My first fishes!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Gwenz, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. GwenzWell Known MemberMember

    I bought my first fish today! 6x Neon Tetras and 6x Zebra Danios. I've put them in a 15 gallon (54 liter) tank. Have I got room for more fish if I wanted to buy more?

    The Zebra Danios are very active and are very fun to watch, but the Neon Tetras just seem to be staying in a group in one place. Could this be because they are still getting used to the tank?
    I was also wondering what I should feed them. I have some flake food for them. Should this be OK, or should I buy them something else to vary their diet?

    Thanks to anyone who answers this.
  2. atmmachine816Fishlore VIPMember

    No you don't have anymore room for fish right now. I will try to answer the other questions later but I have to leave now.


  3. MarcWell Known MemberMember

    The Neons could still be getting used to the tank. Did you cycle the tank? Cycling is a process allowing for the proper bacteria to establish itself, which will clean the water of bad stuff like ammonia and nitrites. If you didn't, I'd advise you to return the Tetras (they've become fairly... weak in some places) and grab a decent test kit, preferably one like the Freshwater Master Test Kit by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals -  

    The Zebras should be fine if you don't mind a possible death or two since the water will be pretty nasty for a little while. If you don't want to go through the hassle of cycling fishless, however, you'll probably leave them in. However, it was probably best that you did get these fish since they are extremely hardy. - That page details the 'cycle' your tank will have to go through, so if you do get a test kit you can monitor how well along it is.

    As for the question of more fish... yes! But very little. The Zebras and Tetras leave little room for much else, but you could possibly get some other small fish. Maybe 2 more Zebras, or 3 more Tetras, or 3 Otoclinclus catfish. However, if your tank isn't cycled, I'd advise you to NOT buy any more fish as they'll have a fairly high chance of dying.

  4. GwenzWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks Mark. Set my tank up a week before introducing my fish and I regularly moniterd the nitrite and nitrate levels, which went up and then came back down. I don't intend on getting more fish for a while. I'm going to wait to see how I get on with the Neon tetras and the Danios, as this is my first time.

    Thanks for the suggestions. :)

  5. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Even when your tank is cycled and seemingly ready to have fish added to it, it will still have ammonia and/or nitrite rise when suddenly adding 12 fish to it. This is because a cycled tank without fish has bacteria, but not enough of them to deal with a sudden influx of many fish. The proper way to be adding fish is very few at a time (I'd be adding no more than 1-2 at a time) - continuing this process until you reach the desired number of fish (of course trying not to overcrowd). So basically, you'd be adding 1-2 fish, say, every week. This way the beneficial bacteria have the time to increase and to deal with more and more fish wastes. But since you already have fish in your tank, what you'll need to be doing is frequent and large water changes when ammonia and/or nitrite increase - all to prevent fish from getting sick or dying. Please monitor your water every day now, especially paying attention to ammonia and nitrite. If any of the two is more than 0, do a large water change. Remember to always dechlorinate water when using tap water, and to have it at the temperature similar to that of your tank - so that the fish don't get a temperature shock during water changes.

    12 small fish in a 15 gallon tank is enough. If you add more it will be too crowded. The reason your neons are swimming at the bottom of the tank may be that they're still trying to adjust to their new environment. However, I think their nature is a more likely reason for their behavior. Neons are generally bottom-range swimming fish. Zebra danios, on the other hand, will swim at all ranges and most frequently in the upper regions of a tank. So don't worry, it's the neons' nature to be swimming at the bottom. I also have neon tetras and they stay mostly at the bottom. As for food, feed them with tropical flakes. I also feed my neons with small frozen bloodworms and frozen brine shrimp - they love it all. You could feed them all of the above foods. The more varied the diet, the better.
  6. GwenzWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks Isabella. I will certainly check my levels daily and make frequent water changes. when you say large water changes what do you mean exactly? About half the tank?

  7. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    probably about 25% of the water. More if the ammonia and/or nitrites are very high. Ammonia above 1 ppm, and nitrites above 5 I think.
    Any ammonia and nitrites is toxic though, so if the test kit picks it up it's too high.
  8. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    I would personally change 30-50% of water if I detected ammonia and/or nitrite higher than 0. They're very dangerous, so I'd want to make sure they're totally out of the tank. If the next day, after the water change, they're still present in the water, I'd change another 30-50%. I'd be doing this until there are no traces of ammonia or nitrite in the water. But that's me. Maybe that's too much. I'd wait to see what Gunnie or Butterfly has to say about this.
  9. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Very good advice from all three of you :) Usually takes about six weeks or longer to completely cycle a tank so keep an eye on water test readings.
    also neons like plants to swim in. Doesn't matter whether they are live or fake to them.Although I prefer live myself.
  10. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't add more fish. You will have a huge ammonia spike from adding so many fish, so don't be too surprised if some Neons or even danios die. :'( Like everyone else has said, your main weapon is water changes.
    They would appreciate variety in their diet, even if all that means is another brand of flake food. Omega One, if you can find it, makes the best flakes. The Neons especially would love freeze-dried bloodworms or brine shrimp too. You can buy these at most pet or fish stores. The bloodworms especially need to be fed sparingly though, no more than twice a week I would say. I feed my Guppies and Platys 2 brands of flakes, freexe-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp, and cooked romaine lettuce and zucchini (actually they steal the latter 2 foods from my catfish, which are being moved to another tank for that reason, but I plan to continue feeding them even after the catfish are moved). ;)
  11. GwenzWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks. All this advice is very helpful. I tested my ammonia and nitrite levels this morning and everything seemes OK.

    I did noticed that the neons like plants as they swim around them a lot in my tank. I have 2 live plants and one fake plant. Is this enough? The neons are more active now that they have settled in.

    I will buy some freeze-dried bloodworms, like you said to help vary their diet, and maybe another brand of flakes too.

    Thanks for all your advice.
    Gwenz :)
  12. vinWell Known MemberMember

    As the others have already stated, your tank is pretty much at its limits for fish right now. I've got a 15 g as well and have 5 live plants, 2 fake, a small cave and a small hollow log. They provide plenty of areas for the fish to hide and feel secure.

    Since you seem to be cycling with fish (as did I. The pet stores don't tell you that this is a bad idea) you will most likely begin to see spikes of ammonia that can reach as high as 8.0 :eek: :eek: . This will be very hard on your fish.....At the first sign of ammonia, I began changing 30% of my water daily and lightly vacuumed the gravel once a week a section at a time. Never the entire tank bottom. Once my ammonia spiked to 8.0 I did a massive water change - about 80%. That brought the ammonia back down to 4.0 and I continued to do 30% changes daily. I began to see the nitrites climb, then the nitrates. But by keeping up with the daily water changes, the nitrites never got above .5 and the nitrates never got higher than 10. I kept this up until the ammonia and nitrites read 0. All the while the nitrates stayed between 5-10.

    All told, it took my tank about 10 weeks to cycle. It's a lot of work, but I would recommend testing daily or at least every other day and recording your results in a little notebook to keep track of your progress. Then, do 30% (5 gallons) water changes every day until you get the optimum readings. By doing this you'll be doing as much as possible to keep your fish comfortable.
  13. GwenzWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks for the advise. It sound like a lot of work, but I'm sure it's all worth it in the end!!

    Gwenz :)
  14. SkadunkadunkValued MemberMember

    You probably shouldn't add any fish, and maybe the temperature is not right for the tetras

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice