New Tank-- Newbie

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Cathy B, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Cathy B

    Cathy BNew MemberMember

    I am brand new to this hobby, and wish I had found this site before starting. By “lurking” here the last few days I have come to these conclusions:
    1. I love it.
    2. I know nothing about it.
    3. Neither does the help at Animal Kingdom where I purchased everything 
    4. I wish I bought a bigger tank
    You can expect to be hearing a lot from me as I go along.
    I did review all beginners’ articles and am now thoroughly overwhelmed. Please forgive me if any of my questions were covered in the articles.
    Here is the information you asked for before I get to my questions.

    29 gallon tank

    dGH -180 We have hard well water we are in process of changing 20% with distilled -- have to get the distilled on the way home from work today; which is where I am playing here instead of working 
    I was told at Animal Kingdom (from now on to be called AK) that our well water would be fine. No need to do anything but let it sit for a day. WRONG.
    dKH - 240 see above
    Ph – 7.5
    NO2 – 1
    NO3– 40

    Bought first after 2 days on the advice of AK
    3 Black Widow Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)

    Bought following week:
    2 Albino Cory (Corydoras aeneus)

    The next week:
    2 Angel Fish (Pterophyllun scalare)

    The next:
    2 Red-Tailed Black Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)

    And the next
    1 Blue skirt tetra
    1 Green skirt tetra
    1 pink skirt tetra

    Do you think I am still in the nytrogen cycle? Are my fish in danger? I love them already. (They’re named…Do people name there fish?)Should I buy the Tretrasafe Start? Or is it too late.?

    QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    The sharks are not suitable for a 29 gallon. 1 shark alone requires 55 gallons. They are super territorial and agressive.

    Start by doing 25 or 50% water changes daily with Prime.
    YOur parameters should be as following for a fully cycled tank:
    NitrAte:20 or less

    I think you should up the school of black widows to 6. I think you should switch the angels out for a pair of apistos. Maybe switch the albino cories for 6 pygmy cories.

    Good luck
  3. Squirrelmanajh

    SquirrelmanajhValued MemberMember

    i'm quite new to this too, but just some quick answers before the experts get in here. Yes, you are def still in the nitrogen cycle. You need to buy this bottle of stuff called Prime, and do probably about 50% at the minimum water changes with the Prime added to the new water every day until ur ammonia and NO2 readings are 0 ppm, and your NO3 reading are like 20ish (I think that's right, depends on your water source i think).
    Second, your tank is definitely overstocked (maybe not at their current size, but as the fish age it will be) and for a start I would strongly suggest taking the sharks back because they need a much larger tank.
    That's about all I can prob help with for now, but hopefully it helps some! And idk about Tetra SafeStart, I haven't used it.

  4. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore.

    Some good info above. I will add that it appears you are useing paper test strips, I highly urge you to get a API liquid master test kit, the strips can be really inaccurate, and the liquid last much longer. The master test kit comes with all the tests you need ammonia, ph, high range ph, nitrite and nitrate. ( it appears your current test doesn= test for ammonia)
    Since you have a nitrite reading, I also would recommend daily waterchanges with Prime. I have used Tetra Safe Start with good results, but without knowing all your peramiters, and how far into the cycle you are, I can't say weather it would be worth while to use it. Also I would not worry about your water hardness just yet, and if you do choose to use bottled water, do not use distilled, a lot of the the nutrients fish need in the water have been removed from disstilled water.

    As far as your stock, you were already told above about the sharks. Cories and tetras really need schools of at least 6. Also I am a bit concerned that your colored tetras may be dyed. If you get a chance you may want to do a fishlore search for threads on dyed fish and why most member dissapprove of the practice( I relize you may not have known this is just for future knowledge.).

    And yes I name all my non schooling fish. Good luck with your tank, and ask as many questions as you feel you need to.
  5. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore. A 29 gallon tank, although not huge is still a pretty good size tank and you can do a lot with it. I think Nitrogren Cycle has been covered. Just be DiLIGENT about what changes until there is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and keep the nitrate under 20-30 ppm. What happened to me is that I new nothing about fish or stocking them so I bought a Flowerhorn and Oscar to fill a 10 gallon tank. Let me give you a hint, they really belong in 100. So now I am buying a 280 gallon aquarium to house all the fish I bought early on ( up from a 10 to a 30 to a 40 to a 60 and now the 280. So you made minor mistakes compared to mine. But I love the fish I got and I want to take the best care of them so I am doing what it takes to. I think that is important. If you can't keep some of the fish, find homes for them or get a bigger tank later on.... Good Luck. I am sure we will here from you soon.:;hi1

  6. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    You already got some good advice and stocking and getting a good liquid test kit, such as the API test kit.

    I'm unclear from your post if the water parameters you listed were from your tank or from your tap (well) water. If it is your tap water that contains 40ppm nitrates, you are going to unable to keep nitrates under 40ppm (unless you dilute with distilled water, but that can get expensive and can lead to dangerous ph swings).

    One thing you could to help lower nitrates (if in fact your tap water does contain them) is use Amquel+ as your water conditioner, along with the ability to detox lowish levels of ammonia and nitrite Amquel+ has the ability to remove (something like 15ppm) nitrate from water. If you do choose to use Amquel+ note that it needs to be used along with NovAqua, since Amquel+ does not have the ability to remove heavy metals.

    You'll know your tank is cycled when you have 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites and more nitrates than what your tap water contains. Cycling generally takes about six weeks, unless you use SafeStart.

    If you want, you could give SafeStart a try. I recently read the instructions on a bottle of SafeStart and didn't realize how bad they really are. So I'll give you a better explaination on how to use it than the bottle does. You need to wait at least 24 hours between the time you use any water conditioner that detoxes (or removes) ammonia (such as Prime, Amquel+, AmmoLock amoung others).Just dump the entire well shaken bottle of SafeStart into your tank. Then do nothing but feed your fish for the next 14 days (no water changes, adding chemicals, etc). On day 14 test your water and you should be cycled.

    One last thing, if you have elevated ammonia levels, you should do a water change or two to try and get your ammonia levels as close to zero as possible before adding SafeStart. The bacteria in SafeStart is in a dormant form when poured into your tank, and takes a little while to "awaken". You don't want to overwhelm the "awakening" bacteria with high ammonia levels (i.e. the ammonia present when it was added, plus the additional ammonia the fish will produce before it "wakes up"

    Okay, sorry for such a long post and best of luck!
  7. ladygoldNew MemberMember

  8. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I name my non-schooling fish :) Though I pick pretty silly names sometimes.

    Just in case it isn't addressed in the link above, I have read from other members that Tetra's own water conditioner must be used just prior to adding TSS (if you choose to go that route). Certain ingredients in Prime (which is what many members use) can cause it to fail. Also, I have seen many member say that if you wait too long after fish have been added, that it can be more involved to use TSS - basically they recommend doing enough water changes that it is in essence like the fish haven't been in the tank - if that makes any sense - since you are supposed to add TSS right away with the fish. HOWEVER I have never used TSS, all of my knowledge is from doing like you have done, and reading many a thread.

    Welcome to FishLore! There are many super-helpful members, and I'm sure you'll have no problem finding answers to your questions :)

    PS. I love the start of your post. I went through pretty much the same thought process... :)
  9. OP
    Cathy B

    Cathy BNew MemberMember

    The sharks are not suitable for a 29 gallon. 1 shark alone requires 55 gallons. They are super territorial and aggressive.
    I think you should up the school of black widows to 6. I think you should switch the angels out for a pair of apistos. Maybe switch the albino cories for 6 pygmy cories.

    Good luck[/QUOTE]

    My sharks are "playing nice" with others and each other, will that change as they get bigger? I do not know anyone with an aquarium, if I have to can I take them back to Animal Kingdom?
    Why do To need to remove my Angel Fish? I'd miss them terribly!
    Why different cories?
    Thanks I just want to learn the reasoning behind your suggestions so I can make sense of all this. Still very overwhelmed by it all.
  10. Squirrelmanajh

    SquirrelmanajhValued MemberMember

    from all that i've read on here, the older the sharks get the more aggressive and territorial they will be. You can ask AK if they'll take them back, some places will and some won't. I believe that the angelfish would be ok, as long as if they pair up they don't start attacking the other fish. A user on here (James95) has 2 angels in a 29g and they seem quite happy. I don't know about cories so I can't help you there. Hopefully this helps some!
  11. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Your cories are fine, but they need to be in a larger group. But not until you have gotten the tank cycled and rehomed the unsuitable fish. I would not do pygmy cories, as the angels reached adult size, they would likly get eaten. I don't know a whole lot about your tetras, but you may want to watch for them nipping the angels.

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