.01), GH (11), Kh (7), CO2 (4). Marine Enterprises NO3 test kit -nitrates (0-25ppm).
For screening I use the Tetra 5-in-1 EasyStrips ph (7.2-7.6), Kh (50-100), GH (100-180), Nitrites (0), Nitrates (0-25). And sometimes just the Jungle QuickDip nitrite/nitrate strip (0-0.5/20-40)(which gives false positives on nitrates at the low range).

I might give away 2 or 3 zebras to low the bio-load and keep a school.

Lucy: The female Betta seems happy and active, she rules the place but is peaceful and they don't nip her at all. I will move some of the Apple snails to the 3rd tank (the 29 gallon bow) and keep the 5.5 for quarantine (or maybe raise some guppy fry to feed chichlids? but then I will need to cycle another small tank for hospital use...). No freswater shrimps available down here, just crayfish (unless I get them in the wild and that may be a risky gamble).

I figure the 160 gal glass tank could easily weight 2000 pounds with water, substrate etc. Would it be wise to let it sit in the floor?

Thanks again
Pepe
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I forgot to post: water temp is quite steady around the clock 27-29 C (80-84 F). Might put a small heater in the quarantine tank though.

Pepe
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Update: Nitrite Spike begins in the 29gal bow! Went to the LFS and saw a beutiful common Oscar (maybe 4 to 5 inches). Since it just got there I paid for it and ask them to keep it for me for 2 weeks (don't know how he/she will handle the stress), it belong to a client (a friend of mine) who couldn´t keep him/her due to tank size. I figure I found someone for my 160gal. So now I am looking for some help here, again:
The tank in the store is quite small, wouldn't he/she be better in my 29gal tall (equivalent to a 20gal in terms of bottom area) until the 160gal is settled? It would take me about 6 weeks to have it ready for him/her if I do a 3 and half week fishless cycle. (I put down another payment for the 160gal and arranged that they will cover the cost of transportation to my home, but I am still at least 2 weeks from getting the tank down here).
So I will need (more) suggestions from you.
Is it OK to let the tank sit on the floor?
Will I need a canister filter? or will two HOB do the job?
I have seen pics of Oscars in planted tanks but everywhere I read, it states that they will uproot plants.
Thanks again
Pepe
Old-Newby
Santo Domingo
 
Angela_96
  • #8
If you want to keep that oscar by itself for a short period of time, I would say it should be okay in that tank until your other is ready, its better than stressing it out w/ a huge nitrite spike. However its bioload will be huge in that 29 gallon so I would keep the waterchanges up, like at least 2 times a week (this is coming from someone who does their waterchanges 2 times a week or if the fish look at me crossways, I am always testing my tank water) I am a fan of canister filters, I actually on my larger tanks use a canister fiilter w/ one hob filter.
The canister filters hold diff filter media and I think filter a lot better. Of coarse I love my biowheels too.

For the plants w/ oscars I am not sure about, I am an african cichlid person and I know my mbunas (rock cichlids) are always digging in the tank so all they have is rocks to decorate their tank so I don't have to constantly replant plants. My peacock cichlids have plants in the younger fish tank and they leave them alone, but I am sure when they get into the full grown tank and really start digging I'll be glad I put fake plants in their tank. (there are some really pretty fake plants, the one I have in my 36g bowfront is one of the giant fakes and it even has leaves that are brownish to look like its a real plant)
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Update: Nitrites going down in the 5.5gal quarantine tank. I am considering using this one for raising guppy fry for the Oscar and use it on needed-only basis for quarantine/hospital, in which case I would put the guppies (1 male 3 females) in the community tank temporarly.

Correction: The 160gal tank turned out to be only 145gal (72"Lx18"Wx25"H). I went and measure it today (I might have a mistake since I didn't write down the numbers, but I doubt it). Not sure of the impact -if any- of 15gal less in the Oscar project.

The Wide Tank is after all quite small, a 28gal tank (30"Lx18"Wx12"H), so I'm having second thoughts on that one.

Went to the LFS and gave instructions NOT to feed the Oscar with dead goldfish or any other dead fish (read that could be dangerous for them), I fed him/her today for the first time with Tetra Whole Bloodworms (he/she actually took some from my hand in a fast jump, splashing me a bit! it was awsome!), I stayed with him/her for around 20 minutes. It was like he/she knows me already, kind of uncanny, but in a good way.

Bought Tetra sinking pellets for large chichlids and left it at the store for his/her use, and left Tetra Freeze dried Tubifex cubes I bought in US two weeks ago. He/she almost choke with it! I got scared, to be honest with you, until he/she finally spitted the cube's remainings, creating a mess of loose worms and went right back eating.

Filter options not solved yet: The largest filter I found -so far- were:
a) wet/dry designed for 75gal tank.
b) Aquaclear 500 for up to 110gal tank.
Question: would a combination of these two work efficiently for 145gals and the bio-load of (probably two, still looking for the other one) Oscar fish? or should I go with a wet/dry designed for 200gal?

More questions as they come up.
Thanks

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
Barbrella
  • #10
Large cichlids are quite intelligent and really are pets. They do get to know you. In a tank that size, in addition to an Oscar, I personally think a school of Silver dollars makes a lovely and natural display and go nicely with Oscars.

A pleco would be a good addition later on to take care of algae!

Plants aren't a good idea, since as you say, Oscars will just rip them up and if you do get Silver Dollars, they'll eat them. Take your time aquascaping, since it's much easier to do without water and fish! Large driftwood and rocks are preferable for Oscars, but make sure the rocks are heavy so the Oscar can't fling them around.

You can change things around sometimes, since intelligent oscars do need some entertainment.

Freeze dried Tubifex isn't the best food around, so I would skip those. But if you want to feed some, soak them first so they don't expand after they're in the fish's stomach.

When it comes to Oscars, more filtration is always better, since they're quite messy.

Have fun with your new pet!!
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Update: 5.5gal fishless cycle ending: Nitrites at 0.09! 29 gallon bow in sustained nitrite spike (half way there!).

Thanks Barbrella for your comments. I haven't seen any silver dollars around yet (saw three of them in New Lenox, IL, 2 weeks ago, interesting odd looking guys), didn't know those were compatible with oscars, and I agree they might look awsome together.

One concern about rocks and gravel:
Are Oscars -or large chichlids- capable of breaking tempered aquarium glass while playing around (e.g. smashing rocks/gravel into the glass)? Has that been reported?

Ok, I'll run to the LFS now, to be around with the guy/gal for some minutes, before my next patient arrives.

Thank you all again.
Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
Barbrella
  • #12
Oscars have been known to break things, which is why I suggested rocks too heavy to overturn. If you give them new toys they may not be so destructive. A deep layer of gravel is good too, since they do enjoy digging.

Some people have to put guards around their heaters as well in tanks with very large cichlids. I think it's a good idea, just in case!

Silver dollars are peaceful schooling fish and usually quite compatible with Oscars. In a tank that size, a school of around 7 - 9 would look awesome!
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Update: 5.5gal cycled. Placed it under the 29 gallon bow.
Brought in more plants for the 29gal. still working in propper ID of them. Nitrites at spike, adding 1/2X drops of ammonia solution daily.
Yesterday I brought one male and three female fancy guppies (guppy fry factory -sounds horrible I know). 1 female didn't make it overnight, despite acclimation.
Ordered 2 Aquaclear 500 for the 145gal.
Canopies, lights and Stand yet to be solved.
Found out I could place any order through two LFSs, so silver dollars are likely to come!
I will likely move the Oscar from one LFS to another where he/she will be better cared -closer to my office-, until the big tank is done.
Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Update: 29 gallon bow cycle ending, nitrites at 0.24ppm! down from this morning at 0.48ppm.
The Oscar is doing well at the LFS.
Went with my wife last Saturday to three LFSs and she fell for young 5" Midas Cichilds. I doubt I could put them with the Oscar, so MTS is likely to get stronger.
It is likely I could get (crossing my fingers) another 6footer from a friend of my mom, which is saltwater ready, in a beautiful mahogany stand/furniture (I haven't see it) if her son doesn't want it (heard about it on Sunday, still waiting for his decision).
Rescued a strange snail from a driftwood (it was attached to it) that came ashore in the beach along with a lot of debry from a nearby river (due to heavy raining the day before), dropped it in the 5.5gal and still trying to ID it, it has a nice pattern in the shell.
Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Update: Brought the Oscar home, named him/her Moon. Placed him/her in the 29 gallon bow (after aclimation) at noon, left to my office short before 2:00PM only to find Moon "dead", laying down horizontally, partially covered with sand.

To my surprise, (with tears running down and a broken heart) went to pick him/her up with the net and... Moon was still alive! I quickly set him/her up in the quarantine tank (placed a fish net breeder to provide shallow water conditions), compared water parameters, and placed Moon in there.

I installed the HOB from the 29gal into the hospital tank (5.5gal) to assure good levels of dissolved O2. I did some reasearch, it seemed to be stress: Moon barely moved, but displayed no other unusal behavior than being laying down and looking kind of pale, his eye movement were the only movement easily observable. I barely slept last night.

In the morning things looked better. Moon was tilted (30 to 45 degrees) but displaying more activity. I left 3 pellets (for big cichlids) and left. At noon, no signs of pellets and I could swear he/she was "standing" (what's the word?) but went down as soon as noticed me. Put a bit of whole bloodworms in gel, and left to have my lunch (to the dinning room). No signs of food remainings, and the Oscar seemed quite active, although not entirely 90 degrees (more like 60). Checked water parameters of both tanks (the hospital tank sits behind the 29gal bow), all equal except for KH and GH (small differences but within the range between soft-to-hard). I returned Moon to the 29gal bow at 2:30PM and watched for until 3:00PM, without aclimating. Moon was hiding under Hornwort and Anacharis for a few minutes, then ventured out.
Made the final payment for the 145gal -1 week to get propper stand, canopies and lights. Noticed newly arrived (last Monday) Convict Cichlids and brought home 6 of them (all below 1 inch).
Made it home at 8:45PM, aclimated them and placed them in the 10gal. Moved the female Betta, Edda, to the 5.5gal (I need another hospital tank), with the 3 fancy guppies.

I intend to bring home (this Saturday) one Aquaclear 500 (for up to 110gal) and install it in the 29gal bow to cultivate bacteria in its media, with the intention of speeding up the fishless cycle time for the 145gal.

As I write this I can see Moon swimming in the tank, he/she looks bigger due to the augmentation effect of water+bow front glass. I intend to take good care, hoping to re-establish the bond we seemed to have when I visited him/her at the small tank in the LFS.

My wife confessed to me she said a prayer for Moon last night. And added, "it's my fish!", well we do have a good healthy marriage, so "being hers" makes this fish even more special to me, more "mine" if you know what I mean. In the end it might be the other way around: Moon who has our hearts already.

Camila (my 3 and 1/2 y.o. daugther) is also into Moon, she kept asking (not only me, her nanny too) the whole day: "why is Moon sick?, what happened?, he's gonna get better, right?". When I placed the Convicts in the 10gal, as expected, Edda was not too friendly with them, Camila was who prompted me to move Edda to the 5.5gal (before I told her I was going to after checking water parameters).

Pepe
Santo Domingo

The strange snail is doing ok.
I expect to post some pics soon.
 
jdhef
  • #16
Glad to hear Moon is improving. Best of luck.
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Thanks jdhef.
Let the lights on only for 4 hours (8:30AM-12:30PM), following advise from veterans (suscribed to oscarfishlovers, from UK).

Still feeding sparingly. If I remain sitted in the floor, Moon dares to come out and seems to be testing limits. Coloration is back. Placed some slate rocks around, planted a bundle of long tall plant (unable to ID it yet).

Bought Edda (the female Betta) a new "bridge" (decoration for cave purposes). She is getting along with the fancy guppies (probably eating the fry, helping me in not overstocking).

Brought a camera home but left the battery at the office, I'll be posting some pics tomorrow (hopefully).
 
MrsM3197
  • #18
Congrats Pepe! Glad to hear Moon is getting better. I've been following this thread and have been concerned. Sounds like he may have been jittery from the move and is getting himself together now. I'm no expert in fish, but I know a major move sure makes me nervous for a while.
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Thank you MrsM3197
Update: Installed one Aquaclear 110 (former 500) in the 29gal -without the charcoal media (i'll put it in when installed in the 145gal), to allow bacteria to grow for the up-comming 145gal.
Moon is still shy. But eating well and swimming around. Seems to like the strong current! (I might put a DIY water-outpot-diffusor if necessary).

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Update: Two events to report.
1) Mistaken purchase? I went to the LFS last Saturday (June 21st), looking for a few suitable tank mates for Moon. I brought home what they said were jade blue-eyed cichlids (3 young guys). Upon careful inspection, these fellows look like African Cichlids (Kenyi, Mnbuna... not sure about the spelling). They are doing ok so far. But I need to ID these guys. I took some pics with a very bad digital camera (a toy actually). A friend borrowed me a high tech one, but let the USB cable (she will bring it on today).

2) I Had a nitrite reading in 0.24ppm, did a 25% water change, didn't work. Upon further inspection found a dead Apple snail (shell cracked upon Moon's attack, -I was here when it happened last evening; left it there to see if it would make it but... didn't). So I performed a 50% water change, and nitrites are not zero yet (>0.01, but less than 0.24). I slightly rinsed the filter media (carefully) in tank water, removed solid debris inside the filter walls (without cleaning interior surfaces) and placed the filter media back in (AquaClear has a media receptacle that facilitates removal without disrupting much). Ammonia is 0, Nitrates were at 25-50ppm before water change. Ammonia remains 0 -as expected, nitrates now at 10-25ppm. I might have overfed them yesterday.

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
Barbrella
  • #21
Glad to hear your Oscar revived! Just curious...how did you acclimate before putting him in the tank?

Moving to a new tank can be extremely stressful for the more intelligent fish species. THe rule is that the more hiding places they have, the more secure they feel and will stop hiding. After he gets to know you and the feeding schedule, I"m sure he'll be eating out of your hand.

Where did you put these suspected African cichlids? Be very careful about buying cichlids without researching them first. I"m sure you know some species are highly aggressive, and some, like Africans, need very hard water.
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Update:
The crazy kids are with the Oscar. I borrowed Edda's new bridge (cave) from the 5.5gal and gave her a section of gravel with anacharis and two anubias barterI instead, so far she settled for it.

They -the three young cichlids- respect him/her but show no fear at all. At feeding time Moon displays hunting-like behavior (e.g. position him/herself behind a targeted floating pellet, stays suspended for a while and in a quick, sudden move, reaches it -with a splash- and goes down to one of his/her spots), the crazy cichlids -yet to be IDd -not sure if jade blue-eyed or not-, just go by their own business. I have found one of them, the smallest one by the way, resting near Moon at night. I am afraid that given some time, Moon might eat them.

The 145gal is coming this week (probably Saturday) so I'm kind of crossing my fingers. Once I ID these guys, I would be able to set a tank for them. Since I intend to use the 29 gallon bow for Convict cichlids. Fortunately, I have budget flexibility -no debts- and I purchase equipment mostly on a lay-away basis. And, very important, my wife is developing a fascination of her own for this (Moon got her heart already) and the effect fishkeeping has on me.

As for the acclimation (thanks for spelling it right for me, English is my second language) of Moon. It took me almost 2 hours to match -or near match- the water ph (the bag had 6.5, my tank is 7.6-7.8) by putting in 15-20ml of tank water into the bag every 12min or so. It is possible, and likely, that ammonia built up in the bag -at the time it crossed the ph 7.0 point-, since he lasted there a long time from the LFS to the tank (2+ hours).

If you have any ideas of how to prevent mistakes I probably made, please reply to me. You have been very helpful and friendly here for me and my fishes.

Ammonia at 0, but Nitrites still not at zero (>0.01, but definetely going down with respect to last reading). Nitrates at 10-25ppm.

Pepe
Santo Domingo

Here are some pics of Moon and the yet-to-ID cichlids sold to me as jade blue-eyed.

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
MrsM3197
  • #23
Moon is beautiful, and you have made a lovely tank for him.
 
Barbrella
  • #24
English is my second language

You certainly write it well!

Just keep an eye on the parameters in the Oscar's tank. Ammonia and nitrites can build up quickly with an oscar and 3 other cichlids in a small tank.

The others look like Africans (Mbunas?) and I'm sure someone here can ID them for you. They are usually best kept slightly crowded in bigger tanks, with many rocks/caves, which greatly reduces aggression.

Have you planned ahead for the Convicts? They breed worse than rabbits and you'll be overrun with them soon. Also, they are one of the most aggressive of all cichlids, beating the daylights out of each other (and most tankmates) regularly and moreso when in breeding mode. If you already know all this, please ignore!

my wife is developing a fascination of her own for this

Great! Nothing to hold you back now!
 
jdhef
  • #25
Nice looking tank and beautiful fish!
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Update and Lessons (take 2).
Since the last post vanished, I'll try to reconstruct the essentials of it.
Still having a hard time identifying the three young cichlids. Moon is quite a character, spends a lot of time taking it easy, then out of the sudden, swims around everywhere. Likes to go upstream the current of the water flow output of the AquaClear 110. For the first time since the LFS days (when I visited and fed him/her daily, except Sundays), Moon reached to me as I was feeding with pellets.

Lesson 1: Don't mix Apple Snails with a young Tiguer Oscar
A few days ago, I reported a casualty on one of the Apple Snails that Moon grabbed and cracked against the gravel. A couple of days ago, around midnite, I was working at my home's office (where Moon's temporary tank is) and took a brake, from my seat, I stared at the tank. Moon was resting still in one of his/her favourite spots, flanked by a bundle of tall (not-yet-ID'd) plants. The Apple Snail was moving down the bundle, and reached Moon's body. In a sudden move, Moon grabbed the poor thing and smashed it against the gravel. This time, the shell resisted the impact. Took the snail and placed it temporarely in an improv "hospital bucket". Next day, it was OK, and reassigned for duties in the 10gal tank.

Lesson 2: There's a nitirite reason for respecting minimun tank size requirements
Nitrite levels at the 29 gallon bow tank (Moon, 5", three young who-knows-which cichlids, summing up to 5") ranges from >0.01 to >0.24ppm (but <0.48ppm) in about 36 to 48 hours. So I have at least a mini-cycle going on. I have been testing twice a day, and performing 30% partial water changes every other day, since first of reading of nitrites back (June 22nd). Ammonia still 0, Nitrates remain at 10-25ppm, pH at 7.75, Temp ranges 27-29C.

Lesson 3: I still learn more from my own mistakes than I'm willing to admit
The three young not identified cichlids, have given me a hard time to figure them out. I'm expecting a call from the owner of the LFS that sold them to me. The young employee apparently heard me talking over the phone about jade blue-eyed cichlids, and played the wise guy with me. I wanted them so hard to be, that my reality testing got compromised, I do remember having doubts since these ones didn't look like the pics I saw on previous days of research on Oscar tank mates, but overlooked everything I read in this forum and went for it. Now I need to play by ear until I learn about their biotypes, tank setting requirements, etc.

Lesson 4: There are plenty excuses for MTS so.. Why not using them?
I heard about a 72g bow tank (3 months of use) that the lady owner is selling at a good price (she got a job in another Country), so I'm going after it. That would probably be the home for a school of eight beautiful salmon red rainbows (2.5-3.5") that one of the LFS is holding for me (although the ratio of male:female is not ideal: 5males, 3females, they are rare around here). It's possible, although not for sure, that the 145gal is coming home tomorrow (the styrofoam and stand were not available/ready yet, as for today).

Thank you all.
PS. Barbrella. I guess I would have free Convicts for others, as well as live fry food for the big guys.
 
Barbrella
  • #27
There are plenty excuses for MTS so.. Why not using them?

Yes, I'm finding a few myself lately!

I hope you get the nitrites under control. Putting all those fish that have high waste output in that tank at once can certainly cause a mini-cycle and poor water conditions.

The Red Rainbow fish are gorgeous! Not familiar with this type, but if they're like my rainbows, keeping 5M/3F shouldn't be a problem. Rainbows are very peaceful and should be kept only with other peaceful fish.

Moon reached to me as I was feeding with pellets.
How cute!
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Thank you Barbrella. That Oscar is something special.

Update: Not useful info at all from the LFS owner where I got the three cichlids. "Those were cichlids" that's all the info I got.

I checked (and double-checked) all Central and South American cichlids profiles with pics I could find on the web (not as much as African, but still a lot), these guys are not from America.

I guess I will have to play this by ear (see what they look like as they develop). So I will set a 55gal tank for them, using guidelines for KenyI (I joined a couple of cichlid forums).
I decided to go with three AquaClear 110 for the 145gal, and I will set it up in my office, at floor level (my wife and I will start looking for a new appartment tomorrow, so it looks like we will be moving in a few months, and since I live now in a second floor and my office is nearby the LFS were my tank is... I'll keep things as simple as possible, I go there six days a week, Mon-Sat).

The nitrite readings in the 29 gallon bow still >0.01-0.24ppm, but <0.24-0.48ppm. Nitrates are in check (10-25ppm) and Ammonia in zero. Keeping the partial water changes. I do have a question though. When nitrite remains around 0.24ppm (not zero), as my tank is now, are the fish in it suffering in any way? I ask since some test kits rate this range not as "ideal" but as "safe", so I wonder if "safe" really means safe, or not really.

Rinsed the filter media (two sponges) of one of the filters in the 10gal in just-removed tank water (from the partial water change), it got DIRTY as it can be. I mean, it clouded the water in the bucket, it looked all brown, like mud-brown. I will clean the other filter media in two weeks. Water parameters in check (Ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 10). I usually rinse filter media (one type at time) every other week. Should I do this differently?

Tomorrow I will do the partial water change in the 5.5gal (I didn't today just in case something happened in the 10gal and I needed a safeheaven for the fish in there).

Moon is getting more and more confident. He moved last night (from the rear to the front) a sword plant (medium size) that I planted a couple of days ago, and, tear down half of "The Sword" (a large one) by "trimming" one side. Well it's his/her tank, at least for now.... so most posts I have read are telling me (in my mind) "told ya!". LOL.

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
Barbrella
  • #29
There is no safe level of nitrItes. While not immediately as poisonous as ammonia, even very low levels of nitrites are damaging if they persist and will cause stress to the fish, lowering their immunity and leaving them open to bacterial infections, ich and stunting of their growth. The only safe level is zero.

Keep doing the water changes and watch for any signs of serious distress, like gasping at the surface.
 
Blub
  • #30
There is no safe level of nitrItes.
There is 1 safe level of NitrItes - 0!
 
Barbrella
  • #31
The only safe level is zero.

I did say that, but it bears repeating!
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Update:
"You can't take Moon out of this house", "Moon's part of this family", "set up the tank home".

Some of the phrases my wife said when I told her I would set the 145gal at the office. So... I'm bringing that 145gal home!

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
MrsM3197
  • #33
Update:
"You can't take Moon out of this house", "Moon's part of this family", "set up the tank home".

Some of the phrases my wife said when I told her I would set the 145gal at the office. So... I'm bringing that 145gal home!

Pepe
Santo Domingo


WoooHoooo! Sounds like a lovely idea to me!!!
 
Blub
  • #34
Update:
"You can't take Moon out of this house", "Moon's part of this family", "set up the tank home".

Some of the phrases my wife said when I told her I would set the 145gal at the office. So... I'm bringing that 145gal home!

Pepe
Santo Domingo

Wow, lucky you, your family has MTS!
 
Shawnie
  • #35
Update:
"You can't take Moon out of this house", "Moon's part of this family", "set up the tank home".

Some of the phrases my wife said when I told her I would set the 145gal at the office. So... I'm bringing that 145gal home!

Pepe
Santo Domingo

I AGREE!!! oscars are about as close to puppies as you can get...they really get a part of your heart that's hard to explain ...whahoooo on the new tank at home!
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Ok I'm gonna need a few ideas as to place the 145gal at floor level, safely.

Exactly what type of material should I look for to place underneath the tank?
I have solid concrete foundations, with ceramic tyles at the surface (so it's not like the tank is gonna end in the floor below mine).

Please be as specific as you can.

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
jdhef
  • #37
Assuming that your floor is a concrete slab,it seems to me the biggest problem (depending on what the stand looks like) would be cracking the tile.

I would guess that a stand that large would actually be a wood cabinet without any legs, but instead the whole perimeter would contact the floor. So, I would think it would be okay to just put it in the floor, if that were the case. If you were really worried, you could always try to put some sort of continuous rubber strip under the perimeter.

Good Luck
 
pepetj
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
Update:
Nitrite still present at the 29 gallon bow, but reaching lower levels (more close to around 0.24 or less, than close to 0.48ppm or less) before partial water changes (every other day).
Moon is way less shy than the first days! Is swimming freely with the lights on, so now I can keep them on for longer periods for the plants' sake. Moon likes floating plants (better said, remains of plants that happen to float) so if I don't remove the "floating green waste", the remaining plants are left alone. But if I dare to clean the surface, you can bet Moon will "decor" it the same way. (Can hear in my head what I have read over and over about not keeping Oscars in planted tanks, but... I love plants, so I'm learning to love and accept the way Moon likes to keep plants at his/her tank).

a) The 145gal is coming home tomorrow evening! Hope the styrofoam works (I'll get it tomorrow), substrate pending. Expect to begin set-up by next day (Sunday). Home of Moon and yet to find tank mates.
b) One payment left on the 40gal (w/filter, stand, canopies, light) Home of six young Cichlid Convicts, if not tomorrow, coming up next week;
c) made first payment of a 55gal (w/filter, stand, canopies, light). Home of the school of 8 Red-Salmon Rainbows(around 3" each) (plus one young Rainbow still not ID'd, around 2"), will keep them at my office, delivery expected in two weeks.
d) After all that is achieved, of course I will still need at least a 20gal (maybe the 28gal wide tank that, by the way, is still availble) for the Zebra Danios to strive.
Which brings me to
c) Should I keep Edda (female Betta) in the 5.5gal and use the 10gal as quarantine tank? or should I do it the other way around, moving Edda back to the 10gal and keeping the 5.5 for hospital tank? or maybe use a tank divider and place a beutiful male Betta next to her?

Am I thinking about breeding? I don't have that expertise level yet! (I kind of dream about Red-Salmon Rainbow fry) Well this makes me think about who is keeping who here, maybe I'm a fishkeeper, but they -the fishes, I must acknowledge, at least in a way- do keep me

MTS alive and kicking

Pepe
Santo Domingo

Update:
Yuppiiii! The 145gal and the 40gal are home!
I am breathless. I just finished moving up the 6footer upstairs (only a 2nd floor, but I'm 43 and mostly sedentary).
Placed it over stryrofoam. Got some sand (not as much as I wanted), and I'm gonna take a nap, to start setting all up. Hopefully, I'll begin fishless cycling tomorrow.

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
jdhef
  • #39
Congratulations!
 
Barbrella
  • #40
Awesome!

Take your time - the preparation and anticipation is half the fun!
 

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