PLEASE HELP!!! AHH!!

captain_bilbo

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I'm an extreme fish tank virgin, although I've been reading as much helpful information(mostly from this site) as possible, I believe I may need more help yet. Here is what I've done so far 1. I've setup the 2.5 gallon aquarium and let it run about 72 hours. 2. I add fish, one red bellied pacu and one colubian cat shark. My outcome up to now has not been so good. The water is extremely cloudy, their is fish waste and wasted food products. I also have small decorations, and from what I've read the size of my tank is just way too small. Other than that can anyone give me some pointers to what I may be doing wrong?
 

AnnaEA

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I would suggest that you read the Beginner's Guides, here: https://www.fishlore.com/Beginners.htm

And after that, get thee to a bookstore or library and get a good beginners fish book - I like David Boruchwitz's "The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums".

Then come back and let me know I've fallen for an April Fool's joke. (I saw the date you registered).

Because I really hope that's what this post is.
 

COBettaCouple

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captain_bilbo said:
???
I'm an extreme fish tank virgin, although I've been reading as much helpful information(mostly from this site) as possible, I believe I may need more help yet. Here is what I've done so far 1. I've setup the 2.5 gallon aquarium and let it run about 72 hours. 2. I add fish, one red bellied pacu and one colubian cat shark. My outcome up to now has not been so good. The water is extremely cloudy, their is fish waste and wasted food products. I also have small decorations, and from what I've read the size of my tank is just way too small. Other than that can anyone give me some pointers to what I may be doing wrong?
I'd recommend returning the Pacu to the fish store if you can - it needs a BIG tank: https://www.fishlore.com/profiles_red_pacu.htm and the Columbian Shark too as it needs brackish water & eventually salt water, plus they get big too and need lots of room: https://www.fishlore.com/profile-columbianshark.htm. That's why you're having so much trouble with them in the 2.5g.

Did you check the links at this post: ? If not, I'd start with those & especially the one on the nitrogen cycle. Products like BioSpira or can help accelerate the cycle a lot, but will cost a bit.. the Zymbac-FW isn't too bad but BioSpira runs a good bit more.. Not that you need either, you can let the tank cycle without them if you want.

I don't know what you treat your tap water with, but:
this is a product that has been recommended to me.. the website that link is to is also a great online store for heaters, air pumps, testing kits, meds, foods, etc.

Do you have a testing kit? If not, this: kit is really good. We use it and right now it's on sale there.

Maybe some members here can give you suggestions for fish that are similiar to the 2 you have now, but would work with a 10 or 20 gallon tank.. You'll probably want to go to 10 gallon at least if you can & keep the 2.5g as a quarantine tank maybe. Check this link: https://www.fishlore.com/TropicalFishProfiles.htm for the excellent profiles they have here on fish that you might want to have.
 
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captain_bilbo

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Thanks for the help, that does help quite a bit and next paycheck I might. I know I screwed up because I was doing everything on my own and didn't find this site. I'm happy to know what I need to do now and I plan on getting a larger size of tank VERY SOON (next week if possible). Sorry, this is not an April Fools joke. I'm just an imbacile. An impatient imbacile who bought the wrong kind of everything. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!
 

COBettaCouple

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captain_bilbo said:
Thanks for the help, that does help quite a bit and next paycheck I might. I know I screwed up because I was doing everything on my own and didn't find this site. I'm happy to know what I need to do now and I plan on getting a larger size of tank VERY SOON (next week if possible). Sorry, this is not an April Fools joke. I'm just an imbacile. An impatient imbacile who bought the wrong kind of everything. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!
Trust me, you're not an imbicile - we all have done some things at first that we later go "why did I do THAT?".. My wife and I wasted a ton of money ourselves at first on all kinds of things we didn't need. I'm also guessing the pet store staff didn't exactly do much to let you know what you were in for with those 2 fish.
Just ask all you can here and you won't make all the costly mistakes we made at the beginning - the people here are very helpful and knowledgeable and I wish we'd gotten on here a LOT sooner. If you can return the fish, you're not out too much and that 2.5g will make a nice quarantine tank for new fish - which is a good thing to have so you can keep new fish from bringing home something & taking out all the fish in your tank.

Good luck with your tank and feel free to ask us all anything you want about setting it up. I'm pretty new to this myself, but some of the members here have done so much tank setup & all that they can probably do it in their sleep.
 

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Oh dear -- let me apologize if I cam across as snarky - I hope I didn't, and I certainly didn't mean too.

What you can do right now to improve things is change your water -- I'm not sure how large your fish are right now, but if you are getting a suitable sized tank soon (within the week) they might okay until then if you just keep up with a 25-50% water change every day. It's far from ideal, but it should keep them fairly healthy for a short time.

Given what it sounds like the tank is right now, the first time you do the water change, you probably want to drip acclimate them to the fresher water again - sudden tank chemistry changes can stress fish.
 

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:) Welcome to fishlore Captain-bilbo !! No one around here will accuse you of being an imbecile! We all make mistakes, and even the people who have been around for years ask for help now and again.

That 2.5 gal would make an OK quarantine tank (in my way of thinking a little small since you should leave fish in for several weeks before adding to your tank), but it still needs to go through the nitrogen cycle and be kept running. You may consider it for a Betta, though even there I think most folks here would like to see them in at least a 5 gallon tank.

When the folks here say you need a much larger tank, they are talking about a HUGE tank. So when you decide what to do with your pay, consider carefully, because even a 55 gal won't be big enough, and as the size of tank goes up the cost really goes up fast, and not just for the tank, but for filters and lights. It would be very easy to spend $1,500.00 for a 125 gal with stand, lights and filter. Best of Luck, and don't hesitate to ask questions.

Fish in the Frozen North 8)
 

COBettaCouple

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susitna-flower said:
:) Welcome to fishlore Captain-bilbo !! No one around here will accuse you of being an imbecile! We all make mistakes, and even the people who have been around for years ask for help now and again.

That 2.5 gal would make an OK quarantine tank (in my way of thinking a little small since you should leave fish in for several weeks before adding to your tank), but it still needs to go through the nitrogen cycle and be kept running. You may consider it for a Betta, though even there I think most folks here would like to see them in at least a 5 gallon tank.

When the folks here say you need a much larger tank, they are talking about a HUGE tank. So when you decide what to do with your pay, consider carefully, because even a 55 gal won't be big enough, and as the size of tank goes up the cost really goes up fast, and not just for the tank, but for filters and lights. It would be very easy to spend $1,500.00 for a 125 gal with stand, lights and filter. Best of Luck, and don't hesitate to ask questions.

Fish in the Frozen North 8)
Yea, you have a good point about the 2.5g, but for smaller fish it could work as a q.tank with more frequent water changes. & true most of us Betta parents like 5g+.

The tank would probably need to be a 250g, given the info here on fishlore for those 2 fish..
captain_bilbo - were you thinking of keeping the fish you have now or going with smaller ones that would fit in a tank in the 10-55g range? What size were you thinking of getting?
 
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captain_bilbo

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FLBettaCouple said:
susitna-flower said:
:)  Welcome to fishlore Captain-bilbo !!    No one around here will accuse you of being an imbecile!   We all make mistakes, and even the people who have been around for years ask for help now and again. 

That 2.5 gal would make an OK quarantine tank (in my way of thinking a little small since you should leave fish in for several weeks before adding to your tank), but it still needs to go through the nitrogen cycle and be kept running.   You may consider it for a Betta, though even there I think most folks here would like to see them in at least a 5 gallon tank. 

When the folks here say you need a much larger tank, they are talking about  a HUGE tank.   So when you decide what to do with your pay, consider carefully, because even a 55 gal won't be big enough, and  as the size of tank goes up  the cost really goes up fast, and not just for the tank, but for filters and lights.   It would be very easy to spend $1,500.00 for a  125 gal with stand, lights and filter.   Best of Luck, and don't hesitate to ask questions.

Fish in the Frozen North  8)
Yea, you have a good point about the 2.5g, but for smaller fish it could work as a q.tank with more frequent water changes.  & true most of us Betta parents like 5g+. 

The tank would probably need to be a 250g, given the info here on fishlore for those 2 fish..
captain_bilbo - were you thinking of keeping the fish you have now or going with smaller ones that would fit in a tank in the 10-55g range?  What size were you thinking of getting?
Well, in a stroke of luck I went by a junk shop today and scrounged up a small 10 gallon tank. It had a pump and hood(with a light fixture) with it. Just $10, but still, should I take back my pacu and catfish?
 

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Folks here really do want to help you out, as to whether you take the two fish back is up to your conscience.       If you are having a hard time visualising what these two fish are like take a look at the following links.   It sounds like if you keep them they will eventually need to be in a 250 - 300 gallon tank.

  We can just give you information, hopefully you will soon decide what if best for you.       Good luck.

Fish in the Frozen North 
 

COBettaCouple

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captain_bilbo said:
Well, in a stroke of luck I went by a junk shop today and scrounged up a small 10 gallon tank. It had a pump and hood(with a light fixture) with it. Just $10, but still, should I take back my pacu and catfish?
I'd only keep them if you'll be able to get them a 250g (or higher) plus the systems (filters, lights, etc.) to go with it. A good thing would be to determine what the max. size tank you'll be having this year is and pick the fish that will fit it at their adult size using the fish profiles here. Then you'll have happier fish & less work for yourself.
 
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captain_bilbo

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FLBettaCouple said:
captain_bilbo said:
Well, in a stroke of luck I went by a junk shop today and scrounged up a small 10 gallon tank. It had a pump and hood(with  a light fixture) with it. Just $10, but still, should I take back my pacu and catfish?
I'd only keep them if you'll be able to get them a 250g (or higher) plus the systems (filters, lights, etc.) to go with it.  A good thing would be to determine what the max. size tank you'll be having this year is and pick the fish that will fit it at their adult size using the fish profiles here.  Then you'll have happier fish & less work for yourself.
Well... I don't think I'll EVER own a 250 gallon tank, because I don't have the space for it, and probably won't ever have the money (with other needs and things I want aside.) But one day I may go all the way to 80 gallons or 75 or something, how would that suffice for the fish? (Oh, and BTW, I wanted to know if I need a filter and other things to help with the cycling of my new tank.)
 

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75-80g is a nice sized tank and you could try that for the 2 fish you have, but the profiles of the 2 fish here at fishlore would say that's too small for them.

You could really set up a lot of fish in that tank, with schools of smaller fish (including varieties of catfish).. or you could go with fish like raspboras, barbs, cichlids.. so many fish to pick from. A school of Otos for algae and Cory Cats or Ghost Shrimp for bottom cleaning too. Endless possibilities and you'd get plenty of help here to pick out fish compatible with each other.. maybe 20-40 fish would make it in depending on what fish.

If you kept the 2 fish you have and went with something like a 75-80g, I'd say keep up on the extra water changes and observe the fish for signs that they're unhappy or cramped and I'm sure some members here have experience with the pacu and/or catfish that you have to help you with them.
 
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captain_bilbo

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FLBettaCouple said:
75-80g is a nice sized tank and you could try that for the 2 fish you have, but the profiles of the 2 fish here at fishlore would say that's too small for them.

You could really set up a lot of fish in that tank, with schools of smaller fish (including varieties of catfish).. or you could go with fish like raspboras, barbs, cichlids.. so many fish to pick from.   A school of Otos for algae and Cory Cats or Ghost Shrimp for bottom cleaning too.  Endless possibilities and you'd get plenty of help here to pick out fish compatible with each other.. maybe 20-40 fish would make it in depending on what fish.

If you kept the 2 fish you have and went with something like a 75-80g, I'd say keep up on the extra water changes and observe the fish for signs that they're unhappy or cramped and I'm sure some members here have experience with the pacu and/or catfish that you have to help you with them.
Well.... I made up my mind last night and I went to Wal-Mart and took the two fish back. (THEY ACTUALLY LET ME, HAHA!) They gave me back my 14.78 and I went back and bought some betta food and a beautiful red crowned betta. I love him, I actually call him Bruce. I've taken some OK pictures which I plan on posting soon. My 10 gallon is cycling, and still needs a heater and a thermometer, so in a couple weeks I may buy a fish (next week I'll get the thermometer and some gravel). But... I have a question. I put the betta in my already cycled minibow 2.5, and it seems to enjoy itself in there (it's hilarious when it sees it reflection and flares its gills out) but I need the filter from that tank to help the cycling in my 10 g. Would the betta need it to survive, or would the bubbler and weekly water changes suffice?
 

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A lot of the bacteria the tank needs are in the filter. Removing it completely could potentially throw you back into a cycle, which would be hard on the fish. Perhaps you could add some new filter media into your already cycled tank and leave it for a week or two to get some bacteria established on it, then move that into your new tank.
 

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Are you planning on using the filter from the 2.5g for the 10g? If so, do you know it's capacity? Chances are that it doesn't have the power for adequately filtering the 10g. sgould's suggestion to leave a filter cartridge for the 10 gallon filter would be good to get beneficial bacteria for the new tank and you could transfer what gravel you had in the 2.5g to the 10 gallon to help also. You also could look into Zymbac-FW made by Kordon to accelerate the 10 gallon cycle.
 

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