new tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by SOS, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. SOSNew MemberMember

    I have had a ten gallon going for a couple of weeks.I have one gourami in it and he is eating fine and seems very healthy.the water smells a little.I just started a forty gallon on monday.I talked to this guy at my lfs and he said it was okay to put fish in as soon as the temperature was stabilized and the tank had run for a few hours.I have since found out by reading articles and posts in forums that this is a bad idea.It's too late now.My wife came home from work on monday with two frontosas and a convict.The water was quite milky and i did a five gallon change yesterday the water has cleared tremendously.The fish are eating, i feed them a little bit a couple of times a day at the suggestion of lfs.Told to do this for the next week and a half.There are little fuzzy things floating in the water but it is very clear as i am writing this.I know the fish were put in too soon but, it's too late now,what can i do to ensure their survival.All water was treated with declorinator and initially i added waste control and cycle drops.Temperature is 81 degrees, fish are eating ang active.although i noticed one of the frontosas rubbing his side on the gravel a couple of times.Please help i don't want to lose the fish.Any info on a new tank and how to rectify this situation would be GREATLY appreciated. TIA
  2. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    "Rubbing" on the gravel is most lilkely an indication of an infection or parasites. Maybe an early sign of ick.

    Yes it is definately not a good idea to add which this soon after you set up the tank..

    However, there are some excellent cycling products (stress-zyme? i think is one of them) that I know people highly recommend on this site for these types of situations, but do not have much experience.

    I do think that you should do about 30% water changes daily, just to try and keep your water quality the best that you can keep it for your fish. I am hoping that you have a test kit to measure ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I would expect spikes in these levels soon, if not already.


    If you have anymore questions,, please let us know! :)

  3. SOSNew MemberMember

    First off.thank you for your reply!I do not have a water kit yet.Spikes?The fish seem to be eating these fluffy semi trasparent objects.I have ick medication would it be harmful to treat the fish now or just keep an eye on them until ick becomes noticeable
  4. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    During a fishless cycle, a small amount of ammonia is fed to a tank often, to help with the formation of beneficial bacteria. The formation of this bacteria in turn helps to convert ammonia (which is very dangerous to fish) into a harmful, but less toxic Nitrite, and then AGAIN converts it into an even less form called Nitrate.

    Because you are cycling with fish, You have added alot of ammonia to your tank at one time (more than what your "good" bacteria can handle, which causes spikes in these dangerous levels. The most important advice I can give you would be to go out and buy a test kit as soon as you can! I recommend "Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit" which can be purchased from most LFS's (for a little more expensive) and Petsmarts and for less than 20 dollars. It is a VERY good test kit, though. Also, since these levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are so harmful, it would be very wise to use much precaution and do large daily water changes.

    One Important Question: I also hope that you are dechlorinating your water? This can be done by several different methods:

    ~using a bottled dechlorinator (AquaSafe by Tetra is what I use, StressCoat by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals I believe is another good one) per the directions on the bottle
    ~Boiling your water before you add it to your tank (after it cools down again lol)
    ~Or letting it "gas" out by filling jugs up with water and letting it sit for a few days before adding it to your tank..

    Obviously using the bottle dechlorinator is much faster, and works in seconds. I am sure everyone has their own opinion of which is most efficient :)

    Let us know if you have any more questions :)
  5. SOSNew MemberMember

    Yes i am using a declorinator.I just did a five gallon water change.I don,t have the proper equipment yet to do large water changes.Should i do a couple of 5 gallon changes a day until i get proper equipment.I am going to purchase water test kit today.Should i add some salt to the water.I have two,3 inch frontosas and a one and a half inch convict.When i get the readings i will post them and hopefully some solution can be found to stabilize the tank before the fish die.T.A.
  6. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    Oh I forgot to tell you -- !! i hope it's not too late.

    I wouldn't use any medication at all unless you are sure of the what disease the fish has, or even if he has a disease at all. Rubbing against the gravel could indicate poor water quality, just as well as it could indicate an infection, so just wait it out until you see clearer signs :)

    Glad to see you are getting a test kit ;) Let us know what those levels are :)
  7. vinWell Known MemberMember

    Hi SOS and welcome to fishlore....I am a beginner that made the same mistake you did....borne out of bad advice as well......Here's what I did based on TONS of great info from the folks on this site and A LOT of reading.

    1. Buy an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit. You can get them on line from various places - I got mine at for about $15....Most places are double that, but you can find them if you shop around. Once you get your kit, test your water daily according to the directions and post your first results here to give the 'experts' - Gunnie and Butterfly - your base numbers.

    2. Read the link in the Beginners page on this site that has to do with Articles for Beginners. There is an article there that explains the 'Nitrogen Cycle' in detail. A good read.

    3. Do 30% water changes daily and DO NOT vacuum your gravel or change your filter media. Changing the filter media will only set you back. Make sure you pre-treat your replacement water with Stress Coat or some other form of water treatement liquid. And DO NOT add any more fish.

    4. Monitor your water conditions daily. You will start to see your ammonia levels climb and climb they will. :eek: :eek:...Doing the water changes will help to keep some of the ammonia (Toxic to fish) in check. You will then see your Nitrites (more toxic) climb. :eek: As they climb, the ammonia level starts to drop. :) .....Next, the Nitrates (toxic, but not as bad as the others) start to kick in as the nitrites fall.....Eventually, the ammonia and nitrites will hit zero :) ....You want to keep your nitrates as low as possible - less than 5.0 and preferably at -0-.....You do this by testing your water regularly and performing regular water changes....Typically once a week unless the nitrates get out of hand or ammonia creeps back up. Then you would have to do them more frequently.

    The 'fishless' cycle can take anywhere from 15 days to 4 weeks...I, unfortunately, am in week 10........and there is LIGHT at the end of my tunnel!!! Ammonia is falling, Nitrites and Nitrates rising and I'm making those water changes daily.....And we haven't lost a fish! In fact, our swordtails have had babies :D Hopefully you'll be as lucky as we were.

    Good luck!!!

    And post those numbers!!!
  8. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    wow Vin and I have almost the exact same advice.... lol......
  9. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    EmpPleco - Vin great minds think alike ;)
    Some times fish rub against things when the tank parameters are a little out of whack such as during cycling.(how do you like all that technical language ;) ) an elevated Ammonia or Nitrate reading can be the cause, and this early in the cycle I would think maybe its the ammonia.
    Water changes should help. The sooner you get a water test kit the sooner you can know. Please post those for us when you get your kit.
  10. vinWell Known MemberMember

    I will see my fish rub once in a while. The swords more than the Corys.....There are no indicators of anything else wrong other than my water conditions continuing to cycle.

    I've learned quite a bit from the folks on here and bought a few books with some pretty sound, logical advice......

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