My Experiences In Freshwater Aquariums

Markc

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Id like to share the experiences i have had in freshwater aquariums. I have been keeping fish on and off since i was a child. I have not really had much experience in planted tanks and i have only had a salt water tank for a year but id like to share the things i have run into over the years. Currently i have a freshwater 46 gallon aquarium.

I have always used the fish-in tank cycling. Ill add one or two hardy fish (depending on the tank size) to the aquarium. I acclimate them by adding a little bit of tank water to the water bag they came in about every ten minutes for an hour then i add them to the tank. Using my test kit i check ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I would do weekly water changes of 10%-20% and test for ammonia and nitrites. Once you notice ammonia in the tank (usually 3-4 weeks in) you will see nitrites rising and ammonia lowering. At this time you will want to do water changes more frequently to keep the ammonia and nitrites down so it doesn't kill the fish. Within 4-6 weeks the nitrate rises and the ommonia and nitrites should be at 0. At that point i start adding fish to my tank.

I use API freshwater master test kit. Its very easy to use and seems to be pretty accurate for all the test but the ammonia test is a little difficult to read on the color shades. Its hard to tell between 0ppm and .25ppm. My tank water is at 0ppm but the color on the ammonia test is slighty less green then .25ppm but not yellow like the 0ppm should be.

I use my regular tap water. I do not have nitrates in my tap water but i do have chlorine and ammonia so i use Seachem Prime for a water conditioner. I have had no problems using prime. It seems to work like it should. Also my tap water must be high in phophates and/or silicates because, i had bad algae problems where i would have to clean the aquarium glass and ornaments every 3-4 days. To rid the tank of algae, i added clearmax phosphate remover to my filter and haven't had a problem since.

-I have had several problems with aquarium heaters throughout the years. Ive used the Hydor Theo heater and it has got stuck with the heat continually on. Ive also used the Fluval M series heater and it wouldn't heat up the tank water high enough. It kept cutting in and out (turning on and off). So now i am using an Eheim Jager Aquarium Heater and haven't had any problems with it so far. I also use the Inkbird ITC-308 temperture controller. This thing is great. It only cost $35 on amazon or ebay. It controls the water temperature with a digital display and is accurate to 1°. Very easy to set up and it is a back up incase the heater gets stuck on. It has an alarm incase the water temp is to cold or to hot. It also has an outlet for heat and cooling (heat = heater/cold = fan or cooler).

I have only used hang on the back filters except the sump on my saltwater tank. Ive had several hang on the back filters and my favorite would be the Aquaclear. It is big enough to add or change the filter media of your choice. I use a filter sponge (mechanical filtration) on the bottom to trap large debri. Then filter floss to clean the fine particles. Next comes the clearmax (phosphate remover). At the top comes biomax ceramic rings (biological filtration). I do not use activated carbon in my tank because i do not have a problem with the smell or color of my water. But i have read it is good to use to remove medications after use.

I do weekly water changes of 10%-20% depending on what my nitrate level is at. I try to keep my nitrates at 5-10ppm.

I recently got an ick (ich or white spot) problem. I believe it was from stocking my tank with new fish and not from having a variety of fish. I believe this because throughout the years i have always kept many different species in a community and never had a problem with ick. I caught the disease when there was only two spots on one of my gold fish. Immediately I used the natural ick cure of raising the heat to 86° slowly over a days time and used an air bubbler to add more oxygen in hopes of the ich being cured in two weeks time. I have a 46 gallon tank with several fish. I started out with:
glass cat x2
goldfish x2
Dwarf gourami
Pictus catfish
German gold ram
Koi swordtail
Golden mystery snail
Nerite snail
Ghost shrimp x12

8 days into the ich infestation i am down to:
Gold fish
Koi swordtail
Ghost shrimp x5
Nerite snail
Golden mystery snail

After two days time of raising the heat the ich spots started going away but a day later they came back rapidly. Now 8 days in and i do not see any spots on either fish. Two weeks later all the ich in my tank was gone but only two fish and the inverts survived. I think if i ever get ick again i will try using a medication.

I recently set up a quarantine tank and bought some Seachem Paragaurd. I just added a black moscow guppy and a peacock gudgian. I gave them a couple days to adjust to the new quaritine tank and made sure they were eating. Both fish looked good so i started adding Paragaurd once a day for two weeks. If all goes well i will add them to the main tank and then purchase a couple more fish till the tank is restocked.
 
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Repolie

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A good quarantining medication is Paraguard, it's a very gentle medication that's safe for plants and an established tank (perfect for your case of an Ich infestation), it's the closest thing to a cure all and can treat many things. It's even safe for fish even if they're not sick while in quarantine.
 
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Markc

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A good quarantining medication is Paraguard, it's a very gentle medication that's safe for plants and an established tank (perfect for your case of an Ich infestation), it's the closest thing to a cure all and can treat many things. It's even safe for fish even if they're not sick while in quarantine.
I think i am going to try the Paragaurd and see how well it works. And ive heard good things about the Kordon brand also. Anybody have any experience with Kordon?
 

AquaticJ

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You should really fix your stocking issues, well i guess nature kind of fixed them partially. Rams need a water temperature of 80-86, with 82-84 being optimal. Goldfish are coldwater fish, and prefer water in the 60’s. The Goldfish isn’t temp compatible with any of your other fish, with them being tropical fish.

A lot of the time, when fish are stressed, Ich THRIVES. Rams are sensitive fish in general, and then the heat took its toll on the Goldfish.

@Repolie paraguard isn’t safe for his shrimp and snails.
 
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Markc

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You should really fix your stocking issues, well i guess nature kind of fixed them partially. Rams need a water temperature of 80-86, with 82-84 being optimal. Goldfish are coldwater fish, and prefer water in the 60’s. The Goldfish isn’t temp compatible with any of your other fish, with them being tropical fish.

A lot of the time, when fish are stressed, Ich THRIVES. Rams are sensitive fish in general, and then the heat took its toll on the Goldfish.

@Repolie paraguard isn’t safe for his shrimp and snails.
I believe the ich came from adding new fish to the tank without quarantining then first. I have had several goldfish and german ram in the past and have never kept them at any other temperature except 78°. They all have seem to strive very well including the goldfish that is still alive today. In my experiences gold fish will survive through anything. No water changes, no air stone, no filter, no heater. These seem to be very hardy fish. Ive had them since i was a kid and they wouldn't die even if you wanted them to lol.
 

Repolie

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I keep forgetting that it's not safe for inverts! :banghead: Thanks for catching me there @AquaticJ. Yeah you should remove the inverts. They themselves don't get ich. But just keep them separate for 2 weeks just in case they're a carrier. Paraguard is a medication more on the gentle side when treating Ich, so I recommend it.
 
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Markc

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Ok thank you guys for the help. Ill just take the snails out and medicate with the Paragaurd. And start using Paragaurd in a quartine tank prior to adding to the main tank
 

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When I initially read this thread yesterday I had the exact same thoughts as @AquaticJ concerning stocking. Plus only 2 glass catfish.

Then I saw those were no longer an issue.

I saw the 5 years in the tank and moved on.
 
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Markc

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When I initially read this thread yesterday I had the exact same thoughts as @AquaticJ concerning stocking. Plus only 2 glass catfish.

Then I saw those were no longer an issue.

I saw the 5 years in the tank and moved on.
I understand people have issues with the variety of fish i keep in my tanks. Throughout the years i have had a variety of fish in my tank and as long as there was ample room in the tank they seem to live in harmony. Im not saying it always works out but im willing to try putting different fish in with eachother and see how it works. If the fish i put in the tank doesn't work out then i remove them. Ive even had chichlids in my tank with the community and haven't had an issue. From my experiences in keeping fish in the last ten years with a variety of fish, i have never had an issue with ick until now and i have never quarantine any fish of mine. But now that it has happend, it seems like quarantining my fish would be a good idea. I do not believe that i got ick because of stocking issues seems how it happend right after adding new fish. I may be wrong but in my past experiences i have never had any outbreaks in my tank do to stocking issues.
 

AquaticJ

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I understand people have issues with the variety of fish i keep in my tanks. Throughout the years i have had a variety of fish in my tank and as long as there was ample room in the tank they seem to live in harmony. Im not saying it always works out but im willing to try putting different fish in with eachother and see how it works. If the fish i put in the tank doesn't work out then i remove them. Ive even had chichlids in my tank with the community and haven't had an issue. From my experiences in keeping fish in the last ten years with a variety of fish, i have never had an issue with ick until now and i have never quarantine any fish of mine. But now that it has happend, it seems like quarantining my fish would be a good idea. I do not believe that i got ick because of stocking issues seems how it happend right after adding new fish. I may be wrong but in my past experiences i have never had any outbreaks in my tank do to stocking issues.
Yeah, sorry for getting off topic.

I’d remove the shrimp and snails, and treat with something like Nox-Ich, super ick cure, or Paraguard. Turn the heat down to about 82 while you treat, this will speed up the life cycle of the ich so it dies off faster.
 
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Markc

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Says he started this tank July 1 2018, but 5 years in the hobby.
I just set up this tank a couple months ago but ive been keeping fish on and off since i was a kid. Im not saying im a professional in fish keeping. That is why i am just sharing my past experiences and the issues i am running into now. Everybody has there own opinions and there own experiences. I would love to hear everybody's experiences and there opinions but in the end i will use my own judgment and try a variety of things till i find what works for me. ☺

Yeah, sorry for getting off topic.

I’d remove the shrimp and snails, and treat with something like Nox-Ich, super ick cure, or Paraguard. Turn the heat down to about 82 while you treat, this will speed up the life cycle of the ich so it dies off faster.
I appreciate your advice. Im going to the lfs and see what they have in stock to medicate and hopefully it will cure the tank so i can begin restocking again
 
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