new tank owner Question

Discussion in 'Pleco - Plecostomus' started by mindiemonster, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. mindiemonsterNew MemberMember

    I recently got an aquarium from an acquaintance of mine. She and her husband robbed a store and went to jail, she had her mom call me and tell me that I could have her fish if I'd find a good home for her cat (I'm allergic). I used to babysit for her, and always admired her fish. I know very little about any other fish than goldfish, though. When I got the tank there were two zebra fish, two angel fish, and a common pleco. The angel fish didn't survive the move to my house :( I bought two goldfish, and put them in there. One since disappeared. Literally, went *poof*. I figure that the pleco ate him, cause he's the only one big enough to make a fish poof like that, so I started doing some research, and now I'm concerned that maybe I'm not feeding him enough. I read that you can feed them cabbage or lettuce, but I'm wondering do I need to cook them, first? And should I supplement with something that won't make it want to eat my other fish. Honestly, I really like him, and want him to be healthy and happy.

    I'm not sure the size of my tank, it's big. I think it's a 50 gallon, but I wouldn't swear to that. It has part of a lid, enough to keep any of them from jumping out, but the light is missing. It's a freshwater tank, and I keep it at room temperature. I buy distilled water at the store, and put about a gallon a week in the water. I'm not sure what kind of filter I have, but the water stays clear so I'm assuming it works fine.

    Oh, that reminds me of another question. Why do I keep getting bubbles on the top of the water?
  2. JrobberWell Known MemberMember

    Thats a strange way to acquire a fish tank.

    Pleco's will sometimes eat cucumbers, but you have to weigh it down and don't leave it in too long, maybe two or three hours when the pleco is active. They will also eat algae wafers you can buy at any fish store.

    Did you keep some of the old water and decor? What about the old filter and heater?

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  3. mindiemonsterNew MemberMember

    Yeah, pretty unique. LOL It certainly makes a good story.

    I kept most of the original decor. I'd like to try real plants in there, but when I put a bamboo in there it almost died. I've been nursing it back to health. It never had a heater, that's on my 'to get' list, cause I've been reading that plecos like their water warmish. I bought a new filter this last christmas, the old one wasn't working so well. Would it be safe to leave the cucumber in over night before I pull it out? Is there something in my house I can use to weigh it down, or should I buy something? The water is all brand new, I replaced it when I moved them because they were in a smokers house and everything had to be cleaned. Plus we've moved since then, and I replaced the water that time, too.

    Also, don't know if this is important, but he's a little less than a foot long, maybe 10 inches.

  4. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Hello & Welcome to fishlore!

    Please fill out the rest of your aquarium info as that will help us better, to help you. :)

    Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? Do you have a test kit?

    Goldfish prefer cooler temps as most Tropical fish need a temp of 78.

    You need to be doing partial weekly water changes of at least 25-30% with a gravel vac to pickup uneatten food and fish waste. Distilled water is not the best thing to use. I don't use bottled water, I use tap water but RO bottled water is better due to it is processed where only impurities are filtered out.

    Sounds like you may have a Common Pleco that get quit large. Plecos are huge waste producers too. You can feed him algae wafers and blanched (boiled) zuccinni slice for about a minute. Zuccinni will sink when boiled. Put in a dish of cold water after you boil a slice.
  5. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    welcome to fishlore. May I suggest to you that the first thing you do is measure the tank (calculator at the bottom will tell us how many gallons it is). Then your next step should be to go to the main FL page and read the care sheets for each type of fish you aquired, and then to read the link in my signature about the nitrogen cycle.

    Good luck to you - you've inherited a hand-full... we'll be happy to get you through it.
  6. mindiemonsterNew MemberMember

    I'm learning. I've been reading like crazy. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, to be honest. I do not have a test kit, but I'll be getting one.

    Something else I'm learning. lol Luckily it seems that a gravel vacuum is relatively cheap.

    My tap water isn't very clean, I won't drink it, so I'm not willing to give it to the fish. Plus it tastes really bleachy.What's RO bottled water?

    Yeah, I read about how big they can get. Wow. I figured he was about as big as he'll get, lol! I guess it's a good thing that he's already in a good sized tank.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  7. mindiemonsterNew MemberMember

    My tank is a hexagon, and I can't recall how to figure out the volume of a hexagon. It's 18" high, and each side of the hexagon is 9". I've read the care sheets for the fish I have, it seems that the one that requires the most care is that plecos. I also read the thing about the nitrogen cycle, but it doesn't make sense to me.

    And thank you. I appreciate you all answering my stupid questions. lol I know that I know next to nothing. Heck, I didn't even know which kind of sucker fish I had until today when I started trying to figure out if my plecos was eating my gold fish.
  8. bubblynutterWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it appears your tank is much less than 30G. See this thread from one of our mods, Shawnie, who got a hex tank recently - Some help if possible exact size hex tank

    If that is the case, you really need to find a new home for that pleco. He is a BIG waste producer, and is already too cramped in the home he has. You will need to do a lot of water changing and likely up the filtration capacity just to keep your goldfish healthy. :(

    When you inherit things like your current set up, it is wise to research until your eyes bleed (which it sounds like you are doing!) and sometimes that leads us to make the unhappy decision to rehome some or all of the inhabitants, or return/donate them to an accepting lfs.

    I would suggest firstly deciding if you want a tropical or temperate (coldwater) set up and making decisions on your gold fish OR pleco from there. Either way, your goldfish and plec both need a bigger home.

    Let me know if you need further info. Hope this helps, and good luck!
  9. mindiemonsterNew MemberMember

    Yeah, I had a friend helping me figure out the volume. I am a math moron. lol We're figuring 15 gallons. Seems bigger, so also on my list is a bigger tank, I don't want to have to find another home for him, he's been with us for a year and the kids and I are kinda attached to him.

    Thank you, though. Honestly, it's not that big of a deal, because I wanted a better tank, since the light is missing on this one. Now to come up with the money . . . . :p
  10. mindiemonsterNew MemberMember

    Okay, I found a 50 gallon tank I can afford on craigslist (complete with filter and so I won't have to find another home for him. I hate to think that I've had him in a cramped little tank, poor guy. :( That'll give me a little more time to figure out this nitrogen cycle thing.

    Question: Would they be healthier if I put live plants in there? Or is that not a big deal. And if so what should I put in there? Bamboo was a huge failure.
  11. bubblynutterWell Known MemberMember

    Nutter is the expert on plants around here.

    I suggest posting a query in the plants section of the forum - he's sure to respond.
    Check to see what lighting you will have - likely low-mid light plants will be your aim.

    Have a look at my aquarium info for a list of low light plants that are doing well in my tanks.
    Oh, and plants are ALWAYS a good thing, so long as they don't take up too much of the swimming room for the inhabitants. Keep in mind goldfish love snacking on plants, and your pleco is already cramped. Maybe wait till housing arrangements are sorted.

    As I said, Nutter will provide great advice... :)
  12. mindiemonsterNew MemberMember

    Oh, I'm definitely going to wait to add plants. I also have to wait until the water is safe to move them into, but I would like to move them into an awesome environment. You know, make up for my neglect of the last year. I will definitely post something in the plant forum.

    I figured one thing I have going for me - when I bought my filter I got one for a 35 gallon tank, so the water is being well filtered. LOL Probably why it's so clean and the fish are as healthy as they are.

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