Newbie Help!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Beth Maffei, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Beth MaffeiNew MemberMember

    Hi all,
    So glad I found this forum!
    I have wanted a tank for years and finally caved last week and got a 20 gallon...not huge but large enough I can enjoy watching them swim around! i don't remember this being as involved when I was younger and had a tank. I've learned a lot from the guys at the local pet of the biggest things I learned is I need to slow it down. I put in 3 tetras the first day. I know I know....1 died today so I know I need to read up a bit more on the cycling of the tank. I also put in a funky piece of driftwood (boiled several times to get rid of tanins). I added a moss ball and 2 live plants today as well as 2 aquatic frogs but now think I added too much too soon after reading some posts.

    Advice....??? Wait 3-4 weeks before adding anything else and pray everything else lives? General suggestions on how to keep everything healthy is much appreciated as well!

  2. InnoValued MemberMember

    I would not add anything else for a couple weeks. Read up on how many gallons the frogs need and their requirements. Also grab a bottle of seachem prime and do frequent water changes.

  3. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    I would definitely familiarize your self with the nitrogen cycle before doing anything else. Do you have a test kit or test strips? They will help you figure out where you are in the cycle. I would pick up some Seachem Prime if you can, it can help keep the fish in the tank safe from the high levels of ammonia and nitrites present in the water during the process.

  4. Beth MaffeiNew MemberMember

    Thanks. I was told as long as they could swim to the top to get air they'd be far they're doing well.
  5. InnoValued MemberMember

    Just google the heck out of it, you want to research all your fish/frogs and make sure your aquarium is right for them. Research any fish you plan on getting before hand also. You will enjoy them more when they are happy.
  6. Beth MaffeiNew MemberMember

    Oh! I have the Prime. I was using water conditioner that came with the kit I got and it suggested adding some as you add new fish/plants but doesn't specifiy how much.
    I tested the water and the only thing low right now is the ph which is likely due to the drift wood. Added a ph tablet.....not sure if that was a good idea or not....I always think changing/adding too many variables at once is not wise.
  7. Beth MaffeiNew MemberMember

    Google is my friend. I will do that now. I've been researching fish because I don't want to get them and have them die! Thank you!
  8. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    Can you tell us what the actual test results were?

    Generally it's a bad idea to use chemicals to alter your ph. They can cause swings in ph that are a lot worse for your tank than a ph level that's not 100% ideal for your animals. Most stock will adjust to your water over time, but it will stress them out a lot if it changes rapidly.
  9. Beth MaffeiNew MemberMember

    Makes sense why my tetra died AFTER I dropped the dang thing in then. Not that that is exactly why he died but perhaps. I'm not doing anything other than water changes for now.
    I don't remember the numbers off the top of my head just that they were in the "safe" area. I will retest now.
  10. Beth MaffeiNew MemberMember

    The GH is 0 and KH is 40.
    PH 6.0
    Nitrite 0.0
    Nitrate 20

    Sooooo....the GH is is the danger zone as is the ph.
  11. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, I can tell what strips you're using because it doesn't list ammonia. I would try to pick up test just for the ammonia if you can. You need to keep an eye one it because it's very toxic to your fish, and if it gets too high you need to know to add some Prime to bind it and do a water change to remove it. Also, it's the first thing that will change as your filter starts to cycle and the bacteria grow enough start to breaking it down into nitrites.

    If you need to raise your gh and ph, I would look into adding a small bag of crushed coral to your filter. It should raise it slowly enough not to stress your fish and keep it more stable once it's up. I haven't done this myself, though, so definitely do some research and don't just take my word on it.
  12. Beth MaffeiNew MemberMember

    I asked about the crushed coral at the store today and the guy looked at me like I had a 3rd head! I'll try that b/c I think it's going to be necessary w/ the drift wood I have in the tank. It's producing this yuck slime but I've read that's normal and not harmful. Will get an ammonia test tomorrow. Thank you!
  13. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    Opinions of the average pet store worker should be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of people use coral to stabilize hardness and ph. Maybe if you try it and it works well, you can go educate them (nicely) so they can help people better in the future.

    Ugh, I know exactly the slime you're talking about. No, it shouldn't hurt anything, it'll just be kinda gross looking for a while. I have a nerite snail that seems to enjoy eating it, though. Once your tank is more stable you could give that a try. In the meantime, you can pull it out and scrub if off in tank water once and a while during water changes. It should go away on it own in time. It'll just be kind of distressing until it does. :/
  14. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah when I was looking for ammonia to cycle my tank in the pet store, they thought I was nuts and said just throw fish in there, they'll produce ammonia! (Duh!)

    When you run out of strips, I suggest getting the API freshwater master kit. It will save you so much money in the long run!

    Familiarize yourself with the nitrogen cycle. That will help a lot. Don't add any more fish until that's complete in your tank. Your gh and ph may hinder your cycle, as a ph below 6.6 slows the growth of bacteria and under 6 it stops completely. You can do the crushed sea shells, or crushed coral, also cuttlefish bone (found in the bird or reptile section). There are also real rock decorations, like limestone and Texas Holey Rock that can raise the ph too. Until it stabilizes, when you do water changes you can add baking soda to raise the ph of the new water in the bucket. You can fiddle with how much to add until you get the ph right.

    Feel free to ask any questions you have! And welcome to the hobby and to Fishlore!

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