New to keeping Fish :)

  • #1
Hi, I'm fairly new to keeping fish.. started maybe 6 weeks ago. Had a tiny second tank for a little then just got a new tank last week. I cycled the first tank fow a few days before adding fish.. then transferred all the water into the new tank to keep levels. If anyone can give me some tips or advice on my setup please do

This is my setup:

70 litre tank
External Filter with Bio Balls and Rings and Carbon
150w Heater at 28 degrees
PH approx. 7

Drift wood
Fake Ornaments
White gravel

Green Ivy
Duckweed ball
Blue Stricta
I use a plant food also.. says it has a mix of nutrients, enzymes and trace elements.. plus doesn't promote algae growth.

2x German Blue Rams (Breeding Pair)
2x Three-Striped Apisto's (male / female)
5x Black Phantom Tetras
6x Harlequin Tetras
4x Corys (2 bronze, 1 pepper, 1 albino)
Fed Flake, Algae Wafers and Bloodworm.

  • #2

I started about the same time as you did, so unfortunately, I probably won't be much help. I just wanted to welcome you, since you're on aussie time and I'm still up here in the U.S.!
  • #3
Welcome to Fishlore!
  • #4
That is a good looking tank I'm pretty new too, but here's some of the things I have learnt since being a member that I wish I'd known when I started.
1) read about the nitrogen cycle (the last 2 words should have turned into a link) and browse old forum posts to get really really good understanding, not just the outlines of it.
2) get a decent test kit and ALWAYS know what your water is at
3) invest in a bottle of prime to keep the ammonia at bay as you appear to be doing a fish in cycle (Rams, so I have read, are finnicky about ammonia and other cycling issues)

Looking forward to seeing more pictures, you've got some really beautiful fish there!
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks guys.. I appreciate the warm welcome
I only have a PH tester at the moment but do plan on investing in a good test kit to keep tabs on all the levels I don't want to go harming my Rams, especially when I know they are a breeding pair
I'm really happy as to how its looking at the moment Other then the cost :/
I'll post some pictures of the fish when I get time.
  • #6
Hello Effect. and Welcome to Fish Lore!

I hope you enjoy the site. Lots of friendly members and tons of information.



  • welcomewagon.gif
    24.4 KB · Views: 115
  • #7
HI and welcome to fishlore! I'm new here too, but I recently got a job at an LPS so I've got to absorb as much of this knowledge as I can. It's great to see a fellow aussie! I don't have much advice for you aside from that you shouldn't be afraid to order your test kit online. Here good test kits can cost you upwards of $40! So don't be afraid to buy one from amazon or another online store, where you should be able to pick up a good one for a quarter of the price.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Ok great ! Thanks for the tip its good to see plenty of aussies are around
  • #9
Welcome to FishLore Effect! I really hate to be the bearer of bad news but you are in for some trouble with the current set up in my opinion. You are basically doing a fish in cycle and some of your fish will most likely not make it threw the cycle process. The Rams and the Corydora will have the hardest time because they are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrites.

I would definitely invest in a large bottle of Prime because you are going to need it to even have a chance at keeping the fish alive threw the nitrogen cycling process. You will also need a good liquid test kit so that you can test the water at least every other day. Depending on what the readings are will determine how much of a daily water change will be required to keep the ammonia and nitrites from getting too terribly high.

Seachem Prime is a water conditioner and in my opinion by far the best on the market. It will not only remove the chlorine and chloramines from the water but will also help detoxify the ammonia and nitrites as they build up. You can’t over dose with Prime do doing some double dosing I sure will be required. I would start out with at least a 100ml bottle of Prime because it will dose up to 1000 gallons of water when used in single doses. Yes you only have a 70 liter tank but over the next few weeks you are going to change a lot of water to keep the fish the safest that you can.

You also have a stocking list issue that will need to be addressed. Tetras, Harlequins and Corys are all schooling type fish and need to be kept in at least small groups of 6 or more and you are already over stocked. The pair of Rams can also become very territorial during breeding time so the 70 liter tank might work for just them alone but with the tank mates there just simply isn’t enough room.

Like I said sorry to be the bearer of bad news but in my personal opinion your in for a long hard road with your current set up. I would personally see if the pet store would take back some of the fish as least until you can get the tank cycled properlly.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Have added prime.. Forgot to mention. I'm getting nore harleuins today, the other fish school fine, I don't think there is a problem. I'm always asking my Local aquarium questions to make sure I'm doing it right. Thanks for the concerns, I will definitely keep nd eye on the nitrates nd amonia.. Its good to know overdosing te prime is ok
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Oh, I guess I should mention I also used tank water and not tap water to fill the rest of the tank up. Seachem is also the brand of prime I used.. How often would you reccomend adding the prime ?
  • #12
Hello & welcome.

You add Prime after each water change to make the tap water safe and detox toxins for 24 hours if any ammonia present until next 30-50% water change if daily or weekly to maintain good hygiene.

Daily water changes are to be done if toxins are present like ammonia and nitrite until they are 0. Nitrates should be below 20ppm. Water changes remove nitrates and plants depending on lighting. Low light = slow growth = slow nutrient uptake

If you notice fish at surface, sluggish, fins look raggedy then I suggest you test for ammonia and nitrite.

Please be careful at following the fish stores advice as some don't know a whole lot and just want to make a sale. You are the customer and will sell you anything you want. just want you to know that.

I agree that your tank is stocked and shouldn't add anymore fish. When you overstock it can cause poor water quality and you find tank getting dirty faster which can result to poor hygiene and disease. Overstocking can result to disease as well as fish get stressed.

You are off to a good start. Don't get carried away.

  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Thanks for the advice.
Reading about the Nitrogen Cycle properly it said if the PH is below 7 then you shouldnt have a problem with ammonia and nitrates.. And my PH is now around 6.8, I've lowered over the week.

I've had 2 casualties already.. a bronze cory drowned itself by getting caught in the ambulia and the male ram must of gotten stressed and effected by the new tank ( maybe levels :/ ) and died
I made some adjustments though and now the fish are looking great ! Bought a new male ram so hopefully he'll pair with the female. He has amazing colour, probably the best blue ram ive seen to be honest I also removed the 5 Black Phantom Tetras and now just have 8 Harlequins.. make the tank less crowded.. plus I think the red of the harlequins is a great contrast with the plants etc.
  • #14
There seems to be a misunderstanding regarding pH and the form of ammonia.

When ammonia is present both the toxic ammonia and ammonium exist. It isn't one or the other. In lower pH environments more ammonium may exist, however the toxic ammonia also exists. The only safe level is 0.

The fish you are losing are very sensitive to waste levels. What are your current test results?

I have a question. You stated that you lowered your pH. How was this accomplished?

Attempting to maintain a specific pH can lead to swings which kill fish. A stable pH is better than a perfect one.

Sent from my Motorola Electrify using Tapatalk
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I added small amounts of ph down every few days until I reach a lower ph. Didnt want to shock the fish with a quick chAnge
  • #16
The problem with using pH Down is that it only has a temporary effect. And the pH will bounce back to its natural level. Your fish would be healthier if you stopped using pH altering products. The fish will adapt....and will be healthier in a stable environment.
  • #17
I cycled the first tank fow a few days before adding fish..

Most cycles take several weeks to accomplish. Just running the tank with water will not do it.

then transferred all the water into the new tank to keep levels.

Water alone doesn't harbour enough of the beneficial bacteria to be of use cycling a new tank from an old one, even when the old one has an established cycle.

I would suggest daily large water changes with Prime added until you have steady readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and under 20 nitrate. That will tell you that you have a cycled tank.
  • #18
A+ to both catsma and HOWsMom. Over my years of keeping fish I have found out the hard way about using products to alter the pH. It has cost me a bundle in the past so I learned to live with what I got and so have my fish. Any time you use products to alter the pH in any direction it can be a disaster in the making. Water changes, seasons and time will cause the pH fluctuate some but if you try to alter it, it will bounce back on you causing a large swing or crash. It is always recommended to keep a stable pH and keep fish that can adapt to it.

As far as ammonia goes there isn’t any safe level except a zero level and the same holds true for nitrites. Your fish breath and drink the water they live in and ammonia burns their gills to the point they can’t breath any longer. Even at low levels time will cause irreversible damage. SeaChem Prime is a great product for helping detoxify ammonia but it only works for 24 hours and then it stops so you need to do daily water changes to remove as much ammonia as you can and treat the left over ammonia in the water with Prime.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Question
Top Bottom