Several questions actually...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by SevenEro, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. SevenEro

    SevenEroValued MemberMember

    My LFS is having a pretty big sale over the next 10 days or so, and I stopped in there to buy some stuff and walked out with $5 worth of stuff (a thermometer and AC sponge) because every time I picked something up I wondered if 1) I was picking out the right thing, and 2) could I get it cheaper from online somewhere?

    Most of all I wish Fishlore was there walking through the store with me to help me make decisions! :)

    Lighting: Just now starting to plant live plants. The bulbs I saw that were labeled as "optimal for plant growth" ranged from 2500K to 10000K. So which is it? Does the number of watts matter? I have 2 40watt 6500K CF bulbs for my 10gal right now. Does that mean it's 80watts total, 8 watts per gallon? good? bad?

    Substrate: The same 10gal has 6 pygmy cories in it. Super adorable lil' guys!! Right now I have them in there with some big rocks just so they can have some kind of "substrate" until I can decide what to use in their tank (definitely going to be adding lots of live plants for them!). But I keep reading that sand is better for their barbels/whiskers. Is that true? Or would small, rounded aquarium gravel work? I've tried PFS and to me it looks boring. It's in my goldfish tank at the moment, but I want to take it out. I really like the look of Unipac Tana sand. Of course, I would like the kind that isn't available here. Is there anything similar in the US?
    (yes, there is a plastic fork in the tank. i used it to anchor the repashy for them to make it easier for them to eat.)

    Air pump: Are they a requirement in freshwater tanks? In order for a Hydro sponge filter to be the most effective is a stronger air pump required? In other words, the stronger the air pump, the more effective the sponge filter?

    Fish: Is it bad that a LFS would sell you fish the same day that they arrived at the store? One LFS I know holds them for a week or so to make sure they're healthy, and another LFS says they'd rather send them home asap to get the stress part over with sooner.

    Water changes: I just got 2 sparkling gourami that I have in a 6.6 gal bookshelf tank. One of them has a torn tail fin like he was picked on (no discoloration or other symptoms that I can see and it's not coming from the other gourami). I read that keeping immaculate water conditions along with Vita-Chem would help him to repair his fin. Since I just got him 3 days ago, would it be too stressful on them to change the water every day or every other day to make sure the water is always super clean for his fin? Which would be better? Same thing for the 10gal pygmy cory tank. One of the 6 is a little less lively than the others. Would frequent water changes and Vita-Chem help him too?

    I know that's a lot of questions, but they all pile up on me over a few days until I just have to get them all out at some point. :)
  2. Ethan

    EthanWell Known MemberMember

    my 2 tanks have no air pumps and they are both just fine tbh i do not think it is a total necessity
  3. AlexAlex

    AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    On the flip side of what OnTheFry said about his - My kind of fishes (Mbuna Tank) really need the extra bubbles, movement on the surface, current flow, etc.

    If you have fishes that requires a higher current, a lot of water movement and so on - I'd suggest at least something moderate or in the middle that will give you that extra current, oxygen, etc.

    The other questions I'll leave for others to chime in on. :)

    P.S. I use Black Diamond Sandblasting Sand for all of my tanks... Love it. I have videos and pictures in that part of the forum if you want to see what it looks like.
  4. JDcichlidlover

    JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    You can use black blasting sand. I've heard a lot of people talking about that

    Yeah. The stronger the air pump he more powerful the filter
    No it doesn't need one, something to disturb the water. Is all u need. A powerhead works just as well as an air pump

    Its your own opinion on that point. Seems to me that they're super stressed days they first get shipped in.

    Small water changes everyday are fine. Fish like getting fresh water.
  5. Ziggi

    ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    I do the same thing! I'm on my phone more in the store than I am looking at items since they never have what I'm prepared for or I find something new and try to research it as fast as possible before I consider buying. :)

    Yes, I'd highly recommend sand for the reason you named. They enjoy sifting through it more anyways! It's also easier to clean, imo. If you think plain sand is boring (though that may change with the cory playing in it and the addition of plants/decor) try some of the colored varieties! :D

    An air pump is not nessecary for a freshwater tank, if you have good surface disturbance from the filter I dont think you need it unless you want it for aesthetic purposes.

    frequent water changes shouldnt be a problem, just keep them small (i.e. 25%) and gentle. :) my Blue gourami tore her fin and it's grown back very nicely with water changes and vitachem!

    Good Luck!
  6. plug

    plugWell Known MemberMember

    My LFS does not sell any new fish that have arrived until they observe them for a few days or more to make sure they do not have any ailments

    I was just in there tonight and saw some cory cats that looked nice, but they just arrived and the guy advised against buying until they are observed for a few days to make sure they are ok

    I switced from gravel to pool filter sand in my main tank and all my corys died...still trying to figure out what happenned there...they lost all their barbels and then died...but mine seems to be an exception as everyone else seems to be ok with sand in their tanks
  7. AlexAlex

    AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I used to have pool filter sand, and it's absolutely safe, as long as you rinse it thoroughly before using as it will get rid of the dust particles, etc.
  8. plug

    plugWell Known MemberMember

    I rinsed the sand well, and all the other fish are fine. It just seemed to affect the corys
    Mine is obviously th exception as nobody else seems to have had this issue
  9. Yeoy

    YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    Sometimes fish just die, as sad as it is. Could have been a suicide cult, who knows?
  10. AlexAlex

    AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    Something else was wrong with the corys. I highly doubt it was the sand at all.
  11. plug

    plugWell Known MemberMember

    That may be correct, and I have been trying to figure out what went just seems so strane that the issues started right after changing from gravel to sand....who knows

    When I buy new corys soon, I will see if it happens again
  12. Yeoy

    YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    It could have been a mini-cycle when you removed your substrate, if it housed a lot of your BB. But then I assume it would have killed at least one other fish also. Who knows? Best of luck with your new cories! They are adorable!
  13. RJ23

    RJ23New MemberMember

    Prefer LFS that do this.. the place I get my fish he keeps them for a minimum of 7 days
  14. OP

    SevenEroValued MemberMember

    Glad I'm not the only one who does this. Whew! :)

    Thanks for all the input, everyone! Any ideas about my lighting questions?
  15. Terra

    TerraWell Known MemberMember

    You want 6500K to 10000K range for plants. 80 watts over a 10 gallon is a LOT of light, mine has 2 watts/gallon and grows the low/medium light stuff reasonably ok. With that might light you may need to add in ferts and co2 to keep the plants happy and balanced.

    Make sure you're not reading that "can replace **** watts" thing or the "10 watts bulb is equivalent to 60 watts standard bulbs" thing on the packages. In those cases I think you'd look at your light as 10 watts, not 60 watts.